After just about ripping off one of my plastic side steps on a recent trip thought it time to get some side armour. Was originally looking to go chassis mounted but the options were limited and expensive. I wanted to offer some side protection so a straight bar under the rocker wasn't going to cut it either.
Settled on the Body Armour 4x4 Extreme Rock Rails.
This is the box that arrived:
Was about 6ft long and heavy.
I had read a couple of reviews which were mixed with the negative ones refering to difficulty of install. The instructions that I viewed online prior to delivery seemed OK but lacking in real detail so here are a few tips from my experience for anyone looking to install the same. 2Dr installation would probably be a little easier but no guarentees
-Buy a 12mm closed end ratcheting wrench, low a profile as possible- this will be extremely useful in fastening and undoing the 8mm horizontal bolts through the pinch seam that are note easy to get to (4 in total)
-have a 8mm or so chainsaw type round file on hand to slot or alter the above pinch seam holes (two of which you will have to drill out ot 8mm)
-The supplied rivnuts are not normal rivnuts but rather flimsy looking wall anchor type fixings- this may allow some side to side movenent for final alignment but I broke one off and had to carefully enlarge the hole to take a normal 6mm rivnut.
-The supplied rivnut tool is crap and was missing the 2 inch bolt. I made up a new tool by welding a T handle onto a long 6mm bolt and used a nut with a couple of washers and a 10mm closed ratcheting spanner to compress the rivnuts- if possible use a grade 8 bolt as there is a fair amount of wear on the thread after several uses. A normal rivnut gun will not tighten these rivnuts as the threaded section is too far away from the face although you could use a normal gun for final tightening.
-Secure the central vertical bolt loosly first to support the side rail then line up and secure the back bolts then finally place a trolley jack under the front corner and jack up to get the front horizontal bolts in- may need to file out one of the holes if still does not line up.
-This is definatley a 2 person job due to the weight and size of the rails. The side armour plates are 1/4 inch steel and heavy.
-Tighten all the lower bolts up before marking the position for your side body panel holes- may still need to use the jack to lift and get the ront section closer to the body.
-One of the front three panel holes has a bit of steel about 10mm behind it. Don't bother trying to drill this just tighten the rivnut slowly and feed it in as space allows, it will work.
-Allow 6+ hours if you have not done this before
I'm happy with the final install and looking forward to seeing how they perform. just need to spray paint black the visible sections of pinch seam at each end of the rails.