Selecting the Right Rocket Flares to Protect Your Car
Do you own a truck or an SUV? Do you get out of your car after a long drive, only to find the sides of your vehicle unbelievably dirty with mud, and with small dents caused by rocks and other road debris? Do you want to know how to avoid these types of damage to your vehicle? If you answered yes to all questions, then it's time you bought yourself rocket flares. Rocket Flares are components installed on the sides of your vehicle, just below the car doors. They are designed to reduce dirt and rock chip damage to your car by acting as a shield from hazardous road debris like mud, tar, sand, and road salt.
Features to look for
For a car part that is very straightforward and has no moving components, quick and easy installation is a must. The rocker flare kit should include the necessary screws, custom bits, and most importantly, it should have heavy-duty adhesive tape. It should have very specific installation instructions and shouldn't take more than an hour to install.
If you want to protect your car against rocks that can pit your paint and upgrade your car's look in the process, then look for rocker flares that complement your car's color. There are also rocker flares that can be painted to match your vehicle. Some aftermarket rocker flares are offered in kits, and include mud guards or splash guards along with the basic components.
Some helpful tips
If you already have nerf bars installed on your truck, you might have to make alterations to the rocker flares. Look for rocker flares that can be cut out to accommodate nerf bars. These products should have instructions and templates included. We also recommend rocker flares that fit your nerf bars so that you don't have to make any changes to your current setup. Also, it is important to note that most rocker flares are not designed for use on vehicles with running boards.
How to Install New Rocker Flares
Rocker flares protect your vehicle from rocks and other debris that your tires throw up onto your vehicle every day. They do this without sacrificing valuable road and tire clearance. Besides adding a sleek and custom look to your vehicle, they also add resell value to your vehicle. They usually come with rubberized double-sided adhesive tape, pre-drilled expansion holes, and pre-notched cutouts for under-carriage bolts that make installation quick and easy. If you are planning to install new rocker flares, we have prepared a guide that will make the process a breeze to go through.
Difficulty level: Moderate
Tools you'll need:
- Phillips head bit
- 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch drill bit
- Silicone adhesive
Note: Rocker flares mount to the lower rocker panel with double-sided rubber adhesive tape, then secured into position with screws. They are not intended to be used as a step to get on the car, or to support any kind of weight.
Step 1: Using alcohol wipes or a clean rag, clean the rocker panel mounting area. This is very important, as this area should be free from dirt, rust grease, or wax, to get a good bond to the flares. Keep the temperature at 60 degrees.
Step 2: Screw the splash guards onto the tab on the cab and rear flares. At this point, do not overtighten the screws.
Step 3: Determine if there are obstacles to the installation like fender flares or nerf bars. If there are nerf bars installed, follow the manufacturer's nerf bar cutout instructions. If there are no obstructions, remove the tape cover on the rocker flare.
Step 4: Install the rear rocker flare set first by tacking the flare into position with very little pressure. Press firmly once you have it positioned correctly. Repeat this procedure on the remaining flares.
Step 5: In most cases, rocker flares will come with pre-drilled expansion holes. If this is the case, drill a 1/8-inch pilot hole into the sheet. Apply silicone adhesive to the drilled hole to seal it.
Step 6: Use a Phillips head drill to run screws into the 1/8-inch pilot holes. The center flares can be adjusted up and down to match the cab piece by simply using pliers. Gently flex the metal at the mounting area until you get the desired position.
Step 7: Finally, if the kit came with splash guards, mount them on the lip of the wheel well opening by drilling a 1/4-inch hole through the splash guard. Attach them with a nylon retainer, and make sure to apply sealant to the holes.
It will take about ninety minutes for a DIYer to install a set of rocker flares.