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1948 - 1956 F1, F100 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Fat Fendered and Classic Ford Trucks

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  #1  
Old 01-23-2014, 10:52 PM
fabieber fabieber is offline
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Removing front fenders

What's best/easiest:

Taking front fenders off individually or taking the entire front clip off? The two mechanics pictured in my shop manual seem to be removing the clip while not getting a wrinkle in their pleated coveralls.
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:14 PM
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Taking the front clip off. You can then get to the bolts hidden in tight places much easier.
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:46 AM
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I recently reassembled mine (was apart when I got it). Thinking of all the bolts I had to install, if you can remove the clip as a unit, your life will be much easier (especially if it hasn't been apart before - think rusted bolts in very tight spaces).

There aren't that many bolts that have to be removed to pull the entire unit.
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:15 AM
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Like the other said, take it off as one unit. There are only 6-8 bolt, I don't remember off hand, that need to be taken off and then the unit can be lifted off and flip upside down. You can get to every other bolt that will be a PIA to get off if you left it on the truck. As far as I can remember The two bolts that hold the radiator saddle to the frame, the bolts to the running boards and two bolts on each side that hold the inner fenders to the cab. The earlier years, '48-50(?) had an extra bracket from the inner fender panels to the frame but that's usually broke off because the rest cab floats on rubber cushions, this bracket it the only part solidly bolted to the frame.

Of course remove the radiator first to lighten the load. Remove the hood, you don't have to but get it out of the way to make it a little easier. I've removed the entire front clip myself, I usually don't have anyone around to help. I did get my clothes a little wrinkled, and dirty, but wear old clothes.
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  #5  
Old 01-24-2014, 10:54 AM
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If you're talking about your '55 it's a little more involved than the earlier trucks. Well, actually just a few more bolts.

Each inner fender has 4 bolts holding it to the firewall
Each fender has 4 bolts holding it to the cowl and 1 to the running board.
There are the 2 struts running from near the middle of the firewall to the front outside corner of the fender/hood latch support (I think the hood latch support is also called a radiator valance or something like that).
If you take out the radiator, there are 2 bolts holding the radiator support to the frame.
If you don't want to take out the radiator, there are 4 bolts holding the hood latch support and 3 bolts holding each air deflector (holds the grill) to the radiator support.

The others are right it's not that difficult. I can take one off in less than an hour, without removing the radiator.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:03 PM
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I took the fenders off before the front clip. First fender took 4 hours second about 2. I finally just said screw it and cut a whole through the fender to access the hidden bolts and this is why the second one was so much quicker. The fenders were swiss cheese from rust anyways so will not be reusing them other then for patch metal on a new set of fenders I find. All the bolts were also so rusted that they had to be ground off which is next to impossible without damaging something else in the area. Probably would have been easier to torch the bolts out but as they are all carriage bolts I didnt want to damage the square holes in the clip. Needless to say its a nightmare to get the fenders off while the clip is still on the truck. If I did it over again I would take the front clip off first. If I was worried about damaging the fenders I would still be trying to get them off.

Edit Note: Mine is a '51 so it may be a little different then the '55.
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Izzie1701 View Post
I took the fenders off before the front clip. First fender took 4 hours second about 2. I finally just said screw it and cut a whole through the fender to access the hidden bolts and this is why the second one was so much quicker. The fenders were swiss cheese from rust anyways so will not be reusing them other then for patch metal on a new set of fenders I find. All the bolts were also so rusted that they had to be ground off which is next to impossible without damaging something else in the area. Probably would have been easier to torch the bolts out but as they are all carriage bolts I didnt want to damage the square holes in the clip. Needless to say its a nightmare to get the fenders off while the clip is still on the truck. If I did it over again I would take the front clip off first. If I was worried about damaging the fenders I would still be trying to get them off.

