Finally, the last part of the rock slider build! Lets finish them up and see what they look like completed. The goal is to have some beefy nerf bars we can use to rub against rocks and still be able to open the doors after a long day of wheeling!
We left off part 2 looking roughly like this. The new rockers were welded in but not completed.
10 months ago, I built the main bars of the rock sliders, finished cutting off the rockers, and welding on the above plates. As you can see we have been through a winter since then and even that work has since gotten rusty. Now that there is a wheeling trip coming up this weekend, I finally worked up enough motivation to clean / paint it all and finish the rock sliders.
In a home fab shop, it is often easier to keep some simple tabs in stock for moments like this. They save a lot of time especially when the only opportunities I usually get to work are between 8pm and midnight after the kids are in bed.
On one of my previous trucks, I told myself I was going to cap off the tubes ‘later’ when I was building the bumper. Years later I was still having rusty water and mud drain out of the tube that I never capped. Now that I know myself better, I forced myself to go ahead and cap the ends of the rock sliders PRIOR to putting them on the truck. Here is a cheater method I used to make the caps using just stuff I had laying around.
These tools are usually called a copper welding spoon or welders helper. Handy for sheetmetal and random projects like this. They are a little more expensive than I remember, I am guessing it is just due to copper prices lately?
There you go! Rock sliders built from scratch in a home shop. This is the classic buy vs make decision. I might have been able to buy some for $500-$1000 plus shipping but I want to keep the budget for this rig small and I enjoy doing projects like this anyways. I have quite a few man hours into these puppies but in the end it was worth it. If you don’t have a tubing bender, you can always change the design or cut and weld the tubes at angles instead.