There's a lotta Red in here, so break out the sunglasses!
Well some of you might remember my threads about cutting my rear fenders and putting TJ flares on. Or not. I even offered you guys free beer to help with the rear flares, but no takers! Anyway after being quoted big bucks by the customizing places, I said forget you all, I'll do it myself. One guy told me I might as well get the Bush****ers because it would cost me about the same for his shop to do the work. Like heck.
I did it in 2 phases because I needed recovery time after taking the angle grinder to my XJ . We all know how that was done, so we'll make this short & sweet to minimize my flashbacks ...
Tape the fender to protect the paint ...
Notch the sheetmetal (I went just north of the pinch weld) ...
Beat it into submission with a rubber mallet (more delicately referred to as folding the metal under)
...and apply paint to hide the fresh wounds
I took her back to a friend's driveway - the usual place, and let her heal for a few days. Truth be known, I needed therapy after the slicing.
Phase 2 began with the XJ looking like this ...
Not bad, but Jersey DMV says I need flares. So do the tailgaters that drive behind me in the rain. (This project took me about 3 weeks of working an hour or 2 after work most days.) Your mileage may vary. Now the real fun begins. A few words of advice: if you have a Dremel, use it. ABS plastic & utility knives are known to be fond of human flesh. Ask me how I know. But I chose to go with the knife since the Dremel melts the plastic onto the wheels. Besides, why should my XJ be the only one getting cut? Our story starts after I have already painted the flares red to maintain the look of the Limited package with which Chrysler had so generously endowed my XJ.
__________________ 1992. XJ. Built.
Red Jeep Club Member #425"Mud is evil."
Last edited by Cherokeegrrl; 10-12-2007 at 11:05 AM..
To fit the TJ flares, after much thought I found it easier to put the one marked "L" on the left, and "R" on the right of the XJ. I dunno, that's just me, I'm picky like that.
Some tools I used: (Not pictured - bandaids, triple antibiotic cream & aspirin.)
On a serious note, wear protective gear, especially glasses. (I know some of you guys think it's more macho to go without protection!)
If you're anal like me, you'll have to measure & test fit the flares a couple hundred times before the first cut: Start with a blank canvas. The masking tape is there so I have a place to mark the boundaries (when I find them). You'll be moving the flares for cutting, and you want to put them back in that sweetspot.
Test fit with C clamps. They don't quite fit, do they ...
With clothespin clamps:
And again with open door. Tip: slit the masking tape so you can open the door without ripping everything out of place.
You get the picture. Just like shopping. You'll have to cut a chunk out of the flares to make them fit the XJ wheel well. Measure carefully and make the first cut. Don't blame me if you screw up & have to find the $ to buy another pair of flares, or get some Bush****ers. Be careful! It will look something like this after you cut that piece out.
If you're happy with that look, then you're almost done. Not me. I want it to look right, so after hours of soulsearching, I decided to chop the flare off just above the moulding. I figure, I'll need to cut it anyway when I purchase that DetoursUSA rear bumper; easier to do it now.
This is the look, almost, but not quite. About 4" of flare gone from the middle, maybe another 4" from the right end.
At this point, feel free to drill holes and bolt it to your Jeep, but don't say I told you to. Enough carnage has been committed to my Jeep. No more wounds!
Besides, it still looks like butt. You'll have an ugly gap here on the door ...
And another here on the rear panel.
I measure, I tape and I brace myself for the conflict between the ABS plastic & the utility knife, yet again. It doesn't bleed too badly ... worth it so that the rear will look like this when complete:
And the front, something like this:
Now to fit them permanently to the Jeep. I refuse to drill holes. My logic: If the 3M tape that Chrysler used to hold my moulding was still in place after 15 years, why can't I use the same type of tape to hold my flares on? I decided to test my theory thus:
The arrows point to the 3M tape generously applied (before peeling the backing off), on every inch of plastic that will contact the sheet metal. I used almost 30 ft of tape for the whole project.
Uh ... you gotta first wash all the areas, then further clean them with Mineral Spirits & let them dry. Helps to wash your hands too. Never mind the cuts, they won't sting too badly.
Before fitting flares on the Jeep, you might want to trim said moulding if you have any, & clean the area.
Carefully peel back the tape & attach flares to the Jeep. Believe me, the 3M tape holds, so be sure you get the pieces in the right place! Should look something like this ...
There's minor trimming needed to align the bottom edge of the flare with the moulding & body lines.
Tip: After applying the tape and before putting flares on the Jeep, simply use the cut parts as templates for the opposite side. If you don't have a good eye, send them to me & I'll slice & dice for ya. I won't charge extra for the DNA samples. Look:
Line it up and score it, cut it. Retract the blade on the knife, or turn off the dremel first, then pat yourself on the back. .
Seal all seams with RTV in a color of your choice.
And you're done. Step back, admire your work and vow to next time pay someone $400 or $75hr to do the job for you.
Last edited by Cherokeegrrl; 10-12-2007 at 11:10 AM..
The flares hold like they are welded on, and fully sealed to keep out water & mud. I decided to add some black trim to complete the seams. We'll see if it stays on. Most of you will probably want to bolt the flares on. This is personal preference ... don't bash me for my choice, & I won't make jokes about how guys like to drill ... holes
For those who miss the power tools, I swapped out the regular sized front flares for wider TJ Rubicon flares, and for this I did break out the power drill & the Dremel. I also added front mud flaps (more drilling!) and am still scratching my head about where to bolt on the rears.
I have also effectively de-chromed my jeep: painted the lug nuts black and swapped the chrome centercaps for black, finally got rid of all the chrome.
I know this is an unprecedented length, but I hope you all have as much fun as I did.
Last edited by Cherokeegrrl; 10-13-2007 at 07:54 AM..
2001 Jeep Cherokee Sport
4.6L Golen Engine Stroker
6.5" TnT Customs Longarm Kitl Ford HP D60 l 6.5" Rock Krawler Coils l TnT Customs HD Trac Barl Omix Ada HD SYE l 1" UBEsl CV Driveshaft l39.5" IROKsl 17x9" Pro Comp 98sl High Clearance Shock Mounts [COLOR="red"] l Hidden Hitch l AJs Custom Front Bumper l SONY Xplod stereo l Alpine Speakers l TnT Frame StiffenerZ l 22" RE SS Brake Lines l 1.5" TnT Customs Boomerang Shackles l Sterling 10.25 *FULL WIDTHS* l JKS Mini Skids and Sway Bar Brackets l 7/8" Heim Joint High Steer
nice job, it looks super clean
what are your specs on that though, nice and low cog look
I have total about 5" lift and 32" tires on 15x8 wheels. Locked. You can see detailed specs if you click on the little white arrow to the left where it says "1992 XJ Cherokee".
Thanks to all for the nice words ... I don't know what's causing some people to not be able to see pics . I just logged out and I was still able to see them while I was logged out. Thought something was up with my picture host, but if some guys can see them, I guess that's not the problem. Maybe a moderator can answer that question?