Rock Slide Engineering Step Slides Manual Transmission

DocTwinkie

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Doc... Duh.
There are a lot of good vids out there showing the basics of installing these. There is however several parts they leave out and a special hiccup for the manual transmission. Learn from my failures.

First installing the brackets on the body bolts. I used the mini ductor 2 bolt heater to melt the loctite (and reuse it). See my write up here.

https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/fo...-and-how-not-to-break-them.43242/#post-954019

Okay. Now the bracket won’t fit on there... I had one bolt I had to completely remove and file down the threads to give me enough room on the washer to put the bracket on. I then sprayed the bolt with rustoleum.

Brackets are on. You’ve hung the steps on the punch bolts. You’ve tightened everything up. Now to run your wires to the steps. The rear passenger floor has two small plugs (body colored) for accessories. These are NOT your drain plugs. Where you will run into problems is the driver side is oval making it easy to pass the large connectors through but the passenger is circle. Also the sheet metal is sharp.

You will need rubber grommets, Lowe’s. Pics below.
You will also need to swing by Advanced Auto parts for lisle wire terminal tool. Pick below.

Flip the plastic retainer up on the connector heads on the harness (take a pic first so you know which color goes to which side) and then insert the long end of the terminal tool down the end of the connector. You’ll feel a click and then the wire will slide out the back. Run your wires through the grommet then the holes, then insert the grommets.

When you’re totally done with the install and you’ve zip tied the wires under the car your last step will be to plug the middle of the grommets with silicone. I put some Reynolds wrap under the carpet on top of the grommet so I didn’t silicons the carpets to the floor.

Okay. Now you’ll need power. You have a manual so guess what... you have no pass through to the engine compartment. Whoops. Here you can drill a hole (rust alert), use the driver drain hole (and try to run that wire over the axles and all the other drivetrain components), or you can use the Aux Switches assuming you have the HD Electrical Group. Let’s hope you have the HD group.

Okay. Install your switch next to the obd plug. Then run the battery power cable from the passenger footwell to the driver footwell. There is a nice pass through under the carpet on the inboard side at the bottom of the center console. Pull back the carpet and you’ll see a hole. Run your wires across. Attach the black/red connector on the driver side. Pile all that wire under the driver carpet.

Now on the passenger side you’ll have a red battery connector and a black neutral. Whelp. You’re not getting to that battery so plan B.

Remove the passenger outboard kick panel. There’s several grounding points here.

I split open the sheathing on the battery harness so I had more slack on the black wire. I went OVER the kick panel with the black wire and attached it to a grounding post that was empty. Replace the kick panel.

Okay. Now you have your red hot battery post with a 20amp fuse on it. Remove the fuse. Snip the battery connector off. This is a short wire so do so right at the base of the circular steel battery connector. Now you have exposed wire. You can connect this to either aux 1 or aux 2. To find your bundle and learn how they work here ya go.

https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/fo...c-switches-wires-and-fuses.43304/#post-955677

Only Aux1/2 will work as they are 40amp lines (you need 20amp). So connect there. You can use your method of choice. Butt connector or whatever. I chose to use a wire nut since there isn’t a bunch of moisture here and if I ever have to open that wire I don’t want to have to cut more off. There is very little wore from the end to the 20amp fuse. I wrapped it in electrical tape.

In your infotainment go to settings, aux switches, choose 1 or 2 (whichever you used) and set it to LATCHING and BATTERY. Turn the switch on and leave it there. This will make it hot at all times.

Replace the 20amp fuse. You done. Steps should cycle.

You will now have two switches to turn them on/off. The Aux and the one by the OBD port. You could probably splice today remove the OBD switch but I’m lazy.

Don’t forget to plug the grommet holes with silicone and zip tie your wires. I zipped the passenger side wires up behind the glove box. And if you scraped the brackets installing them (you know you did) blast them with some rustoleum.

If you need to drop the steps while you are in the car you can cycle them. Turn the aux switch off, then on, then they will both drop, and then off again. This will keep them in the down position until you turn the power back on. I use this to pick my kid up at school so he doesn’t accidentally get too close and get hit (not that they hit hard).

Whew. Ya did it. Go get a chocolate milk... or a beer if you imbibe.

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Tjbrown23

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This is a very good writeup! I am about to install my rse steps this weekend and I have a manual transmission as well. How has this setup for wiring to the aux switches worked out for you, have you had any issues? I reached out to RSE and they warned against using the aux switches as they have been know to be unreliable with their steps.
 

