HomeBuild/ConversionWeek 5: Cutting rear wheel wells

Week 5: Cutting rear wheel wells

This week we enlarged the rear wheel wells to make room for the 40 inch tires. When we started the tires had not yet arrived in the mail. We clamped some wood to the axle to help estimate the size of the tire and to help draw the arc to cutout. We also deflated the air springs to simulate articulation (as if the tire was fully stuffed into the wheel well).

wood clamp
Clamped wood to axle, make sure its centered

The original wheel wells were tall enough, but not wide enough, so the cutting was done on the sides (red circles in the picture).

initial cuts
Red circles are where most of the cutting was done
cutting stud
Cutting the stud was more challenging
stud cutting
About 2 inches of the stud had to come off

The axle was not centered in the wheel well. It was closer to the front of the vehicle from the factory. So we only had to cut the inner wheel well on the side that faces the front of the vehicle.

inner cuts
This shows the inner wheel well cutout
inner cutout
The drivers side wheel well was next to a cabinet. This shot is from inside the cabinet lookign at the axle.

We used some scrap aluminum that we had pulled out of the interior to make the covers for the cutouts. We used pliers and a hammer to shape it as needed. Then welded them on.

cutout cover
Cutout cover

We primed and painted the cuts and welds and mounted the tires to check the clearance.

drivers side
The drivers side was welded from inside the cabinet leaving a lip on the outside.
passenger side
The passenger side was welded from the outside. Could not get to it from inside.
from the inside
Looking up from the inside of the wheel well
finished
The final fit and clearance

We still have to lift the front and cutout the front wheel wells before we can test it out. We will update the post once tested.

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