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Integrated sliders

CodePoet

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Hey all, during chubfest a well placed rock decided to take off my rocker molding put a decent hit to the pinch weld on my expo, and found more rust/rot on my rockers. I need sliders and new rockers! This is what i'm going off of for my initial idea (for now i'm gonna sand and paint my moldings and bondoing up the rockers as a temp fix) http://www.pirate4x4.com/tech/billavista/rockers/rockers.htm . Since these will get used as sliders in addition to rocker replacements I will have to tie them into the frame. This might be done by welding mounts onto the frame and have a corresponding mount on the rockers so I can just bolt them on, this will make any future body lift (not planned though) possible. I would also like to make mounts for etensions so I can use the sliders as a pivot point, and extra body protection from trees, it also might in the future serve as mounting points for an exo cage. What do you all think...the basic idea is on the pirate link, making it work ont he expo will require some modifications. I'm going to try to design some on auto cad so i'll post them when I do it. Just looking for inital thoughts!

Later!
CP
 



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Stic-o

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I don't know if you can do this...I asked once about this I think, and the result is the body is not strong enough to hold the whole weight of the truck. Rember Cherokees are uni-body. so all the weight on it...is different. :rolleyes:
 






410Fortune

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You can tie into the body and the frame, the pinch weld on gen 1's that run along the rocker is pretty strong, it just depends on how hard of a it the slider takes..
On my BII I want them up as high as possible, so it is likely I will chop the rocker off completely, it is a structural part of the body so the slider will have to re-enforce the body as well...
 






CodePoet

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Maybe I didn't make my self clear...i'll remove the existing, rotting rocker pannel and replace it with this. I know they cherokee is unibody that what I think i'll need to attatch it to the frame. It sounds like you have the same idea that I have 410 :). I'll have to reasearch this alot before i do anything, so I know what I can take out and what I can't. Are there any writeup about replacing the rockers with stock replacements?

Later!
CP
 






Bronco638

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CP,
Stic-O was on the right track. Your rocker provides a lot of support to the unibody whereas the rocker on the Explorers, especially 2nd Gen.s, are quite thin because of the body-on-frame construction. I think your idea would work if there was some additional support provided to the 'back' side of the Explorer's rocker box. I ripped the running boards off my truck to provide more ground clearance but realized that the rocker wouldn't absorb a rock hit very well. I plan to use a 2" body lift to provide space for rocker sliders (with support outriggers attached to the frame). If the sheet metal surrounding the rocker area was a thicker gauge, you'd be on to something.

Just my $0.02 - Dave.
 






XplorerKid

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Bronco638 said:
CP,
Your rocker provides a lot of support to the unibody

He doesnt have a unibody, he has an Explorer :)

and if i read that totally wrong forgive me....
 






CodePoet

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Bronco are the 1st gens stronger in that regard? If I can't do this that's ok...i just need new rockers and sliders so if I could combine them that would be extremely cool. I understand that I would have to beef up the body behind the new rockers, right now i was just thinking about tying the sliders/rockers into the frame itself...would that provide enough support? I haven't looked for stock yet so I don't know what is out there but I would think that 2x4 supports welded to the frame and the rockers would be fairly strong, the rockers would be made of 2x4 or 2x6 box. I need to do alot more reasearch before any of this happens so thanks!

Later
cp
 






Bronco638

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Sorry, Kid, you're right. Instead of typing 'your rocker', I should have typed 'the rocker of a Zeep XJ....'.

CP,
Anyway, I get the impression from Jamie (410) that the rockers on the 1st Gen.s might be of thicker gauge metal but I have never checked one out. I do see a lot of rotten rockers on 1st Gen.s though. Which, would indicate to me, that they're not made of very thick sheet metal and drain poorly. If I were Ford, and I didn't have to rely on that portion of the body for support (unlike a unibody), I'd save some $$ and go with thinner metal. I know for a fact that the rockers on old unibody Mustangs are quite thick (3/16"?) to provide longitudinal support, along with the drive shaft tunnel, to the unibody.

That said, I would hate to attach some type of slider to (just) the rocker and then have it get shoved up into the door openings, or completely crush the rocker, after a tough hit. I think it might be easier (less work and less materials) if you supported the slider by outriggers attached to the frame as opposed to trying to beef up the rocker box on the body. That way, a hit to the rocker slider would be absorbed by moving the entire frame (truck) instead of (possibly) crushing sheet metal.

As for the use of 2x4 and 2x6 box steel, that's a good question for an engineer (aren't there a few hanging around IU?). I was thinking more along the lines of 2x2 box and use differing wall thicknesses for the outriggers versus the sliders.

I wish you were closer so we could work on this together. Your ideas have merit.

Dave.
 






CodePoet

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Surprisingly enough...there are no engineers at IU, they are a "liberal arts college" so they put more emphasis on philosophy, literature and other stuff that is pretty much useless (can use sense my bitterness) lol. No matter what i'd have outriggers to the sliders attached to the frame, i have no intention to rely on the strength of the rockers themselves. I don't know how thick the metal is. I think the reason they rust so much is because there's no drain hole in the rear and a hole develops in the dog leg which lets water in. Where is itasca illinois btw? I was in bloomington but until I get a job and deffinitly after august i'll be in Princeton Indiana untill i find a job (just finished school :) ), just a little way away from Mt. Carmel. I need to go out with the caliper and get some thicknesses and make some measurements from the rockers to the frame...i might do that tomorrow, i'll post my findings!

a demain
CP
 






Bronco638

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CP,
I guess you need to cruise up I-65 to West Lafayette to find a Purdunk engineer. :) (No offense Boilermakers). Itasca is a 'burb of Chicago, just west of O'Hare airport. If I remember, Mt. Carmel is close to Indy, my parents live in Zionsville.

