Rockers and Bumpers by AtoZ Fabrication FINALLY on my 2003 TJ!! -
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-18-2005, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
Just Wade
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 118
Rockers and Bumpers by AtoZ Fabrication FINALLY on my 2003 TJ!!

Here are my rockers and bumpers, made by Zach at AtoZ Fabrication. I am very happy with them.

I have had the bumpers on for some time now, but had to wait on installing the rockers until this week. I finally finished the install of my rockers this afternoon. The 2003 and up TJ's have a problem with the location of the rear screw for many rocker guards, and I had to figure out how I was going to get around it. I got some great advice from members here. I am still "tweaking" and have to make another trip to Lowe's. (None of our several local Home Depots ever seem to have what I need, so I am switching.) I will finish this project this week when I have some more time.

For now, however, here they are, installed by me! I never thought that I would be a do-it-yourself guy with anything beyond changing fluids or brake pads. Thanks to all at JF that have helped me see how much fun drilling holes in my vehicle's body can be!

These are the older AtoZ design with less undercarriage coverage and no internal plates or tie-ins. They still do the job for what I need. Right after these pics were taken I went out and drove over some large rocks and fallen trees; no problems. If I were to drive my heap to Moab I would get the newer ones. Other than extreme usage, these older ones will do just fine. And the bumpers are great, too! I keep wanting to "bump" into a ricer that lives two streets over, but . . . well . . .



Sorry that my pics are so mediocre, but I am a musician, not a photographer. I am doing a write-up on this and have many other pics for it. I will post it here at a later date.

Many thanks to Zach for building such a fine product and providing such great customer service! I will recommend AtoZ to anyone that asks me for advice regarding bumpers and rocker guards.

Last edited by Just Wade; 05-18-2005 at 04:51 PM.
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post #2 of 9 Old 05-18-2005, 05:10 PM
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Looks awesome...Very nice you should get a bb and youll be all set

1997 Jeep Wrangler SE 2.5l 4 cylinder auto, Stock.
Mods to come: 2" Coil lift, 31 MTs, Bumpers, Lights, Skids
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post #3 of 9 Old 05-18-2005, 05:27 PM
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Just Wade,

Those are great pictures! I too have a 2003, what is the problem with the rear screw and how was it solved? Would like to know what I'm in for.
Thanks for the help.
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-18-2005, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
Just Wade
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Originally Posted by jpittman
Just Wade,

Those are great pictures! I too have a 2003, what is the problem with the rear screw and how was it solved? Would like to know what I'm in for.
Thanks for the help.
There was a modification to the tub where the floor and side meet near the rear of each front seat.

At that location, a "blister" has been added for some reason; and it is sealed. Unfortunately, a screw hole must be drilled at that location for nearly every rocker brand out there. (For all of the people considering correcting me: Yeah, I know, not all of them have a screw at that location. I said most of them.)

This sealed area makes it impossible to get to the screw from the inside. So several work-arounds have been developed. I went with the easier, messier one.

What I know from my own observations:

This blister is not totally sealed. There is an opening beneath the rear fender flare. These things can be a real "B" to remove. Starting from the front of the flare, there are 8 screws to remove. The first two and the last one are all set into threaded sockets that can not rotate loose. But the remainder are all held in with something else that CAN stick to the screw and rotate with it, causing nothing to happen when you turn the screw.

Anyway, the access hole can be reached by removing the first two screw, but you will have to bend your flare a good bit and brace it away from the body to do it. The hole is about 1" with a rolled-in edge and is covered with a rigid, clear plastic tape. If you choose to go this route to avoid the permanent scarring of your Jeep, then peel the tape off and save it. Clean the area. Do not use a locking (plastic-lined) nut! There is no way to hold it properly while turning the screw!!!!!! I would use something that turns VERY freely. Firmly attach (with duct tape, or some sort of glue, or a spot weld) a solid metal rod to the side of the nut. The rod must be long enough to reach from the hole to the screw, plus about 2" to bend 90 into a handle. Again, the nut must turn very freely. When you have the two nuts set up with the rods, add Loctite the the threads of the nut, Insert into the hole and look for it through the hole that you drilled into the tub. Have the screw in your hand ready to go. When you get the nut into position, carefully thread the screw in by hand as far as you can go and then tighten down as best you can. Break off and remove the rod. Replace the plastic tape. Put your fender flare on.

