write-up: inner fender trimming / clearance for big tires - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 19 Old 01-24-2010, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
EricsXJ
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write-up: inner fender trimming / clearance for big tires

I'm in the middle of my cage project and planning out how I want to make my front fenders. I realized that before I do that there was one issue I needed to take care of. That was my 35's rubbing parts of the inner fender. Here is a pic of the rubbing (not my jeep but the same place.) Photo courtesy Robert aka: DrvOvrIt on NAXJA.



That was his rubbing with just 33's. Of course my 35's rubbed more and I have plans to go up in tire size to at least 37's, so obviously the rubbing will be that much worse if nothing is done. I realize I can extend my bumpstops further but I'd rather not. I like having uptravel in the suspension.

I searched around and found some photos of the trimming already done but was unable to find any write-ups or in-progress shots. So I thought I would take pics and do a small write-up on it.

I'm starting on the driver side and because this involves cutting and welding, the first thing to do is unbolt the PCM (Power Control Module, aka:computer) and move it along with any wires away from the fender wall. I normally don't worry about disconnecting the battery for welding but since I'll need to to remove the battery to do the passenger side, I disconnected it now, which is probably a good idea anyway since I will be welding close to the PCM.

Then it was time to measure and cut. (The reason the top cut is not straight across is because that is where I had my snorkel tube enter and there was a 3" hole there to begin with.)



How much to cut away is determined by the way the PCM mounts to the inside of the fender wall. Or if you are relocating the PCM to another location you don't have to worry about it. With the PCM in the stock location there is enough room to create adequate clearance.

I used 18-guage sheet to make my patch and welded it in.



Then I added some bondo to smooth it out between the tack welds, and make it look nice.



The passenger side is the same process only you can't go quite as high up due to where the battery tray sits. Again you can relocate it but I'm leaving mine in the stock location.




Eric
2000 XJ "PROJECT RUBICON" 3-link front / 4-link rear / coilovers / running 37's on Dana 60s
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post #2 of 19 Old 01-24-2010, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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But that's not all! I also rub the fender behind the tire. In this photo the red circle shows the area that rubs. I have already done the "cut and fold" method to bend the pinch seam over to avoid slicing my tires, but because I still rub there when flexing I want to open it up for more clearance.



For this write-up I'm going to show you the passenger side since it is a better job with better photos. The red line shows how much clearance I have now. The yellow line is how much clearance I will have after this is done.



Then I cut away the pinch seam.



Looking inside the hole I cut you can see the fuse panel. With that there, there is no way to create any more clearance than I'm doing it, again without the pain of relocating it.



On the driver side there is wiring in that area also but over there you are limited how much you can go inboard so you don't interfere with the brake pedal. I'm not sure if its even possible or worth doing on the driver side if you have a clutch pedal.

Eric
2000 XJ "PROJECT RUBICON" 3-link front / 4-link rear / coilovers / running 37's on Dana 60s
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post #3 of 19 Old 01-24-2010, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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Then I made some relief cuts and and made some bends.



Another view.



Patched.



Here's a side profile shot to see how much clearance is gained, which is between 1 to 2".



Driver side.



Between this and the clerance I created at the front of the tire, I should be good to go to easily tuck 37's!


Eric
2000 XJ "PROJECT RUBICON" 3-link front / 4-link rear / coilovers / running 37's on Dana 60s
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post #4 of 19 Old 01-24-2010, 03:24 PM
xjfever
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Looks good. How is the paint job holding up?

  1. '95 XJ country edition, 4" coils/3/4" spacers, HD leafs with extra main added in, Ironman adjustable control arms, rough country shackles, aussie locker, JK rubicon shocks, 35" mudder's, soft 8's, cobra cb
  2. Sold'99 WJ limited, 4.7L, 3" IRO lift. Bilstein shocks, JK rubicon wheels, 255/70/17's, carolina driveshaft, IRO adjustable control arms, IRO adjustable A-arm
  3. Sold '00 TJ, 4" lift, rusty's adjustable control arms, skyjacker shocks, rock krawler adj. trac-bar,rugged ridge SYE and RE driveshaft, soft 8's, 35" mud king xt's,XJ HP D30 w/aussie locker, 4:88 yukon gears, hella 500's, rock crusher diff covers
4. 04 Dodge ram 1500 quadcab, yes, it has a hemi.
5. '08 BMW X3, Mods in progress.
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post #5 of 19 Old 01-24-2010, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
EricsXJ
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Paint is holding up very well. It is very scratch resistant.

Eric
2000 XJ "PROJECT RUBICON" 3-link front / 4-link rear / coilovers / running 37's on Dana 60s
My website -
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post #6 of 19 Old 01-24-2010, 03:58 PM
xjfever
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That is good to hear, mine needs some paint work done in a bad way. I hope this summer to get the time and patience together to do something similar.

