Mini-Project: Scratch-made JDM-Style Metal Flares

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I was debating on a bit of panel protection in the rears from stones, etc, and ran across the JDM flare thread a while ago...I do also somewhat like the esthetics of a bit of contour to match the front fenders too...nothing crazy, but just a little touch of "shape".

Example from the thread:

Fenders 1.jpg



I had a bit of steel leftover from all the patching, and a bit of time this afternoon, so thought I'd give it a go. My main goals:
  • ~1" slimline-style flare, along the lines of the impossible-to-find JDM flares
  • Metal
  • Removable / non-destructive to the tub/fenders
After a couple hours of fiddling, I think I'm on track, and it started to speed up a bit until dinnertime was calling. 😆 I did first try the true "JDM/OEM Style" where it extends down from the wheel arch, but I didn't really like it, so shifted to an "L" style that mates up to the vertical on the tub as well as the wheel lip instead.

I started with a ~2" strip bent to match the shape of the wheelwell lip, and then plasma cut a vertical piece of 16ga to match the opening and mate up against the tub, essentially making a T to work off of. I *should* be able to bolt the flares on with a few fasteners around the inner wheel lip, which I'm ok with. We'll see how they shape up, but I'm guessing either a rubber gasket (to prevent chafing) or some 3M panel tape where the flare meets the vertical part of the tub.

Aesthetically, been just "eyeballing it" as I go, but it did end up proportionally decent with the front fenders.

I'm still on the fence, but now is 100% the time to try something like this before it gets paint, and making them removable/non-altering also helps. Rain on the way tomorrow, so more time to putter in the garage waiting for drier weather so I can fling some paint...

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Another hour or two, and I got the passenger side shaped up. Needs a bit of trimming on the front lip, but otherwise not too bad. Debated widening that rear lip to remove some of the taper, but after mocking it up, decided not to. Driver side should go a bit quicker, now that I've learned what to do on the passenger side (and have a pattern to work from).

So far, I think I like it - should be pretty a pretty subtle modification that's in the spirit of OEM as they also be body color, but still easily reversed. I'm only running 255s, but they did run right out to the edges of the panel, so these should help trap a few of those rogue stones from the MTs.

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Took a bit longer to button up the passenger side - ended up releasing the inner plate that faces the body and "beveling" it inward a bit to help with fitment against the body...bit more clearance as you get further from the outer lip. Releasing it a bit also helped it keep some flex for fitment too...it's plenty sturdy with three sides welded vs all four. If you fully box it, fitment gets finicky right quick.

Did get it welded up and blasted...looked like a Mad Max version for a Texas Cadillac when upside down, though. :rofl:

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Good progress on the driver's side today - bit faster now that I know what I'm doing. 😆 Heavy humidity here, though, so ran out of steam...should be able to get it buttoned up tomorrow, though. Only a few more pie cuts and the upper lip, and some more welding and grinding.

They aren't too difficult to make, just a bit time consuming...I'm using an old outboard motor drive shaft as the "die" to bend the radius, so no fine tooling needed either. 🙃

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I’m actually working on something similar right now. I’ve never like the cut fenders on my 40 and wanted to take them back to stock. I was working on a set of fenders for my Jeep when I realized they were very similar in size and shape to the FJ40. I may shrink them a little bit to match the wheel size and look more stock

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Took a bit longer to button up the passenger side - ended up releasing the inner plate that faces the body and "beveling" it inward a bit to help with fitment against the body...bit more clearance as you get further from the outer lip. Releasing it a bit also helped it keep some flex for fitment too...it's plenty sturdy with three sides welded vs all four. If you fully box it, fitment gets finicky right quick.

Did get it welded up and blasted...looked like a Mad Max version for a Texas Cadillac when upside down, though. :rofl:

View attachment 2682638
.looked like a Mad Max version for a Texas Cadillac when upside down, though. :rofl:

Being from Texas with a "Texas Bought" FJ40, WITH a 1967 429cid Cadillac Engine fitted, I "resemble" that remark!! ;-}
Actually, tho.. the above pictured "flare" sure looks a LOT like an Armadillo I shot down in Thurber, Texas (off I-20 near Ranger!)
'cept his "horns" weren't that short!! ;-}
Charles 1974 FJ40.
 

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