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Author Topic: sx4 fender removal  (Read 1023 times)

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Offline sheldo13

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sx4 fender removal
« on: October 15, 2012, 09:20:57 AM »
I need to remove my drivers side fender to gain access to the door hinge bolts.I replaced the bushings and it soo far out of alingment that i have to adjust the hinges at this point. Whats the best way to go about removing a fender for this purpose. Im sure i could just tear into it,  but im not sure where all the mounting points are..

Offline shaggimo

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Re: sx4 fender removal
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2012, 09:34:39 AM »
All bolts are easy to get to and pretty obvious, but, if the fender has never been off before, you'll have to grind the tack weld at the wiper cowel in order to remove the fender, so beware not to wreck it pulling it off.
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Offline mach1mustang351

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Re: sx4 fender removal
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2012, 09:40:01 AM »
How is this for an answer.... I have done hinge pins way back and I remember adjusting the door, but i have never had the fender off. I think you can get at it if you take out the inner fender.
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Offline mudkicker715

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Re: sx4 fender removal
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2012, 10:54:35 AM »
How is this for an answer.... I have done hinge pins way back and I remember adjusting the door, but i have never had the fender off. I think you can get at it if you take out the inner fender.


i never had the fender off or the inner fenderoff to adjust the door either when replacing the bushings.
i don't remember how i did it though.

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Offline priya

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Re: sx4 fender removal
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2012, 11:14:39 AM »
I don't know how you guys could adjust the door hinges without removing the fender because we tried on my car and were unable to do it.  We found you don't need to remove the metal fender, but just the plastic inner fender lining and that allows you to get at the bolts from the wheel side of the hinges.  The inner fender can be a real bear to remove and if you're too rough with it it can break/tear.  After removing and installing mine more times than necessary I found that that after you remove all the screws the best way to get the fender liner out is to grab the top inner edge that's closest to the engine compartment/spring and pull it down slightly and towards the engine compartment as much as possible.  Work the inner edge down along the length  a few inches and then you can start pulling the outer fender liner edge away from the outer fender lip and once you've got it clear of the fender lip you can pull the outer edge down all they way and remove the whole inner fender liner.   If you do damage/tear the inner fender liner it can be melted back together with a flat tip on a soldering gun but it would be desirable to add some extra material from a broken fender liner if you can get it otherwise the seem won't be particularly strong.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2012, 11:17:03 AM by priya »

Offline mach1mustang351

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Re: sx4 fender removal
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2012, 12:27:24 PM »
That must be what I did... it sounds familiar now that I hear it
Fleet:

1987 AMC Wagon 4.0L, 3" Body lift, AX15, NP242
1981 AMC SX4 Sport
1969 Mustang (A Mach 1 with a 351)
1973 GMC K2500
2007 Suzuki Vstrom

Offline mudkicker715

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Re: sx4 fender removal
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2012, 01:17:29 PM »
not at all how i did that. fenders stayed on. i also worked alone no other set of hands.

Current amc's
82 concord waggy 258 DD
84 eagle sedan stroker DD
86 eagle wagon sas 304 v8 toy
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Offline priya

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Re: sx4 fender removal
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2012, 01:18:58 PM »
I left the fender on Mudkicker, I just removed the plastic inner fender liner.

Offline BenM

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Re: sx4 fender removal
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2012, 08:07:24 PM »
Check for "Door hinge Wrench" on the auction site. They make big S-shaped wrenches to help. I was able to do it with assorted wrenches and ratchets, but I don't have inner fenders. I recall it being frustrating.

Also, AMC was prone to braze the top of the fender to the body near the windshield. That was to make aligning it easier on the assembly line.
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Offline captspillane

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Re: sx4 fender removal
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2012, 08:04:01 AM »
All bolts are easy to get to and pretty obvious, but, if the fender has never been off before, you'll have to grind the tack weld at the wiper cowel in order to remove the fender, so beware not to wreck it pulling it off.

I never grind that tack weld. It is very weak. If you pull the fender up about an inch and move it back and forth about 6 inches about a dozen times the tack weld will fatigue and break without distorting the fender.


