Fender adjustment - alignment

Fender adjustment - alignment

Postby sadglad [OP] » March 16th 2012, 11:20pm

Here is a pic of my '02 Cargo that's getting a makeover. It's new to me so I don't know it's history. As you can see the fender-hood-grill alignment is a mess. I can adjust the hood high enough to match the fender, but that leave a a big gap above the grill. I can adjust the hood down to match the grill. I don't see any way to adjust the grill. I assume the grill is in the proper position. There is no obvious evidence to suggest there was any crash damage so I'm at loss to understand why it's like this. Of course it did not leave the factory like this so someone did something to it. Both sides are like this.

Before I tear the fenders of looking for a way to lower the lower them, does anyone experience with fender alignment? I don't see any obvious provision for fender adjustment, especially not for a gap this large.

On other vehicles I have made minor adjustments with shims or the armstrong sheet metal adjustment tool.

Thanks.
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Re: Fender adjustment - alignment

Postby Jasen » March 16th 2012, 11:37pm

How is the reveal at the door and cowl?
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Re: Fender adjustment - alignment

Postby sadglad [OP] » March 17th 2012, 1:32am

Jasen wrote:How is the reveal at the door and cowl?


Reveal at the door looks decent.

Where the upper front corner of the fender attaches to the front cross bar looks non-adjustable to me without cutting some metal out. I guess I will start pulling apart to see how it all goes together and hopefully spot something that can be moved.

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Re: Fender adjustment - alignment

Postby paintdrying » March 17th 2012, 3:07am

I try and find the exact year astro and see what is different. Those fenders may be the wrong year. i noticed astros did that on the back barn doors. They were very close but different. Did not know gm did stuff like that. it looks to me like your fender is to high up. Like it was bent or something somehow. But it matches the door fairly well. Any pictures of the other side?
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Re: Fender adjustment - alignment

Postby sadglad [OP] » March 17th 2012, 3:33am

Both sides have the same problem, look the same. A quick check online showed the same part number for replacements all the way from 95-05. Maybe a cheap, off brand replacement would not fit right but both sides would have to be non original. I'm pulling one side off now, just found the hood and fender are attached to each other.
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Re: Fender adjustment - alignment

Postby sadglad [OP] » March 17th 2012, 3:36am

I did not notice this problem when I bought it. It was dark and it looked pretty good. I paid my money and took it home. In the harsh light of moring, not so good. Don't buy a car in the dark.
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Re: Fender adjustment - alignment

Postby Jasen » March 17th 2012, 3:38am

I don't know anything about the fender sizes like Paint was saying. With the good alignment with the door and body lines, I would think the grill, bumper mask and maybe bumper are sitting to low. Taking a second look at the head on picture, the head light is sitting to high in the grill. I've not had my bumper mask off so I don't know how things align, but I would pull the grill and bumper mask and see whats back there. Maybe to PO tagged a P/U truck in the tail just hard enough to bend the bumper, bumper horns or radiator core support out of whack.
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Re: Fender adjustment - alignment

Postby sadglad [OP] » March 17th 2012, 4:09am

There is no adjustment on the grill, it bolts straight onto the frame that supports the radiator. That's why I assumed the grill was correct and the fender was high. JY did not have any grills left to buy. I may check a different tear-apart place tomorrow and see if a different grill would make any difference.
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Re: Fender adjustment - alignment

Postby paintdrying » March 17th 2012, 4:40am

That is one of my rules. Never buy a car at night or when your drunk, or a combination of both.
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Re: Fender adjustment - alignment

