This will be a step-by-step “restoration” process for the factory rock rails on my Overland. I will show how to remove them from the frame, disassembly, preparation for painting/rust removing, and using Duplicolor Truck Bedliner to paint them black. It’s a good project to take on if your rails are sun faded, rusted, or you just want to give them a different look! Takes about 2-3 days to do it right. Shout out to Compcrasher86 for the idea and great advice
Things you will need:
Purple Power degreaser
1 can of Rustoleum “Rust Reformer” (depending on how much rust you have)
2 cans of Duplicolor Truck Bedliner
Removing the rails from the frame of the Jeep is a very easy process. There are 6 bolts holding each rail (3 on each end) to the frame. Spray some PB blaster on the bolts and let it soak for a little, then remove each of the bolts using the 1/2” socket.
Once the rails are removed from the frame, note the bolts holding the mounting bracket to the rail itself, these are also ½”. Next, note the 2 screws holding the end caps to the rail, these are 5/16th.
To apply the bedliner to all the parts, it would be best to disassemble everything and paint each piece individually. I attempted to do so, but broke the head off one of the bolts that holds the mounting bracket to the rail (pictured below).
Therefore, I just removed the end caps, leaving the mounting brackets attached to the rails.
At this point, I noticed a good amount of rust where the end caps meet the rail.
This is where the Rust Reformer comes in. This product is made to bond to the rust and “reform” or “transform” it into a paintable surface while preventing future rust. First, I sanded the major rust spots using 150-grit sandpaper. After a few minutes of sanding, I noticed that the rust didn’t penetrate the metal too far which was good! Next, I sprayed the whole rail with Purple Power and wiped it down with a microfiber cloth to get rid of the fine dust and grease. Finally, I sprayed one coat of the Rust Reformer on the areas I sanded down. (Some people might want to spray the entire rail with this product if the whole rail is compromised with rust) Let this dry over night to ensure a good bond.
After taking care of the rust on the rails, I still had a good chunk of the day left so I decided to clean/sand/paint the end caps. I followed this process: degrease, sand, degrease, paint. Four easy steps that make a big difference! First, wiped down all the caps to get rid of grease and dirt, then sanded them using 150-grit sandpaper, degreased again, and finally painted using the Duplicolor Truck Bedliner. Now, I did decided to tape off the inner portion of the caps (pictured below) since each cap indicates it’s placement on the rails (FR, FL, RR, RF) and the bedliner would cover that. This part is of course, optional.
Finally, I decided to do 3 coats because A) I liked the texture and B) it would provide more protection since the caps are just plastic.
That wrapped up day 1!