Evolution is everywhere - and Rock Hard 4x4™ is no exception. When the market demanded a dynamic solution to the underpowered 3.6L and 3.8L the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007 - Current), plus higher fuel costs, Rock Hard 4x4™ answered back with a complete line of Aluminum armor upgrades. The decision is a tough one though since we all grew up driving Jeeps wrapped in Steel. It isn't an "old school" mentality, steel rightly inspires confidence and durability. So the big question becomes - steel or aluminum?
Steel - Rock Hard 4x4™ uses only the highest quality steel available. It's delivered daily then begins it's transformation into your next armor upgrade. The 3/16" and 1/4" thick plates we laser, bend, form, weld, grind, and powder coat into the parts you find on our website have a lifetime warranty because they will simply last a lifetime. Punish away - they can take it.
Aluminum - At 1/4" thick, our aluminum option gives you the toughest alloy on the market while keeping overall weight down. That's the key to aluminum - strength at less than half the weight. During our powder coat process we then heat treat each aluminum part to give it unbelievable durability. Plus, because aluminum inherently has a thin outer layer of "aluminum oxide" it is rust resistant.
It's All About You It really comes down to you, your Jeep, and your intentions. Are you a weekend warrior or a hardcore rock crawler? Where do you live? Is your Jeep a daily driver? These are all questions we ask each wheeler that contacts us.
Here are some things to consider: Weather: If you live in the East where roads are salted, constant rain is a fact of life, and everything you own turns to rust, consider aluminum. You can gouge it, scratch it, bump it, and in some cases never coat it with paint or powder.
Trail Duty: Winching every time you go out? Trails so difficult you and your spotter might be televised one day? Consider steel. While both our steel and aluminum bumpers are 1/4" thick, steel is the safer bet for the more "aggressive" thrill seekers.
Fuel Economy: If price at the pump is a factor then aluminum might suit you better. It's less than half the weight for the same volume of material. Consider this: adding a front bumper plus a winch is like adding a grown adult to the front of your Jeep. Do you mind that increase in weight your motor has to push around? If not - steel it up.
The Gut Check: Some folks are just used to steel. And there's nothing wrong with that. There's a level of confidence inherent in it. Your dad probably ran steel on his early CJ or Wrangler and it's simply what you trust. If you need to sleep at night knowing your rig is wrapped in steel then that's the direction you need to go. But if you are curious about aluminum and think it may very well meet all your needs - why not shed some pounds?