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Why waste an aux switch for your steps? I did not use the aux switch and just ran power like the instructions said to the battery. Also for the drain plugs mine had plastic covers. I used a dremel for the hole and a slit. Ran the wire through and then use silicone to glue them back in and around the wire. Also the dremel ever so slightly on the pass side to make the hole the size for the plug to fit. Took about 2 minutes and did not have to run the chance of breaking a wire or messing up the connection on the plug.

Too each his own I guess and there are certainly different ways of doing things.
 

Tjbrown23

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Why waste an aux switch for your steps? I did not use the aux switch and just ran power like the instructions said to the battery. Also for the drain plugs mine had plastic covers. I used a dremel for the hole and a slit. Ran the wire through and then use silicone to glue them back in and around the wire. Also the dremel ever so slightly on the pass side to make the hole the size for the plug to fit. Took about 2 minutes and did not have to run the chance of breaking a wire or messing up the connection on the plug.

Too each his own I guess and there are certainly different ways of doing things.
The hole in the firewall on the driver side the instructions say to use is not available for those with a manual transmission, it's used for our clutch. RSE recommended to feed the wires through the same hole as the main wiring harness but I don't feel comfortable messing with that due to potential problems or damage. I would much rather lose a aux switch then screw up my new Jeep.
 

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The hole in the firewall on the driver side the instructions say to use is not available for those with a manual transmission, it's used for our clutch. RSE recommended to feed the wires through the same hole as the main wiring harness but I don't feel comfortable messing with that due to potential problems or damage. I would much rather lose a aux switch then screw up my new Jeep.
Then you used the aux switch wire over in the passenger side by the glovebox? if so then why not just run it into The engine bay there? You are almost to the battery at that point.
 


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DocTwinkie

DocTwinkie

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Doc... Duh.
I ran it for half a year zero issues on the aux 1. I’ve had an issue the past few months with the Aux battery not charging. That will kill my steps.

I don’t think the two are related however as many many people have the battery charging issue and even when I cut power to my steps the battery still won’t charge.

to my knowledge there is no pass through in the manual transmission that is easily accessible. I’m sure you can cut holes if that’s your thing.
 

Tjbrown23

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I ran it for half a year zero issues on the aux 1. I’ve had an issue the past few months with the Aux battery not charging. That will kill my steps.

I don’t think the two are related however as many many people have the battery charging issue and even when I cut power to my steps the battery still won’t charge.

to my knowledge there is no pass through in the manual transmission that is easily accessible. I’m sure you can cut holes if that’s your thing.
Thanks for the update, I would rather not drill holes or use the main wiring harness hole. I may just use the aux switches and if I have issues later address it then. As for the aux batter charging issue, this is the first I have heard about it. I have a 2021 gladiator and I have turned off off the ESS maybe its have been addressed? Is it just that the smaller aux battery went bad? I know my wife's Pacifica has the same setup and it went bad in 50k miles.
 

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On the passenger side under the dash, there is a large grommet for a factory harness. This grommet has an unused feedthru nub off center for upfitters. It's very easy to get to on the engine compartment side, once you remove the flare and liner (a few bolts and clips). Punch a hole in the unused nub with an awl and lube it with silicone before pulling wire.
 

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On the passenger side under the dash, there is a large grommet for a factory harness. This grommet has an unused feedthru nub off center for upfitters. It's very easy to get to on the engine compartment side, once you remove the flare and liner (a few bolts and clips). Punch a hole in the unused nub with an awl and lube it with silicone before pulling wire.
Is the picture below what your talking about? Using the nub on the top NOT what is circled?
20210116_133622.jpg
 

roaniecowpony

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Is the picture below what your talking about? Using the nub on the top NOT what is circled?
20210116_133622.jpg
Yes. I used the nub on top for my tow'd brakelight harness.
 


Tjbrown23

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Yes. I used the nub on top for my tow'd brakelight harness.
Thanks for your help! I will definitely use that then. Did you have to remove the fuse box, batteries and stuff to get to this grommet in the engine bay?
 

roaniecowpony

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Thanks for your help! I will definitely use that then. Did you have to remove the fuse box, batteries and stuff to get to this grommet in the engine bay?
No, just the fender flare and inner liner. Taking the passenger door off may help you get under the dash as well. Although I didn't remove mine.
 

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No, just the fender flare and inner liner. Taking the passenger door off may help you get under the dash as well. Although I didn't remove mine.
When you say fender flare do you mean the whole fender?
 

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Man I don’t know how you could make such a fairly easy install so difficult. Do what you wish but mine have been installed and working great now for three years. I did not remove a fender, I did not have to take the plugs apart. I did not have to use an aux switch, I did not have to go and buy extra plugs etc etc. I used simple tools and took a day. I am on the incompetent end of mechanically inclined as well.

 

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