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Username Post: 57 front sheet metal install help        (Topic#126944)
Senior Member
Posts: 493
Loc: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Reg: 05-07-03
03-18-06 08:05 PM - Post#898315    

Well thought I would seek advise here rather that doin the job 2 or 3x's before I get it right. I have the front of my 57 stripped from the firewall forward and ready for reassembly. What is the best way? Assemble inner fenders to outers and install? Install inner fender ducts before or after fenders go on? Can the ducts even be put on after the fenders are on?


Senior Member
Posts: 2031
Loc: Denver, CO
Reg: 08-28-01
Re: 57 front sheet metal install help
03-19-06 03:40 AM - Post#898316    
    In response to Jinxie

Assemble the front clip off of the car. Call three friends and bolt the whole thing on. My brother Alan says he can take off his front clip and reinstall it by himself. But then he has a lot of practice, because he keeps blowing up his motors. LOL

aka MileHiSS, DenverDave, & keeper of various tri- five's, 62 409 Biscayne, 67 SS396 Convertible,
a 40 Ford, and a real 32 Ford 3W Coupe

Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 10983
Reg: 03-25-05
Re: 57 front sheet metal install help
03-19-06 05:28 AM - Post#898317    
    In response to Jinxie

I assembled mine piece at a time because the fenders had never been on this car and didn't fit well at all (both repop fenders). I had the fenders off and on more that 2 or 3 times to get them to fit. Remember to install the inner fender to firewall brackets ON the firewall. Brackets. Assembly off the car would probably be easier if the parts fit originally. One of my repop fenders hung 3/4" below the rocker and I had to section it.

66 Corvair (driving)
57 2dr HT (driving)
56 2dr HT (waiting to be restored)

Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 11788
Age: 59
Loc: Shelby Forest, Tennessee
Reg: 01-05-06
Re: 57 front sheet metal install help
03-19-06 06:42 AM - Post#898318    
    In response to HurdRep


My brother Alan says he can take off his front clip and reinstall it by himself.

He must be a big boy! Or have a hoist.
I screwed up my back when I was about 16 just lifting the hood off!
I got good at removing the front end back when I was about 21. I had to get
my brother to help me though. We could have the front cap off and
engine/tranny out in an hour!

55 Handyman
66 F100 project
32 3 Window Coupe project
1996 Silverado short bed extended cab
1948 Studebaker Champion
1977 Toyota Celica Coupe
2000 Blazer 4X4
My Pics

Honored Member
Posts: 17575

Loc: Southwestern OH
Reg: 11-15-02
Re: 57 front sheet metal install help
03-19-06 09:17 AM - Post#898319    
    In response to jeffs55

I usually do this job one piece at a time.

I rarely have a helping hand out in the barn.

The last front end I re-assembled my girlfriend helped. We were installing the driver side front fender after I seperated everything for paint. Well the rivot in my jeans dug into the new paint.

57 Hrdtp(mine for 40 YEARS JULY 12)
57 210 4-dr Sdn(37 yrs Aug 12)
57 Hrdtp(32 yrs Jan 12)
57(windowed)S. Delivery(31 yrs Oct 12)
57 150 Wgn(24 yrs Mar 12)
57 210 2-dr Sdn(8 yrs Oct 12)

Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 12692
Loc: Lawrenceville, GA, USA
Reg: 05-26-01
Re: 57 front sheet metal install help
03-19-06 09:25 AM - Post#898320    
    In response to Jinxie

55's are easier to take the doghouse on and off due to fewer parts. But I still couldn't do it by myself that way .
So, like Acardon, I prefer to put them together a piece at a time, especially since I normally do it by myself. A quick review of the order that I would do a 57 is:
Glue or staple all your antisqueak rubbers on first. Install the vent ducts to the firewall and connect and adjust the vent cables to them and test their operation. This is the easiest time to do the vent cables. Then bolt the radiator cradle, flat upper filler panels, rear curved lower panels and splash pan together and mount it to the frame loosely with new cradle bolts and cushions. Then install those 2 brackets on the firewall that Acardon mentioned. Then hang the inner fenders on there. Put the front vent duct tubes through the inner fenders and connect to the rear ducts with the rubber sleeves. Prop the front vent ducts up at the front with some sticks. Before installing the fenders, bend the tab with the screwhole in it that is on the underside of the fender backward a little. This will let the fender slide over the inner fender much easier, otherwise it tends to hang up there. Then you can slip each fender over the front vent tube and inner fenders and between the cradle bar and inner fender. Then install the curved panels on the sides. The vent drain tubes can be installed any time later. The rest is pretty easy to figure out. Install everything loosely, so you can make adjustments. You have to make the fenders fit with good gaps to the doors and cowl. Then more adjustments will be needed when you put the hood on. You'll need the shims they sell for shimming the cradle bar and the grill tie bar to the fenders. I'd get 2 packs of cushions for the cradle to frame, since you often need more shims to lift up the front end than they give you. Shimming up the front prevents your fender hood bar extensions from being too close to or hitting the bumper. And it helps close up the upper fender gap with the door and cowl.
That should get you started .


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