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How To Make Rock Rails, Any Advice???

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Tim Hallam
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Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Location: Mt. Shasta, California

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:24 am    Post subject: How To Make Rock Rails, Any Advice??? Reply with quote

Hello,

So, still no XJ yet but... Just planning a head a little.

I was wondering if any one had some cool designs or ideas they could share on some home made rock rails for lets say.... A '95 XJ?

I am a California state certified welder and have access to all types of welders, metal, tools and equipment.

I get the basic idea of what a rock rail is and what it needs to be made of in order to hold up but there's always something to learn. So, if anyone has any knowledge to share that we could all definite from that would be great!

Also, any advice on custom winch mount bumpers?

Thank you! I really appreciate it...

Tim Hallam - Weed California
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Toliver09
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Joined: 16 Oct 2007
Location: Central Illinois

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i dont have the proper drawing equipment on my cpu to illustrate this, but...
measure how wide the "frame" is under the jeep and make some C brakets as your mounting with some 1/4" bolts going through them to secure it, welding a unibody is a horrible idea is why i say bolts. other than that its more how you want it to look, i can say i would definately go with tubular steel stock. not the square tubing, but cylindrical. i think it looks better and it will help with sliding off of rocks. if you want i can draw up my design for mine and send them to you, it will be a rough sketch though.
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Tim Hallam
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Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Location: Mt. Shasta, California

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I would be interested in checking out your sketch. Rough and all.
Is there any way you can show it in a post?

Tim
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Toliver09
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Joined: 16 Oct 2007
Location: Central Illinois

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote




sorry about the chicken scratch, unfortunately they don't teach handwriting in my high school Smile i'm only there for shop and auto tech.

and if you were wondering how im going to do the "X" reinforcement. I'm going to notch 1 and 1/2" deep into both bars and both notches will be wide enough to interlock together where ill weld them to no return.

One last thing that my dad and I argue about is between rocker PANELS and rock sliders. My dad brought up an idea he found in a 4x4 magazine when he saw my sketch and he said another idea would be making panels from 3/16" diamond plate steel panels. This may also be another way for you to protect your rig without effecting ground clearance.
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Tim Hallam
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Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Location: Mt. Shasta, California

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm... Interesting idea. 10 inches deep though. How high off the ground is your Jeep?

Oh man, I'd love to start drawing some of these sketches but I need an XJ to get measurements from first. I think my first custom fab piece will be a nice roof rack. Then I'll look into bottom side protection. I'm exciting about making a winch mount bumper but that seems a little tricky. I'll have to do some further research into that.

Thanks for sharing your sketch!

Tim
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Toliver09
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Joined: 16 Oct 2007
Location: Central Illinois

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the ground clearance will only be affected by the diameter of the tubing. the jeep with no lift has about 1 ft of ground clearance. most models 90 or newer have a little bit less i think. the only reason im making my rails 10" from frame rail until slider is so the slider protects the bottom of the door also.
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DavidXJ
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Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Location: Visalia, CA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I made these sliders out of flat plate and square tubing with the intention of having low profile yet very heavy duty rocker protection.






I've beat the snot out of them, and all I have to show for it are some scratches. If you don't mind the look of a larger rock slider, the ones with the tubes that stick out to the sides more might give a little extra protection by stopping the rock further away from the door, but I wanted a slider that you couldn't even tell was there. When I put my fenders back on, you don't notice them at all.

These are also not the easiest to make because they follow the curvature of the side of the jeep.

(Note): When the photos were taken I hadn't finished putting all the stitch screws in. Oh, and sorry about the garish advertizing on the side of the vehicle. Hazards of the job.
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Tim Hallam
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Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Location: Mt. Shasta, California

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's awesome!

I really like the hidden appearance your design has. I think I'll go with something similar to this idea when I make mine. Thanks for posting this. I appreciate it.

Tim
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Billy's89XJ
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Joined: 03 Jul 2004
Location: I'm the Charlie Browniest

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DavidXJ wrote:
I made these sliders out of flat plate and square tubing with the intention of having low profile yet very heavy duty rocker protection.






I've beat the snot out of them, and all I have to show for it are some scratches. If you don't mind the look of a larger rock slider, the ones with the tubes that stick out to the sides more might give a little extra protection by stopping the rock further away from the door, but I wanted a slider that you couldn't even tell was there. When I put my fenders back on, you don't notice them at all.

These are also not the easiest to make because they follow the curvature of the side of the jeep.

(Note): When the photos were taken I hadn't finished putting all the stitch screws in. Oh, and sorry about the garish advertizing on the side of the vehicle. Hazards of the job.


Sweet Job man thumbs Nice looking XJ Mr. Green
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"GODZILLA" More than a Jeep, it's family!!
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DavidXJ
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Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Location: Visalia, CA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the compliments. I just want to add one thing I feel is very important when designing sliders that a lot of people, and even companies, miss.

You can put as many beefy arms that attatch to the unibody frame as you want with u-channel or whatever, but if you don't spread the load out along the pinch seam, the arms will be crushed into your rocker panels and dent them.

