Review & Install Video
I'm Ryan from extremeterrain.com, and this is my review and installation of the Rugged Ridge A/T flat fender flare kit, available for all 2007 and up JKs. This kit is available just as you see it here with only the flares, it's also available with the hardware to reinstall your flares, and with a set of inner fender liners if you choose to go that direction. Today, we're gonna talk through the installation which is a bolt-on installation, however, it does take a little bit of time, so I will give it a strong one out of three wrenches, while we'll also discuss the construction and some of the features of these flares.
Depending on the tire size that you're running and your suspension setup, your up-travel may be limited by your fender flares. Being that the factory fender flares do come down on the side of the Jeep a little bit, your tire could contact the fender flare, possibly causing it to be damaged or even popping it off, leaving it on the side of the trail. Now, having that interference between the fender and the tire isn't really going to hurt anything except cause a little bit of noise and some inconvenience, but if you'd rather not have that, a set of flat fender flares is a great way to go. Another benefit to a flat fender flare is the look of it. It'll definitely open up the fender flares and actually make it look like you have more lift than you actually have.
Now, when you're talking about flat flares, there are a of couple different schools of thought. One is that a metal flare is much tougher and will hold up a lot better off-road. The other is that a metal flare won't bend or break like a plastic flare will, which will transfer any impacts off-road from the flare itself into the body, causing a much more expensive repair. So, if you would prefer to have a set of plastic flat fender flares, this is a really nice option.
These flares are very, very simple. In fact, they almost look like a factory flare that's been trimmed. These are no frills, there are no pockets, no rivets, nothing flashy about these flares. They are all function. In fact, these even include the set of marker light holders so that you can use your factory marker lights with all of that factory wiring without the need to purchase any additional lights or cut and solder any lighting.
Finally, I really like the fact that these are available with the inner fender liners. Generally, you can modify your factory inners to work with an aftermarket set of the fender flares, but you're cutting, you're testing, you're re-cutting, and it takes a long time to get the fitment just right. With these, you're able to purchase a set of inner fender liners, even though they are a little bit expensive, that will bolt right on, keeping your engine bay clean and making your Jeep look very finished.
These flares are made of a UV-treated thermoplastic, while the inner fender liner is made of a high-density polyethylene. As I mentioned before, these flares will provide you with some more up-travel before the tire would contact the flare, and they do provide you with a good bit of width. They are similar in width to your factory fender flares. These are a completely bolt-on set of fender flares, so you won't have to drill any holes in the body, which I think is a really nice touch.
As I said, this is a one-out-of-three-wrench install, although the installation is a little bit lengthy, so be prepared to take your time. I would set aside a good three hours to get these installed, and if you're installing the inner fender liners as well, probably an additional hour.
So, to get started, all you'll need to do are remove your factory flares by removing all of the bolts and hardware that connect them to the Jeep, and then really just giving them a good pull. You are going to break a lot of the factory plastic clips that are holding them onto the body, but don't worry, none of those are reused in your new installation. Of course, you will want to be careful of your marker lights up front. You'll wanna give them a quarter-turn and remove them from the housings, and make sure that you don't rip the wiring harness because it is clipped to the inner fender liner.
Once you have everything removed, you can take the marker light out of your factory flare and install it in your new marker light holders, and then you get to installing your new fender flares. All you'll need to do is use the included hardware to bolt the flares to the fenders of the Jeep in all of the factory locations. In order to get the remnants of the factory plastic clips off of the fenders, you will wanna have a plastic trimmer removal tool handy. Other than that, all you'll need is a good set of hand tools.
These fender flares are similar in cost to a lot of the other fender flares on the market, however, these ones have the ability to purchase a set of inner fender liners that are designed to work specifically with them, where some of the other ones require you to cut up your factory fender flares. Cutting up the factory flares isn't a huge deal if you don't plan on going back and running factory flares ever, although it does take a lot more time than installing the inners that come with these flares, that are designed to work directly with them. All in all, based on the quality of these flares and all of the features, from having the light mounts to the ability to purchase inner fender liners, I think that these are really good deal.
So, if you're looking to run a set of plastic flat fender flares on your JK to provide a little bit of additional up-travel before the tire hits the flare, and you want something that's really simple and no frills without any pockets or rivets, this is a great set. You combine that with the fact that it has a spot for your factory marker lights so you don't have to purchase an additional light or do any wiring, and this has inner fender liners available for it that will bolt right in without the need to trim, make this a really great set.
So, that's my review of the Rugged Ridge A/T flat fender flare kit, fitting all 2007 and up JKs, that you can find right here at extremeterrain.com.