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Old 02-23-2012, 01:51 AM   #61
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I've been thinking about what I want to do for fender flares in the front, and I saw that rugged ridge makes a 7" set for about 170 bucks.. .which seemed appealing to me at first.

There is a place in my town though that does a lot of work with aluminum, making docks, racks, etc.. I swung by there today and had them bend a few test pieces for me - i'm thinking about possibly making my own fender flares out of aluminum. They would follow roughly the same lines as the factory ones. I would have them powdercoated black, preferably with some sort of texture. Making my own fender flares would also allow me to cover up the 3" gap that will be left at the bottom of the fender - i'd be able to totally hide that.





So, put on your "imagining" caps with me for a second. The first test piece has a 4" face, then a 45 degree bend, and another 4" face. The second piece has a 5" face, a bend, and then a 3" face. Now, Imagine those aluminum pieces ran the length of the fender, then had a corner and went down following the factory fender flare line. There would also be a small piece going down the front of the fender where the turn signal is.

What do you guys think those would look like? I'm thinking I would really like it... and I think the sharper lines would compliment my highrock bumper well. I'm waiting to get a quote on how much it would be to bend all the pieces to do a full set.... but... I really think they would look cool, AND be functional. What do you guys think?

Well, thats it for this evening guys, I hope everyone is enjoying the writeup and pictures so far. If you are following along and reading the whole thing, leave me a message! Even it its just to let me know you're reading, it helps me to know people are taking the time to follow along, and that all the time I spend typing is worth it

Also, I'd really love to hear some opinions on the fender flare idea. What do you guys think?

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Old 02-23-2012, 03:29 AM   #62
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You have certainly jumped in balls deep on this project. I hate to say it, but I really think that you should buy the front fenders to match the rear, as I really like the look of that kit... My fingers are crossed for you...

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Old 02-23-2012, 05:12 AM   #63
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Nice work.Im in balls deep too lol

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Old 02-23-2012, 10:41 AM   #64
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You have certainly jumped in balls deep on this project. I hate to say it, but I really think that you should buy the front fenders to match the rear, as I really like the look of that kit... My fingers are crossed for you...
Yeah thats definitely a good point.. .I was thinking that if I do the front flares out of aluminum like that and decide that I like it, I would probably do the rear out of them also, and then maybe sell the AEV flares I bought. Still just an idea though...
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:05 AM   #65
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I have read every thread that you have posted plus all of the ones that other people have posted.

I love the look of the aluminum fender flares. I like the one with the 3" plate on the downward facing part. And along with the other people wanting matching fender flares, I'm OCD about matching things together also so if he funds can make it happen, I think it would look really cool if you had both aluminum. But that's just my .02
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:56 PM   #66
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The hood and fender cuts look really good, dare I say perfect. I also like the 3" downward facing plate and think that the aluminum fenders would be awesome. Why not just make a set of rear flares to match the front ones if you decide to go the aluminum flare route.
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:16 PM   #67
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Looks good! I went up a bit higher (3.5" front and rear). I have the passenger side done and will hopefully get the drivers half way done this weekend.
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:12 AM   #68
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I was able to work on it for quite a while this evening. I took quite a few pictures but dont really have the time or energy right now to post them all up.

Heres one of me using some levels to make sure I get the top of the fender flat and square -



I bolted a piece of 1x2 square aluminum tubing to the front headlight housing to make a mounting bracket for support brace that I cut apart before...



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Old 02-25-2012, 05:15 AM   #69
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Working on getting the new bolt holes into the tub lined up properly:



Had to do some trimming on the support bracket so there was clearance for the new hole:



I'm also going to need to address headlight clearance - There isnt room to fit the plug onto thhe back of the headlight. I may just make my own spade terminals that slide on, since the factory plug is a lot deeper than it needs to be. That or i'll need to put a large dent in the fender to make more rooom.

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Old 02-25-2012, 05:20 AM   #70
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After getting the front of the fender securely mounted I turned my attention to the other project I decided to tackle - moving the rear of the fender back, giving me more clearance at the rear of the wheel well.

The line here represents the outside of the factory flare. Can you tell i like blue painters tape?




I wanted to figure out just how much clearance I actually needed, so I jacked up the opposite corner as mucn as i possibly could to articulate the front axle as much as possible. I decided to do a cardboard overlay to find out how far back the new tire will actually go -




I then reinstalled the fender and overlaid the cardboard. the small area of tape represents the interference area. I was suprised, I thought it would be bigger...



