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Choosing The Ideal Jeep Fender Flares For Your Build

When working on your custom-built four-wheeler, you have a range of modifications and upgrades to choose from. Some of these mods make your rig look badass while others enhance its off-roading capability. Fender flares are both cosmetic and functional, making them doubly useful whether you’re working on a custom truck or Jeep build.

In addition to making your custom-built vehicle look awesome, fender flares are also inexpensive and easy to install, giving your ride much-needed protection while out on the trail. Furthermore, various states have regulations governing what’s legal where flares are concerned. This is why it’s important to take your time and research before choosing flares for your Jeep.

Before we get into selecting the right ones, let’s first deal with the basics –what exactly are fender flares?

What are Fender Flares?

Fender flares are the four sculpted pieces of material that extend over and cover the tires on both sides of your Jeep. They’re the ones you see sticking out like a brim over the tires. Most people readily recognize flares for their cosmetic function in styling their Jeeps. But more importantly, these flares also provide protection and additional clearance.

Still not sure how?

Well, for avid off-roaders, bigger tires and wheels are an important and almost necessary upgrade for their rides. To give your rig more traction and higher ground clearance, you can decide to swap out your stock tires for something meatier and more aggressive.

Tires that come with wide treads and deep groves give your Jeep traction by picking up and displacing dirt, mud, and rocks. Normally, the Jeep’s wheel well protects the vehicle’s sides from the debris that flies off from the tires. But when you’ve added tires that are wider than stock ones, some of this debris inevitably flies outside the range of the wheel wells and can end up dirtying or scratching your rig’s paint job.

To prevent this, you need to install flares that extend out from the width of the fender and wheel well to cover the wider tires and prevent the debris they kick up from damaging your Jeep’s body, other trucks, or people near you.

Fender flares are also necessary for legal reasons. Adding newer more offset wheels to your Jeep can push the boundaries of what’s considered legal in different jurisdictions. You, therefore, need fenders that cover part of the tires’ width for your vehicle to be considered street legal.

Choosing the Right Flares for your Jeep

Now that we have that cleared up, let’s get into choosing suitable flares for your rig. Whenever we get clients at the Dixie 4 Wheel Drive auto shop in Moab looking to upgrade their flares, we advise them to base their selection on:

  • The width of the flares. This is the major thing to look out for. While flares are available in a variety of widths, you need to figure out how far from the fenders your tires extend to know which ones to fit on the vehicle. Also consider the legal requirements in your state.

  • The material they’re made from. Flares need to be durable enough to take the punishment the toughest trails hand out. The really good ones on the market are made from flexible and durable plastic and can be painted to match your rig’s color.

  • Their installation. Some flares don’t need drilling to mount them on your Jeep while others do. If you’re unsure of how to go about fixing your new fender flares, you can contact the Dixie 4 Wheel Drive auto shop in St. George and we’ll get it done for you.

You can make your choice from one of these aftermarket fender flare categories:

1. Original Equipment Style Flares

These flares come in 2 main forms:

  • Factory style ABS plastic flares which have the same look, coverage, performance, and feel as stock ones. These are perfect for those looking to replace their damaged stock flares. They’re easy to install as they simply bolt on to the original factory mounting points.

  • Wider versions of factory flares that are useful for those with older Jeep models. These give up to 7” of protective tire coverage and come in handy when you get a tire upgrade.

2. Flat Flares

This is a popular flare design for those who want to command attention on the trails while benefitting from the additional room in the wheel wells and higher ground clearance. These features in turn give the vehicle better approach angles when tackling obstacles during aggressive off-roading maneuvers. Constructed from durable and flexible UV-treated thermoplastic, they flex through hits and strikes from obstacles without tearing or causing damage to the Jeep’s body. Installation is straightforward as they require no drilling and they mostly come with new side marker lights or brackets that assist in relocating the side markers.

3. Pocket Flares

Pocket flares are similar in appearance to bulky factory flares but with a more rugged design. They have rivets and numerous stainless steel bolts which give them a striking bold look. While they do offer plenty of tire coverage (up to 6” -7”) and are great at deflecting debris away from the vehicle’s body, they don’t offer that much extra space for tire clearance. They’re also made from UV-resistant thermoplastic and are easy to install since they attach directly to the factory mounting flare locations.

4. Tube Flares

Tube flares mostly mimic the design of flat flares but instead of having thermoplastic construction to lend them flexibility and durability, they are made from tubular plates made from aluminum or steel. They provide extra clearance between the flare and tire allowing for greater wheel articulation, which boosts a Jeep’s off-roading performance. Tube flares are available in different widths from narrow ones suited for tight trails to wider ones which give greater tire clearance and body protection.

Fender flares are a great addition for your Jeep but don’t forget that they have to be functional too. Take your time in selecting the best one for your vehicle and if you’re stumped, visit either of the Dixie 4 Wheel Drive locations to consult our four-wheel specialists.

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