Xenon Narrow Flare Install....%$#@!
I promised I'd post a review once I had these things installed. Where to begin with this. Ok, let's be positive for a minute and just say they accomplish what we set out to do, which was to open up the wheel houses and get a flat fender look, without the earlier wide Xenon flares (or Bushwacker's) "bird in flight" look, or the weight & cost of metal flares. They look fine installed...until you look at the wheel houses themselves. In the end one wonders if the manufacturer of this product is actually serious, or, if anyone with Xenon actually ever installed a set of them.
Now the bad news:
- The front flares inexplicably leave a large triangular shaped portion of the rear lower section of the fender edge uncovered, DIRECTLY behind the tire, where it will be pummeled by debris. No possible explanation for this.
- The rear flares leave large sections of the body unproteccted in exactly the same way. All it would have taken would be an extended lip the circumference of the inner part of the flare to cover all this up, but NO!!!!
- The instructions for this product are so bad as to be worthless for anything other than perhaps the bill of materials content, and lining a bird cage. If the "techincal writer" of this crap were to write ransom notes the kidnappers would starve to death.
- No instructions are given on how to remove the stock flares, which is prety simple but tricky. Best to consult JK Owners Forum, a good write up there.
- Parts supplied to attach the front flares include numerous screws, etc. that have absolutely no purpose.
- Trimming the inner fender liners must be done with great care to retain a semblance of protection for the engine compartment and rear wheel house. The fact that Xenon didn't extend the lip of the flares the circumference of the mounting surface makes this even worse.
- The fronts are nut & bolt attached to the fender. Many of the nuts are very difficult to attach due to the cramed space between the panels. A long wrench with the nut taped to the open end helps here.
- The rears attach with two nut & bolt sets at the top, and nine Rivnuts, which require the stock holes be drilled out to 25/64". One additional hole must be drilled. Setting the Rivnuts securely is a M.U.S.T.! I only had one give me trouble, but be certain to tighten them down forecefully. A dedicated Rivet Nut tool is worth having for this. The supplied tool is a throwaway and not much fun to use. I found the best way to set them securely was to use a 3/8" air driven impact wrench.
- Xenon's JK flares are NOTORIOUS for sagging. As a result, Xenon now supplies heavy plexiglass panels that support the middle of the flares. They will usually fit, but I had to trim one of the rears a lot to get it to work.
- The instructions say this is a "1-2 hour" installation. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!! ! All together, I spent two full working days in my home shop installing these things. I am a former professional tech and I'm pretty fussy about things like this, but there's no way on a first install anyone can do these in less than 10 hours, even with a sloppy work ethic.
- After the install you'll have much exposed metal in the wheel house in the rear, and that idiotic spot in front. You can either hit it with some rattle can satin black during the install, bedline it, or maybe use some spray undercoating to cover it up. IMHO, the exposed metal looks like crap. I want to bed line these areas, but I did the installation in winter and couldn't use the product. I'll have to pull them off when the weather warms up.
Bottom line? These things are absolute junk, but the mounted end result renders a good, crisp flat fender look and the things will probably take a rock hit and stand up ok. The stiffening panels compromise that a lot. Unfortunately other than Bushwacker there aren't any other choices in a plastic/utrethane flare. If there were I wouldn't touch these things with a ten foot pole. If the look of the Bushwackers doesn't bother you, by all means get them instead of these.
Last edited by SoK66; 12-03-2012 at 11:04 AM.