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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tomken Front Steel Tube Fenders

Tomken front tube fenders. I originally saw these on NAXJA. The comments were positive but no one had them installed. My next call was to Vicki at Tomken. Very nice lady and she was very helpful. She informed me the fab/delivery time would be about 2-3 weeks. No problem, I have a ton of stuff to do to my Jeep while I wait. I called about halfway through the process to ask a key question I forgot to initially ask. "Did I already trim too much off my fender for these to mount?" To be completely honest, it is impossible to answer that question on the phone. So I ended that conversation with a little doubt in my mind. None the less the fenders arrived and I was very pleased with their appearance.

Arrived in bubble wrap via UPS. 46lbs (According to UPS)

These are the inner fender supports. Cut the tube down to size, weld it to the disc, weld both inside the fender. It's threaded already, so you line it up with a specific mounting bolt for maximum support. Great idea!

Fantastic welds along the entire fender. I may come along and weld/grind where the sheet metal and tubing meet. Try to blend it in better. But it looks fine for now. Actually it looks great, I'm just prone to modify.

I had to pull the inner fenders out. Not that plastic, that's been gone for years. These were inner fenders I made to keep the elements out after removing the factory plastic. None the less, they had to be removed. Now I'll have to come up with something new to fill that gap.

Clamp them on and get ready to drill. The actual install on these fenders took about an hour. 30 minutes per side, and that's because we were taking our time. Easy to reach all nuts/bolts.

I was going to use counter-sunk bolts but the material isn't thick enough to support those bolts so I went to a button head. They do include hardware, I just didn't use it.

Absolutely one of the best mods I've done to the outside of my Cherokee. I'm extremely satisfied with the service, quality and look of this product. If I would have known these were going to look this good, I would have ordered them a lot earlier.

-9 out of 10 for the way this thing fits. Rolled so that it fits the contour of your fender.
-Looks. Looks. Looks. Everybody looks at it. I couldn't have got anymore compliments over this past weekend ride at Grayrock. I can't stop going out in the garage and looking at it.
-Great customer service. Pleasant people on the phone answer all your questions.
-Welds look amazing.

-A couple small chips in the power coating upon delivery. Nothing major. (I was originally going to paint these flat black, but the power coating looks so good.)
-That's it!!! I'm very satisfied!!

General link to website- http://www.tomken.com
Link to Tube Fenders- http://www.tomken.com/detail.php?id=387

Monday, April 4, 2011

Master Disconnect- Refab and Finishing

So it was time to refab this. The old design was never going to work. I would never been able to grind down the welds enough to make it as smooth as I wanted it. So Keith at ORC came up with the idea of flaring it 90 degrees and off we went.

Old way. The 3" tube was butt welded to the sheet metal. It caused warpage and I would never been able to grind the welds down enough to be perfect.

New idea. I drilled a 3" hole in the sheet metal and simply slid the flared 3" tube in the hole. Then Josh spot welded it from behind as I stood behind him telling him to be careful. As you can tell by the picture, he did a perfect job! I applied body putty to smooth things out.

Final finish view from the front. The sticker is on yet, I may replace it with something corny like "Sleep,Race". Anyway, I'm pretty happy with it.

A view from the inside. Obviously I haven't wired it up yet. This shows the limited welds used to prevent metal distortion.

Soft Door-Upholstry Complete

Well this whole door thing is finally about wrapped up. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to finally use these things. Whether it be cruising through a mud hole and not checking the brakes or running down the road without getting cold. These are made from the kind of material used on a convertable BMW, quality material. They sport a #10 zipper around the window. In addition, they're removable. Velcro was used around the edges, so it can be removed within a minute.

Vinyl Install

In preparation of my front fender guards (being delivered this week) I am applying black vinyl on my door skins. This will continue the black "look" from back to front. The front fenders will also be flat black. So off to Stripe King I went. I picked up 12ft. of flat black and began to install it.

A little water helps position the vinyl. Too much and you'll have a hard time getting it out with the squeegee. Then you can wrinkle the vinyl by pushing too hard. Like I did on the front panel.

Here I used to scrap vinyl to put a border around the window. It provides a better look and covers any welds or holes in the frame.