How to Install Running Boards: A Step-by-Step Guide

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To install running boards, follow these steps: measure and mark the correct placement on your vehicle, secure the brackets to the frame, attach the running board to the brackets. Installing running boards is a simple process that can enhance the appearance and functionality of your vehicle.

With running boards, you can easily access higher entry points, protect your vehicle’s body from damage, and add a touch of style. We will guide you through the process of installing running boards on your vehicle. Whether you have a truck, SUV, or crossover, these steps will help you install running boards efficiently and effectively.

So, let’s get started!

Gather The Necessary Tools And Equipment

List of tools and equipment needed for the installation

When it comes to installing running boards on your vehicle, gathering the necessary tools and equipment is the first step. Having the right tools handy will ensure a smooth and successful installation process. Here is a list of the tools and equipment you will need:
Tools Equipment
  • Socket wrench set
  • Allen wrench set
  • Box cutter
  • Tape measure
  • Drill
  • Electric screwdriver
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Running board kit
  • Mounting brackets
  • Bolts and nuts
  • Washers
  • Wiring harness
  • Instruction manual
  • Safety goggles
  • Gloves

Safety precautions

Ensuring your safety during the installation process is of utmost importance. Before you begin, make sure to follow these important safety precautions:
  • Wear safety goggles: Protect your eyes from any potential debris or particles that may be released during the installation. Safety goggles will greatly reduce the risk of eye injuries.
  • Wear gloves: Utilize a pair of gloves to protect your hands from sharp edges or any potential cuts or scrapes.
  • Follow manufacturer instructions: Read and understand the instruction manual provided by the manufacturer thoroughly. Follow all the steps and guidelines carefully to avoid any accidents or mistakes.
  • Use proper lifting techniques: If the running boards are heavy or if you require assistance, make sure to use proper lifting techniques to avoid strain or injury. Remember to lift with your legs and not your back.
  • Secure the vehicle: Ensure that your vehicle is parked on a level surface and securely in place. This will prevent any unnecessary movement or accidents while you are working.
  • Take breaks: If the installation process is taking a long time, remember to take regular breaks to rest and refocus. Fatigue can lead to accidents, so it’s important to stay alert and well-rested.
By gathering the necessary tools and equipment and following these safety precautions, you will be well-prepared and can confidently begin the installation of running boards on your vehicle. Remember to take your time and double-check your work for a professional and sturdy installation.

Prepare The Vehicle

When it comes to installing running boards on your vehicle, proper preparation is key. Taking the time to prepare the vehicle will ensure a smooth installation process and a secure fit for the running boards. In this section, we will outline the necessary steps to prepare your vehicle for the installation of running boards.

Clean the area where the running boards will be installed

Before you begin the installation process, it is essential to clean the area where the running boards will be installed. This will help remove any dirt, debris, or grease that may interfere with the adhesive or mounting brackets. Follow these steps to ensure a clean surface:

  1. Start by washing the area with a mild soap and water solution.
  2. Use a brush or sponge to scrub away any stubborn dirt or grime.
  3. Rinse the area thoroughly with clean water and allow it to dry completely.
  4. Once the area is dry, use a lint-free cloth or towel to wipe away any remaining moisture.

Remove any existing running boards or side steps

If your vehicle already has running boards or side steps installed, you will need to remove them before installing the new ones. Follow these steps to safely remove any existing running boards:

  1. Locate the mounting points of the running boards or side steps.
  2. Using a socket wrench or appropriate tools, loosen and remove the bolts or screws securing the running boards.
  3. Carefully lift and remove the running boards or side steps from the vehicle.
  4. Inspect the area for any remaining debris or adhesive residue and clean as necessary.

Measure And Mark The Placement

Determine the ideal placement for the running boards

Before you start installing your running boards, it’s crucial to determine the ideal placement for them on your vehicle. The placement will largely depend on the make and model of your vehicle, as well as your personal preference.

