Savvy Off Road Corner Armor Install Write-up
NOTE - This write-up was for a 1999 TJ using/reusing OEM Flares, and might not be representative of an install on all model years of fender flares/tail-lights/gas tank bezel or custom options. 2005/2006 Changed the Hinge style which lead to a change in the design from these pics to include a cutout for the hinge. On 97-04 TJ's your existing hinge will cover that additionally cutout with no effect aesthetically or structurally.
Needed Recommended Tools/Equipment
T-40 Torx Bit/Socket (for tailgate hinge removal)
2-3 Vice Grip style C-Clamps or equivalent (to hold corner armor while fitting)
5/16" Drill Bit (possibly also needed for drilling Torx Bolts from Hinge if Bolts strip)
17/32" Drill Bit (needed to enlarge mounting holes where Nutserts are needed)
8MM Wrench (Ratcheting recommended, but not required), for Stock Flare Removal if installed
#4 Phillips Screwdriver/Impact Bit
Nutsert Installation tool and Nutserts - Now Included with Savvy Full Corner Armor Order
1/2" Socket and 9/16" Open ended wrench for nutsert install
If Installed -> Remove Inner Fender Well (held on be 8 plastic push-in fasteners per side)
If Installed -> Remove Stock Fender Flares
*Qty 8 (per side) - 8MM head bolts with plastic square nuts on the back, held by hand or with pliers
* Put bolts aside or in a Ziplock bag (you will reuse if you are remounting the flares)
Unscrew and Remove Taillights (unplug wiring harness if in use)
Remove Gas Filler Bezel (8 Phillips Screws total, 4 outside, 4 Inside)
Remove Qty (4) T-40 Torx Head bolts holding hinge to tailgate
* If Torx bolts stripped or unable to loosen use sharp 5/16" bit to drill head off, use pliers or vice grips to remove remainder of bolt on hinge removed
Remove Qty (4) T-40 Torx Head bolts holding tailgate door hinge to body tub side, and remove hinges, and carefully remove tailgate and set aside
Clean all Body Panels as needed
First, using clamps to help hold, test fit the corner armor to the body, align flare holes and rear tail-light mounting holes, license plate bracket holes and gas filler bezel holes (for driver side) and tailgate hinge (for passenger side). Once placed in appropriate location, tighten clamps so the corner cannot move and punch the center of each hole in the body requiring drilling.
With Corner Armor Clamped down tight (use wood blocks or similar to prevent marring or lightly scratching the corner armor), use 5/16" drill bit, drill all necessary beveled mounting locations in body (12 on side, 5 Rear driver side and 12 side 4 rear on passenger side).
Un-clamp and remove Body Armor and optionally use a metal file or slightly larger drill bit lightly on the outside edge of each hole to clean any excess metal shavings to help with a flush installation.
Nutserts will be required in any mounting hole where interior access for the flange nut is unavailable. In those locations, the holes will have to be enlarged using the 17/32" Drill bit for the nutsert. Once the holes have been enlarged, using the Nutsert installation tool, screw a nutsert onto the tool and bolt and insert into hole, hold nutsert tool body with a 9/16" open ended wrench (with nutsert flush to the body) and tighten down the 1/2" bolt with socket just past where the nutsert stops turning. Unscrew the nutsert installation tool and repeat for all holes needing nutserts.
Nutsert Mounting Locations (on a '99 TJ)
After all mounting holes drilled and nutserts installed, re-mount Corner Armor back onto Body, clamp Lightly (use wood blocks or similar to prevent marring or lightly scratching the corner armor). Line up all holes and tighten clamps to hold corner armor in place.
Starting with the Nutsert locations, in all beveled mounting holes, thread 5/16x1" Stainless Flathead bolts by hand a few turns to hold in place lightly. Continue to loosely connect other bolts with flange nuts, but don't tighten everything down until all bolts have been started. You might need the shift the corner armor just a bit to get the bolts started if any of your mounting holes that you drilled weren't quite centered. Place the 3/8" reinforcement tub backing bracket flat against the inside of the tub matching the top row 5 mounting holes. Starting at the back of the vehicle, tighten all bolts using 1/2" Socket to hold the flange nut (for non-nutsert location) and large Phillips screw driver or #4 Phillips Bit. Tighten everything down to a firm tightness (no exact torque measurements given, estimate 25ft/lbs), Work your way to the front of vehicle until all bolts have been tightened.
Repeat installation steps for alternate side of vehicle so that corer armor is firmly attached at all mounting locations (17 on Driver side, 16 on passenger side)
Use the 4 longer (5/16x1.5"?) provided replacement bolts to screw the tub side of the hinge back to the stock mounting location. Place the provided short aluminum tailgate spacers behind the hinges on the tailgate side and use 4 stainless flat-head bolts to connect hinge to the tailgate.
If Installed -> Reattach Fender Flares with the OEM bolts and square nuts that you removed
If Installed-> Reinstall Gas Filler Plastic Bezel with 4 Inner and 4 Outer screws
Reconnect and reinstall tail lights with OEM hardware you removed earlier in process...this would also be a good time to install Savvy Off Road LED Tail Lights
If Installed -> Reinstall inner fender well (held on be 8 plastic push-in fasteners per side)
great write up! i especially like the
Thanks for the write up. We have been busy as heck and have been lacking in our Installation Instructions. This really helps us a lot.
Thanks for the write-up Wade! I'll be printing this out to use when I put my corners on:thumbsup:
The tailgate hinges changed in 03 I think. On my install I had to cut a hole in the corners under each hinge.
New (cheap) style hinges.
Measure and mark the hole. Gerald suggested drilling the corners and useing a jig saw for the cuts.
The plastic trim covers anything that might show
Thanks for posting that. I beleive is was 2005 and up on TJs. The 2004 Rubi had the old hinges. All of the of our corners come with that hole now. The old style hinges covers the holes up and the new style needs them to work.
We use high quality stainless steel fasteners with a #4 Phillips drive. With a good quality driver and even a big impact driver like I use, you will snap the bolt before you strip the head out. Do not be afraid to tighten them.
Other than that, nice job.
And maybe I got a couple bad fasteners because I stripped 2 Phillps pretty signifiganytly during install and Gerald got me a couple replacements. I might still have them in my bolt pile.
The driver size is #4 Phillips, not #3, not #2, and not #1, they are #4.
#4 Phillips is larger than most consumer owned Phillips screwdrivers sold through most sources we use and are more readily available as a socket driver you use with a ratchet.
In fact, the last 3/8's drive #4 driver I had, I broke with that big impact you see in the first pics. However, that was after installing several hundred of those stainless steel screws, all with the impact.
Don't drive off angle, use the CORRECT size and you cannot strip out the head before the bolt breaks.
I just looked and I was using a #3, I thought it was a #4... I'll have to find a #4 driver for my future Savvy projects (and when/if I need to pop these off/on for whatever reason).
Nice writeup, it looks great. Now it's time for me to see if I even own a #4 driver, I doubt I do after reading this.
More appropriate tool acquired...might be worth a mention in the instructions for Savvy products that use these fasteners during the next documentation refresh/update... :D
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