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Thud! Crunch! Those two words can either bring a smile or it can bring that sickening feeling in your stomach. If you're a dyed-in-the-wool, ain't know fun 'till the wheel gets air, inclinometer says 40% type of hardcore 'wheeler, well… then those previously mentioned verbs would bring a smile. But if you're like 90% of us, those two very descriptive words mean only one thing: body damage. In the hopes of lessening crinkled sheet metal, there are various pieces of armor that can be bolted on. I had the privilege of trying out one such piece first hand. B.C. Broncos "Rock Skis". I decided to purchase B.C.'s 1/8" Stainless skis in hopes of adding a little protection to those vulnerable BroncoCool! rocker boxes.
Chuck Atkinson of B.C. Broncos has a masterpiece at hand. When my eyes first fell upon them I knew the maker had taken time in the design department. All the fastener holes are punched and aligned perfectly and the contour of the ski matches brilliantly to the form of the rocker panel. B.C.'s Rock Skis not only wrap over the rocker panel, but they also go under the Bronco and up behind the rocker panel creating a "U" shape. Placing the jack under the ski I lifted it into the pre-trial position. It slipped right over the existing rocker box very easily. At this time you use a couple of the stainless fasteners Chuck gives you to secure the ends of the Skis. After the machine screws are placed you then use an awl and create 6 holes for stainless screws. Once all these are secure the only thing remaining is the fender flares. Here, Chuck provides stainless steel faux pop rivets. They actually are small screws but they have a pop rivet type head that utilize a square drive.
Put it up there!
On my Bronco it was necessary to cut about 4" from the length of the Ski, the only reason this is necessary is the same ski will also work on a uncut bronco. I accomplished this with a pneumatic cut-off tool. Final work included filing the newly cut area and drilling holes for the fender flares.
Installations was a breeze and other than having a cut-off tool, no special tools are needed, anybody can do this mod in an hour or so. Like all armor, you hope you never have to use it. Unfortunately, I did have to use it. Several times on the Rubicon I sat down hard on them, sustaining only a scratch in the Rock Ski. Unfortunately I can't report that that was the only thing that happened. Early on into the trail I chose the wrong line off a rock, and before I knew it, my Bronco slid off and into a huge bolder (yes, they have those on the 'Con) immediately taking on damage from the side impact. I feel the damage was lessened greatly by the "Skis" but then they really aren't meant to withstand a huge force from the side. Skis are built to sit down onto a rock and support the truck, which these did several times. All in all I was very happy with the performance of the Rock Ski, they look good and work great. Chuck makes them in several flavors: 1/8" Steel. 1/8" Stainless steel, 1/4" steel. Try a set for yourself.