How To Fit Bigger Tires With Less Lift
When it comes to building late-model Wrangler vehicles for everyday street driving and regular trail use, nothing beats the proven combination of larger meats with minimal lift. Few will argue that high ground clearance and a low center of gravity are considered to be the Holy Grail in the rough. However, to achieve this arrangement, something has to give. Simply bolting on a 2- to 3-inch suspension lift may allow room for a 33-inch tire, but what if you wanted to go bigger?
Typically, one would need to add a few more inches of lift to accommodate, say, a 37. Common knowledge confirms that the factory sheetmetal limits how much flex you will get with a specific tire and lift kit, and by "factory sheetmetal" we are talking, specifically, about the front fenders. Lots of companies build tube fenders that claim to increase tire clearance on Jeep vehicles. However, it wasn't until we discovered MetalCloak, formerly Rev111, that we had the opportunity to evaluate a set with different-sized tires on our beloved project Jeep, the Teal Brute. Throughout our three-year evaluation, we received many inquiries from readers wanting to know where to get the trick-looking fenders we installed.
Unfortunately, the company that built them, Rev111, fell victim to the economic downturn in 2008, and the product was basically unavailable for a little over one year. However, in early '09 a new group of engineers bought Rev111's design and refined it further, expanding both model offerings and styling options to better suit the needs of the consumer. In addition, Metalcloak developed a product line for the Wrangler YJ as well. For this story, however, we are going to focus on the newest product in the MetalCloak portfolio: the Overline flat fender conversion for Jeep TJs. Check it out.
|Forklift Flex Test Results|
|Stock fender with 35-inch MT/R||28|
|Stock fender with 37-inch MT/R||20 1/2|
|Overline fender with 37-inch MT/R||34 1/2|
Individualized Bumpers for All
When the people at MetalCloak designed their new Jeep bumper line, they wanted to give consumers plenty of options in terms of configuration, fit, and finish. There are 300 possible combinations available currently for Jeep vehicles. We were impressed with the quality of the frame-built and bolt-together design, simplicity of installation, and uniqueness of these units. Completely interchangeable, and infinitely configurable, these bumpers are making it possible for enthusiasts to express an individualized look without the worry of seeing a duplicate on the trail.
The coolest part about the whole MetalCloak bumper program is that it is ever-evolving as the imaginative designers at MetalCloak come up with new ideas every day. These ideas are then transformed into accessories and are available in aluminum, hot-rolled steel, and stainless steel. We love that MetalCloak names each bumper configuration after the very first customer to purchase said combination, so if you've ever wanted an aftermarket part to bear your name, now you know where to go. Look for a story on our own unique build in coming months.
1. Two areas of our donor Jeep's wheelwell made contact with the tire when fully flexed. Vertically speaking, the tire rubbed the underside of the factory fender flare where it mounted to the fender. The second point of contact was found near the full right steering lock point; the contact was at the rear of the inner fenderwell, just below the battery tray. This is a common contact point for TJs. We measured the total vertical change required to reach these contact points was right around 28 inches off the ground.