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I needed to get the fenders/flares off for another project, so I figured I'd post up the steps on how to do it.

There are some parts/tools needed for reassembly. The wheel well liner attaches to the flare using plastic rivets (also called poly rivets). You can get replacement rivets from the dealer (they were $1.35 each from my dealer). I found them cheaper at my local CarQuest ($3.00 for 16 of em). I got the rivet tool from Harbor Freight. It was $15.00 for the tool and it also came with an assorted set of rivets. The rivets that came with it were very cheap though and most of them cracked in half instead of actually "riveting".

Riveting Tool


Total I needed 16 rivets. 3 to reattach the flares and 5 for the mud flaps. The mud flaps were optional. My mudflaps were originally held in with screws but I reattached them with rivets cause I had them. The dealer rivets have a smaller base than the ones I got from CarQuest, but you can't see the rivets so who cares.

Rivet Comparison


To get the flares off, there are 3 rivets on the under side of the flare. They'll need to be removed. I used a pair of diagonal wire cutters and just snipped em off.

Pic of 2 of the 3 rivets..


Once those are snipped off, the flare comes off with some brute force (not too much brute force, but some is necessary). The flare is held onto the fender with 8 clips along the upper rim of the flare. You can see the clips in the pic below. They were also $1.35 each from the dealer. They are pretty sturdy though and I actually didn't need to replace any of the 16 (though i did pick up 4 from the dealer anyway just in case.).

Flare Clip


The flare is easier to take off starting from the lower side closest to the door. Just get your fingers behind it and give it a tug. The clips should pop out and the flare should come off. The side of the flare closet to the front of the vehicle has a slight notch in it that kinda hooks into another notch at the front, so I don't know if it would make it harder to start from the front.

Pics of flare removed & also the backside of flare showing clips



Onto the actual fender..

To get the fender off you will have to remove a few bolts. There are 7 total. 4 of the bolts are in awkward spots but can be removed with the right combination of tools. You'll need a 10mm socket for the bolts. To get at least one of the awkward bolts out you'll need some socket extensions. You will also need a flat head screwdriver to remove some plastic clips.

3 of the bolts are under the hood, so pop it. One of the bolts is under the side vent so that will need to be removed. There are 2 plastic clips that you can pop up with the screwdriver. Once those are removed, the side vent pulls away from the Nitro. There are metal clips holding it, just pull. You can also remove the 3rd clip which holds the fender to the front grill. After the vent and plastic clips are removed you can remove the bolts. Don't try to pull the fender off yet as there are still 3 bolts left. Also the lower bolt/bracket in my case were stuck together with paint, so I had to pop them apart with the screwdriver after taking the bolt out.

Bolt and plastic clip location.


Two bolts are at the base of the fender and are hidden behind the plastic base molding of the vehicle. This plastic base molding attaches to the wheel well liner and mudflaps if they are installed on your vehicle. Those would need to be removed. The pic below shows my mudflaps already removed. You can see the screws that were holding them in and the plastic base molding hanging down slightly. This molding is held to the vehicle using clips as well. I didn't want to take it off completely so I just pulled it away enough to get to the bolts behind it. I'm pretty sure I heard at least two clips disconnect. You can see the two bolts in the second pic.

I used an extension to get these two bolts out. Just kinda held the plastic molding away and unscrewed them. Most of the bolts came out pretty easily.

Base molding


The last bolt... This one is probably the most difficult to get out because of it's location. It's actually on the inside of the vehicle. Basically where the brackets for the door are. The pics below show it's location. For this one I opened the door all the way and used 2 extensions and got it out. The second pic shows an angled up shot the bolt behind the plastic wire harness protector.

Last bolt location


That's the last one, now you can pull the fender off. The fender is clipped to the front grill so it's easier to start at the back of the fender, closest to the door. Just slowly pull the fender away from the vehicle, then whens its clear, pull it away from the front grill. Simple.

Fender removal


There will be a piece of foam that goes between the door and the fender and also a bag which I'm assuming is for sound dampening. If they fall out, you can just tape them back in place. Reassembly should be the same steps in reverse. The plastic rivet gun tool can then be used to replace any rivets that were cut. I'm guessing the most difficult reassembly step will be the bolt that is inside the door frame.

Hope this helps someone and sorry for any grammatical errors.

Now onto step 2. The reason I took the fenders off in the first place. :)
 

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A curious fellow
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Great How To reehmicks :rep:

And thanks for the tip on the mud flaps. I have some that I haven't installed yet. I've got a rivet gun and that makes more sense to me than screws :smileup:
 

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Khaki Nitro Nut
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Great write up! The Pics make it very easy to follow.
 

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Thanks, great help. My problem is not removing the flare, but re-installing it. I accidentally removed it and snapped all the clips in the process. Called the dealer today and was told I had to buy a new flare to get the clips. Didn't think that was for real, so great info knowing I can just buy the clips. Now I'll have to go in there and teach them their job.
 

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Luckily for me I found this How-To and will be getting me some new clips, plastic riveter and rivets. My passenger side flare is loose, basically just tucked in, at the bottom by door side and upon careful inspection I seen just a simple plastic post, but no way for it to lock into the fenders receiving cut-out....now that I see pic #4, Flare Clips, I know what I need to get before setting upon this journey. Ty.
 

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Khaki Nitro Nut
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