How To Install Running Boards: Beginner’s Guide

How To Install Running Boards

Why leave anything to chance? Make it safer for your loved ones to get in and out of your favorite vehicle!

The running boards help out people, especially passengers, to get on a tall vehicle comfortably. They are mostly used with trucks and SUVs which come with a much higher riding step than usual vehicles.

While these vehicles are great for off-road uses, they also pose certain security risks. Regular riders can find it hard to enter them without hitting their heads or hurting their legs.

This is where running boards come in. They provide an additional platform to put the feet on for a much easier entrance.

But how to install running boards? We will answer that and more on our discussion here today.

As soon as you will know how to install running boards, why not buy some?

You will find all the information you need to make your choice in our side steps buyer’s guide. If you don’t want to spend hours selecting the one that fits your need, just check our selection of the best side steps for chevy Silverado, in which you will find the best products reviewed and selected for you!

Necessary Tools For Installing A Running Board

You can install the running board easily using common automotive tools like mounting brackets, nuts, bolts, creepers, and socket or box end wrenches.

If your vehicle does not have mounting holes in the frame, you will also need a tool to drill the holes. Usually, you can find all this hardware in the installation kit. But, I suggest everyone to purchase a mechanical tools box that has all the necessary tools for installing automotive parts.

Make sure you put on safety gear like gloves and glasses to avoid any accidental injuries. If your truck has low clearance, you should get jack stands.

Steps To Install A Running Board

There are mainly four steps in the installation of a running board. It should take up to two hours at most to get it done. Having a helping hand always helps since they can get you the required tools at hand.

  • Lift up the rig so that you can get under the truck.
  • Start with the space behind the front wheel on the driver’s side. Unscrew the bolts there.
  • Install new bolt plate in the holes which are already present. If they are not there, drill the holes yourself. Now fasten the brackets.
  • Use the hardware to attach the front brackets. Don’t tighten them too much so that they can be adjusted later.
  • Repeat steps 2-4 for the center and rear mounting brackets.
  • When all the attached pieces are aligned properly, install the running boards so that the threaded side is facing the floor. Make sure that its bolts and the bracket slots are in the same line.
  • Now go to each set of brackets and attach bolts through their slots
  • If you are satisfied with the placement of your boards, tighten up the bracket.
  • Repeat the whole process on the passenger’s side.
  • You did it! Remember to check if the running boards are secured in position from time to time for avoiding accidents.

How To Install Running Boards On Dodge Ram

Dodge Ram trucks make the installation process much easier for its users. These vehicles come with holes already existing in their step mounting sections.

Read through the instructions provided with Dodge Ram. Then based on the instructions, get all the tools required for installing the running boards. Typically, you would need brackets, plastic covers, nuts, and bolts for this job. Here we discuss top 8 garage essentials tool list.

By the way, if you have all the necessary items for installing a running board on the truck then lie down comfortably below the truck door on the driver’s side. Mark the two holes already drilled behind the front wheel. Their purpose is to set the running boards properly.

Usually, these holes are one inch in width and come with tape on them. So you have to first remove those tapes. Then set the nut plate and the stud plate into these holes. Make sure the plastic retainer of your stud plate is placed securely.

After filling up both the holes this way, attach the mounting bracket on the driver’s side to those stud plates. Remember not to torque it down.

Take the second stud in front to set with the mounting bracket slot and the rocker panel hole. Now place washer, lock washer, and bolt here.

Spot the body mount bolt which should be above your head at this point. Take it out for the next step. Fill up the space between body mount bolt assembly and body mount with the support bracket.

In case your vehicle is a quad cab, there should be a taped hole at the back of its passenger door on the driver’s side.

For regular cabs, it will be behind the driver’s door. Remove the tape on this hole. Set up the stud plate here and secure it with a retainer.

Place the rear mounting bracket and align its lower hole with the stud plate. Tighten it until the bracket is secured. Fix the running board on the brackets. Make sure they are set properly with washers and bolts.

