"Wow" I thought. "These guys must have been reading
my mind." I was so happy to discover that they had a new design
that was EXACTLY what we were looking for. Their new design is a
body-hugging protection panel with a built-in step. This would give
us all the ground clearance we needed to gain, while maintaining
the side step. We actually gained a sturdy Hi-Lift Jack point and
tow strap point for those sideways extractions.
A quick call
to the Four X Doctor and they were on there way to my door step.
I studied the Four X Doctor's web site and the install instructions
to make sure I would have all the necessary hardware to install
them when they arrived. All the bolts, nuts and goodies needed to
bolt them on came with the rockers.
I did have to
take a trip to the local hardware store to buy some things that
I did not have. The install requires four 1 ¼" holes
to be drilled to the inside panel (not through the outside of the
Jeep) so that you can get a socket in to tighten the bolts. Make
sure you have a good drill. This just about killed mine. I also
bought some non-slip tape (to us skaters this is "grip tape")
to put on the steps for extra traction with wet and muddy shoes.
Did the Doctor
cure the "Rock Rash" Problem?
things are like a vaccine against serious rock rash on your Jeep.
I have been on a serious testing mission since I got them. Here
is the score sheet so far.
- 4 trips up "Carnage Canyon"
- Moab Easter Jeep Safari 2001
- Wheeler Lake
- Spring Creek
- stray boulder near my house
- endless poundings from Soccer Mom assault vehicles at the grocery
So far, the
only thing I have been able to do is scratch the powder coat. The
side steps extend exactly the same distance away from the Jeep as
the factory ones did. They are very easy to stand on and make it
much easier to get back in the Jeep on the trail. They also gave
me 5 ½" of ground clearance over the factory steps.
This is a huge gain. I would have destroyed the side of my Jeep
I fear no rock
now. I have not had a chance to try pulling the Jeep sideways with
them. I think I will save that test until I need to do it. I did
jack it up with the Hi-Lift, though. The side step made for a very
secure jack point and kept the jack a few inches away from the body
of the Jeep. These are definitely one of the best things we have
installed so far.
Rocker Panel Guards provide a strong jack point for a Hi-Lift.
this with steps and you'll come out a few pounds lighter. The Four
X Doctor rockers are nice and snug up against the rockers, allowing
you to miss some rocks and glide over others.
extra safety when climbing in and standing on the bars we used some
3M grip tape on the rocker panel guards. The tape helps to provide
some traction, even when the bars are wet.