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Remove the stock rear fender flares.
Measure and mark the fenders carefully!
You will need a permanent marker of contrasting color, a pair of scissors to cut out the templates, a narrow flexible tape measure, a 1/2" or 13mm wrench and a medium sized standard screw driver.
First the rear fenders. Let's start at the rear. Step one we need to locate the center of the fender well. On the crew cab this is easy since there is a hole for mounting the stock flare right at the center point.Now find the center of the inside lip of the flare to be installed. This will be used to align the flare for mounting later.
Next find a fairly narrow flexible tape measure. Hook it underneath the sheet metal under the bottom of the fender , wrap it up to measure the upper most point of the cut. This is 12 3/8" for the rear of the rear fenders. Make a mark. At the lower body measure from the point where the fender rolls under above the fender brace bolt. From the well opening measure back 1 1/4" and make a mark. You then use these two marks and the template to line out the cut to be made.Align the template from the top and keep it even with the inner fender edge. Don't worry that it does not go all the way underneath. Trace cut line. Do the same for both sides.
For the front of the rear flare we use the same system. Measure up 12 7/8" and at the base mark forward 1 1/4". The template used on the rear is exactly the same as the rear. Line up the marks and trace the cut to be made.
For the front fenders the measurements are done the same by hooking the tape underneath and measuring up to the fenders lip. For the front this point is 13 5/8" up and 1 5/8" back at the bottom. Again trace the template. The top should about line up with the factory hole in the inner fender lip (see red circle in photo)
Now remove the three rearmost inner fender bolts and loosen the rest. This will allow you to squeeze in and remove the foam piece between the fender and cab, as well as the two lower clip retained threaded sleeves for the lower inner fender bolts.
All of this will take about 30 minutes.
Here is the fun stuff. Get ready to cut. You will need a recriprocal saw, also called a Sawzall with Three bi-metal 24 tooth per inch or finer blades, 3/8" drill with two 1/8" bits and one 5/16" bit, Three pairs of vise grips or other suitable adjustable clamps, A flat and half round file, small 1/8" blade standard screw driver, left and right hand tin snips,T45 torx bit and driver, 14 - 1/8 steel poprivets, bare metal primer, A heat gun will also be handy , but probably not required, four dozen 1/8" Phillips flat top washer head self tapping sheet metal screws, 7 yds. asymmetrical edge trim, 7 yds. 1/4" emblem adhesive tape, one tube Superfast dry window-weld urethane, caulking gun, nitrile disposable gloves.
(Mechanics use the nitrile disposable gloves instead of latex since latex does not do well with solvents. They run under $10 per box of 100 *not medical grade. The Superfast Urethane is windshield adhesive and both are available through your local autoparts store.)
We are going to make only one cut. Get it right the first time. It really isn't all that critical as adjustments can be made.
The first thing that you need to understand is that this is a cut ... NOT removal of metal! The cut just allows you to slide the piece back inside the fender.
Rear fenders: Start at the back starting from the bottom cut upward following the line you marked with the template. Stop at your top marked point. DO NOT CUT THROUGH THE FENDER LIP! Leave it attached at the top by the inner lip.
Next deburr the edges and prime them. This can be done with a spray can, or brush/sponge. Now remove the fender brace bolt. Shift the loose piece inside the rear fender until it aligns with the cut edge. Use the small screw driver to pry outward at the very top of the cut. This will relieve the transition and let it to fit better. At the mid point drill a 1/8" hole and pop rivet the pieces together. Then drill another hole lower in the recessed section of the lower fender. Now clamp the innermost bottom of the two pieces together so that you can drill a 5/16" hole for replacing the fender brace bolt.
Front cut on rear fender: You will need to remove the fender brace bolt , bend the brace to a position where it will not be cut, and for the driver side pull the plastic inner cover out far enough that it will be clear as well.
The cutting is much the same. Cut to your upper mark, without cutting the inner fender lip.
The cut piece is larger than the fender now, so we need to remove 1/2". Start at the bottom 1/2" back from ther cut on the loose piece, with your tin snips and cut upward 4" to nothing.
Now deburr the edges , prime and slip the rear part in behind the front. Again use the screw driver to relieve the top of the cut. Align and drill the hole for riveting at the mid point and again below it in the recess.
Now you will need to twist the inner fender brace 90 degrees so that it will fit inside the small area to be braced. For the driverside you will also need to clip the tab where the stock hole was in the plastic shield as it will now be excess material. slip the plastic under the brace push it up into the fender and drill a 5/16" hole so that the brace bolt will line up with the threaded brace. You may need a 8mm x 1.25 tap to rethread some of the holes. It worked pretty well to get things aligned too.
The back is ready for sealer, so lets move to the front now.
The cut requires a little "finesse" You need to angle the blade slightly forward to miss the inner piece of the cab, and miss the second inner fender bolt hole as it reaches the top. The main thing is to get the outside cut right. Some trimming can be done to the inner cut if needed. Cut to your top mark , again not cutting through the fender lip. You may have to stop and remove some of the loose pieces as you cut.
