panel gaps and subframe connectors

mopar4don

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I am getting ready to set all the panel gaps and install UScartool subframe connectors.

Presently the car is sitting on a body jig. And it will go on a rotisserie to finish out the bottom and all body work.

(The body jig supports the car at the 8 frame locations)

My question is with the car on the body jig, should I gap all of the panels, and install the subframe connectors?

I am concerned that if I gap and install the subframe connectors while it is on the jig, then later when it is on its suspension my gaps may change.


Just not sure what I can get away with
 

dvw

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If it's supported in 8 spots you'll be fine. Put the connectors in first. Then set the door gaps, then align the front end sheet metal. Note that some times you'll need to trim and weld to get the gaps really good. The factory stuff was not all that great.
Doug
 

zyzzyx

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Trim the connectors with a die grinder until you are happy with the fit. Put them in place and use four
sheet metal screws to keep them in place. Tack them in place every 2" and finish the welding when you
put it on the rotisserie. No need to worry about gaps now!
 

mopar4don

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If it's supported in 8 spots you'll be fine. Put the connectors in first. Then set the door gaps, then align the front end sheet metal. Note that some times you'll need to trim and weld to get the gaps really good. The factory stuff was not all that great.
Doug
Thanks Doug.
So what is a good gap? a paint stick (which is about 5/32 or .156) or 3/16 (.188)

Trim the connectors with a die grinder until you are happy with the fit. Put them in place and use four
sheet metal screws to keep them in place. Tack them in place every 2" and finish the welding when you
put it on the rotisserie. No need to worry about gaps now!
But dont you think I should gap the car after the subframe connectors?
 

dvw

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A good gap is what you like. 1/8" would be excellent. There is a reason I'd put the frame connectors in first. Nothing will move around after they're in. If you gap it first and it moves you've wasted your time.
Doug

B121.jpg

285.jpg
 
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eldubb440

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funny how guys go about things different ways....... I support and gap the entire car in a mock up, and leave it that way while welding in connectors

as to how wide gaps should be, this tends to vary a little from car to car. Starting with the hood to cowl gap, which is usually a little wide to allow the hood to open without touching; once the hood is in place, it will dictate how far forward the fenders sit as the front of the fenders are flush with the front of the hood. At this point I "center" the doors in the door opening. Sometimes it's as wide as 5/16, other times it's as narrow as 3/16.

gap1.jpg


gap2.jpg
 

Beekeeper

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funny how guys go about things different ways....... I support and gap the entire car in a mock up, and leave it that way while welding in connectors

as to how wide gaps should be, this tends to vary a little from car to car. Starting with the hood to cowl gap, which is usually a little wide to allow the hood to open without touching; once the hood is in place, it will dictate how far forward the fenders sit as the front of the fenders are flush with the front of the hood. At this point I "center" the doors in the door opening. Sometimes it's as wide as 5/16, other times it's as narrow as 3/16.

View attachment 1289992

View attachment 1289993

The only reason your gaps are so good is the dog is an expert in body panel gaps.
He has that look like here you see that’s how it’s done:lol:
 

mopar4don

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A good gap is what you like. 1/8" would be excellent. There is a reason I'd put the frame connectors in first. Nothing will move around after they're in. If you gap it first and it moves you've wasted your time.
Doug

Thanks Doug, That is what I dont want to happen. So in my case (because the car is supported on the body jig) if I weld in the subframe connectors then do all of the gaps I should be good right?

funny how guys go about things different ways....... I support and gap the entire car in a mock up, and leave it that way while welding in connectors

as to how wide gaps should be, this tends to vary a little from car to car. Starting with the hood to cowl gap, which is usually a little wide to allow the hood to open without touching; once the hood is in place, it will dictate how far forward the fenders sit as the front of the fenders are flush with the front of the hood. At this point I "center" the doors in the door opening. Sometimes it's as wide as 5/16, other times it's as narrow as 3/16.
Thanks eldubb I appreciate your input!
 

Cranky

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Factory body gaps were mediocre at best. IF you found a car on a dealer lot with good gaps, that usually was the one to look into buying. The factory door gaps sucked big time at the bottom and seems the more trim the car had, the worse it was. If the car is supported at 8 points, then I'd think you shouldn't have a problem installing the frame connectors first. Still wouldn't hurt to stick on the doors before hand and see if the body is straight to begin with.....especially if you've never had the car together before and you know it's been rode hard and put up wet. I twisted a 67 Dart years ago.....but it was jumped and it came down on the right rear first and slammed the left front down pretty hard. :D Doing crap like that might be another reason why my back sucks.
 

mopar4don

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Ok I have the frame connectors tacked in. I have the gaps in the ball park but will need dialed in.

I was wondering if it might be better to mount the car to the rotisserie and take care of everything under the car?
Then gap the car while its on the rotisserie?

Things to do under the car:
- finish welding the frame connectors
- weld in torq boxes
- dress all the welds from the floor pans and trunk pans
- paint or undercoat

After all this is done then do all of the gaps
 

eldubb440

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Ok I have the frame connectors tacked in. I have the gaps in the ball park but will need dialed in.

I was wondering if it might be better to mount the car to the rotisserie and take care of everything under the car?
Then gap the car while its on the rotisserie?

Things to do under the car:
- finish welding the frame connectors
- weld in torq boxes
- dress all the welds from the floor pans and trunk pans
- paint or undercoat

After all this is done then do all of the gaps

for what it's worth, I get most/all the structural welding done before mounting to the rotisserie. At least more than enough of it to hold the car rigid.
 

topside

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A rotisserie only attaches front & rear. A weak-ish structure will bow. So, do your strengthening, then the gaps, then the rotisserie.
Chrysler had 'em all over the place, and high/low hoods & trunk lids too.
 

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