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BesTop Fender Flares

By, Jimmy "Big Red" Vance

BesTop Fender Flares

One of the first things I did to the TJ was install a lift and add larger and wider tires. The new tires would fit on the factory rims, but with the additional width of the new tires they would rub on the frame. To make the tires fit, I got rims with less backspacing than the factory rims. The difference in the backspacing, and just the plain fact that the tires were wider made them stick out past the factory flares a few inches.

With the tires sticking out past the flares it was impossible to keep the Jeep clean. I know, Jeeps are meant to get dirty. But when I'm not out on a trail and just cruising the streets I like my rig to look good. Besides slinging stuff on my rig, the exposed tire can also toss debris at other motorists, which is not a good thing. After looking at what options I had with aftermarket flares I decided on the new offerings from Bestop.

The first step is to remove the factory flares and rocker panel extensions. This is an easy process, as the bolts and plastic backing nuts are easily removed.

Before taking off the front flares, disconnect the side marker light wire and remove the side marker light assembly.

BesTop Fender Flares
Once the old flares are off, it's a good idea to clean the surface where the old flares were mounted.

BesTop Fender Flares

BesTop Fender Flares
The new flares don't have the holes punched out, but have indentations where the bolts go.

The BesTop instructions state to use a punch to open the holes. By trial and error, I found it easier to use a drill bit that was the same size as the indentation and open the hole completely.

The overall fit of the flare is good, but just poking a small hole in the indentations with a punch resulted in not being able to get some of the bolts in.

Once you have all the holes opened up, use the supplied hardware to bolt the new flares on.

Loosely install all of the mounting hardware. Once al of the bolts are in, go back and tighten everything up.

As you can see in this photo, the new flares are a lot wider than the factory flares

The factory flares are about 4" wide. The bestop flares vary from 6 1/4 to over 7" wide. The 7" width is at the lower rear of the front flare, Bestop call this a mud bulge which helps to keep mud from slinging up on the driver.

   

BesTop Fender Flares
When installing the rear flare, you have to deal with the inner fender panel. You have two choices. Either remove the panel or push it up out of the way to get to the backing nuts.

I opted for the second method and just pushed the liner out of the way as I installed each bolt and nut.

BesTop Fender Flares
The flares are about 2 1/2 inches wider than the OEM flare. This extra width almost completely covers the tires. This helps keep the Jeep clean when off road.

In addition, many states have fender flare laws that require complete coverage to the edge of the tires, so these BesTops would keep you in compliance with those laws.

BesTop Fender FlaresAs you can see in these photos, the new flares cover the tires and look good, too, unlike some of the other aftermarket flares I have seen. The BesTop flares have internal ribbing for added strength. The flares also have texture similar to the factory flares, and are more rounded, which I think adds to the appearance.

I was very pleased with the quality of the flares. After seeing the finished look, I'm glad I decided to go with the BesTop kit over the other aftermarket offerings.

 

RESOURCE
BesTop
www.bestop.com
Phone: (800) 845-3567

 

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