Perhaps, you like the rounded style of Jeep Wrangler TJ fender flares, or you want larger wheel wells after installing larger tires on your YJ.
But, you must have given a second thought to this part mixing to determine if they will fit in without any problems.
To get a practical answer, I purchased TJ fender flares to see if I could install them on my 1996 YJ.
In the rest of this article, I’ll be revealing what I found out and what you should know before you make such consideration.
For a quick one, the wheel sides of both the YJ and the TJ are flat, so the fender flares will fit in if all you want to swap are plastic flares.
However, the bolt holes and other bindings are a little different, as well as the side marker on the YJ, which mounts to the metal. This means that some tweaks and modifications are required to successfully install TJ fender flares on a YJ Jeep Wrangler, such as cutting sheet metal.
As we progress in this article, more in-depth details will be given, so I encourage you to read on to find out more.
Now, as you know, Fender flares for jeep wranglers vary as per the models they’ve been built for, even though they’re all stylish and perform the same function of preventing water and debris from hampering the body of your vehicle.
To get cracking, let’s look at JWs fender flares, their purpose, sizes of the YJ and TJ and a step-by-step guide on how they can be substituted for each other in terms of installment.
What are Fender Flares?
Fenders are one of the many critical components of a vehicle and are installed in cars, jeeps, trucks, motorcycles that shield the wheel well.
The regular fender is installed to protect the car from dirt and debris thrown up by the wheels while driving.
But fender flares go beyond that as it is installed to suit heavily offset or oversized wheels and tires, as seen in Jeep Wranglers to function as extra coverage.
Not only this, but Fender flares are also instrumental for giving your vehicle a stylish and flamboyant appearance to indicate a limited edition or vehicle production line, as we see for YJs, CJs and TJs.
There are numerous styles, sizes, and variations of fender flares. Some do not need any cutting or hole creation since they’ve been designed from the factory with preexisting holes to fasten securely to the vehicle’s body.
What is the main purpose of fender flares?
Fender flares are additional coverage to your vehicle’s wheel wells.
Imagine a scenario where you installed larger tires and there is no enough room for that.
The best approach to solve this will be to install a set of wider flares that will increase your tire clearance and add bolder aesthetics. Overall, the primary purpose of installing fender flares is to prevent the wheels, usually large ones, from throwing rocks, sand, liquids, and other road particles into the air as you drive
Can you put TJ fender flares on a YJ
The short answer is Yes.
TJ Flares can be installed on JW YJs, but one will have to do some modifications to be done successfully.
Given that the angle of the very front of the fender on the TJ’s is slightly different than the YJ’s, it is very easy to predict that the fender flare will not line up perfectly with the body lines. But the following procedures will put you through every step of the way
How to install TJ Fender flares on a YJ
It is timely to note at this point that TJ flares come with some alignment tabs that need to be gotten rid off before mounting them on the body of your YJ.
So, to successfully install TJ Fender flares on a YJ, observe the following steps:
Step 1: unmount the stock flares from the body of the vehicle and the liner inside the fender well.
Step 2: You want to make sure the surface is cleaned to eliminate debris and grease that must have accrued on the surface.
Step 3: Now that the alignment tab and the lip are unmounted, the next step is to mock up the flare to the vehicle
Installing the Front fender flare
This is the most critical part of the process for installation because you can’t compromise the inside fender well wall.
So hold the TJ fender flare to the position you want to fix it to on the vehicle’s body, then use a grease pencil or marker to trace around the inside of the flare.
Next, trim the sheet metal according to the line drawn by the marker using a grinding wheel with a cut-off blade, and clean up blurs if they surface.
After the sheet metal is cut, place and hold the TJ fender flare in position again, but this time to indicate where the binding holes need to be drilled through the flare and the vehicle’s body. With that, you’d be able to fix the flare firmly to the body without problems correctly.
Installing the rear fender flare
There is not much difference between the front installation and the rear. In this case, you want first to unmount the alignment tab and the lower lip from the flare, as mentioned earlier.
The instruction remains to create a mock-up of the flare to the body using the marker or grease pencil.
Make sure you position and mount the flare about 2 inches below the top edge of the fender accordingly so there won’t be a problem drilling the holes.
Also, I recommend you paint the surfaces where you make cuts and trims and drilling so that the result comes out as a satisfying look and to avoid rust. Once everything is in place, use stock screws and plastic nuts to bolt the flares accordingly and firmly
So, yes, you can put TJ fender flares on a YJ, and it may surprise you to know that many YJ folks are also considering this as you.
It’s often to create a wider wheel well for installed tires that appear bigger.
But as we have seen so far, TJ fenders won’t just fit outright to YJs as there is a need for a bit of tweak and modification, which has been detailed in the article above.
I hope you found this article helpful. If any part of the process didn’t seem clear to you, please hit me up via the comments