Review & Install Video
I'm Ryan from extremeterrain.com, and this is my review of the Smittybilt XRC Rear Corner Guards fitting all 2007 and up JKs. Now, there is a different version of these for the two-door and the four-door JK, so make sure you get the right one for your Jeep. But if you are shopping for the matching front version of these guards those will fit either the two-door or the four-door. As far as an installation goes, I am going to give this a long two out of three wrenches. There is some drilling into the body necessary to get these installed as well as installing a bunch of nutserts into those holes you drilled and factory holes, so this is an involved installation. If you're not comfortable with drilling into your body, I would recommend taking these to a shop and having them install them for you. Today we're also going to talk through the construction and a few of the features of these guards.
These corner guards are going to completely get rid of the factory plastic fender flares on your JK and replace them with one really heavy-duty solid piece of armor. This will also cover up a lot of the body of the Jeep, and actually really change the design and the geometry of the body as well, which will make this a very polarizing buy. Some of you think that it makes the Jeep look very tough and off-road and rugged, while others think that it takes too much away from the factory lines of the JK. And really makes it look more like a wide-bodied tuner instead of a Jeep, so there are two very strong opinions on this part, it's very much you love it or hate it mod. So, if you fall into the love it category, this is going to be a great addition. It's gonna add some strength, it's gonna add a lot of weight, but it is going to drastically change the look of your Jeep.
These corner guards are made of three-sixteenths-inch cold gold steel that's covered in a textured black powder coat finish, and, as we mentioned, these things are heavy. There's a lot of steel here. And this is just the rear corner armor. There's also an inner fender liner that comes along with this. That's another piece of metal that will bolt onto this, so there is a ton of weight. But, this is also very, very strong. One of the arguments against a metal fender flare is that instead of the flare bending or breaking, it can transfer an impact into the body, causing a lot of damage. While this covers the whole body, it's a very strong piece, and it has a built-in flare. So, if you rub up against a tree branch or a rock with this, it's not going to transfer that damage into the body. It's going to deflect that damage, or take the damage itself, but it's not going to damage the Jeep. This has built-in taillight guards that are gonna give you protection for your plastic taillight, and again, the argument against a metal taillight guard is that it can transfer energy and damage into the body. This is all one piece, so I don't think that would be the case with this. So, this does have a lot of protective aspects to it. It is going to do a good job of protecting the factory body of your Jeep underneath of it.
However, we do have to drill into your factory body to get these installed. So, if you're purpose is to preserve your factory body without causing it any damage or modifying it in any way, this isn't going to be that. This is going to require you to drill a couple of holes. However, if your purpose is to drastically change the look of your Jeep, and you like the look of these, and/or to add a lot of off-road protection, then, I think this is going to be a nice option.
As I said before, this is going to be a two out of three wrench installation and a strong two out of three wrenches at that, because of the labor that's involved in getting these installed as well as the drilling, and the installation of some nutserts. So, the first step in installing these is to get rid of everything that's going to be in your way during the installation. That includes any rocker armor or side steps that might be in the way, rear bumper if that looks like it's going to be in the way. Your license plate mount, your taillights, and, of course, your fender flares, including your factory inner fender liners. Once all that is out of the way, you can go ahead and line up your new corner armor on your Jeep, making sure that the top line follows the body line at the top of the tub. You can use a couple of clamps to hold it in place. From there, you're going to want to mark the couple of holes that you will need to drill to get these installed. Use the center punch in the drill to get them bored out.
After that, it's a matter of installing quite a few nutserts into the body of the Jeep. Now, a lot of those are going to go into your factory fender flare holes, but into those new holes that you just drilled. If you've never used a nutsert before, you don't need a specialty tool. You can make a tool, and Smittybilt does give you instructions on a way to do that. But, for the number of nutserts that are necessary to get these installed, I would recommend purchasing a nutsert tool, or borrowing or renting one if you can. It's gonna make that process a lot simpler, and give you far fewer headaches. So, once you have those holes drilled and all the nutserts installed, it's really just a matter of reinstalling the corner armor and using all of the hardware to get it bolted into place. After that, you'll finish by installing the inner fender piece, and you're gonna be finished up. The whole installation is probably going to take you around three hours to get both sides done, maybe even a little bit more, depending on how carefully you are with measuring and lining things up before you go and drill those holes. But this is something that I would say take your time with it, you're only going to do it once, and you don't want to get it wrong.
As far as tools go to get it installed, as I mentioned, a nutsert tool is not necessary, but will certainly help. You are going to need a drill and a good set of sharp drill bits, and your traditional hand tools. As I mentioned before, I think these are really well-built and will take a lot of damage off-road, and for the price you could expect them to be, these are going to be a little bit pricey. But, if you're looking for some really strong protection and you like the look that these provide, because again, they do completely change the look of the Jeep, then they would be worth it. You are going to be looking at between $500 and $600 for a rear set and for the front set, depending on if you're talking about front or back or if you have a four-door or a two-door JK. So, this is one of those mods that is very polarizing. It completely changes the look of your Jeep. Some of you will say for the better, others will say for the worse. But, if you like these, if you need the protection, or you just like the look, and you have the budget for it, these are going to be a great mod as long as you're willing to drill a couple of holes in your Jeep.
So, that's my review of the Smittybilt XRC Rear Corner Armor, fitting all 2007 and up JKs, and you can find them right here at extremeterrain.com.