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RockRash Step-Rails



Rocker Panel Damage

From Day One, my main goal for lifting the Cherokee has been to plan several steps ahead to avoid duplication and unnecessary cost. One thing I knew I was going to need at some point was underbody armor, but with three young'uns I also needed to give them an easier way to climb in and out of the Jeep. After beating up on the rails one too many times I'd had it - it was time to get some rocker panel protection before my doors got dented shut.

John (Firegod), one of the welders on ILoveJeeps.com offered to use my Cherokee as a prototype testbed for his Step-Rails. While I still have his older style rails on my Cherokee; he has since upgraded his design after learning that they can deflect upward into the rocker panel. I'll get some pics of those up once I get enough time in my schedule to install them. You can contact his company through the RockRash homepage.

Firegod himself bolting up the driver's side Step-Rail.  You can see the clearance between the door and step, providing a good toehold.
Firegod attaching the driver's side rail

Unlike typical rock-rails that snug up close to the body for protection, these stand out a few inches farther to protect and serve. Serve as a step, that is. Even at 6'4" I have to stretch a wee bit to grab my bike off the Thule rack, and when I have the storage box on top I have to stand on a tire to reach, but that can be unstable.

The step is made from 2"x2" steel tube, which has a pair of 1"x1" runners connected to the "frame" but also to the pinch seam by way of angle iron running along the pinch. This adds much more strength to the step, and holds it in place both from downward (stepping) forces and upward (rock-bashing) thrusts.

In this shot, you can see the 1x1-inch tube bolted to the frame.  The pinch seam runs from upper left to middle right, and has six bolts securing it to the angle iron.  These rails may be welded onto the Jeep in the future
In the above shot, you can see the 1x1 tube bolted to the frame. The pinch seam runs from upper left to middle right, and has six bolts securing it to the angle iron. These rails may be welded onto the Jeep in the future.

Warning for parents! Once the Step-Rails were installed, it took my kids about 0.0003 nanoseconds to realize they could now climb to the roof with ease. One foot on the rail, next foot on the door handle, and then up to the roof pretty easily. If you can't find them, look on top of the roof.

e-mail Jim
created: Aug 5, 2003

Modified March 21, 2004