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Increasing Wheel Opening Clearance

Once your springs and wheelwells have been moved inboard, the next point of contact you'll encounter on an A-body will be the front edge of the quarter opening. As seen in the pictures below, there is a solution that's not too difficult.

Walt(BBLM23 on the forum) sent us these photos of his solution to the clearance issue...

Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Hood

Hood Wood Bumper Vehicle door Automotive exterior

First you need to make yourself a pattern to work from. It's always a good idea to mock-up a shape with cardboard before you do any cutting on a perfectly good car - it's also the only way you can be sure of getting the left and right sides the same.

Jeans Automotive tire Motor vehicle Hood Tread
Wheel Tire Hood Automotive tire Yellow

Mark out your pattern on the quarters, take a deep breath - and cut off the old. Clean up the edges to match your pattern, and you're ready to start putting it back together. If you slice through the edge of the inner wheelwell, you'll have to re-weld this back to the quarter - leaks, creaks, and rust will occur if you don't.

Hood Automotive tire Motor vehicle Blue Bumper
Automotive tire Hood Automotive lighting Tread Wood

The next step is to weld on a new inner lip - an oversize piece of flat sheetmetal. The overhang gives you some room for error with the welder, and will also help contribute to the new body line you'll have to make. Remember to weld small spots at a time and skip around to prevent warping the quarter - a little patience goes a long way in protecting your straight quater panel. Once it's fully welded, cut the excess metal off, down to the weld - only grind it down until it matched, or is just slightly smaller than the body line - it's important to leave a slight lip of metal at the opening - building up a corner with body filler does not work - one bump with a wrench and you have a 1/4" deep chip.

Tire Wheel Car Automotive tire Automotive lighting
Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Automotive tire

Finish the shape with a little filler, get some paint back on it, and it's almost undetectable from stock.
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