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Discussion Starter #21
I checked last night (and tried to do some photos put it was raining and dark, and they aren't the best). My skid plates (Rockhard's) are underneath the LoD rails. As I dredge the install experience out of my memory, I think I tried them both ways and decided that I wanted to have my skid plates more tucked up, and the rails slightly lower. And in either case there were one or two bolts that benefited from a washer spacer between the Jeep frame rails and the LoD mounting tabs.
 

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Reviving this old thread as I have some LoD sliders set to arrive on Monday. I also need to decide what to do with respect to the stackup of skids and the slider mounts. I have an extra wrinkle in that I'm considering adding the Rock Hard transfer case and gas tank skids, though I currently do not have those (only have the engine/trans skid currently). I figure if I put the LoD mounts directly against the frame I can just put any and all skids on the bottom (i.e. closer to the ground). To put the LoD mounts lowest to the ground, I'd probably need to order those other skids to get the LoD holes located properly for drilling.

I'm considering just pulling the trigger to have all hardware on hand to play around with and drill the LoD holes wherever I prefer. Any thoughts are appreciated, particularly from those of you who have run Rock Hard skids and LoD sliders (or perhaps similar bolt on sliders that use the same factory mounting points).

And with all this added mass I may need to throw the Dynatrac Pro Grip brake kit in the cart too...
 

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I have the rockhard skids and the LOD sliders. I put the skid tabs on the bottom. I have to remove the skids pretty frequently and never remove the sliders so wanted the skids on bottom.
 

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I have the rockhard skids and the LOD sliders. I put the skid tabs on the bottom. I have to remove the skids pretty frequently and never remove the sliders so wanted the skids on bottom.
Thanks, in looking back through this thread closer I see it has been done both ways, but I like your logic of being more likely to need to remove the skids for maintenance than the sliders. And I also see the rockhard skids in your install photo now. Any oddities with the rock hard and LoD the way you installed them, or pretty straight forward?
 

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It's been a few years. My memory is fading but I cant recall any issues related to the sliders. I do remember a couple of the gas tank skid bolts not aligned just right.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #28
I actually cannot recall how I stacked them. Whatever I did works fine, and you are correct that where you place everything in relationship to each other impacts where you drill the holes for the sliders. Happy to try to get pics and post them if you like.
 

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Working on the initial fit check and finding I have a bit over a 1/8" gap between the side wall of the frame and the big square slider mounting surface, on the middle mount passenger side. The gap is biggest at the bottom edge of the frame, and the top of this bracket is touching the side of the frame, so this face of the slider mount is angled a bit relative to the frame.

That might indicate I just need to line them up better (tilt the outer edge of the slider down and bring the bottom edge in), but it doesn't look like that will work. The other two mounts are pretty much flush and parallel to the side of the frame, and all 3 mounts are flush to the bottom of the frame (well, this middle mount sits down off the frame itself slightly because of the factory nut-clip in the mounting hole, so this tab is squeeze up against the bottom of that clip). But if I tilt the slider to correct this middle mount, it seems the other two would then be off.

And I can't just push the bottom edge of that middle mount inboard further, because the other nearby rear mount is already pressing into the frame (preventing pushing the slider inboard any further). Furthermore even if I could push that middle lower tab in further, the slot in the tab would then overshoot the hole in the frame with the nut-clip that the bolt is supposed to thread into. That problem could be solved by opening up the slot on the slider a bit, but I don't think I can even get it pushed in due to the above problem of the other mounts already being against the frame.

I know some small gaps like this can be closed just by torquing down hardware and basically just flexing the metal to fit snugly, but I'm hesitant to just mark holes on the sliders as is, start drilling, and hope for the best. Given the "you only get one shot" situation with this install, drilling and tapping a bunch of new holes. This gap is just a bit big to feel comfortable doing that, if it was say 1/16 rather than 1/8 I would feel better about just going for it.

I'll continue fiddling with the location to see if I can improve it, it is pretty hard to make precise adjustments between the floor jack supporting most of the weight, and that gas tank holder squeezing real tight on that lower middle slider tab (have to pry the gas skid down to easily adjust the position of the slider).

Photos attached. The one with two bottom holes is the rear bracket which is flush to frame side and bottom, the one with the close up of the blue clamp is the front which is also flush to frame side and bottom, and then the other two bracket photos are of the middle one with the gap. Looking for any pointers or suggestions you guys might have. Hopefully I can figure it out and finish the install this weekend, though if I remain stuck I may have to wait to call LoD on Monday.
 

