Xenon Narrow Flare Install....%$#@! - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 22 Old 02-12-2012, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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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.
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post #2 of 22 Old 02-12-2012, 10:35 AM
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Any pics?
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post #3 of 22 Old 02-12-2012, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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It's snowing like an SOB right now, I'll put some up as soon as it clears off.
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post #4 of 22 Old 02-12-2012, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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I should also have mentioned what a PITA installing their crummy side marker lights is. It's your basic cheapo trailer or marine small oval amber light, not well sealed, that mount to two pieces of scrap urethane they apparently had a school for the blind grind into small oval pieces. At least they were drilled. The assemblies mont to two un-drilled bosses inside the flares. On mine, one side had bosses that were too small and had had some blobs of what looked like epoxy smeared on them. In their magnanimity, Xenon provides two useless electrical connectors, no ground wire, nor the proper mounting screws to attach the crap lights to the crap scrap urethane pieces. Fortunately I had the stuff I needed in the bins. All this is in keeping with the overall quality of the product.
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post #5 of 22 Old 02-12-2012, 04:35 PM
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X2 on pics
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post #6 of 22 Old 02-12-2012, 06:15 PM
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I had the Xenons on Slippery l, and they fit great, but are a job to install.
Loved them until I moved up to the Poison Spyder fenders, which creates new issues after you've nutserted for the Xenons.

I believe that opening at the bottom is so you can run armor or steps of your choosing.

Make sure you have the correct rears. We had 2 door rears the first go round, and they don't fit very well on a 4 door.


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post #7 of 22 Old 02-12-2012, 06:57 PM
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I am going to have to agree with the install notes, it was a FPITA but will say that my Xenon fronts have stood up to a lot of abuse with zero sag after two years. I even folded the passenger side up against a tree... it was folded good too. Knocked out the stiffener plate and busted the light. Threw a new light in there and never replaced the stiffener and there is zero sag after a little over a year.


I like they way they look and will hang on to them until they let me down....
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post #8 of 22 Old 02-12-2012, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slippery View Post
I had the Xenons on Slippery l, and they fit great, but are a job to install.
Loved them until I moved up to the Poison Spyder fenders, which creates new issues after you've nutserted for the Xenons.

I believe that opening at the bottom is so you can run armor or steps of your choosing.

Make sure you have the correct rears. We had 2 door rears the first go round, and they don't fit very well on a 4 door.
Thanks, pretty sure we have the right flares.

In one photo it looked like you fashioned something to cover the exposed metal in the rear, is that right? I just plan on taking them off in a few months and using spray bed liner in the cavites to cover the painted stuff that's exposed. I'd like to retain the liners due to the mag chloride & other stuff we get into around here.
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post #9 of 22 Old 02-12-2012, 07:09 PM
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I was going to go with xenon, but couldn't pass up the ace flares for not much more. After reading this I am glad I did! Ace fenders took about 3 hours to install with no issues at all.

2007 Unlimited Rubicon
37 BFG KM2's, Raceline Beadlocks, RK 3.5" X-Factor Long Arm, Bilstein 5160's, 5.38's, PSC Armor, and SuperWinch 8500 w/ Viking Line

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post #10 of 22 Old 02-12-2012, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoK66 View Post
I should also have mentioned what a PITA installing their crummy side marker lights is. It's your basic cheapo trailer or marine small oval amber light, not well sealed, that mount to two pieces of scrap urethane they apparently had a school for the blind grind into small oval pieces. At least they were drilled. The assemblies mont to two un-drilled bosses inside the flares. On mine, one side had bosses that were too small and had had some blobs of what looked like epoxy smeared on them. In their magnanimity, Xenon provides two useless electrical connectors, no ground wire, nor the proper mounting screws to attach the crap lights to the crap scrap urethane pieces. Fortunately I had the stuff I needed in the bins. All this is in keeping with the overall quality of the product.
I just remembered the side marker lights.. I think they are still on a shelf in the garage somewhere..
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post #11 of 22 Old 02-12-2012, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.RonGilbert View Post
I am going to have to agree with the install notes, it was a FPITA but will say that my Xenon fronts have stood up to a lot of abuse with zero sag after two years. I even folded the passenger side up against a tree... it was folded good too. Knocked out the stiffener plate and busted the light. Threw a new light in there and never replaced the stiffener and there is zero sag after a little over a year.


