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Old 02-11-2011, 02:09 PM   #1
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Flat Fenders or Trimmed?

Is there a reason (being serious) for spending 5 hundred on flat fenders, rather than just carefully trimming my existing rubicon ones? I like the look, and it's a project for later, but right now I like the look and was wondering the advantage to buying them outright as opposed to trimming the fenders I already have - thoughts?

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Old 02-11-2011, 02:16 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by vze2372e
Is there a reason (being serious) for spending 5 hundred on flat fenders, rather than just carefully trimming my existing rubicon ones? I like the look, and it's a project for later, but right now I like the look and was wondering the advantage to buying them outright as opposed to trimming the fenders I already have - thoughts?
The aftermarket are going to be a bit more solid, and have a warranty. Plus they come with the inner fenders so you dont have to paint the inside of your fender wells. Besides that nothing worth 500. I chopped mine and I get compiments daily.

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Old 02-11-2011, 02:18 PM   #3
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If you buy flat fender FLARES you probably wont get more clearance than just trimming yours but theyll look nice.

If you buy flat fenders (the metal part too) you will definitely get more clearance and a better look.
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:22 PM   #4
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I've never done either, but my top three would be (1) Likelihood of achieving a finished, professional look, (2) ability to relocate and keep your turn signal, and (3) ability to return to stock.

Some of the DIY jobs don't come out very well and even flap in the wind at highway speeds.

By contrast, aftermarket flat flares always look well done and will presumably allow you to remove them and put back the originals. I know the bushwacker ones also have turn signals built in, which you'd cut off if you just chopped your current flares.

Still though, they're pricey and just not worth it to some folks. Which is why many choose to chop.

**Edit - I recall there being a link in Project JK about relocating your turn signals using chopped stock flares. It's doable, just a pain in the a*s.
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Old 02-11-2011, 04:38 PM   #5
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Interesting ... There doesn't seem to be one set answer? I try to avoid "pain in the ass" but lets face it, it's never going back to stock anyway ... My concerns are flapping, finished edges, and the turn signal.
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Old 02-11-2011, 04:39 PM   #6
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Old 02-11-2011, 04:50 PM   #7
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Yea I saw your post yesterday, nice job, but then trimming your stock ones wasn't an option per Daggo, or was it? Installation fairly straight forward? And how did you choose that brand? Curious
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:14 PM   #8
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I like the cost part of cutting the flares but I have seen more than a few in person and I just don't like it. I don't like how the factory flares stick out in the front of the jeep or the angle they sit at.

I just put on a set of bushwacker flats. They sit at a different angle so they really give you more clearance than just measuring the outside fender thickness. I am running a 2.5 BB with heavy steel bumpers with a winch in the front and a tire carrier in the back with can mounts and an over tire basket. Needless to say I am weighed down pretty good. I still have 10 inches of tire clearance in front with the factory wheels and tires.

Overall I love the new fenders. Install was not too bad once I replaced the junk hardware. They need to find a new source for stainless. The liner trimming went well. I had to pick up two new thread retainers for the front because I broke them when yanking the fenders off because they forgot to mention you need to use them again until much later in the destructions. Only cost me $3 at the dealer and I believe it is the type of fastener that should not be reused anyway so I am glad they broke.

They really make the jeep look mean and are way more sturdy it seems than the factory fenders. I have already tested the warranty on them because my drivers rear fender had a major defect. They handled it very well and a new fender is on it's way. They are not cheap so I fully understand why some folks chop the stockers.

The first is the fenders and the second is the defect. I know I need bigger tires now. Soon, very soon.
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:03 PM   #9
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Random whining: If bushwacker made their pocket-style flares at about 2/3 the width of the stock flares, I'd be all about them. Instead, they only making them wider than the stock flares, which means you basically need bigger tires/less backspacing or they look ridiculous. That drives me nuts.
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:25 PM   #10
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Spend the cash on aftermarket flatties or spend the cash on something more important....like skid plates, winch, sliders, etc.

I trimmed mine. Would I rather have tube fenders? Yes. But my trimmed fenders get the job done until the more important stuff is taken care of.
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:34 PM   #11
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Well I have cut my fenders it looks good if you can trim them in to a nice width and shape. Also put something under the front fenders to keep them from sagging. I am switching over to Bushwackers flat fenders when ever they get here I'll post pictures of the difference.
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:45 PM   #12
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I like the bushwacker flat flares for JKs very much but yes they are overpriced. It does not cost them 1/4 of that to make so that's usually keeps me from getting them. I think $500 could be better spent on armor, towards tires/wheels, light mounts..etc
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:49 PM   #13
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If done right, and the time is taken to make sure the finished edges are protected and the under-bracing is good then you will have no problem. You can also relocate the side marker light by buying a 2-wire led light and drilling into the inner fender or side of grill and ta-da.

The again, mines on a TJ. At least for you to do yours you don't have to cut metal, but then again. That keeps mine stronger!

Took about 4-5 hours and I think it looks pretty professional to me, trim is around the edges. Side marker is hidden and smooth and there was no sagging.
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Old 02-12-2011, 12:35 PM   #14
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Preference for me.

I dont like the look of chopped fenders..Bushwackers and Xenons got rolled edges while the chopped ones looks unfinished even with the door edge protector added to it.
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Old 02-12-2011, 01:01 PM   #15
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Old 02-12-2011, 01:01 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Elevated Offroad View Post
Well I have cut my fenders it looks good if you can trim them in to a nice width and shape. Also put something under the front fenders to keep them from sagging. I am switching over to Bushwackers flat fenders when ever they get here I'll post pictures of the difference.
How did you brace yours? I hate the saggy look ( I have enough of that on my own)
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Old 02-12-2011, 01:03 PM   #17
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How did you brace yours? I hate the saggy look ( I have enough of that on my own)
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Old 02-12-2011, 03:20 PM   #18
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:45 AM   #19
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The instal was not that bad! A grinder is the best tool to cut the inner splash linner because with the right pad u sandand cut at the same time! And adding extra width it makes it up with angle! It takes the water and sprays it straight up and out and not back! I have video from this weekend but I'm waiting to put them on u tube till I can put all the video into one! Any other questions
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:49 AM   #20
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Gang - I ended up going with Bushwhackers for two reasons 1) I don't trust myself making it look professional with a grinder, I'm more apt to saw my tailpipe off and b) I don't have the time basically - spoke to Steve at Steve's Jeep Country and basically as he said, trimmed is fine if you have the time and skill but in the end, you will end up with a better appearance and look spending the money. Seems thats the way most things are - anyway to avoid having to deal with relocating turn signal lamps, and a grinder making my RUBICON into an UBICON, I went with Bushwhackers. Interesting thread however!
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:34 AM   #21
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I think the $500 estimate for the Bushwacker's is a little high. JeepAddOns (sponsoring vendor) is currently selling them for $397, plus there is an additional $50 rebate.
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:49 AM   #22
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You can make the trimmed fenders look however you want. Plenty of people make them look just like the bushwhackers. Other people come up with completely new styles that make their rigs look unique.

As for time, I would argue it takes LESS time to trim the fenders while on the jeep than it would to Remove/Reinstall a purchased set.

I don't quite know how dealing with the relocated light is a pain in the ass... many people just bolt their existing light right to the steel inner fender. Some people take more time to come up with a more unique solution, but it can be just as simple as that.

I get people ask me at least once a month where I "bought" my fenders, usually people who already have aftermarket fenders. When I tell them they are just trimmed, their jaws drop.

As for flapping at highway speed... I have kept the inner fender support in the front (the "waffle" piece). I have slight movement on the freeway of my front fenders, not enough for me to worry about. However, a bead of silicone between the fender and the support would stop any and all movement. The rears are completely flap-free.

My total cost for my fender mod? -$85. That's right, I netted $85... I bought Rubi take-off fenders for $100, door trim for $10 and LED lights for $5, then sold my Sahara fenders for $200. But most people can get away with the mod for $10, just the cost of the door molding (assuming you already have a jig saw).

Personally, I'll put my $400 to other uses.

Here are some pics of my fender trim.





(Thanks Scott and Trina for the below awesome shot)



What I did with my marker light:





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Old 02-14-2011, 11:12 AM   #23
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I think the $500 estimate for the Bushwacker's is a little high. JeepAddOns (sponsoring vendor) is currently selling them for $397, plus there is an additional $50 rebate.
It might be time for me to pull the trigger on these.
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Old 02-14-2011, 11:52 AM   #24
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I'm torn on the whole glowing front end thing - but readily admit at least in pictures, they look great. It goes back to me however and sharp motorized implements ... 500 is less than a visit to the emergency room

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