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Unread 07-19-2010, 11:40 PM   #1
85IrocZ-28
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Iceland Offroad Install - WJ

I am new here, but not to Grand Cherokee's.
I thought I would share my summer install project.

I have wanted to update my front bumper for a long time as my tires kept catching and tearing the front bumper. Also, to keep it street legal and avoid throwing a rock at someone's windsheild, I needed some flares. The fiberglass is awesome, and weighs much less than a metal bumper.

I was very impressed with the quality of the stuff I got from Iceland Offroad. The flares and bumer are about a 1/4 inch thick , the bumper a little bit more. And they are VERY light and strong. I decided to go this route because the bumper doesn't weigh a ton like the ARB I was looking at. It comes with a winch cradle, so I can cut the bumper later and add a winch as the cradle is already in place.

I can paint them to match the Jeep, so it will have a very clean but updated look. Even if bushwacker made flares for the WJ, I don't think I would buy them. The Iceland flares will take more work to install, but are much higher quality and are even less expensive. I have seen way too many people tear/crack, wrinkle a bushwacker flare. Check out the video on his site of the Cherokee driving up onto this fender flare.

Since Iceland Offroad is here in Utah, I was able to go and meet Emil and pick up my stuff from him. He had a ton of JK/ZJ/WJ etc stuff that he was getting ready to send out.

The pile of stuff that I brought home with me, I think I may be going back for rock sliders:

The flares are shipped together so that the bolts are sticking inwards and will not be damaged.

Here you can see the bolts. If you look at the inside, the fiberglass is marine quality, just like your looking at the inside of a boat.

Brackets that sandwich the frame, and the winch cradle. I have the non winch bumper, but the rear is already marked and it can easily be cut to run a winch in the future. The cradle will sit under the bumper as the d-ring mounts tie into it. The cradle will be ready to go when it comes time for a winch. The winch bumpers come with an aluminum fairlead, it is designed for the nylon style ropes.

Nice welds:

Brackets all primed and ready for paint:

Painted:

Winch bracket and d-ring mounts-black:

I decided I would add some cheap Rustoleum to the back side of the bumper as you may be able to see up into the the back of it. With a white jeep, I needed to make it blend a little bit:

I covered the winch outline with tape so that I can remove the tape and see the line to cut as needed in the future:


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Unread 07-20-2010, 05:46 AM   #2
Apollo21
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very cool......
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Unread 07-20-2010, 06:48 AM   #3
skullysXJ
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I love the iceland stuff! Post some pics of the jeep with it all on.
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Unread 07-20-2010, 09:14 AM   #4
85IrocZ-28
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Here is the install process.... I started by removing the bumper. To get it off, there are two 10mm bolts just in front of the front tires that hold the bumper to the fender. There are clips that hold the bottom of the bumper to the radiator support. You have to disconnect the fog lights if you have them (I had previously removed mine b/c I had to cut the bumper as I was rubbing pretty bad. On my 99, the bumper and the grill are one piece. So I removed all of the phillips head screws that secure the grill to the headlight/grill panel. Then the bumper just comes off.

Next on the list was to remove the factory tow hooks. Here you can see the bracket that will be removed on the inside of the frame rail. You can also see the sway bar bolts in the back. There is plenty of thread as they need to be long. 1/4 inch of thread will be used up by placing the lower bracket between the sway bar and frame.

Here is a shot of the bottom of the hooks, it shows the three screws that have to come out. Two of the screws have a small bracket on the inside of the frame rail. That bracket just comes out when the tow hook is removed. The third bolt has a small clip that you can slide out of the front frame section.

The next thing to do is remove the sway bar bushing bolts. This would be a good time to repalce your bushings if they need it. Mine looked fine, so I re-used them. The lower mounting bracket gets sandwiched between the sway bar bushing mount and the frame. I recommend loosening all four bolts (both sides) and leaving one bolt in on the side opposite of where are working. It will hold the sway bar up from rotating down and getting in your way.

Here the bolts are removed, and the bracket is resting in place.

Front view of the bracket resting in place.
On each side, the lower bracket has two sway bar bolts holding it against the unibody. It also has four holes with bolts going up through it, through the unibody (see next pic), and into the upper bracket. The two holes you see here are used to tie the lower bracket to the winch cradle.

I put the bolts back in loosely to see where I would need to trim a bit. The two holes that the factory hook came out of will be used, and two other slots need to be trimmed out a bit, see the blue?

This pic shows the holes trimmed out a bit. After this pic, I did trim a bit more to give myself some slack.

The upper bracket goes into the front of the frame rail that the tow hook bolted up into. The lower bracket is held in place by the two sway bar bolts, and also 4 other bolts that go up through it, through the four holes in the pic above, and into the upper bracket that is inside the frame rail.

