XJ Rocker panel decision...
Hello all. So here is my issue: I have a 88 XJ that is getting a MAJOR overhaul and rebuild. Part of the project is new rocker panels and I am having a hard time making up my mind for them. I am set on the dimensions being 2x6" rounded edge box tubing, starting with a 6' piece on each side and cutting/capping to fit. Now where I am having an issue is deciding on wall thickness. I already have some in the dimensions I need, but it is 3-16 wall and weighs close to 100 lbs or more per side! I would ideally like to go with something like .120 wall or 1/8" the latter being preferred so I get better gas mileage. Now the 3-16 would be much safer in the event of a side impact, would last a lot longer on the trails and I already have it so I would not have to go through the trouble of selling it to buy the other stuff... However, the gas mileage would drop because of the weight and I really don't plan (famous last words I know) on doing any hardcore wheeling or crawling or anything like that for a long time.
So far the rig has front and rear axle swaps to a 98 D30 front and a Ford 8.8 rear. Roughly a 5" lift, front winch bumper (no winch yet though) and soon to be a custom rear bumper. All the floors are getting replaced with thicker steel, welded to the "frame rails" and this rocker tube, with some cross supports 33" tires with 4.10 gears and an AX-15 trans with a 231 T-case. The rockers being the next step in this build, I need to figure out what I am going to do about them as soon as possible so I can get the steel prepped and ready to weld in...
I haven't done a poll on any thread before so I figured I would give it a shot. So what do you think, use the 3-16 wall I have, or go with 1/8"/.120 wall tube? Also care to weigh in on which would be better and why? Thanks for your input, it is greatly appreciated.