Review & Install Video
I'm Ryan from ExtremeTerrain.com and this is my review of the Smittybilt XRC Front Fenders fitting for all 2007 and up JKs. These will fit both the two-door and a four-door JK. However, the matching set of rear fenders are body-style specific. So, if you're looking to get all four fenders, make sure you get the right ones for your Jeep.
Today, we are going to talk through the installation of these fenders, which I am going to give a three out of three wrenches that's easy and involved install. It requires some cutting. It requires some drilling. It requires you to install nutserts into the body. This is not something that's easily removable. So, if you're okay with doing some heavy modification to your Jeep in your driveway, then this is certainly something you can do. However, if you're not comfortable cutting into the body and doing these major modifications, I would recommend taking your Jeep to a shop to get this done.
As you can see, these are not your traditional fender flares. These are also not your traditional metal fender flares or flat fender flares. These drastically change the look of the Jeep. They do provide some more up travel. They also provide some more protection, but they really, really change the look of your Jeep. And that look that they give you is very polarizing. Some of you think it looks rugged and hardcore, and really like the look, and others think that it takes away too much of that factory-Jeep look and that these almost give it a wide-body racy look and really just don't like it.
So, if you fall into the category that like these, they're very well-built. It's an involved install, but it'll give you protection, it will give you clearance, and it will change up the look of your Jeep, as you might like. These are also going to be a fairly expensive modification. There's a lot of metal here. There's a lot going on, so these are costly, especially when you consider chances are you're not going to be just running front sets, you're also going to have to purchase a rear set.
As for construction, these are made of three-sixteenths-inch cold rolled steel, which again, does provide a lot of protection. There's an argument when it comes to fender flares that a plastic flare is better because it might bend or break without transferring an impact into the body, where a metal fender flare, some would say, would transfer that impact into the body causing much more expensive repair. With these being at there three-sixteenths-inch steel, and that they're not just a flare, but they actually cover the entire fender, these are going to do a nice job of helping to protect your fender underneath of this and protect that factory body.
Although, at the same time, you are going to be doing some cutting and some drilling to get these installed, so you're not going to be able to just pop these off and have your factory Jeep in pristine condition underneath. So that is something to consider. As I said before, I am going to give this a three out of three wrenches for installation. You're going to have to completely remove your fenders. You're going to have to do some cutting, some bending, install some nutserts. There is a lot that goes into this installation.
The first step is, of course, removing those factory fenders, which you'll do by removing your factory fender flares, inner fender liners, hood catches, cowl pieces. You're also going to have to remove your windshield hinge covers, unplug your antenna wiring, and completely get those factory fenders out of the way. From there you'll have to do some additional cutting and trimming of those factory fender installation points to get these to fit. You are going to be reusing some of your factory hardware to get these bolted on, as well as some of the hardware that comes with your new fenders.
The whole installation process is probably going to take you three to four hours to get the fronts installed, including all of the modification and cutting that you need to do to get these bolted up. You are going to need quite a few tools to get this done, from tools that can cut metal to bend metal. You're going to need a drill and drill bits, of course, some traditional hand tools to get everything bolted up. And there are some nutserts to install, so you can either purchase of rent a professional nutsert installation tool, or Smittybilt does give you instructions on how to build your own for this project.
As I mentioned before, this isn't something you're probably going to run on its own. You're probably going to be running this with a rear set as well. And when you consider that these are $500 for the front and a little bit more for the rear depending on your body style, you're gonna have quite a few dollars wrapped up in these fenders. However, there isn't much out there that's going to provide the protection that these will provide, but also the look. A lot of you guys are just after the look that these provide. There's nothing else on the market that completely changes the look of your Jeep like these do, in my opinion.
So, if you like the look, and I know there are a lot of you out there that really don't like it, but if you like the look of these, and you have the budget for it, this is something that's going to change your Jeep like not many other products on the market will. So if you like the look of the Smittybilt XRC fenders, you have the budget for them, you're okay making some permanent modification and cuts to your body, then this is an item that's going to provide a lot of clearance, a lot of protection, and drastically change the look of your Jeep.
So that's my review of the Smittybilt XRC front fenders, fitting all 2007 and up JKs that you can find right here at ExtremeTerrain.com.