Fender-chop, AAL fender liners, and Quake LEDs – some lessons learned

graemebshaw

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Brooklyn
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Rubicon 392
Hi all,

A few weeks ago I performed a fender chop, installed AAL fender liners (front and rear), the Quake sequential LEDs, and also used the AAL fender retention hardware. I had gotten a lot of really useful advice from people on this forum, especially @RKKRAWL, but thought it was worth a post to put down some lesson's learned.

One thing that was useful for me was to combine (and rearrange) the steps from the three sets of installation instructions (fender liners, LED lights and retention hardware) into one simplified list. It meant I didn't have to jump around watching different YouTube videos while out in the driveway performing the installs or hunt around looking for the right size sockets etc. With that in mind, here are my simple redrafted instructions:

  1. Remove plastic fender liner
    • two 10mm bolts on the inside top
    • six push-pins
    • two plastic rivets at back edge
  2. Remove fender
    • disconnect lights
    • two 10mm bolts at front
    • needle nose pliers to squeeze back of white clips (11)
  3. Add AAL fender liner brackets (locations #1 and #4) to frame
  4. Remove DRL light from fender
  5. Partially remove black plastic inner support from fender
    • just the “boxy” part of inner fender support by breaking the plastic welds between the two pieces of black plastic – use a trim removal pry tool
    • cut off tab on front inside edge near DRL
  6. Install seven (7) nut-serts for fender shell
    • Do not install in 4 holes that will be used by the fender liner brackets
  7. Re-install fender (including AAL fender liner brackets #2 and #3)
  8. Install new DRL light (two 13mm bolts) and test
  9. Install AAL quick-release fender liner

As you can see from the this short video I uploaded:
, when doing the front fender chop, the inner fender support is actually in two pieces and can be separated. The boxy part is what reduces wheel clearance and should be removed. The back part that is physically bonded to the fender shell is only a few mm thin and provides some desirable rigidity to the fender – so I chose to keep it. By doing this, I was able to maintain the black frame at the rear of the fender – I have a (possibly vain) hope that it may also allow installation of mud flaps (eg. Weathertech) at some point. They would however need modification since they usually mount using one the same frame holes that the AAL liners use.

I included a few pics of the jeep taken this weekend that shows the finished install. I like the look of the mods so far, but will be even happier when I get my Next Venture Motorsports bumpers.

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How are you enjoying the fender chop? Wife hit the garage and scuffed up my fender so was debating just going this route instead of fixing it.
 
Great post thank you for the video also...I just installed the front AAL liners and have the AAL chop kit but have not performed that yet...I went ahead and ordered the NVM new aluminum fenders and may just wait until they are in and painted and never do the chop.

I have the NVM aluminum bumpers and like them a lot...
 
I think this is kinda the best of both worlds. I may need to do this later. and with the block at the bottom, my Rok Blox flaps will work.
 
You can keep the honeycomb brace at the back and remove the full liner if you’d like. Minor modification needed. Also running the RockBlox with this setup.
 
You can keep the honeycomb brace at the back and remove the full liner if you’d like. Minor modification needed. Also running the RockBlox with this setup.
True. I was also thinking of keeping the XR extensions... I hated them until I got mine with them now I like them LOL weird how that works.
 
Great post, I had the fender chop on my previous JLURD fully gutted. But I think I like this route even more so, benefit would be no trimming all the tabs after a full gutting.
 
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