The arms are not what gives you strenth against the rocks, its the spread load of the outer steel/tubing you use. The arms keep the outer slider steel/tubing from rotating, or pivoting if you will, along the outer-body/pinch-seam. If it can't rotate and is in contact with the body over a long distance, it's strenth will be great. But if the arm itself is taking all the weight, you will not be happy the first time the full weight of the vehicle comes down on the front or back edge of the slider.

So even if you purchase a slider, and it comes without a metal support along the pinch seam, I would add one before you bolt it to your rig.
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Tim Hallam
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Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Location: Mt. Shasta, California

PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tip!
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Xtreme XJ
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Joined: 29 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm probably the LAST person who should comment on this (haven't built mine yet), but I have built the frame pads/mounts... I used 1/4" and in the rear I tied the mount to the rear spring box for extra support. I hate the idea of tech screws for the frame side so I made "nut" strips to fish up into the frame (used mono filament line) to back up the plates... this will give the pads the ability to tighten up and sandwich the frame tight. While not the easiest to mount & dismount I think the added strength will be worth the effort.
Now I just need to get to crack'n on the rest.

Curt
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Tim Hallam
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Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Location: Mt. Shasta, California

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No worries!

I'm looking for any ideas at all. Thanks for sharing! Post some pictures when you finish them.

Tim
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DavidXJ
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Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Location: Visalia, CA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understand the concern with using tech screws to fasten the rock sliders. The idea though is strength in numbers. I used some pretty heavy duty screws, and lots of them. It's the same idea behind a Simpson PHD Hurricane hold down strap in a house... they don't use bolts through the wall stud, they use 16 -to 24 1/4" screws.

Also, I have to restate the fact that the frame connections aren't the strong point of the rock sliders. They are a support and stiffener for the actual strength, the spread load on the rocker panel/pinch seam. But even if you slammed the frame connection down on a pointed rock, I think 12 - 3/16" self tapping screws are up to the task. Spread the load.

That being said, I like the idea of nut strips because of the way it sandwiches the frame (also spreading the load w/ force on both sides of the frame wall), and would love to see any photos of how this works, because I am not exactly sure what you are talking about with the "mono filament line" and such. My rock sliders are by no means the final design. Everything has room for improvement.
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Xtreme XJ
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Joined: 29 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DavidXJ wrote:
I understand the concern with using tech screws to fasten the rock sliders. The idea though is strength in numbers. I used some pretty heavy duty screws, and lots of them. It's the same idea behind a Simpson PHD Hurricane hold down strap in a house... they don't use bolts through the wall stud, they use 16 -to 24 1/4" screws.

Also, I have to restate the fact that the frame connections aren't the strong point of the rock sliders. They are a support and stiffener for the actual strength, the spread load on the rocker panel/pinch seam. But even if you slammed the frame connection down on a pointed rock, I think 12 - 3/16" self tapping screws are up to the task. Spread the load.

That being said, I like the idea of nut strips because of the way it sandwiches the frame (also spreading the load w/ force on both sides of the frame wall), and would love to see any photos of how this works, because I am not exactly sure what you are talking about with the "mono filament line" and such. My rock sliders are by no means the final design. Everything has room for improvement.


I agree that the tech screws will work... there are tons of folks running them and they seem to hold up... its me... I just can't get past them. I also agree about the number of screws and the pinch seam.
As for the nut strips... I just used some flat 1/8th. stock decided the bolt size I wanted then I drilled two holes in the flat stock ** just a little bigger then said bolt i.e. 3/8th. bolt & a 1/2 hole. I then layed it all out... the outer pad with holes drilled the flat bar stock with the holes drilled and the bolts and nuts all bolted together say on the garage floor... I then welded the nuts to the flat bar stock this makes a "nutstrip" so to speak... I can't remember if I connected the two (I used 4 holes per pad) strips and connected them or kept them separate of each other. This "nutstrip" is what I fished up into the frame with the mono line... it takes a little patience and time. I then just pulled the "nutstrip" up to the holes I had already drilled in the frame line the pad up start one bolt while holding the mono line tight & get one bolt started then do the second one... then mono really doesn't impede the bolt too much & once started it just cuts it. I there were two separate nutstips made you'd just repeat on the others nutstrip for the next set of holes. I takes some time and ALOT ! of patience, but for me... SOMEDAY it will be worth the effort.
Everything needs to line up pretty close so it'll go together right.
Picts. well there's not much to see other the the outer pads and their locations. I do have an old trans. nutstip I made up... it might help you draw that mental picture....
Also I used this same idea for the trans. cross member when the bolts got stripped out... the difference was I only needed one hole & nut , but I made the strip long enough to catch inside the frame when turned from the bottom... like the front upper control arm bolt has on it.
Another idea I like better then the tech screws... Wink are stainless nutcerts... put into the frame.

HOPEFULLY this made a little sense... if not let me know...
Sorry for the length...
Curt
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