Reuse, Recycle, Rebuild
There's no better time like the present to start working on your project. Remove the stock flares. Feel around the fender opening to make certain you won't be cutting into coolant reserves, hoses, or wiper-fluid containers. Because we had the luxury of looking at the Bushwacker instructions before starting the project, we were able to utilize their cutting pattern and modify it to suit a more custom project.
On the front, begin marking the cut line at the front of the wheelwell opening. Make a mark 5 inches in from the bottom of the marker light towards the opening of the wheelwell. At the bottom rear of the wheelwell, measure from the back of the fender towards the well opening 7 inches, and mark this point too. Connect the dots with a line from the rear 7-inch mark, following the curve of the body lip (used to attach the stock flare) to the 5-inch mark at the front. Using masking tape, make a straight-cut guide.
Use a cutting tool like very forgiving pneumatic nibblers, a die grinder with cutting wheel, or a reciprocating saw (like the Sawzall). Carefully and patiently trim off the marked edge. File or grind the raw edge to remove metal burrs, then finish the edges with primer and paint. Attach the stock flare by stretching, cutting tabs, trimming, and otherwise manipulating the flare. You can use a rivet gun or design your own bracket system with the stock supplies. By doing so the fender retains a little of its original look.
Read the "Structure" sidebar before you begin trimming the rear. The plan here is to cut as much as needed, while maintaining the wheelwell and quarter-panel structure. Use a cutting wheel to trim the rear flap of the wheelwell. Trim the front edge to allow 1/2 inch of metal for you to fold back onto the wheelwell. Working with the remaining front edge, gently fold the front edge back to overlap over the wheelwell.
We've seen this done with patient and concise hammering, but by using a piece of wood such as a wooden baseball bat, you can use a backward motion to push the front lip over the well. If you are reusing your stock rear flares, remember to leave a mounting point for the flare. We chose to cut only up to the body line so that we could attach the stock flare once we shortened it.
Out of Pocket: Labor