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Detail Oriented
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2003 TJ came to me with 6" Bushwhacker pocket flares. They are ugly, beat, cracked, and missing a lot of hardware. One now is hanging on just barely to the tub.

They need to go.

Yesterday I CraigsListed a set of OEM flares from an '05 that was absolutely cherry, with under 35K miles on it. The paint was nearly flawless. The flares had been swapped out recently by the current owner. They are in great shape, looking close to new.

How do I attach them?

The seller had reused much of the Jeep hardware because his new flares came with crappy stuff that he did not trust. (Don't know the brand.) Regardless, I got no hardware for my flares. I do not think the Bushwhacker hardware will work. It is the exposed, mushroom-headed hex bolts. Maybe it will work, but some of it is missing.

Suggestions?

I will be taking off the beat Bushwhackers in an hour or so, if the rain stops. I can get a better idea of what I need at that time.

What I am looking for here is some experienced advice from some of you who may have removed and reinstalled your factory flares, for painting or bedlining or whatever.

Since my grille is bedlined and I will be doing that to my bumpers and rocker guards, I probably will do the flares, too, since they are off already. I am assuming that I should only do the exposed parts and not the inside edge or inside the flare itself. (I know. Stupid question, but I had to ask it.)

I have turned the archives here upside down looking for help on the hardware needed and all the threads that mention it just say to reuse what you have. And, of course, I have no hardware.

Oh, well...

Any help or part numbers would be great. So would videos that address this specific issue.

Sorry for such a lame question in the Tech forum, but I believe that it will get more serious consideration here than in the General Discussion forum.

EDIT: I fully intend on pulling both rear inner fender wells. Do I need to do this in the front, too?
 

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I have my fronts for free if you want. They're a little faded and scratched in places but no cracks, just pay shipping and the hardware/side markers go with.
 

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If you pull the inner fabric you'll have all sorts of more gunk going where you don't want it. Unless your reusing it all you'll need are the plastic mushroom keepers as the old ones break when removed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the link!

Okay, now that I have done the work I know exactly what I need. I can get most of it at Ace a few miles from the house.

However, eight holes (two per flare) are 100% inaccessible from the other side. I yanked the frozen nutserts through the sheet metal and they came our surprisingly clean, with only a small amount of hammer work to do afterwards.

I have read about a type of nutsert that works like a pop rivet, but that can be done completely from the outside. Is this true? I need some of these. I also read I would use a #10 size of these bad boys.

Where can I get them?

I assume that you press them through a drilled out hole and use the tool (or whatever) to crush them back toward you on the other face of the sheet metal, creating a solid, threaded hole for your bolt.

Links? I am not sure what the actual name of these things are, so additional help is more than welcomed.
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Additionally, while I had my rear fender wells pulled I drowned my stuck upper shock bolts in PB Blaster. I am hoping that this will finally free them. I did this from the underside for like ten days running. I may have cracked the rust on two of them, so maybe this dousing from above will get in there and allow me to finally replace those POS embarrassments. Fronts are good. Just the upper rears are stuck; typical...

The old stock flares look great and make the 4" lift look, well, like a 4" lift. The mondo giganto pocket flares droop way down and have a smaller opening than stock, so the stock look a lot better, IMHO.

I had about 2" of tire peeking out with the old Bushwhackers, and not have about 4", so we will sling some mud, but these are only temporary until I get tube fenders. (Christmas???)

My tub is trashed along the edges of my wheel openings; there are paint chips everywhere. After I get whatever I end up putting on this thing for good I plan to bedline (or at least paint) the parts of the tub that are within the flares. I think that would slow down that chipping and protect the metal from further surface rust.

I know this is common over on the JK side. (Get tube fenders. Trim pinch seam. Paint tub inside flares.)

Anyone done this on a TJ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Some photos of my mess from today. I don't know whether you can see the chipping to the paint. My tub generally has lame paint. I would like to fix that one day. But not today, I am afraid...
 

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I replaced all mine with stainless bolts and nylock nuts, if I ever need to get them again I know I can. Had to cut off most of the factory crap.
 
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