Using salvaged parts to build off-road armor

2 minute read

Install rocksliders from a salvaged truck frame

Rocksliders are key components in protecting the sills and doors of vehicles driven off-road. Not only will they protect the precious bodywork, they’ll also allow for pivot turns by using the obstacle as a fulcrum.

An individual on craigslist that I had previously purchased parts from (future blog post!) was parting out his home-built Rubicon capable truck. He offered the frame and remaining parts to me as scrap. The old frame had homebrew sliders welded on. They’re made of .250” wall square tube and fixed to the frame with .250” plates to distribute forces.

Tools used here: handtools(10lb hammer,sockets, pliers, etc), Lincoln mig 180, 4.5” grinder with a grinding disc, propane torch.

To prepare the truck for welding a few preparations are required. The fuel lines are made from nylon and are fixed to the driver’s side frame rail. They’re simply removed from the holder and moved out of the way to protect them from the welding process. The driver’s slide slider rear plate was positioned directly over the fuel tank switching valve. it had to be unbolted and moved as well. The front fender’s lower bolts interfere with the sliders and were removed. They’re still solidly in place without the hardware. Should any issues arise mounting hardware can be redesigned around the slider.

First is to cut them off the frame. To do this the 4.5” grinder was involved:

Second, measure thrice, weld once! Getting better at vertical welds, underside welding is a challenge and requires more practice, however they’re solid. The process used here was to weld the underside of the mounting plate first. After that a jack was used to lift the slider to push the plate’s sides and top into the frame of the truck. All weld surfaces here were preheated with a propane torch:

Final installation: