Bushwacker Flat Fender Flares

December 17-18, 2011

After I put on bigger tires, I ran into a problem with tire rubbing on the fender flares during articulation. After a lot of vacillating between downsizing the tires, changing the backspacing, and cutting the fenders, I finally made a decision.

Once I saw the Bushwacker Flat Fender Flares on a few different websites and read their installation guide, I figured this would be the best solution for me. Yes, trimming was required which I was opposed to at first, but then I softened to it after reading the installation procedure.

Before the flares were changed, this image shows how much clearance I had for the tire to fit when articulating. As you can imagine, there was a lot of rubbing (especially in the rear).

First thing's first - remove the tire to make it much easier to perform the work.

The original fender flares must be removed.

I decided to work on the front and rear together since I had limited working space. I also had to remove the rear bumper end cap.

Mask off the flare for cutting per the instructions.

Take the angle grinder and cut away. After cutting, I applied some primer to the exposed bare metal and then later painted it for rust protection.

Now we screw on the new inner flares to the body which is used as a mounting block for the outer flares.

Attach the new outer flare and secure it with the screws. Now we just need to clean up our mess.

The pile of original flares and parts that no longer fit on the Jeep.

The new flares stick out more than the stock ones, but that should also help to keep my XJ clean.

With the new fender flares installed, you can see there is much more clearance for those tires to fit inside the wheel well. Now I just need to test the articulation.