Best Rock Sliders for a D-90? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old July 14th, 2004, 03:00 AM
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Michael Elliott
1997 D-90 Hardtop (#2369)
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Best Rock Sliders for a D-90?

I recently purchased a 1997 D-90 hardtop for use in Camping, fly fishing, and "moderate" off roading. I already have a Wrangler TJ and 1973 Series 3, both of which are well equiped and which I use for the more abusive off road driving. While I am not going to abuse the D-90, I do plan on using it for what it was designed to do, and it will be off road as often as possible. As a point of reference, I believe the most difficult trail I will be doing in this vehicle is something simliar to the Rubicon--nothing that the vehicle should not be able to handle without some good armor and lockers.

Thus I will be adding air lockers, a winch, and all of the other items necessary for my intended use. My question, for anyone who has an opinion on the matter, is what type/brand of rock sliders do you use and why did you choose that brand or model? So far I have identified models produced by Mantec, Bill Burke, Scorpion Racing, Safari Guard, Rockware, and East Coast Rovers. Unfortunately, I have not been able to actually see any of these in person except the Mantec model so I am making a lot of assumptions based on pictures--something I hate to do. A primary concern in my decision will be chosing a model that does not deflect into the body under the stress of a fairly good hit with a rock. I have the Tomken rock sliders on my TJ and they deflect a good 1/2 to 3/4 inch every time I hit a rock or use the high-lift jack. Not good, but I realize the mounting points on the D-90 are much more solid.

I have been lurking around this site for quite a while now so I know that there is no shortage of opinions on the matter. However, as I have experienced with my other vehicles, sometimes opionions on products change after hard use and time so I thought a new post on the issue might be revealing.

I do have the ability to fabricate and weld up a set if I cannot find exactly what I like. However, I just finished a three year solid project on my S-III and if I spend one more day welding in the garage I may find divorce papers sitting on my chair at the dinner table when I finish...) Thus, for now it is safer to just buy something and get out on the trail.

All suggestions and opionions are welcome. I will try to post a picture of the new rig as time permits.

Michael
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  #2  
Old July 14th, 2004, 08:00 AM
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David Marchand
'97 D90 SW Arles
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Very nice Arles truck! Glad to see someone putting another '97 Arles to use.

I would recommend the Bill Burke sliders. Although mine have been modified slightly for my use, in their basic form, they are an excellent value for the money. www.bb4wa.com

I can't seem to find a close-up but this should do. You can also search the archives. This has been widely discussed.
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  #3  
Old July 14th, 2004, 12:19 PM
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Mike
'97 Defender 90 SW
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I agree. The Bill Burke's are as good as they get. However, I have the Mantec sliders because the price was right. These sliders are stout. Solid mounts. Look good. And my wife likes them because she can step on the 1 inch lip ( about the distance the slider sticks out past the body) to get in the truck. She cursed me after I removed the retractable side steps but now all is well. Anyone interested in a pair of side steps?
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  #4  
Old July 14th, 2004, 12:26 PM
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Simon Marxer
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Mike, where did you buy the Mantec's?
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  #5  
Old July 14th, 2004, 01:05 PM
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Redsrover
None - sadly
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RN carries the Mantec slider for the 90. I can't remember if they advertise it as Mantec in the catalog, but when I opened the crate from RN, it had a Mantec box containing the sliders inside. The easiest install ever, and they are plenty beefy enough for my tastes.
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  #6  
Old July 14th, 2004, 01:45 PM
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DJ Menasco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Elliott
My question, for anyone who has an opinion on the matter, is what type/brand of rock sliders do you use and why did you choose that brand or model? So far I have identified models produced by Mantec, Bill Burke, Scorpion Racing, Safari Guard, Rockware, and East Coast Rovers.
Michael

Youíve basically found just about every mainstream slider your going to next to having someone (or yourself) build you a custom set. That being said, numerous individuals, both users and non-users, have told me that the Bill Burke Sliders are definitely of quality. In fact I donít think Iíve ever heard anyone complain about them. As far as the rest go hereís what information Iíve picked up from my own personal observations and others experiences:

Safari Gard sliders (and I believe Mantec) only mount to the factory tube mount in the rear and to the front outrigger of the frame via a fork mount, which allows them to roll or deflect, given the chance. While a few of my friends have expressed their disappointment with the Safari Gard sliders I canít say the same is true for the Mantec, although their mounting systems are very similar. Ron might be able to let you know the specifics of the Mantec design.

I canít offer any relevant information about the Scorpion Racing, Rockware, or ECR sliders since Iíve never seen them nor met anyone who has used them. Hope this helps out.

DJ
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  #7  
Old July 14th, 2004, 02:58 PM
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Peter
1997 D90
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Bill Burke sliders. Love'em!!!!
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  #8  
Old July 14th, 2004, 06:39 PM
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Arthur Maravelis
97 SW
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The SG and similar ones are just fine if you tack weld them in place. Plus, weld on a 1" wide 1/4"-plate on the bottoms and you have a set as strong as BB's.

You will be far ahead of the dollar game by making your own out of 3/8" tube and beefing up the bottoms.
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  #9  
Old July 15th, 2004, 12:21 AM
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Michael Elliott
1997 D-90 Hardtop (#2369)
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Thanks for all of your input. As I stated before, all things being equal I would just take a day off and weld up a set. Unfortunately, all things are not equal in love and war and I will need a pretty good excuse to get near that welder any time soon.

I can get a set of Mantecs from British Pacific for $279. I live right around the corner from them and have done quite a bit of business there over the last several years due to the rebuild of my Series 3. That seems like a fairly good price and there would be no shipping. I could tack the sale onto additional items (ARB, Air compressor, front skid plate, etc.) and get an even better discount as well.

As for design issues, it seems clear that the front mounting system is the point of difference on all of these models. I did notice in several photographs that the Safari Gard base model only had one bracket on the front mount that appeared to attach to the outrigger bolt. This is what prompted my original concern regarding the design, as on Series trucks no one does this--they are all mounted directly to the outrigger with a U-shaped bracket that is very stout. The Mantec model, in contrast, has two such mounts in the front which I believe attach on each side of the outrigger itself. There is nothing on the bottom under the outrigger though, but it would be very simple to weld a flat piece of metal at an angle between the two, thus bracing the mount and preventing it from rotating up into the body. But now I am talking about welding again.....

As a practical matter, has anyone on the board who has the Mantec model actually bashed them into rocks on a regular basis? If so, do you notice that they deflected in the front and cause body damage, or did they hold up OK? Overall, how did they work off road? Do they stick out enough from the body to sufficiently protect the body?

Thanks again.

Michael

Follow-up Post:

Dave,

I almost forgot--your Arles 97 looks great. It certainly gives me an idea of what my truck can look like. Just out of curiosity, what size are the MTR's in the photo you attached? They look great. Also, is your D-90 lifted?

Michael
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  #10  
Old July 16th, 2004, 11:41 AM
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Mike
'97 Defender 90 SW
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Simon, I found my sliders on ebay. They came from a company in Vancouver. The exchange rate is what also made the price so good. i don't remember the name of the company but it was the only pair that they had at the time. If you need the company name I can find it once my stuff is out of storage in about 2 weeks.
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