Originally Posted by cpierich
I'm trying to understand the benefits of a full flat fender flare setup like those sold by MCE or similar vs the bushwacker flat flares. I know with the MCE you actually cut the fender and the bushwacker are just bolt on basically. Do the bolt on flares offer the same amount of clearance as cutting the fenders or must you cut the fenders to get the additional clearance? Just trying to understand it best. Also, I'm assuming tube fenders are the same thing? Or are they a different thing altogether like the ones offered by Metalcloak? Thanks!
in uptravel + flex, there are a few major limiting factors.
1. suspension interferences (like track bar vs diff)
2. coil bind (can damage coils)
3. shock length (bottoming out the shocks will damage them or the mounts)
4. tire size.
if you work out #1-3, and find #4 is your limiting factor, you can modify the fenders to fit the tires better.
Usually, the fenders become a limiting factor in the follow ways:
1. tire vs plastic flare - this isn't really a major problem, because the flare is plastic and will bend/move or crack/break.
2. tire vs steel fender - this is a major problem because you can cause body or tire damage.
3. tire vs hood line - this is a major problem, and only occurs after you fix #1 and #2 by significant body modifications.
flat flares that bolt to the existing fenders fix #1 (sort of). they basically just eliminate the lip that rubs the tire, which some people seem to think is a problem...but it's really not. you can accomplish the same result with a razor knife and trimming your existing flares.
flat flares that require cutting the fenders fix #1 and #2. if you cut the interfering steel out and replace it with flexible plastic...you won't damage the steel obviously.
those all gain what i would consider either no clearance, or somewhat minimal clearance. Metalcloaks also fit into that #2 category - they move the fender so that the factory hood-line is the limiting factor.
the way to gain the maximum amount of clearance is to move the hood-line. this is called a fender lift, or highline hood/fender. Another option for even more clearance is to eliminate the fenders all together and go to Campbell fiberglass hood.
the question to ask yourself is, how much tire clearance do you need for how much bumpstop extension you have to run? and what are you trying to accomplish with up/down travel & travel ratio? the answers will dictate how deep you need to go.