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Jerry Bransford 01-30-2010 02:23 AM

New classic lightweight CJ-style flattie fenders for the Wrangler
Recent aftermarket Jeep product introductions indicate a real change in how they are now being designed for our Jeeps vs. the “old days”. Old designs made it easy to bolt enough steel on to turn our Jeeps into heavyweight hogs on the trail. Count me as one whose Jeep became overweight over the years. It has only been since the last six months or so when I started removing steel and replacing it with lighter aluminum parts from Savvy.

So thankfully, a few manufacturers of aftermarket accessories have gotten smart and have gone in a better direction with their products… light-weight but still strong & functional. Innovative and creative.

So in this thread, I’m pleased to have been asked to introduce a new company, Modern Classic Enterprises and review their first product, a complete vintage-looking Flattie Fender replacement kit for TJs and LJs. Founding partners in MCE are long time members of this forum and like many of us, live and breathe Jeeps.

So finally, cool-looking light, flexible, & inexpensive front flattie fenders for the masses. Lightweight, flexible, easily replaceable in the unlikely event you break one, and get this… $159.99 complete for both sides! If you manage to break a fender while grinding your way through a rock garden, individual replacement piece parts are only $44.99. What are they made of? A very flexible yet tough ABS plastic. ABS is tough stuff and a very good choice for fenders that expect to see much abuse.

How flexible? Very, take a look!

Can it take trail abuse? Check it out…

Benefits of the Modern Classic Enterprises ABS flattie CJ-style fender?

· Light weight
· Flexible ABS
· Won’t damage or tweak the tub when you smack it into a rock like a steel tube fender can
· Replaceable in minutes if you manage to break one
· Low cost. $159.99, compare that to tube fenders
· Won’t rust if you scrape it up

So after years of coveting a steel tube fender, after all they do look cool, I finally accepted that what some of my knowledgeable friends was saying was true… that they can damage or tweak the tub. Not good. So when Mike at MCE contacted me to tell me about a new replacement fender design and told me about the above benefits, I was all over it. They couldn’t even send me photos until they got past the patent stage. Yep, the design is patented!

So here goes… the kit arrived very well package and I was stoked. The top parts in the below photo cover the side of the wheel well after it gets trimmed. The bottom parts are the new flattie fender top pieces.

I wanted to paint mine to match the Jeep so I used Krylon Fusion after carefully cleaning the plastic with thinner per Krylon’s directions. They look great in their natural black finish so painting them is strictly optional.

Here they are freshly painted sitting on the old fender …

So here’s the “Before”. Dang, look how wide my TJ is, we’ll be fixing that. It’s hard to see here but I’ve had to jack my fenders back up several times after a few run-ins with rocks. Steel fenders can be a PITA on some trails for sure.

So the installation begins…
Remove the old flares first that are held in place by a half-dozen screws or so.

Using a straight edge, follow the edge of the wheel well up & mark it with a felt tip pin. That line you mark is where you’ll trim the fenders. Directions are very clear, mostly, on how to make such cuts. That first cut is the hardest.

Jerry Bransford 01-30-2010 02:25 AM

Joe Bertain (Humboldt) below, always a helpful friend, came over to spy on what I was doing so I put him to work making the first cut along that line. Nearly anything can be used to make the cut… hacksaw, jigsaw, cut-off wheel on an air tool, sawzall, whatever you have.

I finished the cut up on top with a jigsaw which really did a nice job cutting the curved parts…

Here’s what it looks like after the cut is done as Joe holds the old fender for me. How cool looking is that!

You have a few threaded inserts the fender flares were screwed into. Grind them down flush with the body off using a Dremel tool, angle grinder, grinding wheel on your drill motor, whatever. This is where the side piece attaches so it needs to be flat.

Looking good, the new fender fits perfectly during this trial fit. You can see where the edge of the grill was painted with rattle can paint, removing the old fender leaves an unpainted edge so a little paint is in order here.

Drilling the first of five small holes per top piece. The top is held in by an allen-head stainless steel machine screw & nyloc nut with four push-in plastic body trim holders. This is what makes it so quick to remove & replace if that should ever become necessary (for you abusive types).

I didn’t really just hammer it in like this. I used a punch between the hammer and push-in holder so it wouldn’t mar the surface. But you can’t hold a hammer, punch, and camera all at the same time you are taking a picture so there.

