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41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was recently offered a set of used "pocket style bushwacker" flares for $100 and was offered $175 for my original Sahara 1998 flares and side panels ( the plastic ones that go where rock sliders would go)

I thought this sounded like a good deal not really knowing what the going prices for my original flares here in Puerto Rico so I decided to rip them out and sell them asap. I read a few guides both here and on the wrangler forum forums. I thought I had a good understanding on how to do them and almost all the guides said it would be a 2-3 hour project......

The tools I used where ( I hope I say the names right)

Size 8mm socket and ratchet
Flat head screwdriver
vise grips
Needle nose pliers
Grinder ( to remove some rivets, I should have used a drill but didn't have decent bits)

I don't know how to correctly describe this but there was some pins and 2 types of screws to be removed. The first two where simple plastic pins that had to be removed so I could shove my hand behind the plastic cover. I could have worn gloves but since I had to fidget behind there with out being able to see much I used my hands to feel my way around ( and get a couple of cuts and lose some skin off my knuckles...)

The first type of screw was the really random.Either I got lucky and they would come out easy with the 8mm ratchet or they would spin in place. These where installed into the chassis by a little metal sleeve. There are 3 per flare and are always the 3 closest to the door.

In the front flare its the 3 towards the back of the flare and in the rear flare its the 3 in the front of the flare. On the rear flare I could not reach behind them to grab the spinning cover ( the little sleeve that covers the screw). I had to resort to trying to pry out a little to make it unscrew, it worked half the time except on 3 of them I ended up ripping out of the metal sheet.
Not sure how to fix that .

On the front flare, I could reach the bottom 2 but the third one (the highest one) there was no room to grab it with the vise.

The second type of screw had a little square block, some I could hold with my fingers while I unscrewed them others I had to hold with the vise that I squeezed behind the plastic cover.

Screws 1,2,3 and 5 are the tricky ones with out the blocks. Screws labeled 4 where very easy to take out in the front flare as they was no plastic cover on it and easy to reach.

Before you start to remove the rear flare, make sure you loosen up the plastic cover. I messed up the plastic pin but its around $4 to buy new ones to replace the one I mashed up trying to get out. Not bad for something that has been sitting under my jeep for 16 years. Some OEM parts where made to last :)

Here is the tricky one I am referring to. I do not know what its called when its installed with that little sleeve. Almost all of them spun in place and I had to hold with the vice grip or pry out a little with screw driver ( I ended up ripping 3 out, 2 came out normally and 7 with either vice grips or screwdriver)

Here is the second type, these where not to hard to do if I could grab them with the vice grips or pin them in place with my fingers.

I was able to remove all 4 flares and the side flares ( Don't know what the long ones that go where rock panels go are called) Those had 5 or 6 of the tricky screws, I was able to grab them all with the vice grips but only if I removed my steps first. Those I removed with 10mm cup and there was 7 on each side. Once the panel was taken off there was a long metal strip that held the panel in place, I had to grind off 6 rivets ( I think they are called).

This took me close to 6 hours as this was my first time. Now that I have done it, I'm sure I can do it again in half the time. Next time I will be wearing my gloves. Its been 4 days and I still feel every single cut on my hands and there's at least a dozen of them :)

Good news I got the flares off, bad news the person who was going to buy them cant afford them yet and asked me to wait for a while and the Bushwacker flares I bought had a few issues.

First No logo anywhere, I'm pretty sure they are not originals.

Second I knew there was some damage with ripped out bolts but it was a lot more than I thought ( I bought them at night, big mistake, wont do that again since I didn't see them that closely)

And third they where covered in ticks. On our way home, I discovered that my wife found a tick on her arm ( She freaked out), I found 7 on me, we thought they had come from our house ( never happened before but we have 5 dogs so we assumed it was our fault ) so my wife flipped all the beds threw all the clothes in a big pile in the living room, I frisked all 5 of our dogs, trashed our room making sure there wasn't a single on in there, and 3 hours later gave up because we didn't find a single one in our house or our dogs. The next morning I decided to check my jeep and found it crawling in ticks. They where all over the "bushwacker" flares. Its cost me around $40 in pesticides and I have fumigated my jeep 7 times with foggers in the last 2 days just to be safe. I washed the flares very well, poisoned them a few times, then rewashed, hit them with a heat gun to bring out their original black color then resold them for the same price. They sold in under a day when I posted it online.

I ordered some TAG pocket flares for $200 , free shipping. Should have done this the first time.

Not a fun last few days.

Learned a lot of things though..

I also posted this on another forum I read.

41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The company I ordered my flares from online never charged me and never responded. I think the website is dead but the shopping cart still works. Ill find the link to the page I used and post it here. I have been driving around with out any flares for months now and my jeep looks horrible with out them.

I also learned that the things I ripped out are called nutserts and I can buy a $68 ish rivet style tool to insert new ones. Ill end up buying it as I want to install new flares and might need those replaced or relocated.

I found the website I had purchased the flares from ( well ordered, I never got charged) it was and the website is now down.

Mostly old school..!
12,149 Posts
Just fwiw, the plastic inner fender is very easy to remove completely. There's about 2 or 3 more of those plastic body fasteners in the front bottom and one on the inside (above the tire towards the rear. Once you pull those out, that whole inner fender will come out. Those fasteners are available at Ace hardware if you break some.
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