A fender flare can add a stylish element to your car that can be a pleasing auto body aesthetic, as well as functional for oversized rims. And the good news is, it is a pretty simple process to add them to your fenders. To flare just about any fender, all you need to do is follow a simple set of steps and use several basic auto body tools. Below we take a look at the best way to flare any steel fender.
Step #1: Determine Your Spacing
Before getting started, you want to first determine how the fender flare is going to be spaced. After initially cutting the fender flare off of the car body, determine the offset of the flare and the spacing you need to ensure accurate flare symmetry on either side of the car. Then, using basic sheet metal, cut one inch long sheet metal strips by whatever width you want the flare to be, whether it be an inch, half an inch, three quarter inch, etc.
Using Eastwood's Aluminized Sheet Metal Kit can help you prevent any corrosion that may occur. Make sure to cut the fender on the outside of the edge to preserve the OE edge. The sheet metal pieces you cut will be tacked onto the fender on the top, forward and backward areas of the fender to ensure uniformity for all four fender flares.
Step #2: Cutting and Spacing the Flare
First, cut the outside edge of the fender using a body saw. When cutting, leave the lip at the bottom attached to the body of the car. Now it's time to weld the first sheet metal spacer in place on the top of the cut fender using a MIG welder. During this whole process, it's important to use clamps to hold both the bottom fender lip and the metal spacers in place. Then weld the other two spacers in place and grind them down with an electric grinder and flap discs so they are smooth and uniform with the rest of the fender flare. Now, it's time to fill in the spaces between each metal spacer with additional sheet metal pieces. It is important that each of these pieces are cut to fit the spaces in between and outside each of the three metal spacers. Using tin snips will help you shape the metal to those tapering end flare sections. Cut, file or sand each piece manually and/or with a belt sander until it fits each space perfectly. Having a sheet metal kit is very beneficial during this process since it has many of the tools and accessories you need to cut and shape sheet metal. Now, clamp the sheet metal pieces down, weld them to the fender, and grind the welds down until the whole flare is smooth.
Step #3: Finishing and Painting the Flare
Once all the metal is welded onto the flare, clean the whole area with PRE paint prep solution and a clean cloth. The PRE paint prep will help rid the surface of any dirt, wax, polish or grease that may accrue during your work. This step will ensure a quality paint finish. Next, sand and fill all of the areas of the fender you intend to paint. Prime to cover the entire area of the fender and your new fender flare before applying the paint finish – Tech Tip – Eastwood 2K Aerospray Epoxy & Urethane Primers are great for this task. Lastly, choose your matching paint, fill your paint cup, attach it to your HVLP auto spray paint gun, and start applying your finishing coats. Make sure to spray on your paint evenly to ensure that your paint coverage is even on the body of the car.
So go ahead, and flare your fenders today! For more DIY car tutorials, be sure to visit Eastwood.com.