In our quest for fitting ever-larger tires on ever-shorter Jeeps, we bring you Part II of the YJ on 40s. Most people who put 40s on the front of a Jeep without lifting it to the moon either lose the fenders and cut the hood, or lose the fenders and go to a fiberglass "rock crawler" type of hood with the little built-in fenders that are really for decoration only.
We had heard rumors that Gen-Right Off Road was working on a high-clearance front tube fender to complement the company's kit for the rear and we were able to talk them out of the first production kit available and bring the story of installing it to you first.
By keeping the stock hood and cutting it, we save money over other kits that require hood replacement. Also, with the fenders, we got inner fenderwells to keep flung mud off underhood components, as well as steel fenders instead of fiberglass or plastic ones that will better take the occasional impact; we also opted for a 3-inch tubular flare to keep the amount of muck and water down inside the cab of the Jeep.
Since our stock hood and grille were mangled in an accident, we went to Scotty's Jeep, Truck & 4x4 in Fontana, California, for replacements. We were able to save some cash on a hood that had the lower edge (along the fender) bent and scratched since we were cutting off almost 4 inches of it anyway.
The fenders installed just like the directions said they should, so we won't bore you with a reprint of Gen-Right's instructions. Instead, we will share some of the tricks we learned along the way. Overall, for a solid day of work, we ended up with some near-bulletproof fenders that clear our 40-inch tires on a stock-height YJ Wrangler.