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  #1  
Old June 9th, 2006, 21:17
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53guy 53guy is offline
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Front Fender Trim Write Up (Retaining the stock flare)

Well, running 35's was a pain without trimming as I seemed to rub everwhere. I couldn't get myself to be happy with TJ flares and I really liked the stock look, so when I searched for it, I couldn't find anything about installing stock flares on a trimmed fender so I looked into it myself. Upon looking into it, I really only needed a few inches removed from the fender to clear the tires. So this was my project at work today, trimming my fenders and keeping the stock flares. It turned out much better than I thought and it looks very stock. I had a few guys take a look and compare my fenders to a stock jeep and they couldn't point out that I trimmed until I pointed it out to them. I also compared my fenders to those with TJ flares and I netted about the same amount removed and I think the stock flares look much better, so here's the writeup...

Tools needed:
10mm deep well socket
1/4 drive ratchet
8mm deep well socket
torx drivers
philips head screw driver
cutting tool (angle grinder, dremel, etc)
cleaning spray
rags or paper towels
hammer
paint

Stock without trimming




Step 1. Take photos because you'll probably never have stock fenders again!

Step 2. Remove the fender flares. 8mm bolts hold the flare to the bottom on the rocker panel, remove both those bolts and throw them away. 10mm nuts hold the flares on and are pretty easy to remove if you use a boxed end 10mm to break torque then a socket to remove it all the way. Once all the nuts are removed, you should be able to pull the fender away without any trouble. To those with fender liners still. Pull the liner out or just swing it out of the way as you'll be wanting to get into the wheel well later on.



Step 3. With masking tape, tape off the entire area around the wheel well opening. This will give you a place to write on and put some ideas down without messing the fenders up. It also provides a level of protection to the sourouning paint.

Step4. At this point, you'll have to decide if flare positioning is important to you or not. If its not, just start cutting and figure it out later, but if its important to you like it was to me, read on. With the stock flare and mounting hardware still in one peice and the fender taped off, you'll want to figure out where you want your flare to line up. I wanted mine close to the body line so that I could get the most room as well as look nice. Once you figure out where you want it, find some paint and paint the tips of the bolts on the flare mounting hardware. This will give you a good idea as to where you want to drill the holes to remount the flares. Once you have your flare in position, use tape or something else to hold it up, step back and make sure its where you want it.



Mounting hardware




Step 5. Remove the fender flare and now you should have dots where you are to drill to mount the brackets to. Depending on how high you mount your flare will determine how you modify your brackets. I found that the higher I mounted the flares, the less I had to modify the brackets. On both sides I had to trim the rear mount slighty and remove a bolt, redrill a hole and reuse the bolt. On the drivers side I had to also completly trim off a bolt because I couldn't get a nut between the fender and the washer reservoir.

The rear mount where I had to trim the bolt off


bolt and redrilled hole


Step 6. Now its time to drill the holes. On the passanger side, just go at it, you're not going to hit a thing. On the drivers side however, be very careful as your washer reservoir is behind the fender. My drill stop didn't work and you may end up looking like me with washer fluid all over the place.



Its about this time that you say to yourself "damn it to hell!" Its an easy fix, so don't fret. The bottle won't leak very fast, so go find a sheet metal screw and some RTV. With your fingers, screw the screw in partially, enought to stop the leak. At this point, dry off the area and put some RTV around the screw and then proceed to tighten until it seems flush. DON'T STRIP THE HOLE OR IT WILL LEAK AGAIN!!



This is the bolt that I cut off because the bottle was in the way.


Step 7. Once all the holes are drilled, verify that the mounting brackets will fit in the holes and see if you're happy with their positions. They may not sit flush at the moment, but when you trim the fender and then reinstall the flare, you can tighten them down and they will sit much better.




Last edited by 53guy; June 9th, 2006 at 21:26.
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  #2  
Old June 9th, 2006, 21:19
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53guy 53guy is offline
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Re: Front Fender Trim Write Up

Step8. Now that you have the holes lined up and everything is cool, you will now need to mark where you will trim the fenders. With the mounting hardware still in the fender, mark with a marker where you will want to trim. I found that about 1/4" from the mounting hardware was a good distance to trim.





I ended up with about 1 3/4" trimmed in the front, 2" on the top, 1 1/4" from the 2 o'clock position, and 1 1/2" from the rear.




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Old June 9th, 2006, 21:20
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53guy 53guy is offline
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Re: Front Fender Trim Write Up

Step 9. Now its time to trim. Using your prefered method of eye protection and your favorite cutting tool, go at it. I used a 4" angle grinder with a cutting wheel. You'll have to get creative in the rear and figure out how you'll want to trim around the fender bolts. I cut one off and it seems to be holding up fine. I retained the fender spacer with the rear bolt and just cut the front off. You may also want to be libral with a hammer and bend any protruding metal away from the wheel well so as not to cut your tires on full stuff. Another note is that there is fender support at the 12 o'clock position that you may or may not decide to retain. I reused it by bending it up and using a bolt from the fender flare to tighten it up.









Step 10. Now that you've trimmed up the fender, you are almost done. If you wish, it is a good idea to sand the edge of the metal to get rid of burrs or sharp peices of the fender. Also, you might be interested in sanding a bit of the paint away that is near the edge that may have become chipped while cutting. Once you are done sanding, remove the masking tape and clean the area very well (make sure you only clean the cut area and the area to be painted. Be VERY carefull not to touch the body where there is dust. That dust is metal flakes and fibers from the cutting wheel and will scratch you paint). Get your paper towels or bags and tape and mask off the area you are going to paint. Secure the paper towels around the area to be painted to prevent over spray and paint away.





Step 11. Let the paint dry. Once the paint is dry, reinstall the fender flare and make sure that everything attaches properly. Do not tighten the flare up yet. You'll want to trim some of the flare off at the bottom so that it conturs to the body lines. Take patience and remove only a little at a time as this will be showing when you're done.



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Old June 9th, 2006, 21:21
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Re: Front Fender Trim Write Up

Step 12. Once you're all trimmed up and the flare looks the way you want, tighten the flare up using your 10mm and ratchet and go do the other side.

Step 13. Tighten everything up and you're done! Go find a hose and spray all that dust and metal flakes off your Jeep and go flex it out and make sure it doesn't rub anywhere you don't want it to. ENJOY!!

OPTIONAL Step 14. Trimming the fender liner is more custom work than anything else, so you'll have to postion it in the wheel well and secure it somehow and trim away. I found that sheet metal shears worked very well at cutting the liner and zip ties worked well at holding it up. Be creative and it will look very profesional when done and it will keep a bit of mud and muck out of the engine bay and your door.


FINISHED!!









More pictures at http://www.fototime.com/inv/1A4926CA761ADEA

Last edited by 53guy; June 9th, 2006 at 21:30.
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  #5  
Old June 9th, 2006, 21:55
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scorpio_vette scorpio_vette is offline
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Re: Front Fender Trim Write Up (Retaining the stock flare)

VERY NICE.....that's some of the nicest work i've seen.

where did you get those clear marker lights???
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  #6  
Old June 9th, 2006, 21:59
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Re: Front Fender Trim Write Up (Retaining the stock flare)

Thanks! I got them off of ebay for around $15 bucks or so. Some ricer looking vendor.
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  #7  
Old June 9th, 2006, 22:34
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AZ XJ AZ XJ is offline
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Re: Front Fender Trim Write Up (Retaining the stock flare)

Wow that looks really clean. Great write up. I've gotta ask, where did you get the adapters for the upper shock mounts?
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  #8  
Old June 9th, 2006, 22:47
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Re: Front Fender Trim Write Up (Retaining the stock flare)

Looks very clean!

Nice aproach angel you´ve got there!
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  #9  
Old June 9th, 2006, 22:51
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HeavyMetal HeavyMetal is offline
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Re: Front Fender Trim Write Up (Retaining the stock flare)

that is a FREAKIN SWEET xj

Awesome work man
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  #10  
Old June 9th, 2006, 23:41
90Pioneer 90Pioneer is offline
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Re: Front Fender Trim Write Up (Retaining the stock flare)

I've been doing the same to my '96, almost finished with the passenger side. I bought a set of Bushwackers which are sitting in my living room. But after reading all the negative comments here about them I decided I am just going to move my factory flares up, and resell my bushwackers (NIB 4 door XJ set yours for $335 shipped)

So far the job has been very simple, but I did cut the fender flare at the wrong angle so it may look a little funny. I'm just wondering what I should do with the pinch seam.

Has anyone mounted their rear flares like bushwackers? IE cut the flare in two peices and mount one on the door.
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  #11  
Old June 10th, 2006, 00:16
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XJLaredo XJLaredo is offline
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Re: Front Fender Trim Write Up (Retaining the stock flare)

Nice touch with the CHEVY SS emblems on your doors. looks good.
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  #12  
Old June 10th, 2006, 05:35
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Re: Front Fender Trim Write Up (Retaining the stock flare)

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ XJ
Wow that looks really clean. Great write up. I've gotta ask, where did you get the adapters for the upper shock mounts?
Those are the JKS shock mounts and I think I got them from 4wd hardware, but I'm not sure. Seems to be like $30 bucks but I don't remember.
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  #13  
Old June 10th, 2006, 05:37
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Re: Front Fender Trim Write Up (Retaining the stock flare)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 90Pioneer

So far the job has been very simple, but I did cut the fender flare at the wrong angle so it may look a little funny. I'm just wondering what I should do with the pinch seam.

Haven't doen the rear yet. I'm kinda torn on the rear. I think I'm gonna hack the flare up a bit more in the rear than I did for the front because the rear axle only has one way to go, up, instead of up and turning, so there is less to be concerned with. I think I might move the stock flare up to the door line, but not over it and trim what I can after that. Right now I'm bumpstopped to where it doesn't rub in the back, so the rear trim job is on the back burner. =)
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Old June 10th, 2006, 05:44
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Re: Front Fender Trim Write Up (Retaining the stock flare)

Looks good bud, I just did pretty much the same thing on my 96 Last weekend....Defintily looks better then stock with big tires.....

Rick
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Old June 10th, 2006, 06:49
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xjjeepthing xjjeepthing is offline
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Re: Front Fender Trim Write Up (Retaining the stock flare)

Looks great
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