FJ fender cracks and a question

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I went and drove a nice used FJ today. It had about 2 inch crack in both sides in front of the hood shock mounts. Other than that it drove great and everything worked like it should. Is there an aftermarket fix for these cracks or am I on my own fabricating a patch ? This appears to be not a quick fix. The size of these cracks made me walk away. It was an 08 with under 100,000 miles and appeared to have not been used hard.
 
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Can I plate this area on one with no cracks ? I was thinking of getting ahead and adding a stiffener that overlaps to the inside
 
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Couple FJ buddies I wheel with have pre-2010's with the fender cracks and wheel them HARD and it doesn't see to hurt anything. That having been said, when I bought mine I made sure to get a 2010 or newer when I got mine because thy fixed it that year.
 
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I found reports of 2010 and newer also cracking but to a much lesser extent. Also the fender support itself appears to have been redesigned at least twice. looking over at the FJ forums and reading through pages of a few threads it appears to be probably a 15% with some issue maybe a hair more on the older ones. This is my best guess. I have looked at a few so far and only seen one cracked and one bulged. Although I did not check a couple of early ones I looked at
 
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If you look at the factory dimple right in front of the hood shock mount the cracks start right there. The one I looked at Saturday had cracks running vertically from the dimple downward. I did not grab pictures. Underneath from what I can tell they crack from the underside as well along the lower edge. These cracks were completely though the metal and not just a surface crack.
 

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Mine started early around 2007 and I ignored it for 10-11 years. Eventually went to a dealer body shop and had the core support and both inner fenders replaced. Around $3K. Didn't do any exterior panels, so paint match wasn't an issue. But, it took 10 years for it to be a problem and I tend to wheel pretty hard.
 
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I looked at some of the blue room threads. I am surprised there seems to be no real solution. Usually the aftermarket steps up on this kind of thing
 
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Mine started early around 2007 and I ignored it for 10-11 years. Eventually went to a dealer body shop and had the core support and both inner fenders replaced. Around $3K. Didn't do any exterior panels, so paint match wasn't an issue. But, it took 10 years for it to be a problem and I tend to wheel pretty hard.
Was the problem you mention simply visual or were there noticeable symptoms?
 

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When it started to really fail, the inner fenders were dropping and it affected the radiator core support. My hood latch was not "fixed" and the hood would move up and down (though it was secured in the latch). The outer fenders showed no visible signs. I lived with it as long as I could stand it. I always said I would drive it until the fenders fell off. . .well, they almost did. Not the battery sits on the front of the driver side inner fender. I also have a large ExtremeAire compressor sitting on my passenger inner fender (where a lot of folks put a second battery). That weight contributed to the failing, I'm sure.

1) Driver side
FrontApron2017 (1).JPG


2) Passenger side
FrontApron2017 (3).JPG


3) Hood latch area
FrontApron2017 (2).JPG
 
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When it started to really fail, the inner fenders were dropping and it affected the radiator core support. My hood latch was not "fixed" and the hood would move up and down (though it was secured in the latch). The outer fenders showed no visible signs. I lived with it as long as I could stand it. I always said I would drive it until the fenders fell off. . .well, they almost did. Not the battery sits on the front of the driver side inner fender. I also have a large ExtremeAire compressor sitting on my passenger inner fender (where a lot of folks put a second battery). That weight contributed to the failing, I'm sure.

1) Driver side
View attachment 2008197

2) Passenger side
View attachment 2008199

3) Hood latch area
View attachment 2008198

Thanks for the further insight on this. Looking at your photos and just ran out to check for any signs of cracking near the hood latch. Mine is fine so far.

Original owner must have made a repair, not sure who or how they did it, but looks like preventative maintenance from original bulges.

The person I purchased it from stuffed the passenger side wheel into the fender well, which destroyed the integrity of the original repair on the passenger side. Drivers side repair is still intact.

Having gone through the full replacement, do you think there is preventative maintenance that could have been done or is the only solution waiting until the fenders fall off?

My plan is to leave the drivers side alone while I explore a fix for the passenger side.

2008224
1) drivers side intact repair

2008225
2) passenger side damaged repair
 

BMThiker

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Oh yeah, this may have contributed to the acceleration of failure 🤣 along with other more serious problems immediately upon completion of the stunt.

MK16_RMarquez (22).jpg
 
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And there you have it!

















Full Faceplant! You can see me wincing v v v
View attachment 2008253
Oh wow! That looks like fun! Good thing you had the hard hat on.

Well as a preventative measure, I plan on learning from your photos and will attempt to not do that. Can’t say I’ll feel the same way once I’m out in the dirt.

My repair idea is to take a BFH to straighten out the bulge, weld the seam back from the wheel well side with possible plating and, apply seam sealer.

I’ll see how that works out and pay attention for any cracks around the hood latch area.
 
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