Fender Trimming Question

Discussion in 'General IH Tech' started by OldCycloneGuy, Mar 31, 2014.


  1. OldCycloneGuy

    OldCycloneGuy Farmall Cub

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    Working on my 76 scout II, currently in the rotisserie undergoing rust repair. Which means I can do pretty much whatever I want to gain tire clearance.

    I’d like to lift it as little as possible (or not at all) and run 33x10.50 on 15x8 wheels with 3.75” backspacing. I plan to run it as soft-top only, so I am not considering the weight of the top. If I need more clearance that what I have planned (so far) I’d rather do a 1” body lift than a spring lift.

    The truck had a shackle lift and 33x12.50 with 15x8 in the back and 15x7 in the front, so I can see where it rubbed with that combination. The front tub mounts were useless, and the rears about worn out, so it was close to a worst-case scenario. Since it was rough, I didn’t drive it more than a few miles before tearing it down. So I am going by where the PO had rubbed, not by my own driving.

    Planning to do all bodywork with the body off, so I’d really like to get it right now, and not have to re-do an area that rubbed later.

    The front rubbed against the spring while turning, but I don’t see anywhere else it rubbed when it was together (it is now apart and the tub is in the roto). For the front, at least, it appears 33x10.50 would probably fit at stock height, with maybe an adjustment to the steering stops – but – I don’t know that for sure, and if anyone has experience with where 33’s rub in the front (beside the spring on turns) that would be really helpful.

    From what I can gather so far, the rubbing issue is mainly in the rear. Primarily, the rear of the wheelhouses on full compression, and secondarily the front of the fender well lip when the vehicle is “up” (jacked or bouncing/jumping up.)

    It also appears to me that shackles make the problem worse. That is because a longer shackle allows the leaf springs to straighten more on compression, and when they do, they lengthen, thus moving the axle (and thus the tires) rearward.

    It also appears to me that I could lift the truck as far as I want to with springs, but if/when those spring bottom out, and the truck hits the bump stops, it is going to rub just like it had no lift at all. Maybe worse, since the axle/tires will be further back.

    The fender well is only 32” long, but it is also only 11 or 12 inches deep. It didn’t rub at the top, so the centerline of the axle never got closer than 17” or so from the top of the well. So the centerline of the tire, measured fore and aft – never got closer than about 5” away from the front and rear edges of the fender well. Therefore, in order to rub, the axles had to move backwards or forwards.

    So this is what I am planning to do, and please weigh in if you see a flaw in this logic:
    1) HD Stock springs, add 1”. HD since this is an XLC (6200 GVW), get them done by either General Spring or KC Spring Works (I live in KC and both are good as far as I know.) My guess is my stock springs can be re-arched & re-built, but we’ll see. A full suspension rebuild to match, too (shocks, bushings, etc.)
    2) Drop the bump stops 1” in the rear. Same travel as before, just stopped 1” further from the body. So the tire will stop 1” further away from the fender well than before.
    3) Roll the rear/bottom (looking up) of the inner fender well back (as seen elsewhere on Binderplanet) and weld the front of the well forward (you can get a finger behind it now where the sheet metal overlaps on the front side but isn't welded.)
    4) Move the forward section of the rear fender lip forward about ¾”. So cut about 3/4" out of the sheetmetal ahead of the fender lip and move the fender lip forward. (Remember, I’m doing rust repair in the roto, so this is easy at this stage) Before, I could just about get a finger in between the 33" tire and the fender lip. Once done, it will be about 2 fingers.
    5) Move the rear section of the rear fender lip backwards about ¾”. Before, the tire lightly caught the lip of the fender well right where the fender well met the fender.
    6) Leave the top of the fender lip in the same place in terms of height, but narrow and roll the lip and gain about ½” more clearance all the way around.
    7) The fender lip is now about 1.0” from the fender well (in back) and about 1.5” from the inner body in front. When I get done rolling the rear back, it will be about ¾” all the way around.

    I *think* when I get all this done, only a very trained eye will be able to spot that it isn’t stock, as I will make the fender lips look as close to stock as possible, and it will be very close to the same tire-to-fender distance as a 31x10.50

    I *could* split the fender well and make it longer - add 1" or so the middle - especially since I am replacing the bed floor along the sides. But I don't think I have to, so I don't plan to at this stage.

