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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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The community here at 355nation.net urges you to please use caution and seek professional assistance when performing modifications to your vehicle. Before attempting any modification it is advised that you refer to your Colorado or Canyon service manual or contact a certified mechanic as not all GMT355 trucks are the same. The staff and the associated members are in no way responsible for any damages, injuries or other harm inflicted to your vehicle or yourself which may result in attempting these modifications. The posts and content presented on this site reflect in no way the views of 355nation.net or it’s ownership.




A 355nation How To presented by
burn

Project Description
Stop rubbing your inner fenders

Skill Level
easy

Project Vehicle
Make: Chevrolet
Model: Colorado
Year: 2006
Engine: 3.5L
Transmission: Auto
Power windows: No
Sun Roof: No





So its seems that rubbing the inner fender on dropped 355's is a rather common issue. And with support for a stiffer strut no longer in the near future - I knew I had to take action. Many people who run the Belltech ball-joints experience rubbing the inner fender when they go over large dips/bumps. This problem is less frequent for people on drop springs because the stock bump-stop is still effective. Although the bumpstop is not removed with the balljoints - the balljoints offset the spindle height which basically renders the stock bumpstops useless. And like many others out there - the problem seems to be primarily in the driver side fender. My passanger sider inner fender does have some rub marks on the plastic - but the driver side was worn right through the plastic and the paint was rubber right off. I decided to take action. Today I decided to lift up the truck, pull the wheel off and have a look at the actual area that is causing all these problems. Here is the culprit:


To get a better look at the area, you will need to remove the 7 press clips. They come out by lifting the center section of the clip up, then simply pull the clip out:


Now we have a better view of the situation. Its sort of hard to tell in the picture, but the area that rubs is actually hanging down lower than the rest of the inner fender:


First thing we want to do is remove the harness that is clipped to the sheet metal beside the battery - which is very close to this location. We dont want it getting damaged:


The next thing I did was put some heat to the area. Be careful not to catch anything on fire:


Next you want to select a BFH. I chose this 20oz model:


Now use your calibrated-smashometer to persuade the sheet metal upwards:


You want to just work the area gingerly to get the sheet metal to move up evenly and assure there are no low-hanging areas left:


Next I used some asphalt undercoating to protect the area:


You can sort of see better the area that is pushed up now with it covered:


Then you want to go ahead and reinstall the inner fender liner:


And torque your wheel to 100ftlb:


The end. :D
















UPDATE



Alright, since adding the new rims Ive started rubbing again. I tried using an air chisel to move the metal - but it was still rubbing so I decided to take drastic measures. I fired up the compressor last week and got to work with the body-saw, nibbler, cut-off saw, and angle grinder. I forgot to take pictures at that time, but today I had to do some more trimming so I remembered to take some pics this time.

Here is an old picture of the inner fender from before I hammered it to give an idea of the area we are dealing with:




And here Ive circled the area that hangs down that needs to be cut out. This area is below the battery tray and there is about a 1" gap between the fender well and the tray so when you cut out the well there is still the tray which now doubles as the well:






So here is the area cut out:





I know, it looks hacked in that picture but hold your comments, its actually really good looking in 3D. Heres a picture looking straight up. You can see the bottom of my battery in this picture too:






I had to do a bit more grinding since that pic - but this gives you a good idea.


Heres the hole I had to cut out of the liner. I was just going to leave it out but atleast it keeps it from packing dirt in the fender behind the bumper or in front of the door.








Here it is with the fender liner back in:








And heres a pic taken from the cab looking towards the front of the truck. I also drew in the path of the wheel so that you can see where the low spots were. You can also see the spray of the dirty water on the fender to also give an idea of the wheel path.







I also gave it a good coat of tremclad to keep it from rusting. I went for a cruise around town today for over an hour and it didnt rub once. Hopefully this is the last time I have to deal with this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
yes, sorry I just copied everything over from CF and some of these threads (including this one) are pretty old. My server crapped a few weeks ago and I have been gradually restoring pics as I find whats missing. I will try to get these back up tonight.
 

