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Adding Clearance & Protection: Why You Need Ram Fender Flares

Written By: Zach Wright

The Dodge Ram is designed to be rugged and take a beating; while being able to go where most trucks can’t. A great mod many enthusiasts turn to, to get more out of their truck, are fender flares. Fender flares have long provided many enthusiasts with a way to increase clearance, provide extra protection, and add a wide, aggressive look. This guide will run you through the highlights of adding fender flares to your Ram pickup and why you need to add them to your build list today.

What are Ram Fender Flares & What Do They Do? 

Fender flares are add-on exterior styling/body armor pieces that go around the outside perimeter of your Ram’s wheel wells. Fender flares typically protrude out a few extra inches than the stock fenders, making a noticeable visual change. Some fender flares either bolt or clip right on top of the existing body panels, while others require you to cut out the stock fender and attach the aftermarket flares onto the quarter panel directly.

Fender flares work to do the following:

  • Increase the amount of wheel clearance
  • Provide increased protection for your Ram
  • Visually enhance the look of your truck

Increasing Your Ram’s Clearance with Fender Flares

One of the biggest advantages to adding fender flares to your Ram 1500 pickup truck is increasing the amount of wheel clearance you have. Fender flares can grant you increased articulation due to their flared out design that doesn’t inhibit the path of your tires. 

Adding clearance is especially useful if you ever take your Ram off-road, as those few inches of space you gain can mean the difference between getting over/around an obstacle and hitting a dead end off-road. Fender flares are typically the easiest way to increase clearance without having to spend a lot of money or do a considerable amount of suspension work.

Protecting Your Ram with Fender Flares

A secondary, but major benefit to Ram 1500 fender flares is adding extra protection to the sides of your pickup truck. When you drive a large vehicle like the Ram, you always run the risk of scraping it on branches and other objects jutting out into your travel path, whether you are on-road or off-road. Fender flares add a few extra inches on both sides of your pickup, allowing them to take the brunt of any branch scrapes or dings.

Adding an Aggressive Look with Ram Fender Flares

Unless you lower it, the Ram has a top-heavy look to it at a glance. While this isn’t a bad thing, it isn’t the look every enthusiast wants. To combat the narrow and tall look of the Ram, you can add a set of fender flares for a more planted, wider stance.

As mentioned above, fender flares add a few extra inches to each side of your pickup. While not a large increase by any means, those few inches of extra exterior siding help to give the Ram a wider look, resembling that of an off-road racing truck.

Can I Run Bigger Tires on My Ram with Fender Flares? 

While not true for every option available, the majority of Ram fender flares will allow you to run a larger sized tire on your 1500. Fender flares can open up your wheel wells enough to allow you to go a size or two up in tread; running a larger tire is crucial for the casual to the extreme off-roader. Doing a bit of forum research before pulling the trigger on anything is always recommended.

How Difficult is it to Install Fender Flares on My Ram 1500?

Installing fender flares can be tricky depending upon the type of fender flare it is. Clamp-on or 3M Tape fender flares are the easiest as they require no modification and can be done by any enthusiast in a matter of a few minutes. Installing bolt-on or screw in fender flares can be moderately difficult as they will require you to drill pilot holes in your quarter panel. With a steady hand and a few measurements, while using the right tools, most enthusiasts should be able to knock this out. 

The most difficult fender flares to install are the ones that require you to cut into your truck, trimming back the existing fender. Installing these types of fender flares will require the use of a Sawzall amongst other tools, while also requiring a decent bit of bodywork knowhow. Unless you really know what you are doing, it is not recommended to perform this upgrade yourself. The real key here is if you don’t have the tools for the job or the know-how, you should leave it to the professionals.

How Much Would It Cost to Have Fender Flares Installed On My Ram at a Shop?

Having a professional at an automotive body shop install a set of fender flares on your Ram will depend upon the shop as well as the type of install. If it is a simple clamp/automotive tape, then it should be under $200 ​depending upon a few different factors. If there is any type of cutting or drilling involved, that price can go from $200 all the way up to $1,500, but it really depends on where you take it.

Do Fender Flares Come in Different Colors? 

Typically, most fender flares come in a textured black finish, either glossy or matte (usually matte). You don’t usually find fender flares that come in a specific ​color or even color matched to the color of your Ram pickup. However, there is no reason you can’t go to a shop and have them painted to match your Ram’s body color.

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