Nobody really looks forward to doing bodywork. If there's a small dent or a few minor dings and scratches, smoothing the body panel is no big hassle. However, there comes a time and point when you wonder if it would be better to fix a bashed out and/or rotted body panel or just replace the part with a new unit (or a used one in better condition). Not too long ago we spoke with a guy who was trying to decide if he should fix his mangled fender or just replace it. After working out the costs of repair (to pull the dents, smooth with filler, sand), it was much easier and more economical to buy a new, perfectly straight repro fender and bolt it on. Also, after painting the car, there would be peace of mind in knowing that the fender wasn't loaded with globs of body filler--which would be prone to cracking later on. Replacing a fender is an easy and straightforward task. Here we'll show you the basics plus a few tricks to watch for. 1. The subject for our fender swap was our very own not-so-cherry project, Cheap Street Chevelle. We found that to remove the fender on this '70 model, removing the hood and hood hinges was necessary. By removing the hood, there was much better access to the rearward fender bolts located in the cowl area.1. The subject for our fender swap was our very own not-so-cherry project, Cheap Street Ch 2. Removing the fender required taking off the headlight bezel. Once removed, additional fender bolts (that are hidden behind the bezel) can be accessed. There is an odd-shaped bracket that must also be removed.2. Removing the fender required taking off the headlight bezel. Once removed, additional f 3. Back by the windshield area there are various fender bolts that must be removed. Rather than just removing bolts and brackets using the rip-and-tear method, make a mental note as to where brackets go and how many shims were at each bolt location. Usually, even with a new fender, a similar number of shims will be needed.3. Back by the windshield area there are various fender bolts that must be removed. Rather 4. After removing our old beat-up fender, we could inspect the condition of the plastic inner fender and cowl sheetmetal. Our inner fender was complete junk. Every one of the fender mounting tabs was broken (arrow), and there was a huge hole melted in it. Inspecting the backside of the original fender showed that a torch had been used to fix an earlier dent and, consequently, the heat melted the plastic inner fender. Here's CC's tip of the month: Rather than replacing the unit with another '70-'72 crack-prone plastic inner fender, use one from a '68-'69 Chevelle; they're metal and they bolt right up.4. After removing our old beat-up fender, we could inspect the condition of the plastic in 5. Set the new fender on carefully. There are many edges (such as the front bumper) that the fender can bump against, causing dents/damage. One trick is to open the driver's door to gain a little extra clearance, enabling the fender to be slipped in at an angle.5. Set the new fender on carefully. There are many edges (such as the front bumper) that t 6. To get the fender to align properly with nearby body panels, insert shims under the bolt head. Number and thickness of shims vary from car to car, but patience and plenty of eyeballing will result in proper alignment.6. To get the fender to align properly with nearby body panels, insert shims under the bol 7. Once the fender is in its proper position, begin fine-tuning the alignment. Our buddy, Frank Saenz of Frank's Restoration, showed us how to get the body lines to match. Simply add or remove shims to the lower fender bolt (where his right hand is) to get the fender to bow or flatten out as needed.7. Once the fender is in its proper position, begin fine-tuning the alignment. Our buddy, Frank also gave us another nifty tech tip: Run a piece of tape over the front lip of the door and/or nearby body panels. Doing so will help prevent chips and scratches when putting the fender on.Frank also gave us another nifty tech tip: Run a piece of tape over the front lip of the d Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!