I like they way they look and will hang on to them until they let me down....
THey might fold up ok when its warm out but forget it when they are cold, I cracked mine twice while cold in the 40's. You can order them separately if you do destroy one though for about $150.

My install took 6 hours, the fronts went on pretty fast compared to the rears.


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post #12 of 22 Old 02-12-2012, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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A couple of quick shots from this afternoon:



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post #13 of 22 Old 02-12-2012, 08:05 PM
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SoK66, I'm sorry you aren't pleased with the Xenon Flat Flares. I bought them for many of the same reasons you cited. I must admit that I encountered some of the negative items you pointed out such as areas that seem to be exposed to rocks (right around the bottom trailing edges. I initially painted those areas black and then shot a little bed liner on them to protect them. Overall I am really pleased with the Xenon Flares. Numerous people asked for photos so I thought I would provide one until the weather improves where you are.



I definitely agree that the instructions are nearly worthless. I had to find instructions for someone else's Flares to figure out how to remove the stock Flares.

I would suggest you try having the little triangular areas around the bottom of the Flares hit with bedliner. I think you will be happier with the overall product.

Best of luck.

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Last edited by Hemo; 02-12-2012 at 08:09 PM.
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post #14 of 22 Old 02-12-2012, 08:42 PM
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I think they will look good once you throw some Black on the parts they failed to cover up. I still sometimes cuss my psc's because of the pain and anguish they caused me lol. Then again, I'm no mechanic so these xenons might have taken me a month


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post #15 of 22 Old 02-14-2012, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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I scored some spray on bed liner and will go after the exposed areas once the weather warms up enough for it to dry properly.
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post #16 of 22 Old 02-15-2012, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Looking at the install in the Write Up section I noticed Xenon must have made a change to their rear flare design. The earlier design covered all that exposed metal in the outer wheel house surface. Either that, or the two door design has it covered and the Unlimited does not.

https://www.jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=30469

Anyone know which is which?
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post #17 of 22 Old 02-15-2012, 08:39 PM
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Just paint the yellow part inside the fenders. Thats what I did and it looks fine to me. I used spray bed liner.

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Last edited by Jboss; 03-05-2012 at 04:16 PM.
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post #18 of 22 Old 02-15-2012, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, got some. Have to wait until it warms up a bit or the stuff won't dry.

Did you just toss the rear inner liners?
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post #19 of 22 Old 02-15-2012, 09:01 PM
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Yes and sprayed the hole thing.

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post #20 of 22 Old 02-16-2012, 10:33 AM
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i used rustoleum rubberized undercoating on the rear after taking the liners out. still haven't had to touch that shit up. i wouldn't hesitate to use their bedliner either though


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post #21 of 22 Old 02-16-2012, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoK66 View Post
Looking at the install in the Write Up section I noticed Xenon must have made a change to their rear flare design. The earlier design covered all that exposed metal in the outer wheel house surface. Either that, or the two door design has it covered and the Unlimited does not.

https://www.jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=30469

Anyone know which is which?
The 2 door rear flares are indeed different from the 4 door. I have the flares on my 2door and a guy I wheel with has them on his 4 door. Mine cover most of the sheetmetal in the back and his do not.

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post #22 of 22 Old 02-16-2012, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, that's what I've seen in a few photos and I couldn't tell if guys were trying to use the 2dr flares on the 4drs or what.

I pulled the rears off today and used Duplicolor spray bedliner on the entire inside of wheel house ad the exposed areas on the outer edges. Looks much better. After it sets up I may try and re-install the liners, but if I can't get them sealed on the edges they're going into the bin. Looks much better anyway. Still need to do the fronts.
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