If you plan to do any kind of hauling, the underside of the car Wrangler is often a vulnerable, exposed area. In addition, this area of the vehicle visually is where the body touches the frame and is partially held in place by the unappealing knife seams.
Some 4 x 4 vehicles are equipped with plastic side steps or thin steel bars that hide or protect the seams of the grille from very light tracks. This information guide describes the difference between rocker slides and Rocker Guard to add or upgrade vehicles such as cars and Jeeps.
What Are Rock Sliders?
Rocker Sliders are usually made of sturdy steel. They are designed to withstand the impact of hard, rocky terrain, allowing the jeep to deflect and slip off obstacles. They are relatively easy to install and generally do not require permanent vehicle changes. These are excellent alternatives to the side plastic factory or suitable for adding to a jeep if there are no side sills.
Most rock sliders can be mounted or drilled into the frame rather than the body, so they should be easily replaced with other types of side guards as needed. For many, the rock sliders design typically provides the best functionality during intense rock crawl and provides a more robust look than rocker guards and side steps.
Are Rock Sliders The Same As Running Boards?
Most Sahara and limited edition wranglers are equipped with side steps. Usually, these steps are made of plastic and aluminum. They provide a good platform to get in and out of the vehicle but don’t do much when protecting from large rocks and other hard surfaces.
In addition, the side steps cover the seams of the car to improve its appearance. Still, they are fastened along with the layers of clamps through thin aluminum brackets designed to support the weight of only passengers getting on and off the vehicle.
In contrast, the rock slider provides an excellent platform for entering and exiting the vehicles and covering pinch seams, but with different construction and fitting points. Rock sliders are usually made of durable steel tubes finished with a black powder coating resistant to corrosion, making them extremely durable and can deflect or slip-on very hard surfaces such as rocks and tree stumps.
Additionally, the rock sliders are usually attached to the vehicle’s body that runs the length of the frame, providing a great deal of support to keep the weight of the vehicle in contact with large rocks.
Are Rock Sliders Necessary?
If you are the owner of a car or jeep that doesn’t have side steps, the rock sliders provide a nice, easy-to-install visual upgrade for covering exposed pinch seams, and for the jeep gives a great finished look.
The rock sliders provide a more robust look than the plastic side steps and provide a structured powder coating that complements the factory flap blast. The rock sliders can also be utilized as an excellent rigid step for going up and down a vehicle, and its anchor points allow it to withstand even greater loads. However, the biggest feature of the rock sliders is the vacuum protection.
If you plan to operate your jeep off-road in rocky terrain or wooded areas where you may encounter tree trunks, the rock sliders are an important change to your jeep. There is a broad range of styles, structures, mounting points, and prices available in the market. Even if you are looking in the aftermarket, the rock sliders offer a better solution while offering the same level of functionality.
What Are Rocker Guards?
The Jeep rocker panel runs along the jeep’s underside to provide strong support for vehicle chassis and doors. Often the inclined panels come into contact with solid obstacles on the road due to their placement. Additionally, simply getting into and out of the jeep on muddy and snow-covered terrain will damage the door frame.
The Rocker guard is a simple steel plate that covers areas of low slope and provides a strong shield against rocks, tree branches, or other wastewater that appears to damage the vehicle’s body when on the road.
They are usually drilled onto the body and stud to give it a flat, unobtrusive look that complements factory or aftermarket blasts and provides excellent ground clearance.
These protective components use a steel construction with a black power jacket for durability and often a form of the flat underbody to provide additional protection against both ground and side collisions, and side rails have also been incorporated into the design.
Additionally, the rock guard also helps add long life to the vehicle’s bezel panel, preventing accidental debris and scratches from constantly jumping in and out of the vehicle while driving on the road.
Do Rock Guards Work? Are Rock Guards Worth it?
Inclinometer guards usually consist of finely cut steel plates to fit the curves of a jeep. It is often attached to the vibrating vehicle plate through nuts, which require holes to be drilled on the sides of the vehicle, making this change almost permanent.
They are usually finished with a high-quality structured black powder coating and are often affixed or combined with beam rods for great under-vehicle protection. The rails are designed to divert impact from the bottom of the vehicle, while the tilt screen is designed to absorb shock on the underside. This is often seen on the way through the large branches of trees and rocks.
In addition, the tilted screen acts as a protective plate for the door frame, preserving the overall contour and structure of the entrance while occupants exit in muddy shoes.
What Are Rock Guards Used For?
Rock guards come in a variety of styles. They provide a nice and noticeable visual upgrade to the sides of your jeep, giving it an all-around look that is very durable. It’s designed to work with factory screen glare but also looks great in aftermarket vehicles and flat glare burns.
In addition, rocker guards often have a variety of unique designs of a particular brand, giving the vehicle a unique look. It is important to note that the rock guard is held in place via a nut that needs to be drilled into the tilt plate into the vehicle.
Second, the guard is held in place with stainless steel hardware, which makes installation more complicated and semi-permanent. When performing heavy off-road performance on rocky or wooded terrain, rock guards are a good choice to protect the structural integrity of your jeep jumper.