And finally, my overly ornate drawing of how far I will be moving the wheel well back. I'll post more about how exactly I plan on accomplishing this, but for now I'll just post this picture -

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Old 02-25-2012, 05:22 AM   #71
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Thats it for now... as you can probably tell im pretty tired since normally I type WAYYY too much stuff, and tonight I kept it very light... mostly just pictures. Anyways if i can get some good sleep tonight (yeah right, its already 5:20 in the morning) I hope to really make some progress tomorrow. The wife and I have to go pick out some new carpet, but other than that my whole day will (hopefully) be devoted to project jeep

Hope everyone is doing well, if anyone has ANY comments, i'd really love to hear them. Input from everyone is what fuels me to take all these pictures and post them up, so don't be shy!
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:55 AM   #72
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Looking good! I would cut more on the rear. I lifted the fenders up to about 0.5" from the top, then I measured perpendicular to the tire to draw a line and cut off as much as possible. Its not much more work, but will give plenty of clearance.
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:26 PM   #73
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Looking good! I would cut more on the rear. I lifted the fenders up to about 0.5" from the top, then I measured perpendicular to the tire to draw a line and cut off as much as possible. Its not much more work, but will give plenty of clearance.
Is that an LJ? It looks like you have a lot more forward clearance, on my TJ theres only about 1 inch until you hit the double walled tub in the front of the wheel well
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Old 02-25-2012, 03:21 PM   #74
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Yeah, LJ, maybe that was why it was easy.
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:36 PM   #75
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I'm also going to need to address headlight clearance - There isnt room to fit the plug onto thhe back of the headlight. I may just make my own spade terminals that slide on, since the factory plug is a lot deeper than it needs to be. That or i'll need to put a large dent in the fender to make more rooom.
I pounded the headlight area in with a metal bar and a 5lb hammer. It only took a couple minutes and has plenty of clearance now. Do you have any pictures of the metal bracket that holds the rear of the fender on the drivers side? The drivers side looks a bit trickier than the passenger side.
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:11 PM   #76
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I pounded the headlight area in with a metal bar and a 5lb hammer. It only took a couple minutes and has plenty of clearance now. Do you have any pictures of the metal bracket that holds the rear of the fender on the drivers side? The drivers side looks a bit trickier than the passenger side.
The factory bracket, or the one i'll be making? I have yet to make the bracket yo uspeak of, in fact thats tonights project! I plan to try and fit the charcoal cansiter down in there if it fits. Keep in mind though, i'm moving my wheel well back, so my bracket is going to be essentially 2" shorter than what yours would be. I'm probably going to be using plate aluminum to create the rear face of the inner wheel well. I'm hoping to have some pictures of the process up later tonight (keep in mind when I say later, it will probably be 2 or 3 in the morning )
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:12 PM   #77
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Yeah, LJ, maybe that was why it was easy.
More wheel well room, longer rear driveshafts... guaranteed Dana 44... rub it in why dont ya :P
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Old 02-26-2012, 12:58 AM   #78
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Worked on her for a few hours today, things went pretty smoothly. Seeing as it was Saturday I went to home depot for some fasteners, but ended up just wandering around for about an hour or so... picking random things off the shelf and putting them in my cart. $140 later, I finally decided it was time to go, haha..

Anyways, today I focused my attentions on the passenger side front fender. It was a VERY refreshing change to be able to remove it and make nearly all the cuts I needed in a single pass, not the test fit, remove, cut, re test fit, remove, cut over and over and over that I had to do on the driver's side.

Here are the two fenders laying side by side. The drivers side was my template for the yet to be cut passenger side fender sitting on the left.



I didn't take nearly as many pictures today... mainly because they would be essentially a mirror image of pictures that I already posted.

I really wanted to make sure the passenger side fender was cut right the first time.... one thing that made it a little tricky is that there aren't a lot of straight lines to measure off of on the front portion of the fender. I had to come up with a few little ghetto "jigs" to get some accurate measurements, but they seemed to work pretty well.

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Old 02-26-2012, 01:15 AM   #79
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Here is the passenger side fender all trimmed up. This one went SO much faster



I also had to drill new holes in the rear mounting face. I actually ended up just elongating the pre existing holes, so I have mounting slots which allow me quite a bit of adjustment. I suppose if I ever wanted to get another 1/2" or so out of it I could come back and pretty easily slide it up and trim another 1/2" off the hood.





That was the progress for today. It felt really good to accomplish in a few hours what took about 3 days on the other side. I got two more tires mounted up on friday, bringing my total count to 3. Before I went home to have some "wife time" I decided to throw two of the new 34s on and just see how it looked.







This is obviously a very "rough draft" of what things will look like when its all said and done. Still need to figure out what i'll be doing for front fender flares, and also fill in the space left underneath the front fenders due to lifting them up. I'll also be looking for some rubber to make another set of splash guards just like the factory ones, except a little taller of course.

I am guessing that there will be a fairly large crowd of people on this forum that do not like the look of a TJ with tires that big and seemingly that little of space in the wheel wells.

Personally I really like it, and am very happy with how it is looking so far. My very first post in this thread lists my reasons for not wanting to lift it, so if you are wondering why i'm doing what i'm doing... you can read that post for a refresher

Initially I was thinking I would need to do a 1.25" body lift, but i'm really hoping that I won't even need it. I think that if any, the rear is going to be my problem area. I can cut out a lot more towards the rear or top of the wheel well, but i only have about 1/4 to 1/8 of an inch forward before I hit the double walled area of the passenger compartement.

In the rear I currently have about 3" of allowable uptravel before the tire makes contact with the metal of the tub. In the front though, I have a full 6" minimum of uptravel, and will have enough clearance in the rear of the front wheel well that it wont be a limiting factor. I'm really happy with this overall, and am very glad I went this route.

