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DIY TRUE BOLT ON Cheap Ebay Longbed Flares on a Shortbed!

Discussion in 'Technical Chat' started by Nimble9, Apr 17, 2020.

  1. Apr 17, 2020 at 3:08 PM
    #1
    Nimble9

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    Hi All, I recently did a bit of an experiment and thought I'd write a little how to in case anyone wanted to do the same. What I did was buy the cheapest fender flares I could on eBay for around $120 shipped at the time of me writing this and fit them to my truck. What I bought were LONG BED fender flares to fit to my SHORT BED. The cheapest short bed flares were well over a hundred dollars more, and I knew I'd be cutting them up anyways to I gave it a shot.

    [​IMG]

    I wanted flares because my stock ones were sun faded and had multiple broken tabs. Also, I'd have to cut them anyways for my wheels and bigger tires that are stuck in NYC amidst the Covid-19 outbreak.

    DISCLAIMER: This is a very specific install that I did. You may want to actually cycle your suspension and figure out what needs to be trimmed, however I'm only going to 34s so I didn't feel the need to trim too much. Use the information in any way that will help, as some of you might not even trim anything and will simply use this to convert your ebay flares to true bolt on.

    Parts Needed:

    Tools Needed:
    One last thing before I start, is I wanted to thank @tetten for his Bushwacker writeup which is what I used to get mine to fit.

    Remove Existing Fender Flares

    Here's a video for the rear flares: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-BctrACMKk

    Here's a video fro the front flares courtesy of @boogie3478 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRhTshBLkZc

    Wash and Wax your truck (optional)

    I decided that with the flares removed, it'd be an easy time to wash, clay bar, and wax my truck before I never see behind the fenders again. Plus I didn't want the trim on the new flares to rest against dirt on the pain and eventually make marks.

    IMG_4177.jpg

    Front Fenders Install

    I decided to start with the front fender flares, because I knew they'd be the same between long beds and short beds (duh).

    Don't be like me and learn the hard way, cut a panel of the box that the flares came in to lay down as your work surface to not scratch up your fenders.

    Next, Install the supplied trim on the flare first

    IMG_4249.jpg

    I then went ahead and made a little tool to mark where to cut to leave roughly 1" of flat part on the flare, and marked it after laying down painters tape.

    IMG_4272.jpg

    Using the jigsaw, cut along the line you made and then install the hardware on the fender the following way:

    - 5/16-18 1" Black Oxide Button Heat Bolt
    - 5/16 Black Oxide Flat Washer
    - FENDER FLARE
    - 5/16 SS washers that were supplied with the fenders
    - 5/16-18 SS nut
    - 5/16 nylon washer
    - TRUCK FENDER PANEL
    - 5/16 nylon washer
    - 5/16 Black Oxide Flat Washer
    - 5/16 -18 SS Nylock Nut

    Be sure to leave the second from the bottom hole empty, as that's the hole that needs drilled (Not Pictured)

    IMG_4266.jpg

    Place the fender on the truck

    IMG_4265.jpg

    Mark where the hole needs to be drilled with a sharpie. Pull the fender flare off and drill a whole in whatever way you want. I used a center punch, pilot hole, final hole. I used a round file to clean up the metal, and hit it with a little bit of paint for piece of mind.

    What I did next was lazy but worked. I put painters tape on the fender panel, and with the flare in place traced a line a few inches inside of the flare by holding a sharpie at an angle.

    I used a small angle grinder to cut the sheet metal away.

    IMG_4254.jpg

    After the sheet metal was done, I hit it with a little bit of paint and then bolted the fender on.

    IMG_4267.jpg

    Repeat for the other side and you're done!

    IMG_4258.jpg

    Also, if you haven't by now, a trimmed fender panel makes smashing the pinch weld flat much easier.

    IMG_4260.jpg

    Now, if you have fender liners and you don't want to trim the fenders or flare, you basically only have to drill one hole to get full bolt on flares. Although I can't attest to the inside part of the flares by the pinch weld and cab mount as mine have been modified for a long time now.

    Rear Fender Install

    So Here is the experiment part of this thread. Will long bed flares fit on a short bed? Also, to complicate matters, I have a high clearance rear bumper so my first step was to cut about 14" off from the bottom of the rear end of the rear flare. I then trimmed to fit later on.

    IMG_4269.jpg

    After holding the flare up to the bedside, it was clear that NONE of the holes would line up. I wasn't shocked, as these were made for a long bed.

    I installed the bolt in the front of the flare to hold it on one end and held the other end in place with painters tape to see what needed to be done next:

    IMG_4296.jpg

    I could see what this flare, was in fact a smidge longer. So I did what any red blooded American would do and shoved it into place to make it fit:

    IMG_4297.jpg

    What do you know, it "fits" The only change is that the bottom of the flare flexes outward which we'll address later.

    IMG_4310.jpg

    Well, with the flare in place, use that trusty sharpie to mark where the holes ought to be. Remove the flare. Then use a center punch to help aim the pilot hole drill bit against the curved surfaces and you'll be left with this:

    IMG_4299.jpg

    Follow through with the bigger drill bit and then clean up the holes with a file

    IMG_4298.jpg

    IMG_4301.jpg

    I'm lazy but I am against rust, so I used the instructions that came with the flares for the first time, by making a small hole in them that was bigger than the new hole in the fender.

