1966 Ford Bronco Inner Fender Installation
The Bronco restoration project continues with the inner fender wells. Since we are working with new replacement panels and have very little reliable infomation we can rely on from the rusted originals, we consulted the factory assembly notes to determine where the spot welds were made by the factory.
When attaching panels to one another, the factory takes flex and vibration into account on many panels – especially those that are known to encounter stress. Unlike horizontal panels, a roof or bed for example, vertical or near vertical panels are welded either side of known stress points.
Vehicles are a maze of interacting parts and damage to one part can affect another. Different types of construction require different methods of assembly. This assembly of parts (inner fender, inner fender brace, fender panels, etc), in addition to its asthetic role, could be a predecessor of today’s crush zone which body-over-frame construction types did not truly employ. The assembly should transfer damage energy to the frame but also allow some twisting to absorb road shock. In short, there is more to it than just welding it in place.
We also need to take into account fitting of later parts to the assembly. Which parts will use fasteners, which will be welded, press-fit or adhesive bonded? Reference and research helps us reconstruct or restore to as original as possible. Some of the various parts of the assembly may require gaskets, rubber seals or weatherstripping. But first, let’s get this finished.
Thanks for following along,