1955-57 CUSTOM FIBERGLASS INNER FENDER INSTALLATION
1955-57 CUSTOM FIBERGLASS INNER FENDER INSTALLATION
Back in the 1970's and B0's, to customize a Tri-Five was just to change the color of the car and add some chrome under the hood. In the 90's we all moved to the interior and used different seats, upgraded material (leather!), added A/C and a better sound system. Into the new millennium it was time to move to the engine compartment with higher horsepower electronic fuel injection engines and smoothed firewalls and inner panels. To modify the firewall is more than just a home-grown project, but to install a pair of custom inner fenders can be done at home and will completely change the look under the hood. Classic Chevy has developed beautiful custom fiberglass inner fenders that will bolt in place of the stock steel units. The new fiberglass inners have had all the factory holes and reinforcement ribs removed for a smoothed look. The upper control arm openings have beenreformed for a clean custom look. If you wish to add holes, increase the control arm openings or make any custom mods yourself,- it's easy to do on our easy to work fiberglass panels.
Drill with 5/16" Drill Bit
1/4" Drive 5/16" Nut Driver
Image #1a, 1b, 1c & 1d: Nothing looks as good as a well detailed engine compartment. After all, that's where we stand and drool while checking out an awesome classic. By disassembling the entire front end and painting, chroming and detailing all of the parts separately; you will create a dynamite engine compartment.
Image #2a, 2b, 2c & 2d: To replace the inner fenders, the inner and outer fenders must be removed as a unit. The stock inner fender is bolted to a bracket on the firewall with two self tapping sheet metal bolts. Remove these from both sides. Next remove the splash pan bolts and the bolts that hold the radiator filler panels to the inner fenders. On a 1957 there is a bracket on the hood hinges that clamps the hinges to the outer fender. Loosen these bolts. With all of the inner sheet metal removed, remove the two 1/2" bolts that hold the outer fenders to the radiator core support as well as the bolts that secure the fenders to the top and bottom of the cowl. Now the inner and outer fenders can be removed as a unit.
Image #3a, 3b, 3c & 3d: The inner fender is attached to the outer fender with several sheet metal bolts. On a 1957 there is one bolt at the lower rear for the inner fender that bolts to the lower fender support. There is a bracket that is bolted to the inner lip of the outer fender and to the inner fender. At the edge of the fender, where the hood meets the fender, there are three sheet metal bolts. With all of these bolts removed the inner and outer fenders can be separated.
Image #4a & 4b: The new fiberglass inner fenders come with no holes drilled in them. This will allow you to drill only the holes that are required for your installation. Wiring can be rerouted on the wheel side if you wish for a cleaner look. The fiberglass used is plenty thick enough so that the battery tray on the 1957 can still be bolted to the inner fender on the passenger side.
Image #5 & 6: On the original inner fenders there are a series of bends behind the upper control arms as they dropped to the outside of the frame. The new fiberglass inner fenders have been reworked behind the control arm openings so that they will now match the contour of the front side. The new fiberglass inners will now sit on top of the frame behind the control arms and not to the outside of the frame giving a much cleaner look!
Image #7: The fiberglass inner fenders will match up to the outer fenders just like the stock steel originals. With the new inner fenders in place, mark and drill for the inner to outer fender attaching holes.
Image #8a & 8b: Using a 3/8" drill bit and a rat tail file, cut the slot in the lower rear of the inner fender ('57 only) for the rear mounting hole. Using the original self-tapping bolt, bolt the inner fender to the fender support brace.
Image #9: Use the two stock sheet metal bolts to bolt the outer fender brace in the wheel opening and mark and drill the fiberglass inner fender well for the inner bolt.
Image #10: With the fiberglass inner fender bolted to the outer fender, the assembly can be bolted to the cowl and radiator core support.
Image #11: The stock sheet metal bolts may be used to bolt the inner fender to the inner fender cowl brace.
Image #12a, 12b, 12c & 12d: Check out your super clean new engine compartment!
Image #13 & Photo #14a & 14b:: If an aftermarket NC is installed on a 1957, the fresh air ducts will not be needed. This leaves a huge void around the hood hinge areas. To cover these areas a hinge cover is available to finish off this void. The hinge covers may be attached to the inn er fenders with the supplied #8 tech screws or with fiberg lass bonding adhesive.
Image #15: Now that's how a Tri-Five engine compartment should look; a big block engine with rack and pinion steering, big tube headers and custom inner fender wells! This car will really stand out at the car shows. Once you have mocked everything up and fit all components properly, disassemble all parts, prep and paint. The new panels are slick and smooth and will look as good as the outside of your car when painted!
Image #16: The custom fiberglass fender wells for the 1955 and '56 cars have also had all the holes removed and the factory reinforcement ribs deleted. In addition, the lower inner fender flaps are molded right in for an easy I-piece installation.