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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Despite the fact that others have posted negative information about Aries products, I was hard headed. I parted with some of my favorite dead Presidents in search of a balance between my wonderful G. Tech brush guard and my naked unprotected tail lights. All that I could find that suited my taste were the Aries tail light guards. Knowing all of the bad press that Aries has gotten around here I didn't expect much but I plunked down my money and waited for my delivery. Like I said, I didn't expect much but I got even less.

The guards arrived well packaged. I thought to myself, maybe Aries wasn't as bad as I had seen and heard in the past. I was wrong.

I pulled off the wrapping and held one up to the truck. Something immediately didn't look right. It appeared that there was a missing mounting tab. I found these tabs when I unwrapped the next guard. I couldn't figure out how the missing tabs mounted to the vehicle and to the guards so I looked for the instructions. Guess what, none were included in the box. I then went to the Aries website in search of said instructions. None exist that I could find. I then saw a picture of an installed set on another vehicle and reverse engineered the picture.

OK. No where in the non existant instructions nor does the seller tell you that there is DRILLING ON YOUR RL REQUIRED but there is. I bit the bullet and drilled the necessary holes and went to install the guard. As I picked up the guard, I noticed it was now scuffed. WTF?? I had only laid it on the bed of my RL. The website I bought the guards from said that they were chip resistant and powder coated. NOT!! I think that I could have used watercolors on the guards for a more durable finish. I figured since I had already drilled the holes for the brackets that I would just refinish the guards and be done. I installed the first guard and guess what? It was crooked. Long story short, I had to remove that guard about 10 times and bend the tabs that go over the tail light mounting screws to properly align the guard. In the first 9 attempts, the guard hit the tail gate composite panel and since laying the guard on the bed scuffed it, you can only guess what the composite panel rubbing did to it. Yes folks, it sanded the guard down to BARE METAL in only 9 tailgate open/close cycles.

Long story short, it took me 3 1/2 hours to properly align and mount 2 tail light guards. This compares to my 2 hour install of my grille guard. I consider myself to be an above average garage mechanic having done a stint at a dealership in the shop for a couple of years.

I finally got the tail light guards aligned so that they are straight and don't rub the tailgate in either opening direction so it can be done. On one hand, the tail light guards are very sturdy but getting them mounted properly is a big hassle.

The moral of this narrative is that you should listen to others when it comes to recommendations of quality in products. I thought I would rate these tail light guards on a scale of 1 to 10 in several areas. 1 is the worst and 10 being the best/easiest.

Build quality of Product minus paint 8
Quality of finish 1
Fit of product on vehicle 0
Instructions What are instructions??
Mounting Ease -2
Accuracy of welding LOL

I know about the warranty and that I could return them but I figured that at best, I would get the very next jacked up unit that came off the assembly line so I kept them. I had them and figured that if worse came to worse, I could fire up my torch, cut off the factory mounting tabs and reweld them in the correct fashion. It didn't come to this but I was very very close.

I got them on and like how they look but I absolutely DO NOT recommend this product to anyone unless you have an engineering degree and a lot of patience, an extra can of black Krylon and a fair amount of strength. This has to be perhaps one of the absolutely worst products products that I have ever purchased as it pertains to fit and finish and installation. By all accounts, this product should have taken me no longer than a half an hour from start to finish if I had been drunk. 3 1/2 hours is unacceptable. I took some pics. Enjoy. Do me a favor and say something nice about how they look or something. It took me a long time to get these on.

PS. The included screws for the mounting tabs were not even black like the rest of the guards. You can see this in the pictures. Sorry that that the pictures are so dark. Mr. Sunshine went to bed long before I got done with the install.

Here is a picture of the bracket that I had to drill a hole for. I made sure that I applied paint and silicone sealant to prevent rust.







 

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Chris, they do look nice on the Ridgeline. Unfortunately, I purchased a set of Aries stainless-steel side steps for my truck. After one winter, the black powder-coated mounting hardware began to corrode as did the black bolts that were shipped with them. I don't think I have to tell you where these parts are made in as build quality really sucks!

Personally, I don't know if I'd actually drill my truck to install a set of tailight guards but they sure look nice and match the front guard. I presume you guys in Ohio have snow and road salt and if so, keep an eye out for corrosion on those black parts.
 

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Chris, nice install and excellent detail on the description. From the looks of the install I would say the product was one to consider but your story says it all. It's members like you that will save many others a lot of heart aches.
 