This shows the upper bracket and its notch. It makes it so that you don't have to trim anything on the front of the frame.

Here is the hardware for the bumper. The only factory bolts you re-use are the sway bar bolts. Other than that, each side has 4 bolts that bolt the upper and lower brackets together sandwiching the frame. 6 more bolts, 3 per side, hold the winch cradle to the upper bracket. The four shorter bolts hold the bottom of the winch cradle to the bottom bracket. The four stainless allen head bolts hold the d-ring mounts to the front of the bumper and winch cradle. there are four other self tapping bolts, I think they are meant to hold the bumper to the fender. I didn't use them though, maybe after I paint. The only hardware re-used were the four sway bar bolts, two per side.

One side of the bracket is done. Leave all the bolts very loose until everything is threaded in. The tolerances are very tight, but perfect. I used a phillips head screwdriver as a centering pin to get the holes to line up as I inserted some of the bolts. Once everything is in place, I tightened things up back to front. I started with the sway bar bolts and moved forward.

Both bracket sets in:

Winch cradle in place.
The winch cradle attaches with three bolts to the upper bracket seen here, and with two bolts to the lower bracket from below seen in the next pic down.

The upper and lower brackets tie into the frame and each other, and the winch cradle ties into both upper and lower brackets. This design keeps everything tied together well. The design is very strong and well thought out.

This is a bottom shot that shows all of the bolts holding everything together:

This one shows the rear of the bracket in place under the sway bar:
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Unread 07-20-2010, 09:15 AM   #5
85IrocZ-28
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The front flares are on and look GREAT. They still need paint, but that will come after I finish the rears.

I started by cutting small pieces of double sided body molding tape, and putting them onto the bolts coming off of the fender flares:



I then pressed the bolts gently against the fender, and left the sticky patches on the fender. After that was done, I held the flares up several more times and adjusted the tape patches so that they were placed correctly where I needed to drill the holes.



I then drilled the holes. To give myself some wiggle room, I made them larger. You will see that in the pics to come.


Here is one of the flares resting in place. It needs to be adjusted for a better fit.



Using a combination of 100 grit paper on a sanding block, and a metal file, I adjusted the flares so they fit against the fender tightly. The section that needed the most adjustment on my flares was the part that rests against the fender, right next to the headlights. I had to take some of the curve out of the flare so that it sit flush.


Once they fit snug, i used a grease pen (you could use any marker) to draw a line where i needed to cut.


Here you can see me making the cut. I cut about 1/4 inch inside of the line (the thickness of the flare) so that the metal could be tucked up inside the flare.


I haven't ever run inner fender flares on this jeep, but some may want to. You can easily leave tags of metal, and not cut the whole thing in a smooth curve. This pic shows how I did this on my jeep where previously I had to cut a small section at the bottom of the fender. I had a section cut out of the back of the body molding, moved it back, and re-attached it. This gave more tire clearance. I just cut this off because the fender flare completely replaces the body molding. There would have been more material to remove behind the tires if I had not done this already.


I just used an air saw to cut these sections, but you can use whatever tool you are comfortable with.


Here is a side view:


And a close up:


Straight on:


It really has an agressive look. Everything still needs to be painted to match, but it now has a very unique stance. I am excited to do the rears now. I didn't get the install disc, so I have kind of just made things up as I would go. It isn't a difficult process, just time consuming.

I will likely water sand my pin striping off at a later date as it doesn't flow well with the fender flares.
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Unread 07-20-2010, 09:16 AM   #6
85IrocZ-28
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I actually adjusted the bumper before installing the flares. I noticed that I had over a 1/2 inch space between the bumper and fender on the drivers side, and a perfect space of 1/8 inch on the passenger side. I adjusted it so that the body gaps looked correct.

I started by oblonging the holes on the bumper slightly. This pic shows the left one done, the right one hasn't been adjusted yet.


I tried to install it, but it wouldn't go up any further. I was hitting on the bumper brackets. I ground a little bit off of the front of the new bumper brackets to that it could be adjusted upwards. I quickly sprayed it again before installing the bumper.


This pic shows the original location, and that it has moved up just a bit. The fit is now perfect!


I will touch up the primer before painting.
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Unread 07-20-2010, 09:16 AM   #7
85IrocZ-28
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The rear flares are done and all that is left is paint. Here is the step by step.

I started by removing the rear inner panels to access the back side where the flares will bolt. I also removed the drivers rear inner door panel to see how to get the outer lower fender panel off. I realized that this is not needed, so don't take your inner door panels apart.

