2nd Gen Ram Tech1994-2001 Rams: This section is for TECHNICAL discussions only, that involve the 1994 through 2001 Rams. For any non-tech discussions, please direct your attention to the "General discussion/NON-tech" sub sections.
I had to do this today to my Ram. I thought it would be a hour to two hour job being that it's just a fender.... right? Wrong! There is a lot more to it than it looks. It's not like a Ford or Chevy fender. There is the wheel well assembly that is welded to it and it must come out with the fender. The best way to do this is to use a weld cutter and some bolts to fasten it back on. There was an article that I wanted to share with you if you guys ever want to tackle this on your own... just so you know what you are getting into.
Of course, I found this article AFTER I tried to do this job...
Article as it is written.
"The front fenders are connected to the A pillar above the the top hinge, at the bottom of the rocker panel seam, three bolts pass through the hood hinge support in the middle of the fender, four bolts on the radiator support, three vertical bolts on the top radiator brace, and one bolt at the rear of the wheelhouse to the cab body. Yes, the wheelhouse is spot welded to the fender and must be removed with it. Remove all the bolts listed as well as the bolts retaining the splash shield. The splash shield is a plastic liner connected to both the wheelhouse and the fender. Remove the headlight/cornering lamp assembly. The best way I have found to do this is to loosen the bumper to framebrackets and let the bumper assembly sag to gain clearance. If the upper bumper cover is removed to gain the clearance needed you will more than likely need to get a new cover as the nylon clips have a tendency to break during removal. Once the fender/wheelhouse assembly has been removed use a spot weld cutter to separate the wheelhouse from the old fender. Check the new fender for clearance and fit on the vehicle. Make all the needed adjustments to get the fender to fit correctly. Remove the fender and attach the wheelhouse. This should be done by spot welding. It can also be done using bolts. If using bolts place some 3M double stick weather strip adhesive tape in the seam to prevent direct contact of the parts to prevent rattles and squeaks. Drill the new fender to match the holes made by the spot weld cutter in the wheelhouse. Use stainless bolts and lock nuts so that the assembly can be services if needed. I would also recommend using Wurth Rust Inhibitor on all the seams to prevent rust and once cured it is an excellent adhesive and will reduce noise coming from moving body panels. Good Luck. It is not as bad as it sounds. Take your time and it will be worth the effort."
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RE: Dodge Ram Fender Removal and Wheel Well Housing
I wish this came with a few pictures of bolt locations and the removal process...
Bought my '97 1500 SLT 4x4 new in Jan 97, and the only problem I had out of it was a transmission regulator valve the first year I bought it and standard wear and tear (165,000 miles on it) and servicing. I rear ended someone a couple months again and need to replace the bumper, hood, grill, and both fenders. I only need to replace the fenders because of a slight wrinkle and pucker in both that will make repairing them nearly impossible.
Like I said, I wish it came with a pictures of bolt locations. I am also getting ready to do this blind, but I am going to have to go to a self pull yard to get the fenders, and dont want surprises or not have the right tools.
But thanks for posting this, as I have found little to no information on this. Even Chiltons and Haynes Manuals do not cover this.
Taking the fenders off is super easy. I replaced the entire front end of my truck after I read ended a Chevy tracker,
Took me 2 hours in a junkyard and 400 dollars for the parts, then another 2 hours to reassemble them on my truck. Now it looks like this, still haven't gotten it painted.
You will need a second person when putting the fenders on. There are bolts that attach the fender to the bottom of the cab that are a pain to line up so they should be done first. When taking the driver side fender off be careful with your ABS control module, I tied it up to the hood so it wouldn't fall or bend any pipes.
If you have any questions about it let me know, I will see if I can get some pictures of bolt locations in the morning if you still need them.
Here is what mine looks like...
Mine was driveable, but just didnt look good. Inthe first photo you can see the gap in between the hood and fender. I have since replaced the hood, and removed the hanging plastics. I still drive it. Just time to fix it now.
My local Self Pull has my fenders for 40.00 each, grill for 45, and bumper for 50.00. Total $175, plus the hood I already picked up for 50.00. $225 in all.
@Snookhunter - Did you Airbag go off? Mine did not. And I have found other friends of mine who had 2nd Gen Rams whose Air Bag did not. One was so bad it set the right front tire almost in the cab and it did not go off.
Here is a before the wreck shot (3 days before)...
Neither my drivers or passenger airbag went off in the accident. I looked it up online, seems to be a recurring problem with 2nd gen Rams.
Mine wasn't drivable after the accident, it was towed to a body shop straight from the accident, they quoted me $4500.00 and refused to let it go without painting to match. Paid $50 bucks to tow it to my driveway and did the repairs myself.
The tear down was the best part, the engine and everything on it was fine, but the body was crap and bent up so it took a lot of swings with a sledge hammer, especially on the bumper and radiator mounts.
Also side note, mine has frame damage, the front right where the lower radiator mount bolts on is bent in about 1 1/2". I just use a big stainless U-bolt now for that side.
I got lucky, It just made a small crease on my radiator mount and the radiator, condenser and transmission cooler were all ok. I did develop a small transmission leak at the transmission cooler on the rubber hose compression fittings.
@NANDO - As the name says, It didnt "Dodge" so I "Ram"-med it