2018 Grand Cherokee (WK2) Mopar Rock Rail Installation (P/N 82213525AD)
So, after multiple dealerships told me that this part would not work for our new 2018 Trailhawk I ordered a set. Sources on the forums said they would fit and since they come as a factory installed part why wouldn’t they? Lots of good write ups and videos, but the AD revision was a little different- they no longer provide a tool for the door sill bolt installation, the door sill bolts are flange head without washers (factory instructions not yet updated), the flag bolts have been standardized, no pinch weld stiffener bar, and I’m sure other things I have not noticed.
My pics and comments below are meant to supplement (NOT replace) the Mopar provided instructions:
Additional links to forum info and video can be found here: http://www.billswebspace.com/GCTH.html#JeepWK2RockRails
NOTE: The following is provided for information only and any use of this information by you is at your own risk.
To start, I put our Jeep in Offroad 2 and Jack modes, plenty of room to work:
I then removed ALL plastic rivets from the plastic sills we would be replacing as well as the single bolt out back (10mm socket)- a trim tool makes quick work of the plastic rivets and all came out easily except for a few, wire cutters to the rescue:
With doors open, the next step was to unclip the OE plastic skirts. I started using a plastic trim tool and then just pulled them off carefully. No worries about breaking anything, these are throwaway parts that you can elect to cut up for a more finished looking installation……I did not.
Pulling the plastic sills off can pull the sheet metal out around the door sill mounting holes, I used a plastic mallet (rubber would work too) to lightly tap them flat again…. logic being it would make it easier to start the nuts on the bolts installed here later with a flat surface when the rock rails are put into place.
I did not have grommets to remove under the sill/beside the pinch rail, Jeep decided to ditch those and now uses plastic stickers to cover the holes. These were removed by carefully inserting a razor blade and then using pliers to pull off, all removed on both sides- (6) per side.
Remove (4) bolts with 10mm socket for wiring harness on passenger side, let it hang.
My wife helped out with prep by making sure ALL the nuts and bolts worked as desired. Welding slag and powder/coat/paint have a way of gumming up what should be a super smooth engagement. I fortunately have a thread restoration kit which works better than a die/tap since it should not remove any additional metal, just the paint/powdercoat/slag. This was used on ALL problem bolts/nuts to achieve the goal of being able to hand start and tighten ALL, flag bolts and nuts the most critical.
While my wife worked on the above prep, I drilled out holes as provided in the factory instructions. The front and rear rivet holes were drilled out using an 11/32 drill bit. The pinch rail holes were drilled out with a step bit to 10mm, be careful on the passenger side to avoid the wiring harness.
The tab at the rear has to be bent up, this was a two-step process. I didn’t have a bottle jack like some others have used but I did have a regular jack and jack stand. I removed the upper jack stand support from the base and turned it upside down on a floor jack, it fit perfectly into the tab to jack up and bend it. At that point the tab still has to be bent as flat as you can get it, I used pliers to bend the remaining part down and then finished with a crowbar and a rubber mallet as a fulcrum point on the tire- that eliminated the need to remove the tire and use a hammer.
Now the real fun begins…. cleaning the foam out of the sill cavity. Different ways to do this, I used a flat head screwdriver in top and bottom holes to loosen and break apart foam and a shop vac to remove. I didn’t try and remove all foam, just what I thought might get in the way of fishing bolts through the bottom holes to the door sill holes.
There were two holes per side that would not be used, I covered them with exterior vinyl- cannot be seen once rock rails are on.
Tuck the breather hose back in on the driver side…….
You will need to use the provided template to trim the rear wheel well liners, but it does not line up exactly- I had to make further adjustments after the rock rails were installed.
**DON'T FORGET BLUE (MEDIUM) THREADLOCK** (I added some to the door sill bolts and pinch rail screws, as well as the flag bolt nuts before installing the rock rails) Fortunately, I had three people for the next step…. could be done alone but much easier with more 😊 I lifted the rock rail into place and lined up the three flag bolts and loosely started the nuts. Up top and on either end my wife and son made sure the rear wheel liner was on the inside of the rock rail, then lined up the door sill bolts and loosely started all of those nuts- no issues so far, prep is everything. Next a jack was placed under the rock rail and lifted until the pinch rail screws could all be installed loosely but almost hand tight……then the flag bolts were tightened, the pinch rail screws were tightened, and the door sill bolts were tightened. Nuts and screws in below pictures were NOT tightened so don’t get thrown off by the pictures.
Last but not least, line up the felt wheel liners and chassis/rock rail holes and insert plastic rivets with push pins provided, (2) in front and (1) in back. I used a short Phillips screwdriver to line everything up before inserting the plastic rivets.
All DONE 😊