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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Washing the Trailhawk for the first time. Usual just hose it down with the pressure washer. But my brother just got back from the beach and we wanted to spray the entire car down and the under carriage because of the salt water. We ended up taking off the front fender wheel wells to clean and in prep for the tires we ordered. The front half of the trim actually protects a lot of things, so I might end up putting it back on and cutting the back part to clear the tires at full lock.

With the Trailhawk we didn't have to jack the Renegade up or take the wheels off. We just turn the wheels to access a few bolts.

There are...
x4 Plastic 10mm nuts
x4 Philips head screws
x1 10mm bolt
...on each side


The start from the front side and pull the trim out of the outer edge. That will give you play room to pull the front inner edge off the bolt mounts. Then work your way to the back of the tire pulling the trim out.

Here are a few pictures of what it looks like behind the trim. It doesn't look good naked at all and the front exposes a lot of things you don't want to kick dirt, water, and mud at.


































Decide for yourself if you like the look, if you want to go with bigger tires and need the clearance. I'm leaning towards no, but I'll wait to get the mud tires on there and do some offroading before I decide to put the trim back on or not.





With the trim on...


 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
On a side note I took a look at the fender trim. On both the front and back the metal fender comes all the way down to the edge of the plastic trim. I was curious if taking off the black fender trim would expose a higher cut metal fender or not. It's not.

The trim piece looks to be held on by clips only. I couldn't find an screws that looked like it was holding it on. I do recommend taking off the fender wheel well/trim to access the back of the clips, so you can push them to get the fender trim off.

Here's to fender flares in the future...

Note in the pictures the white and green clips. The screws look to be for bolting on the fender, not the trim.







 

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Wow, Really tight in there. There is alot of stuff being protected by that trim. Awesome shots.

TS
 

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So that is where the horns are. :D

Thanks for the pictures, but for me, I have no reason to remove my inner-liners (keeping stock tires).
 
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Oh and that seam with the pinch weld should probably be cut and folded to smooth it out as well, we had to do similar work on the XJ's especially for those with bigger tires and sway bar discos since you had a higher chance of hitting it at articulation.
 

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Useful narrative and photos

White_THawk
This is a very fine narrative, as well as useful photos for a task that fellow members may utilize at some time. Wish that more narratives like yours' were on this forum instead of all the complaining and useless input by many. Have fun with your TH.
 

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looks good and gives hope for the bigger tires. question did you end up sizing down the rims or just get different ones? also what size and type did you get? I'm also wondering if theres a way to keep that front fender cover on to protect all that stuff and then just "rhino line" the rear to keep the color but maintain that extra space...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Oh and that seam with the pinch weld should probably be cut and folded to smooth it out as well, we had to do similar work on the XJ's especially for those with bigger tires and sway bar discos since you had a higher chance of hitting it at articulation.

I was thinking about that too, when I saw that seam line. It looks like it will cut into the tire. But my problem with the 15" wheel, is that I have to use 1" spacers. If the tire is going to hit anything, it will hit the edge of the fender first. I'll run my wheel/tire combo and test the clearance once they get in. But I'm thinking lift kit or fender flares once they become readily available in the USA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
looks good and gives hope for the bigger tires. question did you end up sizing down the rims or just get different ones? also what size and type did you get? I'm also wondering if theres a way to keep that front fender cover on to protect all that stuff and then just "rhino line" the rear to keep the color but maintain that extra space...

From my other post, I'm going with the Cragar Soft 8 15x7 5x114.5/4.5. Kenda Klever Mud Tires 235/75R15.

I decided not to get the BFG Mud KM2 for various reasons. Offroad King beat me to it, so I wanted to test a different brand for everyone here. I can't find them readily available. The sizes I want randomly pops up online every now and then. The cost, I was going to buy them in pairs because of the cost, but again there is no guarantee that I will find another pair later on. And if I want a spare or 1 replacement tire. From talking to my local tire shop, they said that BFG is redesigning the rubber compound, so they aren't shipping any KM2s out right now. Whatever is in the market, is whats left out there for now.

My next option was the Hankook Dynapro Mud Tires. The review performance is very good, but I don't like the looks. The threads pattern just doesn't do it for me.

I found some cheap tires and looked up some reviews. The Kenda Klever Mud Tires don't have much information on them, but the few I found we're pretty positive. And at the price point I don't mind trying them out. As with all reviews, there are more people that will complain, then there are people to praise - example, the Jeep Renegade. And with the Kenda Klever, I've found more people with praise than with complaints.

BFG - $200
Hankook - $150
Kenda - $120

$200 a piece, I'm buying slicks. $120 a piece, I'm buying some pretty sticky summer street tires. So I'm use to buying $130 Toyo Proxes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
By the way, I'm putting the fender wheel wells back on and trimming the back. I spent the day offroading around Big Bear Mountain and found almost dried out mud puddles. These already kicked up a lot of mud and dirt into the naked fender wells. I could only image how much I'll get in there in the winter.

Offroad King mentioned he had to cut the back of the plastic liner as well. He was running 16" wheels with 225/75R16. The amount you have to cut off is 1/4 to 1/3 of the back of the front tire. But as you can see in my pictures, that opens up some nice cubbies for mud to sit in.











Here is a shot of the rear tire with the fender wheel well still on. It's not kicking up as much mud as the front tires do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, this was fun to figure out... not really. I attempted to cut and hammer the seam back, but ran into a few snags. Be glad I'm your guinea pig. This will void your warranty... if Jeep looks behind the fender wheel well, LOL. I don't regret this, it was fun to find out if this was possible and then find a way to fix it. I'll be ready if I need it later on.


