<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> ROCKCRAWLER.com - Bushwacker TJ Fender Flares

ROCKCRAWLER.com
Bushwacker Pocket Style Fender Flares
For Jeep TJ

By Shawn Pagan

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The flares look really good when installed. I prefer their look to many of the other flares on the market. And one of the really nice things is that because of the way they mount and the low profiles of the flare itself there are gobs of room underneath the flare to remove "excess" sheet metal if needed to keep those large tires from rubbing. In fact I used an angle grinder and cut about 1 inch of metal off the back of the rear wheel well opening and it is completely hidden by the flare - nor does it interfere with the mounting of the flare. Additional trimming on both the front and back could be done if needed.

The flares covered everything I needed covered and did so on both sets of my wheel and tires. Since I use my Jeep for a daily-driver, I run 35x12.50x15's on 8.5" x 15" Rims with 3.5" of backspacing on the street and 36x12.50x15's on 8.5" x 15" Beadlocks with 3.5" of backspacing. As you can see in this side-by-side comparison between the stock flare and the Bushwacker flare, the Bushwacker flare comfortably covers up the tire tread.

To give you another view or idea of the difference between the stock front flare (on the left side of the picture) and the Bushwacker flare (on the right of the picture).

Now that the flares were installed, it was time to quit looking at them and test them out, which is where I discovered that, much to my disappointment, these flares may be better for street and show trucks than real trail vehicles. (Note: as they say it ain't over until it's over so don't just stop here, read the rest of the article, as something might change my mind!)

As I snaked my way through a tight, rocky, tree-lined trail, I drug the flares as much as possible. Leaning out the door, I noticed the flares were bending nicely and assumed that all was well. However, after coming off the trail I found that this was not the case, as the contact had pulled the bolts right through the flares on the front! In fact, the right front flare was barely holding on. Plus, I had lost about 1/4 of the black plastic snap caps so the flares now had a very "unfinished" look to them.

The flares themselves looked no worse for wear, but I couldn't worry about pulling the bolts through the flare every time I ventured off the highway. Besides, losing the snap caps (although not a functional flaw) would be equally annoying, as I like my rig to look nice. Needless to say, I was disappointed.

ON TO THE RESOLUTION -->