Solid, "Tubeless" Construction
DeFenders™ are fabricated entirely from CNC laser-cut, precision brake-formed 3/16" plate, either heavy duty P&O steel or lightweight 6061-T6 aluminum. 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.
Increased Front Tire Clearance
Even on the non-highline version, the DeFender™ provides a much larger wheel opening than stock or some competitors' tube fenders. The back of the wheel opening, where larger tires tend to rub when the steering is at full-lock, is approximately 2½" further back compared to typical tube fenders, and about 4" further back than the stock Jeep flares.
Multiple Flare Width Options
DeFenders™ are available in a variety of different fender widths to fit your needs and your style of four-wheeling. The "Negative Flare" closely hugs the hood line, sticking out just far enough to provide a mini-fender and space to mount the hood latch. Negative Flare DeFenders™ are designed for those who want maximum clearance for wheeling through tight obstacles. "Zero Flare" matches the sheetmetal stock fender width without flares. That is, it continues straight forward from the Jeep's tub, like a stock Jeep with the flares removed. Zero Flare DeFenders™ are used by those who want the look and functionality of the stock fender dimensions, but with the increased clearance of running flareless. For those who need to maintain tire coverage, the DeFenders™ with 3" Flares provide approximately the same tire coverage as the stock flares. These aren't just an added-on pieces—each DeFender™ is built from the ground up as a seamless, one-piece fender with integrated flare.
Steel or Aluminum?
DeFenders™ are available in either heavy duty steel or light weight aluminum (both 3/16" thick). We recommend steel for those Jeeps whose fenders are frequently in contact with the rocks. For those needing a great looking, light weight fender that's strong but not necessarily as hard core as the steel ones, aluminum is a great alternative.
Easy Access & Side Plate Options
Access holes in the side of the DeFender™ make it easy to access the area between the wheel well and the firewall during installation. After installation, these holes are covered with a choice of different side cover plates. For the simplest install, choose the DeFender™ Side Inserts, which fill the access holes in the side panels of the DeFender™. DeFender™ Side Inserts are CNC laser cut from 1/8" aluminum plate. The Spyder logo cut-out acts as an air vent to promote airflow through the engine bay. The Side Inserts are designed to bolt to the inside surface of the DeFender™, using the supplied stainless steel button head hardware. For those who want more substantial armor protection, the DeFender™ Full Length Side Plates extend from the fender flare rearward to the door opening, and from the top of the Rocker Knockers™ up to the hood line. These Full Length Side Plates also provide extra bracing for the DeFender™ against frontal impacts, helping to prevent buckling of the weaker, stock tub sheetmetal just rearward of the armored fender. DeFender™ Full Length Side Plates are CNC laser cut from 3/16" 6061-T6 aluminum plate. Bolt holes are countersunk so that the supplied flat head stainless steel hardware lies flush with the plate's surface. The forward edge is cut to fit the enlarged wheel opening of Poison Spyder DeFenders™, while the lower edge is is cut to nest against Poison Spyder Rocker Knockers™ or Ricochet Rockers™ (NOTE: the angle of the forward edge of the Full Length Side Plates may not precisely align with the forward edge of older versions of Rocker Knockers™ and Ricochet Rockers™—newer, DeFender™-specific Rocker Knockers™ or Ricochet Rockers™ are designed to match the angle of this forward edge more closely). DeFender™ Side Inserts and DeFender™ Full Length Side Plates are sold separately (must be added to your cart as a separate item), so you may choose which one best matches your needs (select one or the other, but not both).
Retains Factory Inner Fenders
Why deal with the cost or hassle of replacing your existing inner fenders? DeFenders™ are designed to work with your Jeep's OE inner fenders, saving cost as well as the hassle of removal/installation/relocation of all of your under-hood gear.
TJ Battery Lift Bracket
All TJ/LJ versions of the DeFenders™ come with a custom bracket for lifting the stock battery tray higher, to provide the extra clearance necessary for the DeFender's™larger wheel opening. This bracket is CNC laser cut brake-formed and fixture-welded for an easy, clean installation.
Accepts Hi Intensity LED Marker Lamps
Replacing your Jeep's factory fenders also removes the factory side marker light formerly mounted in the fender flare. DeFender™ are designed with provisions for mounting a smaller, more discreet but high intensity 3/4" LED Marker Lamp. These lamps are available separately through Poison Spyder Customs, and are DOT approved for automotive use. Note that these LED marker lamps may be wired to function as either a marker/running lamp or as a turn signal, but not as both.