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Old 01-22-2013, 06:31 PM   #1
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bushwhacker flat fender flare install

i would like to put these fender flares on my jeep but i am worried about the install. has anyone put these on their jeep?
and is it as much of a pain in the a_ _ as it looks to be? i am pretty much a mechanical moron so i am hesitant to place my order untill i hear from others that have did the install.

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Old 01-22-2013, 06:52 PM   #2
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Just sold my wheel spacers to a guy that just put the Bushwacker flares on. He said they were a beotch to install. you can pull up the instructions on the Bushwacker site and judge for yourself. There's some good threads here on the forum about Cutting your OEM fenders to look like them.

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Old 01-22-2013, 06:56 PM   #3
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FWIW....a "fairly good mechanic" friend of mine spent about 2-3 hours installing those on my TJ.

A local 4wd shop wanted $330 for the install. My suggestion is find some local jeepers to help and turn it into a winter project in the garage supply some pizza and drinks and basic tools probably be good to go. and if you have enough people, (say 3 or 4) than it should go rather quickly.

Now that they are on I am very happy with them, even though I have banged them pretty good up against a tree...need to take a heat gun to em (one spot a little tweaked) but other than that I am very happy with them ......had the full weight of the Jeep against one side of the tree...snapped off passenger mirror, and scraped paint off windshield frame, at the same time. As I said it "bent" the flare but it isn't noticeable. Flare is passenger side front. The muddy pic minus the passenger mirror is the day it came off, and the day I bent/ tweaked the flare.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:03 PM   #4
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I'd like to install these when my 10A comes in. I'm in Northern NJ. But looks like a job to tackle in warm weather.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:04 PM   #5
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They are not to hard to install
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:17 PM   #6
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Me and a couple of friends put these on my jk in a couple of hours. Pizza and pop during the installl and beer and whiskey after the install. Use the Project-jk write up...the instructions that come with the flares are so dark they are basicly useless. The hardest part for me was lining up the holes to screw the flare itself to parts that attach to the frame. Rear go on faster than the front. They look great..remember these are abs/injected moulded plastic. Nothing about this mod is hard...its tedious... good luck

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Old 01-22-2013, 07:36 PM   #7
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I just did these two weeks ago. I did them by myself and took a lot longer than two to three hours. With that said, they are not that difficult. The only thing you can mess up is the trimming of the inner fender "pants." If you cut to deep, the fenders wont cover the pants. Read the directions about three times and it starts to look easier than the directions first appear.

Someone else mentioned warm weather, they are right. I left mine in the house, heater on 68, until I was ready to install each one.

Scored mine on amazon for about $470 shipped.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I just did these two weeks ago. I did them by myself and took a lot longer than two to three hours. With that said, they are not that difficult. The only thing you can mess up is the trimming of the inner fender "pants." If you cut to deep, the fenders wont cover the pants. Read the directions about three times and it starts to look easier than the directions first appear.

Someone else mentioned warm weather, they are right. I left mine in the house, heater on 68, until I was ready to install each one.

Scored mine on amazon for about $470 shipped.
i can get them on autoanything for $480 shipped. i'm just scared to get them because my mechanical abilities are limited.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:58 PM   #9
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Not meaning to change your subject, but can I ask why you're not considering some of the metal flat fenders that are out there? I'm looking at changing over to the flats sometime in the near future....
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:04 PM   #10
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I think if you hit something with the metal flares, you'll end up damaging the body of the Jeep. If you hit them with rubber, it bends back.
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:11 PM   #11
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I happen to prefer the looks of the bushwackers. And I'd rather the flares take the damage than the body from bushes and/or rocks when on the trail.
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:16 PM   #12
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Good points - thanks!..,ok, now I'm leaning more towards the Bushwhackers. Back to installation discussion!!
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:00 PM   #13
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My mechanic took 5 hours plus. 4 wheel parts wanted 400 for the install so yeah its time consuming no question and no way around it. But end result is worth it.

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Old 01-22-2013, 09:26 PM   #14
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If you're not comfortable doing it, find local Jeepers to help you. Maybe one of them has it on their rigs so they already know how to do it.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:28 PM   #15
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I put some on about a year ago, and I'm not too mechanical. It took me about 8 hours by myself, but I'm guessing that's a worst case scenario. There's nothing hard about doing them but it is time consuming. Use the write up mentioned above and be careful cutting the fender liners, better to be too big and then go back and trim to fit. Good luck
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:00 PM   #16
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well i'm gonna place my order now. i spent way too much money lately on all these mods. i'm quickly going broke...#$^&*()*^&^%##$!@$#"{:{>:>
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:35 PM   #17
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Jeep add ons, or truck add ons as they are also known, has them for $450.05 shipped to your door. That is my next mod. They are a sponsor on this forum too. Just pick your year and model and add to the cart for the price to adjust.

Hope this help.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:20 AM   #18
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Install is tedious, not hard, and there really aren't any shortcuts. I did mine over a two-day period a couple Thanksgivings ago (had to work in between, so total time isn't indicative).

Do it in a warm garage, if possible.

Like Divingjeeper said, use the step-by-step instructions on JKF; the photos alone will help you figure out what to do. I believe the Jeep in that write-up was a 2008...there were some very minor differences between that install and the one on my '12.

Some tips:

* Buy extras of all the hardware: nylok nuts, bolts, plastic push rivets, etc. Some people completely replace the nylok nuts and bolts, as they have a tendency to snap while being tightened down. I didn't have that problem, though I did have plenty of extras on hand, just in case.

* Cutting your splash shield properly will make the difference between an install that looks good, and one that looks half-assed. And don't use a grease pencil to mark the splash shields, as the directions recommend. It's worthless. Use a good old pencil. You'll get a much more exact line, and you'll be able to see it just fine under good light. When you cut the splash shield, it's better to cut too little off than too much. After you do the first one, you'll know where you need to cut in relation to the line.

* Before you tighten down the fenders and use the automotive adhesive, make sure your side light markers work. If they don't, switch the wires. Once you've used the adhesive, the only way to fix the lights if they're not working is to order new adhesive, rip the fenders off, fix the lights, and re-apply.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:28 AM   #19
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Some other things that come to mind from my install:

Make sure you don't overtighten the inner pieces when you mount them on the wheel well. Tighten just until the washer stops spinning, and you should be fine. Same with the pan head screws that attach the fender to the inner pieces...they will snap if you apply too much torque.

Also, using a Dremel with a cutting wheel made it much easier to cut my splash guards. The directions call for a pneumatic hand saw, which would also work, or a hacksaw, which would be a nightmare, imo.

I didn't drill out any of the plastic rivets that hold the splash guard and OE fender together (another deviation from the written directions). A simple trim tool worked great for me. I used the same tool to pry the leftover retaining clips out of the sheet metal after pulling each fender off.

Make sure you've got a warm place to work in. It was 38º here when I worked on mine, but I was in a heated garage. The adhesive used on the fenders needs about 24 hours in 60º+ temps to cure properly. Probably not crucial...plenty of folks have done em in cold weather, from what I've read.

Buy or borrow a skinny awl. You'll want it to line up the metal clips with the existing screw holes before you screw the fender on. Probably makes no sense the way I just described it but, trust me, you'll want an awl for the install.

One final thing: In Step #49, they tell you to use the "edge tool" to push the edge trim tight against the Jeep body. But you'll quickly find out that's not a good idea; the trim wants to tuck in between the fender and body...you'll see what I mean once you get to that step.

Instead of using the narrow end of the edge tool, turn it lengthwise and use it to horizontally push against the trim. That'll seat the trim without crimping it.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:10 AM   #20
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Thanks to everyone for all your help. Thanks KBWWOLF for the all the insight you offered for the install. It will definitely come in handy.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:48 AM   #21
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Some other things that come to mind from my install:

Make sure you don't overtighten the inner pieces when you mount them on the wheel well. Tighten just until the washer stops spinning, and you should be fine. Same with the pan head screws that attach the fender to the inner pieces...they will snap if you apply too much torque.

Also, using a Dremel with a cutting wheel made it much easier to cut my splash guards. The directions call for a pneumatic hand saw, which would also work, or a hacksaw, which would be a nightmare, imo.

I didn't drill out any of the plastic rivets that hold the splash guard and OE fender together (another deviation from the written directions). A simple trim tool worked great for me. I used the same tool to pry the leftover retaining clips out of the sheet metal after pulling each fender off.

Make sure you've got a warm place to work in. It was 38º here when I worked on mine, but I was in a heated garage. The adhesive used on the fenders needs about 24 hours in 60º+ temps to cure properly. Probably not crucial...plenty of folks have done em in cold weather, from what I've read.

Buy or borrow a skinny awl. You'll want it to line up the metal clips with the existing screw holes before you screw the fender on. Probably makes no sense the way I just described it but, trust me, you'll want an awl for the install.

One final thing: In Step #49, they tell you to use the "edge tool" to push the edge trim tight against the Jeep body. But you'll quickly find out that's not a good idea; the trim wants to tuck in between the fender and body...you'll see what I mean once you get to that step.

Instead of using the narrow end of the edge tool, turn it lengthwise and use it to horizontally push against the trim. That'll seat the trim without crimping it.
This is why KB is the F'en man. I have no plans to install bushwhacker flares anytime soon, but guess what?... I now have a good idea how to thanks to KB.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:03 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by jp2611 View Post
FWIW....a "fairly good mechanic" friend of mine spent about 2-3 hours installing those on my TJ.

A local 4wd shop wanted $330 for the install. My suggestion is find some local jeepers to help and turn it into a winter project in the garage supply some pizza and drinks and basic tools probably be good to go. and if you have enough people, (say 3 or 4) than it should go rather quickly.

Now that they are on I am very happy with them, even though I have banged them pretty good up against a tree...need to take a heat gun to em (one spot a little tweaked) but other than that I am very happy with them ......had the full weight of the Jeep against one side of the tree...snapped off passenger mirror, and scraped paint off windshield frame, at the same time. As I said it "bent" the flare but it isn't noticeable. Flare is passenger side front. The muddy pic minus the passenger mirror is the day it came off, and the day I bent/ tweaked the flare.
Maybe I am assuming to much...I dropped my Jeep off Fri eve about 6 pm I picked it up Sat about 7pm.

During that time he installed the Flatflares, BL, MML, and Rock Rails,and took off the t-case drop, old nerf bars, and stock flares. Myabe he is a better mechanic than I think?....and two Body bolts were frozen/ captured inside rear of tub...he said those were a huge PIA,,,didn't seem to mind the Flares much
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:25 PM   #23
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I just received my BW flares today. And also appreciate the additional install input.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:36 PM   #24
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Kbw hit on some great points.

Personally for me, it wasn't a difficult installation. But it is a tedious job. As long as you're patient and think a couple steps ahead throughout the process just about anyone can do the task. It took me about six hours from start to finish with a couple short breaks in between. I was careful to mark my fenders properly and rechecked things multiple times. The rears were most definitely easier than the fronts. I knocked the rear fenders out in about 2 hours versus 4 hours for the fronts.

The toughest task for me was the installation of the final outer fender. Lining up the holes with the little push rivet things was a BEOTCH! But having my scratch awl made all the difference in the world. I'd push it in the holes and slightly elongate them in the fender if needed.

Teaser shot for those either considering ordering or the guys that just did and haven't installed them yet.

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Old 01-23-2013, 06:59 PM   #25
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kramer, they sure look good on your jeep . Can't wait to put mine on! But we have been excesivly busy at work and I almost have to threaten to quit to get a day off . But I can see a bunch of jeep goodies coming my way .
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:32 PM   #26
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Something needs to be cut in order for this to install? Can anyone point me in the right direction? Also with someone with no auto experience whatsoever is this a mod I can do? I have no tools... need to buy some.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:49 PM   #27
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Something needs to be cut in order for this to install? Can anyone point me in the right direction? Also with someone with no auto experience whatsoever is this a mod I can do? I have no tools... need to buy some.
See posts 6, 7, 18 & 19.

Here's a link to the Bushwacker install: Project-JK.com - Jeep JK Wrangler Resource » Bushwacker JK Flat Fender Installation Write-Up

And here's one to a cheaper, do-it-yourself alternative: Help! Flat style fenders
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:01 PM   #28
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well they are on. the install took six hours. not too hard just very tedious. pics to follow
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:32 PM   #29
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well they are on. the install took six hours. not too hard just very tedious. pics to follow
any hiccups?
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:21 PM   #30
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Reading this thread made me go from gunho about installing this to freakin out man! lol KB you said you did it in a semi heated garadge. Its about 20 here and the garadge isnt heated. If i leave a space heater on all night it should get it up to about 50ish at most. Think i should just wait till spring? I wanna get er sooo bad

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