Fender mounting kits Instructions for installation.
Note: It is highly advisable to replace the stock rubber body mounts with urethane cab mounts. We stock cab mount kits for most trucks. Sacked out cab mounts makes for poor fender alignment.
You should have new body mounts installed and the body squared up on the frame by now. This is important if you want the front end to look right when complete. The top tube is tacked to the long plate with 2 holes and the small tab to the left.
This is the first down tube on the left side going into the corner bracket inside the pocket of the radiator support. 2 holes are drilled to mount this before tacking the tube into place. The bottom pictures are the first fitting step to the lower support tube. When fitting set the fender in place to get the lower tube support located. The lower mount shown is a newer model.
This is the top mount of the radiator support, these brackets vary in looks between years. Fit tube to the top bracket and the firewall brackets. This is after you have the radiator support squared up and shimmed evenly in the front.
About a foot above the lower mount is a convenient hole to pick up. Use the right-angled bracket for this one. Note how the lower mount bolts to the existing body bracket for the original fender mount. You will have to drill a hole here. For early models, I like to try and duplicate this mount and weld it to the existing mount using a weld nut. This makes a combination tube structure and fender mount.
This is the first tube fitted to the top tube and down the side near the front fender mounting area. When using the earlier radiator support (80-86) you will have to trim about 1/2 to 3/4″ off the sides as it is a little wide for the fender mounts. 2 small tabs will locate off this to join to the radiator support and the fender. Below the lower support tube is leaned out to be close to the fender.
Fit the lower support tube( the long one with 4 bends) to the front mounting tube as shown. Then fit the short tube between the lower support and main upper tubes. This helps strengthen the front corner.
To the right: notice how the tube is fitted between the bend on the lower support tube to the bend on the top main tube. I like to cancel out the bends whenever possible to effectively triangulate the whole structure. It will be stronger this way. The 18″ long tube with one bend is fit between the #2 mount on the top tube to the second bend of the lower support tube.
The below left shows the main wiring module assembly that Ford mounts to the original plastic inner fender. The bottom right shows the mount I made from 1/2″ tubing and some 16 gauge sheet metal. It will be necessary to route wiring etc. up and out of the way as possible. Plan on making extensive use of Zip ties. On earlier models without fuel injection, it is not so bad and requires less time to deal with.
Above shows, better detail of the 18″ long tube fit the second bend of the lower support tube. Note how to structure overall is taking shape. Only tack weld together at this time until everything is in place.
This photo above shows the right side and approximate location of the lower support tube to the radiator support tube location. It will be necessary to angle cut to fit this location.
The picture at the left shows the two tabs that join the radiator support tube to the radiator support. These also mount through the front fender mounts as well. The fender should fit between the plastic grill support and the front of the radiator support structure. I generally will not use the two small mounting bolts that are stock and opt for the larger bolts to go through in a beefier part of the front fender bolt mount. Sometimes I will trim off the front lower portion of the fender if it is in the way of going on and off smoothly. It won’t affect the plastic valence piece because it bolts up to the horizontal flange of the fender. You will have to be the judge of this for your particular application.
To the left note the mounting of the fuel vapor canister to the radiator support tube. You can make a bracket from 16 gauge sheet metal for this. The bottom welds to the lower tube and the top bolts through the radiator support structure. Note the Autofab Optima battery tray utilized into this structure above the fuel canister. The next page has more pictures of this.
The above pictures are showing detail of the optima battery tray mount if you decide to choose this option.
For those of you that haven’t heard of optima batteries, they are a dry cell, high amp battery that is perfect for off-road use as they will not leak battery acid and can be mounted in any position necessary.
They are more expensive than normal batteries but are well worth the extra bucks.
The picture below shows a stock type battery tray mounted with an extra bracket off the fender support structure. Make sure to provide plenty of extra support under the tray because you do not want it to come apart on you.
Personally, I prefer to relocate the battery in the bed or under the chassis somewhere to get the extra weight off the front end and to the rear where you need it.
I am starting to run out of things to tell you, so this page is just some more pictures to try and give you as much detail as possible. That old saying”a picture is worth a thousand words” really applies here. A final word on how important it is to have the body on the square (preferable with new body mounts).
Remember we stock urethane body mounts to help out here. Make sure to take plenty of X measurements from different places on the body that are the same point on both sides. Also, it would be wise to take a good look at your frame horns as they can bend easily and change the final outcome as well. As long as you can hold 1/8″ tolerance or better on X measures your front end will go together much more smoothly and look better when completed.