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          They're stuck in a place that sees some of the harshest conditions of any part on your Advance Design (or earlier) truck. Unseen and forgotten (despite performing the important task of holding you up when you lean against the fender!), they get pelted with road debris hurled at them by the tires, coated with mud, soaked with water, caked with road salt and left to fend for themselves in the dark, upper recesses of your fender wells. It's a wonder, after 60 years, they're even still there at all. And when it comes time to restore your truck and you finally let them see direct sunlight for the first time ever, whoa!! What a mess! And the ones on your parts truck?? HA! They're even WORSE. No worries, Mate! Roy's got you covered -- just follow him through...


Front Fender Support Resurrection
By Roy "RoyV" Vaillancourt
1951 Chevy 1/2-Ton
  March 2009

Yikes!! What is that thing??!!!???!!

When my wife and I finally had our “new” truck in the driveway, I noticed a large piece of twisted and rusty metal lying in the bed. This part didn’t look like any part that I thought would belong on an old truck like this. I was puzzled as to what it was and where it went. But not knowing if I really needed this part, I just put it on the side and figured I’d discover its use sooner or later.

Well, many weeks later I did discover its purpose. It was the upper fender support for the left front fender -- the one that is located inside the fender.

Now that I had it nailed down, I removed the right one to see what the parts were supposed to really look like (picture 01). As you can see, the left side one (one on the right in picture 02) was pretty ugly at the area that mounts to the outer portion of the fender. So once again, the restoration adventure continued. Picture 03 and picture 04 show the “good” right side support, picture 05 and picture 06 show the ugly left side support.

The first thing I did was to clean all the mud and heavy rust off both parts. Then I removed the nut plate (picture 07) from the “good” support (right side) and used this support to make some templates. One template (picture 08) was to establish the cut line and establish the shape of the new metal I’d have to add on.

Two more templates (picture 09, picture 10 and picture 11) would provide the proper bend angles.

I might point out here that I did all the restoration on the left support first so that as I progressed, I could always refer to the “good” one for verification of sizes, shapes, angles and hole locations.

Once I had these templates in hand, I cut off the ugly stuff from the left support (picture 12). After cutting off the ugly stuff, I welded on some new metal (picture 13). Then I ground the welds to look really pretty and dressed up the overall shape (picture 14).

Next was to layout where the bend line and holes would be, using masking tape (picture 15). I then bent the end as required using the two templates as I went.

Next was to locate and drill the two holes. (Picture 16 and picture 17 show the part bent and drilled)

The next step was to make a sketch (picture 18) and fabricate the nut plates (picture 19). These were cut from some scrap steel I had laying around and machined on my milling machine, complete with drilled and taped holes. Then one was mounted to the repaired left support and tack welded in place (picture 20).

Once I had this one all sorted out, I just repeated the entire cut and weld and bend process for the left support.

When they both were complete (picture 21), I painted them with some POR 15 (picture 22, picture 23 and picture 24).  A few afternoons and presto… new parts!

- Roy

-30-

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