Original Author: R. Cormier

Well, I'm sure you've read everywhere online and have heard that once you get
bigger tires, you should install TJ flares on your YJ. Is this really worth cutting at your tub to get you more clearance under the wheel well to stuff your big'Ol tires.
How much space can this really give you? How hard is it? Hopefully some of
these questions will be answered for you in this article.

Things you will need when installing TJ Flares on your YJ:

- 8mm wrench or 5/16 wrench. ( you can use a socket and wrachet, but doesn't always work as easilly)
- 1 pair of small lock pliers, or vise grips. ( hands get tired holding some of the plastic inserts)
- something to cut the metal with. (metal snips, grinder, jigsaw, or sawzall etc..)
- If your using a jigsaw or sawzall, extra blades.
- Drill and a small 5/16 drill bit
- Some masking tape
- Marker

Once I was able to find all my tools, tape and marker, I started the install.

The first step is to unplug the signal lights from the side marker lights on the front fenders(leave the screws there!). All you have to do is reach in there, twist and pull. (you'll see what I mean) they come out easy.

Next come the removal of the Stock YJ flares, this can be done by using the
8mm,5/16 wrench/socket and the vise grips. To do so, feel behind the fender well where the screws are placed. You should feel the plastic inserts that the bolts are screwed into. Hold this in place with your fingers, vise grips or lock pliers then unscrew the front with the wrench or socket. This is quite a long process (lots of bolts!!) and due to not all screws are 100% easily accessible (easier then the TJ's though).

After all these are out, there are 2 final screws that are still holding the flares in place. These are the same screws that hold the side marker lights in place. Hold the flare and remove the screws. Remove the flares and clean your fenders. You will notice lots of dirt and rust!!

For the rear, you will have the same steps as mentioned above minus the side marker lights and don't forget to clean the mud and rust from the fender wells. As you can see you can see tons of crap.

The next step is take out that Masking tape and tape up approx. where you are going to be cutting. You can hold the flare up in place to see where you are going to be putting it. Tape give a surface to mark on when placing the flare
and keeps the paint from pealing when cutting with the jigsaw or sawsall.

Now that it's all taped up, place the flares where you want to mount them, and with a marker, trace the underside of the flare on the tape. This is going to be the guide for your cutting line.

For example, my rear wheel is cut much higher. I was going to swap the right flare on the left side and the left flare on the right side. This would give me much more room, and best of all, I would be cutting out all the rust. Be careful and watch for the wheel well inside the Jeep so you don't cut over it.

The Next step is to cut. I had a few options to use here. 1st, the Jigsaw. I bought a couple blades for this. 2nd, a sawzall and 3rd a grinder with a cutting wheel. I started with the Jigsaw and in my opinion, worked the best out of the 3 and is so much easier to follow the lines and quick. I broke both blades I had though and didn't want to run back to the store to get more, so I tried the sawzall. I wasn't comfortable with that so finally, I used the grinder. That worked very well to my surprise.

Here are some pics of the fenders cut and I placed the flare in place, just to test fit and see if there is any more trimming to do. Wasn't too bad at all!! The body panel is made of 2 sheets of metal pressed together, once you cut them, if you have a welder, you can weld the seam of the body panel. It makes a cleaner Job if you reweld the it, but it's not necessary. If not and you do lots of muddin, the mud and dirt will get between your 2 panels and will rot from inside
out. So if you don't weld the seam, remember to try and clean it out as much as possible.

Before cutting in the rear, you should remove the plastic lining/skirting in the wheel wells. surprising, the wheel wells are still in good shape. The Skirting does a good Job. If you have some undercoating or rockerguard paint, this would be
a good time to spray the inside the wheel wells to make sure they stay in good shape.

To Remove the skirt, you will need a 3/8 or 7/16 socket, wrachet and extension. Below are some pics or the rear cut. As you can see, the actual cut line is WAY below the first line (my original Idea) to show you how much more I was going to cut, and will once I have more time. As you can see, it was getting dark out so I stopped here and continued the next day.

Once all the cutting is done, you will have to drill the holes. To do this, I used some metal clamps and clamped the flares in place. They held really well. I used a marker and put a dot in all the mounting holes of the flare. Once this was done, I removed the flares and was able to drill the holes with a 5/16 bit where the dots were, put the flares in place, screwed the bolts back up, reinstalled the skirting and all set to go. I also Trimmed for front of the rear flare to make room for my Rockers.

Something I did, since I was trimming the fenders and cutting metal, I ground the surface of the fenders about 2 inches or so to clean out where there was rust back to bare metal and sprayed it with some Rust Check primer, then sprayed the same section with rockerguard then mounted the flare. This should help prevent rust in these areas in the future and give some coating between the flare and metal.

Here are some pics of the flares installed on my Jeep. Much better then the stock YJ flares and there is finally room there for the tire. NO MORE RUBBING!!

Hope this article is helpful!

Keep it Jeep!