Mod Instructions - The Answer to Inner Fender Wells with Tube Fenders - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-21-2013, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
19in1979
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1979 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Wondervu
Posts: 188
Mod Instructions - The Answer to Inner Fender Wells with Tube Fenders

When my son and I added tube fenders to my 79CJ7 I didn't like the way they looked with the factory inner fender wells...so we decided to see how they would work without them. In my opinion, after trimming the fenders the way the vendors indicate to do, the inner fenders don't offer much in the way of structural support. If the firewall area and the radiator shroud are in good shape, and if you use quality hardware, then you're good to go. We even did the old, "Let's see if I can stand on them" routine and they passed with flying colors. BTW, I'm 6'2" and 220 and it felt solid as all get out. For good measure, we went ahead and installed the screws that were included to attach the tube fenders to the trimmed originals so we didn't have all the holes leaving it look unfinished.

So at this point I liked the openness and ease of access this offered. However, with winter in the high country coming on, I decided that I really didn't want all the mud, snow, sand, and Colorado's famous "Ice Slicer" (made of granular salt and magnesium chloride) to be thrown up on the engine any more than it was prior to the change. So after searching the net for ideas, I put my thinking cap on and came up with this.

Flexible rubber engine bay shields - I picked up a sheet of 1/8" thick closed cell neoprene rubber off of Ebay. It was 36" wide X 72" long and ran me around $40 including shipping. Then I bought some 1" X 1/8" X 36" aluminum bar stock off of Ebay as well. I bought 4 pieces for under $20 delivered.

Making the shields is pretty straight forward. I worked on the passenger side first because there wasn't as much to work around, i.e. the charcoal canister and wiper fluid bottle. I found a nut and bolt sticking out of the firewall near the top. I measured from the bolt to the radiator shroud to get a rough dimension. I then drilled a 1/4" hole in the end of the bar stock about 3/4" from the one end. I drilled an 1/8" hole on the other end about 1/2" from the end. I needed to put a right angle into the end where it would attach to the firewall on the bolt that I was using, so I put it in the vise and bent it to a little less than 90 degrees. I did several test fits until I had the angle just right so it would sit flush on the firewall and on the shroud.

I rough cut the rubber about 1/2" shorter than the bar stock (about 35") and about 18" in width. Holding it in place, I marked a few areas that needed trimming so it would fall into place much like hanging a curtain. Using galvanized self-tapping screws, I attached the rubber to the bar stock about every 4" or so. Once I had the rubber attached to the bar, I ground off the protruding screws almost flush with the aluminum so I wouldn't get cut up if I accidentally brushed my hand or arm on it while working in the engine compartment. Then it was as simple as removing the nut off of the bolt sticking out of the firewall, putting the bent end with the pre-drilled hole over it and reattaching the nut. Then for the other end, I just used another galvanized self-tapper and attached it to the radiator shroud. There was no worry about drilling through there since it's mostly a cavity for the headlights. Then I held the front bottom of the rubber against the frame and attached it with another screw. There was no need to attach the bottom nearest the firewall as it just fell into place nicely. If I find that it flaps in the wind or creates any other annoyance, I can always make an "L" bracket out of the aluminum and attach it that way.

The drivers side took a little more finesse since I had to work around the charcoal canister and the washer fluid bottle that had been relocated because of the removal of the inner fender well. All that amounted to was cutting the corner of the rubber in a curved fashion to go around the bottles. There was another nut and bolt protruding from the firewall allowing for the mounting of that end, and I attached the front of it with another screw to that side of the shroud. The pictures below should be pretty self-explanitory. I found this to be an inexpensive, simple and hopefully, a very effective mod. Hopefully this helps out someone else who's had the same concerns after switching out your fenders.

Drivers side exterior


Drivers side interior


Passenger side exterior


Passenger side interior



Best regards,

Wayne

Living the dream at 8,500ft. elevation in beautiful Coal Creek Canyon, Colorado.
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-11-2013, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
19in1979
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1979 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Wondervu
Posts: 188
James - Here's the "tutorial" on the pseudo inner fenders. I hope you see this since your mailbox is full. Let me know if you have a question. Take care.

Best regards,

Wayne

Living the dream at 8,500ft. elevation in beautiful Coal Creek Canyon, Colorado.
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-02-2013, 11:25 AM
SoK66
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2009 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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The original Poison Spyder tube fenders for CJs retained the inner fenderwell liner. Looks like those were designed to do the same. You cut the outer part of the fender away with a Sawzall and the tube fender slides over it.
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-02-2013, 01:48 PM
jeepaddict1
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1977 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Comfort, Tx
Posts: 232
Wayne, I may give that a shot. I built my fenders from a kit by Blue Torch Fab Works. I like the added air circulation to keep the engine compartment cool, but it bothered me looking in from the sides and seeing everything along with mud, water and everything else that ended up in there. Has it flapped or made any extra noise?
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post #5 of 7 Old 09-30-2013, 10:47 AM
jeepaddict1
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Wayne, how has that rubber material held up over the months that you have had it on? Is 1/8" thick enough? Let me know.

Thanks,

Tom
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post #6 of 7 Old 10-01-2013, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
19in1979
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepaddict1 View Post
Wayne, how has that rubber material held up over the months that you have had it on? Is 1/8" thick enough? Let me know.

Thanks,

Tom
Hi Tom -

Yes, 1/8" is very, very durable. Make sure you get the closed cell neoprene rubber! The density of this rubber makes it heavy and if you use the right hardware, it stays where you put it. I've had zero tears in the rubber where the screws penetrate it and that's because I get very little flapping due to the weight. Rinses off easy with the hose and looks new.

Best regards,

Wayne

Living the dream at 8,500ft. elevation in beautiful Coal Creek Canyon, Colorado.
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-01-2013, 01:22 PM
jeepaddict1
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1977 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Comfort, Tx
Posts: 232
Thanks Wayne. I am torn between using that stuff or using a 24"x36" mudflap, but I have got to do something.
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