Trying to improve these body gaps...

Joined
Apr 8, 2009
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New Lenox, IL
Hi.
I've been around Toyotas for a while and own my fare share, but i'm new to 40/45 ownership. I am trying to improve these gaps between the tub and fender/apron? (not sure what the name of the panel actually is). I'm not after perfection just a little better and to not have the fender poking out from under the hood so much.

I searched and found a few threads but most peoples issue was the about the hood and front bib not being square, or overbite/underbite. My hood to front bib appears square enough to me which leads me to believe the tub to frame alignment is decent.

So far I have tried loosening the fasteners that hold the side fenders to the wheel fenders, and to the tub and running board. I just can't get any real movement out of the thing. I'm not sure if i'm missing some bolts or if the holes need to be notched out?

These pics can hopefully explain the gaps I'm asking about.

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Joined
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I've had marginal success in the past but its always frustrating to try and figure out what part needs to be moved to help. I did notice, or at least the pictures seem to show that the cab may be higher on the right side. Could also be the bed is lower on the right.

Also, those side steps are from a later year, true? If so, maybe they are not helping and maybe take those off or unbolt until you get the other parts aligned before putting them back.

45L-Bed to Cab.JPG


45R-Bed to Cab.JPG
 
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Miker, thanks for pointing out the bed/cab alignment and the running boards.

I did hi lift the bed up on an angle to fix a couple things with the fuel tank in the rear a while back and cannot remember if the bed was always a little higher like that. It's a reproduction bed and I had a difficult time fighting to get the mounting holes lined back up too. I'll get under there again and take a look a the cab mounting situation as well.
 
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BTW, I don't know if its the "correct" solution, but I have slotted holes in fenders and aprons to get a little more adjustment for alignment. I only did this once I exhausted all other adjustments I could think of.

Curious, what do the fenders look like from a straight-on front view? Wondering if they are drooping or horizontal?
They look like OEM fenders to me but some of the aftermarket fenders are pretty bad for this, and that could possibility cause the aprons to be out of alignment with the tub.
 

t140frank

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From my past experience, I would check your body mounts.
If your body mounts are worn out or half new, half old, trucks been taken apart ETC you'll have a hard time getting the proper body panel gaps. If possible I'd get the truck level on jack stands and replace all the body mounts with a new kit, that way you have a solid starting point.

I chased body and door panel gaps on a early bronco years ago, never could get them just right. Pulled the body mounts and realized the PO had randomly thrown in extra washers above and below the body mounts. You'll be amazed how much 2 extra washers will throw off a door gap. Long story short I changed all mine out and was able to adjust the door gaps too 1/8".
Then moved on the fenders ETC.
 
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Here are a few pictures where I tried show how the fenders look. The left leans down a bit. I can lift up on them and flex them to where the gaps close, but obviously they just spring back down. T140frank, the body mounts are not factory style. There are rubber pads but not like the original style I have found through search results. I suppose I should look into ordering a set and correct that before moving anything around too much.

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t140frank

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If it was my truck I would just bite the bullet and order factory body mounts, that way you'll have the piece of mind that they are correct heading forward.

Before you start moving things around I would measure the existing distance across the top of your door openings on both sides and record what they are. I would then measure the width of the actually doors across the their tops and record the distance. I would add 1/4" to what the actually door width is and try to get the door open to match that measurement. So if the doors are 32" wide at the tops the door opening would be 32 1/4" wide as a starting point.

From there I would loosely install all the new body mount to where they are freely moving around without binding up.
Starting at the rear body tub mounts I would make sure they are centered on the frame and the same distance from the end of the frame, basically making sure its square and plumb. Then move forward squaring the tub to the as you go , just snug the body mounts down not tight just snug enough not to move.

After the Tub is snugged down measure your door gaps again, if they are to narrow at the top, add a washer to the body mount to the rear of the door opening and measure again. If its to wide add a washer to the body mount in front of the door opening to close the gap.

Once the door gaps are spot on tighten the mounts down, recheck your gaps. If they are good move forward to the fender gap alignment. Using the same technique, its a little time consuming but well worth it in the end.

Helps to have a buddy measuring the gaps as your shimming it.
Hope this helps.
 
Joined
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Messages
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If it was my truck I would just bite the bullet and order factory body mounts, that way you'll have the piece of mind that they are correct heading forward.

Before you start moving things around I would measure the existing distance across the top of your door openings on both sides and record what they are. I would then measure the width of the actually doors across the their tops and record the distance. I would add 1/4" to what the actually door width is and try to get the door open to match that measurement. So if the doors are 32" wide at the tops the door opening would be 32 1/4" wide as a starting point.

From there I would loosely install all the new body mount to where they are freely moving around without binding up.
Starting at the rear body tub mounts I would make sure they are centered on the frame and the same distance from the end of the frame, basically making sure its square and plumb. Then move forward squaring the tub to the as you go , just snug the body mounts down not tight just snug enough not to move.

After the Tub is snugged down measure your door gaps again, if they are to narrow at the top, add a washer to the body mount to the rear of the door opening and measure again. If its to wide add a washer to the body mount in front of the door opening to close the gap.

Once the door gaps are spot on tighten the mounts down, recheck your gaps. If they are good move forward to the fender gap alignment. Using the same technique, its a little time consuming but well worth it in the end.

Helps to have a buddy measuring the gaps as your shimming it.
Hope this helps.
Thanks. That sounds like some great info/advice. I'll probably look into tackling this over the winter since it looks like I still have some good cruising weather here.
 

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