Home How-to Articles White Knuckle Off Road Products Rock Sliders

White Knuckle Off Road Products Rock Sliders

by Moses Ludel

Review and How-to Installation: White Knuckle Off Road Product Rock Sliders for Gen 3 Ram 2500/3500 4×4 Trucks…

When our electric retractable running board motors failed, we searched the market for the best solidly mounted step boards. In this HD video review and installation, see why White Knuckle Off Road Products’ rock sliders became the replacement for our retractable running boards.

Profile of our 2005 Ram 3500 4×4 with White Knuckle Off Road Products rock sliders installed. Slightly wider step deck turned these sliders into a bona fide set of heavy-duty running boards.
These popular retractable running boards worked well until the motors failed. The original motor is now obsolete, and the only fix is to either replace entire arm assemblies ($360 per side plus freight) or replace the entire board assemblies with new retractable boards for $1500-$1700 plus the hefty labor cost for installation.

When our retractable running boards were new in 2005, the electrical side of the installation included R&R of the truck’s instrument panel, wire splicing with rosin core soldering, heat shrink tubing plus careful wire routing to assure that the wiring behind the dash would not someday create an electrical short.

Today, rather than tap into intricate dome light wiring circuits for each doors, these retractable boards use Wi-Fi transmitter signals to activate the boards. Despite these gains, the risk of parts obsolescence and high initial purchase cost made avoid buying another set of retractable boards.

When the supplier/manufacturer shared that these OEM board motors have become obsolete, we attempted to rebuild the original motors. One motor responded to simply cleaning the commutator, installing a set of custom brushes and fresh grease. This motor, however, has a defective armature winding and is beyond repair. Were repair parts available, replacement lift motors typically sell for $50-$110…Given the lack of parts availability, our Mopar® retractable boards with Ram logos went to scrap.

We searched the field for the best alternative to retractable running boards. Aside from their convenience and the clean profile when the boards retract, the electrical and mechanical installation only adds to the initial expense. (We do all our installation work, but labor time is money.) Worse yet, retractable boards or the many extruded aluminum “running boards” do nothing to protect the vehicle’s body sills, the bed edge or the cab. Only frame-mounted rock sliders—doubling as step-up running boards—will do so.

The market is rife with extruded aluminum running boards. Typically, these accessories attach to the body sills much like our retractable running boards did—only these fixed boards do not retract and remain in harm’s way. They offer little if any body protection…Our neighbor goes hunting and fishing in remote country. At a crawl pace, his truck slid sideways on an off-camber winter trail. The frozen snow bank totaled this board. Boards like this work best on trucks or SUVs that never go off-road.

A colleague and friend mounted a pair of White Knuckle Off Road Products rock sliders on his 2017 Ram 2500 4×4 with a flatbed camper. Attractive entry steps for the truck’s 35″ tires, on closer scrutiny these boards were built of rugged materials, showed excellent craftsmanship and offered a solid, frame mounted design for maximum body protection. We called White Knuckle Off Road Products.

After consultation with owners John and Natalie Sundquist, we determined that the company’s rock slider design for a Generation 3 Ram 3500 Quad-Cab 4×4 truck could be easily customized to include more offset from the body. John drew up plans for the slightly wider board style shown here, and the shop built and shipped a pair of these boards. The frame mounted rock sliders exceed the stamina of any running board available.
The rugged design and functionality of these rock sliders is impressive. Triangular gussets and frame mounting system provide enough strength for these boards to support the vehicle in an off-road high centering situation. That’s not where we take our Ram 3500, but it’s good to know how much body protection these boards provide. DOM tubing and exceptional welds add to the value. “Courtesy” black powder coat provides durable initial protection for these rock sliders.
All mounting hardware comes in the package. Grade 8 bolts, nuts and washers have been neatly separated for each rock slider. Where frame widths differ, bolts come sized for those lengths.

Our rugged all steel White Knuckle Off Road Products rock sliders are built with 0.188″ DOM tube, 1/2″ steel brackets and 1/4″ reinforcement gusset plates. These boards clamp directly to the frame rails with 1/2″ Grade 8 bolts, nuts and hardware. Designed specifically for each vehicle application, White Knuckle Off Road Products rock sliders become an integral part of the truck’s chassis. The engineering for our make and model Ram Truck is excellent. The brackets align well to avoid frame attachments and obstacles, and these rock sliders can be installed faster than most fixed running boards.

Inner brackets match the thickness and stamina of the rock sliders’ arm brackets. Every effort is made to protect the body in an off-road, high centering situation. Rock sliders are considered “body armor”. For our purposes, these boards will serve as the strongest step boards available. The noted position of each bracket is part of the easy installation steps.

To understand why we rate these rock sliders so highly, see the video for details. Installation takes a professional shop approximately an hour to complete. Even as a first-time installation, it took us only a few hours, which included the time for filming. We’re sold on these White Knuckle Off Road Products rock sliders. For our use, they double as the ultimate-duty running boards!

94″ rock sliders fit this specific Ram model. They are designed for Quad-Cab door entry, sill protection and bed access. Note the widened section at the bed, ideal for accessing our 75 gallon auxiliary fuel tank in the bed area. These boards align inboard of the 37″x12.5″x17″ tire width without restricting vehicle side clearance. Optional diamond plate protects the rocker sills from road debris and provides some foot grip when wet or muddy.
Two people can easily step into the cab with these heavy-duty boards! Oversized 37″ diameter tires and a four-inch chassis lift make the body sills high on this truck. 37″ tires would be our limit for using these rock sliders as step-up running boards. They work well for trucks/SUVs from stock height to a reasonable lift height and either stock tires or oversized tires to 35″ diameter. Custom changes can be added to any White Knuckle Off Road Products rock slider build.

For more information on the full line of White Knuckle Off Road Products rock sliders, visit the official website at:


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