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Working on the initial fit check and finding I have a bit over a 1/8" gap between the side wall of the frame and the big square slider mounting surface, on the middle mount passenger side. The gap is biggest at the bottom edge of the frame, and the top of this bracket is touching the side of the frame, so this face of the slider mount is angled a bit relative to the frame.

That might indicate I just need to line them up better (tilt the outer edge of the slider down and bring the bottom edge in), but it doesn't look like that will work. The other two mounts are pretty much flush and parallel to the side of the frame, and all 3 mounts are flush to the bottom of the frame (well, this middle mount sits down off the frame itself slightly because of the factory nut-clip in the mounting hole, so this tab is squeeze up against the bottom of that clip). But if I tilt the slider to correct this middle mount, it seems the other two would then be off.

And I can't just push the bottom edge of that middle mount inboard further, because the other nearby rear mount is already pressing into the frame (preventing pushing the slider inboard any further). Furthermore even if I could push that middle lower tab in further, the slot in the tab would then overshoot the hole in the frame with the nut-clip that the bolt is supposed to thread into. That problem could be solved by opening up the slot on the slider a bit, but I don't think I can even get it pushed in due to the above problem of the other mounts already being against the frame.

I know some small gaps like this can be closed just by torquing down hardware and basically just flexing the metal to fit snugly, but I'm hesitant to just mark holes on the sliders as is, start drilling, and hope for the best. Given the "you only get one shot" situation with this install, drilling and tapping a bunch of new holes. This gap is just a bit big to feel comfortable doing that, if it was say 1/16 rather than 1/8 I would feel better about just going for it.

I'll continue fiddling with the location to see if I can improve it, it is pretty hard to make precise adjustments between the floor jack supporting most of the weight, and that gas tank holder squeezing real tight on that lower middle slider tab (have to pry the gas skid down to easily adjust the position of the slider).

Photos attached. The one with two bottom holes is the rear bracket which is flush to frame side and bottom, the one with the close up of the blue clamp is the front which is also flush to frame side and bottom, and then the other two bracket photos are of the middle one with the gap. Looking for any pointers or suggestions you guys might have. Hopefully I can figure it out and finish the install this weekend, though if I remain stuck I may have to wait to call LoD on Monday.
that jars the memory and I believe mine did the same. I What I remember doing is taping the ones that were flush and then mount the slider and then tap the side hole that sits off a bit and tighten it down and then mark the bottom hole remove everything and then tap the bottom hole. I think a little gap will not hurt you. I actually remember now having to oval out one or two of the holes on the slider.
 

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that jars the memory and I believe mine did the same. I What I remember doing is taping the ones that were flush and then mount the slider and then tap the side hole that sits off a bit and tighten it down and then mark the bottom hole remove everything and then tap the bottom hole. I think a little gap will not hurt you. I actually remember now having to oval out one or two of the holes on the slider.
Thanks, good to know I'm not the only one. I follow what you're saying, and yeah maybe if I can get all the other holes bolted up tight on the front and rear mounts that fit well, then drill and tap the side hole on this middle mount with the gap, maybe cranking down on that bolt would pull the slider in tight to the frame.

I don't need to tap the bottom hole on this middle mount in question as it uses the existing gas tank skid bolt with a nut clip already installed in an oversized hole in the frame. I would probably have to widen out the slot on that foot of the slider though, once I push it in further the edge of the slot will be under the nut clip where the bolt is supposed to be.

What's the best way to widen a slot like that, just have at it with a larger drill bit? Seems the bit would tend to wobble around in a slot.
 

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I used a dremil tool and also a round file. You will find the frame steel is really hard so have good drill bits on hand.
 

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Fit checked the driver side today, similar issues, though the worst gap isn't quite as big as the worst on the passenger side. I've determined the main issue is that the big square flanges that mount to the side of the frame are somewhat warped, they aren't quite flat. Not sure if this is an artefact of the process of bending the lower tabs 90dg or what. But it seems even if I proceed with the install and torque down on the hardware, there will still be gaps between the slider flange and the frame. I could see this with the one long bolt that goes through the frame, I torqued it pretty good but the gap wouldn't close because those side flanges of the slider are about 0.3" thick, so they aren't going to flex easily. Bottom view of this joint and the middle one attached showing how one part of the flange is in contact with the frame while the other edge has a gap.

