Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fender Apron, Radiator Support

Before moving to Oregon, I had put my Mustang into storage in the middle of replacing the driver side front fender apron and radiator support. I had cut out the damaged radiator support and fender apron and then purchased (now 7 years ago) the new panels, which then I had temporarily hung them in place.  At some point in time during storage, it appears that something had come into contact with areas of my new fender apron and started to cause some rust. I ordered a new panel this past Saturday, but to continue the progress, I can work with the rusted panel to install the radiator support.

I held together the radiator support and fender apron by using locking pliers so I could take a few measurements and look at the fit. The radiator support is a reproduction unit that I purchased 7 years ago. It's made in Taiwan, by a company called Apex if I can recall correctly. Its 20 gauge sheet comes e-coated for protection. I took some pictures shown below showing the fitment.

At this point, I wasn't sure if the panels were aligned correctly, or if it was just a poor reproduction. I took a few measurements and this is what I found. Top of each fender apron to fender apron were exactly 46" long, exactly the same as the reproduction unit. Measure from the opposite corner of the engine bay from where the rear fender apron meets the cowl, I have a measurement of 57.5" to the top hole on the passenger side fender apron, and 57.5" to the top hole on the driver side radiator support. The gaps on the inside of the frame rails were fine and there wasn't any more adjustment to be had with the support. Looking at the unit, it seems the holes were stamped 5/16" too far to the top left.

That leaves me two options, either repair the reproduction piece, or replace it. I've decided to rule out repairing it knowing they are thicker reproduction units out there with more than likely better quality. I purchased a piece made by Dynacorn that also includes the cross member, which will save me some hammer and dolly work, and is 18 gauge compared to the 20 gauge unit I have now.

Now it's just a matter of waiting for more parts.

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