Massive Tire Clearance
Standard DeFender™ provide much better tire clearance than stock or some competitors' tube fenders, but DeFender™ XC's provide eXtreme Clearance!. Like with the standard DeFenders™, the back of the wheel opening is approximately 2½" further back compared to typical tube fenders, and about 4" further back than the stock Jeep flares. But the wheel opening on the XC's is 3" higher than standard DeFenders, providing Massive Tire Clearance with minimal lift! While there are specific considerations to address with any particular Jeep, in most cases you should be able to run 37" tires with no suspension lift, and 40's with just couple inches of lift! See the FAQ sectionbelow for a more detailed discussion of tire clearance.
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Solid Plate, "Tubeless" Construction
Poison Spyder raises the bar for Jeep fender armor—DeFenders™ are the next evolutionary step beyond "tube fenders". DeFenders™ are fabricated entirely from 3/16" plate, either heavy duty P&O steel or lightweight 6061-T6 aluminum. CNC laser cutting and precision brake-forming yield a stronger, more functional, better-looking fender than the tired, out-dated tube fender design. Only one competitor manufactures a fender that's anything like the DeFender™>—fabricated entirely of plate with no tubing—but their design leaves a vertical edge of the metal pointed downward, right at the tire. The DeFender™ has an extra "return", or lip along the underside of the fender, which provides better protection from cutting into a fully stuffed tire, while also lending extra strength to the outer edge of the fender, where it is most likely to come in contact with rocks, canyon walls, trees, etc.
DeFenders™ vs. "tube fenders"
DeFenders™ are not "tube fenders"—they're better! Much of the Jeep armor industry was built upon Poison Spyder's original Tube Fender design, which has been borrowed, copied, and in some cases even improved upon, by many of our competitors. But now the state of the art in Jeep fender armor takes a giant leap forward with the DeFender™ product line. Rather than tube, the outer edges of the DeFender™ are brake-formed into a rugged 3-sided rub rail. Most "tube fenders" use a piece of .120" thick (just under 1/8") tubing as the outer edge rub rail, with 1/8" thick sheetmetal top plates. Compare that to the 3/16" (.188") thick material of the DeFender™ which is carried throughout its structure, from the outer rub rail surface to the top plates to the mounting structure. The DeFender™ is not only much stronger than a tube fender, it looks much better as well, with smooth flat surfaces that blend better with your Jeep's exterior appearance.
DeFender™ XC Inner Fenders
DeFender™ XC Inner Fenders are easy to install and look great. They provide splash protection to the engine compartment as well as a place to mount under-hood accessories. Each inner fender is a 3-piece bolt-together assembly, made of CNC laser cut aluminum sheet. Please note that no accessory mounting holes or brackets are provided, as each installation is left to the discretion of the installer to decide where to mount components. Most stock inner fender-mounted components can be re-mounted to the DeFender™ XC Inner Fenders by simply drilling a hole and/or fabricating a simple bracket. Unfortunately, we have not yet found an elegant solution for retaining the stock air box, so an aftermarket air intake or open air filter element (such as a K&N conical filter) is recommended. It may be possible to retain and re-use the stock inner fenders, for those who wish to do so and save some money. That's why the Inner Fender kit is sold separately. However we do not provide instructions for retaining the stock inner fenders—it would be up to the installer to figure out how best to do that.
The DeFender™ XC with Negative Flare provides the maximum clearance for tire articulation and tight trails. We call it the "Negative" flare because it actually subtracts from the stock fender width, tapering inward to closely hug the edge of the Jeep's hood, leaving just enough of a fender edge to mount the hood latch and provide a beefy steel rub rail to protect the side of the hood. For those looking to maintain a low center of gravity by running big tires with minimal lift, the Negative Flare is a great way to allow full suspension articulation while still having a beefy, armored non-highline fender. DeFender™ XC's are also available in 3" Tapered Flare and Zero Flare versions.
Side Port For Easy Access
Access ports in the side of the DeFender™ make it easy to access the area between the wheel well and the firewall during installation. After installation, these holes are covered with included solid fill plates or with the optional "Spyder" Side Inserts or Full Length Side Plates discussed below.
