With Bill Johnston
Rock Biters!From Zuks Off Road
Protection is important for many reasons. Whether you have a rock crawler or a street cruiser, any additional protection for a Samurai is worth the effort. Zuks Off Road has a new product that makes the installation of rocker protection a lot easier. For those drivers that try to retain that 'stock look', these are the perfect fit. The Samurai to the right has them installed... can you tell? The Rock Biter Kit is complete with the bolts required to install them right away, or you can weld them onto the frame for more solid protection. The rails start life as a sheet of cold rolled 1/4" steel. After getting punched out with a CNC machine it gets folded using a 100 ton press. Good and stout for whatever you whack them with. The legs are formed and drilled for the attachment bolts. The Rock Biters are delivered in a clean, raw steel form, so the first thing on the list is to protect them with a good paint covering. For street cruisers, consider a powder coating or even match the body color. But for anything that could see a few obstacles, a decent primer and rattle can covering that can be touched up easily works better and will turn out to be more convenient.
The stock rubber rocker cover can be removed quickly, but then you find the molding retainer channel that is under it. For all other rocker protection, this channel has to be cut or ground off the body. The Rock Biters cover these up. You can also see the seam that forms a sharp edge below the rocker in the photo to the upper right. This seam must be folded back to allow a solid seat for the Rock Biter. You can do this with a hammer. Once the seam is folded back, remove the plastic fenders. These will have to be trimmed to fit back into place once the Rock Biters are installed. The legs fit up against the underside of the body and attach to the frame using the bolts provided. The bolts holes that go through the frame will require a little more preparation. It is best to sleeve those by welding in a strengthening tube so that the frame does not crush as you torque them down. We welded our Rock Biters directly to the frame for added strength.
A final coat of paint is easy to apply before starting on the fenders. The stock fenders have a small notch exactly where the new rocker comes out from the body. The new rocker is about 2" deep, so you need to trim the fender to fit around it. The best way to mark the cutout is with a piece of cardboard. Using a dremel was the easiest way to cut the fenders. We installed these on a vehicle that already had aftermarket fender flares installed, and the trimming was handled exactly the same way. These pictures show the difference (or how little difference) there is between stock rockers and Rock Biters. Can you tell the difference without clicking on the pictures? The installation came out really nice and complimented the look of the vehicle. But now there are no worries when driving up that ledge or through that boulder field.
Zuks Off Road 586 Azure Drive Camp Verde, AZ 86322
Phone (714) 488-2272