  1. '95 XJ country edition, 4" coils/3/4" spacers, HD leafs with extra main added in, Ironman adjustable control arms, rough country shackles, aussie locker, JK rubicon shocks, 35" mudder's, soft 8's, cobra cb
  2. Sold'99 WJ limited, 4.7L, 3" IRO lift. Bilstein shocks, JK rubicon wheels, 255/70/17's, carolina driveshaft, IRO adjustable control arms, IRO adjustable A-arm
  3. Sold '00 TJ, 4" lift, rusty's adjustable control arms, skyjacker shocks, rock krawler adj. trac-bar,rugged ridge SYE and RE driveshaft, soft 8's, 35" mud king xt's,XJ HP D30 w/aussie locker, 4:88 yukon gears, hella 500's, rock crusher diff covers
4. 04 Dodge ram 1500 quadcab, yes, it has a hemi.
5. '08 BMW X3, Mods in progress.
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post #7 of 19 Old 01-24-2010, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Does anyone have a photo of rub marks on that corner in front of the tire that they would like to donate to this write-up?

Eric
2000 XJ "PROJECT RUBICON" 3-link front / 4-link rear / coilovers / running 37's on Dana 60s
My website -
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post #8 of 19 Old 01-24-2010, 04:21 PM
mr_imposible
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why did you make the door part boxy, couldn't you have made it a smoother transition?


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95 green 4dr. natural pinstriping, 4.5inch lift, 33 mud terrains, not much else, but working on it
front bumper 99%(need a winch), roof rack 35%, rockers 99%, rear swing out bumper 90%, trip to Ohio 0%
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post #9 of 19 Old 01-24-2010, 04:24 PM
leftlanetruckin
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Looking good Eric, and nice welds on that thin steel too.
With the JK axles, I guess I dont have the issues you listed (wider axles).
I am personally looking into fiberglass fenders for the front, to get some of my uptravel back. Have you any experience with them mate?

Martin

1998 XJ on 37's.JK Rubi axles with chromo shafts and ctm's, 4:1 transfer case, etc etc etc.
2003 Range Rover HSE, 4.4 Quad Cam.
1998 Range Rover with a 6.0 LSx
1994 YJ, 4.3/700R4/OME SOA, etc
Western Star 4900EX 4 axle.
4.3/700r4/new frame buildup (YJ)....

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post #10 of 19 Old 01-24-2010, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_imposible View Post
why did you make the door part boxy, couldn't you have made it a smoother transition?
By "door part", do you mean the section behind the tire? I kept that boxy, because 1) it gives much more clearance that way and 2) sometimes its easier to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leftlanetruckin
I am personally looking into fiberglass fenders for the front, to get some of my uptravel back. Have you any experience with them mate?
Sorry no experience with those. I'm just glad with my setup I'll never be dealing with replacing fenders again!

Eric
2000 XJ "PROJECT RUBICON" 3-link front / 4-link rear / coilovers / running 37's on Dana 60s
My website -
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post #11 of 19 Old 01-24-2010, 04:49 PM
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Good point on the fenders!
Unfortunately the boss (wife) wont let me go that far, so I have to be sure it still looks Ok for her to drive it all around...

Martin

1998 XJ on 37's.JK Rubi axles with chromo shafts and ctm's, 4:1 transfer case, etc etc etc.
2003 Range Rover HSE, 4.4 Quad Cam.
1998 Range Rover with a 6.0 LSx
1994 YJ, 4.3/700R4/OME SOA, etc
Western Star 4900EX 4 axle.
4.3/700r4/new frame buildup (YJ)....

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post #12 of 19 Old 07-12-2010, 04:46 PM
bubbaxj
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ok what do u guys do about the triangle shaped piece in the upper back of the front fender. when i took my plastic splash out that thing looks like a knife that will slice my tires to pieces in no time. this is clearly part or the unibody strengthening...what do i do??
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post #13 of 19 Old 07-14-2010, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
EricsXJ
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Yes that seam will slice your tires. You need to trim it and/or fold it over. Using the "cut & fold" method, similar to how most people trim the rear fenders is a good way to do it. I did that to mine a long time ago (and painted over it) which is why you don't see that seam in any of my pictures.

Eric
2000 XJ "PROJECT RUBICON" 3-link front / 4-link rear / coilovers / running 37's on Dana 60s
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post #14 of 19 Old 07-15-2010, 01:51 AM
bubbaxj
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yeah i did the cut and fold and got it very tight to rest of body no longer an issue. I have a set of 35s i will be trying to get on with 3in lift... ill let u guys know how it turns out lol
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post #15 of 19 Old 08-01-2010, 01:09 PM
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35s 3in lift
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