Give Your YJ that Classic Flatfender Look
RKDGZJP Gets Flat(fendered) Short Cuts
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By: Randy L. Wheeler - 12/2000
Photos by: Author and Vance Anderson

Break out the Sawzall! It's time to Start Cutting!

Dcp01819.jpg (130499 bytes)
My "New" Flat Fender YJ.
fender_line.jpg (59712 bytes)
Fender flare cut line.
Pb180017.jpg (199484 bytes)
Trimming the fender flare.

Last month I installed a set of TJ flares on my 1991 Wrangler. TJ flares are larger and wider than stock YJ flares, thus increasing your tire clearance and overall tire coverage. Shortly after the installation, I ran the Rubicon trail with some friends of mine. On the first obstacle, my newly installed right front fender flare met up with an immovable object and almost became another casualty of the Rubicon. I soon realized that even though I installed the TJ flares to give me more tire clearance, I still needed additional front fender clearance, I needed to get flat, flat fendered that is.

After researching numerous print and on-line sources for this modification, I felt pretty confident about doing this project. The main question you have to ask yourself is how thin do you want to trim the fenders and flares. For my application, I chose a line that was level with the bottom of the front headlight bezel. This would be the cut line for the fender. Use a grease pen, permanent marker pen or a piece of tape for your reference line. Once the line drawn out, stand back away from the Jeep a bit and make sure the line is level. Remember, measure twice and cut once. For the cut line along the grill, I opted to cut the fender as close to the grill as I could and then went back with the grinding wheel and removed the remainder of the material so that the fender was cut off flush with the grill.

Pb180018.jpg (202532 bytes)
Grinding the fender and flare. Notice the difference in the stock fender on the left and the flat fender on the right.

Using a sawzall, slowly and carefully trim the fender along the cut line. I found it was easier to make the cut about 1/8-inch lower than the cut line and then go back with a grinding wheel and remove the excess sheetmetal up to the cut line.

For the fender flare, I decided to go with a tapered flare look by trimming the flare just above the stock side indicator light hole and taking the trim line down at an angle. I matched up the cut line on the fender with the cut line on the flare and used a sawzall to trim the flare. The sawzall made a nice clean cut line. Again, I trimmed within about an eigth of an inch of the cut line and then used the grinding wheel to remove the remainder of the material until you've got a nice straight line.

Dcp01737.jpg (105176 bytes) Dcp01820.jpg (120488 bytes) Dcp01821.jpg (123467 bytes)
Before........ ..and after. Flat Fender'd YJ!


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