Rear Fender Flares – Body
20. On the inside of your Jeep, remove the plastic panels lining the sides of the trunk area.
22. The bumperette’s mounting bracket (welded to the body) has three upward tabs. Since the bumperette will be cut down to fit the X-Max flare, you will no longer need the third tab, closest to the front of the vehicle. Use a cutting wheel to carefully cut off the front portion of the bracket, just past the middle tab. You will have to either grind or drill through the spot weld on the third tab, to release it from the body.
23. With the door flare still on, hold the rear body portion of the X-Max flare in place. Make sure to leave enough of a gap between the sections that the door will be able to open and close without rubbing.
24. Repeat the process of marking where the bolts will go, drilling 3/8” holes, and making sure the flare will fit properly. Déjà vu, right?
Replace the rear body fender flare, and mare the underside as well. Take the flares off again.
26. Mark another line, ¼” above the lines you just marked.
At this point it may help to explain what the plan is. Unlike the front fender, the rear fender consists of two pieces of metal—an inner fender and an outer fender—that are pinch welded together by the factory.
You’re going to separate the two pieces, and will need to re-attach them later on, for stability. That’s why we warned you, there’s going to be some welding.
The method we outline here makes the most of the existing metal, so you don’t have to add sheet metal. You’re going to cut away some of the outer fender, then cut and bend the inner fender up to meet the new edge of the outer fender. Make sense? OK, just keep following the instructions.
27. Cut the outer fender along the upper line you marked. Make sure you only cut through the outer fender wall. When you come to the portion of the fender that extends underneath the door, cutting along the upper line (¼” above the bottom of the flare) may get you close to
the edge of the door opening. That’s fine, just stay below the edge.
Cut vertical slits up into the metal, through the center of each pinch weld. Do NOT slit past your horizontal cut.
30. Between the inner and outer fender, and the front and back of the wheel well, cut out a long triangle notch, so that you can pound the inner fender outward, to give the wheel more clearance. This will also help make the inner fender meet the new edge of the outer fender.