I am in the process of fitting new fenders on a '23 Touring and have hit a roadblock. The fender is rigidly attached at the top fender iron and also where it mates to the running board. The problem lies with the "L" shaped bracket that attaches the splash apron to the inside of the fender. I am reusing the original "L" shaped bracket. When attached to the backside of the splash apron, the 90degree angle of the bracket leaves about 1/2" to where it needs to attach to the inside of the fender (see picture). It seems to me like these two surfaces should be more aligned with each other in order to allow the "L" shaped bracket to be attached. Note that I also installed a wood block on the underside of the running board, where it mates to the bottom fender tab. My original running boards had this wood block installed and the fender seemed to line up better with the body contour this way.
Has anyone run into a similar situation or can lend some advice on how to proceed?
(This is the only thing stopping me from getting the car into the paint booth!)
The rear block goes between the fender and running board. If this doesn't help with your alignment of the "L" bracket,you can cut a small block of wood for there also.
Thanks, Jack. I have the rear block that goes between the fender and running board installed. It "helps" with the alignement of the "L" bracket, but doesn't get it quite where it needs to be as shown in the above picture.
There has to be something I can do to close this gap. I do not want to use a wood block in this gap since there wasn't one there originally.
I'm a little confused by the picture, I assume it taken from inside the right rear fender looking at the bracket on the splash apron.
If so, it looks to me like you have a wrong splash apron. There were several different designs in the 20's but I don't know them well enough to say just what is wrong.
I have a '25 coupe and could take and post a picture, I know it fits better than yours....
Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
Here are some more pictures. For record, the splash aprons and rear fenders are both new from Rootleib. There seems to be only one design from 1917-25. And I'm pretty sure I have the right one since the others look really different in comparison.
Hopefully these pictures provide more insight into the situation.
There is a term I use for what you need to do to make reproduction sheet metal parts fit correctly. The term I use is "malletizing". A whack whack here, a whack whack there and Presto! Gaps disappear.
I think you can see mallets being used in one of the video clips of the original Ford assembly line.
How does the splash apron mate with the front fender? A picture of that area might help a bit. I wonder if the apron could be moved forward enough to allow a proper fit at the rear edge.
FWIW: The rear fender / splash apron joint on my '25 looks like this. Note that the apron does not extend behind the fender.
If the apron is properly located relative to the front fender, it appears as though it should be trimmed a little along the rear edge.
You might try to remove that wood spacer block which seems to appear in your third side view photo.
The rear fender edge should be flat up against the running board end, metal to metal contact without wood block is the factory method of attachment.
The wood blocks were only fitted to the tops of the running board braces.
I think that Phil has found your problem. The last few sets of repo, splash aprons were drilled wrong and left too large gap at the front fenders. I modified the holes in the aprons and then they fit properly to both front and rear fenders.
I think you can special order your sheetmetal with no holes drilled. My Rootlieb fenders for my '14 came with only the fender iron brackets installed, but I understand that you can request them with the brackets included but not installed. The new front fenders fit like the proverbial glove, which was a problem because I had to spend three days looking for a screwup. (My experience has always been that if something goes together easily the first time, something somewhere's not right.) The rears were more work; the brackets should have been installed about an 3/4" further forward.
I think Phil is on to something. My splash aprons "fit" depends on how much I have pushed the front end in towards the frame rail while pushing the back forward. On my 17, I make sure the apron sits below the rivets in the front fender by half inch. This allows it to move forward a half inch more...