It's been said that the 27's mesure 28. A 2 inch lift will be needed if your a bigger guy. I have a set of 28 mud bugs on mine with hl springs and the Perfex lt kit and I trimed an inch off my back finders and they still don't fit real well, but if you weight a buck 25 you will be fine.
I got 27" Swamplites on my 450ES. I had a 2" lift on when I put the tires on. No rubbing at all and I am about 275 pounds. Then I had to take the lift off of the front because of axle issues and it would rub a little, usually when turning hard at accelerated speeds. So yes, you can use them before you put your lift on, but I would recommend the lift first.
I didn't go the lift route b/c of being here in Alaska where fixing broken axles can be more than just a headache. I put on 27" Swamplites and they measure a little better than 28"s. I just trimmed the rear fenders to fit and took a hammer to the front fender supports to shape them appropriately. No rub here except on hard landings after going airborne and that's with me weighing 240lbs.
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