Maybe this is par for the course, I don't know. I do believe not having a greater percentage of those side flanges in flush contact with the frame will allow more bending forces to load the bolts, rather than pure tension. The flush mount would prevent any rotation, but with a gap there could be small rotations with heavy loads like dropping onto a rock.

I'm sure I could go ahead and install them and they will be quite strong, cetainly at least for anything short of heavy drops which I'm honestly not going to be trying to do if I can avoid it. But I think I'll at least call LoD and have them tell me these warped surfaces and resulting gaps are "normal". All holes are marked and ready to drill if I decide to go for it.
 

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Fit checked the driver side today, similar issues, though the worst gap isn't quite as big as the worst on the passenger side. I've determined the main issue is that the big square flanges that mount to the side of the frame are somewhat warped, they aren't quite flat. Not sure if this is an artefact of the process of bending the lower tabs 90dg or what. But it seems even if I proceed with the install and torque down on the hardware, there will still be gaps between the slider flange and the frame. I could see this with the one long bolt that goes through the frame, I torqued it pretty good but the gap wouldn't close because those side flanges of the slider are about 0.3" thick, so they aren't going to flex easily. Bottom view of this joint and the middle one attached showing how one part of the flange is in contact with the frame while the other edge has a gap.

Maybe this is par for the course, I don't know. I do believe not having a greater percentage of those side flanges in flush contact with the frame will allow more bending forces to load the bolts, rather than pure tension. The flush mount would prevent any rotation, but with a gap there could be small rotations with heavy loads like dropping onto a rock.

I'm sure I could go ahead and install them and they will be quite strong, cetainly at least for anything short of heavy drops which I'm honestly not going to be trying to do if I can avoid it. But I think I'll at least call LoD and have them tell me these warped surfaces and resulting gaps are "normal". All holes are marked and ready to drill if I decide to go for it.
you are fine. it is a jeep not a bmw so we have tolerances that are exactly like what you are seeing. I dropped mine so hard that I thought my fillings would fall out and never an issue.
 

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You know you're probably right. My real problem likely has been insufficient useage of cold beverages to prevent overthinking. Maybe plowing some holes through steel will be a nice way to blow off steam after work tomorrow.

I do have a 6 pack of the big 25/64" cobalt bits to use, an assortment of smaller cobalt bits for pilot holes, 2 taps in case one gets screwed up and the little ratchet refrigerator wrench to turn the tap in the tight confines.
 

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You know you're probably right. My real problem likely has been insufficient useage of cold beverages to prevent overthinking. Maybe plowing some holes through steel will be a nice way to blow off steam after work tomorrow.

I do have a 6 pack of the big 25/64" cobalt bits to use, an assortment of smaller cobalt bits for pilot holes, 2 taps in case one gets screwed up and the little ratchet refrigerator wrench to turn the tap in the tight confines.
the ratchet will be invaluable. here is something odd I found it easier drilling without the pilot holes but also found that make sure you get the center punch exactly in the center of the hole. I remember now having some issues with that. I have a spring loaded center punch and some times that dang thing would slip out of the center. I found some times I had better luck with the old fashioned center punch and a hammer. use lots of cutting lubricant drilling and taping.
 

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Having a grand 'ol time slowly working towards getting these installed. Ran the gap photos by LOD just for some extra peace of mind and they said to be expected, don't worry about it. Fiddled with the fit a bit more and decided to install per instructions with the transfer case skid and my front driver side Rock Hard skid extension (in lieu of the stock auto trans cross bar) sandwiched between the slider tab and the frame. The slider was tilted up slightly from rear to front with all tabs tight to the frame, so dropping the front under the skids leveled them out. I'm hoping the Rock Hard transfer case skid isn't much thicker than the stock one on that mounting tab when I upgrade, looks like the same design at that mounting point in photos. Worst case I figure I could grind the Rock Hard tab down a bit to be the same thickness.

It's a good thing I shifted the sliders that little bit lower, because after I marked the hole centers a final time and punched them all (with old fashioned hammer and punch), and checked the fit of my drill, I found it is very tight between the body of the drill and the pinch seam. Was getting dark by that point, but I think the smaller of my two drills (have a compact Milwaukee 2701-20 that I bought before later standardizing on DeWalt with a DCD991) might barely fit with the bit level on the rear holes that are up the highest. But it's really awfully close for comfort, I'll have to look a lot closer in the daylight to make sure I'll be able to keep the bit level.

