Toyota Tacoma Demello Rock Sliders
Fully welded .120 wall 1.75″ tubing
.25″ plates and gussets
Rock Slider Benefits
Rocker Protection is one of the most critical modifications to be added to a vehicle intended for challenging terrain. Properly designed rocker panel protection provides several benefits in addition to guarding the body panels from rocks.
1. The rock sliders act as a skid plate, allowing the vehicle to slide over rocks, mounds and logs, instead of damaging the vulnerable sheet metal.
2. The rocker protection guards the side of the vehicle from damage caused when sliding into a tree or rock, as often occurs on slick surfaces.
3. When properly mounted, the rock sliders provide a secure jacking point for lifting the vehicle to change a tire, or to add rocks or traction aids to extricate the vehicle from being stuck.
4. A well-designed slider also acts as a step, running the length of the cab, providing easy access to the roof, racks, kayaks, etc.
5. In heavily rutted terrain, the slider allows the driver to use the bars as a transition point between the front and rear tires, as the slider allows for a smooth change from the front tire to the slider to the rear tire without causing damage.
6. On vehicles with a longer wheelbase, the rock sliders can act as a pivot point, effectively rotating the vehicle against a solid point (like a rock or rut) when under power. This action “cuts” the corner of a narrow, tight obstacle that does not permit backing up for a multi-point turn.
This article covers the installation of Demello Off-road 1.75″ Round Heavy Duty (HD) bolt on sliders.
After unwrapping the protective packaging from the sliders, I set the driver’s side slider on the floor for inspection, and was impressed with the build and weld quality. Jason Demello and his staff use continuous welds and mistake proofing techniques (like patterns, jigs, etc.) to ensure consistent quality. All mounting holes are pre-drilled.
The installation starts on the driver’s side frame rail, with two major tasks required:
1. Drill the drivetrain cross-member to allow the 1/2″ mounting bolts to pass through the frame.
2. Space the brake lines and parking brake cable away from the inside of the frame to allow for the 1/4″ thick backing plates to be installed.
The image here shows the drivers side frame rail, and the forward most mounting hole location. The holes in the frame are already in place (stamped at the factory), but a bolt cannot be passed all the way through to the inner frame rail side due to the cross-member. You will need to drill a 1/2″ hole in the cross-member, properly aligned to the frame holes.
I used an angle head drill to make the 1/2″ hole in the cross-member. I started with a long 5/16″ High Speed Steel (HSS) drill bit to make the pilot hole. The angle head drill is required because the drill body will hit the pinch weld, and not allow for a straight hole. I finished the hole from inside the frame rail with a stubby 1/2″ HSS Drill Bit.
The next step is to lift the bars into place and secure with jack stands. Pass all of the 1/2″ bolts through the frame and check clearances and fitment. In my case, the rock sliders fit perfectly, and aligned to every hole as required. Now that the bars are in the basic position required, it is necessary to space the hydraulic brake lines and the parking brake cable away from the frame to allow for the backing plates to be installed.
The second backing plate from the front will also contact the brake lines, so it is necessary to utilize the supplied 3/8″ spacers and longer 8mm bolts to allow sufficient clearance of the backing plate. You will use the existing bolt holes in the frame.
As you can see in this image the brake lines, and the plastic support bracket would hit the backing plate (the 3rd backing plate from the front), so it must be relocated. Use a small lever bar to “pop” the plastic retaining head out of the frame.
To allow sufficient space for the backing plate, drill a new 10mm (3/8″ will work too) hole 25mm (~1″) to the left of the existing hole (towards the rear of the truck).
There is another spacer required to the left of the 3rd backing plate which prevents the brake lines from bowing too sharply.
The fourth backing plate on the driver’s side is positioned between the inside frame rail and the fuel tank. It is tight, but there is enough space to allow for a wrench.
The parking brake cable needs to be spaced away from the frame with the supplied spacers. In the image, you can see the backing plate running under the cable. In this case the hard, hydraulic brake lines do not need to be spaced.
Next it is necessary to drill (8), 9/32″ holes in the underside of the frame for the lower mounting bolts. Bar to frame alignment at this point is critical. Use a hydraulic jack to secure the bar to the frame and confirm its proper position. Start with the second support arm, and drill the first 9/32″ hole . After securing the front bracket, verify the rear location and drill a hole for the rear support arm. Six additional holes are required along the other brackets. You will use the supplied self tapping screws, and torque them to 20 ft/lbs.
After all of the screws are tightened, you will need to tighten down all of the 1/2″ bolts that pass through the frame. They should be tightened to 85 ft/lbs.
Now you will move to the passenger side rock slider install. This side will go much faster, as there are fewer spacers required.
You will start by drilling the 1/2″ hole in the transfer case cross-member in the same manner as performed on the drivers side. The clearance between the exhaust and the cross-member is very tight and an angle head drill is essential. Start with the pilot hole drilled from the outside frame rail in. (Note: I used a short step drill to make the 1/2″ hole from the inside of the frame rail after the pilot hole was completed)
It is necessary to relocate the O2 sensor wire, as it interferes with the 3rd backing plate. Remove the small plastic loom holder and cut it off of the wire (be careful).
Use the backing plate with the welded tab and small hole drilled into it. Use the supplied loom clamp and sheet metal screw to mount the O2 wire to the backing plate.
The last steps required for the passenger side is to drill the required 9/32″ holes in the frame for the support arm brackets, torque the supplied self tapping screws, and tighten the main 1/2″ bolts as described above.
I was most impressed with the fit and finish of the Demello sliders. These are high quality with very strong rocker protection. They fit perfectly and had a great powder coated finish and weld quality. These bolt-on bars are very solid, and can support the weight of the vehicle if required for jacking or in rocky terrain. The cost of these sliders is minor in comparison to the repair costs in the event of rocker panel damage.
Heavy Duty Round Sliders, Bolt-On: $429.00
Heavy Duty Round Sliders, Weld-On, Powder Coated: $339.00
Heavy Duty Round Sliders, Weld-On, Bare Metal: $289.00
*Note: Prices are subject to change, and should be verified with Demello Off-Road
84 lbs. for the pair, and required hardware
Percent of Available Payload:
Difficulty (Easy, Moderate, Difficult):
Easy with the correct tools
Specialty Tools Required:
Angle head drill capable of accepting a 1/2″ drill bit
Expeditions West 2004 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab TRD