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Discussion Starter #1
My initial plan was to get a front lip and side skirts once the cheaper aftermarkets come out for the 2017s.

However now I'm wondering if I should just forget the side skirts and get the OEM Front + Rear Mud Flaps. I know some people with the side skirts have opt'd for a more "universal" mud flap and put those on in addition to the skirts as well.


Do the Side skirts offer any sort of protection from road debris or are they really just for looks?
 

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Working Class Hero
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From what I've been able to tell, the OE mud guards do block some of the shrapnel.

Sent from a Samsung that doesn't explode.
 

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My wife has a 2012 hatch. Two of the mud flaps came off of about 8 months ago and rather than replace them we took the others off. We've had two gravel rocks fly up and dent/scratch the doors. Take it with a grain of salt, this is very small dataset. Maybe it's just a fluke, but I'm getting them for my 2017 just in case. A single dent repair and paint fix is easily twice the cost of the OE flaps...Plus I think they look kinda cool.
 

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Gearhead
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Mud flaps stop the rocks/sand/grit flying off the rear of spinning tires from impacting paint on the sides of vehicles. As I live on a gravel road, I will be installing RokBlokz on my 3.

To the degree that side skirts stick out from the bottom corner edge of the rocker, they too can stop slinging debris, but as most side skirts only stick out a VERY small amount, they provide a lot less protection than do mud flaps.

And of course the bigger the mudflaps, the more they prevent damage, but of course we choose to balance protection versus the looks of mud flaps.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Think I'm going to try both. Anyone know why the oem flaps won't fit with side skirts? Meaning could you just trim some of the lip on the flap or something to go over the skirt.
 

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Gearhead
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I have not heard of a fitting problem with side skirts but have heard that the rear lower diffuser/rear bumper skirt on the Apperance package (or separate as you know from the dealer), does conflict with the factory rear mud flaps.

I am going to use the Rokblokz mud flaps, and like you, trim if/as needed.
 

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Think I'm going to try both. Anyone know why the oem flaps won't fit with side skirts? Meaning could you just trim some of the lip on the flap or something to go over the skirt.
Sideskirt only the front flaps get taken out as it completely covers the mounting spot, the rear of the sides uses the rear passenger flaps as an anchor. I don't have the rear as I have a sedan but if it's like the side skirts it would make the mounting points unusable. When I was mounting the side skirts it was readily apparent you couldn't have both.
If you rig some DIY you could probably mount them to the outside of the skirts but it would look odd or probably not do its job.
 

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Gearhead
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Here is a picture of this area. Does not look to me that the front edge of the side skirts are going to effect the mounting of Rokblokz, Rally Armors or other non-Mazda "straight" mud flaps much if at all. Thanks however to @DMshadow for noting the conflict with Mazda's contoured front mudflaps.



I will be a test case down the road for getting the factory Appearance package and adding Rokblokz, and will post pictures here (but again will be a while). Hopefully another M3R member has already done this and can post a closeup.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah I def want the mud flaps to protect the paint. Guess now I just need to decide to get the molded like the OEM or the universal like the Rokblokz or Ralleys.
 

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Gearhead
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Have Rally Armors on our '17 WRX. They are a glossy black and look good except when they get dusty. Unfortunately, being close to the pavement, they tend to be dust magnets. And dusty glossy black mud flaps always look like they need a California Duster, detailing or equivalent.

Hence why on my Mazda 3, I am going with Rokblokz. The are a typical non-glossy finish (a touch more sheen than a matte finish), and a friend who has them on his same WRX -- well his mudflaps look better in my opinion because they don't look nearly as dust covered.

However, another case of... To each their own.
 

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Gearhead
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And for those considering one brand vs. the other, the Rokblokz are $89.95/complete set compared to $137.95/set for the Rally Armors.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So I busted down and decided to try out those Chinese knock offs from e-bay. They claim they fit the 2017 but then again, I don't think they fit the 2016's very well either without some "influence".

I just figured for $25, it was worth a shot. I have been spending too much on my new car and after all, these are just mud flaps. I am just not a huge fan of the RB or RA and how they stick out the side and don't wrap around.
 

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I ordered a pair of RokBlokz because of this thread haha, Thanks for the help guys.

I'm glad they're a bit more matte than glossy....
I have a eternal Blue mica so I don't think the white streaks of rocks flying by would be easily undetected.
 

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I ordered a pair of RokBlokz because of this thread haha, Thanks for the help guys.

I'm glad they're a bit more matte than glossy....
I have a eternal Blue mica so I don't think the white streaks of rocks flying by would be easily undetected.
Let us know what they look like when you get them!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
And I got mine (china knockoff) on last night. Back ones fit and just had to put 2 screws into the wheel well lining. I wasn't too concerned because they were in the same spot that I would have had to cut out anyway with OEM.

The fronts needed a bit more modification. Not really sure what year they were for but I'm not convinced they were even for a 2016 let alone my 2017.

However I'm getting financially squeezed right now from multiple angles so I made them work. In the end, I only had to put 2 screw holes in the actual wheel well just like the rears. 99% of the modification was to the guard itself so I figured no harm no foul.....pics coming and for $25, I can't complain.
 
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