One of the most important things you can build for a truck that sees 3+ rated trails is rocker panel protection. My sliders
have saved my ass more than a few times. They also work awesome as a lift point for my hi-lift jack. Custom sliders differ
from standard nerf bars in that they can support the entire weight of the truck. If you are in a tight turn and cannot avoid a
large rock, the sliders can act at a lever, allowing the truck to pivot around the rock, usually avoiding any sort of body damage.
There are several styles out there on the market from custom fabricators around the country. I wanted to build a set that were
similar in style to what I saw on a truck in Arizona once.
I am not good at fabrication, but I am slowly learning. To make this project work, I had to get a custom builder to help me
and my friend Jayson was the right guy for the job. He and I have been friends for a few years and after seeing how well
the sliders came out that he made for his 4Runner, I asked him if he could help me.
I started by mocking up what I was envisioning in my head out of cardboard. I showed this to Jayson and we formulated a
plan. The next step was buying the steel. Unfortunately, steel prices have gone way up in recent years. I spent over 200
bucks in steel.
The basic design was going to be square tubing on the inside closest to the body and it would flare out at the ends. Inside of
that, away from the body was going to be round tubing. The square tubing was made from 2 inch square, 3/16th thickness. The
round was made from 1 3/4 inch round DOM tubing, 0.12 thickness. Steel plate (3/16th) was used for the scab plates and gussets.
These were going to be heavy duty sliders!
I purchased a slider adapter that attaches to the hi-lift jack that works especially well with sliders using round tubing. The fabricator
and this adapter can be found at this link. I highly recommend this product.
Here are some pictures of the slider fabrication. Jayson did most of the real work while I learned some new welding technique and
did a lot of grinding. :)
Then it was time to paint and we'd weld them on the truck at a later date.
It was a while later before Jayson and I had time to weld them on.
They look GREAT!!! Thanks Jayson!