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Unread 03-18-2011, 08:41 PM   #1
awalp
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How difficult is it to replace front fenders on a TJ?

I have a 1997 Jeep Wrangler TJ.

The previous owner drove the Jeep with the front fender liners missing and caused the front fenders to prematurely rust.
-- The only body rust is on the front fenders

The sale value of the vehicle significantly decreases due to that rust.

I found 'CAPA Certified' OE Replacement fenders, for $83 passenger side, $78 drivers side, brand new steel primed fenders.
-- Totaling $160 for a set of replacement front fenders.

How difficult is it to replace the front fenders?

I believe they are 100% bolt on, with no welding required.

Is it worth spending $160 on fenders, replacing them, rather then selling the Jeep with rusty fenders?

I'm measuring worth by money, but more so time as a significant factor.

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Unread 03-18-2011, 08:43 PM   #2
mudb8
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very simple....
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Unread 03-18-2011, 08:47 PM   #3
RubiconRazorbac
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So easy, even a caveman can do it...

Seriously though, 100% bolt-on & simple.
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Your shaft isn't long enough to handle that kind of droop...
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Unread 03-18-2011, 08:48 PM   #4
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easy,
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Unread 03-18-2011, 08:54 PM   #5
awalp
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I'm sure it is simple on a brand new, unrusted Jeep...

but how much more difficult will it be with a 1997 Jeep with 162,xxx miles, with fenders that are rusted through?

I really don't want to have to drill out bolts and tap new threads...

Also, is the fender flair removable and re-installable without breaking plastic pieces and needing replacements?

I don't want a $160 'simple' job, turning into drilling out 20 bolts and tapping new holes, and buying a new set of retainers for the stock fender flairs.
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Unread 03-18-2011, 09:14 PM   #6
Yuri
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"simple" isn't necessarily the same to everyone... we're probably talking a dozen bolts or-so per side.

You have to un-bolt all the garbage that's attached to the fenders (fuse box, washer bottle, etc). Then there are a few bolts holding it to the tub and some holding it to the grill. A few more bolts hold the battery bracket in place. If I remember correctly, that's about it.
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Unread 04-25-2014, 05:50 AM   #7
ChaseO
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Resurrecting this thread! I also have a 97 TJ Sahara and am going the fender replacement route. I live in a state with strict inspections, so nice tube fenders or metalcloaks are a no go...how long would it take a guy with average tinkering skills to remove/replace both fenders? Am I looking at an afternoon project or should I budget a full weekend?
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Unread 04-25-2014, 05:58 AM   #8
MrSundays
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaseO
Resurrecting this thread! I also have a 97 TJ Sahara and am going the fender replacement route. I live in a state with strict inspections, so nice tube fenders or metalcloaks are a no go...how long would it take a guy with average tinkering skills to remove/replace both fenders? Am I looking at an afternoon project or should I budget a full weekend?
Literally just did this two days ago on my buddies rig so he could sell it. Make sure when you order the fenders they are Mopar because almost ALL aftermarket stock fenders don't come with some if the necessary rivets. You can always work around it and buy a bolt washer and nut to replace it but that's a pain when you don't have another car and no idea what size it needs to be. Other than that is a very straightforward job. I recommend starting with the drivers side, it's the easier of the two. The hardest part is backing some of the bolts out. All you have to do is find where the fender attaches to the body and grille and unbolt AFTER you unbolt everything attached to the fender like the washer bottle, AC compressor, battery box, etc.

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Unread 04-25-2014, 06:08 AM   #9
ChaseO
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Thanks! I didn't buy mopar, but I plan on replacing all the fasteners anyway. Any specific difficulties you remember?
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Unread 04-25-2014, 06:24 AM   #10
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There's a couple video's on you tube. Doesn't look that hard.
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Unread 10-02-2015, 12:36 AM   #11
swanyswan
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I'm currently removing the drivers fender so I can sand and paint but I'm running into issues. Got most everything off but I'm having a difficult time taking off the bolts inside near the staring wheel on that flat surface. They seem to keep spining. I need to get those off so I can get the remaining few that are attached to the area right under/near the stearing wheel. Any suggestings? I have them soaking in PB Blaster overnight.
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Unread 10-02-2015, 04:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swanyswan View Post
I'm currently removing the drivers fender so I can sand and paint but I'm running into issues. Got most everything off but I'm having a difficult time taking off the bolts inside near the staring wheel on that flat surface. They seem to keep spining. I need to get those off so I can get the remaining few that are attached to the area right under/near the stearing wheel. Any suggestings? I have them soaking in PB Blaster overnight.
Cut them off, drill out and tap. It was easy taking off my front fenders when I put on the metalcloaks, I just had 4 that broke. Didn't have any that spun though If yours are spinning I think some nutserts failed
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