My flare would not easily come off, so I opted for the alternate method.

Cut a hole in the top of the blister above the screw hole that you drilled using a 1" hole saw. Use your finger to hold the nut and washer to the side of the tub and slide it around until it aligns with the hole on the tub wall. Insert screw with Loctite and tighten down as possible. Clean up hole in top of blister with a file. Touch up paint around the edge. Insert a nice 1" plastic cover to hide your ugly hole and seal it from water. This is much easier and faster that the first method. With all of the black plastic in the TJ, the two black plastic covers really do not stand out at all.

Now let me go upload some pics of this problem area for you. I will put them in another post in this thread.

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post #5 of 9 Old 05-18-2005, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
Just Wade
Join Date: Aug 2004
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The Offending "Blister" Blocking Rear Screws for Rock Sliders in 2003 and up TJ's

Here is the "blister" of which I speak.

Here is where the "hidden" access hole is located.

Here is what the plug will look like after you are finished, if you end up drilling. For the photo I used a metal one to make it easier to see against the dark green paint. My "real" plugs are black nylon from Lowe's.


The method of using the stick through the "hidden" access hole beneath the flare is a twist on how ROKMEN does it. I called to see how they got around this problem (since a JF member claimed that his ROKMEN sliders came with instructions and parts for this specific challenge). I was interested in buying a set of their sliders and wanted to know whether I would be on my own dealing with this problem.

Their solution is really slick; I hope that Zach and others copy it.

Zach included two "nuts" that are more like barrels and are round rather than hex-shaped. I had heard that Zach has been giving out good advice regarding this problem, so I thought that these might have been an early nod in that direction. I simply put some spray adhesive on both sides of the washer and stuck it to my fingertip and the round nut. I then put my finger/washer/nut into the 1" hole, lined it up through the screw hole, pressed it to the inside of the tub wall, and screwed in the fastener as far as I could by hand. Then I tightened it down with my hex key. I used blue Loctite.

I will NOT be changing these AtoZ sliders off of this TJ. I intend to keep them for good. When I called about the ROKMEN sliders I implied that I would be looking at them seriously in a few months. Since then, I have found out about Zach's improved design. If I really do trade in my SE for an X this summer, I was intending to use the ROKMEN sliders on the new ride. But what I learned about Zach's improved design makes me want to stay with his company.

I don't intend to wheel my SE out in Moab. But if I get that used 2003 X and can get a D44 and some lockers then Moab might be in my near future. The ROKMEN sliders would perform better in that more abusive environment than my older AtoZ's if I take repeated, heavy hits to the rails. But Zach's new design is more to my liking. So, if I get a 6cyl this summer I will put AtoZ stuff all over it.

Last edited by Just Wade; 05-18-2005 at 08:16 PM.
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post #6 of 9 Old 05-19-2005, 07:33 AM
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Just Wade,

Thank you again for the excellent pictures and the description of what to do. I'm sure there are others that are thanking you as well.
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post #7 of 9 Old 05-19-2005, 09:43 AM
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"The method of using the stick through the "hidden" access hole beneath the flare is a twist on how ROKMEN does it"
I have the Rokmen sliders and they refer to that part as a "nutstick". It's a bolt welded to a metal stick. Worked great.

Hey, your Jeep looks great! Good job
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post #8 of 9 Old 05-19-2005, 10:16 AM
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Looks good man. A lot of people here have the AtoZ rockers, not sure how many have his bumpers. I have had both on mine for over a year now. Time for some new pictures I guess...

Chester Bullock,
98 TJ, pics are online
1" ProComp springs, 31" BFG AT's, AtoZ Fab Rockers and bumpers
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post #9 of 9 Old 05-23-2005, 04:34 PM
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Thank you very much for the very descriptive and informative post! It will be very useful for me in a near future when I install some sliders!

It's really nice to have so good fellow Jeepers like you to help the newbies with our mods.

Thanks again!!
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