The Best Way to Set Body Panel Gaps

Posted: January 10, 2020 By: MattM

We’ve seen just about every trick in the book when setting up body panel gaps on a car that’s been repainted or during a restoration. Panel gaps can really change the quality of a build from something that is subpar to a professional fit and finish. While tricks with mixing sticks and tape can get you by; they aren’t an accurate repeatable way to set gaps around a panel. That is why we went looking for a tool to make our lives easier when setting up gaps.

Eastwood Body Panel Gap Gauge

This is how we ended up with the Eastwood Hands-Free Body Panel Gap Tool. This kit comes with three gauges that suction cup to a clean panel (bare metal or painted) and articulates to insert the gauge into the gap. Each gap tool comes with ten .045″ panels that you can stack to create the desired panel gap. Just a note, remember that when setting the gaps on a bare metal car you need to account for the primer, body filler, and paint/clear stack up which can quickly close a tight gap up.

We suggest when gapping a large panel to use multiple gap gauges and you may need 2-3 kits to allow you to leave them all suction cupped to the vehicle. Once you’ve used these on one panel you will see how quickly it will help you set laser straight panel gaps. Find your kit and all of our panel installation tools HERE.

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