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Fender Trimming Tips

Fender Trimming Tips

Article/photo's courtesy of
CK5.com
If you own a Blazer or Jimmy with oversize tires and wheels you probably have experienced the sound of your tires rearranging your sheet metal. In my case I am running a 4" lift with 35x12.5 tires on a 10" rim with sway bar disconnects and did not want to lift the truck any higher, the remedy was to trim the fenders to allow full articulation of the front tires from lock to lock.

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I must warn you, this is not for the faint of heart, especially if you are taking the saws-all to a later model truck. In fact I had a friend who was very comfortable with a cut-off wheel and a saws-all do the cutting mainly because I didn't want to mess my own truck up. I asked Greg if he was comfortable with hacking my truck to pieces and he informed me that it was no problem because it wasn't his - OK, by this time I was really nervous.

I decided to go for the full trim and not just a little off the corners because I would be seriously off-roading and did not want to have any problems in the future. The first step was to remove the chrome wheel trim and mark where I wanted to make the cut.

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We used duct tape to mark the cut pattern and a cut-off wheel to cut through the outer fender. Next a saws-all was used to cut the thicker inner fender to match the cut made to the outer fender. Once the cuts were made the inner fender was pounded back to meet the outer fender and a final cut was made to match up the two fenders.

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To fill in the small gap that remained, we sprayed it with rubberized under coating from Pep Boys and later sprayed the entire wheel well. At this point you could also weld the two fenders together and even have a body shop weld a fender lip on to the newly cut fender for a truly professional look.

One problem that was discovered was the outer fender was now loose because it was no longer bolted to the inner fender. We utilized a bolt that was in the lower part of the fender (left over from previous owners running boards) to bolt the loose outer fender to the inner fender floor pan (this will not be needed if the two are welded together).

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Last but not least was to trim the front of the fender, this was quite easy by duct taping the cut line and then cutting both the inner and outer fenders at the same time with a saws-all. At this point it was midnight on a Friday night and one of Greg's neighbors called the Police on us, (it's amazing how a saws-all cutting metal echo's down the street) so we drove back to my house to finish the other side.

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The next week I went four wheeling with the sway bars disconnected and experienced no tire contact at all, in fact I could easily mount 36" tires and not have a problem.

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