So, here is the plan. I marked where I wanted to cut it. Then I was going to hammer each piece flat. The point is, if the larger tire tucks in while crawling, this seam will cut into the tire. So flattening the seam down will give the larger tire more clearance.




So after cutting it and trying to hammer it, it wasn't going too well. The 2 pieces are spot welded and glued together. The seam is pretty thick with the 2 pieces together. I used a regular hammer, larger dead blow hammer, and a sledge hammer. When I got it to fold over the glue broke and the pieces bent separately. Both pieces will not sit flat. Look at the picture and that's the furthest it will fold flat. At this point the 2 pieces act like springs and the hammer just bounce off them.




At this point, I realized that even if I bent the seam flat, there are holes everywhere. Water will get into the car now. The glue that held the seam together also acts as a sealant. Whoops. Now I have to figure out a new solution to fix my mod.

I decide to cut the seam off and weld the 2 pieces together. That gives me the clearance and seals up the 2 pieces. I cut a angle off the top to give it a smoother edge. I didn't want the 90* edge to catch on the tire.

Rough cut:


Cleaned up cut:



I soak a tee shirt in water and placed it here to protect the plastic trim from melting while I'm welding the seam. I got this far and then realized again, what was behind the seam? The interior! Oh god, what did I burn. Opened the door and smoke from the welding was coming out of the dash. Removed the kick panel and pulled back the carpet. Luckily there is a metal frame on the interior side. So behind where I was welding the seam, was a empty cavity in the skeleton of the frame. Now I have to air out the Renegade and get the weld burning smell out of the car.




After I verified that nothing was burning on the inside of the car. I doubled checked to make sure none of the wire back there was melted or burnt. If there was any wiring back there at all. I started the car and drove it around and everything is still working as it should. I used the air compressor to blow out the smoke out behind the dash and to blow out any flames. When I was welding the seam the glue/sealant on the outside caught fire from the heat.

I finished welding the seam.



I the scrubbed the area down to clean up the weld dust. Then I sanded around the weld to clean it up a bit more and give the surface some grip for the paint to stick. In case my weld wasn't completely water tight, I was going to use some silicone sealant and then paint the seam black. So that when I cut the plastic trim of the fender wheel well, it well be black to match the plastic fender trim. Then I realized I have several cans of Flex Seal in black. Perfect! I can seal the welded seam and paint it black, all in one. I taped of the fender bolts and fender flare trim. I used 2 coats over all and 3 coats on the seam.

I came out good. I'm going to give it the night to dry before I put the fender wheel well back on.




So now the driver side is done to maximize the tire size I can use. Once I trim the fender wheel well, it will expose a trimmed seam and blacked out frame.

I'm holding off on the passenger side for now. The ECU and wiring usually sit in that corner and I really don't want to burn any of that. I might hold off until I actually need to do the seam trimming mod, if I even ever need to do it. I look at it as I can compare the 2 sides now and see if the mod is necessary at all in the Renegade. The fender wheel well is back on the passenger side for now and will be trimmed when the wheels/tires come in.
 

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Oh geez, thanks for taking one for the team man. Needless to say, I don't think any of the rest of us will be attempting a cut and fold on those seams. Good thing you had a welder and the know-how to do it right. That approach is far better than the cut and fold anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Stock width is 215.

Biggest you can go with no mods or very little trimming to the back of the fender liner - 225. Offroad king will have to chime in on this.

With 235 I'm getting front and rear fender liner rub. With the liner off there are brackets right behind the liner where the tire is hitting on the back. Can't really trim those. Hopefully a lift kit will move the contact point up and clear out of the way.

With a 1" spacer I'm getting contact on the back of the tire at full lock. So liner trimming will be required. If you go less than 1" you might not need to trim the liner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
215/65R17
215mm wide (8.5in wide)
65% of 215 = 139.75mm side wall height
279.5mm x2 for both sides of the wheel
279.5mm = 11in
11in + 17in rim = 28in overall diameter of wheel and tire.
8.5in wide x 28in tall

225/70R17
225mm wide (8.8in wide)
157.5mm side wall height
315mm x2 for both sides of the wheel
315mm = 12.4in
12.4in + 17in rim = 29.4in overall diameter of the wheel and tire.
8.8in wide x 29.4in tall


225/70 on a stock Trailhawk 17" rim might work or come very close to fitting without rubbing. Everyone one who has looked at the space around the tire, strut, and spring perch all think a 225/70 will fit, but no one knows for sure. We all have to wait for someone to wear out the stock tires and try on a set of 225 to now for sure.
 

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215/65R17
215mm wide (8.5in wide)
65% of 215 = 139.75mm side wall height
279.5mm x2 for both sides of the wheel
279.5mm = 11in
11in + 17in rim = 28in overall diameter of wheel and tire.
8.5in wide x 28in tall

225/70R17
225mm wide (8.8in wide)
157.5mm side wall height
315mm x2 for both sides of the wheel
315mm = 12.4in
12.4in + 17in rim = 29.4in overall diameter of the wheel and tire.
8.8in wide x 29.4in tall


225/70 on a stock Trailhawk 17" rim might work or come very close to fitting without rubbing. Everyone one who has looked at the space around the tire, strut, and spring perch all think a 225/70 will fit, but no one knows for sure. We all have to wait for someone to wear out the stock tires and try on a set of 225 to now for sure.

What if I have 16inch rims?
 
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