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Old 08-15-2014, 06:23 PM   #1
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Cool Flat fenders VS flat flares

Howdy.
I'm in a bit of a predicament. I have a new to me 05 Rubicon with 30" tires on it and very minorly rusted fenders. I want to get new fenders and bump up the tire size as well.
The obvious and best thing to do is lift it. And I really want to do that. The issue is that anything over a 1" factory lift adds about 50% to my insurance cost. Being 17 that's an insane number, so the lift is unfortunately not an option.
If you have any suggestions as to what I could do, please speak up. What I've narrowed it down to is getting new fenders and flat Bushwacker flares. Or whole flat fenders (Smitty Built or something).
The problem with the flat fenders is I can't find a turn signal set up that doesn't require me to cut into the Jeep a whole lot. That's something I don't want to do. With the flare option, I'm not sure but looking under the Jeep it looks like I wouldn't be gaining as much clearance as the flat fenders. But I would keep the turn signals.
Can anyone confirm or deny my suspicions about the clearance? Does anyone have any turn signal suggestions? I'm looking to get a set of 32" or 33" Mickey Thompson's and 2" spacers.
It's probability clear I don't know much about this stuff, but maybe I'll figure it out if I spend enough time here. Thanks for any help at all.

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Old 08-15-2014, 06:30 PM   #2
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My MCE fenders required a 3/4" diameter hole to add a small LED side light. One in the front and one on the side should do the trick. The PO added signal lights similar to a CJ style (which I think is pretty cool). With the MCE you could probably fit 33's without much lift. Have fun with it.
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Old 08-15-2014, 06:46 PM   #3
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Check out the Metalcloak arched tube fenders. They are supposed to have more clearance than any fender on the market. Maybe they will be what your looking for. They are what I want once I get to that point in my Jeep build. Heres the link.

Jeep Wrangler TJ/LJ Arched Tube Fender
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Old 08-15-2014, 06:47 PM   #4
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Yes, you will gain more clearance with flat fenders. If you are 100% set on keeping your turn signals without doing any major cutting, then from what I have learned you don't have a ton of options (may be incorrect in that statement). I do know that MetalCloak offers a LED signal system for their flat fender system. Depending on budget, that's an option. I'm not as versed as others with flat fenders, just know what I've researched myself.
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:05 PM   #5
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I put a set of cheep truck stop turn signals on my bumper when I put my MCE flat fenders on. No cutting into the grill.



On my other Jeep I installed Metal Cloak 6" arched fenders and put JK turn signals into the grill.

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Old 08-16-2014, 12:33 AM   #6
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I can confirm your suspicions, I had both, the Bushwacker flat flares and now the Smittybilt flat fenders.

I found that the Bushwacker flat flares actually cost me some clearance, I was rubbing them so much that I started taking them off when wheeling. The stock flares have a little pocket that goes above the flare's lower line, the flat flares have no space under them, it doesn't seem like much but it's a huge difference.

This is the Bushwackers with 31"s, the bottom pic is on 33"s, same lift at the time they were taken.


The Smittybilt fenders will require some cutting, but you keep your factory inner fenders and all the mounting locations, they are a bit of a project to get them fitted properly, when I started my install I cut deliberately about 1/2" too short and trimmed as I went, they turned out amazing and they are extremely strong, I weigh 240 (was 260) and I can stand on them and jump up and down, no give at all, I have had all the Jeep weight on them and a little black paint and they are good as new. And about 1/3 the price of most other options.

If you don't get extreme you could run 33"s with the flat fenders, 1" body lift and 3/4" coil spacers, well under the insurance requirements.



I used the factory turn signals and factory wiring and cut small holes under the headlights and mounted the stock lights there, easy as can be.
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:57 AM   #7
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Flat fenders will give you more clearance than flat flares due to the removal of the metal lip that the flares attach to.
My MCE'S get rid of that lip and have some give to them.
Metalcloak fenders provide even more clearance...at a hefty price.
But, IMO, the best solution for the most tire with the least lift is the highlined flat fenders that are being sold today...expensive also.

Installing MCE'S


MCE in front, Metalcloak Overlines behind me.


I also used JK turn signal housings in the grill, and 3/4" led side markers.
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Old 08-16-2014, 02:26 AM   #8
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I run the CCFabs tube fenders. Like the others have said, you will gain clearance with tube fenders. The CCFabs fenders have a gusset that I used to mount some amber LED lights that I bought from Amazon for $8.00. The setup works perfect



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Old 08-17-2014, 04:35 PM   #9
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Some companies fenders will also give you clearance BEHIND the tire as well. Some of the cheaper fenders or the bolt on flat flares do not give that clearance. With the tire size and spacers you're looking at you may not need it but I would still keep it in mind.

When I did my fenders I put a pair of JK turn signals into my grill. The whole process took 20 minutes of measuring, measuring again, drilling 2 holes. Plug the wires in, pop in lights...done.
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Old 08-31-2014, 02:32 AM   #10
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I ran the Poison Spyder flatties on my '99 w/ 5.5 lift & 35" tires with all the clearance I ever needed, and didn't cut or modify the tub. In fact, if I had decided to keep that Jeep, I was going to put shorter springs on it to lower the center of gravity some, I had plenty of clearance.

I had problems with the fact that my tires stuck out side of my fenders, and a couple of the local po-po's liked to give me a hard time about it (and a ticket the last time for not listening to him the first two times ... doh!).

After I had done all of this, Bushwhacker came out with their flatties which look really nice, have little marker lights in them, and look to give plenty of clearance for the size of tire you're talking about and won't break the bank, (as O_M_G_Jeep attests), If you do the 33's, you might want to stretch it out on one side and stuff the other side to see if anything is going to catch. If it does, you can usually trim a little (depending), or add a longer bump stop.

As for the turn signals, I got a set of truck/ trailer turn signals, carefully measured location and then cut the opening with a hole saw. I wired them to the factory plugs. Worked fine and had no problems. Plus, with the LED choices you have now, it's even easier to solve the turn signal problem.


Hope this helps.
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Old 09-01-2014, 05:01 PM   #11
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Tube fenders are great until you run into something. Then your tub gets mangled. I learned the hard way. I really like those MCE flexible fenders. Jeep designers were ahead of their time when they made plastic fenders that take the abuse. Just wish they didn't make the lip so low underneath. The MCE alleviates that problem.
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Old 09-01-2014, 07:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Provelogear View Post
Tube fenders are great until you run into something. Then your tub gets mangled. I learned the hard way. I really like those MCE flexible fenders. Jeep designers were ahead of their time when they made plastic fenders that take the abuse. Just wish they didn't make the lip so low underneath. The MCE alleviates that problem.
Yep.

Same Jeep I posted above.
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:14 PM   #13
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Ouch, that stinks. I bashed my PSC's into enough stuff, I never really thought about the potential for the damage like you guys are talking about. My rears were welded onto the crusher corners that went from behind the door all the way around to the gate, so that explains why no damage on the rear.

Looking at the fasten points on the fronts, grill, inner fender & tub... I'm thinking that they must've distributed the impact force enough to prevent damage to the tub... or maybe I just never hit them in a way that would cause damage. I remember they were a complete pia to install. But worked the way that I expected them to, and that was to give tire clearance and take a beating.

As a testament for the fenders I had, in this flop, the rig came up, rolled to the side & came down pretty hard. It took out my windshield & frame, but aside from paint scrapes, no other damage (glad I had the hard doors off).

The plastic flatties available now, weren't available when I did the Poison Spyders, I think they're a good & affordable choice, especially if you're just trying to gain some clearance.
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