Car and Truck Fenders
When it's time to replace your vehicle's fender, you may decide to find an original equipment-manufacturer repair part. Alternatively, you may want to consider an aftermarket model so you can look at customizing your vehicle.What fender flare models are available?
A fender flare is required in most states and is an additional form of protection for both you and the vehicles around you. They prevent the tires from kicking up sand, rocks, mud, and other debris. The types include:
- OE - These flares are narrow and have a smooth surface, giving the protective part a sleek style.
- Bolt-on - Often used on antique or vintage cars and trucks, this style is wider and has exposed bolts.
- Cut-out - This over-sized flare allows you to customize and trim your fender. It can be up to 8 inches wide.
While it might be a good idea to have a professional install the new front fender, there are easy steps to follow.
- Remove - This can be done by opening your hood and removing the brackets to your front headlight assembly as well as your turn signals. Remove the assemblies to protect them.
- Fit - Use the car or truck's hood rails to determine how to align the new part to the car's body. If necessary, grind the fender lightly to make the weather-proof seal.
- Attach - Place the new part on the car and test for proper fit. You may need to drill new holes to attach it to the body. Check the clearance for your hood and front doors.
- Finish - Replace the headlight and turn signal assemblies and brackets. Verify everything is in working order.
After you've found a new fender for your vehicle, you can paint it to a desired look before mounting on your car or truck.
- Find the color code - This will be on the same sticker as your VIN and tire information. Write down the three codes you see and take to a car store.
- Prime thoroughly - Using 100-grit sandpaper, remove any debris or imperfections you see.
- Paint the fender - Use an auto spray painter to apply a base coat. Allow to dry for an hour. Apply up to three coats of the paint, drying an hour in between coats.
- Spray a protective coat - Mix a clear coat with hardener and spray to add a layer of protection and gloss.
- Buff the fender - About three days later, use 1500-grit sandpaper to very gently buff out imperfections. Rinse well after sanding and use an orbital buffer and compound.