Edit Note: Mine is a '51 so it may be a little different then the '55.
Rookie mistake... cutting holes in your fenders to access bolts. No matter how "rusty" your fenders are, finding a better replacement set is slim and expensive.
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:30 PM
Izzie1701 Izzie1701 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 51PanelMan View Post
Rookie mistake... cutting holes in your fenders to access bolts. No matter how "rusty" your fenders are, finding a better replacement set is slim and expensive.
Rusty is an understatement. Already have a line on another set. When I say swiss cheese I mean swiss cheese. It wasnt surface rust it was full out missing parts of the fenders from rust. I dont know why the rest of the truck wasnt to bad but these fenders were gone. My cutting consisted of 95% pushing my finger through and 5% using a cutting disk. They were not salvagable at all other then for a few areas I maybe able to use as weld in pannels. I would post pictures of them but I am not able to post a picture yet without a URL address??
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:38 PM
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Here's a helpful hint on removing rusty bolts....

Why fight trying to unscrew the rusty bolts, fighting tooth and nail for a few degrees of rotation of the nut, busting your already swollen and bleeding knuckles yet again on the rusty undersides, having your brain cells in the vicinity of your eardrums wail out their agonizing death in the screaching of the rusty nuts fighting to the end? To heck with all that!

Instead of trying to loosen the offending nut and bolt...tighten it. Most of the time the bolts will snap off in about a half a turn.....no muss, no fuss.

Pulling the front clip as a unit is definately easier on the 48-52 trucks
Bobby
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  #10  
Old 01-24-2014, 09:27 PM
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For some reason I just assumed you were talking about a '48-52 truck, I've never messed with a newer truck.
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  #11  
Old 01-24-2014, 10:33 PM
fabieber fabieber is offline
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You guys are great and I thank you.

Today I began the process of removing the front clip. I had already removed the running boards so what I found to remove is:

2 bolts on the cowl - each side
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:59 PM
fabieber fabieber is offline
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Uh......I think I hit a wrong button and don't know where the rest of my reply went.

What I wanted to say:

2 cowl bolts on each side
2 firewall bolts each side
4 inner fender bolts each side
2 bolts on the radiator horse collar
2 support rods from firewall to radiator frame.

I did break one of the radiator bolts off but all the others were really accessible and came right out.

One of the reasons I think the bolts came out so easily was a product an old friend introduced me to called "Kroil". You guys may be familiar with it but I wasn't. Before using some of my friends' Kroil I was certain I would never get the nuts off the exhaust manifold where it bolts to the tail pipe. I put some of the Kroil on one night and the next night the nuts came off with the ratchet even though there is little room to get leverage.

By the way Bobby, I discovered the tightening/breaking of old bolts and used it more than once.

Tomorrow I will lift off the clip. Do I need to brace it to keep from bending? I will be using my lift with straps to all four corners since my wife declined my invitation to help me

Thanks again to all for your help.
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Old 01-25-2014, 12:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobj49f2 View Post
For some reason I just assumed you were talking about a '48-52 truck, I've never messed with a newer truck.
I think you may be the first person I've ever seen refer to my truck (or at least it's body style) as "newer"
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Old 01-25-2014, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fabieber View Post
Tomorrow I will lift off the clip. Do I need to brace it to keep from bending? I will be using my lift with straps to all four corners since my wife declined my invitation to help me

Thanks again to all for your help.
It's pretty sturdy.

Don't sling it from all four corners. It' so front heavy it'll swing back and tip forward on you. To keep it level you might try slinging it from the front, and toward the front of the wheel wells.

As with any lifting job, lift it a little to see how it's going to level out, adjust as needed, then lift again. And never, NEVER get under anything lifted in the air. You probably knew that, but I always say it anyway. I've worked around cranes and watched people walk under all kinds of loads.
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Old 01-25-2014, 01:13 AM
fabieber fabieber is offline
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Thanks Effie,

I will be very cautious. Do you have any idea what the weight of the clip might be? The radiator will be attached unless that's a bad idea.

I don't mind the reminders about being under things
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Old 01-25-2014, 01:13 AM
 
 
 
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