How To: Replace Fender Liner

In case you need to replace your front wheel wheel liners, here’s how I did it.

Tools needed:
10mm socket and wrench
Phillips screwdriver
Small, thin-bladed flat-end screwdriver
Upholstery clip removal tool
Heavy-duty cleaner
Shop clothes
Jack, stands

53806-17020 Shield, Sub ($35 ea)
53805-17020 Shield, Sub
53879-16010 Retainer ($2.8Cool x1
90467-07166 Clip ($1.56) x1
90189-06157 Grommet, S ($1.20) x 2

The extra clips are nice to have. You might not break any, but once you get going, it’s good to be able to finish no matter what. If you don’t get the upholstery removal tool, figure on getting 6 grommets.

Raise the front and set on stands. Pull wheels. Starting in front, with a 10mm socket remove the three screws below the front bumper cover that secure the shield. (Three on each side.)

Next, work your way back toward the door, removing the 8 or so pull-poppets in sequence. The slim end of a small screwdriver may help in loosening the center part of the poppets. It’ll look like this:

The fun part is here – there are three “grommet” clips at the end closest to the door. These have internal tabs and must be forcibly extracted. On the advice of MrT, I used an upholstery-clip removal tool ($5 at your local auto parts store). This device sould be useful for many other jobs, so get one and make your life easier.

As it was, I lost the bottom two anyway because the clips have a hollow center that fills with debris, locking the pins into place. The tool makes extraction easy, but they’ll get a mangled on the way out. Yes, you could still re-use them, but that’s not the editor way.

Swap the front lower wind-blockers from the old liners to the new ones. A screwdriver will get you started, then seat them home with the 10mm socket.

Before installing the new liners, clean your calipers, examine brake lines, polish struts and springs, apply any rubber or vinyl treatments like Mother’s Back to Black or ArmorAll to anything that needs a wipe-down. [Tip courtesy of Lotus.] Use cleaner to degrime all the poppets you extracted and restore them to like-new condition.

Reinstall is the reverse of removal. Start in back by the door with the three grommets, fit the liner, pressing it into the wheel well behind the fender, only allowing the tabs to project over the holes along the edge. Secure with poppets and fit screws last. Job complete.

For the next 10 minutes, you’ll have the cleanest wheel wells on the planet.

This documentation in no way replaces the Toyota MR2 Repair Manuals. The purpose of this content is only to provide supplementary information to fellow MR2 enthusiasts. Midship Runabout and its contributing authors will not be held responsible for any injury or damages that may occur as the result of practicing any of the methods or procedures described within this website. Article and photo submissions are property of the contributing author.

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