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With the passing of the last seven months, the restoration of the 2006 former police Dodge Charger has progressed well and the Charger is now at the reassembly stage of repair. This story started last year when I decided that I wanted to have a late model electronic fuel injected toy to test some of my ideas; I have a few old Dodge products and all of them have old school engines, transmissions, and all are carbureted. The Charger I purchased was a retired (and beat) barely running 5.7L HEMI police car; it was introduced to the MoparMax.com readers last year (December 2014, Hemi P ut Out to Pasture). After getting the engine electrical wiring problems resolved and fixing all the drivability concerns, the majority of the last five months have been focused on repairing and prepping the body which included removing a previously, and poorly, repaired quarter panel (February 2015, Hemi Put Out to Pasture Part II). With the body work complete, the Charger was shot in several coats of a waterborne base coat of Chrysler Brilliant Black paint and followed by several coats solvent clear that was sanded and buffed to a dazzling shine (April 2015, Hemi Put Out to Pasture Part III). With the Charger "Back in Black", the focus this month was on the assembly of the interior and the finishing of the exterior trim.
This month picks up where we ended last month, with the installation of the passenger side front fender. The fender had been scratched during the assembly last month so the entire painting process had to be repeated to repair the damage before installation. With both front fenders loosely installed, the front bumper cover was slid into place. The body gaps were checked at the hood, fenders, and the bumper cover and adjustments were made where necessary to achieve the desired results. With the gap measurements established, the hood, fenders, and the bumper cover were properly secured and the gaps were rechecked. The gaps were even on each side of the hood at the fenders. The gap at the bumper cover and the hood was good, very acceptable for production, but it was not even throughout the entire span. The gap at the front corners of the hood was tighter than at the center of the hood. If this had been a show car, the time spent on the gaps would have been more extensive and additional steps may have been attempted to ensure a perfectly even gap throughout the entire span. All the measurements were within specs and nobody would notice the small variance in the gap. Therefore, we moved on.