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Fender/bumper warp issue on 4th gen firebirds?

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Old 10-08-2008, 10:30 PM
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Default Fender/bumper warp issue on 4th gen firebirds?

I was digging through some posts I made awhile back and found one about taillight warping, and I made the comment about how at least those weren't as bad as the front bumper/fender combo warping issues that 4th gen firebirds have. Apparently, no one knew what I was talking about, but I never looked at that thread again until now so I figured I'd just start a new thread.

This is what I'm talking about (this pic is taken from the May '08 POTM thread):



My car isn't as bad as this one--but when I walk by in certain lights, I can see that mine has the same thing going on, and can definitely feel it pull in a little if I rub my hand across the area. It's very subtle, but it's there, and I'm thinking with time there's the possibility for it to get to be the same way as the car above. (You can *kind of* see it pulling in a little bit in my sig pic) A guy in a local car club had a '95 Trans Am a few years ago, and I noticed his car had the same thing going on as well in that spot. I've never seen it on a Camaro though. What is it that causes this to happen? Can it be avoided?
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:31 PM
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Yikes! Thats not good!
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:40 PM
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My wifes 98 was about like yours when we got it. And it bothered the hell out of me...so I fixed it. There is a brace that the fender attaches to right about where that "warping" is. You have to take the headlight assembly out to really see it. I dont know what causes it to push in...I thought the previous owner had bumped something with it. But to fix it you can take a large pry bar (large for the length...the bar bends easy except for the fact that its a bitch to get to) and bend that brace/mounting point out and straighten the fender/bumper up. It doesnt take much to push it out the 1/16th of an inch or so you need to straighten it so do it easy and a little at a time until its straight (I actually had to bend hers back in a hair with a rubber hammer because I moved it too much.)

Hope that helps.
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 97ramsst View Post
My wifes 98 was about like yours when we got it. And it bothered the hell out of me...so I fixed it. There is a brace that the fender attaches to right about where that "warping" is. You have to take the headlight assembly out to really see it. I dont know what causes it to push in...I thought the previous owner had bumped something with it. But to fix it you can take a large pry bar (large for the length...the bar bends easy except for the fact that its a bitch to get to) and bend that brace/mounting point out and straighten the fender/bumper up. It doesnt take much to push it out the 1/16th of an inch or so you need to straighten it so do it easy and a little at a time until its straight (I actually had to bend hers back in a hair with a rubber hammer because I moved it too much.)

Hope that helps.
Awesome, that's good to know; very helpful. I'll look into it when I've got the car down for the winter.
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:52 PM
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You maybe able to get to it from the bottom too if you drop that plastic piece under the bumper down. And that would easier than taking the headlight assembly out...I dont know. I had her headlight assemblies out having them chromed to put in mine ( ) and thats when I really looked in there and saw thats what the problem was. But mess around with it a little bit and you should be able to fix it pretty easy.
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:02 PM
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huh, i've never heard of that. mine doesnt have that and its a 98, and my neighbor has either a 96 or 97 ws6 and has no issues, nor did any car when i was shopping for one.

in that pic though, it looks like the hood and front bumper were replaced. is it possible thats not oem and thats why?
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Old 03-18-2009, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by 97ramsst View Post
You maybe able to get to it from the bottom too if you drop that plastic piece under the bumper down. And that would easier than taking the headlight assembly out...I dont know. I had her headlight assemblies out having them chromed to put in mine ( ) and thats when I really looked in there and saw thats what the problem was. But mess around with it a little bit and you should be able to fix it pretty easy.
Thread bump!

OK, I finally decided to try and fix this today. Mine have really become evident over the winter; it's the first thing I notice whenever I look at the car.



A friend of mine pointed them out to me (without me saying anything about them to him) so that's what really motivated me to try and do something about it.

I popped the headlight assembly out and saw the brace. I pushed it in with a prybar and the bumper popped out to where it should be, but as soon as I let off the tension on the brace, it popped right back. This is the brace you're talking about, right? The yellow part I highlighted is where I'm prying on it.
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Old 10-24-2013, 05:00 PM
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My 97 Formula front fender is warping but not at that spot.

Mine is warping on the top, where it meets the door. Anyone else have that happen?
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Old 10-24-2013, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff 97 Formula View Post
My 97 Formula front fender is warping but not at that spot.

Mine is warping on the top, where it meets the door. Anyone else have that happen?
first, lets not revive a 4-5 year old thread to ask a question that doesn't pertain to what the thread was about.

now as for your problem, the common issues that cause the fender and door to rub is bad bushings in the door hinges and the other well known cause of rub there is if some idiot at a shop (or possibly you if you weren't taught better then to) used the lower fender mounting tab as a jack point and caused it to bend, this can cause a "warp" that closes the gap and causes rubbing between the upper section of fender and the door and is usually indicated by the distinctive bow outward of the bottom of the fender. out side of that you can take the 10mm bolt that is just visible under the wiper cowl that is the upper mount point for the fender and attempt to tweak the gap a small amount.
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel Richards View Post
first, lets not revive a 4-5 year old thread to ask a question that doesn't pertain to what the thread was about.

now as for your problem, the common issues that cause the fender and door to rub is bad bushings in the door hinges and the other well known cause of rub there is if some idiot at a shop (or possibly you if you weren't taught better then to) used the lower fender mounting tab as a jack point and caused it to bend, this can cause a "warp" that closes the gap and causes rubbing between the upper section of fender and the door and is usually indicated by the distinctive bow outward of the bottom of the fender. out side of that you can take the 10mm bolt that is just visible under the wiper cowl that is the upper mount point for the fender and attempt to tweak the gap a small amount.
Sorry, didn't mean to cause trouble. I did a "search" before making a new post since most forums ask that users search first.

But anyway, the fender and door are not rubbing, and the door bushings seem fine and not sagging. It's just that the front part of the fender kinda looks "warped" and was wondering if anyone knows of a fix for it (I've seen some 93-97 birds with this issue, and others not so much). And I never jacked the car where it says "do not jack"....I always used the correct jack point.

Thanks anyway for the response, as I have done that in the past because in addition to the top warping it appeared to be too far out. So I was at least able to make it line up better adjusting with that 10mm bolt just under the cowl.
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