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Running Board Kit

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How to Install a Running Board Kit

Having a good set of running boards doesn't only make getting in and out of the vehicle much easier, it also adds instant value and makes your car look aesthetically pleasing. If your car's running boards need replacement, there is no need to call for a mechanic's help because installing running boards is relatively easy. Just get the right tools and follow this simple guide:

Required skill level: Intermediate

Needed tools and materials

  • Steel wool
  • Rust preventative spray paint
  • Spray lubricant
  • Running board bolts
  • Ratchet set
  • Permanent marker
  • Drill
  • Prepare for the task

    It is best to make sure that your car is properly prepped up for its new running board kit before the installation. First of all, you have to check if your new running board kit contains all the hardware necessary for installation. Next, check the underside of your car for the heater channel's condition. If you find rust, scrub it off with a steel wool pad then spray it with a rust preventative paint to prevent it from rusting again. You can also spray this on your new running boards to prevent rusting. Then let the paint dry for at least two hours. When the rust preventative paint has dried out, you can now spray lubricant on the holes in the heater channel and the running board.

    Installing the new running board kit

    Lie on your back under your car while holding the running board against the heater channel at the bottom of the car's frame. Align all the holes of the running board and the heater channel then bolt them together. You will need to attach the running board on the fenders as well so do not tighten the bolts all the way yet. Next, bolt the running boards to the fenders. If there are no holes in the fender for the bolts to feed through, mark the placement with a marker then drill holes through the fender using a drill.

    Tips and warnings

    • To avoid the hassle of repeating the steps and damaging your new boards, tighten all the bolts only after you have checked if the new running board kit is perfectly aligned with the heater channel and the fenders.
    • During the installation process, handle your new running board kit with care to avoid getting it scratched by the tools that you will be using.

    Running Board Kit Articles

    • Dee Zee vs. Owens Products: Which Is The Better Running Board Kit?

      Choosing a running board kit for your vehicle can be complicated especially when most brands promise almost the same thing. Even if you already have something in mind, choosing which running board from all the brands in the market can confuse you and make the buying process a lot harder. To help you, we chose two of the top manufacturers of running board kits in the market and we took a closer look at their similarities and differences.

      Product range

      Dee Zee offers twelve types of running board kits in different designs, with different features, and made from different materials. While the Owens Products offers seven series of running board kits classified according to the different types of vehicles they would look great on. Although Dee Zee has more, both brands were able to showcase variety and offer us a lot of choices on what would look good on our car.

      WINNER: Dee Zee and Owens Product


      The Owens Products running board that we tried on our car was made from a heavy gauge aluminum which made it sturdy enough for its job. Its black powder coating made it look sporty while the rough-grit tape that runs through the entire length of the board made it a lot safer to step on. Aside from that, it also featured a full-size splash guard that guarantees maximum protection. The Dee Zee running board kit also did a great job. The boards were made of strong and durable aluminum as well with the same powder-coated black finish that perfectly blended with the contours of our car. Footing was also secure because of its cushioned step pad.

      WINNER: Dee Zee and Owens Product


      Although both brands were made for custom-fit application, it was the Owens Products running board kit that came complete with all the necessary hardware needed for a quick and easy installation. The kit contained the matching splash guards, custom-fit mount brackets, end caps, and easy-to-follow instructions. The Dee Zee Running boards, on the other hand, came with only the end caps and mud flap. Installation of the Dee Zee boards also required some drilling.

      WINNER: Owens Products


      Both the Dee Zee and Owens Products running board kits offered variety and did great jobs when we tried them on. Both are also covered by a one-year manufacturer's limited warranty. Although Owens Products earned more points because of its easy installation, we can say that both running board kits will do great in any car.