DIY: 29erClan's Step Rails - Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums (2005+)
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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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DIY: 29erClan's Step Rails

So I was gonna just buy some of these things when the Shrock group buy came up last week but things just didn't work out that way. Convinced my wife we should spend $500 and everything. Then it took almost a week before the discount code was revealed and by then we had time to read more. Long story short, a pay now receive in 2-3 months timeline was already a hard sell. Once she learned it was indefinite and historically much longer, (not to mention often deceptive, "just 3 more weeks...", that's the feather on the camel's back right here), the hard sell turned into "WTF!? were YOU lying to me just to buy these things?". Not really so bad, but having maybe glossed over some parts in hopes of spending the money so I can have the new shiny certainly didn't help that... well... it is what it is. I got nothing bad to say about that product or company. Just than my family will never be a customer for reasons that have nothing to do with product quality.

Anyway, drama aside, I bet y'all know what's coming up next...



If you can't buy 'em, make 'em! I won't call 'em sliders cuz I plan to make them from Eviluminum. Yup, I've read that thread. (Actually spent weeks reading nearly every thread under Tech/Exterior cuz my search skill is a hill 'o beans. Research list in 2nd post, if I do things right...) I know that these are the worst form of poser sliders, but all I really want is a stronger step that is less likely to damage the rocker panels. Seriously, where I live we have to drive 300 miles to get over 20 feet above sea level. Plus I can always make them again later in steel and BAM! they magically become real sliders.

Credit to @mjalaly, I had been looking at his PDF a long time. Found a few inconsistencies, so I'm just gonna start at the beginning. (Hence the frame trace.) So everybody can get out the popcorn or participate, as you wish, and I'll just do my thing until it's done.
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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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An Incomplete History of Sliders...

11-07-2006 RockyMtnX Slider dimensions please
(asking for shrock dimensions)

12-28-2006 RockyMtnX How far do the Shrock sliders stick out?
(asking for shrock dimensions, again)

1-13-2007 norshor Slider Fab Option?? Should I try it??

2-13-2007 pkiddddd New Sliders

3-31-2007 stevet47 Got my Demello DIY Sliders today!
(DIY kit, may not exist anymore)

4-16-2007 RockyMtnX Just another homebrew slider post...(updated pics: finished)
(DIY complete)

6-19-2007 vman Make your own sliders and other gear.

8-15-2007 penski61 0how long are sliders for x?

8-31-2007 contenderv07 difference in Calmini and Shrock

9-11-2007 import silvia welded up some quick sliders

12-24-2007 PrerunnerGreg Sliders/Steps
(The bead locks! Oww, my eyes! )

1-27-2008 contenderv07 Slider Question
(bolt, don't weld)

2-24-2008 OregonX Rocker damage w/ sliders
(1/2" gap to the pinch seam is better than 1/8")

3-4-2008 hall Rocky Road Sliders

4-3-2008 vman Build your own sliders
(4crawler link)

4-23-2008 x-mann Custom Sliders......finally finished AND PAINTED!

5-15-2008 vman Sliders from ROCKY ROAD OUTFITTERS
(frame/body combo mount)

5-28-2008 AzXMan Trail Gear rock sliders... they look great but :o(
(trail gear, SW alternative)

10-3-2008 IZVERG Need some pics of underneath sliders please!

10-16-2008 mcm4090 Sliders from Black Widow Off-Road
(Black Widow Off-Road, SW alternative)

3-19-2009 brutus_skx Rockhumperfabworx Rock Sliders
(different step rail profile, welded)

9-26-2009 Surf and Snow Need Slider Advice! Please?
(Mr. Help Desk as a noob... priceless )

10-12-2009 RockyMtnX Dimensions, please: factory step rails
(another frame/body mount combo, no pics)

11-04-2009 Surf and Snow Sliders in an accident....
(discussion of accident physics)

12-2-2009 Deepend DIY sliders?
(DIY, seems incomplete)

12-10-2009 dezurtrat NXRocks Sliders Back from Powder Coat
(nxrocks, SW alternative)

7-28-2010 SilverX Yet another set of custom sliders...
(nice DIY)

9-9-2010 TomsRedX Beefy Sliders
(beefy, but no working pics)

11-2-2010 highTech Aluminum Sliders
(aluminum sliders - many jokes, some good info, not very positive)

1-13-2011 DaveEd Installed AJ Sliders-PIX
(AJ sliders, 24 holes to drill, cool paint)

5-1-2011 T-REXterra Shrock slider rubs
(IF Shrock rubs THEN cut fender)

5-11-2011 High-Altitude-X Dimensions Help
(request, crickets, just kinda sad)

5-17-2011 SAMI Good sliders for about $200, anywhere???
(good pics and description of $145 DIY)

9-16-2011 BoonDox New tube rock rails
(DIY +locals, $250/set, no further details)

10-24-2011 white06xterra Finally finished my sliders...
(simple DIY w/ pics)

11-11-2011 RockyMtnX Who does NOT run slider regular nerfs
(good pic of crushed OEM step rail)

This is as far as I got when the Shrock group buy popped up.

7-20-2010 SarDog My Turn to Build Some Sliders
(very nice DIY, also his first welding project)

5-23-2011 05x4x4 home built sliders/steps
(DIY w/ typical materials list, no working pics)

7-27-2012 krp8128 Sliders: 2 or 3 Mount Points?

5-23-2013 LonnieL Yet Another Sliders Post
(3 DIY kit links)

10-28-2013 mjalaly DIY Rock Sliders
(I keep referring to this one but forgot to link it, oops...)

10-21-2014 P&P P&P Engineering 2nd Gen Rock Sliders - Mounting Points
("how we mount up")

2-15-2015 jsexton Quick Detach Slider/Steps Build

3-18-2015 BruteX Slider - Weld to Frame?
(Black Widow Gear? holes not matching frame)

4-18-2017 29erClan DIY: 29erClan's Step Rails
(just a little something brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department... )
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Last edited by 29erClan; 05-16-2017 at 10:59 PM. Reason: add/format more list content
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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 07:21 PM
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DIY: 29erClan's Step Rails

Here are the ones I made. If you wheel in the rocks, skip the "quick detach" part. Rocks bend steel and "quick" becomes a lie haha. They worked great before rocks though.

Quick Detach Slider/Steps Build


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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 08:14 PM
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I just ordered sliders today from hardcore offroad. $300 and they are supposed to be done by the end of next week. Not sure what shipping will be for you, as I am picking mine up in person.

I'd like to see what you come up with making your own, based on the other stuff you have made sliders should be no problem. Good luck!


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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsexton View Post
Here are the ones I made. If you wheel in the rocks, skip the "quick detach" part. Rocks bend steel and "quick" becomes a lie haha. They worked great before rocks though.

Quick Detach Slider/Steps Build
Very nice! I added your link to my list. I'm interested in the deformation you mentioned. I may have some questions for you later if you don't mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zach_attack View Post
I just ordered sliders today from hardcore offroad. $300 and they are supposed to be done by the end of next week. Not sure what shipping will be for you, as I am picking mine up in person.

I'd like to see what you come up with making your own, based on the other stuff you have made sliders should be no problem. Good luck!
Thanks for the tip, but I'm not likely to get budget approval on any toys for a while after this past week. Side note, we found a nice new PC for the kids for only $400 so I can theoretically have the $100 difference to put into materials.

Here's what I had based on mjalaly's work up until last week:

Early version came out to 16#, latest update is more like 18#. Still a far cry from the 50-60# I see people claiming the steel ones weigh in at.
I also played with SolidWorks simulation a bit:

It only looks bad cuz the scaling. When I tested the steel it visually looked the same, but the deformation scale was less. Anyway, that 1/4" wall 6061 main tube will deflect about 0.3" under a 6000# load. After running that sim and seeing the frame up close I decided to add the the 3rd mount in the center. Plus I think the 6000# sim load was overkill - it doesn't need to support the entire truck, just tip it up. Anyway, any help making sense of / learning this sim stuff is appreciated. (Worst case I can still just use a bottle jack under the frame to change a tire, no biggie.)

I also measured out from the frame and the mjalaly plan puts the main tube past the pinch seam. I understood that the main tube should deflect up against the entire length of that seam. One linked thread shows a pinch seam damaged in just 2" segments, so I think I understand it right. Keep the tube lined up with the seam, and ideally 1/2" away from it. Any thoughts?
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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 09:20 PM
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DIY: 29erClan's Step Rails

Quote:
Originally Posted by 29erClan View Post
Very nice! I added your link to my list. I'm interested in the deformation you mentioned. I may have some questions for you later if you don't mind.



[snip]



I also measured out from the frame and the mjalaly plan puts the main tube past the pinch seam. I understood that the main tube should deflect up against the entire length of that seam. One linked thread shows a pinch seam damaged in just 2" segments, so I think I understand it right. Keep the tube lined up with the seam, and ideally 1/2" away from it. Any thoughts?

Sure, no problem. Fire away with any questions, I'd be glad to help.


For the main tube, being under the pinch is a good idea in theory, but you may have issues with your outer tubing because of how the body is shaped (depending on what profile you want). It may be tucked under too far.

If you wheel, 1/2" isn't enough. The frame twists just as much if not more than the sliders will flex so you need to factor that in.

I can take pictures of where mine are and where I've bent the pinch seam and my fender.

Edit:
Crap, I body lifted. I'll take pics of the damage and see if I can dig up pics of how close it was to start. I can always measure if I can't find pics.


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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 09:24 PM
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Also, look up maxterra's sliders (might be under maxgear). I'll probably brace the front end similar to how he did. That part flexes a lot.


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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 29erClan View Post
Anyway, any help making sense of / learning this sim stuff is appreciated.
Your understanding of the simulation is accurate i believe. what were your boundary conditions? ie. i'm assuming you grounded the frame mount points with a fixed connection? This kind of stress analysis is pretty straight forward so i think you are good. you can always double check the analysis with a quick hand calc. (great site for this stuff: Bending, Deflection and Stress Equations Calculator for Beam Supported on Both Ends Loaded at any Location | Engineers Edge | www.engineersedge.com)

using the equation from the link above, and using 30" as the support to support length(i think that is too long), i get 1.68" of deflection with the load centered between supports. this is also assuming 1.5" OD tube with .25" wall thickness.


that being said, not knowing your exact dimensions, you might not be too far off.

Nice work so far! you are certainly a person to look up to in terms of making things yourself. I look forward to seeing this project progress.


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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsexton View Post
Sure, no problem. Fire away with any questions, I'd be glad to help.


For the main tube, being under the pinch is a good idea in theory, but you may have issues with your outer tubing because of how the body is shaped (depending on what profile you want). It may be tucked under too far. ...
Thank you sir. I think my second version step was better, (remote access isn't working tonight, no pic) but I should get 2 or 3 rocker panel profiles sketched and measured up to go by. I've got 12" ground to frame and a few numbers to the oem step rails to go on. Seems like a good ballpark so my step doesn't stick out past the tires.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cblaxx19 View Post
Your understanding of the simulation is accurate i believe. what were your boundary conditions? ie. i'm assuming you grounded the frame mount points with a fixed connection? This kind of stress analysis is pretty straight forward so i think you are good. you can always double check the analysis with a quick hand calc. (great site for this stuff: Bending, Deflection and Stress Equations Calculator for Beam Supported on Both Ends Loaded at any Location | Engineers Edge | www.engineersedge.com)

using the equation from the link above, and using 30" as the support to support length(i think that is too long), i get 1.68" of deflection with the load centered between supports. this is also assuming 1.5" OD tube with .25" wall thickness.


that being said, not knowing your exact dimensions, you might not be too far off.

Nice work so far! you are certainly a person to look up to in terms of making things yourself. I look forward to seeing this project progress.
Thank you too, sir. Your guesses are mostly correct. It's hard to see but that sim includes the 5.65" mount posts, the frame end of which were set to be the fixed anchors. (I'm guessing the frame flex is not zero, but close enough for my purposes.)
The distance between mount posts is exactly per mjalaly's pdf, 34.13", but I will be making my own 3post version from my frame trace. My main tube there is 2" sq x 1/4" wall. I look forward to running a new sim with the 3rd mount next chance I get access to solidworks.

You can see in the first model I built from his plan the front mount triangle is backwards. That much I picked up on the second I lay down on the ground and looked up. He also draws brackets at 1/4" thickness but specs them as 5/16" in the BOM, so I conclude that he certainly has far more skill making drawings than me, but is still human.

Again, my plan isn't too make rock capable sliders for now. Just a strong cool-looking and lightweight frame-mounted oem step rail replacement. If it does turn out to be strong enough to hi-lift from, bonus. If not, ok too. Not shooting for the moon here.
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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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3rd leg sim at lunch break. Deformation scale went from 20x to 160x! Total deformation shows 0.04" now. I also changed the sim load to only 3000#. Still, it looks promising.

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Last edited by 29erClan; 05-16-2017 at 11:10 PM. Reason: image swap
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