    Other than subjective choices – as I know a lot of guys just like the lifted look and wouldn’t want to move the body around to make 33’s work at more or less stock height - does anyone see flaws in that logic?
     
  2. Patrick Morris

    Patrick Morris Lives in an IH Dealership

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    Well obviously how much it will rub is going to depend on how you are going to be driving your Scout. Gonna do any rock crawling or any other kind of stuff that gets the suspension crossed up?

    In case you haven't seen my post on the subject of bigger tires....

    http://www.binderplanet.com/forums/showpost.php?p=868736&postcount=9

    You will notice that bumpstops in the front and especially at the rear are much taller/lower than the little stock ones. And a lot more heavy duty.
     
  3. Patrick Morris

    Patrick Morris Lives in an IH Dealership

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    And I also trimmed my inner rear wheel wells like what is shown in my post here. It helped a LOT, despite the minimal amount of metal removed. With 32s now, the tires do rub slightly against the back of the WWs, but only slighly and with the surface contoured this way, it the noise is more of a hiss than an awful grinding noise, like it used to be.

    http://www.binderplanet.com/forums/showpost.php?p=799662&postcount=8

    My buddy cut his inner fenders back even further than this by several inches, since he runs 33x12.5 tires on his Scout II. It was a lot more work and required making gussets of metal to fill the gap. But if you want big tires and no rubbing, you gotta do something like that.

    FWIW, if you are going to be sticking with the 33x10.5 tire size you may even get away without also having to trim the outer fender sheet metal. Hard to say until you get it crossed up.
     
  4. Patrick Morris

    Patrick Morris Lives in an IH Dealership

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    Oh, and another word to the wise. If you're doing all this work, you obviously care how it's going to handle etc. Don't cheap-out on the shocks. Make yourself some good mounts too and put in proper shocks: Bilstein or Fox. Yes, they cost $140+ each, but they are absolutely worth it. You won't believe how much better a Scout can ride, both on-road and off-road with properly valved "real shocks" (as one race-truck builder puts it). Not Rancho or Monroe/Gabriel/Pro-Comp or any of those other cheaper types.
     
  5. OldCycloneGuy

    OldCycloneGuy Farmall Cub

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    Very helpful, Thank You!

    Duly noted on the shocks. Good to know.

    Based on what I see on your truck, I think I'll pie-cut the front of the front of the well in the front fender forward about 1/2-3/4 an inch and try to make it subtle so the untrained eye can't spot it. Then I'll jack the truck as you did, see where it goes, and move the bump stops to where they need to be to prevent serious rub.

    Worst case scenario, I hope, would be to go with a 1" body lift. So at least I'll have that as a back-stop.

    Impressive bump stops you've got - where did you get them?
     
  6. Patrick Morris

    Patrick Morris Lives in an IH Dealership

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    The rear ones are these Prothane 4" models:

    http://www.jegs.com/i/Prothane/311/19-1310-BL/10002/-1?parentProductId=

    [​IMG]

    The fronts are shorter, more like 2.5" tall, dropped a little further by use of a 3/8" spacer seen in the second pic. Obviously I took the pic while the axles were crossed up.

    The placement of the rears worked out really well, with the center of the stop moved just aft of where the original bumpstop was mounted. In the first pic below I've just tacked the mounting plate into place on top of the stock mount.

    I want to do something better with the front stops though. They do the job where they are sitting now, but I think I can do better, placement wise.

    Good luck with your project.
     

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  7. R290

    R290 High Wheeler

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    I've seen both the longer fender wells and the fender lip rolled to look like stock.

    FWIW I've rolled a few fender lips and its not that hard.
    I take some electrical tape and mask the finish line I'm looking for.
    Than cut on the bottom side of the electrical tape. I then use visegrips to grip the top of the tape and bend the fender in to create the new lip. You only go a little at a time working along the cut and repeat several times. Then once your about 45 degrees you can use a hammer to help it along. You will need to weld in a patch from where your cut started to match up to the new folded part to the existing edge
    I used the metal I cut out for that, or some 20 gauge sheet metal.
    You will need to trim it to fit before welding.

    Taking my time its about an hour to cut bend weld a fender lip. I spend most of the time just looking at it before the first cut, making sure both sides are taped the same.

    edit... Next time I'm make a youtube vid as that would make it easy to see the process.
     

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