Removing Front Inner Fender Wheel Well

Discussion in 'Wrenchin' Secrets' started by 12lives, Jun 26, 2018.

  1. 12lives

    12lives Engage! - Jean-Luc Picard

    I was surprised that I could not find any examples or videos on removing the front inner fender well, so I thought I would put up some information on how I did my right (battery) side. I have an exhaust manifold to pull (car has AC) and a heater core to replace and I expect the tasks will go easier with the wheel well out of the way. Some folks will pull the fender and the well together, but I’m no body man and expected to have difficulty aligning the hood and fender during reassembly. Also this gives great access to all kinds of parts like the two body mounts, fender to body cavity, blower motor, etc. so you can do other maintenance as well!

    NOTE: If your car is concours-quality or you hate to scratch any paint on the under body areas – do not do this. You will be pushing and pulling against the inside of the fender and things will get scratched.

    NOTE: I did this on a lift. You could do it on jack stands as you do not need a lot of ground clearance.

    Remove the wheel. I removed the battery and tray and the radiator overflow tank. After the fact, I do not think I needed to remove the tank but it did make getting the battery and tray out easier. I removed all the bolts holding the well in place. PB blaster helps! My car has AC so that includes the clamp for the ac muffler under the compressor. All the fasteners are obvious expect the one near the exhaust manifold to head pipe connection. This bolt and bracket must come out to give you room to move the well around. See picture:

    bolt.jpg

    Normally it looks like this behind the well:

    IMG_0432.JPG

    Once the well is loose you need to carefully push it towards the engine. The well is tucked under the fender lip on the outside (trim side). You are trying to get the well edge out from behind the fender lip. The well will flex some. I had to use a pry bar to push it the last little bit to pop it free. This will require wiggling, pushing, and pulling. You are trying to pull the back side out. Start at the door side until it looks like the picture below:

    IMG_0430.JPG

    Once the back is free you need to work the front loose. If you have AC, the AC muffler will get in the way. (If your AC does not work you could just take the muffler out.) The front outer edge of the well will be stuck behind the front lip of the fender. You need to work it loose so you can the part of the well that is narrow towards the front of the well (near the battery tray) past the fender. Work it towards the back of the car. I had to take out the bolt holding the fender to the lower brace. This gave me the ¼ inch or so I needed to clear the lip. Be careful not to crack your paint by flexing the fender too much. You will only need a small amount to clear the edge.

    Once pass the front edge the well will basically fall out. Be prepared to catch it! It will rotate past the hub and you are done.

    So that’s my story. If anyone has a better way to do it please post here!
     
    BYoung and Kaule like this.
  2. SpecialWagon65

    SpecialWagon65 Ted Nagel

    Now to get the thing back in...
     
  3. 12lives

    12lives Engage! - Jean-Luc Picard

    Right on Ted - I ordered a Parts Place replacement as there is some rust repair needed at the front. I figured that would be quickest/easiest as I do not have the skills to do a nice job myself. I'll follow up with that circus when I'm done!
     
  4. SpecialWagon65

    SpecialWagon65 Ted Nagel

    I'm trying to get 69 inner fenders back in and by myself is a struggle. another set of hands would be...handy. ;)
     
  5. Dr. Roger

    Dr. Roger 71 GS

    I've had to do this many times... heater core, then blower motor, then ac/heater diaphragms, etc. Why can't everything just beak all at once? Never had a problem scratching the outside as long as I am careful and put some tape/cardboard on the body first to protect it. I do scratch in inner fenders, but that is easily touched up. I would finagle a watermelon though a garden hose as long as I don't have to re-adjust the hood/door/fenders.
     
    SpecialWagon65 likes this.
  6. gstewart

    gstewart Well-Known Member

    This what works for me to remove inner fender liners. I do not have hoist.
    I jack the car up with the jack under the engine cross member. I place jack stands under the frame just behind the inward bend of the frame. I then slowly lower the jack so that the weight on the jack and jack stands is about equal. Thus there is no undue stress on the liner. R/R more easily.
     
  7. 12lives

    12lives Engage! - Jean-Luc Picard

    Interesting Gerry!
     
  8. sailbrd

    sailbrd Well-Known Member

    I tried doing this and ended up doing a frame off..... you are warned. :) Nice write up, useful info.
     
    Buicksky likes this.
  9. Buicksky

    Buicksky Silver Level contributor

    That happened to me on my first convertible!
     
  10. GS464

    GS464 Hopelessly Addicted

    Ah yes. The old "Well, if I have this apart already, I might as well..."
    Exactly how the entire drive train and front suspension from my GS ended up on my garage floor!
     

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