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Side steps (running boards) and ramp breakover angle

20 Mar 2017 21:08 #179441 by Bosanek
I am considering to buy used OEM side steps (running boards, how else do you call them) for my Jimny.

I need them for the practical purpose of being able to stand on something elevated while I am accessing cargo in my roof box.

I have got fed up of having to stand on my rear right wheel to access the roof box, especially after I slipped off the wheel a few times, and after a fat person entered into the vehicle while I was standing on the rear wheel ..... (the wheel arch crushes the feet).

However, my concern is how much is the ramp breakover angle affected by having the side steps installed?

By looking at the underbody, I see that the chassis and especially the radius arm mounts are much lower than the bottom of the body. Side steps hang just below the bottom of the door sills.
Therefore, in theory, the bottom of the side steps should not be any lower than the chassis or the radius arm mounts. That means that the side steps should not jeopardize the ramp breakover angle.

However, what are the practical experiences?

This is the type of the OEM side steps which I would acquire:

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20 Mar 2017 22:10 #179444 by Busta
I always got the impression those things were for looking at rather than standing on!

How about one of these? Thule Step Up.

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21 Mar 2017 09:41 #179447 by Bosanek
Well my grandfather's VW Beetle had (like any other Beetle) side running boards and they certainly could take a load ... until they fell off due to rust after some 25 years of use.

That Thule solution is an interesting one indeed. I have never seen it before. However, the disadvantage is that you have to reach for it in the trunk and mount it on the wheel every time when you want to access the roof box (and I access it often, because I keep anything of value up there because the trunk provides no privacy).

To be honest, I do not know if those OEM plastic-looking side steps are designed to be stood on? I assume they are, because there are metal bars under them.

So, has anyone experienced decreased ground clearance with side steps, or some other disadvantages?

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21 Mar 2017 17:42 #179458 by 1066Boy
We have the sidesteps on Kates soft-top. Its a help for getting up high and they are quite strong.
Off road they are ok as far as ramp over angle, as you said they are mounted higher than other bits under the Jimny.
Only time we have had problems is in the woods, sometimes fallen branches get caught up in them and have had a tree stump stuck under one. :) In all they are ok for light off road and can work as light weight tree sliders to protect the lower part of the body if you are gentle with them. :)

Jimny JLX Facelift model 2005.
Kashmir Blue Pearl Metallic.
2" lift with Procomp Es1000 shocks.
Diff and transfer box guards from Jimnybits.
215/75/15 General Grabber x3's
and a driver called Allan (1066Boy)

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22 Mar 2017 20:27 #179530 by Bornagainoffroader
There were some fitted on my Jimny when I first bought it, they are the big chrome bar type with the step pad, they do hit the arms of a two poster car lift, blocks have to be fitted to give clearance and there was also some damage to the fixing bars underneath due to scraping over something, they are now in my shed along with that big plastic spare wheel cover.

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23 Mar 2017 09:27 #179549 by Venter
A lot of the proper rock-sliders project outwards a bit, giving a ledge that you can use as a step-up. Why not just install some of these and then you kill two birds with one stone: the protection that a rock-slider provides, and a step-up?

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06 Apr 2017 13:57 #179964 by Bosanek
Thank you all for the recommendations.

I bought these "plastic-looking" OEM side steps because I obtained them second hand for a good price, and even in almost the same color as my Jimny. So just bolt'em on.

However I bought them in Germany and I'll have to wait until September for my cousin to transport them over to me :)

I definitely agree that a custom-made rock slider (a bent steel tube) with a cut-in step area would be the best solution. Maybe I'll even do that if I find someone to craft it per my specifications for a normal price.

One Chinese maker has already done a good job, but at a high price:

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