The Top Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 Resource

Join the best E39A 1991-1992 Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 community and document your GVR4 journey.

  • Software Upgraded - Reset Your Password to Login
    In order to log in after the forum software change, you need to reset your password. If you don't have access to the email address you used to register your GVR4.org account, you won't be able to reset your password. In that case, follow the instructions here to regain access to the forum.

Proper Fender Gap - Adjustment

JNR

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2004
Messages
9,816
Location
ca
Does anybody know what the proper gap should be between the front fender and front edge of the door? On mine, one side has a good gap, and the other side is tight and my door was starting to bind. My doors seem to be fine, alignment wise, so thinking the fender is too far back on the tight side (passenger), but the side with more gap (driver's) could be too wide...I can't see how the fender has adjustment front/rear, unless you put a shim on the bolt near the door maybe? I will have to see if there is a shim there and if so remove it, so that the fender 'tightens' farther toward th front, maybe.

I looked in the FSM and it shows how it's attached, but not real helpful on what the gaps/adjustment should be/is, etc...I'll take a look again, but hoping somebody here may know or have some suggestions?
 

jepherz

Staff member
Joined
Aug 8, 2004
Messages
7,878
Location
KC, Missouri
The bolt hidden by the door is on a pretty weak tab, you just have to push the fender where you want to go. I had to slot one of the fenders on one of my cars because it had been in bad enough accident that the bolt holes didn't line up like they should.
 

JNR

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2004
Messages
9,816
Location
ca
Good idea about the tab and was noticing that yesterday after I wrote this. I imagine there's some play in the holes and hope it's enough to not have to slot them, but even a couple mm's would make a big difference!

If you have any info in the body manual, as for the proper gap, that would be awesome!

Thanks, guys.
 

89Mirageman

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 5, 2006
Messages
2,502
Location
Stantonsburg, NC
There are no shims on newer uni-body cars, you're thinking about old school cars built before the 70's. There's not much adjustment on newer cars, maybe an 1/8" if that on the fenders. The holes that the bolts go in are slightly larger than the bolt and that is all the adjustment that you need as long as the car hasn't been wrecked and everything is within spec.

If the car is out of whack slotting holes is not the way to do it. The car should be put on a frame machine and strapped down, then you use clamps to pull the body where it needs to be using the factory measurements as a reference.

Also someone could have used an after-market fender, which are known to fit poorly and require modifications to work in most cases.
 

JNR

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2004
Messages
9,816
Location
ca
Thanks for the info and makes sense, although I *thought* I saw a reference to a shim in FSM, although I'll double-check for the heck of it...Mine's not "jammed" for the gap, but just tighter than it should be, for whatever reason and if I can get 1/32" to 1/16" movement, that would be more than enough.

Interesting there is no specification range for gap listed anywhere...guess I'll just eyeball the two sides, so they are almost exactly the same (I'm anal that way).
 

toybreaker

iconoclast
Joined
Apr 30, 2006
Messages
3,581
Every single vr4 I've ever had the front fenders off has had shims under the rearmost top bolt (along the top pinch weld.)

every single one

Take that for what it's worth, but I have had a "few" apart. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
 

JNR

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2004
Messages
9,816
Location
ca
^^^Did you notice different thicknesses or quantities on the respective shims/cars? I still haven't looked in my FSM again to see where it is, but think I know...Is it visible when you open the door?
 

toybreaker

iconoclast
Joined
Apr 30, 2006
Messages
3,581
JNR,

It's the very last bolt on the top of the fender, and it's easily visible with the hood open.

The shim stack has been different on every car, but every car had some.
 

JNR

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2004
Messages
9,816
Location
ca
Gotcha, so different one than I was envisioning. Thanks for info, and per PM, hopefully talk to ya soon!
 

toybreaker

iconoclast
Joined
Apr 30, 2006
Messages
3,581
Trying to check/align sheetmetal gaps by eye can be frustrating.

A measuring standard comes in handy. I usually use a paint stirring stick/wood shimsstock, but spare change will do for a quick reference. (wrapping them with electrical tape would keep them together and protect the paint)

I checked the gap on a few vr4's, and they all fell into a fairly narrow range.



Two quarters shows the fender top to "a" pillar and top of the door nicely.





The front doors can be tricky, as the clearance varies depending on where you check it. The door has some extra clearance built into the middle section to prevent it from catching the fender when it's opened.

Just get it parallell with at least a two or three quarter gap, and you're good to go


Top of drivers door ( near front )


Top of drivers door (near rear )

Like most high mileage vr4's, the hinge pins on this car have worn a scosche, and this door has settled at the rear.

To adjust this gap, you will have to access the hinges where they bolt to the body.

Usually, you will have to adjust both hinges to compensate for the wear/sagging.





Adjusting a door with severely worn hinges will not achieve very good results.

To check for hinge pin wear, open the door and lift it up at the rear. If it moves more than a little, replacing the hinges will probably be your best bet.

You can also get a good indication of the wear by closing the door gently against the latch. If the back of the door raises as it latches, it's time to look into the situation a little more closely.

The drivers door will show the highest amount of wear/sag, as it's the one that gets used the most. In the case of JNR's fender intereference, it's one of the first things to check.

First, check the hinges for wear, and the door for sagging by checking the clearances of the front door to the roof and rear door.

If everything is good there, check to see that the fender hasn't been pushed in at the rear. They are fairly flimsy, and can be distorted easily with a shot from a neighborhood kids football/basketball.

After you hunt them down and kill them, you can deflate their football, remove the inner fender liner, stuff it into the gap, and slowly inflate it to pop the sheetmetal back into its original shape. "Bumping" the sheetmetal above and below the concave area gently with the palm of your hand will help the metal relax and take the set you want.

Go easy, and take your time or you'll end up with an "outty"

Many times the best way to set the door/fender gaps is to start at the rear door. Get it perfect, than move to the front door, check the hinges, replace or adjust them, set the front door up, and then set the front fender gaps.






A good lubricant for general automotive use, this works really well on door/hood/trunk hinges and latches. Use the straw in the nozzle, and wipe up any exccess to prevent attracting dirt and grit which will accellerate wear.







[public service announcement]

While you're in the area, take a moment to clean out the debris that collects at the bottom of the fender. It will trap moisture and lead to unnecessary corrosion.

[/psa]
 

JNR

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2004
Messages
9,816
Location
ca
Awesome tips and thanks again!

I can tell you that my passenger side is way too tight where the fender meets the a-pillar and essentially is touching it...After our discussion, I was comparing the two fenders and it seems the driver's side (correct alignment) sits slightly higher in the back than the passenger side (where it basically touches the strut tower, or whatever you call it)...so, if there is a shim that is supposed to be there, it is missing on passenger side and makes total sense why it's off alignment there. However, to be sure, gonna check the other areas as you mention. I'll post some pics here soon as I get a chance with daylight.
 
Support Vendors who Support the GVR-4 Community
Boosted Fabrication ECM Tuning ExtremePSI Fuel Injector Clinic Jacks Transmissions JNZ Tuning Kiggly Racing Morrison Fabrications RixRacing RockAuto RTM Racing STM Tuned

Recent Forum Posts

Recent Classifieds Listings

Top