i may have not expalined the problem correctly in the OP. The fixed width items were not the problem, it was the items such as "headercolor" which were set to 100% wide. I assumed (and it looks like incorrectly) that if the body was set to 100% and i can always see it's background color, that other elements also set to 100% and not withing a fixed width div would always stay full across my browser window and not shrink. (lesson learned).
I do apologize if my description was bad. I did not think to trouble shoot the problem by shrinking my browser window down to being scrollable