JKU homemade rock rails - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 03-25-2019, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Halton Hills, Ontario, Canada
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JKU homemade rock rails

Hello,
So I wanted rock rails for my '11 JKU. The only problem is that I'm extremely cheap. So what's a guy to do?

I built my own! I think they turned out great so I thought as a new member I should contribute some fabricating content for the site and do a write up.
They were made over the course of a month, working whenever I had the spare time or the motivation. I am a Tool and Die maker by trade, but unfortunately don't have access to any of those great machines anymore, so all the work you see was done by file, hacksaw, sawsall, 10" drillpress and 4 1/2" angle grinder............it sucked hard sometimes!!
All flat metal is .250" and the tube is 2" dia x .120" wall. They weigh about 80 lbs each!

Here the mounts have begun.....I choose to use the body-to-frame mounts (3 on each side) and had to fab up the mounting brackets to fit in the frame mount cups. Think like ACE hardware rock rails, but instead of the one frame bolt as the attachment point I used the two on either side in the mount itself. Using these allow for a larger bearing surface for my bracket and the mount, hopefully resisting any twisting forces better . That's a 2 1/4" hole on a mastercraft 10" bandsaw...slow and steady wins the race!!

Here you can see the mounting brackets taking shape and how they fit into the frame mounts. I tried to keep the initial rail tight up to the bodywork, but with enough clearance to avoid crumpling the pinch seam if it takes a huge hit.

Now for the secondary rail to offer side protection. I bent it up on my PA 12 ton pipe bender..

All it needs is to have the notches cut into it. That was the hardest part. I found an .exe program online (it shows as "tubemitre" on my computer) and you put in some dimensions, print it out, cut it out and tape it to the tube you want to notch. Worked like a charm, just a bit slow.
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post #2 of 4 Old 03-25-2019, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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Here is the fit and final adjustments before tacking it on.

That same drill press putting in some overtime as a tube notcher for the uprights!

Here they are welded up......

I welded one more arm in between the first two on each bracket and then prepped for paint.

Hit it with a few coats of self-etching primer then a couple of coats of Dupli-colour bed armour. It goes on well but needs good prep work.

Here they are on the truck.

Overall it was a fun experience and really not too difficult. I hope this write up helps anyone doing their own!

Sorry the picture orders are a bit screwed up.....I brought this thread over from a different forum and I'm not exactly a computer hacker...
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post #3 of 4 Old 03-25-2019, 05:05 PM
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Very nice... I'm trying to think of a way to make my sliders functional, any tips?
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post #4 of 4 Old 03-25-2019, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Those appear to be the kind that attach to the body seam under the doors, right? I would add a couple of stronger mounts perpendicular to the rails themselves that bolt up to the smaller screws in the body mount cup areas on the frame rail....if that makes any sense! It looks like there is one "body mount cup frame rail" mount already there, add another and that will strengthen them up.
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