I haven't told the wife this yet, but this highline kit is going to most likely be the starting point so to speak of some other suspension upgrades. I don't necessarily want to go up with it... but I would like to begin researching what I could do to improve the ride quality, and possibly allow the front to flex as much as it is able to (the full 6"ish inches of uptravel). I was thinking about maybe replacing all of the control arms with something that has johnny joints on each end such as the Currie models. Think of it as a 0" lift haha I know that sounds kinda silly.

Anyways, thats all of this evening, I would really love to hear some input or opinions on those last two pictures I posted. Even if you think its dumb and I'm retarded for wasting my time... go ahead and say so I'm a big boy and I can take it. Not saying i'll necessarily agree with you though Or, more preferably if you like the way it looks.... then tell me that Hope everyone is having a great weekend!!
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:29 AM   #80
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Your jeep looks great i wish i would have went with bigger tires. oh and i read the whole thing!
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:50 AM   #81
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I'll also be looking for some rubber to make another set of splash guards just like the factory ones, except a little taller of course.

Initially I was thinking I would need to do a 1.25" body lift, but i'm really hoping that I won't even need it. I think that if any, the rear is going to be my problem area. I can cut out a lot more towards the rear or top of the wheel well, but i only have about 1/4 to 1/8 of an inch forward before I hit the double walled area of the passenger compartement.
The jeep is looking great Nate! I bought some pond liner rubber at the depot for the insides. I have a body lift and this piece comes past the top of the frame so your might be close without doing anything extra. I doubled it up because the pond rubber is weaker.


Don't be afraid to do some "clearancing" with a 5lb sledge in the rear.
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:50 AM   #82
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"I read the whole thing" haha
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Old 02-26-2012, 01:07 PM   #83
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The jeep is looking great Nate! I bought some pond liner rubber at the depot for the insides. I have a body lift and this piece comes past the top of the frame so your might be close without doing anything extra. I doubled it up because the pond rubber is weaker.


Don't be afraid to do some "clearancing" with a 5lb sledge in the rear.
Hey thanks for the tip with the pond liner! Is is as thick as the factory mud guard? Where did you buy it?

And yes, your right, I might just have to go to town a little bit on the rear with a 5 lb
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:05 PM   #84
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Coming right along, It looks good!
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:38 PM   #85
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This will be done quite nicely from what I can tell, 35"s can be fit with just a 1" BL. But youll have to rid yourself of the stock sized fender openings. If anything get a 1" BB on top of that.
This is True I'm setting my Jeep up for 36s on JUST a 1.25" bl I have the 2.5L TJ with a winch. I have 4,0L springs up front and stock springs out back along with Hi-lined front fenders, long travel front shocks, long travel out board rear shocks. I'm working on cutting the rear fenders to fit the 36s I flat fender'd the front provide'n plenty of room up front. check out my build... I did all that your doing a couple months back... your on the right track!! Keep it low, gear up the t-case for the trails, throw some big a$$ tires under it and have fun! don't for get skid plates and safety. oh I run 33s right now and they look tiny up front
Good luck I'l be following your jeep build
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:42 PM   #86
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ops...
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:45 PM   #87
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This is True I'm setting my Jeep up for 36s on JUST a 1.25" bl I have the 2.5L TJ with a winch. I have 4,0L springs up front and stock springs out back along with Hi-lined front fenders, long travel front shocks, long travel out board rear shocks. I'm working on cutting the rear fenders to fit the 36s I flat fender'd the front provide'n plenty of room up front. check out my build... I did all that your doing a couple months back... your on the right track!! Keep it low, gear up the t-case for the trails, throw some big a$$ tires under it and have fun! don't for get skid plates and safety. oh I run 33s right now and they look tiny up front
Good luck I'l be following your jeep build
I'll have to check out your build later tonight. For the time being i'm at the shop and am really hoping to get some good progress made before dinner with the parents.
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:52 PM   #88
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Good luck! If you have any questions or need any pictures just let me know... I'm going to cut my rear fenders like "jgorm" did I'l let you know how it goes on a TJ... I'l most likely start on that this week =)
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:44 PM   #89
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Hey thanks for the tip with the pond liner! Is is as thick as the factory mud guard? Where did you buy it?

And yes, your right, I might just have to go to town a little bit on the rear with a 5 lb
No, its like half as thick, maybe a bit less. That's why I used the stock ones also. I bought it at the depot, but I think some depots don't sell it.
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Old 02-27-2012, 12:26 AM   #90
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Working on getting the new bolt holes into the tub lined up properly:



Had to do some trimming on the support bracket so there was clearance for the new hole:



I'm also going to need to address headlight clearance - There isnt room to fit the plug onto thhe back of the headlight. I may just make my own spade terminals that slide on, since the factory plug is a lot deeper than it needs to be. That or i'll need to put a large dent in the fender to make more rooom.

When I did my Hi-line front fender I just cut out a bit of the inner fender So I could still use the factory head lights and connectors. its not alot of work just a bit more cutting. I can shoot a pic of what I'm talking about tomorrow for ya

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