Review & Install Video
The Iron Cross Rocker Side Step Bars are for those of you that have a four-door 2018 and up JL and are looking for a very useful step to help make it easier for you and your passengers to get in and out of your Jeep, as well as offering a little bit of light protection. This is going to be a nice easy one out of three wrenches for the installation. They just bolt right onto the Jeep very easily and I'm gonna show you how to do that in just a second.
So, when you're looking for anything that bolts onto the rocker area of your Jeep, you're really going to find two main categories. One is a step, the other is protection. And a lot of the pieces you'll find on the market are going to be some sort of hybrid or combination of both. So, a step generally will sit a little bit out away from the Jeep more, a little bit lower, again, making it a nice easy step but not be quite as strong and a little bit of a hindrance off-road where something that's specifically armor is gonna be tucked up nice and tight to the body, be very, very strong.
But if it is a step, it's a little bit less useful for you. I would put these in the more of a step category because they are a little bit further away from the side of the Jeep. A nice, big flat stepping surface here, and on the bottom side, they're not solid so they're not going to work all that well as a slider in every sense of the word. So, something where you can come down on a rock, on an obstacle off-road and really slide all the way down it, you are going to end up getting hung up on something if you're trying to use this for that purpose.
That's not really what these are designed to do, but they're going to offer a little bit of light protection if you're wheeling on a fire trail, if you're worried about sticks or stumps or something being kicked up into the body of the Jeep, these will definitely protect against that and they're also going to protect you on the road against any sort of door dings or shopping carts in the parking lot.
Overall, it is a very well-built piece, it is going to be plenty strong for what it is, which, again, is mostly a step with a little bit of light protection. I like the way that these mount. They have a couple of brackets, they go onto the body and then the step clamps on to the bracket itself. So, that gives you a little bit of adjustability. You can get this thing sitting exactly how you like it on the Jeep before you snug everything up. And overall, it's just a very simple design and that is personally my style. If you're looking for something that has different holes punched in it and different pieces of mesh that you can take out and paint and all of that stuff, this is not gonna be the step for you. But if you like something that's simple, it just works really well as a step, this is going to be an excellent choice.
This is going to come in right around $350 which, again, I think is a pretty good deal for what you're getting. It's not going to be over-overbuilt like a piece of armor would be. Those are generally gonna be more expensive because there's just more material there and more engineering that goes into it. But for what this is, which is a step that offers some light protection, I think $350 is a very good deal. I like the design, so overall, I think it's gonna be a pretty good buy. Like we said, nice easy one out of one bolt-on installation, let me show you how to do it.
For this installation, we used a 10-millimeter and 13-millimeter socket, we have both deep and shallow. We also have a 3/8 extension and a 13-millimeter wrench. To drive those sockets, we have a 3/8 pneumatic ratchet and a 3/8 electric impact.
So, the first step in our installation is going to be our uninstallation because as you can see, our Jeep does have some factory side steps on it. That's gonna be the case for most of you that have a Sahara or a Rubicon. Of course, if you don't have anything on the side of your Jeep from the factory, you can skip this step and jump right into the installation. But we're gonna do the uninstallation first and it's going to be a very simple process. We have our 10-millimeter socket, we're going to remove all of the nuts that hold the side step onto the pinch seam, then we'll go underneath and remove the additional nuts that hold the side step onto the bottom of the rocker, and that will completely unbolt it from the Jeep so we can get it out of the way.
With all the nuts out of the pinch seam, we can go to the bolts that hold the steps into the bottom of the rocker and they're going to be removed with the 13-millimeter socket. With all of the hardware removed, we can now remove our factory side step from the Jeep. With the factory side step completely removed, we can start with our installation. So, this side step has some brackets with it and these are what we're going to be installing on the Jeep, then we install the step on top of the brackets.
Now, brackets are slightly different from each other from driver's side to passenger's side, and even the frontmost bracket is different from the rearmost bracket in the thickness of this little gusset here. So, make sure you pay attention to the instructions. They're gonna tell you exactly which brackets go where so that you don't have to do something twice. So, this is our front bracket and this is going to be mounted right here. And there's already a threaded hole in the bottom of the rocker area that we're going to be able to put a bolt through the slotted area right here.
And then as you can see, the pinch seam is already drilled out here for the bolts that are going to go through these two wings, that's going to leave this mounting point protruding from the side of the Jeep for our side step to go on. So, once we get these three brackets mounted up with all the included hardware, we'll get the step installed.
So, we'll get our bracket up into place here. And as you can see, the included hardware with the lock washer and flat washer will just thread right into that threaded hole in the bottom of the rocker. Get that hardware started in there, but as usual, you wanna leave that a little bit loose so we have some play here and some wiggle room while we get the rest of the hardware started that go through the pinch seam.
This is the hardware that goes through the pinch seam. So, we have one of our 5/16 bolts with a flat washer, that'll go right through there, another flat washer on the back side, and finally, one of the nuts that are included in the kit. And again, we'll leave that a little bit loose until we get the last piece of hardware started, then we can go through and tighten everything down. So, the same thing on the other side here. We have the piece of hardware going through the pinch seam. With everything started, we'll go back through with the 13-millimeter socket and the 13-millimeter wrench and an impact and get it all tightened up. Now, we can repeat the same process for the other two brackets on the driver's side.
The next step we're gonna do is bolt our clamping plates onto our brackets, then we can finally get our step installed. So, the way these plates work is that you bolt them down in a way that allows them to then pivot into place. So, we're gonna bolt them all down pretty much parallel to the side of the Jeep with just one piece of hardware and, of course, leave that loose so that we can have that pivot join. Then we'll set our step in place, pivot all of them to lock the step down and finally, put our last piece of hardware in there to keep it from being able to pivot back. Then we can tighten everything down and the install will be finished.
So, for now, like I said, we're gonna get these set up parallel to the side of the Jeep here, drop our hardware in and get them loosely attached. You can see with leaving that hardware loose, we can pivot this bracket like we need to, to lock our step into place. So, we'll just do the other two and then we'll put the step on the Jeep.
Now, we'll set our step into place over the top of the clamps we just installed. Then we can reach underneath and maneuver the clamp to hold the step firmly in place. Now that we have the bracket rotated, so it's on the top side of both lips of the step itself and it's holding it firmly in place, we can put our second piece of hardware in there to cinch everything down. We'll leave that loose until we get all of the other hardware started and then tighten it all down. Loosen the nut a little bit and that'll help us to maneuver our clamping bracket in place. Now that we have our bracket spun, we can tighten this down just by hand and then put our second piece of hardware in there to hold everything from moving before going back and tightening it up. Now that all of our hardware is started, we can tighten it down.
So, if you are looking for a very simple and fairly inexpensive step for the side of your JL, I would recommend this option from Iron Cross, and you can find it right here at extremeterrain.com.