This shows all four of the push-pins with the side trim piece as well as the hood latch installed. I reinstalled my Savvy rocker guard over the top of the trim piece. I’ve been really happy with the design during the installation process, it’s innovative and easily installed.

Finished with the fenders, now it’s time to install the side markers and front turn signals. Check it out, I think it looks awesome so far!

Jerry Bransford 01-30-2010 02:26 AM

A 3 1/8” hole was required for the JK turn signals I used. What’s cool about the JK turn signals is not only do they have that classic CJ-look, they accept the OE TJ turn signal bulb holders without any mods needed. Thanks to Mike/GzrGlide for that awesome JK turn signal idea and help on how to do it! I drilled mine so the hole is centered under the headlight instead of centered left-to-right in the space. That allows the turn signals to be outboard of things like driving lights, a winch, tow hooks, etc. so they aren’t blocked.

I retained the three ribs on the sides of the JK lights & after notching them & placing corresponding notches into the grill, mounted them in such a way that a 30 degree twist locks them in place without having to use RTV.

After smoothing the hole’s rough edges with a file or rotary smoothing tool, be sure to touch up the raw edge with paint to prevent rust. You can see the three small notches I cut to accept the JK turn signal ribs which after notching the ribs up front, allow the JK turn signal to lock into place on the grill with about a 30* turn.

I drilled the back of that opening so I could pass the front turn signal wiring through, spliced it together, and mounted the original turn signal light socket into the new JK turn signal. I think the lights have a very classic look which matches the looks of the new flattie fenders. I guess all this is pretty much paying due homage to our CJ ancestors!

Next come the side marker lights which worried me from day one. Then I discovered the LED lights from my old fender flares were the perfect size & shape.

Humboldt (Joe Bertain) came up with the perfect idea when he saw them on how to mount them so they were recessed & flush with the edge of the new fenders. That way, they aren’t likely to get scraped off by the rocks. I trimmed the edge of the lights & with tubular aluminum spacers, set them flush against slots I cut into the plastic. Mr. Dremel came to the rescue here and together with a bit of filing, it came out fine. Not perfect but good enough for me.

The below photo taken from underneath the fender shows that the hood latch's OE reinforcing bracket is still there. The hood latch remains as strong after this mod as it was when it came from the factory.

So here are the final “After” pictures. I think it turned out great.

Jerry Bransford 01-30-2010 02:28 AM

All in all, the guys at Modern Classic Enterprises have come up with something I think is going to sell like hotcakes. At only $159.99 for the entire kit and $44.99 for individual replacement piece-parts should you hardcore types manage to somehow break one, they're a bargain. Light, flexible, a great classic look, inexpensive and easily installed too.

I’m loving mine. My 19 year-old son took one look after I was done and pronounced them “bad-ass”. That about sums them up!

Check them out at :)

Vaultzz 01-30-2010 02:35 AM

I was watching as you posted the separate pictures lol

Nice Job that looks factory made :appl:

ccain 01-30-2010 02:40 AM

Yeah Jerry! That IS Bad Ass! Great post!

Finally a Champagne flat fender kit on a Beer budget! That is an AWESOME write-up!

tiny terror 01-30-2010 11:58 AM

Nice, Jerry... where are the pictures of you working? I expected some skin. :D

Cool product, I like it.

Jerry Bransford 01-30-2010 11:58 AM

Very cool, thanks very much guys & I'm really digging them. I'm already getting lots of Jeepers pulling over to talk with me if they see me in a parking lot, the new fenders are attracting a lot of favorable attention.

Jerry Bransford 01-30-2010 12:00 PM


Originally Posted by tiny terror (Post 534317)
Nice, Jerry... where are the pictures of you working? I expected some skin. :D

Yeah I have one or two pics that Joe took of me working but sheesh, I think your husband gained access to my computer & photochopped them so my hair so it is pure white & made me look old. I decided to leave them out. :flipoff:

tiny terror 01-30-2010 12:06 PM

Old guys are hot.

balzer 01-30-2010 01:04 PM

Nice! I like those alot but at this point I dont think I could cut my jeep. Maybe someday.

05GT-O.C.D. 01-30-2010 01:08 PM

Bravo! :appl:

ccain 01-30-2010 01:18 PM


Originally Posted by balzer (Post 534369)
Nice! I like those alot but at this point I dont think I could cut my jeep. Maybe someday.

