Well after a lot of research and looking around, I decided to get these panel guards, mainly since extreme terrain had them for 315 (they are now 330 for some reason) no tax or shipping, which puts them at the low end of the price spectrum (they also offer a 10% WF discount, or if you're military, you can get 10% off anyway).
These guards also provide a lot more clearance than the typical double tube design as well as weigh less and provide a perfect jack surface for a Hi-Lift. There isn't a lot of information about them on the manufacturer's or retailer's website, and I could never find any reviews or build threads for them, so I decided to do my own to hopefully help out anyone who is considering purchasing them. Here's the link to Olympic site:
120 - Rocker Gaurds | Olympic 4X4 Products for over 60 years
They came with hardware and two rubber panels to protect the body:
Here's a closer look at the construction, they consist of three main pieces of 1/4" steel welded together and powder coated, with reinforcing brackets welded in:
I got literally the last of a batch from Olympic (extreme terrain actually called and asked to make sure they were still in stock and sure enough this was the last pair of their current batch), so that might explain why I got a bunch of hardware and two sets of instructions that were both a little bit different. A must say I found the longer hardware to be the only practical hardware to use and hopefully this is the new standard with Olympic. I don't know if it's the new body that started in 11 (mine's a 12) but the short hardware was basically useless:
(these instructions are based on my personal experience with a 2 door 2012 JK, and differ slightly than the instructions provided)
First just clean the rocker panels and remove the 2 stock 10mm bolts that are in the pinch seem, they're held in by these tack welded nuts. I used a 5/16 drill to drill into them, cut a slot with a dremel, and then pried what was left off with a flat head screw driver:
A picture of them after they were removed (the instructions don't mention these, they might be new to 11-13 models):
I took a 5/16 bit and drilled out all the holes in the pinch seem since some of them were a little small. I then hit the bare metal with some rustoleum.
Put in a couple of bolts finger tight and slide the rubber panel in between the body and rocker guards before continuing:
This is what it looks like in the back, it still clears my 35s but I'm sure you'd have to cut away at it if you have 36s or bigger:
And here it is in front, if you look closely, you'll see the rubber in between the body and the guards:
As you can see the hardware is not all black, so I hit the bolt heads with some rustoleum real quick(you'll see later):
Here's a pic of how they look, I think they look great! they conform to the body curves and angles nicely:
Sure enough, just as advertised, they make a perfect surface for a hi-lift:
I'm going wheeling tomorrow at Hidden Falls Texas, I'll be sure to take some pics of rock sliding and review the results. Since there is plenty of room and a lot of extra hardware, I'm going to drill 2 more holes on each side and add 2 more bolts, just to be sure they can take some abuse!
In closing I must say that the instructions and descriptions definitely need to be updated and clarified by Olympic since the process definitely involved drilling, and they definitely need to provide only the long hardware for future sales. Like I said this might be due to the recent body changes to the JK, and I'm not sure what the new batch will consist of, they might already be updated.
As far as functionality, they look like they'll definitely hold up, between eight bolts on the pinch seem, and the fact that they conform to the panel shape pretty well. I think they'll work out although I'm sure many will still be skeptical of mounting anything like this to body panels instead of the usual body mounts on the frame like most rocker guards, but the 1/4" steel bent at 3 90 degree angles and welded together looks like it'll hold up well.
Anyway, check back for updates and testing, hope this helps!