Ok, they are really done now. I got the stainless hardware I needed for the sides, and picked up some Clear Outdoor Acrylic caulking to seal them up. I talk about this more in the write-up here
I made new sandwich plates for the insides because a couple didn't fit right. I also went ahead and made sandwich plates for the sides too, which is something I have never seen in an aftermarket set.. so NYAH-NYAH to all them!
For the paint I did 3 coats of primer and 3 coats of paint.
I learned a few things about paint this time around..
1: 3 coats is "enough" but I would prefer 5 or more. The paint is still fairly thin, but I assume I will need to touch it up on the bottoms after using them offroad no matter what, so this is not a big deal.
1: Get a paint can trigger thingy.. Something you attach to the top of the can that adds a handle and trigger. My fingers hurt real bad after all that painting, and that would have made it much easier. Maybe it's just Tremclad.. but the nozzle is pretty stiff.
2: Painting inside gaps is hard. the paint is really thin on the part of the tubes that face the body because it was hard to get in there. If I was prepared better I could have hung the rockers so I would be able to spray better at that angle.
3: Glyptal is CRAZY stuff. It dries to an almost rubbery finish at first, and takes about 72 hours to dry completely to a hard-ish finish. When I coated the inside of the stand-offs with it it made a huge mess. I regret not preparing more (tape tape and more tape) for this step, but I am really glad I did because there's no better way to coat inside something like that. After I learned my lesson the 2nd rocker went a lot smoother than the 1st.
4: 12 hours from final coat to install is not *near* enough time. I knew the paint wouldn't be fully set yet, so I was careful.. but I still messed up the paint pretty bad in a few places. especially where the counter sunk bolts sit. I will need to remove the bolts, mask off and repaint those later. I can't remove the rockers from the jeep anymore because they are glued on with acrylic and I don't want to try to clean that up if I remove them. Next project I do the paint will sit for 48 hours+ before I touch it.
Some other lessons learned:
1: Cut the holes in the stand-offs before welding them to the rockers. I could have just put them in a drill press.. once they were welded to the rockers, it was too much of a pain to drill them so I used a plasma torch. This worked ok because I found the right setting that would burn through the 1st layer, but not the 2nd... but it made a nasty mess inside.
2: While 1" seems like enough space between the tubes and rockers, it's very difficult to weld. It's great because I don't get the back of my leg dirty every time I hop out of the jeep, but it's very hard to weld properly.
I'm very pleased with the results. Cows are less beefy. They look good, work great as a hi-lift point, and will perform great offroad.
Here's a few more pictures.
Old hardware (before I got the stainless outside bolts)
Sandwich plates including the new side ones, and the new hardware
Clear Acrylic to seal them