Yes, I’m still here

Months have passed since my last post.  During most of that time, I would walk by the reproduction fender mounted on the jig, and dread the work it would take to make it fit the car.  But I have actually made some progress since last winter.  Most importantly, I was able to use my metal stretcher to properly shape the lip that butts up against the splash shield.  To help guide my work, I used a bunch of filler putty to make a cast of the same area of the original fender.  By putting the cast against the repro fender, I could tell where I needed to re-shape it.

Once I got that lip close to the proper shape, I did several rounds of mounting the fender on the car, checking the fit to the splash shield, putting it back on the jig, and doing a bit more bending, stretching, etc. Once the fit was OK, I marked the correct location of the mounting bolt holes, and drilled them.  They are actually oval-shaped slots, so some filing and grinding was also required.

The next issue to be dealt with is the fit of the rear edge of the fender to the running board.  The rear edge of the fender is not parallel to the front edge of the running board: they almost touch on the inside, but there is about a 1/4″ gap on the outside. I will probably have to completely re-form the rear edge of the fender, or cut it and weld in a long, skinny wedge-shaped piece of sheet metal.

At this point, given how much trouble the repro fender has been, I wish I had first tried to repair the damaged portion of the original fender, before spending the $$$ on the repro.  I already have a junk fender that would have served as a source of a patch, so it would have cost very little money, and possibly no more time that I have already spend trying to get the repro to fit.