Just installed 3" so and really don't want to do a bl. Stock tires are 265/75r16. Gained clearance between tire and fender well so why won't 285's fit? Where and how bad will they rub? Is it just plastic that needs to be cut?
Yup, 2003 so first gen. You are correct in saying that more space was created with a 3" and therefore they will "fit"...but only when parked. However, when you compress you suspension, whether that be when going over a bump or offroad or whenever, you go back down to stock height and that is when you rub.
When lifted 3" in the rear you're fine w/285s, for the most part, since its a solid axel. But upfront we have IFS, which compress straight up and results in rubbing the wheel well. This is why BLs are so popular with our trucks, they raise the wheel well and unlike SLs they do not compress allowing for 33s to fit up front w/minimal trimming. OR, as SRStaff said, you can simply cut your fenders, but it will be metal not just plastic w/out a BL.
You'll be able to fit them. But don't try turning your wheels without "trimming" a significant amount. Generally it takes a 2" BL to fit anything over a 32" tire. Without it, you'll hit more than just plastic. Expect to probably have to trim over an inch of METAL to get them to fit if you're planning on wheeling. If it's a pavement princess, you might be fine only shaving away a little bit of metal.