As for the rocker's drain problem, you hit the nail on the head. The rear portion of the rocker has no drain hole and this is where most of the rot is found. I drilled some small holes back there, just in case.

I think you'll find the sheel metal to be pretty thin and using outriggers on your sliders is the way to go.

D.
 






JoshC

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Just a thought. I don't remember reading this, you may not have said it. If you weld to the frame with the outriggers and then weld the body to the sliders, won't it tear when the body flexes?

If you weren't doing this then please forgive me!
 






CodePoet

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Good point joshc...damn lol i've got to think more. The only thing i'm comming up with right off the bat is not welding but making the outriggers bolt into the body mounts...but damn that's alot of work. I guess I could beef up the structure behing the rockers. This is turnning into alot more work that in initally though. If I made mounts that had poly bushings between the frame and the outriggers that could absorb some of that flex, my only concern would be if i'm defeating the purpose of sliders. I'm going to make metal patches for the rockers so I can remount my molding...i might just end up building sliders, and notching that molding alittle to enable me to pull the sliders as close as possible to the body. I dont' know...think i should goto school for engineering just so I can build a set of sliders lol! :)

Later
cp
 






Bronco638

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Uh, yeah, like Josh mentioned, you definately do not want to tie the rocker sliders to the rocker. I eye-balled this once and I believe that with a 2" body lift, the outriggers would pretty much be level to the ground. A triangular shaped gussett would provide additional strength between outrigger and frame plate. So, if you build them properly, they should be strong enough to take a hit and keep your rockers safe. I know that GJarrett (and some others) built sliders that 'hide' under their running boards. However, those trucks run at least 35" tires which provides enough ground clearance under the 'boards. I don't really want to run tires any bigger than 31" so I decided to remove my 'boards. I'm going to go with a 2" BL simply to provide room for the sliders as well as increase the front & rear departure angles.
 






CodePoet

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I only have 2" suspension lift right now...my major concern was the loss of ground clearance with sliders like GJareett, taxxman and others have. In the future i'm planning on a d44 sas and 9" swap, to run 37-38" tires so i'll do them then. Just hoping I could kill two birds with one stone.

Later
CP
 






Bronco638

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I think that without the body lift, you'll have a hard time getting the slider to have proper ground clearance. In the stock position, the relationship of the body to the frame will cause the outriggers to slope downward from the frame to the slider. Then, when you do install the body lift (3", I'm guessing based on the tire sizes you want to run), the slider will be significantly lower than the rocker. At that point you'll be forced to re-do the outriggers if, for no other reason, than it will look funny. Instead of spending all this time & energy on the sliders, why don't you start thinking about the D44 and the 9" rear axle?
 






Kirby N.

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Good Idea for Unibody XJs and ZJs, bad Idea for us with a frame/body (Explorers, Rangers). I Have seen the ones on Wranglers (which have frames) but I still don't like the idea because if you do use them, you are puting some serious stress on the Body Mounts. If you put in the Outriggers, you will have problems with Body Flex, as some one eluded to earlier.

I have built 3 sets of XJ sliders. 2 of them used 3 braces ("outriggers") to the main channel of the unibody, one of them used 2 braces and a pinch weld attachemnt. Both designs are beefy, but the pinch weld idea will not work with Explorers.

I built my sliders for my explorer up as tight as possible. I notched my pinch weld, angled the out riggers up, and welded them to a 1/4" plate that is welded to the frame. I use mine for pivoting, jacking, stepping, and pretty much any abuse I can thow at them.

While it would be nice to deal with your 2 problems at once, They are 2 problems and I think they both need to be approached differently.

My Designs:
Explorer Slider Explorer Slider 2 Sploder Slider 3

My Bothers Heep Slider 1 Another Heep Slider (Buddies)

Those are Dring mounts on the heeps. The white one is the background is my Brother in Laws. It has the Pinch weld design. Might be able to see it:
Brother in Laws Heep

Hope this helps. Mine will mount my Exo cage. I will probably add another brace that extends up to the door out of round tubing too.

Kirby
 






Bronco638

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K,
Your sliders are nice. Any chance there's a write-up about the construction (materials used, sizes)? I'd also like to see a picture or two of the outriggers.
Thanks, Dave.
 






hazardiz

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Just found this site a while ago...i'm in British Columbia Canada and i got a 91 explorer and i saw this post about rockers...i had rusty rockers at the back infront of the rear tires...and i just cut it out with my saz-all and undercoated it for a month...but now that i parked my explorer i addressed it...i just cut out the rocker just under the door all the way to the pinch weld and then i put some 3.5x3.5 square stock 3/16 thick...i capped in the ends and welded them in...they look good and are super strong for landing on...don't have much rock up here...but for sure lots of stumps and mud...and i'm gonna put fittings on them and turn them into air tanks for airing up after wheeling...i would put up pictures but i don't know how...have them on my comp...so if ya wanna see post your email address and i'll try to send them to ya...
 






Kirby N.

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I don't have any pics of the outriggers. Sorry. There is a thread about it. do a search for kirby and sliders. You'll find it.
 



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