This pic shows the clips that hold the panels on. I used a hook tool to pull it together and then gently slide the clips outward. to get the rear panels off, I just pulled the weather stripping off of the bottom and up the sides of the back hatch. I also pulled the weather stripping back from the sections of the rear doors where the interior panel meets it. You must also remove a 1 inch plastic panel that goes from one side of the jeep to the other, right behind the spare tire hole.
There were also four screws holding my panels on, two per side. (they held four little clips that you would hook a cargo net to. Other than that, there were several clips like this:

The green thing was the auxiliary lighter outlet. You also have to remove 4 additional screws on the CD changer lid if you have that, and slide the panel up and off. Then four ten mm bolts hold the player on. With this panel removed, you can see a black 2 piece panel that keeps moisture out of the interior. Take that out to gain access to the inner fender to bolt the flares on. Also, use a t-50 torx driver to remove the seat belt to gain access to where the front bolt will go.

The drivers side was easier b/c I didn’t have to deal with the CD changer. It is harder to access the back bolts though as the gas hoses are near the rear and you don’t have the second access panel. There is plenty of room to reach in the one panel opening with your hand though (see the black thing).

I removed the outer door panels by carefully inserting a razor blade up between the panel and the door and cutting the two sided molding adhesive. I used a flat door panel tool wrapped in thin cloth at the top to pop the plastic inserts out of the holes you see at the top of the panel. When I put the panel back on, it just popped into place. First though, I cleaned the door and panel better to remove the molding tape and applied new tape (the same stuff used above to center my bolt holes.)

This one shows the three holes for the door section drilled and primed with an acid etch primer that is green.

I then installed the door section, and used a file to trim the fiberglass and make it fit tight.

Then I cut a section of the panel (where a flare bolt is) so that I could set it in place (without pushing the plastic clips back fully In place. I then marked it and cut the panel with a jig saw and a metal blade.

I then placed the panel back on with the flare.

Then I lined the rear section of the flare up, and drilled those holes. After putting it in place for a minute, I outlined where I needed to cut.
*****NOTE***** I DO NOT RECOMMEND CUTTING HOW I HAVE DONE HERE. I WILL SHOW SOME PICS IN A MINUTE OF AN ALTERNATE WAY THAT MAY BE EASIER FOR YOU.
I chose to do it this way because I have been around the auto body world for many years and have access to some great materials. Anyways, I lined it up and started cutting.

I cut a section of the rear bumper. I saved this and will re-insert it into the inner section of the bumper and use it for my mud flaps later.

I then cut a section of the plastic support. There is still a piece that runs just under the metal at the top of the bumper. This keeps the bumper attached, I will have to add a support later.

Cutting as much metal as I did leaves some gaping holes in the body.

In the pic above, I cut out a section of the inner metal. I essentially separated the inner body from the outer body. I DO NOT RECOMMEND YOU DO THIS, BUT WILL SHOW AN ALTERNATIVE LATER OF HOW YOU CAN DO IT DIFFERENTLY.
That little piece you saw cut away on the pic above, I inserted it between the inner and outer panels:

This pic shows it pushed up inside between the inner and outer panels.

I welded it to the outer panel, then folded the lip over the inner panel and tack welded it in place. These small welds hold everything in place, but don't provide structural strength. With this method, the strength comes from the body panel adhesive seen below.
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Unread 07-20-2010, 09:17 AM   #8
85IrocZ-28
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In this pic, It shows the inside of the fender well. You can see the outer panel, the inner panel, and the section in the middle coming up that I inserted and tack welded in place. The white you see IS NOT SILICONE. It is body panel adhesive, similar to what is used from the factory to seam unibody’s together. It is a two part product. It is sandable, paintable, water proof, you can weld through it when it is wet…it dries super hard and is like welding two panels together. The stuff is about $50 a tube, and I used one on each side. You also need a special applicator gun. This stuff is the BOMB, and it is a great way to strengthen the body panels and tie everything together. It was much easier for me to do it this way. It is made by valvoline, called Poly Grip I think. 3M has a product too. This is an excellent way to go if you have autobody experience, or if you have a professional install it for you.

Others will likely use the pizza cutter and weld method I will show in a later post. It is also very strong, but would have been more time consuming for me.

This shows more of it on the outside. It was rock hard in 2 hours.

After the panel was welded and bonded together, I masked things off (used the flare box from Iceland for the tires, and shut a tarp in the door. I sprayed it with rubberized undercoating. I also used some black silicone from home depot to touch up a few spots to make sure I am water tight.

It looks nice and new now:

Also, in this pic below, look just inside of the door section of the flare. Where the inner and outer sheet metal meet, I cut out the factory foam, installed a bit of body panel adhesive, and finished it off with a rubber trim piece that you can get from hardware stores. I will have to take another pic of that. It keeps you from getting cut on the sharp metal, I then back filled the gap with black silicone.

