Thinking about replacing factory boards and putting on ARB "protection steps" or sliders. How solid are the steps or is a slider the only way to go if one runs aground?
ARB, Slee or what is best, cheaper etc?
Duane-there are many many manufacturers of the side armor. I don't believe Slee Off Road makes one specific to 4Runners-he is more of a Land Cruiser specific shop. (Check out their website to be sure)
I use a company called All Pro Off Road in Hemet, CA and have purchased twice from them. Once for my 95 4Runner and again for my 99 Runner.
There are also at least 2 trains of thought on mounting of these rock guards/body protectors/side steps. Some prefer to have them welded-others have devised stout mounting bolts and brackets.
In any case they should be strong enough to support your rig if you had to jack it say with a High Lift jack directly to the rock guard.
I had both pairs of mine powder coated black by local shops and then welded in place, and remain completely satisfied with the look and performance of them. They do work to keep the stray boulder from making contact with your body panels and doors.
My only suggestion would be the addition of some "grit" to the top (step) surface of the guards for better traction in wet conditions climbing in and out of the vehicle.
Google "rock guards" or running board replacement and view a few of the many shops that make these and you will get an idea what they should cost you, either unfinished or ready to mount.