Monday, September 22, 2014

New Rock Sliders -- My Install Story

As a mom with a Jeep I struggle with the changes I want to make to that Jeep. It is a daily tug-o-war trying to figure out how to make modifications for the off-roading I want to do and yet keep my Jeep in daily driver form.

I am so thankful for the great online Jeep community who is willing to share thoughts and experiences. I have learned that no one idea or opinion is the correct one -- everyone has individualized Jeep needs and wants.


Over the past few months I have wavered between investing in a new lift, upgrading my tires, rock sliders and new bumpers. 

I eventually decided my first change would be a new front bumper. I chose the Barricade Trail Force HD bumper from ExtremeTerrain. I installed the bumper in about 2 hours in my garage with the help of my husband. As soon as it was on I was ready -- truly addicted -- for my next change! 






The folks at ExtremeTerrain made that decision pretty easy. They sent me a pair of rock sliders -- the Barricade Rock Sliders -- to review.





Once my new Barricade Rock Sliders arrived, I was beyond  excited to get them on my Jeep.  Of course my mom duties took precedent so I had to wait until the next day when the kids headed to school to begin the transformation. But that didn't stop me from going out into the garage (in the dark of night) to get under my Jeep to scope out the project ahead.










The new sliders did not look like they were going to be an easy swap with my stock side steps. I was in panic mode all night trying to figure out how the new rock sliders were going to attach. The stock steps had six bolts attached to my Jeep in three different locations. The new sliders only had three attachment points with what looked like one bolt. I read over the directions I think probably about 50 times. I went under the Jeep about 20 times trying to figure out what these body mounts were.

Needless to say some of my Jeeper friends probably thought I was a little loco that night as I posted questions and shot off panicked emails.  Even my husband told me it would be fine and to go to bed.


Well, everything does look better in the morning. Once the kids were off to school I got back under the Jeep in the daylight and went OHHHHHH!!!! Duh!!!

There they were right in front of my eyes, if they were a snake they would have bit me: three body mounts.




So, I jumped right to it. I broke out the tools I needed and sat down to work.
I attached the ratchet to the bolt and began to pull... and pull... and pull... and pull... I even swore a bunch of times. I was bound and determined to do this whole change by myself. Not wanting to ask for help, I finally broke down and asked my husband for his muscle.












After showing him what I was doing he just shook his head and laughed. I was tightening the bolts not loosening them, as everything is backwards when you are down under your vehicle. Righty tighty, lefty loosey is reversed. Once I had that squared away it was a quick and easy removal.

So step two began... the removal of the body mount bolts. I took the advice of many online Jeepers and sprayed the body mounts with WD 40.

I don't think this actually made a difference for my Jeep. It's pretty new and there wasn't really a whole lot of rust. Actually there wasn't any rust but a lot of dirt and mud. I think this was a trick by everyone. The WD 40 created a muddy greasy mess. Or maybe WD 40 isn't really to help loosen things up but to make things messy just so it looks like you were working hard.









The body mount bolts didn't need a whole lot of muscle, with just a little force and lots of grunting they came loose.






But, then they kept spinning and spinning and spinning. I couldn't figure out what in the world was going on. So again -- I headed back to my computer. I emailed a fellow Jeeper and texted another. After some good tips I went back out and tried again. 


With the use of my ratchet and some channel locks -- I think that is what they are called -- the first bolt popped out. Those body mount bolts are pretty persnickety. They need a firm but gentle pull and out they come.

Whew! With the steps off I was ready to get those sliders on. I was expecting some tough work but I was determined to do it all myself.


Find out in my next post if I was able to get it done all by myself or did I have to solicit the help of my husband. In the meantime I wish I would have just taken those side-steps off in the first place. I never did use them to get into my Jeep plus I think my Jeep looks pretty Beast-mode "Naked!"

       - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! -
            -- The Jeep Momma Way --



  
 ExtremeTerrain provided the rock sliders for review. No additional compensation received. 
All opinions are my own.