The following is a guest post from Jeff McAllister (@builtbycrown)
A little back history… Much like all my builds, when I began building the LJ, my goal was two-fold. Perform a light “restoration” and build it up along the way. A resto-mod to some degree. I’m a designer/artist by day and really accelerate with attention to detail and planning my builds thoroughly from top to bottom. The Jeep only had 51k miles and was in pristine shape when I found it last spring. With the LJ’s becoming harder to find and increasing in value, I fought the urge to stretch or cut it up too much so I’d have the ability to put it back to stock-ish if I wanted.
Fast forward to the body armor portion of the build, I had a fun getting creative with Motobilt’s parts. Bumpers, fenders and sliders were all Motobilt and bolted up to the Jeep effortlessly right off the pallet. For the rear, keeping in mind I didn’t want to cut up too much, I opted not to do full corners at this time. Instead, I modified the bolt-on fenders to “square off” my rear fender wells and cut just enough of the tub to stuff a 40” tire with just 3.5” of lift.
So, here goes my process…
Note: The black on the fenders shown is black primer as I was initially going down another path for paining. Once everything was fitted, I opted for satin black powder-coat. It should go without saying, don’t do your final finish until everything is fitted properly.
Customizing the Fenders:
- I worked on the rocker and rear fender in tandem as both take some finesse to get them to flush up against the tub. A few bolts held the rockers in place and the rear fender was clamped on as I dialed in exactly where I wanted it to sit.
- I moved the fender up to the inside seam and dropped it down about 1/8” so I had a little room for error or trimming.
- Next up, I trimmed the length and “notched” the rear part of the rocker to mimic how Motobilt did the front.
- Now its time to trim up the fender. For this I placed the fender face down on the workbench and took a measurement from where the fender ends and mounting surface/flange begins. I translated this measurement all the way around for uniformity. You’ll end up drawing a cut line through a few bolt holes and Motobilt’s logo.
- I used a cut-off wheel and tried to move pretty quickly to keep from warping things. Once done, a flap disk smoothed things out.
- I re-clamped it back on the jeep to get final fit and drew a cut line for jeep tub cut.
- Using a body saw, I was able to cut pretty easily. The places where there’s a sheet metal bracket, I hit with a cut-off wheel. At this point, you should have a nice large hole for your tire. I ended up taking one more pass, cutting of about 1/8” all the way around. This way the body would sit a little behind the fender without exposing the sheet metal edge. Before/after shows the difference in fender shape.
- Lastly, I drilled 8 holes in each fender, centering it between the mounting surface and used thick washers behind the sheet metal. After a final fit, they went to powdercoat and we remounted with black hardware.
We appreciate Jeff contributing this blog post and giving us a look at this very clean rig. Follow him on Instagram at @builtbycrown to see more shots of this Jeep.
Products in this build:
- Crusher Series Front Bumper w/ Bull Bar for Jeep YJ / TJ /LJ
- Rear Rock Crawler Bumper / No Receiver for Jeep CJ / YJ / TJ / LJ
- Rear Double Arch 2" Fender Flare Set for Jeep TJ/LJ (customized by Jeff)
- Full Length Rock Guards w/ step for 04-06 Jeep LJ
- High Line Inner Fender Kit for Jeep TJ / LJ
- High Line Flat Fender Set with 2 inch Flare NO Inner Fender for Jeep TJ / LJ