Smittybilt XRC Rocksliders
November 26, 2011
By Matt Marine
I did a bad thing when I bought my brand new 2010 Jeep Rubicon. I let the dealer talk me into a pair of "rock slider" steps, sight unseen. The salesperson told me the were rock solid sliders that could handle anything I could throw at them. Uhhh, right. As I said before, I was stupid. What came with the Jeep was the aluminum steps shown below.
These are definitely NOT rock sliders. The first time I took them out on a difficult trail, I got a boo-boo in them. It didn't take much.
These steps are lightweight and made out of thin aluminum. They are only there to provide a step. So I decided to get some real rock sliders. After doing a little research, I decided on the Smittybilt XRC Rocksliders. I think I made a good decision, though they aren't without some minor faults. This a view of them from the bottom.
These sliders have a flat, heavy plate that protects the underside of the body and two "sliders" (a high tube and a lower angular piece). I would have like Smittybilt to put in an additional support for the tube at the midpoint like they did for their lower end sliders (SRC) for the four-door model. I can see this being an issue for some heavy-duty wheeling, but so far I haven't had a chance to really test mine yet.
Installation was easy (if you had a trick up your sleeve).
Click here for instructions from Smittybilt.
1. Take of your old step or sliders if you have any.
2. Insert two nut clips in the appropriate holes in the body. Have some people lift and hold the sliders in place. Then insert the two bolts from the bottom and tighten with a 12mm wrench. .
3. Put some tape (I used painter's tape) over one side of closed in wrench (see picture below).
4. Put nut in closed end wrench and make sure the tape is holding it secure.
5. Feed a bolt up through the bottom of the slider.
6. Feed the tape enhanced wrench with nut through the corresponding pinch plate and then screw the bolt into the nut.
7. After the nut "catches", loosely tighten.
8. Repeat until all bolts are secured. Tighten, then check again.
9. Do the other side.
The slider from below. Then bolts are easily seen in the long, flat attachment plate.
The trick to getting these installed is to put tape on a wrench to hold the nut in place while you screw the bolt in from beneath. If you don't do this, you will be "losing" lots of nut in the pinch plate due to its limited accessibility.
There you go, easy as pie!
The XRC sliders look great!
Easy to install (for the most part).
I LOVE the way they look.
A good price for what you get. They are probably not going to be the ultimate sliders for hardcore wheelers, but they are well-priced for what you get.
Should protect the vehicle from about all but the nastiest of hits. I have hit them one time, fairly hard, and they did great, but I haven't really tested them with any significant loads to date.
Drilling required to get one of the pinch plate bolt attachments on. I took the lazy way out and didn't install this bolt. Although I don't think this will effect strength too much, this needs to be fixed.
I believe there should be a middle support to the tube rail for the four-door model. I can see a hard hit on the tube bending it and possibly damaging your body. This was fixed with the SRC version of the sliders, but not on these. Two door should not be an issue.
Small rocks get caught between the sliders and the body.
If you're looking for a reasonably priced, reasonably solid pair of rock sliders that should get all but the hardest core wheelers through, then the Smittybilt XRC Rock Sliders may be for you. I like them. I will update this review as I bang them up.