Preparing for 35s: Cutting the Fender Flares
When talking about adding bigger tires to the Jeep, I came across some information about what lift size you need for what tires and a long time ago I decided I was never going over a 35” tire so the most I would need would be a 3.5” lift. I was not getting new tires anytime soon back then and I thought a 3.5” lift would look odd on my factory tires.
I saw this note on the chart about getting bigger tires on a smaller lift with flat fenders and that got me thinking. I decided to go with a 2.5” lift with every intention on getting flat fenders to replace the stock ones when I finally got the bigger tires.
With finances changing, as the time came for me to get bigger tires, the money to get new fender flares was not there so I did what I always do and hit the Google machine. I found people cutting their stock fenders and it looked fairly good and fairly easy to do. There are two videos that I mainly used for a demo on this process and they are listed below.
As I got started, I taped out the lines and got to cutting the Passenger side. Here is something that I found out that I would have done differently. There is a fender support that is made from a REALLY tough composite material that basically destroyed the saw blade I was using. When I say “destroyed”, I meant that after half a fender, there were no recognizable teeth on the blade.
I took a step back and started looking at what I was doing and decided to unbolt and pull that support out. This was a GAMECHANGER! Not only could I cut the support back where I wanted it without worrying about cutting through the fender flare, I could also cut the flare like a hot knife running through butter without trying to cut that support and the flare at the same time.
On the driver’s side I took it out to begin with and ended up cutting it like this:
Then I taped off the fenders and started cutting.
It came out looking like this:
I really think it came out well, but I didn’t want to leave a rough edge, so I bought some door edging and covered the edges with it. I initially bought some matte edging from amazon that I thought would work better but let me say, just go get the stuff from your local parts store. It works a lot better. When I put the edging on, it was fairly cold outside, so I used a heat gun to make it soft enough to manipulate and the edging I used has glue in the middle and the heat may also help that attach to the fender.
There was one thing left to do and I have not seen too many people do this. I HATE any extra rattling or noises in the Jeep because I have enough of them already. The flare is separate from the support structure which could flap in the wind and hit the structure piece. I used some elevator bolts (mentioned in the Crawl TV video) to tie the fender to the support. This is not the BEST look but it will work for now. One day I plan to get some actual flares, but this will hold me over until that can happen.
Since I plan on getting new flares in the future, have any of you had experiences with flares you like or maybe flares I should not consider?