Review & Install Video
I'm Ryan from ExtremeTerrain.com, and this is my review of the Rugged Ridge XHD Rock Sliders fitting all 2007 to 2016 JKs. These are available for both the two-door and the four-door JK. Today we're gonna talk about the construction and, of course, the strength of these rock sliders, the installation and where they fall on the range of pricing for a rocker armor. These are for those of you that want a really strong rocker armor that's gonna hold up to anything you can throw at it on the trail. These also provide a bit of a step that's integrated into them, but mostly these are armor through and through. If I had to describe the design of these, they're almost like a boat side. They go from underneath the Jeep, wrapping up on to the side. And again, it's all about protection. It's all about strength.
Now, these are going to be more expensive than a lot of the other rocker armors on the market, but if you're somebody who needs or wants the strength and wants a little bit of a step, this is a great way to go. This rocker armor is made from three-millimeter C&C cut mild steel that's covered in a texture-black powder coat finish, like most other Rugged Ridge aftermarket accessories and aftermarket accessories for your Jeep from a lot of other brands.
The finish will resist rust and corrosion and it'll also mesh a lot of the factory plastic black accents that are already on your Jeep. Now, what makes these really strong and, in my opinion, one of the best designed rock sliders on the market, is how they mount. A lot of other sliders will mount either to the body bolts, the body mount and bushing bolts, or directly on to the pinch seam of your Jeep. These mount through the body bolts which is a very strong mount on its own, but then they also mount on to the pinch seams. So these are going to give you double the strength, they're going to be very strong.
Aside from that, as I mentioned, they do have a built-in step albeit it's a bit of a smaller step, but this is more of off road armor than it is a convenience step. So if you are going off road, you don't want a step that's going to hang down or stick really far out from the side of the Jeep for clearance. So this is about as much step as you would want to be given and still have a lot of off road clearance and for it not to get in the way or for it to get hung up.
Now, as I mentioned before, this is almost what I would describe as a boat side. Not quite, but it does wrap around from the underside of the Jeep, up to the side, covers the pinch seam, and also comes up a little bit on to the rocker itself. On the backside of this rock slider comes a pre-applied self-adhesive gasket which is there to protect the factory paint on your Jeep from chafing.
Now, there are a few schools of thought. Some are that you should also run a bead of silicone across the top of this to keep any junk and debris from working its way between the paint and chaffing. Other schools of thought is that you shouldn't even run a gasket, that you just leave a gap so that water and air can push dirt and debris through instead of getting hung up in this phony gasket material. Either way, you can either take the gasket off if you want to. In my opinion, it's not a bad thing to have on there to help with the chafing.
One nitpick, and as I mentioned a couple of times to you guys, I don't love the fact that this has the Rugged Ridge logo [inaudible 00:03:17] to it. It's not the biggest deal in the world. Some of you guys might not mind it at all. In my opinion, I'd rather not have it. If you agree with me on that, TeraFlex makes a very similar set of rock sliders for a similar price that doesn't have the brand name built right into it.
These are designed to install very easily onto your Jeep. Because they're designed to be completely bolt on, you don't have to drill anything. In fact, they use a lot of factory hardware. Any additional hardware that's necessary to get them bolted up is included in the box. The first step in the installation is to remove the body bolts from the side of the Jeep that you decide to start on. From there, it's just a matter of lifting the rock slider into place and allowing the four studs through the pinch seam in the holes that are already existing from the factory.
You can start the nuts onto the studs, but don't tighten them down quite yet. After that, you can reinstall the body bolts with the large washers that accompany them, and then go back and twerk everything down. That's it. This is a really simple installation. There's no need to take this to a shop and have these bolted up. As long as you have a set of traditional hand tools, you can get this done. It may help to have an extra set of hands around because these do have a little bit of weight to them but you can always use a [inaudible 00:04:27] or jack stand if you don't have a friend to help.
As I mentioned, these are going to be a lot more expensive than a lot of other rock sliders on the market. But I think that they're still a pretty good value. The way that these mount in two different spots on the body bolt and on the pinch seam means they're going to be very, very strong. These also provide a step, they do a nice job of covering the pinch seam which otherwise looks unfinished. And, all in all, they're a really well-built, really strong product that I personally like the looks of and like the function of. Fortunately, if you don't have the budget for these, there are a lot of other options on the market, some that mount very similar to these ones that are a little bit less expensive, and other ones that are going to mount just on the body bolts or just on the pinch seam that will still offer some protection.
So, if you have the budget for it and you're looking for a very strong rock slider that mounts at both the body mounts and to the pinch seam, that's going to provide a step and is going to be rock-solid on the trails, I would definitely recommend taking a look at these rock sliders.
So that's my review of the Rugged Ridge XHD Rock Sliders fitting all 2007 to 2016 JKs, that you can find right here at ExtremeTerrain.com.