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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My Titan swap is now 9 months old, and when it's muddy on the trails, my sides get bad or really bad. Even crossing 3 ft of barely muddy creek, the streaks are respectable.

I ordered these Fender Flares
And they shipped in 1 week as promised. Arrived 2 days later from California.


Day 1:
Can't avoid drilling, the flares are all hollow.

First I marked 2 holes with screw through the 8 holes on front flares.
Then I drilled them with 3rd smallest drill bit, half way to 1/8".

2 wood screws holding up the front flare
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front view
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closeup, wood screw holding
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Holding the bolts through sheet metal - one of 3 choices:
1) Bolt and nut, 5/16" bolt have the right sized head but the holes are drilled for 1/4"

2) Nutserts, insert and squeeze with a tool, leaving behind a permanently attached nut -- can't use, this sheet metal is 0.6mm from my measurements, around 22 gauge. The nut serts at 5/16" size need 0.9mm or thicker material to hold in

3) Jack Nuts - can't find them in 5/16". Even if they can be found, they will be way more than 1/4"...... which are easily found, but then the heads won't be impressive enough looking.

First thinking about Option 2... then 1.... then 3? Smaller silly looking heads?
Vs having to remove the fender liners to get access, and the flare bottoms will still need attachments, so Option 3 is the one looking best.

Holes drilled to 5/16" bolts (slightly bigger holes). Drilling sheet metal, you want to make big steps from bits, as opposed to drilling plate metal (bumper, 3/16" thick).
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Day 2:
Bedliner for flares?
I saw the bed liner spray cans, and undercoat cans with rubberized texture. Not to my taste, I would prefer car paint, which still needs primer layer if this is done at a pro shop.
Prep is the key, and black is not forgiving if your technique is poor. Or if you are shooting outdoors without controlled conditions. Mistakes looks really bad.

How is this supposed to be a good customer default setup without options?
I should remove my wider, stock mini plastic (on the left) to allow this door overhang? With a dirt catching open bottom?
This is the front half of rear right, door hanging fender flare.
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Passenger side.
I hit the Washer Fluid tank with a tiny bit (near 1/16".
Drip for several hours.
$226 for a new OEM reservoir.
I didn't remove the wheel well liners. With Jack nuts you won't have to, all is done on the outside, just like here

Pointing to the offending hole location.
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8 holes in 5/16" bolt fitting size (slightly bigger than 5/16)
For 5/16" jack nuts, the hole would need to be bigger
For 1/4" jack nuts, the hole will need to be 15/32 (5/32 bigger than for straight bolts)
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Etcher to seal off the bare metal. Sprayed on cardboard and mini brushed (30 mini brushes from Walmart school supplies)
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for 5/16 bolts:
option 4: Molle nuts… can hold on 0.5mm, I measured 0.6 thickness on the wheel lip. Can’t find stainless. Zinc plated there will rust one day.

option 5: well nuts. Rubber coated.
Most expansive, $4 each on Amazon. Only contact with rubber on newly exposed sheet metal. Minimizing rust concerns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Day 3: well nuts from Ace. Limited availability of 6. More coming from Amazon.

5/16 inside threads. 5/8 inch holes.
5/8 vs 5/16 hole size, well nut vs bare bolt use.
The nice thing is with well nuts the flares can come off many times. (But bottom part will be taped or screwed into existing holes)
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Mounted
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outside, washer will be smaller (this is 3/8 washer)
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well nut aka expansion nut
Washer and spacer needed as shown to get proper tension. Here 3/8 nut is serving as a spacer.
This way well nut hugs the sheet metal tight.
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Klein stepper drill bit is great for sheet metal. Mine is chubby type going up to 1 3/8, skinny type would need to go a lot deeper.
Compared to cobalt bits which are a nightmare in comparison. Not rally a nightmare but Klein makes smooth edges, it’s a fun effort in comparison.

No solution from seller about the horrible overhang of plastic from doors. It’s buyer’s problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
2 Ace trips today. 11 well nuts found, also hex jam nuts (spacers for me, they don’t screw on) and black Fiver
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5 well nuts holding
Washer sandwich is needed for stress distribution and gap filling
Ribbed trim on top (plain trim included with flares), mine has individual metal ribs inside.

black fiber washer on outside
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Washer sandwich
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5 well nuts holding only
Driveable
Will get more well nuts, 6-8 totsl
Will get bottom lip taped to inside liner
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hex jam nuts are skinny nuts, wider than bolts need for threading. I get a gap filler this way, 0.39” total, before well nuts.
Otherwise the empty space would stress the fiberglass material.

Amazon ordered well nuts yesterday will take until Tuesday to arrive, but the show must go on and the 6+5 I found locally at Ace is enough.

Locking washer will keep it tighter on bumpy off-road. Locking washer or locking nut — they work.

Easy part done? Fronts? Without dropping wheel well liners? Only taking out a $226 washer fluid container?
skip the third hole (out of 8) and you won’t hit it. Also use a chubby Klein step bit (about $30, try finding a $20 5/8” bit and it’s a lot harder then)

next steps:
I want body shop input on how to attach back without drilling door or gas area.
Instructions say don’t drill there, but don’t say how to attach on top.
Something taped on flare and then tape to door metal, that’s my thoughts.