In order to determine the best placement, you should take into consideration factors such as:

  • The height of the running boards: Measure the distance from the ground to the bottom of the vehicle’s door frame. This will help you determine how high or low you want the running boards to be.
  • The length of the running boards: Consider the length of your vehicle’s doors and choose running boards that extend slightly beyond the doors. This will ensure easy access to the running boards without obstructing the doors.
  • The wheelbase of the vehicle: Take note of the distance between the front and rear wheels. This will help you determine whether you want running boards that span the entire length or only a portion of it.

Keep in mind that the ideal placement may vary depending on individual taste and the specific purpose of the running boards. Some may prefer a more forward placement for easy access, while others may opt for a more rearward position for aesthetics.

Measure and mark the mounting points on the vehicle

Once you have determined the ideal placement for your running boards, it’s time to measure and mark the mounting points on your vehicle. This will ensure precise installation and prevent any misalignment.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to measuring and marking the mounting points:

  1. Using a measuring tape, measure the distance from the ground to the desired height of the running boards. Mark this measurement on the vehicle’s body using a pencil or marker.
  2. Measure and mark the length of the running boards on the vehicle’s body. Start from the front or rear wheel well, depending on your preferred placement.
  3. Divide the length of the running boards into equal sections to determine the placement of the mounting brackets. Mark these spots on both sides of the vehicle.

It’s important to ensure that the mounting points are marked accurately and evenly on both sides of the vehicle to maintain balance and symmetry.

Once you have successfully measured and marked the mounting points, you are now ready to move on to the next step of the installation process. Stay tuned for our next blog post where we will guide you through the actual installation of the running boards!

Install The Mounting Brackets

When it comes to installing running boards, one of the essential steps is attaching the mounting brackets to your vehicle. These brackets provide a sturdy foundation for your running boards and ensure their secure attachment. To properly install the mounting brackets, follow these steps:

Attach the Mounting Brackets to the Vehicle Using the Provided Hardware

  1. First, locate the mounting points on your vehicle. These are usually located underneath the vehicle, along the frame rail or rocker panel.
  2. Take the mounting brackets provided in your running board kit and align them with the mounting points.
  3. Using the hardware included in the kit, start attaching the brackets to the vehicle. Tighten the bolts securely to ensure a strong connection.
  4. Repeat this process for all mounting brackets, ensuring each one is attached to the correct location on the vehicle.

Ensure the Brackets are Securely Fastened

Once the mounting brackets are attached to the vehicle, it’s crucial to ensure they are securely fastened. This step helps prevent any potential movement or wobbling of the running boards while in use. Here are some tips to ensure the brackets are securely fastened:

  • After attaching each bracket, double-check the tightness of the bolts. Use a wrench or socket set to ensure they are firmly tightened.
  • Give the brackets a gentle shake to test their stability. If you notice any looseness, immediately tighten the bolts further.
  • Inspect the brackets visually to make sure there are no gaps or misalignments. A snug and flush fit against the vehicle is essential for optimal performance.

By following these steps and ensuring the brackets are securely fastened, you can be confident in the stability and durability of your running board installation. Now that the mounting brackets are in place, you can proceed to the next step in the installation process, which is attaching the running boards themselves.

Attach The Running Board To The Brackets

Once you have properly aligned the running board with the mounting brackets, it is time to securely attach the running board to the brackets. This step is crucial as it ensures the running board stays in place and provides the necessary support when getting in and out of your vehicle. Follow these steps to attach the running board to the brackets:

1. Align the running board with the mounting brackets

Before you can attach the running board to the brackets, it’s important to ensure that it is properly aligned. This will guarantee a tight and secure fit. Carefully position the running board on top of the brackets, making sure it lines up perfectly with the pre-drilled holes.

2. Securely attach the running board to the brackets

Once the running board is aligned, it’s time to secure it to the brackets. Depending on the type of running board you have, there are different methods for attachment.

If your running board has bolts or screws, insert them through the pre-drilled holes on the running board and into the corresponding holes on the brackets. Use a wrench or screwdriver to tighten them firmly, but be cautious not to overtighten, as it may damage the threads or strip the holes.

If your running board has a clamp-style attachment, carefully position the clamps around the brackets. Tighten the clamps using a wrench or socket until they are firmly secured, ensuring that the running board is level and stable.

