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.
try this without rocker protection!
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
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.
Bars are low-profile, yet very effective protection.
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.
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.
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.
Installed Boulder Bar.
Boulder Bars are low-profile and tucked in
along for installation notes and photos --->>>