    IMG_4302.jpg

    I then hit each each new hole with some paint

    IMG_4303.jpg

    and then sprayed the inside of the fender with rust inhibiting paint as well

    I then cut the flare to the height of my rear bumper, installed the supplied trim and installed the hardware the same way as the front flares:

    - 5/16-18 1" Black Oxide Button Heat Bolt
    - 5/16 Black Oxide Flat Washer
    - FENDER FLARE
    - 5/16 SS washers that were supplied with the fenders
    - 5/16-18 SS nut
    - 5/16 nylon washer
    - TRUCK FENDER PANEL
    - 5/16 nylon washer
    - 5/16 Black Oxide Flat Washer
    - 5/16 -18 SS Nylock Nut

    Also don't forget to install the stock screw on the bottom.

    I didn't install any screw on the underside of the flare, as obviously none of them line up. Also in my case I'm figuring this fender will be trimmed more in the future anyways. The rear looks like it doesn't line up in the photo, but it's just the lighting.

    IMG_4312.jpg

    The last step is to trim the part of the flare that flexed out when the flare was positioned into place:

    IMG_4307.jpg

    IMG_4308.jpg


    You'd have to look really hard to know that the rear was modified.

    Here's a shot after all of the work was done:

    IMG_4293.jpg

    Well I hope this helps someone out there, and if you have any questions about my poorly written DIY steps let me know!
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2020
    mtbkr, Key-Rei, deanosaurus and 11 others like this.
  2. Apr 17, 2020 at 3:10 PM
    #2
    Nimble9

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    Also if you are are installing the trim lok, two things make the install a breeze.

    A little roller I had from sound deadening my car made installing the trim on the fender panel much easier because you could apply force to the trim evenly and basically roll the trim on. You just have to get it started and then push with the roller along the edge and you're done.

    IMG_4427.jpg

    The next thing that helped installing the trim on the fender flare was foaming soap! When a bottle gets too low to be used in the house, I fill it with water and use it in the garage and it was perfect. A little bit of soapy water and the trim slid right into place.

    IMG_4428.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2020
  3. May 8, 2020 at 9:33 PM
    #3
    Newlife

    Newlife Well-Known Member

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    Finally. Thanks for the write up. Did you cut your bed sides prior to installing? Mine are cut but I can still make these work.
     
  4. May 8, 2020 at 9:35 PM
    #4
    Nimble9

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    yeah I’ve had a HC bumper for a while now. I don’t mind drilling into the body so I figured with all the wheeling true bolt on flares make more sense!
     
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  5. May 8, 2020 at 9:38 PM
    #5
    Newlife

    Newlife Well-Known Member

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    All my flares are bolted on now but they look like trash lol. Just ordered the flares now that it’s been confirmed they work. Working on the bolts and misc items as well.
     
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  6. May 8, 2020 at 9:40 PM
    #6
    Nimble9

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    awesome post up how they turn out!!
     
  7. Jun 10, 2020 at 6:04 PM
    #7
    Nimble9

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    Ever install the flares you got?
     
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  8. Jun 10, 2020 at 6:14 PM
    #8
    Aardvark13

    Aardvark13 Sultan of Squeeze, Wizzard of Slide

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    I’m watching, @Newlife.. lol. I am excited about this one also.

    OP, how much, if any do you think these stick out further than oem on the sides?
     
  9. Jun 10, 2020 at 6:28 PM
    #9
    Newlife

    Newlife Well-Known Member

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    Just see mine in a week or two. They’ve been in the building for a while just bigger things going on to get time to cut them lol

    when I placed them on the truck they were about an 1” out further than my current flares. But that’s pre cut
     
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  10. Jun 10, 2020 at 6:30 PM
    #10
    Newlife

    Newlife Well-Known Member

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    No they are all sitting in the box in my building with all the hardware from McMaster Carr. That will be my next weekend project
     
  11. Jun 10, 2020 at 6:36 PM
    #11
    Aardvark13

    Aardvark13 Sultan of Squeeze, Wizzard of Slide

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    Well hopefully you don't lose too much of that. Its funny I have been combing the web the last couple weeks looking for exactly this. Looking forward to seeing how yours come out!
     
  12. Jun 14, 2020 at 4:22 PM
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    Nimble9

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    2” I think from the listing


    I’ve gotten a ton of compliments on them

    7744C5CC-F852-42E4-A431-0DD05BA6F02D.jpg

    726F0BB4-88EC-429D-886B-A5E5740CA940.jpg
     
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  13. Jun 24, 2020 at 8:44 AM
    #13
    Aardvark13

    Aardvark13 Sultan of Squeeze, Wizzard of Slide

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    Any idea what the difference is in fender flares between 2005-2011 and 2012-2015?
     
  14. Jun 24, 2020 at 8:53 AM
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    Nimble9

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    I"m pretty sure it's just that front part that goes on the front bumper
     
  15. Jun 24, 2020 at 8:55 AM
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    Aardvark13

    Aardvark13 Sultan of Squeeze, Wizzard of Slide

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    That would make sense. Awesome, thanks. I am glad you created this thread, its great info!
     
  16. Jun 24, 2020 at 8:57 AM
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    Nimble9

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    Thanks! I always wanted to see if I could make long bed flares work because for some reason they are so much cheaper!
     
  17. Jun 28, 2020 at 10:54 AM
    #17
    Newlife

    Newlife Well-Known Member

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    Don’t be me. D3220335-3741-49F9-8910-44B70C0C2D36.jpg

    don’t bolt your own flares on when you kept breaking clips.
     
  18. Jun 28, 2020 at 10:55 AM
    #18
    Newlife

    Newlife Well-Known Member

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  19. Jul 12, 2020 at 3:28 PM
    #19
    Aardvark13

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    Ok had a nice flex today and thought my passenger side front oem flare was gonna rip off, so these are officially on order.
     
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  20. Jul 13, 2020 at 5:08 AM
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    Newlife

    Newlife Well-Known Member

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