RESTO COR­NER WITH AMD: A-BODY FRAME RE­PAIR AND IN­NER FENDER PANEL RE­PLACE­MENT

SOME­TIMES IT’S MORE EF­FI­CIENT TO PATCH THAN RE­PLACE. WHEN IT’S POS­SI­BLE, LEAV­ING MA­JOR COM­PO­NENTS IN PLACE CAN HELP AVOID MA­JOR MIS­TAKES.

Mopar Muscle - - Contents - TEXT AND PHO­TOS: MARK EHLEN

Some­times it’s more ef­fi­cient to patch than re­place. When it’s pos­si­ble, leav­ing ma­jor com­po­nents in place can help avoid ma­jor mis­takes.

Restora­tion is sup­posed to be about re­turn­ing some­thing to new or like-new con­di­tion. It can be done in vary­ing de­grees, de­pend­ing on the level of per­fec­tion de­sired, but with some mus­cle cars it can seem less like a restora­tion and more like a re­build.

Mus­cle Car Restora­tions in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, has seen the full spec­trum of restora­tions from lit­tle to no rust to need­ing to re­build the en­tire car around the roof and fire­wall. For­tu­nately, Auto Metal Di­rect has the parts needed to save clas­sic Mopar mus­cle in even the worst con­di­tion.

Still, if more of the orig­i­nal car can be saved there’s less chance for any of the sheet­metal parts to end up out of place. This is es­pe­cially true for the fram­erails, since they’re one of the ma­jor foun­da­tional com­po­nents and so many other parts ref­er­ence off of them.

A case can also be made for sim­ply want­ing to save as much of the orig­i­nal car as is rea­son­ably pos­si­ble. And if you are a DIYER with­out a frame rack, the less in­va­sive you can be dur­ing your restora­tion process, the greater your chance of com­plete suc­cess.

MCR of­ten finds that re­pair can be more time and cost ef­fec­tive than au­to­mat­i­cally go­ing the re­place­ment route. Re­pair means the part stays in its orig­i­nal lo­ca­tion and usu­ally a lot of other parts can re­main undis­turbed as well.

With the front fram­erail and in­ner fender on this ’72 De­mon, MCR de­cided to re­pair the rust dam­age on the frame while they re­placed the in­ner fender with a new AMD panel. The rea­son for do­ing these two at the same time will be­come ap­par­ent in a mo­ment, but it comes down to al­ways hav­ing a plan to main­tain enough ref­er­ence points to pos­i­tively lo­cate each part back to its pre­cise orig­i­nal lo­ca­tion.

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