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Old 01-01-2021, 01:00 PM
thstone thstone is offline
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** Fender Flares **

With a break over the holiday, I finally had time to get the fender flares installed!

I ended up installing a combination of the factory 4.4is fender trim along with an aftermarket 4.4is fender trim extension kit.

Front
The BMW front fender trim is the same for the 3.0 and the 4.4 and neither has any flare or extension to it. So I used the 4.4 fender trim (because it was in better condition) along with the aftermarket flare extension. This gave the front a similar look to that of the rear.

Rear
The BMW rear fender trim is different between the 3.0 and the 4.4 where the 4.4 has a very nice flare. The rear wheel trim comes in two components, the first portion is in front and above the wheel well and the second portion is behind the wheel well. The challenge is that the 4.4 portion behind the wheel well doesn't match up with the 3.0 under bumper trim because the 4.4 has a different under bumper trim piece (that is often painted body color). I wanted to keep the 3.0 under bumper piece so I installed the 4.4 flare in front and above the wheel well and used the aftermarket flare extension on the 3.0 fender trim behind the wheel well.

I will make a separate post detailing the installation process but in summary the factory pieces were installed using the factory single use trim rivets and the aftermarket pieces were installed using pop-rivets to hold them while they were epoxied to the existing 3.0 fender trim.

The wheels were removed to make it easier to get to all of the fender trim rivets and the side runners had to be removed to replace the 3.0 fender trim with the 4.4 pieces. This means that you end up needing a lot of factory trim rivets so I bought an inexpensive riveter and about 45 aftermarket rivets.

This was my first time attempting a DIY like this so it took me about 2-3 hours per corner or 12 hrs total. As I got experience, the process sped up and the quality of my work improved quite a bit. I could probably do a second X5 in less than half the time now that I know what works best.

The end result achieved exactly what I was hoping. Overall the fender flares make the body and tires look more proportional and give the X5 a nice aggressive overall look.

The quality of the work isn't perfect but it wasn't expected to be. The goal was to see what an average person without a lot of skill could do on their own at a reasonable cost. I am sure that many others could do this job quicker and at a much higher level of quality but I had to learn somewhere and it might as well be here.

And yes, you can see my E36 M3 and Porsche 911SC in the backgrounds!

Next step... get out and do some off-roading! But I am already planning for the installation of a rear cargo platform, cargo drawers, and maybe routing some DC power to the rear for lights/charging phone/etc.
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