I've been able to work on the flares a little by little after work this week. Making headway. With much thanks to AXSYS for his post a few years ago, I found out the flares were contacting the Jeep tub inside the flare notch out. After a lot of grinding and fitting, I'm able to get these things to fit decently without huge gaps. The bent/warped flare is still a pain, but I was able to get three countersunk bolts in. Using these three as my guide to fit, I had to round out the other holes to get bolts through and threaded. Tonight I'm getting the brackets on, I hear that's a lot of fun.
And much thanks to Poison Spyder for their awesome customer service and help. Even tho I bought these used from someone else, PSC gave me a call directly to help me with my bracket issue. Culprit, I had first generation flares with second generation brackets. Not sure why the previous owner bought the 2nd generation brackets or why he had them. But nothing a few additional drilled holes can't fix.
Bottom line, when buying used don't assume everything is as it would come from the factory. And have patience and a good friend fitting beefy aftermarket parts.
Can express how awesome PSC and Rick from PSC are. Highly recommend these guys and their products. It's on my list to get their bombshell diff covers and hood louver. And no, I'm not buying those used, getting them brand spanking new. For $90 and $150, it's a steal buying new anyway.
pictures to come once fully mounted!