Universal Sliders: Great Rock Sliders on the Cheap

Crew Cab rocker protection on the cheap

Ali MansourPhotographer, Writer

From the start, we knew that one of the challenges of building an ’01 Chevy S-10 Crew Cab was that the aftermarket was pretty slim. This is especially true when it comes to trail-oriented items such as winch bumpers and rock sliders. Despite this fact, we had a hunch that we could take advantage of one of the most heavily supported pickups in the aftermarket—the Toyota Tacoma. In fact, the first-generation Tacoma shares a few similar dimensions with the S-10, making it a good resource all around.

For those of you late to our S-10 party, don’t worry—we’ll catch you up. Starting with an LS model Crew Cab S-10 4x4, we’ve replaced the original IFS and stock rearend setup with a custom multilink suspension using parts from Rock Krawler Suspension and Barnes 4WD. The 12-inch-travel coilovers are attached to a high-pinion Dana 60 front from a Ford Super Duty and GM 14-bolt out back. Add in a hydraulic-assist steering system from PSC Motorsports and some gracious fender trimming for our 40-inch Nitto Mud Grapplers, and you have a better picture of how our pickup is shaping up.

While we have plenty of custom work being done by the capable hands at Low Range 4x4 in Wilmington, North Carolina, anytime we can save a little time and money, we’ll do it. This is how we ended up with a set of weld-on rock sliders from Trail-Gear. We needed some sort of rocker and door protection since this midsized pickup is being built to tackle serious trails. Trail-Gear offers the sliders preassembled (welded) for a great price ($279 on Amazon at time of print), so we saved ourselves the fab time and clicked “Add to Cart.”

Not wanting to sacrifice strength in the name of a good deal, we were pleased to find that Trail-Gear builds the sliders from 1.75-inch-diameter, 0.120-wall DOM tubing. So, just how hard was it to convert a Tacoma slider kit to work on an S-10? Well, read on to find out.

Making Strides & Steps

Aside from using them to get in and out of the truck, we don’t have a trail report to give you on these (yet). However, we will say that we’ve had these sliders in the past under another solid-axle mini-truck (Danger Ranger anyone?), and they worked really well. In fact, they are probably the only thing on that particular truck that’s not crinkled from the trail. We still have a good bit of work ahead for our S-10, but the time in the shop will be paying off very soon.