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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I really don't like giving other people money to do things that I can do... The process is pretty straight forward. The raw materials are readily available. Now it just takes time and dedication to the task.

For the most part I ride on rocky trails but there are times when we get into the muck just because that's the best way through. With the agressive tires I have, I found that they would deposit massive quantities of the muck all over the place. Wive's are not thrilled when they get pelted with clods of dirt either - so I started on the most important side first and the hardest. The right front.

There is not a good place to mount plastic flairs on the front. I neglected to take pictures of the 1x1-1/16" x 4' aluminum angle bracket that I formed for the task. I will take better pictures when I do the left front and post them here.

The rear flairs should be easier since the mounting surface is more consistent with what is needed.
The plastic was purchased from Speedway Motors. It is .110" thick and in easy to manage 22" x 10' roll.
You can also buy the 3/16 large pop rivets and backup washers from them.
Tools are Right and Left Pro-Snips, pop rivet tool, files, hammers and clamps.
I made my template from scrap cardboard and then transferred to the plastic where I cut along the lines with the snips.
A little black paint and some green nail polish hides the rivets pretty well.
More pictures as the project progresses, but I thought I would get started posting my progress..
I will edit and post links to materials if you need them.

plastic---
http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Colored-Plastic-Rolls-10-Ft,1557.html

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Discussion Starter #2
More pics
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More pics coming as I do the other side - then the rears
 

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looks nice ;) I like the back-sweep angles you cut into the front side, seems to go well with the existing contour of the front end.
did you heat / bend the plastic first, or did it just form to the shape you needed as you installed it?
 

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Looks great BF
 

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great job , looks good
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys!! :)


looks nice ;) I like the back-sweep angles you cut into the front side, seems to go well with the existing contour of the front end.
did you heat / bend the plastic first, or did it just form to the shape you needed as you installed it?
Thanks! I wanted to make something that would appear complimentary to the current lines..
No heat was needed although it may have made it a little easier to make the heavy plastic conform to the aluminum mount. It was in the low 60's here today and sunny - so that helped..
I used a combination of 3/16" and 1/8" rivets..
 

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How much was the material you used? Surprised DG you got away with just having to use a lighter - mine which I bought from AJ's showed up flat and then I used hairdryer to shape to the quarter panels. Either way Big Foot you and the passengers will be much happier.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Steve -
Including paint, aluminum, rivets and plastic, I should be done with under $40 total investment and a few afternoons or so of my time..
Speedway Motors (I posted a link on the first message) is the best place to buy this plastic material.. Most other places have only .070" plastic which I think is too thin.
There may be better ways of doing this - but this is the best way I could come up with.
 

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looks great............
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks again guys...
This post will take a few messages since there is a limit on how many pictures can be attached.

I will take you through the metal work required to create the mounting surface for the flair.
I start with 4' length of 1" by 1/16" thick aluminum angle that is available at any home improvement and most hardware stores.
The tools I am using are commonly available and certainly nothing exotic. I have access to some pretty nice fab equipment at home, but here in my new winter home - very few tools.
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I start out with the length of metal at the rear of the wheel arch.
Note that the profile of the front fender is curved. This means that I have to work a compound angle by expanding the surface on one side of the angle only. This will force a curvature. In areas where I cannot expand or contract the metal, I end up cutting slices out. I only take cuts where I have to. You can see the hammered surface of the metal. Take it slow through this part as you can't shrink the metal back up if you expand it too far.
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Final product of the mounting rail before I paint it with a coating of satin black.
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Discussion Starter #13
Next up is fitting and riveting to the wheel arch bodywork. I use a combination of 3/16" large head rivets with backup washers and also 1/8" by 1/4" and 5/16" reach rivets.
I am a huge fan of the Irwin clamps in my fabrication work - but most any clamps will work (just not as well)
The pic below shows my mark with a $ meaning I need to SHRINK the metal at that spot in order to get the angles adjusted to have the flair parallel to the ground.
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Shrinking is done by placing the metal across an open vice and using another piece of steel and a hammer to punch the metal into the gap
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Adjusting the angle of the angle aluminum is accomplished by using a sheetmetal tool and bending to the right angle. This is about the only tool used that might not be in a common tool box. They are not very expensive though - maybe $10.. Ratz.. Can't find those pics - I will take new ones and post later..

the pic below is while fitting and clamping to the bodywork..
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Fitting the metal in behind the headlight housing took a couple of special cuts and some filing. Don't give up though - you can work the metal enough to get real close to the back side where we will attach the metal via a #10 machine screw with nut on the back side.
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Painted black and ready to be rivetted in place
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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
We're getting closer now and in the pic below you can see I have rivetted the bracket to the body. I chose 6-7" spacing on the fasteners as the body here is relatively thick and we have a good deal of metal that is shaped almost precisley to the contour of the fender.
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When I first laid the template I made for the right-front flair onto my mounting bracket, I discovered that the bodywork on the front of my Trail is not symmetrical.. No Big worries though - just adjust the template by adding material or take it away where needed..
I just add tape to build up an edge..
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Now I have my template adjusted and I trace it with a red Sharpie marker onthe plastic. I used my right and left cutting snips to work the plastic. I use a file for fine adjustments.
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Next up is mounting the plastic to the aluminum bracket. Stay tuned as I cobble up some more messages here tonight..
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I used my Irwin clamps to hold the freshly cut plastic to the fender bracket and made adjustments with my snips and files to get the plastic to hold true to the body lines. I figured if I really screwed up, I could always just use black RTV as a filler. When I was done, it looked good enough for me and I will leave out the caulking..
You can see the mix of sizes in my rivets. I cold have used all large rivets but that would have been a bit of overkill.
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A little paint brush work on the rivet heads and they almost disappear..
Finally the end result of the day.. Front flairs are done.

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Next up will be the rear flairs...
 

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Thanks Big-Foot, some really great pictures and write ups on how you did this!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi guys..
Well it finally stopped raining here so I could get outside to design/fab/install the rear flairs..

The rear flairs were much easier to design and build than the fronts. There is a flat mounting surface in the bodywork which I could rivet the flairs to.
Like the fronts, I started with a cardboard template. The good thing is that the rear of the Trail is symmetrical so the template made for the right side also fit the left side.
Only a short piece of angle aluminum was needed to support the fender flair in the tail light area.
I still need to paint the rivets and aluminum brackets black, but thought I would post the update for anyone interested.
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More pics on the next post...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
More pics..
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Total expenditure about $40 and a few afternoons of design / build / install...
I am happy with the result and feel that these are every bit as strong as anything else I have seen and then some.
 

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Those are very nice Bigfoot...very wide so the water/mud/dirt will definitely stay off the machine -
 
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