Fender removal


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Aug 27, 2021
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Williamsburg Virginia area
My Car
1972 H code convert., 351C 2V, FMX, 9in., Ram air, Pwr Steering, Pwr Disc brakes, air-conditioning, 15" sport wheels, Ivy Glo w/white deluxe interior.
Hey gang, have a question in two parts;

Firstly, was looking at possibly pulling the fenders and wanted to know if this can be performed without removing the nose trim? It's a bit more contortion than I'm willing or even capable of doing and why it's being asked. I do have the extensions to reach all but the one nut that's on the inner most top of the fender, right before the edge for the hood.

Secondly, been cleaning out all the areas inside the fender wells on the suspension side of the engine compartment and spring pocket walls. There's a tone of grease buildup from over the years but also what looks to be a seam seal sort of goop or is it all grease and dirt. Not that the car is going to be experiencing any inclement weather driving, just want to get it sealed up correctly before things are re-coated.

Thanks in advance for any help.
So If I understand your question correctly, yes, the nose trim can stay on the fender when it goes on and off the car. Many people take the headlight bucket off with the front fender also because a few less bolts need to be removed that way.

There should not be any seam sealer around the shock tower bases, that's all grease and road dirt most likely. Might try a pressure washer to blast a lot of that crud out of there once the fenders are off.

Yes if you are referring to the L shaped front edge of the fender those can stay on. You do have to remove the valance, and probably the bumper. On my car the grill is under the fenders, so it can stay on….

In the area of the spring and upper control arm, remove all the goop.
The pocket formed by the shock tower and the frame rail had sealer applied at the factory to protect it from the elements and allow water to drain to the outside. It's best to remove the old sealer, kill any rust and apply a quality paint to the surface. I painted the lower half of mine with POR-15 (back when it was good), but today I'd use Master Series or Rust Bullet.

Something I just thought of that was not mentioned. Under the top bolt locations, you'll likely find shims. Make a note of them and where they are located. There is also seam sealer along the top rail. I used 3M strip caulk on mine.
Don't forget there is a couple of bolts accessible with the door open, but you likely already found them.
Thank you all! Had a day's break for some honeydo so couldn't get back sooner. Good to know about the fender. The valance area on mine has a seam so I figured it was just detaching it from that point. The last post really helps identify what the dried crud under the crud was. All the "build-up" in the shock tower area is almost gone. Just a couple areas to tighten up today, hopefully. Still a little list remaining to be polished off so I have room for the fender once it's off. The pic is worth a 1000 words, thanks Hemikiller.

As I've been assessing things, the couple prevalent things present on the car are, areas caked in mud or old dauber nests and a fair amount of "surface rust". Luckily, only a couple areas were breached with deep rust, something that comprised about 30% of my '66 but that was living in the "rust belt". The issues with the '72 are undoubtably from age but the only deep rust is isolated to the rear lower trunk wells and wheel wells and that was caused by a leaky trunk seal or bad top. Rockers, floor, doors, firewall, fenders (even behind the inserts), are really solid. The main issue was the neglect the previous owner caused when he pulled it out of indoor storage and let it sit unattended outside for 3 years. I still can't get over that being done yet there is a distinct difference between what side was nearer a structure wall and what side was one to all. Then again, I wouldn't have picked the car up for the price I paid had it not been the case so, it's a trade-off.

This next week or so is gonna hopefully be a good push to get everything moving forward. Thanks for the replies, all being very helpful.
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Well, removed the fenders today and, it's just like deja vu all over again. Gotta luv Yogi-isms. Anyhow, the last time I had a mustang in a garage in this state, should add that the interior and engine had been removed as well, was before Reagan was President the first time. So...
another old saying is, in for a penny, in for a pound and while it was not near as easy as hoped when I made the first, very shortsighted post on this topic, it is what it is. Really dreaded pulling everything to this point but it genuinely is the only option for the best outcome in how things will look. Gone are the days of half arssing things. Only quarter arssing now
Have an NCAA Conf. gig this weekend so tomorrow will be a lighter day than today. Probably the remainder of the front-end parts seen will be removed or as best as possible without needing to pull wiring and possible seeing what needs to happen on the fenders as far as fully cleaned, I'll say that everything went well after soaking the bolts in PB-Blaster except for one lower fender apron bolt on the passenger side, it twisted the mounting tab on the body really severely before I realized it and some creative engineering will be required to make something work.
Was very happy to also see everything was solid and original, all the factory spotwelds are in place but the inside panel area under the battery tray was perforated bit but still a couple things to remove before it can be fully assessed. What is seen now would just require sanding, rust converter, metal epoxy or body solder and chassis spray or sound deadener will make it disappear.

Driver front.jpgPassenger Front.jpg
Did forget to ask a question about the mounting holes on the lower valance (inside edge) and radiator side of the license bracket attached to the stone shield. The two larger holes.
For what it's worth, I mentioned the wiring in a post above, just not certain if I've got it in me to take on a rewire project. Understanding it would provide the reinstallation of some long-lost accessories yet, the main idea was a tinker car, doing light resto-mod type things. The trouble is, the more it's disassembled, the greater the chance some dormant or not as debilitating challenges won't remain SQ and it'll sit for months in whatever current state that happens to be.
It also means we can't be out driving and enjoy it, which was the main reason for buying it. Then again, the biggest challenge, I've lost some support from the DW after the more involved repairs, like the suspension and what's it's cascaded into now.
Then there's the fact, the longer it sits idle, the better the chances of other things creeping in, and it would probably fully end any verbal support for the work. Hey, "happy wife, happy life.", need I say more?
edit: Below are the holes in question. It's like something is missing but haven't had the time to look past what materials I have at home, which ain't much.

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