| After a
year of hard 'wheelin, and running more and more difficult trails, the
rocks just kept getting closer and closer to hitting my rocker
panels. My nerf-bars were doing double-duty, as they were
getting beat up on the rocks so my panels didnt. Eventually,
when one finally broke off, i knew it was time to make some sliders.
An idea i had seen bounced around before was to put a piece of 2x3 or 3x3 rectangula tubing into the 'track' tha runs the length of the body, underneath the doorways. Sounds simple, effective (and cheap!), so i decided to do the same.
|here's a pic of the track im referring to, before the slider is installed:|
|This is what i started with: 2 pieces of 2x3 rectangular tube, 1/8" thick wall.|
|And here's what i used to secure them: stainless nuts, bolts and washers.|
|The procedure is rather simple. Cut the tube to 49" in length, and it will just fit inside the track. You may need to clearance some sheet-metal inside the track in spots to get it to sit level; i did. Once thats done, fit it up into the track, and secure it there with a floorjack and some blocks.|
|Once its been secured tightly against the body, i drilled 4 holes right through the floor (outside the doorseal) and right into the sliders. That seemed to me to be the easiest way to get the holes in the right spot. Then i took them down, marked which side of the truck they came from, and put them in a drill press to finish drilling out the holes.|
|When i was doing this, it occured to me that id have to run a bolt straight thru the tube, and have a nut (or bolt head) sticking through the bottom. Well, (in my opinion) this is unacceptable, since i run the risk of rounding them off and never being able to remove them. So instead, i milled out the holes on one side to accept a socket for the 7/16" nut.|
was done, i went to bolt them up, and realized that the bolt for the
seatblet was sticking down too low, and was interfering with the
fitment of the sliders. So i marked the bolt w/ chalk, and used
that to mark where it was hitting the slider. Then i drilled a
hole in the sliders, so that the bolt would stick down into it,
instead of pushing the slider away.
All that was left was to paint em black, and slap em under the truck!
|here's a pic of the finished product; note the offset hole to allow clearance for the seatbelt bolt:|
|These pics show where the bolts pass through the body; there are 4, but they are partially covered by the rubber seal. They do not interfere with the door in any way.|
product, installed on the truck!
First pic shows the profile. If i painted the bolts black, youd never notice it was there! It hangs down below by the body by a little under an inch. Not enough to hurt ground clearance in any way, yet enough to protect the area should it get hit by a rock.
|This is a
shot of the underside. It fits nice and snug, like it shuolda
been there from the factory!
The 4 large holes are there to clear a socket to fit into the nuts.
|Have i used
them yet? Well........no. Since i ditched the nerf bars, i
have yet to hit that area on any rocks. Sooner or later its
bound to happen...and when it does, ill be sure to snap a pic!
Edit: They work phenomenally well. After many years of abuse, the rocker remained undamaged, and the box tube, despite being drug across many boulders, only has some scars, no dents. They outlasted the original body!