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Unread 02-16-2014, 10:35 PM   #1
Matt Graham
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Poison Spyder DeFender XC install

After seeing the Daddy Long Legs LJ from Poison Spyder sometime early last year I knew I wanted to use Poison Spyder's DeFender XC's. It took a while, but I finally got to order them last week, as well as the Spyder inserts and the aluminum inner fender kit. I found the best deal at Northridge 4x4 - ordered them on Friday and they were dropped shipped directly from Poison Spyder and got to my house in Georgia on Wednesday. I think I was more excited about getting these than I was my Rock Krawler long arm kit.



I never could find anyone's step by step install of these fenders. There may be a write up somewhere, but really what I was looking for was an install done by an average person, with common garage tools, in a garage like my own. In the back of my mind I wasn't 100% sure that I could do the install and make it look "good", but I decided to give it a shot anyway. I don't consider myself a super advanced installer / fabricator by any means, but I did install my Rock Krawler X-Factor Plus Long Arm kit on the floor of my garage, so although I work slow I can usually figure things out.

So I started the install early on a Saturday morning and started by reading through the instructions, which were pretty short. First up was removing the hood, and my daughter helped me out with that.



Next was removing the tank for the windshield wiper fluid, and then the two horns.


And then I removed this HUMONGEOUS evap canister assembly contraption. As I was removing this I was thinking how in the world and I going to get all this stuff to fit in here after the new fenders were on.



The fender was held on with I think 4 bolts into the firewall, and maybe 6 bolts in the radiator support, all of which were 13mm. I was able to use my impact, extension, and swivel joint with the 13mm to make the removal go a little quicker.

It would have been pretty easy to remove the fender, except the rocker knockers extending past the tub kept them from pulling straight out, but I got them out without having to remove or do anything to the rocker knockers.



Next I removed the battery and the plate that it sits on, as well as the factory air box, and then the passenger side fender.



It was at this point that my wife and my brother were questioning what I was doing, probably thinking I was crazy, haha. And finally I got to test fit the driver side fender, and it fit like a glove.



Then I installed the Spyder inserts just to see what they would look like, then removed them to continue the install.



It took me a while to decide about painting them - rattle can black, color match the silver, powder coat, etc.... I finally decided on just priming them & spray painting them with the Rustoleum Semi-gloss from Wal-Mart. I had good luck with painting my rocker knockers that way. I wiped them down with Acetone, did a couple coats of primer, then several coats of semi-gloss black.



This was on Sunday afternoon, and I was super excited about how well the paint turned out. And it was great that it was in the low 60s for the painting.



At this point I was feeling really good about the whole process. I let them dry and after they got to the point that I could handle them, I loosely installed the driver side fender. After I got it in place I realized I had missed a few spots. By this time the sun had gone down and it had cooled off quite a bit. I figured I could just do another coat while the fender was in place......and this happened.



Needless to say I was sick to my stomach. I've never had that happen before, and still am not sure why it did, so I decided to leave that issue until the next day and I went ahead and loosely installed the passenger side fender and called it a night.

The next day I started back on the passenger side and installed the battery tray bracket that came with the fenders using the factory hardware.



Then I installed the new inner fenders and the spyder insert.



In this photo you can see the fact that I have the 1.25" body lift installed. If not for that the fit on these inner fenders would be perfect. (the good news is when the hood is on and closed you don't even notice the gap)



Here you can see that the A/C line sits just above the inner fender with just a little persuasion, and the fuse box in this photo is just sitting there, not mounted yet.



After getting the passenger side in place I moved back to the driver side and removed the fender, sanded the "crinkle" that I caused in the paint, and and then repainted it. While it did end up being much better than it was, it still wasn't as perfect as the passenger side, but it was bad enough that I wanted to start over on it, so I put it back on and installed the inner fender.

Now that I had both fenders installed and the inner fenders installed, it was time to do the thing I was most nervous about - cutting the hood. I decided to use painter's tape to tape off the fenders since I knew I'd be scratching the fool out of the fenders otherwise.



I had asked for a few pointers from a few people that had some experience with the DeFender XC's. Justin from Rock Krawler (Stretch_LJ on Instagram), said he cut the body line on the hood and then trimmed to fit from there. John Grounds, who works at PS now, suggested taping the surface to be cut, which was definitely a good idea and kept the paint from being scratched during the cutting.



I wasn't sure what was going to be the best tool to use to do the cutting. I had an air saw that works pretty good, but my little pancake compresser comes on after 3 seconds of using it, so that wasn't a realistic option. I didn't have a sawzall so I decided on my Makita jigsaw with a metal cutting blade. I started out attempting to cut with it sitting on top of the tape on the fenders, which was not a good idea, so after cutting this much I moved it onto the box that the fenders came in.



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Unread 02-16-2014, 10:35 PM   #2
Matt Graham
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After cutting the body line all the way to the front of the hood, I used a 4.5" angle grinder with a flap disc to trim it out. I started near the back and got it to where it was very close but not touching, and worked my way towards the front. And I was very happy with what I ended up with.



This was after the passenger side was completely trimmed.



This was the driver side after trimming was complete (I didn't have it closed all the way).



The next item on the list was the hood latches. I had ordered the Synergy Mfg. hoodpins from Northridge, and they came with no instructions, but I followed a write up from here on Jeepforum that was pretty good.



You can tell in the last photo above that the hood pins aren't perfectly centered, which is probably the thing about the install that I was most unhappy about. But as big of a project as this was, if that's as bad as it gets, then I guess thats ok.

The next day I went down to Advanced Auto parts looking for the vinyl trim to use along the edge of the hood, but they only had the short pieces and not a roll big enough to run the length of one side of the hood. So I drove over to O'Reilly's and they had what I needed for $13.



There are two places with the hood supports/braces run across the rear and across the front of the hood. In those places I trimmed a little path for the vinyl trim to run in between the hood and the brace so it wouldn't have to fit over two pieces of metal and be potentially too thick for the trim to fit around. This worked perfectly and came out very nice in my opinion. I like the transition onto the black fender.



Up on the front corner of the hood I used a hair dryer to heat the trim up and that made it much easier to work with as it turned around the corner. I decided to have the trim run the entire loop around the hood support than runs across the front so it almost doubles back to near where the hood latch attaches, and covered the sharp edges under there which is good. Sorry I didn't get a photo of that.

Now it was time to start mounting stuff to the new inner fenders and I started with the wiper fluid reservoir. Back when I was in college I worked at the local car stereo shop and I still had lots of radio backstrap so I decided to use that to make some little tabs to mount the reservoir.



Later I would find that I had mounted the reservoir just a little too high and it hit the hood and kept it from closing all the way. Luckily it only took about 10 minutes of lowering it down to the next hole in the backstrap and it fit just fine. So double check the hood clearance before you start drilling holes!

Next I moved over to the fusebox on the passenger side and mounted it. Using the factory bracket was going to make it sit too high so I took the box apart and drilled two holes in the bottom piece and mounted it to the inner fender and then clipped the top down onto the bottom piece.



Unfortunately the hood was hitting on the top of the fusebox when I tried to close it to check the clearance and I ended up having to scoot it back towards the battery another inch and drill another hole, which I didn't like and again I was reminded I should've checked the clearance before I mounted it.

Also you can see in the above photo that I reused the factory air box. It was a tight fit, but by removing the curved pipe looking thing off the front of it, it sits in place just below the radiator support bar that comes from the firewall. I secured it with heavy duty zip ties.

So then I moved back to the driver side to tackle the huge evap thing. I marked what hood to what with letters and took it apart. I started with the big piece and decided to use the original bracket, but mounted it on the opposite side with the ports for the hoses pointing back towards the firewall. This required a little tab to be cut off so the bracket would sit flat against the inner fender. Then I drilled a new hole in the forward end of the bracket, and in the rearward end of the bracket I drilled a hole that lined up with one of the original holes where the cannister attached to the bracket.



Next I mounted this piece with a piece of backstrap that connected to the inner mount from the wiper fluid reservoir. It doesn't look that secure in the photo but it was solid.



Then I mounted this piece using more l-bracket radio backstrap, and used the original mounting screws.



With this arrangement I was able to connect everything with the original pieces, but I had to swap two pieces of the big hose that connected two of the pieces. Sorry I don't know the official names of these pieces so I can't be more specific. The 4th piece of the assembly was mounted below the piece I had in the middle, which allowed me to use all the original hoses except the ones I swapped.
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Unread 02-16-2014, 10:41 PM   #3
CZDiesel
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Great job The DeFenders look killer!!!
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Unread 02-16-2014, 10:45 PM   #4
Matt Graham
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Next I had to fit the horns in, which was tough because of all the room I used up with the evap. assembly. I ended up mounting one of them using a bolt and hole in the radiator support where the factory fenders were mounted next to the radiator.



I did have to extend the wires to one of the horns because they weren't long enough. The only other wiring I had to extend was the wiring to one of the wiper reservoir plugs. The last step was to install the spyder insert in the driver side and I was finished.



As I took that last photo I couldn't help but think how goofy it looked without the back having the matching Crusher Corners with the 3" DeFender flares, especially with these super skinny tires and wheels with a TON of backspacing, but that being said, I couldn't have been more happy with the final outcome and how good the XC's look.

It was also nice that this afternoon when I finished it was probably 70 degrees, so we took the windows out and the doors off and drove it around.





So here is a pretty detailed write up for you, and if you're considering buying a set of these and you're worried about cutting the hood or remounting the stuff onto the inner fenders and whether or not you can do it, I say if I can do it, then any average person with a little bit of creativity and problem solving skills can do it. Hopefully this write-up will be helpful to someone else that has questions about theses high line fenders, or someone installing these in the future.
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Unread 02-16-2014, 10:49 PM   #5
SSAdrenaline
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Wow, Very nice job and write up. Cheers.
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Unread 02-17-2014, 08:56 AM   #6
bigt2317
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maybe I missed it but what flare size is this? Looks awesome!
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Unread 02-17-2014, 09:00 AM   #7
Matt Graham
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSAdrenaline View Post
Wow, Very nice job and write up. Cheers.
Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigt2317 View Post
maybe I missed it but what flare size is this? Looks awesome!
No, I just forgot to mention it. They are the 3" tapered flare. Thank you! I'm really happy with them.
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Unread 02-17-2014, 09:09 AM   #8
bigt2317
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can you take a picture directly from the front standing about 25 feet away, when you have time of course. I'd like to see the lines of the fenders with 3" flare.
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Unread 02-17-2014, 09:36 AM   #9
Jerry Bransford
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Great writeup, nicely done with great pics! I installed PSC's aluminum DeFenders last year and I'm enjoying them a lot, they're a very nicely made fender.
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Unread 02-17-2014, 09:50 AM   #10
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Your paint crinkled because it was not fully cured. When you laid down that last coat the new paint caused the previous coat to partially lift from the surface. Generally you need to lay down all coats of paint within an hour and wait 7 days at 70 degrees before laying down anymore paint. I would wet sand that fender down and respray it but give your current paint job a week or two to dry.

If I may, I would highly recommend VHT Rollbar and Chasis paint. Great stuff, satin finish, lays down great and has a very consistent finish when dried and is extremely forgiving.
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Unread 02-17-2014, 09:56 AM   #11
TomsRubi
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Great write-up! I was searching exactly for this information just now and couldn't believe my luck when I saw you posted this not even 12 hours ago! Looks awesome! I can't wait to see the rest of the build!
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Unread 02-17-2014, 10:16 AM   #12
Matt Graham
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigt2317 View Post
can you take a picture directly from the front standing about 25 feet away, when you have time of course. I'd like to see the lines of the fenders with 3" flare.
Does this photo give you what you're looking for? (I didn't post it because of the super narrow stance and tiny tires, haha)



I'll try to get one straight on in the center later today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Great writeup, nicely done with great pics! I installed PSC's aluminum DeFenders last year and I'm enjoying them a lot, they're a very nicely made fender.
Thanks Jerry!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Why J? View Post
Your paint crinkled because it was not fully cured. When you laid down that last coat the new paint caused the previous coat to partially lift from the surface. Generally you need to lay down all coats of paint within an hour and wait 7 days at 70 degrees before laying down anymore paint. I would wet sand that fender down and respray it but give your current paint job a week or two to dry.

If I may, I would highly recommend VHT Rollbar and Chasis paint. Great stuff, satin finish, lays down great and has a very consistent finish when dried and is extremely forgiving.
That makes sense, thanks for the info. I'll check out that VHT paint.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomsRubi View Post
Great write-up! I was searching exactly for this information just now and couldn't believe my luck when I saw you posted this not even 12 hours ago! Looks awesome! I can't wait to see the rest of the build!
Yeah I was surprised that I couldn't find any more install info. than I did. Hope it helped!
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Unread 02-17-2014, 11:13 AM   #13
Matt Graham
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Here's the front shot.

image-2071069906.jpg
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Unread 02-17-2014, 12:49 PM   #14
OkLaHoMaTJ
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Awesome write up. I will eventually do the DeFenders on my LJ in the no flare variety.
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Unread 02-17-2014, 03:44 PM   #15
Lrasser
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I'm curious why the hood needs to be cut. I've been looking at these and the write-ups show the hood complete and not cut.
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