When it comes to running boards, the installation process typically does not require special tools or wide experience – just a convenient place, installation kit, wrench, and maybe a drill. Fitting the running boards to your 4×4 is what you can perform yourself.
All the needed hardware is typically included in the kit, as well as the manufacturer’s instructions, which may contain some details not mentioned here.
- Clean up the rocker panels. Examine whether they include holes for the installation or they need to be drilled. There can be massive rust partly or completely covering the area, remove it.
- Put one of the boards to the rocker panel and see whether it fits. At this point, you need to decide either you’re satisfied with your purchase or you’d like to get another kit instead. Take into account the fit, looks, and match with holes (if they are present).
- Having made the decision, return to the holes. If they are absent or their location/number/size is inappropriate, drill them yourself. Many running board designs have removable brackets whose location on the bottom parts of the rocker panels can be adjusted. In this case, if you have the holes, you can attach the brackets to these holes, make sure the brackets fit the bottom configuration and measure the distance between the mounting points where the brackets will be installed. If there are no holes, use a smaller drill size to make the initial holes. Then expand the holes to the desired size with a larger drill. Be careful, minimize damages to corrosion protective coating.
- Add some lubricant to the holes edges for corrosion protection and easier installation.
- Attach the brackets and hardware to the running boards according to the distances mentioned in item 4. Tighten up the nuts, use all the pieces mentioned in the manual.
- Loosely install the boards.
- Make sure the boards are positioned adequately.
- One by one, gradually tighten up all of the nuts.
- Check the strength by stepping on the boards. Make sure there is no play or deformation. If there is, the problem is almost certainly in rocker panels and holes. You need to redo the operation in this case. Otherwise, the job is done and you can now use your new running boards.
To learn more: Shopping Guide by CARiD