How to Trim and Cut Back the Factory Rock Sliders on a Badlands Non-Sasquatch 6th Gen Ford Bronco to Clear Bigger Tires
When you make the jump to 37″ tires, there are a few areas to trim and cut back on the Bronco. We recently finished trimming the capable front bumper and removing the crash bars. Now, it’s on to trimming the rock sliders so that our 37″ mud-terrain tires will clear.
The rock sliders on the non-sasquatch Bronco are set very far forward and protrude into the wheel well quite a bit which prevents large tires from clearing at full lock in reverse.
To solve this problem, you can either buy new rock sliders that allow for larger tires (all while offering increased protection) or trim the ones from the factory (pictured here). I recommend installing new rock sliders if the budget permits because the factory “sliders” aren’t mounted to the frame rail. Instead, they’re mounted to the body – not good. One aggressive hit on these sliders and they might push up into your rocker panels causing an expensive trip. to the body shop.
We ordered our CBI rock sliders about a month ago, however, the option we ordered was on backorder so until we get them, we’re trimming our factory sliders.
The process is simple and takes about 30-45min per side. The tools are minimal, however, you should have experience with a grinder before attempting these cuts. The angles of the rock sliders are a bit awkward so this isn’t a job for the first-time grinder user.
Here is a look at the sliders before cutting. About 1 1/4″ hangs past the sheet metal.
We measured and marked our cuts about 1 1/4″ in so that the rock slider line would match up with the sheet metal and body line.
Tools and Materials
- Milwaukee Grinder
- Milwaukee 3/8 Ratchet
- GearWrench 3/8 Ratchet
- GearWrench 6″ Extension
- GearWrench 10-13mm sockets
- GearWrench 10mm open-end wrench
- Masking Tape
- Torx Bits
- Clip Fastener Removal Tool
- Safety Glasses
Step 1. Remove 13mm Bolts
Start by removing the three (3) 13mm bolts. Two on the outside and one in the center.
Step 2. Remove 10mm Bolts
Then remove all the 10mm bolts at the pinch weld.
Step 3. Remove Sliders
Pull straight out on the sliders once the bolts are off and the slider will drop out. You can position the sliders back in place and they will hang on by the pinch seam.
Step 4. Mark Point Near Firewall
Mark a point that you want to start your cut from. I started on the inside of the rock slider just where the sheet metal meets the fender liner.
Step 5. Measure 1 1/4″ Distance from Cap
Remove the sliders and find the distance that you marked. Mine was 1 1/4″ from the cap. I used that as a guide all the way around. Remember that number as you will mark the entire radius of the slider for cutting.
You can cut your sliders back as far as you want, but remember, the farther back you cut, the more you expose the rocker panels, thus increasing the chance a rock will hit the rocker panels.
Step 6. Remove T25 Torx Bit
Start to remove the end cap by removing the first T25 Torx.
Step 7. Remove Retainer Clip
Now remove the retainer clip that’s holding the cap in place.
Step 8. Remove Cap
The rock slider end-caps feature a flathead screwdriver point to push them out of the hollow slider. Go ahead and push this out, and set it to the side.
Step 9. Wash Dirt Off
Wash off any dirt or grime so that your cut lines are clearly marked.
Step 10. Mark 1 1/4″ Around Slider
Take a measurement all the way around the slider and start to mark your full consistent cut line. The pencil actually works great on powder-coated steel.
Step 11. Start Grinder Cuts
Start making your cuts all the way around the slider.
Step 12. Mark New Holes
While the end piece with the drilled holes is still connected, mark your preferred location for new holes. Ours ended up being just about 5/8″ from center eyelet to eyelet.
Step 13. Drill New Holes
Drill a pilot hole for each and then step them down to the needed size. They don’t need to be exact but we found that the push clip was around 1/4″ and the smaller Torx was around 3/16″.
Step 14. Flap Disc on Edges
Take a flap disc to the edges and clean it up.
Step 15. Flat Black Rust Protection Paint
If you want to go the extra mile, you can apply some flat black on the ends of the slider.
Step 16. Reposition Retainer Clips & Cap
Let the paint dry, push in your end cap, then mount your push clip and Torx.
Look at that gained clearance!! No more rubbing on these 37″ mud terrains… on the road.
We’ll eventually drop our coilovers out, remount our wheels/tires and then test the bump travel. Stay tuned for more.