If you are satisfied with all the components in place, torque the bolts according to the provided instructions. Repeat the process for installing running boards on the passenger side.

Install Running Boards On A Ford F150

This gorgeous truck of Ford gets better every year with its high-strength body and frame. You can make each workday or weekend trip on this more secure with some running boards on both sides.

If the vehicle already has some installed and you want to change it, get under the truck to take it off. Start from the driver’s side behind the front wheels.

You will get to see two bolts on it – typically 10 mm and 13 mm in size. The rear mount will have a similar structure. Detach the two smaller bolts from both mounts. This will help you to lift the bar up easily. After that, loosen up the bigger bolts to get rid of the old mount.

Three little squares will be visible now. Add one clip to the central one for the center mount and two clips on each of the rest. Remember that the bumpy portion of each clip will be facing the floor.

You will get to see two kinds of screws in the installation kit or tools. One group will be shorter than the other one. Get these short screws to attach from bottom to upward using the standard washers.

The heavy-duty larger washers will be used with the long bolts. The lock washers need to be used with both groups of screws.

Place the short screws on top of the bracket and the long ones below using nuts and the respective washers. This will leave enough space in between to get your bolts on. The sequence should be:

short screw < lock washer < standard washer

long screw’s body < large washer < metal piece on the other side < large washer < lock washer < long screw’s head

Make sure they are tight and secured in place. However, no need to tweak them around just yet since you may need to manipulate them a little during the alignment of the board.

Now you will need five square heads on each rail of the running board. Two of them will be on the front, one in the center and two in the rear. So in total, you should have 10 square head screws at hand.

Slowly place each bolt in a straight line by sliding along the trough. When all the bolts are lined up, place the small washers and small nuts respectively on to them. Tighten them just enough so that they stay in place while moving the running board comfortably.

When everything seems properly lined up, tighten up the running board. Then reach the place inside the truck where the big bolts are placed and tighten them up as well.

Guide To Setup Running Boards On Chevy

A Chevy or Chevrolet car is an immensely popular, sleek, and savvy choice for any truck-lover. This brand has multiple highly successful trucks under their names like Colorado, Silverado, and Traverse.

Now give these amazing models a low-key makeover with the new running boards. First, create the much-needed clear space under the truck by using ramps. Set the parking brake properly as well.

Layout the instruction manual which will have the pictures depicting which hardware goes where exactly. Organize the tools accordingly to minimize the required time. It is better to place each hardware piece in its respective installation place.

On the driver’s side in front, you will find the front mounting bolt or factory body bolt. Unscrew it using a socket wrench and take out the washer.

Now take the mounting bracket meant for this portion of the Chevy. Install it there with the washer you took out and insert the bolt again.

Repeat the same process for installing center rear mounting brackets. When all of them seem properly aligned, tighten up the bolts.

Tips And Cautions While Installing Running Boards

Organize the tools beforehand so that you don’t have to panic in the middle of installation. Divide the tiny items into groups of longer screws, shorter screws, small washers, larger washers, lock washers, and nuts. Then lay out the bigger tools like wrenches, ramps, and brackets on the other side.

As we said earlier, it is better to do this with a friend by your side. Along with helping you handle the tools, they can also give you a second opinion. For instance, they can ensure you if the board is truly aligned with the brackets for the installation to succeed.

Take your time during this installation. Don’t rush anything since it can leave room for error which in turn can lead to dangerous accidents.

Final Words

Along with securing the sides and undersides, running boards also make your vehicle stylish. Black or dark boards can add a sleek contrast to a truck painted in white or similar shades.

On the other hand, boards with chrome or silver finishing can bring in some shine and glamour for the vehicle. To get all these features, you just have to know before setup running boards.

Installing running boards is not much of a hassle. All you have to make sure of is having all the necessary tools at hand and aligning the boards properly. We hope now you know exactly how to install running boards.

Take the beastly vehicles out for a ride without leaving a single shred of possibility for accidents. Make it easier to get in and out of your beloved truck or SUV for your loved ones. This will allow them to enjoy the ride even more!


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