Rock Sliders! (My first real welding project!)

Looking around online for new side steps for the skunk proved to be difficult, they were either really expensive (over £700) or the same as stock ones (gross). I was tired of the old ones, they had been painted by the previous owner, probably more than once, the paint was chipping, they were rusty, and the plastic step surface on them was all warped and discoloured. They were too short. I did not like how they looked.

The old side steps.

So I decided to make my own.

I ended up buying about 12m of 30x30x2.5mm square steel tubing for around £80 online. I had a plan in my head so I started to draw out the measurements on an old dirty piece of cardboard. (Engineering at its finest). It didn’t take long before I had cut out the main shape and laid it all out on the floor.

Once I was happy with how the step looked I began to weld it together.

Now I’m pretty new to welding, and I was using a small arc/stick welder that I got from Aldi. So I wasn’t expecting perfect welds, but I think I did a pretty good job!

Once I had the main steps welded together I was pretty happy, although I had no idea how to attach it to the truck. I decided to use where the stock steps had been bolted on. So I just measured out some small bits of flat metal and welded them on.

Once I had welded these parts on I put it onto the truck and quickly realized how unstable they were. Time to attach them to the frame like ‘proper’ rock Sliders. So measured some more tubing and some thicker flat metal for the bolts, welded and Vola!

They fit snugly on the truck and even unbolted could withstand me jumping about on them. Now to attach them to the frame I decided to use rivet nuts. At short notice I could only seem to get rivet nuts that were hexagonal.

Rivet nuts similar to the type I used.

Have you ever tried to set these things using two spanners and a spare nut and bolt? It sucked! This led to me going out and buying an electric impact wrench (Best tool I have ever purchased!). This made setting the rivet nuts in the frame easy. With everything in place and tested, (and a load of grinding to get rid of my bad welding…), time for paint!

I ended up painting them with a cheap bed liner paint from Halfords. Which made them durable and grippy making getting in and out of the truck easier.

And so here they are, the finished product!

I’m pretty happy with them to be honest, especially with my welding skills!

They are tough and sturdy. Since I’ve had them on I’ve hit them against quite a few rocks and banks whilst green laning, the occasional tree, and they are perfect.

The only issue I’ve had is the paint isn’t super durable and I have had to go over parts every now and then.

So there it is. You don’t have to go and buy super expensive rock sliders to make your truck look good. I built these for about £100, even if you include the welder it’s still below £200.

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