With rear fenders, sand, mud, rocks, liquids, and other road spray can be prevented from being thrown into the air--and at other people and objects--by the spinning tire. However, if this component gets damaged, your car will not be as pleasing to look at. Spare yourself the headache and purchase a new rear fender right away, and install it yourself by following these six steps.
Required skill level: Expert
Needed tools and materials
- Tack cloth
Removing the old fender's hardware
Remove the retainers for the fender liner. These hardware may look like screws, clips, push-on nuts, rivets, or a combination of these items, depending on your vehicle. Take out the retainers that hold the fender to the rear bumper as well.
Detaching the rear bumper, lamps, and other surrounding car parts
Lower the rear bumper. Depending on your vehicle, you might have to remove the entire bumper. Remove any lamps that are placed on and around the rear fender. These may include the tail light assembly, park lamp, and turn signal. If your vehicle has an antenna mask, take that out as well.
Removing other components and remaining hardware
If you have rocker moldings equipped near the rear fender, take those out as well. These are held on by screws and clips, so use your tools if necessary. With all the surrounding components removed, take out the bolts under the trunk that attach the rear fender to the vehicle. There are more bolts underneath where the rocker moldings were--remove them as well. This is the right time to detach the fender from the vehicle as there's no more hardware keeping it in place.
Setting aside components for reuse
Look at all the components you removed. Place the parts you will throw out on one side, and the parts that you will reuse with the new rear fender on the other side. These may include mud guards, moldings, rear shields, rear insulators, emblems, nameplates, and reflectors.
Inspecting for damages and proper fit
Check the apron behind the rear fender and along the A-pillar to check for possible damages. If there's any, repair them first before moving on with the installation. Once you find no more damage needing to be repaired, pre-fit your new rear fender to confirm the compatibility.
Installing the components
If you're equipping your vehicle with rocker moldings, install them now. Attach all the components you removed earlier, such as the tail light assembly. Mount the bumper and its cover before attaching the rear fender. Finally, install any emblems, nameplates, and mud guards that you removed earlier.
- If you are planning to paint the rear fender as well, do that part first before installing it.