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80s front clip change not fitting

Discussion in 'Paint and Body' started by Jarrett Melvin, Apr 10, 2021.

  1. Jarrett Melvin

    Jarrett Melvin Full Access Member

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    Just getting the straight axle swap done on my 87 and I was replacing the front clip with another 80s single square headlight front clip and fenders. But nothing seems to line up.

    Was there any differences in front clips/rad supports throughout the 80s, or is it just a matter of adjustments?

    PXL_20210409_230411468.jpg

    PXL_20210409_230424119.MP.jpg

    PXL_20210409_230417430.jpg

    PXL_20210409_230430893.jpg
     
  2. yevgenievich

    yevgenievich Full Access Member

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    Check if using correct core support mount pad things. Otherwise it takes a stack of shims in all the mounting points
     
  3. BKING33

    BKING33 Full Access Member

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    Sometimes the metal cups can stick. Maybe part of an mount is stuck on bottom of rad support
     
  4. bucket

    bucket Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Your front cab mounts may be completely shot, which can cause the terrible fitment issue you are having. The old fenders may have been helping to support the cab.
     
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  5. Jarrett Melvin

    Jarrett Melvin Full Access Member

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    The cab floor is soft, I have new floor pans to put in. But maybe moving the truck around the yard and in and out the garage could check let it sink some more.
     
  6. bucket

    bucket Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, it could have. It's normal for the rubber mounts themselves to collapse some and be part of the issue. But if the steel mounts in the floor are failing, it compounds the problem.

    The front fenders, when bolted to the cab and core support, become a structural unit. If you were to jack up the front of the cab, install and tighten the fender bolts while everything is aligned, and then remove the jacks, the fenders would hold the cab up.

    Was your old core support rotted out too?
     
  7. Jarrett Melvin

    Jarrett Melvin Full Access Member

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    The wheel wells, support and inside of one fender was rotted out. This is an older support with the bigger single square headlights that I like.

    Besides the issues of the cab floors and other factors that's causing the misalignment. Should any other 80s style support be bolt on or were some different?
     
  8. bucket

    bucket Super Moderator Staff Member

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    All of the front clips interchange as a unit, so that's not your issue. The biggest difference is the '73-'80 front clip with the core support mounts, but that is a front-back fitment issue and not a hight issue.

    You clearly have an '81-up frame and any 80's clip is a direct bolt-on. You often have to snug up the core support bolts to get proper door-fender gaps, because of the squish in the bushings. But you have a bigger issue going on.
     
  9. bucket

    bucket Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If your old core support was rotted out at the mounts, it would have let the fenders sag at the front, if the cab mounts were bad too.
     
  10. Jarrett Melvin

    Jarrett Melvin Full Access Member

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    Long as I know everything "should" fit or was made to fit. Then I knows it's fixable and I'm just trying to patch something together and make it work.

    Thanks again guys, great forum, good for answers to all my questions.
     
  11. Raider L

    Raider L Full Access Member

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    @ bucket,
    Wasn't '87 when Gm was going to what I call the "slab side" total truck body change? Maybe the late part of the year '86 they were already changing up how things fit. And maybe they changed where things are on the frame as well. @jerrett Melvin, are you sure you've got a '87? I know that '81 there were a lot of changes mainly to the front, and in '87 they changed the entire truck appearance. Or was that '91???
     
  12. ali_c20

    ali_c20 Full Access Member

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    The new style was 88-91.

    The radiator core supports look similar.


    1981.jpg 1988.jpg
     
  13. yevgenievich

    yevgenievich Full Access Member

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    For most trucks change in 88, while crew cabs, blazer, suburban and some other special orders kept until 91 with change for 92 model year
     
  14. Jarrett Melvin

    Jarrett Melvin Full Access Member

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    I pulled the the old rubber floor mats out the other night and discovered the floor plan is cracked about 8-10 inches and the cab mount is 2 inches up through the floor. Id say that's where my miss alignment came from.
     
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