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

Help removing fenders/rusty bolts

Old 03-11-2007, 05:37 PM
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I mentioned heating the bolts and spraying with penetrating oil a few posts back, I think its worth a try. Ax is right you need good quality tools, my compresser requires 220v 40Amp to run it, it wasent cheap but it will run almost any common air tool all day long. Having the right tools will shurly make working on your truck more enjoyable and you will be able to get more done faster.
Old 03-11-2007, 07:26 PM
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My brother swears by his HF tools, I have a lot less luck and faith in them. I have bought a number of quality air tools on ebay, I just bought an IR commercial duty right angle die grinder with compact belt sander attachment. I just make sure I buy from someone with a high feedback score and buy products that still have repair parts available.
A propane torch will get a bolt red hot, but I would not heat bolts holding sheet metal. The likelyhood is that you'll end up warping adjacent panels before you get the bolt loose.
I have a Milwaulkee 18V cordless impact wrench that is as powerful as any air powered one, that we use to change our race tires with, but it cost 350.00.
Mac tools are excellent professional quality as are Proto. Some of my favorite hand tools are Kobalt tools, they are made by Snap-on and sold at Lowes. My local Lowes has reduced their Kobalt inventory a lot tho. Snap-on is real high quality, but they are mighty pricey.
Old 03-11-2007, 07:48 PM
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I found the most effective tool on my front clip was a dremel with reinforced cut off disks. Just cut through the bolt and nut as tight to the sheet metal as you can get. Works good in tight spaces. You will go thourgh alot of those disks though.....
Old 03-11-2007, 10:57 PM
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Quit screwing aound with air tools, especaiily if you are running such a small compressor. Wha you have for a compressor will fill tir5es and run a nail gun or somthing that doesn't require large volume sof air. It won't do but so well with an impact wrench and will suck running an anlge or straight grinder.

Solution: Purhcase a descent ELECTRIC straight grinder and ELECTRIC angle grinder. I've removed a half dozen front clips now and broken all but one down. I've done this in my garage (first one), at a farm in Indiana with the help of a couple of guys I didn't even know, and my last one was back in August in southern Lousiana in the sun when it was about 98*degerees outside. The LA truck I disassembled from something that ran, down to the frame in less than eight hours and had the front clip, engine, cab, and tranny loaded on my trailer for the trip back to Houston. My only help on that truck was my mentally challenged younger brother. Point of me telling you all of this is that it can be done.

First step is to remove the hood. I'm going to assume you've already done this.

Next thing you should know is that half of the bolts that hold on the front clip are the ones attaching the lower rear portion of the front fenders to the running board. These are all carraige bolts or they were orriginally. This portion of the fender is almost always rusted up pretty good and if it hasn't been bondo'd or had someother repair made to it, it probably will require some work. At least I am assuming so. Use ELECTRIC GRINDER to cut these bolts off. Be as careful as you can but if the area is already pretty rusty, you will probably be doing body work in this area anyway. WHERE HEAVY GLOVES WHEN YOU DO THIS!!!!!!! I got sloppy and in a hurry on the LA truck did not wear gloves when cutting off one of the passenger side fender to running board bolts and cut the primary joing on my left index finger down to the bone. Very stupid mistake on my part. Like you, I was getting frustrated with lack of progress. Unlike you, I only had a few hours in which to get this done and I got sloppy. Don't make the same mistake I did. Fortunately, everything turned out OK, but I'm lucky I didn't cut off my finger.

The remaining bolts are pretty easy to find. I bleieve there is one bolt on each side that ties the inner fender to the frame, and the radiator support bolts with the springs. There are I believe two other bolts (one per side that hold the fender to the firewall. That is it. You snip a couple of wires and the whole thing pulls off with two or three people.

The worst bolts are the the fender to running board bolts. Take your time and work on them one at a time. If you get frustrted, get up and walk away for a while. Whatever you have right now, somebody has had to remove worse and they got it done. You will too.

Don't waste time trying to soak the bolts in penatrant oil. You may get one or two that way but the rest aren't coming off and will have to be cut. Meanwhile, you had to wait 24 hours for them to soak.

Another important point. Where good eye protection.

Lastly, you may not be able to cut through alll of the bolts because the electric grinders tend to be a little bulkier than their air counter parts. Cut what you can, then use a chisel, hacksaw, visegrip, whatever toi finsih the job. Remember, you aren't being scored on how nice the bolts look when you get them out. It's oinly improtant that you get them out.

I would also suggest that you visit your local Sears store. They have some great tools for gripping stripped nut and bolt heads that actually work pretty well. I would cut first and use these things later on the ones you can't cut all the way through for whatever reason. They will allow you get enough grip to snal off the weakened and partially cut throuhg bolts.

Use cutting wheels, not grinding wheels for this.

Good luck and stick with it.
Old 03-12-2007, 04:31 PM
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Solution: Purhcase a descent ELECTRIC straight grinder and ELECTRIC angle grinder.

The 4-1/2" angle grinder at HF should make quick work of the bolts it can reach.

I have a Sears rotary cutting tool, like a Roto-zip, that has a flex shaft, you might try something like that.

Has anyone tried drilling out the center of a bolt to weaken it prior to hitting it with the torque wrench? Perhaps use a drill that's a little smaller than the minor diameter of the bolt?

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