DeFender™ XC "Spyder" Side Inserts
To add a little extra Spyder flare to your install, opt for the DeFender™ XC "Spyder" Side Inserts, which are CNC laser cut from 1/8" aluminum plate. The Spyder logo cut-out acts as an air vent to promote airflow through the engine bay. The Side Inserts are designed to bolt to the inside surface of the DeFender™, using the supplied stainless steel button head hardware. The Spyder inserts may also be used with the included solid inserts by stacking the solid plate behind the Spyder plate—paint the solid plate a contrasting color to make the spyder "pop"!. DeFender™ XC "Spyder" Side Inserts are sold separately.
DeFender™ XC Full Length Side Plates
For those who want more substantial armor protection, the DeFender™ XC Full Length Side Plates extend from the fender flare rearward to the door opening, and from the top of the Rocker Knockers™ up to the hood line. These Full Length Side Plates also provide extra bracing for the DeFender™ against frontal impacts, helping to prevent buckling of the weaker, stock tub sheetmetal just rearward of the armored fender. DeFender™ Full Length Side Plates are CNC laser cut from 3/16" 6061-T6 aluminum plate. Bolt holes are countersunk so that the supplied flat head stainless steel hardware lies flush with the plate's surface. The forward edge is cut to fit the enlarged wheel opening of Poison Spyder DeFenders™, while the lower edge is is cut to nest against Poison Spyder Rocker Knockers™ or Ricochet Rockers™ (NOTE: the angle of the forward edge of the Full Length Side Plates may not precisely align with the forward edge of older versions of Rocker Knockers™ and Ricochet Rockers™—newer, DeFender™-specific Rocker Knockers™ or Ricochet Rockers™ are designed to match the angle of this forward edge more closely). DeFender™ XC Full Length Side Plates are sold separately
Steel or Aluminum?
DeFenders™ are available in either heavy duty P&O steel plate or light weight 6061-T6 aluminum plate (both 3/16" thick). We recommend steel for those Jeeps whose fenders are frequently in contact with the rocks. For those looking to save weight but are willing to drive with more finesse (not using the DeFenders™ as a battering ram), the aluminum DeFenders™ may be just the ticket.
TJ Battery Lift Bracket
All TJ/LJ versions of the DeFenders™ come with a custom bracket for lifting the stock battery tray higher, to provide the extra clearance necessary for the DeFender's™larger wheel opening. This bracket is CNC laser cut brake-formed and fixture-welded for an easy, clean installation.
THIS IS NOT A SIMPLE BOLT-ON PART! Installing DeFender™ XC's or any highline fender set is a major undertaking, requiring mechanical skills and tools. Because of this we DO NOT recommend this installaiton for novice mechanics or those who have to have a written, detailed procedure for every contingency that may come up. So you know what you are getting in to, here are a few notes on the installation process. Please be aware that installation of the DeFender™ XC's REQUIRES either cutting the bottom 3" off either side of your hood. We plan to offer our own fiberglass "XC" hood at some point in the future, to be a companion product to work with the DeFender™ XC's (as of this writing there is no estimated date of availability for it). Cutting the stock hood is done along the existing horizontal ridge in the side of the hood, so careful cutting will provide good results and a "factory" appearance. The stock hood latches may be retained, or the installer may wish to use hood pins instead. If retaining the stock hood latches, simply drill the mounting holes on the hood higher up. You will also need to drill holes in the DeFender™ XC to mount the lower part of the hood latch. We left these holes out of the XC version so that installers could opt for different hood latching methods without leaving un-used holes. Likewise, we also left the 3/4" LED marker lamp hole out, as many Jeeps running the XC's will not be subject to DOT regulations, so it is up to the installer's discretion to drill the 3/4" hole in the front corner to mount an LED marker lamp, if that is desired. Note that it is also up to the installer to figure out how to mount or re-mount any under-hood accessories. Most items will mount by simply drilling a hole and using the OE bracket or mounting screw. Other components may require more ingenuity to mount. Chief among these will be the stock air box, for which we have not yet devised an elegant solution for its mounting. Keep in mind that installing these or any brand of "highline" fenders can be a big job, entailing major surgery on your Jeep. Because of this, it is assumed that the installer will have above average installation, fabrication and problem solving skills, and can work through any specific issues without the need of detailed, step-by-step instructions for every little aspect of the install.
This product ships as bare steel—it will need to be painted or powder coated prior to final installation. We do not offer a powder coat option for this item.