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With a slight break in a busy schedule, I decided to work on a couple of pending mods to my JK. I have been looking for some side armor as in rock rails. Over the past few months, I have been reviewing the various offerings and comparing specifications. That was no easy task as there are many offerings with varying degrees of appeal for aesthetics and functionality. And, my goal is to provide protective armor without adding excess weight.
I narrowed the final selection to rock rails by Barricade Off-Road Armor from ExtremeTerrain. The price was right and shipping was quick. That is when the fun started.
UPS dropped a package at the shop door; cardboard box base wrapped in several layers of plastic wrap with one section of cardboard ripped off. I set about slicing through the plastic wrap and cardboard to expose the rock rails. Visually, no damage. But, there was an obvious missing package of hardware.
A quick call to ExtremeTerrain support line and was assured the missing hardware would be sent out. That call was on a Wednesday and UPS was back with a package containing a bag of bolts on Monday.
I grabbed one of the rock rails and attempted to slip it into place. No go. While holding the rail in place, I could see that there was a mis-match on the holes between the side of the Jeep and the tabs on the rock rail. To add to the confusion factor, the package of bolts contained an over supply of bolts and washers with no visible place to use them. Did I mention that I received no installation instructions????
The holes align with studs on the
|This view is the center. There are three pairs of holes per side.
These holes required slight enlargement for the rails to fit.
Another call to ExtremeTerrain support revealed that something was wrong as their install action videos showed no issues and they had received one report about a hole mis-match that required a slight reaming of the existing hole. From that, I reviewed one of the install videos and realized the issue and how to correct it. Yup, two holes in the body of the Jeep did need enlarging by less than 1/8 of an inch. That would be the side I picked at random to install the first rail. The passenger side rail lined up and went into place with no issues.
From there, the install was less than an hour for both sides. The only other issue I encountered was one of the tabs was bent; most likely from shipping damage that caused the initial hole in the cardboard box and subsequent multi-layer plastic wrapping. One whack with my 2 pound adjustment hammer put the tab in position to insert and tighten the bolt.
The image at right shows the support tabs that bolt into clips inserted in the rectangular cutouts in the Jeep body. This is the tab that is subject to bending during shipment requiring a tap with an adjustment hammer.
I am satisfied with the looks and fit once installed. While I haven’t tested them with using a high-lift to raise the side of the Jeep, they appear to have sufficient weight distribution capacity. Should that be an issue, there is an easy way to add additional tabs to provide a firm attachment back to the frame at the body bolt attachment holes.
The textured coating provides for a non-slip point stepping on Nd there is enough protrusion to provide a foot (toe) hold if needed.
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