I recently had the opportunity to add a pair of Barricade Rock Sliders to the OVERCLOCK3D build. I had been looking for something to supplement the Rubicon Rails I already have on the JK, but it needed to be functional and, if possible, provide a step (for my wife).
What do I mean by “functional”? Well, they had to provide protection and be able to actually be used as rock “sliders” and not just be fancy side steps. There are essentially two types of sliders and rails: frame mounted and body mounted. They each have their pros and cons, so lets start there.
Body Mounted Rails
Side rails like the Rubicon, or Enhanced Rubicon from Mopar essentially bolt to the lower body pinch seam of your vehicle. There are several other manufacturers from the aftermarket side as well. They provide a clean look, offer the highest possible clearance, and in the case of the enhanced rails, offer a small step. The down side of a body mounted rail is that all of the pressure applied to them is transferred directly to the body. Now that’s not horrible, but in my opinion not ideal. Try resting your JK Rubicon rails on a rock under your door – and then open your door. You’ll find that opening and closing your door is harder because the weight of the vehicle is sitting on the pinch seam and that weight is flexing the body up into the door opening. You can test this off the trail by lifting your vehicle (safely) at the rail right under your door…same thing. The weight of the vehicle on the rail causes the body to flex. I personally didn’t like that.
Frame Mounted Rails (sliders)
Sliders, like these Barricade Rock Sliders, typically bolt to the frame using body mounting locations (and bolts) and in some cases are welded to the frame. The downside of this setup is a little bit of side clearance loss. They still sit higher than the frame so you may never even notice the difference. In most cases, they also offer a bit of a side step. What I like most about the frame mounted sliders is that the forces they are subjected to are transferred to the frame, and not the pinch seam. So setting them down on a rock, or even dropping them on a rock with a bit of force, doesn’t flex the body and the pinch seam. Running the same test as mentioned previously, you can lift your vehicle from the slider and you will find that opening and closing the door is not compromised in any way. This was what I liked about this option, and why I chose to install them on my build.
There are many sliders on the market. Some are designed to actually be used as sliders (like these) and some are fancy steps IMHO. In the end, you have to decide what features are important for you.
There are a couple of questions I had before I installed these sliders, and I cover them in the short install video below.
- Are they made for real use (which I have already covered in this article)?
- Do they work with the factory rock rails?
- Do they work with a long arm suspension?
In the end, the install went well, and was super simple. I had to make some modifications, which I explain in the video, but most will never have to do that. I like the look, and the build quality was good. While I haven’t dropped them on a rock (yet), or used them to slide over an object, I am confident that they will serve their purpose. You can find these at Extreme Terrain.
Here’s the install video: