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XJ BOULDER BARS

By Mike "TXJEEPER" Cohn

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Boulder Bars
Don't try this without rocker protection!
When we began building the ROCKBOX, we decided that the first thing we needed to pick out was our rocker protection. With the Cherokee's long wheelbase, the rocker panels are wide-open for destruction. And being of unibody construction, if you damage your rockers, there's no fixing them without doing major body repair work. We looked at what was available for the XJ and discussed what it was that we liked and disliked about various models.

Since the Cherokee is primarily driven by my wife, Jenifer's, the real choice was hers. Each time I'd show her photos of rocker bars, she'd say, "No. I really want Boulder Bars." We had Boulder Bars at one time on our Project TJ and she not only liked their simple styling but their excellent strength and construction. She wanted the Cherokee to have a similar look with subtle, yet full protection. The choice was made and the Boulder Bars were on the way.

Boulder Bars are built by All J Products in Riverside, California. All J Products is a family-run business with the staff having backgrounds in engineering, steel work, and automotive. Collectively, the small staff has over 60 years of four-wheeling experience to draw from when designing rocker protection and bumpers for Jeeps. They have also recently begun production of Boulder Bars for the Nissan Xterra.

Boulder Bars
Boulder Bars are low-profile, yet very effective protection.
Boulder Bars are constructed out of heavy-duty 2"x 2" x 3/16" thick box tubing. Once the tubing is cut to size and beautifully welded together, they are powder coated to a black satin finish. The bars are then shipped to the customer. Ours arrived very well-packaged and in perfect shape, except for a minor powder coating flaw.

The mounting flanges on our pair of bars had a few bubbles in the powder coat and was peeling a bit. This blemish was only on the brackets themselves and was isolated to just one or two. The bars themselves, however, were completely flawless. We called All J Products about it and they offered to replace them on their dime. We thanked them but told them that we were just going to beat them up anyway, and being that the flanges were tucked way underneath the Jeep, it was nothing a little spray paint couldn't fix later.

Installation of the Boulder Bars was simple and can be done in just a couple of hours in your driveway. You will need some high-quality drill bits, oil for your bits, a few C-clamps, and a socket set to do the job. We'd also recommend a large floor jack to hold the bars in place while you install them.

The bars mounted up nicely and were a perfect fit, as expected. One of the things we like the most about Boulder Bars is how low-profile they are. They are tucked in nicely to the body of the Jeep and are barely noticeable at a glance. They stick out from the body just enough to protect it without being obtrusive and even offer a slight step when trying to get to the roof of the Jeep. Once you are on the trails, they are unbelievably strong and can take any abuse you throw at them.

Boulder Bars
Our first trip with the ROCKBOX was to Moab, Utah for the Easter Jeep Safari. It didn't take long for us to drop the Cherokee onto the rockers and give them a real-world test. The large drop-offs of Moab's trails can test just about any Jeep part's strength and the Boulder Bars got through four days of abuse with flying colors. With the Cherokee running on 31" tires, the rocker bars had plenty of opportunities to get crushed, had the Boulder Bars not been there to block the way.

If you are in the market for rocker protection for your Cherokee, the $249 you'll pay for the Boulder Bars is hard to beat. Excellent design, construction, and good looks make the Boulder Bars a best pick. Boulder Bars are also available for Jeep CJs, Wranglers, Grand Cherokees, and the Nissan Xterra.

Boulder Bars
Installed Boulder Bar.
Boulder Bars
Boulder Bars are low-profile and tucked in nicely.

Follow along for installation notes and photos --->>>

 

RESOURCE
All J Products
www.boulderbars.com
6734 Doolittle Ave. "L"
Riverside, California 92503
(909) 352-2556
Info@boulderbars.com

 
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