Inner fender panel replacement on a 1970 Plymouth Cuda

How to Change Your Mopar’s Inner Fender Aprons with Accuracy

Unlike the rear fenders that have an actual wheeltub inside them that protects the inner structures from the outside elements that are constantly being thrown up by the tires, the inside of Mopar front fenders and the inner fenders are completely defenseless against all manner of road debris.

This is not news to anyone who’s ever done any serious metal repair on their Mopar. Years—no, decades—of rain, road salt, dirt, and who knows what else easily collect in all of the weld seams that attach this panel to the rest of the body and quickly start the corrosion process that we all hate so much.

But unlike the more cosmetic panels on the car, this one performs a major load-bearing function while providing a baseline for the rest of the car’s body-panel alignment. Of course, the entire body shell is structural. That’s the nature of unit-body construction. It’s just that some areas are more critical than others.

Perhaps because we call them “framerails,” we tend to assume that they alone support the weight of the car and handle all of the forces generated by the front suspension. But this is not body-on-frame construction where the frame runs the entire length under the body. These framerails actually end under the front seat at the torsion-bar crossmember and, on this end, are mostly welded to and supported by the floor and the inner rocker panels.

The front two-thirds of the frame that we see out in front of the body is mostly supported by the inner fender and its connection to the firewall. That’s what makes this such a critical repair to make and why it’s so important that it is done correctly. The inner fender is way more than just a shield for the engine bay against the elements.

While this is a fairly easy panel to get positioned properly, Muscle Car Restorations makes sure that the bottom of the car is securely supported so that nothing can move out of place when the inner fender is removed for repairs.

It’s not hard to imagine how the fit of the entire front of the car could be thrown off by even a little upward movement of the framerails during this repair, so proper frame and body support is critical to its success.

Follow along as we show how straightforward replacing the inner fender apron is with a new one from AMD.












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