Rebuild help needed. 1997 Dodge Ram 1500. Body damage. Front right fender to radiator support ....

Asked by Aug 15, 2013 at 07:42 PM about the 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 2 Dr Laramie SLT Extended Cab SB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Rebuilding my Ram 1500. Damaged
from wreck. Got lucky with damage.  
Having issues aligning fenders to
lower radiator support and replacing
the grill. Aftermarket parts. Pretty
mechanicaly inclined but will have
questions. Any help would be

Semper Fi

3 Answers


When "rebuilding" the front sheet metal the most important thing to remember is -- #1 door gaps (don't want binding with the fenders), #2 hood gaps (don't want to hit the fenders or scratch the paint closing the hood), #3 headlight alignment (make sure headlights are properly secured and aligned), #4 grille alignment within the front fenders (for overall appearance, and that most headlight mounts of that era are on the radiator support and the grille only "fits around" them). "Tweek" tabs as required to make it all fit securely as required.

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Thanks for the response. I got the left side fender aligned working on right. Was so much easier taking off than putting on lol. Any tips for replacing the grill? It's been a pain to attach


When I put the entire front end back on my Ford F100 many years ago, what I did was tape 3/16 thick wood blocks between the hood and both fenders and on the fenders were they met up with the horizontal center of the doors. After taping, bungee cording and tie-wrapping the whole thing together as much as possible, we then "set" the whole thing on to the front end and used more tie-wraps to hold it in place until we could insert bolts. As the front end is "adjusted" to fit, you make adjustments to the sheet metal locations and if needed "slowly" open up the mounting holes on the fenders, fender liners, radiator supports as needed for it to be tightened up completely.

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