You're exactly right on your last point. The stock steps only offer minimal protection, like maybe from someone opening a low car door in the parking spot next to you. Someone here (I can't remember who) mentioned removing them after finding that the steps had caused warping at the mount.
You'll really want something that's attached to the frame if you need more protection than that.
I opted to skip the factory steps and get something after the fact:
Rugged Ridge RRC Side Armor.
2011 Jeep Wrangler Sport S [Photos]
They might protect the paint from gravel being thrown up by your tires, but that's about it. If I recall correctly the best protection comes with body mounted rockers. Frame mounted can cause the tub to be damaged if you come down hard on something... (I think that's the way it is, anyway, sometimes I remember stuff backward). But anything metal is going to offer more protection than the plastic factory stuff....
You definitely want frame mounted rockets. Otherwise when you use them for their intended purpose the will only be as strong as the mounting point. Think about that and the strength of the jk sheetmetal. BTW technically the jk does not have a tub. It's the first wrangler to not have one.
"I've got two things in this world, my balls and my word and I don't break them for no one."
You definitely want frame mounted rockets. Otherwise when you use them for their intended purpose the will only be as strong as the mounting point. Think about that and the strength of the jk sheetmetal.
I don't know, before I swapped out my stock body-mounted Rubi rails, they took some pretty good hits and held up fine.
Originally Posted by InfernoGirl
I want some frame mounted rockets...
Me too!!! You know how cool that would be?!!!
__________________ Black 2009 Rubicon 2-Dr Auto | TF 3" lift and front lower CA's | JKS trackbars | 35" GY MT/R-K's | 17x9 M/T SS Classic II's | EVO Axle Sleeves and C Gussets | ARB diff covers | Skid Row evap can skid and front CA skids | Shrockworks bumpers and rock rails | Synergy Ball Joints, Tie Rod and grab handles | Warn 9.5ti | Pull-Pal | sPOD | Superchips Flashpaq | Dual Optima Yellow Tops | Cobra 29 LTD | 4' FireStick
Aside from the fact that the stock steps do not offer much protection, there is no consensus on whether frame or body mounted sliders are stronger. The frame is stronger is true, but the attachement to the frame is longer, which is not as strong. A well designed body mounted slider will distribute the force from a hit - I have seen rubis take tremedous hits on their stock rails with no damage.
A quality slider, whether frame mounted like Lod or body mounted like PureJeep, will protect you very well.
Rubi rail take offs can be had very cheaply btw. I picked up a set for $50 and will be welding an aftermarket kit to turn it into a slider - here is a kit from Poison Spyder, one of our sponsors