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Highmark Flare Install Thread Needed

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  • Highmark Flare Install Thread Needed

    Does anyone have any experience installing the Highmark Fender Flares yet? I think we need a good picture thread. I'm looking at mine in the boxes and getting ready to install them but my truck is currently in the shop awaiting parts for a rear end issue.


  • #2
    I chickened out and had a local shop do mine. What details are you missing from the instructions?


    • #3
      I’m just trying to get some insights from someone who’s done it. There’s always some tricky parts that experience can help clarify. Or maybe not. Could be pretty straight forward just following the instructions.


      • #4
        The install went well for me. The instructions are pretty straight forward. The front cut much easier than the rear, just because the double layers in the rear. Mine is the Bison version so they use the upper holes for the new flares so I didn't have to drill as many holes. I also bought the Lord Fusor 108b for the front and the Sika 252 for the rear that AEV recommended. I used a small Reciprocating Air Saw to do most the cutting which cut the front fenders like butter. All and all everything went very smooth, just take your time. I also use both rust treatment and primer for all the cuts, just to be safe. My Wife and I did the install on a Sunday and Monday (Memorial Day Weekend), we also installed the Snorkel and an ARB Twin Compressor with the 589 mount at the same time in which I ran air lines in the front and to the rear. The inner liner was super tight to reinstall but not a big deal. The hardest part was getting over the nerves of cutting. Do It!
        Last edited by Let's Go 325!; 07-14-2020, 07:16 AM.


        • #5
          Any recommendations for getting to the running light wiring in the front. The rear was easy to access but there's not a lot of room to work with in the front.



          • #6
            No, it was very tight sorry.


            • #7
              Yes, I got it. It helps to remove a couple of the plastic zip tie to structure holders. Just grabbed them with some needle nose pliers to pry them out without breaking them. I noticed all four of my running lights were wired backward. Had to connect the white (hot) from the vehicle wiring harness to the black of the LED running light lead in order to get them to work.


              • #8
                Here are some photos and thoughts on my install:
                - I'm not a body man or a mechanic, although I have pretty decent knowledge of the later and a fairly extensive choice of tools and general shop supplies.
                - Account for plenty of time and overage of both time and material to an extent. If this is your daily driver and / or you have a deadline, maybe re-think your approach.
                - I did the install over the course of 5 weekdays pulling 6ish hour days and consumed about a dozen wobbly pops during a recent 2 week 'staycation' at home due this Covid-19 b/s.
                - I combined mine with installing the snorkel, transmission skid and center tube section on my Bison, in addition to smoking a pork butt, some wings, a chicken and some back ribs.
                - I started by placing the truck in the garage with plenty of space to work around the sides and put it up on four jack stands and took all 4 wheels off.
                - You could do the front first and then the rear, but I did both concurrently, as I think that makes the most sense.

                IMG_7369 by M J, on Flickr

                I bounced back and forth with deciding on how and what to use on cutting the flares. An air powered body saw makes about the best sense, but I fancied buying and using a knibbler.
                I used a makita knibbler for cutting out the hole for the snorkel, which worked ok, but it really needs the substrate material to be flat, and therefore was a poor choice for the flares.
                Years ago I decommissioned my shop air compressor due to space and little use and converted to battery operated tools.
                So. In the end I cut the flares and did all of the metal work on the flares and cleaning up the body panels and reinforcing plates with a Milwaukee M18 5" grinder using cutting discs and a couple of flapper wheels.

                For treating the bare metal, I sanded down and roughed up the paint along the cut edge for an inch or two, masked it, cleaned up with a bit of acetone, primed with a self-etching automotive paint, and then used a spray-on bed-liner, both by dupli-colour.

                IMG_7373 by M J, on Flickr

                I couldn't readily find the structural adhesive and panel bond that AEV recommends, so I visited a local body shop supply and secured alternatives.
                I ended up using Norton Speedgrip epoxy multi-bonding adhesive and 3M Factory-Match Seam Sealer.
                Importantly, I also needed and purchased the 1:1 and 2:1 'caulking gun' type applicator required to dispense this stuff.

                IMG_7375 by M J, on Flickr

                IMG_7379 by M J, on Flickr

                I mostly followed the AEV instructions, but deviated in two key areas:

                1) The rear flare install requires 3 riv-nuts be used to secure the flares at the top of the wheel arch. This is due to the doubled up body panel design, making it impossible to access the rear of the panel to install traditional nuts. I installed one other on each side of those three for a total of 5 per flare to allow for easier install.

                IMG_7384 by M J, on Flickr

                2) I installed a couple of riv-nuts on the passenger side top of the wheel arch due to the proximity of the snorkel to the body panel. Incidentally, I had to shorten the length of the bolts that went in this area too as they would interfere with the snorkel when tightened down.

                IMG_7381 by M J, on Flickr

                All in all, I'm happy with how it turned out. It did bite back however in one area:
                As my truck is an oem Bison trim, I didn't need to drill the holes for the flares as they follow the hole pattern for the oem flares - or so I thought.
                They do all line up with the exception of the two in the front headlight filler panels:
                I realized this after I installed the riv-nut destined for these panels, so I improvised a bit and glued in a set of other ones for proper fitment. In the end it slowed me up a couple of hours and it is hidden from view, so all is well that ends well.

                IMG_7383 by M J, on Flickr

                The truck is riding on 285/70R17 duratracks with the oem Bison wheels.
                Next up is some ring and pinion work and some new boots eventually.

                IMG_7388 by M J, on Flickr


                • #9
                  Thanks for posting! I got mine done last week too. It was straightforward but very time consuming. I took my time and made sure everything was done right. I probably have over 40 hours in it. Air saw is the right tool for the cuts. Angle grinder (or die grinder) with cutoff wheel for the body seam in the front fender well.
                  Last edited by Delkat; 10-23-2020, 02:33 PM.


                  • #10
                    You are likely correct, but the grinder made short work of it and worked well.
                    If one does choose to use a grinder, account for the slag and dust on the paint and glass!


                    • #11
                      Awesome write up Beltfed ! I may have some questions for you in the future!

                      Anyone have an idea of when the highmark flares will become available again?

                      I was wondering if this out-of-stock status is going to last a month, or a year.. because I have 35's sitting next to the truck, tempting it, but no way for them to fit until these flares become available again.

                      Does anyone who has completed the install have their old cutting templates available? I would make it worth someone's while!


                      • #12
                        Great write-up Beltfed !!! Good pics too. That is a lot of work and time, quite the commitment not to mention the nearly $10k I'd need when all done. Looks great, thanks for sharing.
                        2020 V6 Bison CC Satin Steel Metallic


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mikeking2008 View Post
                          Awesome write up Beltfed ! I may have some questions for you in the future!

                          Does anyone who has completed the install have their old cutting templates available? I would make it worth someone's while!
                          By all means, I'll assist where I can.
                          I didn't keep the template, sorry. I'd recommend you ask AEV - The hard copy template looked like it came off AutoCAD onto a large format plotter or similar - so they likely have it in a file that they may share.


                          • #14
                            Not a write up, but thought some of you would be interested to see a timelapse of the install. (Took me 23 hrs, but this video makes it happen in 3.5 minutes).



                            • #15
                              I liked how in the video he kept rolling the new tires over and probably thinking this is going to look bad ass!