Hi all! I just got
done installing these this afternoon. Took a couple hours per corner.
When I first got these, I got some tool dip spray and coated the back
of the panels. The instructions say to do this but give no explanation
for it. I found that it gives a better surface for scribing holes to be
drilled and the drill shavings don't cling to it as bad as they do the
First I stripped the Flares, Lic. Plate, Tail light assembly, fuel neck trim, and wheel well plastic. Everything came off easily except the wheel well plastic, the plastic trim "darts" are a pain. I started with the drivers side first. I figured that it had more parts/screws to deal with so it should take more time.....that wasn't the case and I'll get to that later.
It was plenty dirty
under all that
stuff, so everything got cleaned, and the painted surfaces to be
covered got cleaned with Preps All.
showed up to
I used spring
clamps to mock up the
panels. OYR only pre-drills 2 holes so you're on your own for the rest.
When I was happy with the placement, I centerpunched the first 2 holes
onto the body. I removed the panel and drilled the holes with a 1/4"
drill bit. I then put the panel back on mounting with 2 of the included
stainless steel screws and snugged them a bit. I also used the clamps
to get it to lay flat and not move so that I could start drilling holes
for the rest of the hardware. The panels fit awsome, but I would snug a
screw in after drilling holes around the perimeter of the panel, so
that it couldn't shift and create problems at final install.
Be careful where
you drill holes....it
would be very easy to drill into an area that you can't get to and put
a nut on. After drilling all of the holes, wipe down all the
shavings/chips off the panels and the body. Then I used a 1/2" drill
and chamfered the panels to clean up the holes. I use "Liquid
Electrical Tape" on the raw steel of the panels and on the holes I
drilled in the body. This stuff sticks to anything and dries in just
drilled in body. Its hard
to see, but there is a rag stuffed into the fuel filler neck to keep
out the dirt and metal chips.
When I was happy
with all the holes I
drilled for mounting the panel, I rigged it back up with 6 screws and
used a scribe to mark the holes for the Lic. plate frame, tail light
and fuel filler neck. I drilled these holes 1/4" as well so the trim
screws would clear. Again I cleaned off any metal chips and rigged it
back up to the body to check again to make sure all the holes are
drilled before final install. All this double/tripple checking took
alot of time, but it was worth it. At this point remove the panel and
use black silicone caulk and run a 1/8" bead around the perimeter of
the panel. Go around each hole. Don't go nuts with the silicone, it
will ooze out everywhere when you tighten the bolts. Carefully mount
the panel and install the bolts with the exception of the ones that
will also hold the flare on. Start with the corner bolts and work your
way out towards the ends, just snug them for now. When you put the
flares back on you will re-use some of the OEM screws and a couple of
the supplied stainless screws to mount the flares to the new
panels/body. Starting back at the corner bolts and working you way out,
give the bolts a final tighten. Then put the light, Lic.plate bracket
and fuel filler neck back on. The screws that hold the filler neck
assembly are to short and barely catch with the thick panels installed,
so you may want to remove one prior to install and find 4 longer ones.
Put the wheel well plastic back in and your done....that side. BTW
those plastic panel darts suck! I re-used the mangled ones but will
look for new replacement at the parts store.
They dont show up to well on the Shale Green.....but they're for more "go" than "show."
The passenger side
is pretty much the
same. I figured it would go well and alot quicker due to alot less
holes to be drilled and belt with. So much for that thought. For the 03
models, DC started to put the EVAP can and some other assorted
emmisions stuff in the right rear corner behind the wheel well. The
bolts holding this stuff in have to be removed so that it can be slid
forward for clearence. Its not to much of a pain, but I couldnt figure
how to remove it compleately, so it limited the working space a bunch.
Everything went as
expected, but the
placement of perimeter bolts was a little trickier than the drivers
side was. The section between the hinges CANNOT be accessed to put the
nuts on. I contemplated just leaving it, but I'm way to anal to leave
that loose, it would have driven me crazy. What I did was use 2
stainless sheetmetal screws to hold it tight.
The other tricky
thing with the
passenger side was how to mark the 3 holes needed for the tail light .
I couldnt scribe them from inside the wheel well like the drivers
side....the emmisions stuff is in the way and theres no room to put
your hand up there with the scribe. So I rigged the panel into place
and pushed the tail light pigtail threw the hole and "guessed" where it
should be and scribed it from inside the light assembly. I figured that
the light gives enough coverage that I could start with 1/4" holes and
work my way up to 1/2" if I didnt drill it in the correct position the
first place. I got lucky and got it right the first time....WaHoo!
Just the the other side, clean off the shavings and apply silicone and install everything in reverse order from removal.......again!
It was an easy install. Just using some caution where to drill and watch for shavings. They go everywhere.
You get 30 each bolts, washers, and lock nuts with panels. The other stuff I got and used for install; 1 tube of black silicone caulk, 1 can of Liquid Tape, 1 rattle can of black tool handle spray, 6 #12 by 3/4" stainless sheetmetal screws(2 for passenger side panel, 4 for fuel fill neck).
I got the panels from Mesa 4X4. Delivered to my door for $198 and change....most places wanted $219 + Shipping. Great service. It only took a week and half to get them......they were in production when I ordered them and were shipped the day that they said they would.
Good luck with yours!
Hhhhhmmmmmm? Did I reconnect the tail light pigtails?
Time will tell!