Disclaimer – These side steps were provided to me at no cost to fit, test and review as I see fit. Retail price approx $650.00.
Three days out from my big trip across the Country to visit Uluru the side steps arrived. Running short on time, I decided not to wait for a new day to install I commenced unbolting the factory steps at about 3:30pm, thinking I could just set up my LED lights if I run out of daylight.
To remove the factory steps it took about 5 minutes to undo 2 plastic clips and 6 bolts. It was not until I removed them I noticed how poorly I did, at washing all the sand out from the last beach trip.
Although the MCC Heavy Duty side steps came with no instructions, it was pretty easy to work out how to install them. 4 bolts at the front and a ubolt at the back. I did trim down the ubolt as I’m guessing they are a universal and they were quite long so rather spend 5 minutes under the vehicle swinging off the spanner I just trimmed them a little.
There was no need for me to jack up the vehicle, however mine is lifted so that makes it a little easier. I positioned a piece of wood under the rear of the step and loosely bolted up the front then moved to the back and fitted the ubolt that goes around the chassis. Once that was done, the only thing left to do was tighten them up and that was one side done. I repeated the same steps on the other side and before you know it I had new steps on my Sport. It took about 1.5 hours in total to remove and refit the new heavy duty side steps. No LED lighst were needed!
Now I had heard on the grape vine that the were going to sit lower so I measured the factory and HD ones for comparison.
Factory Side Steps
MCC Heavy Duty Side Steps
The MCC Heavy Duty Side Steps sit about 25mm lower on the outer step and 20mm at lowest point compared to the factory side steps.
Why do they site lower? Well when you look at the thin aluminium factory steps and how weak they are then you have to expect Heavy duty steps to be a lot thicker.
Why didn’t I just make some with better clearance or buy other rock sliders? The main reason is ADR compliance. I could not find a slider that was ADR compliant with the side curtain airbag. This is a big deal to me for 2 reasons.
- Safety. The last thing I want is to be involved in a collision where the side airbags fail to deploy which results in serious injury to me or my family.
- Insurance. Fitting a non ADR approved side step / rock slider may void your insurance and no one wants to lose out on an insurance pay out and to be out of pocket for an written off vehicle.
You can find more details about the MCC Heavy Duty Side Steps here MCC4x4.
So how do they stack up in real world testing? After I got back from the Uluru trip (blog post coming soon) I took the best up to Beerburrum State Forrest. You don’t have to look to hard to find a track to test them on. After bouncing off some rocks and a log that I should have really taken bit slower they are still in one piece. There are a few marks and scratches and a damaged front rubber cap but all in all there is no damage to my vehicle. Cheap insurance as the factory steps would have been bent and twisted prior to leaving the Forrest that’s for sure.
Unfortunately I did not make it out un damaged this time, with some slight damage to the protection plate between the Bull bar and the bash plates. Such is 4wding…
If you are in the market for some ADR approved Heavy Duty Side Steps then these should be on your list for consideration.
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As always if you have any questions or comments then please let me know.