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56 front fender

This is a discussion on 56 front fender within the Early Birds [1955-1957] forums, part of the Thunderbird Model Years category; Hello, Can anyone tell me how to remove a front fender on a 56 ? I have it dissconected in ...

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Old 11-07-2004, 04:41 PM
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Lightbulb 56 front fender

Hello, Can anyone tell me how to remove a front fender on a 56 ?

I have it dissconected in the front of the car at the grill area, and I have the spot welds drilled out in the engine compartment, But I donot know were the fender ends and the dogleg begins.

Please Help.

Charlie C
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Old 01-20-2005, 09:22 PM
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There is a lead filled seam that is spot welded underneath in two locations. Viewing the the fender from the front of the car, at about 2 o'clock on the headlight opening is one seam that goes straight back towards the firewall for about a foot and then curves sharply towards the engine compartment. You should be able to see its end point with hood up. The other seam starts at the corner of the hood opening at the windshield, and curves around to end at the upper gap between the door and the body of the car. You really need to strip the paint off the fender with razor blades or 80 grit sanding disks in order to find the leaded seams, torch out the lead, and get to the spot welds. Needing more than this to go on, get back to this thread next week with an email address. We have a 57 on a rotisserie in the shop getting some panels replaced. I'll take some digital photos and email them to you.
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Old 01-25-2005, 07:51 PM
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A trip to the shop and a discussion with the boss prooved to me that an amature does not want to try replacing a front fender on a small bird. The car is of unibody construction where all datum measurements must be accurate or hood, door and grill alignments will not be close after repair work. My last post said that there was a seam at the 2 o'clock (rightfender) position of the headlight opening...etc... Well, there is, but that seam does not have to come apart in order to replace the fender. You've stated that you found the front seam between the grill and the hood opening. There is another at the rear of the hood opening, that goes diagonally back towards the windshield (yes the windshield must be out of the car) and forms part of the windshield frame, and the ridge seam that the windshield rubber gasket attaches to. It curves around the windshield corner to stop about 3 inches before the top of the door opening, drops straight down into the water channel, that the front of the door covers when closed. You'll find it under the lead in the bottom of that channel. It then curves around the doubled A pillar edge, all the way down the end of the fender to the front of the door sill, where it again is buried under a lead seam. Measurements before and after are necessary all over the front of the car, before any cutting out or welding in, and with the hood installed properly, as well as the door in place, otherwise gaps will not be accurate or even close. It really is a job best left to a professional, and one who is familiar with small birds at that. Good luck!
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