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Body Armor Buyer's Guide

Front Right View
Drew Hardin
| Contributor
Posted March 2, 2005
Contributors: Tori Tellem

Protection Where You Need it Most

It's a tough world out there. Mother Nature can be a cold-hearted mistress, throwing all manner of pain your way that will scar, dent, and mash unsuspecting sheetmetal without mercy. Unless you take the right precautions.

Protective layers of steel, iron, and aluminum can keep the worst damage at bay and prolong the life of your rig. Take advantage of the body armor available to four-wheelers (much of which is listed on the following pages). Show Mother Nature who's boss on the trail.

Well, until she starts throwing stuff like rain, snow, hail, and lightning bolts at you. Then you'll be looking for protection of an entirely different sort. But that's another story.

Putco Boss Bars
Features: Putco's nerf bars come in two lengths: traditional cab length and full length (wheel-to-wheel). The Boss Bars are made from an "oversize" 4-inch-diameter stainless steel tube with a mirror finish and nonskid step pad. These aren't universal kits; instead, they feature customized mounting brackets for each application.

Fits: Fullsize Dodge, Ford, and GM pickups, including extended- and crew-cab body styles; and Hummer H2.

American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) Wrangler TJ Rocker Guards
Features: These guards also include nerf bars that are angled 30 degrees skyward, so you get protection and a step but don't lose ground clearance. They're made of steel, have inside supports and drain holes, and come in black powdercoat. They'll work with a lift kit and most fender flares.

Fits: '97-'06 Jeep Wrangler TJs.
Information: 406/251-2100,

Warn Rock Sliders
Features: They're constructed of thick steel and have a black powdercoat finish. Some drilling is required to put them on; for the Wrangler and CJ, the steel plate bolts directly to the body, while the tube-style version for the Cherokee uses support brackets that attach to the subframe.

Fits: '94-and-up Jeep Wrangler TJs, '87-'96 YJs, '05 Unlimiteds, '84-'01 Cherokees, and '76-'86 CJ-7s.
Information: 800.543.9276,

Bushwacker TrailArmor
Features: Sold as a kit or as separate parts, the TrailArmor series consists of two custom-molded rear corner pieces, two side rocker-panel pieces, and front and rear accent strips. Also available are the Hood Stone Guard and two front corner pieces. TrailArmor is made from Dura-flex diamond-textured thermoplastic and comes in a paintable matte-black finish.

Fits: '97-and-up Jeep Wrangler TJs.
Information: 800/234-8920, 503/283-4335,

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