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Ok. I'm not sure if this has already been posted but, I'm going to post anyways. Here is a pretty good DIY guide to installing some aero flares. It's my first install thread so, please bear with me I purchased these from Mazdatrix.com, factory painted and ready to install, for $250. This project took about 3 hours and was fairly easy to do. The kit comes with instructions but, they seem like they were poorly translated from Japanese and at times, I needed to re-read certain parts a few times before I got the idea. Well, lets get started.
Drill bits: 13/64, 5/16, 21/64, 25/64
Philips & Flathead screwdrivers
Sharp utility knife
Touch up paint
Double sided tape
Here is a before photo and a photo of the Aero Flare
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Next step is to remove rear wheel for better access. After that, you need to remove the side spoiler. It is held on by two rivet screws. I found that as you turn the screw to loosen it, pull down slightly on the spoiler to help pop out the rivet.
Removing the stone guard comes next. This piece is held on with several black clips. Take a thin flathead screwdriver and pop out the clip by prying in an upward direction on the little tap that lies closest to the sheet metal. You want to make sure that you are above the rubber gasket that cushions the clip against the car. Pop out 6 clips. BE CAREFUL not to break all the clips you remove because you need to re-use two of them. At this point, your stone guard is ready to be cut. You want to cut it about 3/4 in in front of the 6th clip. The pictures should hopefully clear this up. Once cut, pop back in the 6th clip. Now, take out two clips from the stone guard. They just slide out. You need to trim off the little bracket that attached to the stone guard and re-insert them back into the car. They go in the 2nd, and 4th holes counting from the back of the car. The kit comes with a hole plug that is inserted into hole 5.
Now you need to prepare the aero flare for placement on the car. This step includes sticking the cushion protector ring on the inside of the flare where the rivet attached to the vehicle. You must also attach the new black clips included in the kit to the flare. Once this is done, you can temporarily fit the flare on the car by popping the clips into the remaining open holes where the stone guard you removed used to go, and by attaching the rivet screw. Now the flare should sit pretty snug to the car. Hold pressure on the flare part closest to the wheel well so that you can mark the hole on the wheel well lip. After marking, remove flare by removing the rivet screw and then GENTLY pushing the flare back toward the rear wheel. It should slide out of the clips. NOTE: the clips will remain in the holes on the car. Leave them. I will get to reattaching the flare in later steps.
Next, use an awl to punch the metal where you made the mark for the screw. Drill using a 13/64 bit. After hole is made, remove any metal burs that might be hanging around. BLOW them off, do not wipe them, they could scratch the paint. Use touch up paint to cover the exposed metal around the edges of the hole you just drilled.
Next, you need to attach the templates used to mark the location of the holes needed for the fasteners to attach to the car. The kit comes with templates you cut out and attach to the inside of the flare. I used double sided tape to stick them to the flare. Remember, you need to attach the template face in so that when it's attached to the car, you will be able to see the marked hole location. Take your time on this step. If you don't attach the templates in the dead on exact location, the fasteners will not line up and pop into the car and then your SCREWED!!!
Now you need to reattach the flare to the car. From the bottom, fit the large rectangle hole over the clip that is still attached to car from a few steps back. Make sure the template is hanging outside of the flare. Push the flare toward the front of the car to secure the bottom clips. Now attach the rivet screw and the screw fastener in the wheel well lip. This flare should now be securely attached to the car. Give a GENTLE tug on the pieces of the template sticking out to make sure they are straight and not crimped or folded. Secure all four templates with tape (My son is helping with this step). Then, carefully, remove the flare by reversing the steps above making sure that you don't rip the templates. Once flare is removed, you can now mark the holes with an awl and begin the SCARY part of the install...drilling into the side of your RX8!!
With the holes marked, you can now begin drilling. To make a nice, clean hole, I started with a 13/64 bit, then a 5/16, a 21/64 and finally a 25/64. After removing any burs, I gave each hole a coat of touch up paint. The next step is to get on your knees and pray that you had your templates in the right spot, because now you have four incredibly ugly holes in the side of your 8, and having to re-drill cause you messed up would result in a loose fastener fit and a real loose fitting flare....not good. I doubt this will happen if you were as careful as I was with this VERY CRUCIAL step.
We are approaching the final few steps. First, wipe down the entire area that will be covered by the flare with some isopropyl alcohol. This will remove any wax that will prevent the special release-coated tape that comes with the flare from sticking to the car.
You'll need to attach the fasteners to the inside of the flare next. They just slide in the the plastic bracket. Be careful not to break them...you get no extras in the kit.
This next step is easier with two people. Again, my son helped with this step. Attach the flare to the bottom of the car first (using the black clips still attached to the car). Then, while holding the flare away from the car, have someone pull off the protective tape covering the release coated tape. Make sure it doesn't touch the car until you get the fasteners lined up to the holes you drilled in the side of the car. Once lined up, GENTLY push each fastener into the hole. Apply good, hard pressure. You want those fasteners to seat all the way into the holes. Next, install the wheel well screw and the rivet screw. Apply pressure all along the top edge of the flare to ensure the release-coat tape has adhered to both the flare and the car with no gaps...gaps are ugly. I painted the exposed screw in the wheel well with touch up paint. You don't need to but, the screw is black and it stuck out like a sore thumb on my Ti Gray 8.
Well, thats it!! I think the project turned out great. I hope this DIY thread was helpful. I've been coming to this forum for several months to get help with other mods I've done to my 8, so I was looking forward to contributing back. A BIG thanks to my son, "Hollywood", for his help with this project. He LOVES riding in the 8. Maybe I'll put it away in a few years and give it to him when he turns 16.
Hi. Great DIY. I know this is late but I just performed this myself in a couple hrs. I do have one question. What did you do with the rockguard that gets cut just past the 5th clip. I notice mine hangs a little. I'm debating either using some 3m super 77 to glue it or perhaps removed the guard completely and plug the holes. Thanks