A longer bit would help push the larger diameter part of the drill further back away from the pinch seem to clear it, maybe I can try shifting the bit out a bit from the very base of the chuck, though probably don't want to push that too far. Could something like a beefy drill bit extender be used in a fairly heavy duty drilling application like this?

Couple other things I did after reading some other install write ups, I picked up a 1/4"x3" MPT brass nipple which has about a 0.5" OD that fits pretty tightly in the slider holes. Then a 21/64" drill bit fit fairly snugly to the ID of that little piece of pipe to allow for a fairly accurate marking of the center of the hole. This was helpful for the side wall holes that are awkward to mark around the bulk of the slider itself. The nipple I bought must've been a bit smaller ID than the one I saw in the other write up, as they recommended fitting a 3/8" bit inside, but I found that too large, measured the ID at 0.34" with calipers.

I also picked up a couple 3/8" cobalt bits after reading that going straight to the final 25/64" size you may get a bit of wobble and have a slightly oval hole. Starting a bit smaller at 3/8" then finishing with 25/64" was said to help keep it closer to circular to get more uniform thread depth. But my 3/8" bits are shorter than my 25/64" ones, so I may have to abandon the 3/8" plan to help with the pinch seam interference.
 

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So I finally completed the install last weekend.

Couple things I found, one is that all tips for drilling steel tell you to not go too fast. Well, I found I think I was actually going too slow to start. I made much better progress when I upped the RPMs a bit, still pretty slow, but not right down at the very bottom end of the drill's speed. So trying a variety of speeds to find the sweet spot is the ticket.

I think I also had bits of varying sharpness in the 6 pack I bought, of the large final size. One of them that I eventually switched to seemed to work quite a bit better than a couple prior ones.

As for pilot holes, a single smallish hole like 1/8", then going from that up to full size, worked well for me. On one hole I made the mistake of trying 1/4" in between and it didn't work well. 1/8" was also small enough to really be very easy to drill.

I did end up with a couple holes barely misaligned enough to need to widen the slider thru holes a bit, and a round rough file made short work of that.

I ended up mounting the slider tab lowest to the ground at the overlap points with the stock gas tank skid and transfer case skid. For the front mounting hole I put the slider skid closest to the ground under my RockHard engine/trans skid's little side extension on the driver side. Then on the passenger side I sandwiched a ~1/8" washer between frame bottom and slider to take the place of the stock transmission crossbar/skid that had been replaced by the RockHard. Yet to be seen if the RockHard transfer case skid end tab has the same thickness as the stock one or whether I'd have to grind it down to fit in the now fixed gap between frame and slider tab. But this mounting scheme gave me the most level/parallel position of the slider relative to the lower body line. I initially planned to have the slider tight to the frame bottom at all points but it wasn't level like that.

So far I have left the cosmetic dimple plates off. I started installing them but didn't like how the plate tended to flex/bow a bit when the bolts were tightened, as it caused the plate to not quite run flat and parallel to the main rail, and the narrow ends of the plate would stick out a bit. Almost to the point where I'd worry about catching the front edge on a rock and maybe bending it if I were sliding along a rock with a sharp face.

I think they look fine without the plates, though I think the plates look good too so may try fiddling with them again at some point. I've also heard those plates collect rocks and mud so suppose that is one benefit of leaving them off.

Anyways, after getting them all bolted up, my initial worries about the less than perfect flatness of the mounting flanges and resulting small gaps did end up being overblown. These things are extremely secure and probably would be even with only half the number of bolts.
 

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Nice. I’ve been running the bolt on LODs for a while now. They have taken some abuse and have held up very well. I do have to touch them up with rattle can bed liner from time to time though. They don’t seem to flex as much as some others I’ve seen. Couple of buddies have EVO sliders and you can see where they’ve flexed into the body rocker panels.
 

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Nice. I’ve been running the bolt on LODs for a while now. They have taken some abuse and have held up very well. I do have to touch them up with rattle can bed liner from time to time though. They don’t seem to flex as much as some others I’ve seen. Couple of buddies have EVO sliders and you can see where they’ve flexed into the body rocker panels.
Thanks. Do you find the bed liner you use is a good visual match to LoD's powder coat texture and color? If so could you recommend the specific brand? That's one thing I've been thinking I'll have to figure out.
 
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