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With the release of Thunderhawk's rear mud guard kit, we have had a number of people ask about under-bed mud covers. We thought that starting a separate discussion on under-bed covers was appropriate, since their design issues are different from those of the rear mud guards that install in front of the tires.

We know what a pain it is to clean the "waffle" pattern under the bed after a muddy ride, and Thunderhawk has built and tested under-bed mud covers on our own Rangers. Although it appears to be a simple matter of cutting a cover and screwing it to the bottom of the bed, this isn't something that we could sell. The problem lies in designing a cover panel that blocks the mud, but one that can also drain. Otherwise, you end up with the mud that gets past the cover being held on top of the cover and not being able to easily remove this mud (you might be surprised how much mud gets past these covers). Besides adequate drainage, these covers also need to be installed with fasteners that can be removed and re-installed for cleaning repeatedly. So simply screwing a cover to the bed plastic would not be something we could sell, as we know that the screw-holes would strip-out after a few cleanings. Now, we're not knocking anyone who's made their own cover that installs with screws, we're just saying that we wouldn't want to sell this design knowing that the screws would be a problem after a while.

With all this being said, that doesn't mean that there's not a solution. We are planning to open the files and look at the under-bed covers again when we update our Mid-Size Ranger product line in early 2015. So, please let us know what you want and what you think about these under-bed covers, and we will factor your input into what we design. As always, feel free to call me directly if you'd like to discuss this on the phone. I always enjoy speaking with our customers.

Thanks,
Harry
 

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One thing i would like to note here, Many of the midsize members are looking for or have installed fender flares from the XP model's. Your kits should hopefully be somewhat compatible with those flares. Another idea would be to incorporate Flares into the design of your underbox guard. OR possibly design a flare system FOR the rear mud blockers AND underbed plate. Just a thought. Id put money on it to say that if someone could Point, Click, Buy a complete system that would fit together effortlessly and easily, it'd sell without a doubt.

As for those of us who have installed the XP flares on our midsizes, if i recall correctly, adding them to your underbed covers and mudblockers wouldnt be very difficult in my opinion actually. Some drilling and tapping would secure them. Im curious to see what yinz come up with. it'll be nice im sure!
 

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If yall would come.out with just a flare setup for the midsize I'd be all over it.
 
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@ Thunderhawk Harry and Jeffmac: Those are the exact flares I have sitting on my work bench waiting for installation on my EV LSV. I have to design and install (like Jeffmac did) an underbed mounting plate for them. This will entail removing the box, making templates, fitting the plate, fitting the fenders and reinstalling the box. Although it will keep mud out of the bed honeycomb structure that is a secondary concern. The primary purpose is to have a mounting platform for the flares. A flare mounting plate IMHO would NOT have to cover ALL the honeycomb....just be easy to attach and sturdy enough to support the flares.

As you might know cleaning the honeycomb is a PITA especially on the EV and EV LSV as you can not spray high pressure water on the electric motor. I use a low pressure setting and am careful not to direct at the motor. I think a cover plate would make it easier to clean.

In addition I will be installing the comparable front flares. I will be using some aluminum C channel and attaching it to the Thunderhawk underfender mud guards, then fitting the front flares to the C channel.

As mine is an EV LSV it already has the OEM rear mud guards in front of the rear wheels. But they will have to be modified slightly to accommodate the horizontal portion of the rear fender flare.

Harry. If you would like to look at the EV LSV architecture I can easily bring it to your shop from Erie, Pa. I'll bring the unattached flares and we can engineer something.

I had to drill some extra holes in the front Thunderhawk underfender mud guards to accommodate the OEM EV LSV front turn signals and 2 extra holes in the Thunderhawk CV guards to accommodate the forward A-Arms. (pics below). NBD. just measured, marked and drilled.
In addition the 3 holes in front of the Thunderhawk CV guards mean to line up with the OEM guard mounting holes did not match up on the High Lifter forward A-Arms....however 2 extra pre-drilled holes in the Thuderhawk CV guards DID match up to the 2 additional pre-drilled holes in the forward A-Arms. The Thunderhawk front CV guards then installed easily with these minor mods even with forward A-Arms, longer Outlaw DHT axles and a High Lifter Signature Series 2" Lift Kit.
I also clear anodized all the bare aluminum parts.

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BTW Those are the Direction 2 Fender Flares made in Canada. The Kolpins are a bit different in that the rears attach to the sides of the box but offer no forward protection.

Below is a folder of ways to attach the Direction 2's both front & rear, with and without the Thuderhawk front mud guards:

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Mine are the same as yours......though they were kolpins though?! hmmmm......research time.
 
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