Convertible Flares and Front Bumper
What is good on the trail is not always good for the street. Case in point: fender flares. Many states have rules pertaining to the coverage fender flares provide over the tires, including states such as Utah and California that require that the entire tire be covered. Wide fenders are great for the street, but they simply get in the way on the trail, catching on trees, dragging against obstacles and smashing against rocks. But what do you do when you have wider axles or higher-offset wheels that push the rubber away from the Jeep?
Up until now, there wasn’t really a way for Jeep owners to have legal complete-coverage flares on the street and minimal coverage on the trail. Jeep owners who run minimal-coverage flares have taken their chances in hopes that the local police don’t care enough to hand out an equipment violation, or that they don’t fling up road debris on their own, or other, vehicles on the road.
A couple of years ago we saw a unique solution to this problem from a new company called TrailMods, who showed us 3D illustrations of a new idea in fender flares. These new flares would feature a stubby flare mounted to the body, while a full-coverage flare would install over the top of them, giving owners the ability to configure their flares for road or trail use, without tools, and in just a matter of minutes. We really liked the idea, so when production began, we immediately requested a set of these made-in-the-U.S. flares for Project ’Con Artist.
With stubby flares, it became apparent that our full width Expedition One Trail Series front bumper wasn’t going to look, or work, right with our new setup. We placed a call to Expedition One and found out that they had just begun production on a new mid-width Core Series front bumper that is 51 inches wide—perfect for our new flare setup.
Once the parts arrived, we took them to Off Road Evolution in Fullerton, California, where the team made quick work of the fitting of our new parts. Read on to see an overview of our installation.