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Aluminum Fenders (Again!)


NOTNSUV

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Reading over the Aluminum vs Steel, PS vs MCE vs GR, vs... I'm talking NON-Highlines, just flat fenders and/or flares. Full disclosure: I was falling into that trap that they provide more tire clearance, flex, etc. However, I just don't care for the Bushwacker pocket flares the LJ came with, OEM Rubicon seem to be rare. Maybe I need to expand my search to other flares out there but expect them to be plastic and easy to tear off (yes, I will get on the trail).

The following seems to be the CW,

1. Flat fenders do little for added tire clearance (1"-ish)
2. Flat fenders are stronger than OEM and useful for banging into trees, rocks and shit and not taking damage.
3. BUT, you don't want your steel/aluminum fenders to be much stronger than the tub or you'll end up damaging the tub, and we'd rather replace a fender than bash the tub in. I don't know how that can be compromised out of the equation?
4. The look/cool factor. I dunno, I've seen some I really like and some are just too much, maybe due to tire size.
5. Highlines are too much for less than 37s, which I will never have.

All this considered, and whatever you might add or dispute, if & when I get fenders, my concern is ease of installation and minimum mods to the OEM underhood. And I'd want to do front and rear. Which are best at meeting my wish? I have a hunch.

'06 LJR
RE 4.5", TT, MML, 1.25 BL, 35 x 12.5 x 15
 

Moglocker

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Mar 19, 2021
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795
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Missouri
Reading over the Aluminum vs Steel, PS vs MCE vs GR, vs... I'm talking NON-Highlines, just flat fenders and/or flares. Full disclosure: I was falling into that trap that they provide more tire clearance, flex, etc. However, I just don't care for the Bushwacker pocket flares the LJ came with, OEM Rubicon seem to be rare. Maybe I need to expand my search to other flares out there but expect them to be plastic and easy to tear off (yes, I will get on the trail).

The following seems to be the CW,

1. Flat fenders do little for added tire clearance (1"-ish)
2. Flat fenders are stronger than OEM and useful for banging into trees, rocks and shit and not taking damage.
3. BUT, you don't want your steel/aluminum fenders to be much stronger than the tub or you'll end up damaging the tub, and we'd rather replace a fender than bash the tub in. I don't know how that can be compromised out of the equation?
4. The look/cool factor. I dunno, I've seen some I really like and some are just too much, maybe due to tire size.
5. Highlines are too much for less than 37s, which I will never have.

All this considered, and whatever you might add or dispute, if & when I get fenders, my concern is ease of installation and minimum mods to the OEM underhood. And I'd want to do front and rear. Which are best at meeting my wish? I have a hunch.

'06 LJR
RE 4.5", TT, MML, 1.25 BL, 35 x 12.5 x 15
GenRight aluminum,0 flare?
 

JMT

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Reading over the Aluminum vs Steel, PS vs MCE vs GR, vs... I'm talking NON-Highlines, just flat fenders and/or flares. Full disclosure: I was falling into that trap that they provide more tire clearance, flex, etc. However, I just don't care for the Bushwacker pocket flares the LJ came with, OEM Rubicon seem to be rare. Maybe I need to expand my search to other flares out there but expect them to be plastic and easy to tear off (yes, I will get on the trail).

The following seems to be the CW,

1. Flat fenders do little for added tire clearance (1"-ish)
2. Flat fenders are stronger than OEM and useful for banging into trees, rocks and shit and not taking damage.
3. BUT, you don't want your steel/aluminum fenders to be much stronger than the tub or you'll end up damaging the tub, and we'd rather replace a fender than bash the tub in. I don't know how that can be compromised out of the equation?
4. The look/cool factor. I dunno, I've seen some I really like and some are just too much, maybe due to tire size.
5. Highlines are too much for less than 37s, which I will never have.

All this considered, and whatever you might add or dispute, if & when I get fenders, my concern is ease of installation and minimum mods to the OEM underhood. And I'd want to do front and rear. Which are best at meeting my wish? I have a hunch.

