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POISON SPYDER CUSTOMS
ROCKER KNOCKERS

By Steven Snyder

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If you visit Rockcrawler.com often, you may remember over the summer I put a set of Poison Spyder Crusher Corners on my terribly abused CJ-7. My tub had been badly beaten, bashed, and was in the process of disintegrating due to all of the hidden rust under the paint. The corners provided me with a single solution to multiple issues - the most important of which was protection. The 3/16” plate is probably overkill, but I like it! Since it has been installed, I have beat them up pretty well and the only thing showing any ill effect is my nice new paint. For me, the Crusher Corners also allowed me to hide how badly rusted and beaten my stock tub had become.

Poison Spyder Rocker Knockers
Poison Spyder Rocker Knockers
This is the way my rockers looked beneath the factory trim piece. I cleaned and cut away as much of the "cancer" as possible and then hit everything with rust-inhibiting spray paint

The Saga Continues
CJ’s are notorious for rusting everywhere, but in particular, right below the Jeep logo stamped in front of the door. Of course, my tub was no exception. When I ordered my Crusher Corners I already had some homebrew rocker protection that worked ok but I knew that eventually I would like to upgrade to some beefy rocker protection with tube sliders.

I considered building my own (more homebrew), but after a quick cost-benefit-analysis between the practically-bolt-on Rocker Knockers from Poison Spyder Customs and building my own (countless hours and numerous burns from the plasma torch), I quickly added Rocker Knockers to my order.

When everything arrived I was immediately impressed. Rocker Knockers are made from the same 3/16 steel used to make Crusher Corners. Both use the same 3/8 stainless steel fastening hardware, as well.

As advertised, the rockers arrived with no finish – just bare steel, so you can really see and appreciate the workmanship that goes into the product. The welds are beautiful, bends and brakes are clean, and of course cut-outs are laser perfect.

Poison Spyder Rocker Knockers
Poison Spyder Rocker Knockers
This is what they look like when they arrive. This is quality work with beautiful welds and the laser-cut Poison Spyder logo is a great looking accent. I painted part of my tub yellow so once the Rocker Knockers were bolted up the logo would appear yellow.


The rockers are shipped with no packing – just a shipping label stuck on the side of each rocker and the hardware and instructions arrived in a separate box. As a result, there were a few minor marks that I wanted to sand out. For something intended to be drug over rocks, I was probably a little too anal about how it looked. I cleaned the steel with paint prep and sprayed a couple of coats of quality primer. Easy. If you intend to have your Rocker Knockers powder coated, skip the primer. More on this later.

There are installation instructions on the PSC web site at www.spydercustoms.com that are excellent. However, since I like to do things the hard way, I opted to completely disregard the provided instructions. Fortunately, it would be pretty difficult to mess up the installation of the Rocker Knockers, so I really did not need them. The following are the steps I used to install the rockers. Although some of the steps I used are in a little different order from the directions (and slightly modified), either approach will work fine. Like I said, it’s hard to mess this up.

Poison Spyder Rocker Knockers
Poison Spyder Rocker Knockers
This is what total disregard for the directions looks like. In the photo on the right you can see where the Rocker Knocker is notched so it will tie into the body mount. In the photograph, the puck for the body lift has been removed.

One of the nicest features of the Rocker Knockers is that there is a frame/body tie-in which enables you to later use the Rocker Knocker as a secure point to tie into for the front hoop of your roll cage. The frame/body tie-in requires that you loosen the body bolts (and remove one) before you can begin the test fit.

There are five body mounts that run along each side of the tub and one centered in front of the clip – aka grille. You will need to loosen (do not remove) the ten body bolts along the sides of the Jeep. One of the body bolts (and body mount) will need to be completely removed so you can do a test fit. It’s pretty obvious which one to remove when you compare the rocker to the bottom of your Jeep.

Now you are ready to do a test fit. I used a jack and piece of scrap wood to hold up the Rocker Knocker. Once I had everything placed and aligned I used a couple of clamps, in addition to the jack, to keep everything secure. For those of you with nice clean Jeeps, now is the moment of truth.

Poison Spyder Rocker Knockers
Poison Spyder Rocker Knockers
Test-fitting the Rocker Knockers and Crusher Corners. Click here to read about the Crusher Corner install. Everything, including the Jeep tub has been sprayed with primer.


It can be a little unnerving but it’s time to drill 3/8” holes into the side of your Jeep’s beautiful sheet metal. STOP – WAIT! Before you actually get crazy with the drill, check inside the Jeep to make sure there is not a wiring harness or something else you don’t want a hole through. Most Jeeps have a small wiring harness that runs along the driver’s side under the door lip. It’s probably not in the way but you’ll want to pull it back just to be safe. Once the coast is clear, use the Rocker Knocker as a guide and drill the holes with a 3/8” bit.

Remember the body mount and hardware you removed earlier? Since the Rocker Knocker is now a 3/16” spacer where the body mount used to be, you are going to need to modify the mount. If you have a body lift like me, you can simply modify the puck used in the body lift. Simply remove 3/16” of the material from the body mount or puck to compensate for the space now occupied by the Rocker Knocker. Believe it or not, this was one of the most difficult parts. My body lift uses aluminum pucks and if you have ever tried to use a grinding wheel on aluminum you know it’s more difficult than it sounds. In retrospect, it would have been easier to shave the rubber/poly body mount.

Poison Spyder Rocker Knockers
Poison Spyder Rocker Knockers
Here you can see the stock 1” aluminum puck from the body lift (well-weathered) compared to the two (newly painted) pucks that I shaved 3/16” from.


Once you have removed 3/16” from the mount/puck, it’s time for one final test fit with hardware. Go ahead and tighten the body mount and all the stainless counter-sunk hardware. Does everything fit correctly? Good. Now take it all apart again.

Poison Spyder Rocker Knockers
Poison Spyder Rocker Knockers
Test-fitting with all the hardware. Once I got a few of the stainless bolts in the tub, I used the jack and scrap wood to lift the frame/body tie-in so I could put the shaved puck back on the body bushing. The yellow looks awesome behind the Poison Spyder logo.


Time for paint. If your Jeep is a mall-crawler or if you hate driving over big rocks then I would seriously consider having the Rocker Knockers powder coated. Powder coating looks great and is extremely durable. Some people might even call it “rock hard.”

However, If you enjoy rockcrawling and you intend to use the Rocker Knockers as a slider or a pivot point while on the trail, save your money. Powder coating is not THAT rock hard and eventually you will scrape it off the bottom of the rocker. Go buy yourself a few rattle cans of your favorite color and start painting. Since you already have the paint out, now is a good time to go back to your Jeep and put a little paint in the holes you just drilled. You do not want any exposed metal or your rocker panes might look like mine after a few years (remember the photos at the beginning?).

Once everything is dry it’s time to put it all back together.

 

Testing...Testing...1...2...3... (Continued)   --->>>

 
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