Alright, I’ve gone over how to install the flares, so what do I really think of them? All in all, I’ve been pretty happy with the flares. They’re certainly not perfect, and it’s pretty clear they weren’t designed by someone who owns and wheels an XJ, but I think they’re a good “first try”. Now Bushwacker needs to go back to the drawing board and make some improvements, namely getting rid of that inner lip and improving the overall fit of the flares.
The first real “problem” I had during the install was that the flares were designed to wrap around the bottom of the rocker panel like the OEM flares… this presents a problem if you have any kind of rocker guard (which most XJ’s that get wheeled have). So before I could really even test fit the flares, I had to trim off the bottoms to fit around my rocker guards. The problem would be even worse if you had the double-tube style rocker gaurds that wrap up to the bottom of the doors. Now granted, it would be unrealistic to expect every aftermarket manufacturer to try and make their equipment compatible with every other aftermarket accessory, but to me this was a major oversight. Bushwacker’s trying to market these for offroad XJ’s, yet they’re not compatible with one of the most common pieces of offroad equipment without modification.
As I mentioned at the start of this article, I was pretty disappointed with the wrap-around inner lip on these flares. True, it does give them a cleaner, more integrated look, but it does eat some clearance over what’s available because the tires can’t tuck “inside” the flares like you could with TJ flares or the cut-out XJ flares from Rusty’s OffRoad. In fact, I actually lost clearance up front after installing the flares compared to what I had with my prior trimming and no flares.
I’ve heard some people have complained about the bolts ripping through the pockets in the flares after hitting the flares against a rock or tree, but I’ve rubbed my rear flares against some trees on tight trails as well as some dirt walls in deep washouts, and all I’ve done is scuff up the plastic. I could see where the pockets might could rip through if you caught the flare on something, but I think you’d be more likely to rip a bolt through the fender before that happened. The plastic itself is extremely tough, you might rip the flare off the body, but the flare itself isn’t going to break or crack.
Bushwacker flares are available for just about every make and model of truck and SUV. Bushwacker flares are available through our own JeepinOutfitters.com.
For more information, contact:
Portland, Oregon 97203
1 (800) 234-8920