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Panel Gaps

This is a discussion on Panel Gaps within the Showcar and Detailing forums, part of the General Help category; I figured this would be the best place to post this question, since I assume more people with O.C.D. (like ...

  1. #1
    Member patricksd's Avatar
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    Navy Blue Metallic
    2001 Camaro Z28 M6 T-Top

    Panel Gaps

    I figured this would be the best place to post this question, since I assume more people with O.C.D. (like myself) frequent this section - as opposed to "kill stories" lol.

    I know mass produced vehicles are far from perfect, and this is my first used vehicle. But I noticed something when detailing the car this weekend. The gap between the fenders and hood is not equal on my car. Now, I'm not talking about a 1/2" difference, more around an 1/8". The width difference is not on one particular part of the hood/fender, but runs from the headlight to the windshield, right where the fender and hood meet. All the bolts are tight, no excessive flex, etc.

    At first I thought, "Well, maybe the car had a new hood installed or something." Which, could entirely be the case. But, every other line matches up perfectly on the front - the fenders, the front nose, the gap between hood and nose, etc. The only difference is the gap between the passenger and driver's side fenders. Hardly noticeable to 99.9% of people, but I'm in that .1%.

    This then lead to me inspecting more lines on the car. The rear trunk has the same thing. There is about an 1/8" difference in the gap between the trunk and rear panels. All the panels are tight, no wobbling, and as I mentioned, every other line is perfect with the exception of these two 1/8" gaps.

    First off, is this common in a vehicle that is 6 years old with 50,000 miles - or could it have rolled off the assembly line this way?

  2. #2
    400rwhp::370rwtq Lucky 13's Avatar
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    probably just body flex and your just noticing the extreme ends of the bends

  3. #3
    Member 99'CajunFirehawk157's Avatar
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    Live with it bro, lifes to short to be so OCD, but we are all like that...

  4. #4
    Detailing + Design third_shift|studios's Avatar
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    body flex and your car may have had an accident-go buy Subframe Connectors

  5. #5
    Member patricksd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 99'CajunFirehawk157 View Post
    Live with it bro, lifes to short to be so OCD, but we are all like that...
    ha ha ha, you are right. Sites like this are great because everyone in my day to day life thinks I'm crazy. I am always wiping the car down, double parking it at the back of the parking lot, etc.

    Good to know there are others like me out there!

  6. #6
    Member 99'CajunFirehawk157's Avatar
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    Wink yeah, were touched!

    Yeah were all touched , how many times have you parked your car somewhere and then double guessed if it was ok only to go back and move it....were sick
    Quote Originally Posted by patricksd View Post
    ha ha ha, you are right. Sites like this are great because everyone in my day to day life thinks I'm crazy. I am always wiping the car down, double parking it at the back of the parking lot, etc.

    Good to know there are others like me out there!

  7. #7
    M6 King Hot Black Trans-Am's Avatar
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    I'm going to go move my car farther away from the idiots right now!

  8. #8
    Member patricksd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 99'CajunFirehawk157 View Post
    Yeah were all touched , how many times have you parked your car somewhere and then double guessed if it was ok only to go back and move it....were sick
    I do that all the time!

    People have no respect for nice things. I've seen people park next to Corvettes, brand new vehicles, etc, and just fling open their doors. Never in my life have I done that.

    One time, my truck (my previous girlfriend hehehehe) was double parked outside my work. Some dip shit hugged the lane right next to me. They had a grocery cart (from some place) and let it rest against my bumper. I just about killed them.

    The guy was like, "Its a truck, get over it." I told him, "Yeah, you are right, its just a truck. And your face is just a face, who needs teeth, eye lids, and a moveable tongue." He got the point and quickly moved the cart.

  9. #9
    I thought I was bad,LOL, but your not alone.1/8 is acceptable.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Z06-Goose's Avatar
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    As it was mentioned, it could be body flex. One way to stiffen up the chassis is adding some Subframe Connectors. Just a thought...

  11. #11
    2004 HEAD/CAM CTS-V 9t8z28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patricksd View Post
    I figured this would be the best place to post this question, since I assume more people with O.C.D. (like myself) frequent this section - as opposed to "kill stories" lol.

    I know mass produced vehicles are far from perfect, and this is my first used vehicle. But I noticed something when detailing the car this weekend. The gap between the fenders and hood is not equal on my car. Now, I'm not talking about a 1/2" difference, more around an 1/8". The width difference is not on one particular part of the hood/fender, but runs from the headlight to the windshield, right where the fender and hood meet. All the bolts are tight, no excessive flex, etc.

    At first I thought, "Well, maybe the car had a new hood installed or something." Which, could entirely be the case. But, every other line matches up perfectly on the front - the fenders, the front nose, the gap between hood and nose, etc. The only difference is the gap between the passenger and driver's side fenders. Hardly noticeable to 99.9% of people, but I'm in that .1%.

    This then lead to me inspecting more lines on the car. The rear trunk has the same thing. There is about an 1/8" difference in the gap between the trunk and rear panels. All the panels are tight, no wobbling, and as I mentioned, every other line is perfect with the exception of these two 1/8" gaps.

    First off, is this common in a vehicle that is 6 years old with 50,000 miles - or could it have rolled off the assembly line this way?
    Your car rolled off of the assembly line like that.

    You can adjust the gaps of the fenders. You need to shim the fender from the inside out. Trust me it will work. I had the same problem with mine.

    Intersting fact: After SLP received the Camaros from GM, they already had all of the gaps aligned from the assembly line. As you stated, mass produced cars can have a large margin for incorrect body panel fitment. Well, SLP went a step further and adjusted the gaps to their standards, which is why IMO, SS's will be less likely to have issues with leaky T-tops, out of adjustment hatches, windows and doors.

  12. #12
    Junior Member Jeremiah's Avatar
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    The big problem with our cars is the plastic body panels, you can line them up perfectly and three months later they settle or relax from the heat/cooling cycles, vibration ect. and there back out of allignement again. It takes a few times of adjusting to get them to stay put. Metal panels dont have this problem, once there adjusted they stay that way.

    A lot of times this is blamed on the cars flexing from high torque or weak unitized construction, not the case.

    The unitized structure on the fourth gen F-bodys is very structurally stable. This is why the STB is more of an appearance item on the fourth gens. The gaps arent affected by any torsional loading or flexing of the body even under the most harsh conditions. FRC's are a great addition to any F-body reguardless of mods but they do nothing to reinforce the front or rear section of the car. They reinforce the cabin erea by connecting the front/rear unitized long members or frame rails and divide the load between them. Without them the weak floor pan is having to absorb the load transmitted from the LCA mount.
    Last edited by Jeremiah; 07-22-2007 at 08:43 PM.

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