Rugged Ridge Fender Flare Redux

After contacting Rugged Ridge’s parent company OMIX-ADA, to alert them of the fender issues, they sent me a replacement set of Daylight Running Lights (DRLs) for their Rugged Ridge 11640.51 Max-Terrain Fender Flares for 18-21 Jeep Wrangler JL.

Today I carved out some time to replace the DRLs, only to find they sent me the same exact part numbers. Geez, man, really? I went to Home Depot to get some dielectric grease, to hopefully glase over the spot where the wires come into the body.

I also got instructions this time, which explains how to deal with the relay and wires. I don’t think the relay and wires will corrode anymore, since the heat shrink encapsulates the relay and wires, and I used a ton of electric tape to fend off any water getting in.

I took the opportunity to replace the crappy plastic clips that FCA decided was a good idea, or a way to cut corners on fender mounts. American Adventure Lab (AAL) makes the perfect solution, easy to install, and they even strengthen the fender flares. Brilliant design, highly recommended.

Ever since I installed my wheel well liners, I lost the ability to use my JKS Quicker Disconnects’ upper mounts, so today I upgraded my JKS sway bar links. I replaced the upper threaded posts with stainless steel quick release posts. I also replaced the red grease caps after greasing them up. Good as new.

I was grungy after the DRLs were done, so I decided to finally respool my winch cable. I did so using my body weight, probably would have been better to use a tree. The cable is neat again, ready for Moab/Rubicon in June. 🙂

Speaking Of The Dirtworx

I always wanted a rear bumper that spreads the weight of the tire carrier across both ends of the bumper. This just makes sense to me. Its physics. Its math. I felt so close to nirvana when I ordered a Dirtworx custom rear bumper and tire carrier a few months ago. With a lead time of two weeks, I finally got the bumper more than two months later. I took it to a local powder coating shop, then I had a shop handle the install.

I got a call from the shop. The bumper doesn’t fit, the mount brackets are inches off. Apparently Dirtworx fabricated the bumper for a JK and not a JL. I spoke with Dirtworx and they offered to pay a local shop to fix it, or I could ship it back and they’d cover the cost of shipping. I wasn’t willing to risk any more issues, especially since I was already in the hole for more than $500 in powder coating and shop costs.

I decided to ship it back and get refunded. Dirtworx admitted they don’t do a lot of JL work, and so they assumed the JK and JL models had the same rear bumper mount spacing. Mistakes happen. What I expected was for them to split the cost of powder coating and shop time, since it was their mistake. Dirtworx took the position “we sent you the wrong part”. Um. Nope. Sorry. Dirtworx was negligent.

I hesitated over whether to leave the glowing blog posts up, or to take them down. I took them down today. I also didn’t want to “out” Dirtworx for their negligence, but a friend convinced me to alert the community, so the same thing doesn’t happen to the next guy.

So here we are. I’ve had a couple months to decide what to do. I decided to let the Jeep community know what happened, so they can decide whether they want to do business with a company like Dirtworx. They were highly recommended to me, and now those who recommended them are as off put as I am about how they handled their mistake.

If you own an older Jeep, I suppose the risk level would be acceptable. Since Dirtworx admitted to me they hardly do any JL work. If you look at their site, they seem to (continue to) think JK and JL models share the same specs. Sorry but they don’t. Given their mistake, you’d think they’d have learned, and updated their site. They haven’t, which helped me make the decision to post about this.

I’ve wrestled with the idea of reporting them to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), still haven’t decided whether to do that. I have a full paper trail where they admit they made an assumption, and how they felt their mistake is not their problem. Basically “tough”. I’ll decide at some point whether to further escalate this issue to the BBB.

Hope this posts helps prospective customers decide. Integrity is a thing. So is ethics.