'06 LJR
RE 4.5", TT, MML, 1.25 BL, 35 x 12.5 x 15
Just get whichever ones you like the most. It won’t make a difference functionally. You have plenty of room to run 35’s with your lift.
 
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freedom_in_4low

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The MCEs might be a good option for you, I'm not aware of many others that sit in that middle ground.

I agree. The way the plastic can deform without loading the tub connection too much, and even though it doesn't get you a ton more clearance, it at least eliminates the flange that the flare attaches to, so that's good for a little under an inch. If all you need is 3/4", then 3/4" is enough.
 
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JMT

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I agree. The way the plastic can deform without loading the tub connection too much, and even though it doesn't get you a ton more clearance, it at least eliminates the flange that the flare attaches to, so that's good for a little under an inch. If all you need is 3/4", then 3/4" is enough.
I got 1 1/16”. This is because you’re not just removing the outer seem of the stock fender, but everything almost to the hood line. Then you have the further advantage of the flexibility of the flare. It can push up easily if the tire hits it. Functionally the MCE’s do provide performance gains as you stated.
 
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NOTNSUV

NOTNSUV

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I got 1 1/16”. This is because you’re not just removing the outer seem of the stock fender, but everything almost to the hood line. Then you have the further advantage of the flexibility of the flare. It can push up easily if the tire hits it. Functionally the MCE’s do provide performance gains as you stated.
I like the look of these. Are they what you're running.

 

freedom_in_4low

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I like the look of these. Are they what you're running.



I had them on my TJ with a 4" lift and 32x11.5

IMG_20200802_221409.jpg



20200426_133618-01.jpeg
 
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NOTNSUV

NOTNSUV

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Spring Creek, NV
I linked to the plastic MCE flares, not the flat fenders. Anyone using the flares? I like the look, keep OEM fenders. I get that they're not adding 'protection' but appears they do provide a bit more clearance, especially coming from pocket flares. I mistakenly thought MCE was MetalCloak acronym so first time looking at these products.
I know, it's all up to me..:rolleyes:

 

freedom_in_4low

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I linked to the plastic MCE flares, not the flat fenders. Anyone using the flares? I like the look, keep OEM fenders. I get that they're not adding 'protection' but appears they do provide a bit more clearance, especially coming from pocket flares. I mistakenly thought MCE was MetalCloak acronym so first time looking at these products.
I know, it's all up to me..:rolleyes:

those are Barricade, not MCE. To my knowledge, MCE does not make any flares for the front, only the front fenders that I posted. They do offer a 3", 4.5", and 6" width. I used the 4.5" which is equivalent in coverage to a Rubicon or Sahara flare.

1637688156209.png


The ones you posted would not gain any clearance since they fully maintain the entire stock fender, and I doubt they would get you much in the way of durability either since they look pretty rigid and possibly more likely to crack. The stock flares are pretty flexible.

They don't look too bad though.
 
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Jerry Bransford

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The MCEs might be a good option for you, I'm not aware of many others that sit in that middle ground.
They might be but only if they have dropped the last price I saw by no less than 50%. I installed a set when they first came out many years ago but their pricing soon became stupid/ridiculous/outrageous for what you get which is not much.
 

rasband

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They might be only if they have dropped the last price I saw from them by no less than 50%. I installed a set when they first came out many years ago but their pricing soon became stupid/ridiculous/outrageous for what you get which is not much.
They're at $419 now, is that the price you remember?
 

JMT

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They're at $419 now, is that the price you remember?
That seems even higher than what I remember.
Years ago they were about $250-$300 IIRC. That was Generation I. Back in 2017 they were about $650. I couldn’t stomach it. They dropped dramatically about 1-2 years ago to $399. That’s when I bought mine. It was that or buy a replacement fender and get it painted. That wasn’t worth it to me since it would likely just happen again.
 
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jjvw

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I agree. The way the plastic can deform without loading the tub connection too much, and even though it doesn't get you a ton more clearance, it at least eliminates the flange that the flare attaches to, so that's good for a little under an inch. If all you need is 3/4", then 3/4" is enough.
It takes a lot of work to make use of that 3/4".
 
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