EEXP: Bushwacker Fender Flares

While in Portland, OR, before our grand adventures north over the summer, we got an invite from an old friend, and overland industry veteran, Andy Lilenthal to get a tour of the Bushwacker factory, where he is now the public relations manager. I love to see manufacturing processes, especially American manufacturing, and try not to ever turn down the opportunity to see how things are made in America.

EEBushwackerFenderFlares 1The Bushwacker factory is an impressive operation in North Portland with an amazing view of Saint Johns Bridge from its entrance. No photography is allowed on the factory floor, but I can tell you the clean, efficient and technologically advanced production at Bushwacker is top notch in every way. I also got chance to check out the truly impressive Bushwacker Trail Rescue JK8 project. Be sure to check out this rig at a Jeep, offroad, overland or auto show if you get the chance.

EEBushwackerFenderFlares 2Bushwacker offered us the opportunity to upgrade from the small Street Flares that were already on the rig, from the previous owner, to the much larger Pocket Style Flares ($264.99 Retail/pair). This upgrade makes for a much more aggressive look and provides full coverage for the wider than stock Grabber AT2 General Tires that we installed on the truck. We gratefully accepted the generous offer and have been extremely happy with Bushwacker being a part of the EEXP build.

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Sarah doing a little test fit on the Pocket Style fender flares.

The wider, extra 3” of coverage, Pocket Style front flares have treated us really well on the thousands of miles of dirt, gravel and off pavement adventures that we’ve been on across Alaska and Canada since installing them. They have kept rock chips to the sides of the vehicle and windshield to a minimum, which has been greatly appreciated. They really must work well, as EVERYWHERE we looked in AK and the remote parts of Canada trucks were sporting Bushwacker fender flares. You really can’t understand how prevalent they are up north without seeing it for yourself!

Sadly because of the custom shape and build of the EEXP camper there were no fender flares that would fit on the rear of the vehicle. Full coverage of the rear tires would be nice, but realistically won’t happen on this build.

EEBushwackerFenderFlares 4The install on these flares was pretty strait forward and only took a few hrs, but could probably have been done much quicker with less socializing, less Ninkasi craft beer and not after the sun had gone down. It probably wouldn’t have been nearly as fun without those things either though 🙂 While the directions can be a bit confusing, something I hear Bushwacker is working on updating, the parts really only go together one way and can’t be messed up too badly. Even our night ops happy hour install turned out really clean and solid!

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Bushwacker Street Flares that came on the truck when I purchased it.

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No fender flare at all.

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First install steps are to attach all the small nuts & bolts as well as the rubber wear guard around the edge of the flares.

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Next you want to pre-drill the mounting hole locations.

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A 90 degree drill comes in handy, if you don’t feel like removing the wheels, to pre-drill the sheet-metal.

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Next screw in the flares. Headlight only required if doing at night 😉

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Completed install of Bushwacker Pocket Style fender flares.

A big thank you goes out to Bushwacker for supporting the EEXP build and continuing to make quality American manufactured parts. The EEXP was recently featured on their blog, so be sure to check out that story HERE.

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We put our new Bushwacker fender flares to good use up on the Dalton Hwy in Alaska!

EEBushwackerFenderFlares 13(Disclaimer: Bushwacker is a product sponsor of the EEXP build and provided a set of Pocket Style Flares free of charge to the project.)

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