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With the door protectors behind us, we thought
we would get adventurous and tackle the fender protectors. We felt pretty
confident that we could manage this next install since we had breezed through
the door protectors with not so much as a glitch in our process. Realizing
that the fender install would require a wrench, we took a break and got
something cold to drink (no use charging into part two in a dehydrated
We opted to start on the more challenging fender since this one has my ham antenna mounted on it. I figured that if we could make it through this one, we would have no problem with the other side.
So, the first step in prepping this fender was to remove the hood latch and the antenna mount. I told Scott we were going to be doing some light duty wrenching and I held true to my word.
After the hood latch and antenna mount were removed, Scott did a full cleaning on the fender using the same method as was done on the door. Generous use of alcohol and clean paper towels yielded a clean surface in no time at all. We then taped the protector down as we did on the door. Take some time here and figure out where you want to place the protector. We closed and opened the hood a few times to make sure we were happy with the placement of the protector and its position in relationship to the hood.
Once the protector was taped into position, we removed the tape at the rear of the protector and trimmed away the backing material. The protector was then pressed down onto the fender. Again, make sure you are not trapping any air under the protector material.
OK....so I confess that the hole trimming picture I took on the first fender didn't turn out very well, so I've opted to use the hole trimming picture from the other fender. I used a box knife (razor blade) to carefully trim out the holes for the hood latch hardware. It was quite easy. Take your time and carefully trim the material out of the holes.
Part of the hood latch hardware includes a little rubber bumper that the edge of the hood rests on. Scott used an allen wrench to push the bumper's mounting tabs back into their holes.
Here is the fender with the paint protector in place and hood latched down. I am thinking that I won't be worrying so much about laying my tools on the fenders now that they are covered with the protectors. Yeah, I know Lady has a fair amount of Arizona pin-striping on her, but wrench gouges just isn't the same. This is going to work out just fine! No doubt about it.
Given how well both of these installs went, I plan on doing the tail gate sill protector too. It should provide some degree of protection against the claws of my two pups that seem to think they have a standing reservation in the back of the TJ! I think the folks at Tough Stuff Products have developed a good product (thank heavens it wasn't yet another 100 lb. bumper or an oil pan skid).