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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was reading an article about the upcoming Chevy Cobalt, and it said one of the car's big features was "3 mm exterior panel gaps".
Is this really a great accomplishment? Are most other cars built with panel gaps this small? What are other manufacturer's exterior gaps?
Thanks in advance.
here's some pic for views...


 

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For GM, yes it is quite good. Take a look at a Camaro's trunk next time you're at a stop light behind one. Or a Cavalier, Impala, or Sunfire. Heck, there are plenty of American cars with panel gaps that are just plain laughable. The Mustang, Durango, and Caravan come to mind most readibly.
 

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Re: question about exterior fit and finish (Brett92)

Quote, originally posted by Brett92 »
I was reading an article about the upcoming Chevy Cobalt, and it said one of the car's big features was "3 mm exterior panel gaps".
Is this really a great accomplishment? Are most other cars built with panel gaps this small? What are other manufacturer's exterior gaps?

The VW a4 cars' panel gaps are 3 to 5 mm. Keep in mind that when these cars came out, their look and feel was considered comparable to that of much more expensive cars.
Perhaps they mention that because it represents a departure from previous GM practice of making cars that cosmetically look cheaper and lower quality than they actually are (large or uneven-looking panel gaps, ugly interiors, etc.).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: (Triumph)

I was waxing my Cavalier today, and noticed a huge, probably 1/2 inch gap between the fender and door.
 

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Re: question about exterior fit and finish (Brett92)

It depends on the panels in question I think. Gaps between a door and fender for example, are usually larger because of the movement involved. In that area, a 3.0mm gap is VERY good. On the other hand, for something like a gap between a taillight and bumper, gaps of less than 2.0mm are somewhat easier to achieve.
IIRC, Audi has some of the panel gap tolerances in the industry, so if it is anything close to what they have, it's up there.
 

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Re: question about exterior fit and finish (SpeedRicer)

Quote, originally posted by SpeedRicer »

IIRC, Audi has some of the panel gap tolerances in the industry, so if it is anything close to what they have, it's up there.

Honda and Toyota have the tightest. We'll see if the Cobalt can keep 3mm. I don't think any GM vehicle has a tolerance under 5 or 6 that I've seen yet.
 

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Re: question about exterior fit and finish (blackmirrorVR6)

Lexus in particular has strict tolerences. I remember back in the day they had a commercial with a marble rolling through the gap...and they made mention of their tolerences and their pursuit of perfection.
 

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Re: question about exterior fit and finish (blackmirrorVR6)

Quote, originally posted by blackmirrorVR6 »
Honda and Toyota have the tightest. We'll see if the Cobalt can keep 3mm. I don't think any GM vehicle has a tolerance under 5 or 6 that I've seen yet.

Yeah, Lexus and Acura are at the top too. I think it was Auto Motor und Sport that had mentioned Audi as near the top as well though -- supposedly the new A8 is responsible for that.
I'm wondering whether the 3mm figure for the Cobalt is an average of some sort, or just for one selected panel gap. I'm guessing it's the former, but if it's the latter, then I'm hoping it's at least for something like the door or trunk. It wouldn't be all that great if it was 3mm for the bumper-to-fender gap when cars like the '01 Civic have a gap under 1mm.
 

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Re: question about exterior fit and finish (Brett92)

Quote, originally posted by Brett92 »


I'm very impressed with that interior...theo onlt thing i dont like is the steering wheel
 

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I plan on trading the Focus in on a SS Supercharged one for the '06 model year after all the bugs are worked out. Wing delete will take place immediately.
 
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