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Jeep Wrangler TJ Nerf Bars

Tips on How to Maintain the Jeep Wrangler (TJ) Nerf Bars

The nerf bars for the Jeep Wrangler (TJ) are typically designed to be rugged enough to withstand a drive through rough terrain, but that ruggedness will only go so far without regular maintenance. As with any other accessories for the Wrangler, the Jeep Wrangler (TJ) nerf bars are also vulnerable to wear and damage that will inevitably shorten its service life.

Maintaining the nerf bars in your Wrangler is not that hard, and in this guide we'll show you how you can do just that:

  • Wash the bars regularly.

Whether you have chromed bars or matte black bars, washing the nerf bars with mild detergent and warm water will help keep its clean and vibrant appearance. For bars with a chrome or machined finish, we also recommend applying a layer of metal polish on the chromed surface to achieve that mirror-like appearance.

  • Take note of rattling or thumping noises.

The bolts that hold the brackets of the nerf bars tend to loosen over time, causing the metal parts of the bar to make rattling or thumping sounds while on the road. If this happens with your Wrangler's nerf bars, check the bolts and tighten them as necessary. We also recommend applying a coat of white lithium grease on the bolts to further minimize contact and friction against the metal parts of your truck.

  • Clean up rust.

The location of the nerf bars make them highly exposed to dirt and mud, which in turn facilitates corrosion. The bolts and brackets, in particular, are the areas most affected as these are where mud and debris accumulate often.

How you clean the nerf bars will depend on the type of coating it has. If the nerf bar has a chrome-coated surface, you can use balled-up aluminum foil soaked in vinegar to scrub off the rust spots; the aluminum and vinegar reacts with the rust particles and cause them to break them down. For painted nerf bars, use sandpaper or a wire brush to scrape off any loose rust particles and apply a coat of rust dissolver on the affected area. However, if the bars are already rusted to the point that its integrity is already compromised, replacing it with a new set of nerf bars is the best option to take.

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  • Troubleshooting Common Problems with Jeep Wrangler (TJ) Nerf Bars

    Nerf bars have a two-pronged benefit for Jeep Wrangler (TJ): they help make it easier to get in and out of the truck (especially for those who have kids) as well as give a custom, sporty look to your ride. However, nerf bars can also be a source of problems, especially if you have had them in your truck for quite some time. In this guide, we'll share some common problems associated with the Jeep Wrangler (TJ) nerf bars and how to troubleshoot them.

    The bolts do not fit properly

    Ill-fitting bolts are among the earliest problems you will encounter with nerf bars, but they are actually quite easy to fix. For the main brackets, you might have to reuse the factory body bolts in order to get a snug fit. A cover or plastic grommet covering the bolt holes may also prevent the bolts from fitting in properly. And if you often drive your truck in muddy, off-road environments, rust and debris may also accumulate in and clog the bolt holes.

    The brackets are not lining up properly

    If the brackets aren't lining up, it usually means that one or more brackets are mounted incorrectly on the truck. Make sure to look at the markings on each bracket to be sure that the brackets are on the right side of the vehicle. You can also look at the parts list that came with the nerf bar kit to determine if the correct amount of each piece or part is there.

    The bars are thumping and/or rattling

    Getting annoyed with the sounds coming from your nerf bars? It may mean that the bars are hitting another metal object. In most cases, these can be solved by loosening all connections and re-adjusting the brackets so they are clear from all the metal components surrounding the bracket. You can also apply white lithium or regular grease on the contact points to minimize the friction between the metal parts.

    Step pads not lining up with the doors

    If the pads don't line up, it usually means the bars are on the wrong side and need to be switched. We also suggest checking the mounting brackets, as they might be mounted on the wrong spot or hole.