Armor.    What about it?   Need some….

OK so first thing I decided to put on was a pair of Rugged Ridge  RRC 2″ Side Sliders.  Got good reviews and I liked how they bolted to frame, provided a step to help getting in for short people, and had a down tube that was as low as the skid plate to hopefully offer a little more protection.  And the 1/8″ wall pipe looked real solid.

8 Bolts on each side – How Hard could this be – Drill a hole and run a screw into it.  I have impact wrenches and other tools…Heck I’ve built entire buildings….SO I set of to DIY it…8 am Sat rolls around and I am up at dawn excited….

Parked sideways in driveway and jacked up the low side for easier access.   My little floor jack didn’t go high enough for my jack stands, so I had to do it a couple times with blocks underneath to get it to sit securely on the stands.  Then realized that it’s hard to hold 30 lb 5-foot long pipes in place while marking holes – cue the giant C-clamps (good thing I’m a carpenter).  Those proved a little more difficult than I thought because of suspension mounts and the C-channel frame that is open on the back.  But pretty soon I have them all clamped down, marked the holes and drilled them with a 3/16 Cobalt steel bit I had lying around.  Un-clamped the pipe and re-drilled the holes out to the required 3/8″ – couldn’t find a good bit for this step, so I had to keep going back to the grinder to sharpen it.

Then again with the problems holding the bar up while starting the self-tapping bolts.   Little while longer and some more choice words and had it all held together.  New problem – Air compressor isn’t up to the task of running a impact – had to crank in with ratchet until threads cut.  Finally got first one on..phew…Holy crap!!!   How’d it get to be 1 pm already.  I can’t go get lunch – Jeep still up on blocks – so I make a PB (no J) sammich, have a beer to calm my nerves and tackle other side.

It goes about the same, and lo and behold I was just finishing as it started to get dark – elapsed time almost 9 hours – to get in 16 bolts!!  WTF, I think I need to leave this mechanic stuff to the professionals…


Follow up – one year later –

A recent comment prompted me to re-open this post for a follow up.  The Rugged Ridge RRC Side armor sliders are still holding up like a champ — My son climbs and jumps on them, Girlfriend needs them to step up into jeep, and the last time I was wheeling I actually slammed down on the passenger side slider pretty hard and drug it across a high rock…other than some missing black paint on the bottom, no damage what so ever.   Hate to think what that would have done to the tub without the armor.   FYI Krylon flat black spray paint fixes the scratches right up :).  Thanks everyone for the great feedback.