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Thanks to frogman21758, roger1 and all the members who commented on their posts about fixing rear tire rub. Thanks to your advice, my car is now rub-free. In case anyone finds this in a search, I'll spell out the details on how to fix minor tire rub with a painted car.

My 55 is running a stock suspension, but with a front sway bar and rear shocks relocated to a crossmember instead of into the body. The rear end is a Chevy 8.5" 10-bolt with standard gm disc brakes. Car rides on American Racing Torquethrust D's with 225/70R15 rubber. I'm not sure if the left fender is slightly different than the right fender, or the leaf spring perches were just a hair off alignment, but the left tire sat so close to the fender lip, you couldn't pass your pinky-finger between the tire and the fender on the left. The right side had about 3/4" of room.

The car handles very well and the nose stays rather level when making turns. For 99% of the driving I do, there's no problem. The rear of the car, however, moves around during moderately aggressive left turns. Since it's behind me, this movement is imperceptible, except that it caused the left tire to rub on the horizontal part of the fender lip near the rear of the fender. When loaded down with 3 or more people, the left tire rubbed during slow turns left and right

I had talked to a body shop who was very hesitant to try rolling the fender since, according to him, it usually requires some paint/body work afterwards. Also, the rectangular shape of the 55 rear fender wouldn't work so well with the roller. He was more than happy to try, but also take $250 from me, with the added risk of potentially more body work. So, I went back to the forum and started searching again. I found two different solutions and employed both techniques.

For the horizontal part of the fender, I used a pair of channel locks wrapped in electrical tape, then a piece of 3-layer corrugated cardboard wrapped in a rag. You can never be too careful. I slowly and incrementally crimped the aft 6 inches of the fender lip until clearance was doubled. Continuing further aft, down the curve, it would have been difficult/impossible to try the crimp method due to the geometry of the lip. For the curve, I went for the sanding-wheel-on-a-die-grinder method. My local Lowe's sells plenty of sanding wheels, but not a single rubber backing plate. I went to an Ace hardware and found a $7 drill-bit adapter for adhesive sanding wheels. Not what I originally wanted, but the lower rpm of the drill probably kept me from royally ruining my car. I tested the drill on a piece of scrap steel to see how hot and what kind of sparks it would create with 60-grit sandpaper. Temps of the metal were warm to the touch with almost no sparks. To prep the fender, I used a sharpie to mark how far I wanted to take the metal down (about 3/16") and went back and forth along the curve until I had reached the line. I also used 60-grit paper by hand to smooth out uneven spots. After the test drive, I finished the edge with some black touch-up paint to prevent rust.

The test drive was good. I have no rubbing unless I'm in a wheel-locked-left turn at about 15-20mph, just before breaking the rear wheels loose in a spin. I did have a little bit of rubbing during aggressive maneuvering, but it's now on the inner fender wall about an inch above the lip and doesn't sound that bad in the cabin. It's amazing that the body can roll and shift 3-4 inches back there.

Maybe a rear sway bar is in my future...

Thanks again to everybody and I hope someone finds this useful. Comments, concerns and questions are welcome.

Silas
 

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Silas, congratulations on perservering to do this job and avoiding collateral damage which is so easy to do.

As witnessed by the hack jobs on so many of the cars that are for sale.
 

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Silas,

How wide are your rear rims and how much backspacing do they have? I've been reading up on quite a few of the same threads you have. Good Job

Gerald
 

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Silas, congratulations on perservering to do this job and avoiding collateral damage which is so easy to do.

As witnessed by the hack jobs on so many of the cars that are for sale.
Have to agree with Rick, I`ve seen some real butchers at work :)
 

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My Nomad body wasn't installed square on the frame from the factory. As a result 2 body mount bolts could not even be installed. Body had shifted to the right (passenger side) over the years, tightening up the clearance for the left rear tire. You might also check if you've all the body bolts in tight and that some have not sheared off from the body being mis-positioned.
 
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