Postby Jasen » March 17th 2012, 8:10am

Well unless it's a difference in fender dimension for some years like Paintdrying said, or piss poor after market fenders. What I see in the photos is a good alignment at fender, door, A pillar. Miss aligned grill to head light and fender, miss aligned parking light to fender, photo #1 the bumper mask doesn't align right with grill, parking light, fender, and attachment point to core support (hex bolt and screws) makes one wonder. The grill and fenders look like they've been chasing trucks down gravel roads, yet the hood doesn't look so chipped up. If you can rotate the fender down in the front even 1/2 the distance, 5/16", your going to really screw up the reveal at the door, and if you can move it straight up and down your going to screw up the body lines.
I'd pull the grill and bumper mask, and check the core support and bumper horns for damage. Wouldn't take much tagging a P/U with a higher bumper or a trailer hitch to hit the core support and tweak it.
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Re: Fender adjustment - alignment

Postby sadglad [OP] » March 17th 2012, 11:06am

I pulled the right fender, grill, and bumper fascia off. No sign of crash damage. The fascia has been off before. It got put back on with different size bolts on each side where it bolts to the bottom of the fenders and done wrong. Fascia was sagging a bit, one corner support rod broken lose.
The grill does not physically attach to the the fenders or the bumper fascia so I'm still stumped why it sits so much lower than the fenders. It attaches only to the framework on the front of the vehicle with no adjustment possible unless you "customize" it.

The fender has an old faded sticker on the inside that seemed to be a GM parts identifier. I'm assuming the fenders are original or at least genuine GM.

The huge amounts of stone chips are part of the reasons I doing a total paint makeover. Before I start on paint prep I want to get everything straight and tidy. Got tracking number on the paint today but this kind of stuff looks like it may slow down progress.
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Re: Fender adjustment - alignment

Postby chevymaher » March 17th 2012, 11:57am

I had major front end damage. The van I used for parts was also misaligned terribly between the hood and fenders. Your fender to door area is the hard part and it looks good. I did do a little customization getting everything to line up. Used shims from my chevelle bent fender bracing. Lined up better than it did on the astro it came from. Which was factory undamaged. I would just worry about lining the fenders to hood up. Once that done, that gap really wont stand out because there is no defect attracting attention. once you adjust that step back and decide if it bothers you about the grill.
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Re: Fender adjustment - alignment

Postby Lumpy » March 17th 2012, 12:04pm

What's going on here -

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That bolt, and those two phillips head screws, don't look OEM. And the area circled in red looks like a broken or repaired crack/tear/weld.


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Re: Fender adjustment - alignment

Postby sadglad [OP] » March 18th 2012, 3:31am

The area circled in red is where the hood was rubbing when I bought it. The original factory bolt is broken off between the two screws. The big bolt is something the previous owner put it but there is nothing threaded on the bottom side, just sitting there. I added the two screws to pull the fender away from the hood. The creases look to me to be from the factory stamping process. The worn of paint makes it look worse. All the fenders I've looked at in the last few weeks all had it.

Long story short, the problem is solved. Nothing more time and money can't fix, the two things that are always scarcest. An Saturday junk yard crawl yielded what you see in the pics. Paid $74 bucks not knowing if it would fit any differently. They have a 30 day return policy (store credit) so I did not risk buying something I can't use. I can only conclude that the old grill is from a different year or a very poor aftermarket part. I assumed all 2nd gen grills fit any other 2nd gen, but maybe not.

I been on four junk yard trips in the last two weeks and never saw one cargo van, either 1st or 2nd gen. I figured buying a cargo grill online would have cost almost as much as this JY solution once you factor in shipping costs.

Still needs a little tweaking but close enough to proceed with paint prep. Original holes are not lining up very well but I can work around that. The little dummy light sits kind of low relative to the headlight. Grill will be painted black in the end.

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Re: Fender adjustment - alignment

Postby Jasen » March 18th 2012, 3:42am

Glad you got it sorted out and it something simple. Base passenger van run the small ice cube grill, but it would seem odd if they made two different sizes, it would go against GM's grain of 1 part fitting 7 model line.
I have seen plenty of aftermarket crap that didn't fit.
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Re: Fender adjustment - alignment

Postby chevymaher » March 18th 2012, 2:47pm

Looks good. Nice job.
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