Project VW Rabbit GTI: Adjusting Body Panels

While there was absolutely no evidence of damage to our 1984 Rabbit GTI, the front fenders and hood were rather badly out of adjustment–too bad, in our opinion, to have come that way from the factory. We figure it’s just evidence of a car ridden hard and put away wet.

While panel adjustment is largely a matter of trial and error, the process goes much easier when you have an experienced expert making the adjustments.

We asked Tom Prescott of the Body Werks in Holly Hill, Florida, to come by and see what he could do. As expected, in less than an hour, he had the gaps looking perfect again.

While magic is a bit difficult to explain, the trick is knowing how the different panels adjust and what effect one adjustment will have on another. Bottom line, both fenders had to be moved in a bit, and only then could the hood be centered.

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