EDIT- Here is a pic of the lip at the rear of the rear doors. After removing the factory foam, I installed this trim peice on both sides to protect from the sharp metal. It works great and looks clean:

That is it, the flares are on!



Left to do...undercoat the front inner fenders to cover the white overspray, and paint the flares to match. I will paint them the factory white.
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Unread 07-20-2010, 09:17 AM   #9
85IrocZ-28
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HERE IS WHAT I RECOMMEND FOR THE REAR UNLESS YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH BODY PANELS AND CAN USE ADHESIVE TO KEEP YOUR RIGIDITY AND STRENGTH.
These pics are from WJ 2000, a jeeper I met over on nagca.com

I used the program "paint" to make the red lines, so it isn't perfect but gives you the picture. Just barely trim the lip off, then cut up to the fender flare line several times as seen in red.

Then use a hammer to fold the tabs of metal over:

Pay particularly close attention to this pic. The inner and outer fenders have about a 1/2 gap all the way from the bottom of the rear doors up until this point.
Just above the rear bumper on both sides, the inner and outer fender separate. If you cut as I did, you will have a 1 inch gap between the panels. I made a new peice of metal that I inserted, tack welded, and bonded with panel adhesive. The bends seen in this pic below will just barely cover that hole. It is the most critical area, and the reason that I recommend others use the pizza cutter cutting and hammer folding method that WJ 2000 did in these photos.

Then weld and grind smooth.

Then you would just have to use something like silicone to seal it all up. The reason I recommend his way to others is that is is very strong. It may take longer. But if you don't have access to the body panel adhesive, and haven't used products like that before, stick with this method and you will not go wrong. Turn your heat down on the mig (that is what I used anyways) so that you don't burn through the thin panels.


WJ 2000 used rivets to install l-brackets under his front flares. This gave him a mounting point for his front inner fender liners. It is a great idea, follow his advice if you want to run the inner fender linings. He is awesome and provided pics and advice that helped me a ton on this build!

Look for the L-bracket down on the front bumper. He now has something to screw the liner to.


I have one more idea regarding the front flares. If you want to keep the liners, you can use rivits and L-brackets to keep them in place as seen above in the pics. There is another method you could use. The existing sheet metal can be cut along the red line that I have drawn in the photo below.

If you look at my fender, I acually already had a section cut out to give more clearance at the rear of the front tires. There was also a section sliced out of the rear of my plastic body panels, and it was moved back towards the door. The only important thing I am trying to say here is that you can fold the metal over and make new attachment tabs.

Look at the arrow and circle. I actually had two tabs per side to hold my trimmed plastic body panel in place. Just replicate this idea at the right spots along the fender flare. My red marks are not where you would cut, just an illustration. I would hold the plastic inner fender insert up to the fender, and mark it for cutting where you would actually want to leave this type of a tab.

Use pliers to bend the tabs over as mine were for the little body panel. Then hold the inner fender in place, and mark the metal tabs. Then use a drill to make a small pilot hole and use sheet metal screws to attach the insert.


Here is another pic of what the tab would look like. Again, I used these tabs to hold the plastic body panel in place, but they could be replicated to hold the inner fender liner.
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Unread 07-20-2010, 09:18 AM   #10
85IrocZ-28
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To give the rear bumper a little more rigidity, I decided to re-insert the cut sections of the rear bumper that I cut off.


Here it is as I am inserting it into place:


I used epoxy to adhere it, and used a little bit of duct tape to hold it in place while the epoxy dried. I used 80 grit sandpaper in between the two pieces to give the epoxy a good surface to grab onto. You can see it is now in place, I will just have to add a bit of paint to touch it up and give it the smooth factory look.


And now that the front bumper and flares are on, I decided I couldn't stop this addiction. I need rocksliders, so back to Iceland. I picked them up from Emil on Wednesday. They look great. I will paint them before the install.



It seems like I have been spending my free time building up the Jeep this year, and haven't been wheeling much. It will be Moab ready for the fall weather though...

Now I just need to install the sliders.
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Unread 07-20-2010, 09:29 AM   #11
skullysXJ
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That's sick!!! I love the Iceland stuff!!!
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Unread 07-20-2010, 09:36 AM   #12
85IrocZ-28
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I have really been impressed with it. The flares are WAY stronger than bushwackers, and they are lightweight. The bumper is awesome, has great lines, and weighs much less than steel bumpers.
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Unread 07-20-2010, 09:43 AM   #13
Apollo21
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I hate you, but i love your Jeep. I need to get one of those Iceland bumpers soon...
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Unread 07-20-2010, 10:20 AM   #14
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That looks really nice. I have been wondering what was under those rocker panels.
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Unread 07-20-2010, 11:28 AM   #15
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man i might let Arlo know. this is sticky material. good write up! awesome jeep.
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