mysterious dents showing up on front fenders?

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting & Diagnosis' started by Gavin Humes, Apr 25, 2020.

  1. Gavin Humes

    Gavin Humes New Member

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    Hello,

    New member here, would really love to hear anybodys thoughts on this! I did a decent amount of suspensions and chasis work to my 1973 camaro over the winter and have ran into the following problem. after driving across town (30-45 mph for a few miles to and from the allighnment shop) 3-4 small ripple like dents appeared on my front passenger side fender. I have searched alot trying to find forums where this has happened to somebody but i have so far found nothing. i really would love to get this figured out as soon as possible to limit the amount of damage. any and all input would be greatly appreciated! My car has the following components,

    - pro touring fbody solid body mounts

    - qa1 adjustable coilovers (500 in/lb rate) with about 2.5" of suspension travel

    - pro touring f body pro g bars ( with preload of the adjustment pushing against the firewall in theory reducing any flex of the front fenders)

    - qa1 1-3/8 front sway bar

    - qa1 tubular front control arms ( set with .125 of negative camber which is an option based on the orientation of the upper control arm shaft)

    - bolt in subframe connectors

    - hotchkis rear sway bar

    - radiator support to fender braces

    - 5 leaf 200in/lb rear leaf springs



    i just weighed my car after work today and the front end weight of it is 1740 lb's. my gut reaction to what is happening is this.... my coilover spring rate is to stiff, i really like a stiff ride but 500 in/lb rate springs are for a car with a front end weight of 2000-2100 lbs which i am nowhere near. ( i was going for a more aggressive handling idea originally) this is causing more violence to the subframe as i hit bumps, this combined with solid aluminum body mounts means there is (probably) little to no body flex compared to the original soft rubber mounts. so the suspension isnt absorbing alot of the impact, and the chasis is taking all the abuse which is where the fender ripples are coming from. this all make sense to me, however i have read alot of people that use 500 in/lb springs or even stiffer with solid body mounts on an fbody with similar weight to mine and havnt encountered this problem. i can put the correct in/lb rate springs to bring it back to squishy stock handling and see if it the fender carnage stops. luckily the paint needs to get redone anyway so the dents arent a HUGE deal right now ( versus a brand new paintjob). below i have included a picture of the ripples, ( any other camera angle you cant really see them but they are clear as day in person) if anyone could shed some light light or experience on this topic it would be hugely appreciated! thank you!

    Gavin

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  2. fastrun72

    fastrun72 Member

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    Do you think it has anything to do with the work performed at the alignment shop?
     
  3. flht99b

    flht99b Veteran Member

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    Are the fenders OEM or aftermarket? The two waves I see look to be in the general area where the hood hinges mount on the inside the fenders. For the life me don't understand how the hinges would have anything to do with it though. The waves look too far back towards the windshield to come from someone laying heavily on the fender as the hood hinges would be in the way with the hood open. They look too far back to come from someone being heavy handed during an alignment. There is structure under the fender where it bolts to the cowl, one of the fender attachment bolts are at the bottom of the A pillar. Could that bolt be loose enough to flex the fender as the car flexes? I've seen waves/dents like this, not necessarily in that area but they were caused by someone. Very odd.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
  4. Knuckle Dragger

    Knuckle Dragger Mayor of Simpleton Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    That looks exactly like dents from a guy leaning over the fender to me. I've seen that a lot in 30+ years as a tech.
     
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  5. xten

    xten Veteran Member

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    Tops of these fenders are very easy to dent, even with elbows while working or leaning on them
     
  6. COPO

    COPO Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Someone’s elbows from not using a fender cover. Nothing else will do it unless your in a hail storm and the ice is the size of golf balls. You must have idiots that work on your car. I see nothing in your photo angle.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2020
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  7. tom3

    tom3 Veteran Member

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    Only thing I can come up with is the sub frame is moving. Big fender mount is about at that point to the cowl and could be doing a lot more than just holding the fender on. Check those mounts and look close at the subframe for cracks or cut areas.
     
  8. Zspoiler

    Zspoiler Veteran Member

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    There is a difference in the original and the repop body parts .The newer stuff .With solid body mounts .subframe connectors and such there isn`t the chassis "flex" the car was designed for .So that goes to the weakest points . After I installed subframe connectors and with the power it was making at the time .I broke the rear sway bar mount. And had to upgrade it with a Herb Adams set up. We all have to decide on what the car is going to be used for and make compromises when needed .
     
  9. Vettenick

    Vettenick Vettenick

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    I wouldn't do anything right now. Drive the car to see if they get worse. If nothing changes, then it was a human who produced them. Not your fault. Something like this is the last that you would expect. Now if you go back to the shop, they'll probably deny it. Did you watch them working on the car?
     
  10. flht99b

    flht99b Veteran Member

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    Most likely it was a human inflicted wound, it just looked to me they are directly across from the hood hinges. Not a normal place where a pair of elbows would be when working on the car, you couldn't get to anything.
     

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