Remember Lightning McQueen of Cars? His fenders are absolute overkills. But what exactly is the role of fenders to cars?
Fenders are very important exterior car parts which surround the wheel or basically called as the wheel underside (Google). Its main function is to protect the car from road debris and dirt thrown into the air through the tire which might potentially scratch the car paint or may be thrown to passing pedestrians especially among trucks and SUVs.
And because not all fenders guarantee protection to the car body, your car needs the extended protection given by fender flares.
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What Are Fender Flares?
Fender flares are basically customized extensions for your fenders typically seen in bigger cars like trucks or SUVs. Flares give additional protection coverage for these larger cars and are needed by them to comply with vehicle equipment laws (see Torque Cars).
Flares come in different styles which can be picked due to various purposes. For example, pocket-style fender flares which are typically chosen to add appeal to the wheel well or the extra-wide flares which provide maximum tire coverage (see Auto Guide or Auto Talk). Custom fender flares that are easy to install are also available for precise fit especially on SUVs.
Extreme use of wheel and tire need all the protection coverage that they could get. Such is the case for big cars like the Jeep Wrangler TJ.
Since fender flares does not follow a one shoe fits all scheme, you should know which fender flares are perfect fits for your Jeep Wrangler TJ.
1. Rugged Ridge 7″ Wide Fender Flare
One of the major advantages of the Rugged Ridge 11608.11 to your Jeep Wrangler TJ is that it provides additional 3 inches coverage on your tires compared to the stock fender flares for the TJ model. It is made of UV treated black thermoplastic material which works to protect your fender flares from sun fading (see Amazon).
In terms of installation, these flares do not require any drilling since they are designed to just bolt into the car in direct fit. In some instances, you may be needing nut installation tools. The installation may cost a bit of your time but in totality, these flare fenders look sturdy and with a good price point.
Since the Rugged Ridge 11608.11 comes without hardware, we recommend that you bring larger washers for you to bolt in the nuts faster. If you need detailed instructions and other insights regarding this flare, this video might be helpful
2. EAG Pocket-Style Fender Flares
The EAG Pocket-Style Fender Flares is not only compatible with 97-06 Jeep Wrangler TJ but also with 2004-2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited LJ. It is made of Duraflex 2000 plastic with UV treatment to prevent sun-damage and to ensure strength and durability (Motor Trend). Like the Rugged Ridge 11608.11, it equally offers an additional 3 inches coverage for your oversized tires (Amazon).
EAG Pocket-Style Fender Flares’ side rockers however, does not attach to the front fenders. This leaves you a choice to not attach the side rockers altogether. Majority of people who have bought this fender flare think that their Wrangler TJs looked better and ran smoother without the side rockers. But of course, we recommend that you see it for yourself. You can also paint these fenders the way you like it so weighing on the price and the specifications, we think that it is a good deal.
Installation-wise, cutting and trimming are no longer needed although it may require some drilling. Regardless, the installation process comes handy because the EAG Pocket-Style Fender Flares comes with mounting hardware along with the complete installation instructions.
3. AutoEmpire Fender Flares
These flat style fender flares are made of OE style ABS plastic with UV treatment to add protection coverage for your Wrangler TJ’s tires (Amazon). This material along with its black finish also adds to the overall rugged look of your fenders. Aesthetics-wise, we think that it is a plus you may want to consider in your future choice.
It comes in pocket-riveted style and also fits into 2004-2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited LJ like the EAG fender flares. Installation is through bolt-in process, thus, cutting and trimming are not required. To prevent rusting over time, you might want to consider painting the drilled bolts (if applicable) with primer and then your desired color of paint.
There are no available videos in YouTube specifically talking about the AutoEmpire Fender Flares 7″ so we recommend that you better look it up on Google or Amazon if you need more information regarding it.
4. Gplusmotors Pocket Extended Fender Flares Kit
The Wide Black Pocket Extended Fender Flares Kit is manufactured by GPlusMotor. It is made with polypropylene which gives its tough, lightweight and heat-resistant features. It can accommodate 33 inches tires and can extend tire protection coverage to six inches (see Jeep Talk and Amazon).
It also deserves the mention on the best fender flares for Jeep Wrangler TJ because it perfectly contours with wheel wells plus it is shatter resistant. And because it could expand its coverage to six inches, it could also conceal existing scratches or minor dents in the car.
The installation process for this fender flare is direct bolt-in scheme although drilling may be required for some Jeep models. Since the instructions are not included in the box, you may have to look for detailed instructions in Google since there are no available YouTube videos about the Wide Black Pocket Extended Fender Flares Kit.
The Importance of Fender Flares
Regardless if it is Jeep Wrangler TJ or not, you must put into mind that there are specific sets of fender flares to choose from depending on the type, model and brand of the car you own.
Fender flares do not only function to make your car look good or more rugged and the aesthetic value should come last into mind for you to choose the best fender flare for Jeep Wrangler TJ or any other car. What should truly be taken into account is the functionality a fender flare has to offer.
Before buying one, you should ask yourself some important practical questions like how many inches can these fender flares additionally cover in terms of tires. If you are not really into DIY installation, it might be best if you choose fender flare kits with hardware and detailed installation guide to save time and to avoid bolt wreckage or car damage at an extreme level. Most importantly, do a thorough product check on the fender flares you choose to install on your Jeep Wrangler TJ.