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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.
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.
3" Tapered Flare
The DeFender™ XC with 3" Tapered Flare was designed for maximum performance in several aspects. First, it provides the same splash protection of our regular 3" flare, keeping mud and debris from splashing up onto the side of the Jeep. But rather than having a straight side, the edge of the flare tapers inward toward the front of the Jeep, in a line parallel to the tapered edge of the hood. In this manner it tapers from 3" at the back, to about the same width as our "Zero Flare" at the front, providing the same great clearance for articulating tires and tight trails that our Zero Flare provides. DeFender™ XC's are also available in Zero Flare and Negative Flare versions.