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#679669 - 21/01/13 07:42 PM Step Rails for 2012 Pro-4X
KodiakX Offline

Registered: 21/08/02
Posts: 14
Loc: Rochester, NY
A couple months ago my 2002 XE started having a number of problems including oil mixing with coolant and a perky little problem where the engine wouldn't automatically downshift after cresting a hill with cruise control on. As much as I loved my X, I did not want to put money into a 185,000 mile vehicle (which had 45 miles on it when I bought it according to my title!), so I decided it was time to start shopping.

I quickly discovered that my options were limited: I wanted a mid-size SUV, but I need something that can tow a 2,800 pound pop-up and with most of the mid-level SUVs going unibody very few had the towing capacity. It didn't take me long to decide that I was buying another Xterra and when Nissan had their Black Friday deals, I decided it was time to jump. I ended up with a 2012 Pro-4X in Night Armor with leather. I wasn't crazy about the leather at first--all the Pros on the lot had it and the deals I was getting were too good to pass up--but now that I've ended up having to drive 3,000 miles over the past 45 days I'm very happy...I just hope it holds up...

Anyway, my new X didn't come with step rails (I actually didn't notice this until after I picked it up and brought it back to work) and and I really liked the look of them on the old X (ex-X?)--they're just one of those things that makes an Xterra an Xterra. I'm thinking about adding them in the spring. Are they something I can do myself in my driveway or would I need to get them professionally installed?

I'm also wondering what the recommended best bet is for rails. On a quick look through the forums I saw some recommendations for aftermarket rock sliders instead of the factory rails for off-roading. While I've certainly seen my share of rutted, muddy, need-4-Low-to-get-out backcountry roads, I rarely find myself on anything that wasn't at least once a logging road, so I'm not worried about damage from scrapes. The rails are really more for looks and for making it easier for my 5' tall 80-year-old grandmother to get in.

Thanks in advance for the help.


#682693 - 20/11/14 06:22 AM Re: Step Rails for 2012 Pro-4X [Re: KodiakX]
Biostrom Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 30/03/14
Posts: 3
I too have a 2012 Pro-4X, purchased slightly used with sliders. I miss the step rails that came on my 2000 Xterra as they were convenient and light weight, not so with sliders. I have what appears to be Shrockworks, but not certain.

Positives include the rough and ready look and real world protection off road. Though I don't do serious off-roading very often, my old X had a large dent in the rocker due to a tree branch being levered into it on what otherwise was a mundane logging road.

There are several negatives. First being that they stick out farther laterally than step rails and when dirty transfer that dirt to you pants when exiting the vehicle. Also, my 12 year old daughter also has to use them to climb in and occasionally slips on the round tube painted surface. And of course they are heavy walled steel with adds weight to an already porky vehicle.

#682694 - 20/11/14 07:42 AM Re: Step Rails for 2012 Pro-4X [Re: Biostrom]
TJ Offline

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 7756
Loc: Lawrenceville, NJ, USA
I like that I've been t-boned, and had people open doors right into the sliders, and I had zero damage, even with their doors being dented or their t-boning cars totaled, etc.

If you have a family, those sliders are like "Side Bumpers" and do an amazing job of protection. If you high center on a muddy/rutted logging or fire road, etc, they are also the only place on an X to use a hi-lift jack.


A simple application of Herculiner on the tops of the smooth round step tubes solves the traction issue. I HAD tried skate board tape and boat ladder tread tape, which also worked for traction, but tended to scrap kin off too on accidental contact. The rubbery herculiner is easy on the skin, and is also about indestructible in this application.
- TJ

2001 Xterra '03 VG33, SE 5 spd, 305/70/16's, Revolvers, UBSkidderz, Doubled AAL's, 3"SL/2"BL, winch/bumpers, skids, sliders, OBA, Snorkel, pine stripes....

Friends don't let friends drive stock.


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