Adjusting the door hinges isn't difficult without removing the metal fender. Replacing the door hinge bushing is. You can't get to all the bolts holding the hinges on to the door from inside the fender. I remove the entire door while leaving the fender on. 6 bolts hold the door on. After removing those 6 bolts I walk back and pull the door handle, releasing the door from the striker and carefully lowering it to the ground. From there I remove the other 6 bolts that hold the door hinges to the door itself.

It is very common for several of the bolts to break. Make sure you take all the bolts to a wire wheel while they are removed and use "never-sieze" before installing them. The bolts thread into a plate of metal inside the body of the car. Those plates can actually be removed if you push them up and over the slot they sit in. From there you can take them to a vice and drill the hole out to repair them.

I replace the hinge bushings in a vice making sure to use copious amounts of "never sieze" on the bushings. Never sieze works great as a substitute for white lithium grease. I use it on all squeak prone areas including hinge pins, bushings, and all rubber bushings (it especially makes a huge difference if you coat both sides of any polyurethane bushings, those are extremely prone to squeaks).

After I replace the bushings I bolt them back on to the door. This can be tricky since the door has backing plates in it as well. It is possible to hinge bind the door by bolting the hinges back on to the door crooked. I eyeball the hinges as I bolt them back on to make sure that they are in as close to the same spot as I removed them and that most importantly the hinges are inline to each other. A straight edge across the inward face of both hinges may be necessary to make sure they are square to the same pivot axis. Ideally you will outline the hinge with a shot of spray paint before removal.

At this point I put the door back up with the door hinges behind the fender and the door striker clicked into place. The door striker will hold the door up while you reach through the fender and bolt the 6 bolts into the body. The plate the bolts thread to can move and pivot, so it can be tricky to the get the bolts started. I usually use a punch in one or two other holes to align the plate while I thread the first bolt in. Since I wire wheel and exercise all bolts before reinstalling them, they thread in easily by hand. I snug them up as tight as I can with my fingers.

I then adjust the door by opening the door about 6 inches. A second person will hold the door up as far as they can hold it, which will be about 2 inches higher than it should sit. At the same time I use a pry bar or big screwdriver to push the bottom of the door up at the very corner nearest the fender. Sometimes I need to use the same screwdriver to open up the space between the door and the fender momentarily, before putting it back at the bottom of the door. As I hold the screwdriver at the bottom of the front corner of the door with one hand I reach inside the fender with the other hand and tighten the 6 bolts for the hinges. After the assistant lets go of the door it will sink about 2 inches and rest near the correct height. It usually takes two or three attempts to get it exactly right.

The end product should have the body line on the door perfectly inline to the one on the body. The best body line to look at in evaluating your door adjustment is directly above the paddle door handle, about four inches below the window.

After aligning the body lines I then finish the job by adjusting the door striker. It uses a size 55 torx bit to loosen. I look across the opening in the door to align the striker vertically, then push it as far inward as it will go back horizontally before sliding it forward about a quarter of an inch. A few slams of the door will tell you if it needs to go further in or out. If its too far in the door will not fully latch without an obnoxious slam. Too far out and the door seals will not seal correctly and the door will jiggle and rattle going down the road.



« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 08:09:56 AM by captspillane »
Currently Inspected and Insured as of Jan 2013:
-1985 Eagle Station Wagon 258 T5 Stickshift
-1980 Eagle Station Wagon 258 Auto Fuel-injected with GM TBI

Minor Repairs Underway:
-1982 Eagle SX4 258 T5
-1981 Kammback 2.5L Iron Duke T5

Restoration Efforts Near Completion:
-1982 SX4- 401 NV3550
-1983 SX4- 4.5 MPI NSG370 (6 Speed)

Restoration Efforts Underway:
-1985 SW- 4.0 MPI AX15
-1982 SX4- 4.0 AW4
-1981 SX4- SD33T NV4500 (Turbodiesel 5 speed)

Future Rescue Efforts- '85 Maroon SW, '87 Limited SW, '84 Limited SW, '87 4 door Sedan, '81 2 door Sedan, '88 White SW, '77 4 door Hornet, '74 2 door Hornet, '79 Spirit AMX, '81 Kammback.

RIP- Red '81 SX4, '84 4dr Sedan, '84 SW, '81 SW, '80 Spirit, '83 SW, '83 4dr Sedan

 

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