Aligning Automotive Body Panels and Fitting Gaps
It can be tricky to get automotive body panels to fit with each other once you re-install them back onto your vehicle. Some vehicles simply have automotive body panels that fit better than others.
You need to ask yourself these questions:
It will be your task to get them to fit as near to their original position as possible, so never rush this task. Be proud of your work and have the panels looking like new.
Automobile door panels may have to be moved on their hinges somewhat to align the door latch mechanism or to make the body-lines match. Most automobile door panels will permit slight adjustments to accommodate normal wear.
Doors and fenders (wings) should be fit as accurately as possible, however slight variations from one side to the other will not be so noticeable.
Hood lids and deck lids on the other hand may present the biggest problem for you, as the gaps will need to be evenly split on both sides of the panel.
It will take some patient adjusting to get consistent gaps across your entire vehicle. You may have to add or remove material from the panels to accomplish the task. It all depends on how perfect you want your project to look when finished.
Any automotive body panels on which auto body filler has been applied and their gaps are too tight represent an area of concern for you. In getting the surfaces smooth, you may have applied too much filler. Make double sure that before you apply any type of body filler, the body panels are at the correct surface height.
An auto body shop would attempt to get the gaps between the panels to approx. 5mm in thickness, however this is not always possible. Make sure you're consistent throughout this stage and always aim for factory benchmarks.
Safety Disclaimer: Always follow the recommendations of your nearest auto paint supply store or by referring to the manufacturer's application guides and information sheets when dealing with any type of auto paint product or piece of equipment.
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