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Discussion Starter #1
...but that didn't stop my from clicking the "Buy" button on Amazon, so now I have a set of 4 Rally Armour black with red font universal mudflaps that I'm considering putting on my Mazda 3s GT Hatch (see avatar).

I'm going to do a mock up with tape this weekend to see if I can find a good look on this car. I also have the appearance package, which really gives me pause for adding these. I want to maintain a relatively OEM look to the car, while adding my own personalizations if that makes sense. I have some cheap flaps on my Forester that look fantastic, but this car i'm not so sure. Looked around at some google images and i'm not seeing a direct comparison, looks like i'll be at least the first guy posting a picture at least of something like this (black 3s hatch with aero kit, mud flaps).

So what do you think? Ridiculous? Awesome? Not sure? tacky?

These are the flaps i have in my possession....will probably do the mock up and then install this weekend...I plan to use the plastic clips from the wheel well covers so i can easily go back to 100% stock.


EDIT: Oh yeah, lets not forget the actual reason for these things existing, protect the car's paint and possibly a pedestrian or two, but really just my car's paint - lets be honest.
 

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Honestly, for me if they protrude too much from the sides I think it'll look tacky, but that's just me. I installed the OEM splash guards and they seem to do the trick keeping the dust and crap off the sides of the car, and they aren't very big at all. Must alter the aero just enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Honestly, for me if they protrude too much from the sides I think it'll look tacky, but that's just me. I installed the OEM splash guards and they seem to do the trick keeping the dust and crap off the sides of the car, and they aren't very big at all. Must alter the aero just enough.
Gerry I know what you mean about protruding from the sides. It is definitely a concern. For the price i paid for these things, during the mockup stage i might do a little cutting on them. My Forester has generics as well, but they are not the rally armor "side protruders" so i hadn't thought about it until these came.

The problem with the OEM molded flaps is they are shaped to fit the wheel well corners - which are not the same shape once you add appearance package. The salesman when i bought car confirmed this - i figure no way in hell he's turning down an accessory sale if it can be easily done.

At this point i'm hell bent on at least giving it a shot....I won't rest easy until I know for sure they either look like pure ass or decide to keep them. we shall see
 

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when you say appearance I assume that you have the lip, side skirt and rear diffuser? If thats the case i wouldn't take that off for the mud flaps.
 

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Ah, I see. I hadn't considered that. So your purchase may be a win since the side skirts straighten out the wheel arches.
 

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Post some pictures if you can....I have the OEM flaps and they are a bit small IMO

Of course the Rally Armor are on the large side which has held me back from getting them. But if you can find a nice in between with a little modification, that may be perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
when you say appearance I assume that you have the lip, side skirt and rear diffuser? If thats the case i wouldn't take that off for the mud flaps.
Yup you nailed it. Agreed, i prefer the appearance package if i had to choose. But, i had some time today....see next post....
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
So i had some time today after work and these were calling my name, so after some mockup mounting with tape I headed to the auto parts store and got a pack of black self tapping screws with washers. I was definitely trying to keep things subtle with this, at least as far as mud flaps on a mazda 3 goes :laugh2:

After I got back from the maiden test drive and checked out the mounting and all that, I already had some dirt flung onto the flaps as it had started raining - makes the decision easy, i'm keeping them. It helps that i can remove at any time without any real mod scars...just 1 tiny screw hole in each wheel well plastic mold which i could easily fill or keep the screws in

Edit for installation tips - a 2x4 on a level floor (I used 2" side as a base, so flaps are 4" off ground) is a great way to make sure all 4 flaps are the same height, especially if not using any specific preexisiting brackets on the car. I also had to cut a large notch in the inside of the rear flaps to allow some frame metal (not sure what it was, metal protrusion) to pass through so the flaps sit flush against the back well. but these are pretty wide flaps, I already had cut a large triangle off of the inner tops of all 4 flaps so they fit better, less bulk, etc.
 

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I like the look, like a rally car should look for running through the muck. I'm sure they will keep a lot of mud and spray off the paint, and they might even keep the guy behind from suffering a rock in the windshield.
 

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Those look great, thanks for posting pictures.

I am strongly considering now.....one more question, you are at stock ride height?

My ride is pretty slammed and these may be too big for proper clearance.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Those look great, thanks for posting pictures.

I am strongly considering now.....one more question, you are at stock ride height?

My ride is pretty slammed and these may be too big for proper clearance.
Thank you sir. Yup totally stock suspension. With these flaps, they could easily be mounted higher in the wheel wells - in fact I think it would be ideal to do so just from a mounting perspective. You'll just need to do some trimming on the inside of the flaps, which i did with a pair of scissors.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I dig that license plate
:laugh2: Thanks. Some days i can't be bothered to blur it out, considering i display the thing to the world everyday in traffic.

I think if i were to revise it, I would get rid of the "MZ"since the mazda badge is still on the car and will remain so.
 

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Nice ride. The flaps aren't doing much for the look though so personally I'd loose them. (Unless you'd be adding spacers and broader wheels in which case they'd come in handy)
 

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Edit for installation tips - a 2x4 on a level floor (I used 2" side as a base, so flaps are 4" off ground) is a great way to make sure all 4 flaps are the same height, especially if not using any specific preexisiting brackets on the car. I also had to cut a large notch in the inside of the rear flaps to allow some frame metal (not sure what it was, metal protrusion) to pass through so the flaps sit flush against the back well. but these are pretty wide flaps, I already had cut a large triangle off of the inner tops of all 4 flaps so they fit better, less bulk, etc.
In terms of the tapping screws, what kind did you use? You mentioned the auto store, and I was just browsing Amazon for the RA universal mudflaps and it suggested me these plastic screws made for mud flaps. Could you maybe elaborate more on the type of screw? Or is it just like an ordinary tapping screw that could be found at Home Depot? How did you go about drilling / screwing them in? I'm a bit scared to drill into the car without detailed instructions.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Nice ride. The flaps aren't doing much for the look though so personally I'd loose them. (Unless you'd be adding spacers and broader wheels in which case they'd come in handy)
I can certainly see that side of it - it's not a slam dunk looks-wise for me either, but with the functional aspect, I decided to keep them. Some angles look better than others, some look a bit awkward even. Oh yeah - no spacers or wider wheels for me in the plans, although i did use spacers on my other ride just to make up for the offset on the different wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
In terms of the tapping screws, what kind did you use? You mentioned the auto store, and I was just browsing Amazon for the RA universal mudflaps and it suggested me these plastic screws made for mud flaps. Could you maybe elaborate more on the type of screw? Or is it just like an ordinary tapping screw that could be found at Home Depot? How did you go about drilling / screwing them in? I'm a bit scared to drill into the car without detailed instructions.
Hey there. Keep in mind i'm just guy modding his car, there are more skilled folks out there, but....

Yes, they were just regular old self tapping screws - i purchased mine at advanced auto - they were on a rack along with the plastic fasteners. Probably 5/8" long, regular phillips head, and fairly small diameter to keep the size of the holes they make in the plastic wheel well cover small.
something like this...



I just used a cordless screwdriver, didn't even drill holes in anything, the screws easily cut through both the flaps and the wheel well plastic without predrilling. For the rears, I used a good old manual screwdriver so i could get the right angle without removing the wheel (pure laziness on my part. i should have just removed the wheel).


At first I only used one screw and mounting tape (after seeing others use mounting tape) but with one really good rain it became evident the mounting tape was not going to keep them aligned. I went ahead and hit each flap with a second screw. You just have to find two good spots in the wheel well plastic to mount them, maybe use mounting tape to set your position, then screw in the the two screws. That's basically it
 
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