The jeepfan.com 2004 Jeep Wrangler TJ had factory fender flares that were really showing their age and 195,000 miles of abuse. There was no saving these old flares since they were so pitted, scratched and sun faded. It was simply a time for a new replacement set.
We chose a set of flares that matched the original Jeep installed ones. We really wanted a set of Rubicon TJ flares but they are no longer made by Jeep and no aftermarket vendor makes them. The beauty of the factory Rubicon TJ flares is that they are 1″ wider than the standard flare..just enough to cover a larger tire/wheel combination. The jeepfan.com TJ is not to far off from its factory look so wider aftermarket flares would be too much. In the end we decided to stick with the factory 3.5″ width.
We picked up a full set of nicely made and near exact copy OMIX replacement TJ flares from Quadratec. The OMIX replacement flares are nicely made and a near exact copy of the original Jeep flare. The set came complete with new screws, washers and plastic fasteners.
The Old Flares
Take a look at the old flares above. The scratches, pits and chalky/faded color are a result of road use and sunlight. Finally, we also decided to repair the rust on the passenger side front fender. Disclaimer: We are not body work experts so be kind.
OMIX Jeep Wrangler TJ Replacement Fender Flares
Like we said above, the OMIX flares are a near exact direct replacement and require no modifications to install.
Removal of the old Wrangler TJ Fender Flares
If you are lucky you can do this with an 8mm wrench and a pliers. We used pliers to hold the plastic nut on the inside of the body but a channel lock or similar will do. There are several of the fasteners for the flares that use a bolt instead of a screw, the bolt threads into a thread insert in the body. I most cases the thread insert with spin in the body making the bolt near impossible to remove.
It was very difficult to get access to the rear of the screws in the rear fenderwells so we removed the inner fender liners. Removing them isn’t too difficult and requires popping a few plastic retainers out. We found tons of gravel trapped inside the liners so the removal provides a good opportunity for some cleanup and rust maintenance.
Since our old flares were headed to the trash we just pulled the flare away from the stuck bolt and worked the bolt and its insert out of the body. We will use a left over plastic nut and screw to replace the old thread insert.
We touched up some surface rust under the flares as we moved along to slow its progress. The replacement Wrangler TJ flares went on smoothly after everything was cleaned up.
Fender Rust Repair
The passenger side fender is probably due to be replaced but despite this we decided to give some rust repair a go. After watching several YouTube videos we decided we were experts and went for it..nothing to lose here. Check out the Fender Rust Repair Article for more info on what we did.
Wrapping up the Job
All in all replacing the flares isn’t a terrible job, if it wasn’t for the pesky threaded inserts it could be done in a short amount of time. The end result is pretty obvious because the Jeep looks so clean without the old chalky and faded flares.