Instructions:
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Looking good RoXterra,
Are you considering painting them to match? I have searched to see if any have been painted on the X and have came up empty handed.

Not thought through all the way, but I was toying with the idea of going down the path of the old CJ/YJ soft cover snaps. If i remeber correctly they were riveted on. Snap on, stap off!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am thinking of not doing backs, fronts is where the action is with turning wheels.

From instructions: trimming based on compression, don’t drill the back ones… and the overhanging door piece — signs of a DIY kit or prototype product.

if I do backs it will be in winter after fronts are complete.

Painting? Definitely
Any raw material needs painting for protecting the material, looks.

I want to see what kind price I get at a body shop I know, with car paint, I don’t want textured bed liner I want it smooth like this, or is it smooth bed liner? Anyone?

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@Sturmvoik you could build your own, find out how molds are done, quick setting foam molds, apply something to a fender, junkyard quarter panel, have it set and form a hard mold. Dip fiberglass sheet into fiberglass liquid, place over mold, brush on more liquid, later sand.

it’s very messy and you will hate the process, or maybe not!

my car sub box was made from fiberglass, all kinds of things and boxes you can make from fiberglass.

when dealing with completed products, fiberglass fibers are as thin as cactus needles, as I was reminded today when 1/4 inch fiber was stuck under my skin and not the easy out kind
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I will need to get some fiberglass supplies too, a few spots have holes from too thin of material, small holes but a beginning. Or much cleaner is JB weld fiberglass repair

“While it is a useful and lightweight material, fiberglass can be damaged relatively easily”

it’s not flexible like cast plastic would be.

Can fiberglass crack be repaired?

Wipe the crack with a dry rag to make sure it's clean and dry. If it's not clean and dry the epoxy won't adhere well. Fill the crack with a fair amount of fiberglass epoxy resin, using a plastic applicator. Make sure the crack is completely filled
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
On the very dirty Xterra on instructions page from seller, you can see the flares match the body paint on that Xterra.

mine is Lava red, metallic, sun faded, a lot easier to charge more at body shop than doing black. And I like the 2 tone color. And there is a great chance of overcharge at (any) body shop so I may end up doing it myself or at a not-a-shop place.

Looking good RoXterra,
Are you considering painting them to match? I have searched to see if any have been painted on the X and have came up empty handed.

Not thought through all the way, but I was toying with the idea of going down the path of the old CJ/YJ soft cover snaps. If i remeber correctly they were riveted on. Snap on, stap off!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
@Sturmvoik look at Bushwacker pocket style flares and find a similar wheel size on another SUV. Or cut Titan model? $285 for fronts. Made with ABS plastic. Softer, more flexible, bolt on look without bolt on. Must have flat area to double tape to steel.

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mine have hole flaws, most likely next to too thin wall thickness. Small, but no holes are good. View from inside into the sun.
Out of 6 pieces, holes show in 3-4, smaller then below. They should be re-enforced for piece of mind (or manufactured better? inspected?)
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thickening the wall on front right. This is all inside.
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Great detailed account of the process. I'm not afraid of cutting up and into the X but having to drill that many holes even gives me pause. Looking forward to see if there's a way to securely attach them without drilling.

I like the unpainted shots in the first post. Matches all the other plastic parts.
 

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I've had these sitting in my garage for a long time, haven't got around to installing them. I'm tired of throwing rocks on my own windshield so it's time to do it. I am curious as to what this is, deer whistle?
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
@Korsar this is front right inside. All hollow.
Bottom (on right here) wraps around the top of well lip.
I only had 6 of 8 bolts to work with yesterday so I though of skipping some..even holes drilling in first place.
Which depends on bolt attachment. I didn’t want to drop the well liner (once or twice or more) and running a bolt and nut. And metal on metal rubbing from bolts, scraping off new paint and old...
My way is rubber on stock sheet metal. Rubber inside and outside (from the well nuts).
Because of that, there is some concern, could one let go….if yes then use all 8. It feels like all are solid but I have not seen how the well nuts look inside. And I had 8 holes already so if I leave them small and unused or enlarge to 5/8 and use all…
As of this morning the left front is on wirh 6 well nuts, 1 mile test drive today. Photos later during cooler hours.
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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
@meanGREENnugget just do it!
Just do fronts, see how it goes. Just do one side. Getting started is hardest.

yes those are deer whistles. I had one I could hear and it was in front Nissan logo. It came off with old grille, I need a new same one. I have driven 6ft past a grazing deer at night before. Or herds within 10+ yards too. in 50+ mph…winding roads.

There was a horse incident in 2015 and 2 more deer contacts with stock front bumper, and that’s when deer whistles came to be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
That can work, but how to keep the bolts holding without tips touching car sheet metal. Short bolts.
About 0.5” total to fill from the 0.39” of washers and spacers and well nut lip.
bolts glued into the metal so bolts don’t need nuts?

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