'66 putting fenders on after a long time off-middle holes don't line up

MARKDTN

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Apr 5, 2019
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Chattanooga, TN
I have a '66 I have had since early 2000s. It hit a deer in about 1985. They pulled the fenders and grille and parked it. Owner bought NOS fenders (which I am now trying to sell as this car is not worthy of them) but never installed them and it sat. Originally a 6-cyl/3-sp I converted to 302/AOD (but wanted EFI), then 5.0/AOD ('88 Cougar is lowest HP 5.0), and now 5.0 Explorer/4R70W in OBD2 trim. There is a separate post on that. I never was able to drive it with any of those until now. Last Saturday the car moved on it's own for the first time since 1985. So after that I got out the fenders I will use. They both line up with the apron holes front and rear but not in the middle. Car has sat with no fenders from 1985-2003ish. Then the core support was removed and the shock tower braces taken off and it was put on jack stands (under rear axle tube and under front frame). Sat like that until the last few weeks when I put it back. So how do I get the holes to line up again? Porta-power on the shock towers and add a monte-carlo bar? If I'm not racing will the fenders hold it in place? The Monte-Carlo bar will be hard because of the Explorer coil pack location and intake. Any words of advice?
 
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wicked93gs

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Sep 30, 2006
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Nashville TN
Sounds like your shock towers might have sagged inward. What is the measurement(center to center) between the 2 inner shock mount bolts on top of the towers? It should be 30 3/16"(give or take)
 
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MARKDTN

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Apr 5, 2019
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Chattanooga, TN
It's hard to get a really accurate measurement with the EFI plenum in the way, but it is closer to 28 3/8 so almost an inch per side-which is what it looked like to me when trying to hang fenders. So do I porta-power the shock towers apart and add a MonteCarlo bar? That seems like the easiest solution. It has not been aligned yet and I am going to do a Shelby/Arning drop. I have new upper control arm kits coming tomorrow and it's getting left at the exhaust shop Thursday afternoon.
 

wicked93gs

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Sep 30, 2006
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Nashville TN
Yes, people will often porta-power them apart, or use some similar method. I have also heard that you can jack the car up by the crossmember and leave it for a couple of days and they will open back up....I myself didn't have an engine at the time and this was before paint...so I just jammed a 2x4 in there to get it correct for the brace I have in my profile pic.
 

MARKDTN

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Apr 5, 2019
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Chattanooga, TN
So I looked carefully at the drop and where the control arm nuts will end up. Looks to me like the rear bolts will be very close to a tab? I have all the parts on hand and the template so I was going to do it tonight. Anything I should know? Drivers side looks harder to get to the bolts than the passenger side.
 

wicked93gs

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Sep 30, 2006
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Nashville TN


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They say a picture is worth a thousand words....so there is 4000 for you. Welding the old holes up is purely optional....and mine I installed shock tower reinforcement plates in(and welded the shock towers similar to the trans-am racing mods back in the day) so it may look slightly different
 
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wicked93gs

10 Year Member
Sep 30, 2006
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Nashville TN
Naw, the area below the holes was fine...I welded in the reinforcement plates to help prevent shock tower cracking if I ever decide to track the car....and also to seal it off so it wouldn't collect a ton of grabage like leaves and dirt that I had to clean out.
 

wicked93gs

10 Year Member
Sep 30, 2006
990
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Nashville TN
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Took a current one of the inside for you...ignore the less-than-pretty welds. I think you might be concerned about where there was a lip? some people use a cut down washer to space it on this side...ot just grind the lip away...in my case that was smoothed down when I welded the shock towers.
 

MARKDTN

Member
Apr 5, 2019
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Chattanooga, TN
I got the drop done. It would be 1000 times easier without an engine in the way. It's 1 flat at a time in places, might have been able to use a 3/4 ratcheting box head wrench but I didn't have one. Took 3.5 hours Saturday night on the drivers side then only about 2 hours on the passenger side Sunday afternoon once I had tools and techniques figured out. To deal with the aforementioned lips, I took a long pipe and hit them with a hammer until they were out of the way. Another item that the engine is in the way of. The drop template makes it easy. I had 2 versions; 1 with bottom (new) holes at 1/4" to get a nice start and then one with bottom holes full size. Using a 1/2" drill it did not take too long to complete. I did 4 steps sizes. I replaced the control arm shaft with a Moog part while it was out. Wish I had left them alone as both sides were still snug, but I had already bought them. The bolts didn't turn in them. The new ones are nice but bolts started turning in all 4 spots. I don't understand why; i pressed them in with a hydraulic press just like they should be and tightened by hand with a combination wrench. The alignment shop will not like me. Drove up the street and back, need to adjust the toe. Its going to the exhaust shop today.

As to the original part of this post, a borrowed port-a-power made spreading the aprons easy. I bought a Monte Carlo bar and put it in. It went right through my coil packs and there was no place for the air intake tube. I cut it up and made an offset for the coil packs (and p/s reservoir) and a plate with hole for the intake tube. I am about 90% happy with it. I am going to order another one and make version 2. The coil packs are unique to an Explorer swap. But I tried to hang fenders again and they are much closer to lining up. Hope to paint front end parts in the next couple weekends and put them on. Alignment will be last after that.
 
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