<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT"%> ROCKCRAWLER.com - Four X Doctor TJ Rocker Panel Guards
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Four X Doctor
Rocker Panel Guards

By Cole Ford
Chicks Dig Body Damage Yeah, right! For some strange reason four wheelers tend to see body damage as some sort of war wound or a testament to a hard fought battle. I personally see body damage as a sign of a poorly prepared driver or a poorly prepared Jeep. If you hit the trail with the right equipment and mindset you should be able to come home without a scratch (or at least just little ones). The goal here is to be able to drive it to the trail, drive it home and then use it to play with another day.

Chitty Chitty BANG BANG!
For the last sixty years the Jeep has been evolving. And for sixty years the two door convertible Jeep has had the same vulnerable point just below the doors. For the most part, the rest of the Jeep stays out of harm's way. The rocker panels are the number one spot for a rockcrawler to mess up if not properly equipped. That is why this was on the top half of our list of upgrades. If you cruise back though the "Cross Trainer" articles you will see that the rockers were replaced early on.

CHOOSING OUR ARMOR!
You would be amazed at all the thought that we have put into the "Cross Trainer" project. Some of the choices may seem obvious when you look at them, but there are so many styles and brands to chose from out there that sometimes the choices can get pretty tough. The hardest part has been staying true to the goal of the "Cross Trainer" and not making quick decisions. So, the first thing we had to do was define our problem and analyze our possible solutions.

The Problem:
Since the "Cross Trainer" is a Sahara it came with the plastic body molding that runs from fender flare to fender flare. It also came with a factory plastic step that mounts to the frame just below the side molding. This extra stuff made the choice a bit more difficult. Any type of rocker protection we chose would have to either protect the plastic side molding or replace it altogether, while covering the holes in the body where it was mounted.

At first, I thought the side steps would just come off and go in the trash. I soon realized that I use them quite a bit for washing the Jeep or putting objects on the roof like mountain bikes and snowboards. So removing the steps would decrease the utility of the Jeep and go against the "Cross Trainer" theory.

Now that we fully understand the problem, lets look at the options and why we chose the Four X Doctor rocker protection.

Option "A"
Our first choice seemed obvious. Just put on some "rock rails". You know, the kind that are a 2x4 square tube that bolts to the frame and stick out just below the rocker. This was actually a pretty good option. It would protect the plastic body molding of the Sahara and leave us with a step. The only thing I did not like about this is that I would gain nothing for ground clearance over the factory steps.

Option "B"
My last Jeep had your basic rocker panel armor that mounted flush against the Jeep's body. The major advantage of this is that you lose no ground clearance. In this case, I would actually gain some clearance by removing the factory step. While there are many options like this on the market, I could not find one that I felt looked good. I felt like most of them gave the "covering up a mistake" look.

Option "C"
I remembered looking at some tube-style rock rails a few years back that the "Four X Doctor" had made. Even though I knew this was not the style that I was looking, for I checked out their web site anyway just to remind myself how cool they were.

THE DOCTOR IS IN! --->>>

Chicks Dig Body Damage? No way!
Don't let this happen to your rockers. This rocker is from our Project TJ, which did, actually, have rocker protection. Without covering the sides of the rockers themselves, you still leave the sheet metal vulnerable.

Remove those Sahara steps!
The TJ Sahara model has plenty of extra plastic parts that are just itchin' to be removed by rocks. The steps just get in the way and we've seen them sheered right off on their first real trail rides. In addition, in snowy climates, as you can see, they are worthless as steps anyway.

Clearance Comparo!
With the Four X Doctor Rocker Panel Guards on and the step on for demonstration, you can see the huge difference in clearance getting rid of them affords you. Can you say 4-5 inches?

Four X Doctor's Rocker Panel Guards
The Four X Doctor Rocker Panel Guards not only have your typical tubing outriggers, but also mount flush against your rocker panels for even more protection.

Clearance!
Can you say clearance? Clean and extremely functional guards.

 


RESOURCE
Four X Doctor
1033.N.Victory Pl
Burbank, CA 91502
(818) 845-2194
Email: fourxdoc@fourxdoctor.com
www.fourxdoctor.com