|RKDGZJP Gets Fitted with New TJ Flares||Short Cuts|
By: Randy L. Wheeler - 11/2000
Photos by: Vance Anderson
Install A Set of TJ Flares for More Clearance
|Using a cut-off wheel, trim the sheet metal along the marker line.|
|The cut off portion from the rear wheel well.|
|View showing the tack-welded seam.|
Installing larger tires usually results in your tires rubbing and scraping your stock fender flares as the tire gets stuffed up into the fender well. The solution? Install a set of TJ flares. TJ flares are larger and wider than stock YJ flares, thus increasing your tire clearance and overall tire coverage. I found a set of white Sahara flares through a friend of mine. The Sahara flares are a bit wider than the stock TJ flares. This worked out perfect for me since my tires stick out beyond my flares anyway. Besides, the TJ flares were already painted white to match my Jeep!
The first step is to remove the stock flares from the body and remove the inside fender well liner. Clean the surface to remove any dirt or grease from the body surface. The TJ flares have several "alignment" tabs that need to be cut off before mounting them on the body. In addition, I cut off the inside lower lip of the flare in order to have the flare mount flush with the body. After removing the alignment tab and the lip, it's time to mock up the flare to the body. For the rear, we positioned the flare so that the rear of the flare was aligned just in back of the rear corner seam and the lower lip of the flare was flush with the bottom of the body. The front end of the flare is really the limiting factor on where you can place the flare since the inside fender well wall cannot be compromised. With the flare in place, make sure it's level and trace around the inside of the flare using a permanent marking pen or grease pencil. Pay attention to where the cut mark lines up with relation to the rear support bracket (where the rear corner panel and the side panel are tack welded together), it should be just in front of the bracket.
|Marking the cut line for the front flare.|
|Cutting the front fender well.|
Now comes the point of no return. Using a grinding wheel with a cut-off blade, start trimming the sheet metal along the marked line. The picture on the left shows about what the removed piece of sheet metal should look like. Notice the forward portion of the piece is thinner than the rear portion. Use a grinding wheel to clean up any burrs.
Once you've got the sheet metal cut, position the flare in place and mark where the mounting holes need to be drilled through the flare and the body. We were able to use a couple of the stock mounting holes in the flares as a template for drilling the holes through the body, but most likely you'll need to drill the stock hole locations first then re-measure for the remaining holes.
The front installation is basically the same as the rear. Remove the alignment tab and the lower lip from the flare and mock up the flare to the body. Position the flare so that it is level and straight. We mounted the top of the flare just about 1/8-in or so below the top edge of the fender and positioned the front as flush as we could with the front edge of the fender. You'll notice that the angle between the front of the flare and the fender are not quite equal, but it's as close as it can be. The bottom of the flare was just about flush with the bottom of the body. This didn't really matter since the bottom portion of the flare was going to be trimmed just above my Off-Your-Rocker panels.
One important point to note is that when trimming the sheet metal from the rear portion of the front fender well, you'll have to cut through the seam that joins the inside fender well to the outer body tub. This portion will have to be tack-welded back together for support, otherwise the sheet metal on the body will pull away. Use a grinding wheel to clean up any burrs.
Once you've got the front portion cut away, mock up the flare and mark for the mounting holes. Drill these holes and install the flare. Check for fit one last time. It would also be a good idea to paint the surfaces of any fresh cut marks and holes that were drilled to prevent rust. Once you're satisfied with the fit, bolt the flares into place using the stock screws and plastic nuts.