Next you will need to use the tin snips to trim off the lower pieces at the point where the two pieces meet. This will allow the piece to fit inside the rear of the fender. You will also need to cut a portion of the inner piece to clear the bolt and capture nut that can be seen inside the rear of the fender.
Again deburr and prime the bare metal. Then push the piece inside the rear of the fender until the edges align. You will find that the lip is tipped back athe the mid point. Don't worry, just align the bottom as best you can. trim the inner piece as needed to get it back where it needs to be. Use the screwdriver to pry out the top of the cut a little for a good alignment.
When you are happy with the fit drill a 1/8" hole at the mid point and pop rivet. At the mid point of the recess below that drill and rivet again. Now use your vice grips to clamp the very bottom pieces together and drill a hole for riveting them together.
This is the total metal removed from all fenders combined-
Next repeat all of these steps for the other side. This will take between 1 1/2 and 2 hours per side. Should work out to about 3 hours total since it will go faster for the second side.
Now that all fenders are ready , put those nitrile gloves on and smear the urethane over all the cracks and crevases. This will seal and "glue" everything together. Do both the outside and inside as best you can. A dab on the rivets would be a good idea too.
Let all that dry. The fast dry urethane sets in a couple hours depending upon temperature and humidity.
Use a hammer and prybar to push the inner fender well back to line up with the back of the fender and allow for better clearance. Drill an 1/8" hole to hold the inner fender to the rear of the fender and attach it with a self tapping sheet metal screw.
At this point you could almost go without the flares. A little spray on bedliner from the bodyline down and it would look just fine.
Once the urethane has set up we can start fitting the flares
Remember those center marks on the rear fender and flare that you made in the beginning? Use them to align the rear flare push in firmly and clamp the inner lips together to hold it at the center point. Mark any areas to be trimmed for a close fit. the flares are not perfect and do require some filing to straighten , as well as some rounding at the body lines. A little gap is inevitable, but the edge trim will cover the gaps that are less the 1/8" pretty well. Some spots at the the body line may never be perfect. do the best you can.
For the front flare you will need to start at the front. You will need to pry down the plastic piece at the front of the fender so that the flare fits underneath it. Hold it firmly and working to the back clamping at least twice to hold it as you check the fit, trimming and filing as needed for a good fit. They are tight and almost a little small, but do the best you can to get a nice tight fit, evenly spaced in the fender body line. the rear portion of the flare should almost meet the rear fender / door gap.
Timing here is a little tough to guess since I'm not sure how much trimming you flares will need. Mine were pretty rough and I probably spent about 2 hours fitting them.
Now that the flares fit to your satisfaction it is time to apply the edge trim.
I used an asymetrical edge trim. The inner lip is longer than the outer, exposed lip. Start at one end and apply the trim to the flare. Notch the inside of tight corners and cut to length. Remove it and set it aside. It is held in place by 1/4" wide foam adhesive tape. This is availabe through an autoparts store as emblem tape adhesive.
Apply the tape to the inner edge of the flare leaving the red backing in place until we are ready to apply the edge trim. Don't worry if it bunches a little on the tight corners.
Peel off the red backing tape and apply the edge trim pressing firmly as you go.
We have made it all this time without removing the tires, but now is the time for that. Jack it up and support the frontend with safety stands. Remove the tires.
Now we can finally install the flares. Start at the front and slip the flare under that little plastic piece so that it fits tightly to the fender.
Working carefully to the rear , push in and clamp the flare in place.
Now starting at the front feel for the depth of the inside lip and drill 1/8" hole for installing self tapping screws about every 6" working to the rear.
The bottom of the flare may require some heating to push it up against the bottom of the fender and drill a hole to screw it to the fender.
You will need ten screws for each front fender, including the one you installed to hold the inner fender well.
repeat for the other side , then reinstall the tires and jack up the back end.
Rear flare installation:
Remove the tires and support the rear with safety stands.
Remove the fender brace bolts.
Time to use those center marks again. Line them up and push the flare in firmly while clamping in place. Add another clamp to a mid point on either side.
Starting from the center drill and screw 6" apart working to the rear, making sure that things fit tightly. Then go back to the center and work forward making sure the front of the flare lines up properly.
This will require eleven screws for each side on the rear, plus as many as four to install in the bottom of the flares.
If there is enough material drill a hole for the fender brace bolts to hold the very bottom of the flares. If there is not enough material then drill a hole for a self tapping screw.
Replace the fender braces and bolts.
Now you may have some ill fitting areas at the bottom of the flares. Heat them carefully and use a putty knife to form them back into shape.
Repeat for the other side and you're done.
Installing the flares took about 2 hours.
The whole job should take somewhere between 6 to 8 hours to complete. Give yourself a whole weekend just to be safe and take your time.
With a 2" bodylift there is over 1.5" of clearance between the 31x10.5-15 tires (actual diameter 30.7") at the tightest point now. This is with 4.75 inches of rear spacing.
As you can see there is plenty of room in the rear as well.
The finished product-