Chevrolet Wheel Flares
WHY? Two reasons: Protection and appearance. The roads on the ranch are gravel and the paint around the truck's wheel openings can take a beating. I saw a silver truck with black wheel flares on the dealer's lot and liked the look, so I thought I'd handle the two issues with one purchase. As with most accessory items the aftermarket for these flares hasn't caught up to the Colorado yet so I went shopping for some OEM units. I shopped the item (GM #22966585) and--as usual--found the best price at ShopChevyParts.com. Unfortunately they didn't have them in stock so I had to look elsewhere. I found several listed on eBay, but prices were no better than the MSRP of $275. On a hunch I tried Amazon, and sure enough found a set listed at $208 with free shipping. I pulled the trigger. Be sure to shop around--you might find a better deal. If you do, don't contact me; I don't care.
SERVICE: Typical Amazon--Excellent. Immediately after placing the order I received an email confirmation. The very next day I received a shipping notification, complete with UPS tracking number. The box arrived just five working days after I first placed my order. I consider that to be pretty darned good service. Everything arrived undamaged and packed securely.
INSTALLATION: This job might be intimidating for a rank amateur, but the average hobbyist should be able to get it done in under 2 hours with good instructions. Speaking of which--the installation instructions included with the flares were adequate but poorly illustrated. If you find them difficult to navigate, here are some tips:
1. Open the shipping box and be sure that everything is there and undamaged. Each flare is plainly marked "left" and "right". The tools needed are masking tape, a #15 torx driver, drill and 1/4" drill bit.
2. It helps if the vehicle is clean, so treat the truck to a wash.
3. Hold the flares next to the wheel openings to get a general idea of the area to be contacted by the mounting tape. Wipe down those areas well with the provided alcohol swabs.
4. Use a small strip of masking tape to tape the ends of the red backing tape to the outside of the flares; this will ensure that you can access them later. They'll look like this:
5. Using a T15 torx driver, remove 6 screws on each front wheel opening. Three of the screws are difficult to engage with some drivers so you have two options: remove the wheel and tire for more clearance, or use a right-angle driver. I chose to leave the wheel on and use two different drivers:
6. Please note that you will not have to remove all the screws around the wheel well; hold the flare in place and you will see the screws you need to replace. Here is where they are located:
7. Set each front flare in place; if you are working alone it helps to use some tape to hold things up:
8. Attach the flare with 6 of the new screws supplied in the kit. Don't tighten them yet. Carefully push the flare into place to match the wheel well perfectly, being careful where it contacts existing body moldings. Mine fit perfectly. Grasp one end of the red tape backing and pull it back over itself. Don't pull the tape sideways as it might break. As you pull the backing tape away, push the flare into place against the fender to allow the tape to make good contact. Use a cloth to press firmly around the entire flare to set it into place. Tighten all 6 screws on each side and you are done with the fronts--
9. Now for the rears. Using the T15 driver, remove 3 screws on each side. Also note the two locations where holes will be drilled later:
10. Set a strip of masking tape over the gravel flap on the rear of each wheel well; this is to protect the flap when you prep the surface for contact. it will look like this:
11. Use the adhesive promoter wipe supplied in the kit to prepare the top edge of each gravel flap; this will ensure a good surface tor the mounting tape. Set the rear flare in place and replace the lower 3 screws with the new screws provided; don't tighten them yet. Adjust the flare to fit correctly then use some masking tape to hold it in place. Drill two 1/4" holes in the fender, using the holes in the flare as a guide. Once again, you might need to remove the rear wheel to get clearance for the drill; I avoided that by using a right-angle drill:
12. I dabbed some heavy grease in each hole for rust/corrosion protection. Set one of the supplied u-nuts on top of the fender lip and run one of the new screws through the flare and into the u-nut. If you have the fiber wheel well liners it will be tough to line things up--be patient. When all 5 screws are in place, slowly pull the red tape liner back over itself to expose the mounting tape and press the flare into place. Use a rag to press firmly to hold the flare into place. Tighten all 5 screws. Now remove the red tape liner from the small flare lip than fits on top of the gravel shield and press it into place. You're done! The rears will look like this:
RESULTS: Fantastic! I can justify the purchase by saying that the new flares protect the paint job, but the fact is that I just love the look. They pair with the rest of the black accents on the truck nicely. The flares fit perfectly and mate well with the existing moldings too.
WORTH THE MONEY? Absolutely. They really add to the truck's appearance.