You could always buy a set of fenders from a salvage yard and cut them then hang your good ones in the garage if you ever decide to change back. Hell, I think even with a set of salvage yard fenders it's cheaper this way than a new set of tube fenders.

Just a thought.


Originally Posted by tiny terror (Post 534327)
Old guys are hot.

Yes we are! ;)

Bignuke 01-30-2010 01:49 PM

I love these.. Might be one of my projects someday..

wasurfer86 01-30-2010 01:58 PM

those look really cool

schnutzy 01-30-2010 02:13 PM

looks great, definatly sometihng i would look into. best part is you can mod ur factory flare to work with them, for those of us who have to worry about tire coverage laws


Yes, a modified OEM flare will work. The flare will need to have the front cut off, and the fasteners will need to be other than stock (along with new fastener holes drilled). However, by doing this, you can achieve more tire coverage if needed. Hopefully this can hold you out until we come out with a custom, matching flare.

cavediverjc 01-30-2010 04:41 PM

Can you guess what I'm getting with my tax-return money? Thanks Jerry, that's exactly what I'm looking for..... :punk:

thelightguy 01-30-2010 05:15 PM

awesome mod dude really impressed

SPDNJOE 01-30-2010 05:47 PM

Those look really nice. Nice write up too. Thanks for sharing.

ccain 01-30-2010 05:58 PM

Hehehe. I almost got tiny talked into them! :D

MCE Mike 01-30-2010 06:33 PM

My sponsoring vendor status is in the works, I hope the moderators don't get upset with me posting too soon..:eek:

Thanks a lot for the replies and kind words! Also, thanks to Mr. Jerry Bransford for all the time and effort he has put into the installation and write-up! The Jason, the other half of MCE (whom should be also posting up soon), could not have dreamed of a better write-up.

Here are some quick pictures that we took in the driveway today of the trimmed OE flare mated to the Flatty Fender. This was something that was critical to us when we were designing the fenders. However, there is more in the pipeline as far as tire coverage, etc. :redface:


Mike and Jason @ MCE

KawiTJ 01-30-2010 06:36 PM

definitly a nice inexpensive mod....maby some day for me. So much I want to do with so little money... but that comes with owning a jeep and school

KawiTJ 01-30-2010 06:45 PM

almost forgot...where can you get them?

MCE Mike 01-31-2010 11:57 AM

Hi KawiTJ,

Thanks for the compliment, and we know very well the struggle it is when you are in school to have money for toys. Heck, even after school other things come up that makes money for toys lower on the list!

Anyhow, right now, we have the fenders for sale on our website, Modern Classic Enterprises

Thank you all again for the compliments and the orders we have gotten! If there are any more questions, do not hesitate. :)



wasurfer86 01-31-2010 02:27 PM

the only thing i dont really like about them is that the inside of the wheel well is more visible. Attachment 15229
if my jeep was just a trail rig i would have ordered a set already. i like how it puts some CJ into a TJ:D

89PBR96 01-31-2010 02:34 PM

That is a cool modification great job man

FlG8R01TJ 01-31-2010 06:18 PM

DAMN great lookin..

MCE Mike 01-31-2010 07:21 PM

Thanks for the kind words. :)

wasurfer86 - you have a good point, I started cleaning up the inside of the wheel well :D This Jeep being my DD right now, it is really dirty from all the rain and road grime we have around here, lol.

Anyhow, I apologize for being in the driveway, but here are a couple pictures of the textured versions.


Mike and Jason

Jerry Bransford 01-31-2010 07:49 PM

Someone found a link for the amber LED side marker lights I used if anyone is interested. - HD40106R 4" Low profile CLearance / Marker light LED lights for truck, cargo & utility trailers, trucks and RVs

I used a Dremel cutting wheel to trim away the curved parts at the ends so it'd fit into the cutout. :)

tazmann910 01-31-2010 09:59 PM

Jerry, hell of a write up.

WAC, keep an eye out, I think a set of these will be in my future very soon. You cannot go wrong at the price.

May I suggest you put a package together similar to what Jerry did with the JK lights in the grill and the LED marker lights. Sell it as a complete kit.

Grill lights
Marker lights.

Again, I see these in my very near future.

Also I have passed on the website to all my club members that drive TJ's and I can totally see several of us running these flares.

Thanks for making a kick ass upgrade at a reasonable price.

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