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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i recently bought the smittybilt side steps. i got them from 4x4.com for 149.99 shipped to my door. bought them thursday night and they were at my door tuesday at 3 when i got off work. so shipping was fast, and done by UPS. i wont buy anything if its shipped by fedex or by usps. i cant stand them.


PROS:THEY ARE CHEAP. cheaper than any other brand and they are the ONLY brand i could find that came in textured and not just powercoated. i wanted textured to match my bumpers and all my other stuff. they look great. has a plastic no slip step on them that has smittybilt written into it, the textured power coat looks great and is sturdy. i have no doubt that the paint will stay on and beautiful for a long long time. and install was easy(ill give a full write up on it in a sec) also they are pretty dang sturdy. they came in and i had my doubts cause they were pretty light weight. but once they were bolted up i (160 lbs) was jumping on them and rocking my jeep back and forth on them. so they are sturdy and they do not wobble not even a tiny bit. witch is awesome.


CONS: idk if its supposed to be this way or it was a mess up in the factory. but they offset the step part from the center. which is good cause it located the center of the step part where you will be putting your foot to step into the jeep. only problem is they offset on a few inches to the front of the jeep and they offset the other a few inches to the back of the jeep. and they are offset the exact same length too. i think someone in the factory did one side backwards. i havent called smittybilt yet but i will. ALSO they are not perfectly parallel with the side of the jeep. the back end of the step is out about an inch to an inch and a half farther than the front end. on both the steps. so their attention to detail dimensionaly leaves something to be desired. i will say this however. both of these issues you will not notice unless you SPECIFICALY look for them as i did. and the issue of not being parallel you cant even tell unless you break out the tape measure, without it they look straight and normal to the naked eye. so i will be calling smittybilt to talk to them but not too worried about it. to me they look great except for thougs 2 details i told you about thay are NOT noticable unless you know they are there and you SPECIFILY look for them.


ALL IN ALL: i like them despite the cons. the paint is great and they are sturdy and cheap, and if i had to make the purchas again i would have bought smittybuilt. however if you have some extra money or you dont only want a textured side step (because no one else seems to make them) i say buy a different brand.


INSTALL: install was easy and i did it all by my self. no partner to help me. on the yj there is ONE location and ONE location only that you can put this step. there in NO play left or right at all. the back part goes directly behind the body mount between it and the tire leaving about 3 inches of space between it and the tire(i have 31 inch tires) if you try to put it in front of the body mount it runs out of room in the front to bolt to the frame. however, the only location it can fit is the perfect location for it so thats good. if your working by yourself do as i did.
step1: hold it up there and mark of the bottom holes. (ONLY ONE) take the step down drill the hole and tap it with the self tapping screw.
step2: hold it up there and screw in the first screw. move to the other side and mark (ONE) bottom hole this will help with gettting the right vertical location on the frame for all the self tapping bolts to fit good. take the step down, drill and tap the second hole.
step3: put the step back up and bolt it on the 2 holes you have made then center punch the other 3 holes on both sides (MAKE SURE YOU CENTER PUNCH IN THE CENTER AND GET EVERY ONE PERFECT!!!)
step 4: take the step down and drill all the rest of the holes. then put the step back up with the 2 bolts you have already threaded, line it up to the rest of the holes you have drilled and start one by one tapping the rest of the holes with your self tapping screws. DO NOT TIGHTEN THE BOLTS ALL THE WAY!!!!! this will help when alighning the holes in the step with the holes in the frame that you drilled. (also applying locktight to the bolt as you put them in there is a great thing to do because you cannot tighten the bolts super tight on this)
step 4: tighten down all 8 bolts SNUG but do NOt wrench on them hard you WILL pull the threads out and ruin it. the loctight will keep them from backing out and your step will still be no wobble and really sturdy
 

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RIP one good jeeper
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Not to rain on your parade but the texture stinks. Mine wore off within a month. I grabbed some 1.5" wide grip tape for ladders at my local home improvement center and finished what smittybilt started.
And it doesn't matter how well you follow the directions, the self tappers will break loose. Save the time and install one or two to hold it and weld it on.


Thorough write up!!
 

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It's not often I disagree with Canman but I'm this case I say welding them on is not a good direction. Not with the nerf bars anyways. The rocker guards Canman runs I would be fine with, but not need bars and here's why.

If and WHEN you smash them on something hard, they will dent, your tub. You will end up with more body damage because of a nerf bar, than without them. At that point you will wish you hadn't welded them on when your trying to cut them off.

Just my 2cents and experiencing it happening to a buddy. Great write up though! They look good.
 

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Chuck,

It was my understanding that the nerf bars are strictly a step and not to be smashed on the rocks. Based on that, before my steps saw the rocks the rigors of daily use warranted the bolts stripped and it started sagging.



 

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back when I had an XJ, I had Olympic bars that also used self-tappers... I had the same problem Anti did... but rather than welding (I wanted easier to remove if needed) I drilled a hole through both sides of the frame and just used longer bolts with washers and lock nuts.

but be careful on the driver side... get the fuel and brake lines out of the way before you start drilling :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
back when I had an XJ, I had Olympic bars that also used self-tappers... I had the same problem Anti did... but rather than welding (I wanted easier to remove if needed) I drilled a hole through both sides of the frame and just used longer bolts with washers and lock nuts.

but be careful on the driver side... get the fuel and brake lines out of the way before you start drilling :eek:
i considered drilling all the way through. but i would have had to go but a longer drill bit and that would have costed more money. and as a broke college man its hard enough just to but the side steps let alone new tools.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Not to rain on your parade but the texture stinks. Mine wore off within a month. I grabbed some 1.5" wide grip tape for ladders at my local home improvement center and finished what smittybilt started.
And it doesn't matter how well you follow the directions, the self tappers will break loose. Save the time and install one or two to hold it and weld it on.


Thorough write up!!
i considered the welding option. only probablem would be removal and the fact that im in college and only have basic tools. no welder or grinder or anything like that. no shop. i do all my work in the parking lot. and yes it sucks sooooooo much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Chuck,

It was my understanding that the nerf bars are strictly a step and not to be smashed on the rocks. Based on that, before my steps saw the rocks the rigors of daily use warranted the bolts stripped and it started sagging.
i sure hope that what i did will keep them holding for a good while. i dont do any rock climbing. thats not really me. i like trails and mudd riddin. no deep water though cause this is my DD and im in college so if something bad happens like i get water in my engine im screwed. but for my purposes i think it will hold good enogh. and worse comes to worse ill drill all the way through the frame and use longer bolts and nuts.
 

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i considered drilling all the way through. but i would have had to go but a longer drill bit and that would have costed more money. and as a broke college man its hard enough just to but the side steps let alone new tools.
a small square (like the carpenter tool) a ruler and some sort of marking device - a little time measuring, then drill from one side, then the other :thumbsup:
 

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Chuck,

It was my understanding that the nerf bars are strictly a step and not to be smashed on the rocks. Based on that, before my steps saw the rocks the rigors of daily use warranted the bolts stripped and it started sagging.
Yes they are stictly a step, not to be smashed, and I can't imagine anyone ever intends to smash them, but just speaking from experience if you wheel it, it's going to happen. My buddy regrets the day he put them on due to the dent in the bottom of his tj tub.

I don't care for nerf bars for this very reason.

On the other hand a slider setup like your have Canman I wouldn't imagine without being welded on. They're heavier and meant to take a hit.
 
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