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On The Trail Fender Trimming

Quick and dirty trail repair…or upgrade.

We sold our 1987 Samurai project to our buddy, Doug Lyons. He got a good deal, and we got another friend to hit the trail with. Still, there were a few things on the Samurai that we never got a chance to fully address. One of these things was that we trimmed one front fender (here: Fender Trimming Tips and Tricks), but as too often happens in the magazine world, ran out of time to trim the other side. That is until we hit a trail with Doug where the tire and the fender almost certainly would have tried to share space. This probably would have resulted in both fender and tire damage, so having done the other side we decided to trim this side while out on the trail. The beauty is despite the noise we made, there may not be a nicer place on earth to work on a rig than in the shade on the side of a trail.

Fender trimming part II

As said, we'd already trimmed the fender on one side of the samurai, and we had always meant to have Doug drive the samurai back over to our house to fix the other side, but that hadn't gone well. It seems both we and Doug have full-time jobs that require our attention. But we brought a battery operated reciprocating saw and a few blades on this wheeling trip because we knew Doug's Samurai might need some more trimming. Truth be told, there wasn't a better time to undertake this trail fix/repair/upgrade.

Tools for a Trail Side Fender Trim

So with some duct tape in hand, our battery operated reciprocating saw, a couple of blades, and our favorite trail tool, a ball-peen hammer, we set to work. The tape sets the line we would like to follow with the outer cut, and the inner cut will have to be as close to the fender lip as possible.

Next, cut and then cut some more

We used one longer, flatter blade to cut the straight line across the top, but a shorter and narrower saw blade is perfect for getting started and making curved cuts. We want to make sure we don't trim off any more metal than is totally necessary, and that means taking our time.

It's Hammer Time for the Fender

With the offending metal removed, we used the reciprocating saw to cut small relief cuts in the inner fender well. Then, we can use our friendly hammer (we will call him Mateo) to flatten out the inner fender well. With any luck when we are back at the shop, we can then stitch weld the inner fender back to the outer fender just like we did on the other side. For now, the fender should clear the front tires quite a bit better than it did before our impromptu trailside fender trimming party.