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Looks great, but your suffering should spare many. They are off the wish list.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I want everyone to know that this product is not unuseable. It will work as demonstrated but takes extra steps to get it to fit properly. If you are VERY handy and are willing to take the time to refinish the paint and bend them to the correct shape, they are ok. If not, I wouldn't try them.

I talked to the guy from G. Tech a while ago about light guards. He told me he is trying to get an alternate product for the same application.
 

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Look good.
worth the pain? Only you can decide.
*CLick* Deleted from the wish list.
Thanks for the heads up.
 

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ChrisM said:
I want everyone to know that this product is not unuseable. It will work as demonstrated but takes extra steps to get it to fit properly. If you are VERY handy and are willing to take the time to refinish the paint and bend them to the correct shape, they are ok. If not, I wouldn't try them.

I talked to the guy from G. Tech a while ago about light guards. He told me he is trying to get an alternate product for the same application.
Hey Chris, thanks for the heads up. Just curious, did you consider the OEM tailight garnish? I know it's not as bold as the application you may have been looking for but it looks to offer some protection for the lens. I've been thinking about adding them, they are a little pricey though. I was in contact with AVS (Lund) to see if they would be offering a tailight trim for the RL and was told not at this time but get back to us in a couple months.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
ONDLINKS said:
Hey Chris, thanks for the heads up. Just curious, did you consider the OEM tailight garnish? I know it's not as bold as the application you may have been looking for but it looks to offer some protection for the lens. I've been thinking about adding them, they are a little pricey though. I was in contact with AVS (Lund) to see if they would be offering a tailight trim for the RL and was told not at this time but get back to us in a couple months.
I really wanted something to match my brush guard. I had considered them seriously but thought that the price that Honda wants for them is steep considering that they cost no more than $15 for Honda to make them. These were actually cheaper. (for good reason)

These tail light guards are actually strong enough that you can use them as handles to pull yourself up in the back of the truck without even flexing so they are a decent product. There is just too much pain for the price of admission to get them on right for most.
 

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Nice lookin' tail light guards. The product does seem to be sturdy but the hassle to install is a bit ridiculous.

Aries Offroad really needs to tighten-up their QC process or they are going to lose a lot of business from honest end user reviews such as this one.
 

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anyone else make these yet? I want a set of these pretty bad and im a moron when it comes to self installs (i can't lie) :rolleyes: Another great write up chris
 

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Yeah Chris, great write-up. If you or anyone hears about G-Tech or another reputable company making these please let us know. I for one am interested, but wish to spare myself the installation heartache--too much work for something so simple.

-Matt
 

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zero said:
Aries Offroad really needs to tighten-up their QC process or they are going to lose a lot of business from honest end user reviews such as this one.

I'll 2nd that emotion. Deleted from wish list.
 

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I just have the tail light garnish on mine. Looks fine to me. I don't offroad though but thought it at least might protect from someone from their elbow in them LOL.
 

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There are more and more companies beginning to make accessories for RL. Such as this one:
http://www.naxossteeltek.com/honda/ridgeline05-06.html
I bought rear tailgate light guards from a reseller on ebay. His name is Tony. Here is one of his auctions:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Tail...ryZ33645QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
Installation is similar to Aries. You do have to drill one hole on each side. But unlike Aries, they fit the RL pretty well, so the whole installation takes about 15 min. I had to resolve some issues, so I talked to Tony on the phone. He seemed like a very reasonable guy. Also, I ordered full front Grill guard in Brushed SS made by a different company from a different reseller. It is similar to G-Tech. Unfortunately, G-Tech doesn't make Brushed SS. It is less expensive than Naxos Steel Tek. Will report on this when I get it.
 

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Good find Raplon.

Any chance you could post a couple picts of your Ridge with the tail light guards installed? I just want to see how they actually look on the RL. The website only has a photoshop mockup picture.

Thanks,
Matt
 

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Of couse. But it will be in a few days. We are doing rear view camera, back-up sensors, trailer hitch, OEM bed cover install right now, so the tail lights and the guards are off the truck. When it gets all back together, I will make and post some pictures, hopefully already with brush guard.
 

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Tail Light Guards

Manik makes a set of taillight guards that states "no drilling into the exterior body." On sale now at truckcustomizers for $145. Anyone tried Manik products?
 
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