Additionally, if you live in a cold, humid climate with a lot of mud and snow, the rocker guard will help protect the outer vehicle door frame from scratches and dents from heavy shoes.
Finally, if you want to make the overall look of the jeep more robust, the rocker guard will make a noticeable change to the sides of the jeep. In many cases, it can be powder coated in various colors to provide additional design options that match the intended look of a Jeep.
Rocker Guards Vs Rock Sliders. Which Is Better?
Driving is one of the easiest ways to get around, especially in the United States, as there are many remote areas that do not have reliable public transportation. However, if you plan to drive in rural or remote areas, you can be aware of the terrain and the damage it can cause to your car.
Let’s see Rocker slides vs. Rocker Guards.
SUVs are ideal for off-road vehicles, but rough terrain can take a toll on the car. For example, when driving on a rocky road, loose rocks can jump and crash into you.
Rock sliders and rock guards are designed to protect your vehicle from rocks and stumps. It can also provide focus when walking around obstacles.
The rock sliders are usually attached to the vehicle frame and protrude from the vehicle body. They use thicker materials to ensure your vehicle is protected. The rock sliders help keep the car away from anything that might hit the oscillating control panel.
The rocker guard is designed to help retract any impact in the event of vehicle contact. The tilt screen runs along the underside of the vehicle and supports the lower body and doors.
How Do I Choose Rock Sliders?
When it comes to rock sliders, lock bars, and rocker guards, every car has different requirements. However, there are a few things to consider when choosing the best rock guard and slider for your vehicle. For example:
- The protection provided for your truck
- Material thickness and durability
- Other features are provided, such as feature steps
What Do Rock Sliders Protect?
When studying the various rock sliders and rocker guards, the first thing to consider is the protection they provide to the vehicle. The best shooting materials for heavy use (i.e., best vehicle protection) are 1020 DOM steel and 1020 HREW steel.
Most of the sliders and guards are constructed from DOM or HREW steel tubes to provide the best protection for your vehicle.
DOM, or spindle-drawn steel, is stronger than HREW but more expensive. The DOM is especially ideal for frequent use and to prevent scratches in the car.
HREW (Hot Rolled Electric Resistance Welded Steel) is used in many parts made of 4×4 and plays an important role in protecting cars.
Instead, these are lighter, so you might want an aluminum slider. Aluminum sliders a more expensive option than steel due to the method of welding. Despite their light loads, the aluminum sliders are not as strong as steel and do not provide optimum protection to the vehicle when driving off-road.
Some manufacturers may create custom rock sliders, so this may be an option if you want to reduce the weight added to your vehicle while still maintaining the protection that steel provides. However, this is the most expensive of the three options.
How Thick Should Rock Sliders Be?
Rock slider material is made to withstand bending, swelling, and cracking in tube seams. The thicker the material, the more resistant it is to bending and swelling.
It is important to consider the thickness of the rock sliders or rocker guard. Usually, manufacturers create specific tubes that meet their needs.
Round hoses are usually 0.120 inches thick, often the cheapest, but they are lightweight and easy to bend.
Square hoses are available in 1/8 ″ – 3/16, but tracks with 1/4 sliders are also available. If you want to reduce the weight, make it 1/8 inch or 3/16 inch.
Panels or boat sliders designed to cover the tilt plate should be 3/16 inches thick. 3/16 inch means it is properly constructed and can be reinforced vertically with tubes.
What Features Make A Good Rock Slider?
Rock sliders are great for protecting your vehicle, but some have additional features. For example, you can find one that offers to step up and step down from the car. If your vehicle is stuck in the mud and needs to get off, these steps are very helpful in avoiding large muddy puddles.
Rock sliders are also able to visually upgrade their vehicles. So if you want the rock sliders to fit your vehicle, consider what it would look like with the rock sliders installed.
How Do You Bolt On Rock Sliders?
Finally, choose the appropriate rock sliders or rock guard, and you will find something that is easy to install. Or, you can find one that’s easy for a professional in your area to install.
Some rock sliders can be installed in the home, so if you want to keep costs down, consider looking for one that can be installed.
Although heavier rock sliders and rocker guards may require professionals to install them, this is especially true when the car needs welding. Be sure to read the information before purchasing to understand how to install it.
Rock sliders and rocker guards are often simultaneous changes to a Jeep. The combination of both elements provides great protection to the side rails of the jeep and the lower body rim.
These are very important areas in the overall structure of a jeep, and they often encounter difficult terrain while driving off-road. If you are looking for a more robust and unique look for your jeep or a functional protective layer, these are great additions.
Choosing the right rock slider and rock guard for your car is a big investment and can save you a lot of money in the long run. So, if you are frequently exploring the great outdoors and need to install something to protect your vehicle, follow our guide to understanding the difference between the two and choosing the perfect rock sliders and rocker guards for your Jeep or offroader!
Thanks for reading and stay dirty