Flaps aren’t just for mud, but they aren’t just for winter either. And they certainly aren’t just for the look. Even an STI that remains gridlocked on Calgary pavement for it’s entire life will still throw slush/gravel/salt up onto the body for about 9 months a year…
The first generation Legacy came with mudflaps from the factory. But the seam where flap ended and fender began was a notorious spot for rust to brew.
I trust that Subaru has better paint/metal/finishing methods now than they did then, but I wonder if they would still have the same rust issues if factory-flaps held grime against the fender for 20 years.
So what then.. We can’t live with them, and we can’t live without them?
Countless chips in the rocker paint say I can’t live without them.
And an already flawed wheel well makes me fear that the fender can’t live with them.
I suppose the answer is obvious -> Maintenance.
A “set it and forget it” approach might be OK with flaps that are installed very carefully when the paint/undercarriage is flawless.
But in my situation, the approach will likely need to be:
Install for winter -> Clean thouroughly often -> remove for spring cleaning -> address and treat with Por15, rocker guard, and curses accordingly -> reinstall for summer -> cross fingers firmly
In any case it is always satisfying to make flaps from scratch.
And the Popular Armor that is out there just seems too dainty (and expensive) for my needs.
I started with an online template of the best selling stuff. But before cutting the rubber I played shadow puppets with cardboard and realized bigger is better since I am trying to protect both the inside and outside of that area. I just hope I’m not trapping a lot of junk that high jumps over the flap and gets caught at the mounting points.
I guess I should add ‘full flap flush’ to my bi-weekly service schedule….