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BFH FTMFW!!!!:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
pics fixed
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
ahahah I wish this had fixed it for me.. It still rubs :hulk:
mine still rubs too... but its way less often, and not as severe as it was.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
damn. I need to update this.
 

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im not lowered yet i ahve this problem
 

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Perry -
Tell me more.

The "isolator bushing", you used that to raise the driver's side a bit?
How many bushings did you use?
 

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When I first did the ball joint swap I noticed that the Chevy was about 3/4-1.0 inches lower in the left front than the right front. You just need 1 isolator bushing from belltech.

The only reason that I caught onto it was that when I would turn right the truck would lean left and rub on the inner fender well. Stuff like this annoys me and I do whatever I can to fix it.

I did some research and found out that belltech offers the isolator bushing. The install of the bushing itself is fairly simple.

1. Jack up vehicle in a level environment and put on jack stands
2. Remove Wheel
3. Disconnect sway bar links
4. Unbolt the strut top and bottom.
5. Put the strut in a compressor and remove the center nut.
6. The bushing goes directly above the plastic piece that contacts the top of the spring.
7. Put the spring back together.

Now... This is where it got tricky for me. I thought everything was going really easily until I did the next step.

I went to put the strut back in and it is now too long to compress it between the raised ball joint and the lower strut mounting location. Do not fight it because you will never get it in without removing the lower ball joint bolts and sweeping them out of the way.

8. Remove the lower ball joint bolts and move the spindle to the side.

The next issue I found when I moved the lower ball joint was that the lower seat on the spring now hits the bump stop when fully extended. This is another problem. I was able to avoid this one way and one way only.

9. Remove the bump stop on the drivers side.
10. Take your cutting wheel or torch and cut a /---\ notch in the bump stop housing. Do not cut through the bolt holes because we will reattach the bump stop after the notch is complete.

This was the hardest part because it is really tough to get a cutting wheel in the tight area. I do recommend that you remove the brake caliper and put it up and out of the way so that you do not hit the brake line with the cutting wheel.

11. Make sure to grind down the edge of the bump stop as well to accommodate the new longer strut.
12. Once the notch is big enough for the strut to fit in and be bolted check for about 1/2 inch clearance around the lower seat of the strut. Make sure that you are not going to hit or catch anywhere on the welded bracket that holds the bumpstop.
13. Spray paint the bare metal black
14. Replace the bump stop and bolt the strut back into place.
15. Bolt everything else back into place.
16. Put on the wheel and remove the jack stands.

If done correctly you should have a perfectly even truck. I have 28" on both the left front and the right front now.

When you drive it with good shocks on it you should have a great ride! It is a pain in the ass but in the end it is definitely worth it.

Thanks,
Jesse
 

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Damn,
now I'm wishing I had just bought the coilovers.

I started to buy the coilovers but the guy at Stylin kept trying to sell me a kit that included the Beltech drop leafs for the rear, insisting that "it's an engineered kit, it'll make your truck really handle". I told him I didn't want a firm ride, so he had me call Beltech. The guy at Beltech told me that if I wanted a factory ride then I should buy the balljoints rather than the coilovers.


If I had known of the rubbing problem with the balljoints I would have used the coilovers instead. At least then I wouldn't have the lean, and I could adjust up until there was no rubbing.

Now I'm out about $900 (including labor plus cabfare to and from work for 4 days, etc).
Can't do this stuff myself, I'm far from home and my truck is my daily driver.

I love the ride and handling, but I'm not gonna put up with the rubbing, and I can't live with the Chevy lean.
If want to go back to the coilovers then I'll have to buy lower controlarms.
Hell, what to do now?
 

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The spacer fixes it you just need to deal with cutting the bumpstop. Once it is cut out of the way correctly the problem is fixed. You could try to get a quote from a shop on doing it for you but it will probably be pricey. I would of charged about $250.00 in labor to do it for someone else.

I too wish that someone would have told me about this issue prior to buying the ball joints but I got mine fixed now so it is all good for me. Check around you might be able to con a shop into doing it for like $100.00 if you let them know up front what they have to do.
 
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