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There are a lot of valid reasons for putting aftermarket flares on a truck, some folks just like the look and others like the added paint protection flares can provide. Or you might be like we are and want them for both their good look and their added protection.
Even though our RAM 3500 Cummins Laramie dually truck came with flares from the factory, they weren’t wide enough for our purposes. Duallies are extra prone to chips in the paint on the wide rear fenders from rocks kicked up by the front tires. Even with the Laramie trim fenders we were seeing too many little chips on the rear fenders for only a half year of service. We decided to do something about it.
We ordered up a set of LUND Fender Flare Elite Series in their RX-Rivet style. LUND has been making accessories for trucks for over 40 years and their RX-Rivet style flares are a little over an inch wider than the factory Laramie trim flares. If your RAM has no factory flares, then you’ll really want a set of LUND flares either SX-Sport style which are pretty much identical to the factory flares or the RX-Rivet style which is wider and adds stainless steel bolts for additional style. If your RAM had a set of factory flares than the RX-Rivet style will be the option for you.
The flares come in a matte black finish from LUND. A lot of people like this look and bolt the flares on as is. The LUND fender flares have a very attractive finish and will look good on any truck. But we decided to have ours painted to match the factory paint for a more subtle appearance when installed. We took our flares to our friends at After Hours Auto Body in Newhall, California to prep and paint the flares. The owner told us that sometimes the mold release in aftermarket body parts like our flares can cause adhesion problems when painting. He uses a special bonding/primer layer that helps the paint adhere to the flares. We can’t argue with the results as our flares look for all the world as though the truck came from the factory with them.
The flares install easily enough, although we had a bit of extra work to get the rear flares to fit tightly against the body. We don’t think this is any fault of LUND, rather there seems to be a very large tolerance in the holes on the skin of the truck’s bed that impacts the fit of aftermarket parts. The factory flares are attached with very strong two-sided body tape which allows them to compensate for any deviation in the fender well bolt holes. The LUND flares don’t use adhesive tape; rather they use a special tube-like rubber gasket where the flares meet the body panels. It works well and looks good.