In some cases, running boards may come with adhesive tape or adhesive brackets. If this applies to your running board, simply peel off the backing of the adhesive tape and press the running board firmly onto the brackets. Hold it in place for a few seconds to ensure proper adhesion.

Note: It’s recommended to consult the installation instructions that come with your specific running board model as they may provide additional or alternative attachment methods.

Once the running board is securely attached to the brackets, give it a gentle shake or push to ensure it is stable and properly in place. If there is any wobbling or movement, double-check the attachment and tighten any loose bolts or clamps.

Now that you have successfully attached the running board to the brackets, you can move on to the final steps of the installation process. These steps may include securing any additional hardware, adjusting the position of the running board, and ensuring its alignment with other vehicle components.

Remember, a well-installed running board not only adds functionality to your vehicle but also enhances its appearance. So take your time, follow the steps carefully, and enjoy the benefits of your newly installed running boards!

How to Install Running Boards: A Step-by-Step Guide


Test And Adjust

Once you have successfully installed your running boards, the next step is to test and adjust them for stability and proper alignment. This crucial step ensures that your running boards are securely in place and provide the necessary support for safe and comfortable entry and exit from your vehicle.

Step on the running board to check for stability and proper alignment

After installation, it is essential to test the running boards by stepping on them. Place your weight evenly on the board and apply a gentle pressure to check for any wobbling or instability. Stability is crucial as it not only ensures your safety but also prevents any damage to the running boards or your vehicle.

While testing for stability, it is also essential to check if the running board is properly aligned with your vehicle. Ensure that the running board is parallel to the ground and sits flush against the side of the vehicle. Any misalignment can affect the overall appearance of your vehicle and compromise the functionality of the running boards.

Make any necessary adjustments for a perfect fit

If you notice any instability or misalignment during the test, you may need to make some adjustments to achieve a perfect fit. Here are some steps to follow to ensure your running boards fit accurately:

  1. Check the mounting brackets: Start by inspecting the mounting brackets that attach the running boards to your vehicle. Ensure that they are securely tightened and properly aligned with the vehicle’s frame.
  2. Adjust the brackets: If you find any misalignment in the brackets, you can use a wrench or a socket to loosen them. Gently reposition the brackets until they align correctly with the vehicle’s frame. Once aligned, tighten them securely to maintain stability.
  3. Verify the running board position: Double-check that the running board is positioned correctly. It should be parallel to the ground and evenly spaced from both the front and rear wheels.

By making these necessary adjustments, you can achieve a perfect fit for your running boards. Remember to test the stability and alignment again after making any changes to ensure that they are properly secured and aligned with your vehicle.

A well-installed and properly adjusted running board not only enhances the functionality of your vehicle but also adds to its overall aesthetic appeal. Take the time to test and adjust your running boards, and you will benefit from the added convenience and style they bring to your vehicle.

Secure The Running Boards

Installing running boards on your vehicle not only enhances its appearance but also provides additional convenience when getting in and out. Once you have successfully mounted the running boards, it’s crucial to ensure they are securely attached. This step ensures the long-lasting durability and stability of the running boards. To secure the running boards effectively, follow these key steps:

Tighten all bolts and screws to ensure the running boards are securely attached

To ensure the running boards stay firmly in place, start by tightening all the bolts and screws that secure them to the vehicle. Grab a wrench or socket set and carefully go through each bolt and screw, making sure they are tightened snugly. Pay attention to any manufacturer’s guidelines regarding torque specifications to ensure correct fastening. By properly securing the running boards, you prevent them from becoming loose over time, causing unnecessary movement or noise while driving.

Double-check the stability and alignment of the running boards

After tightening the bolts and screws, it’s important to double-check the stability and alignment of the running boards. Walk around the vehicle and gently give each board a light shake to ensure there is no noticeable movement. If any rocking or looseness is detected, revisit the bolts and screws for additional tightening. A stable running board not only provides a secure stepping surface but also prevents any potential damage to the vehicle’s body. One way to verify the alignment of the running boards is to visually inspect them from different angles. Make sure they are parallel to the ground and uniformly aligned with the vehicle’s body. Misaligned running boards not only compromise the aesthetic appeal but can also result in uneven weight distribution when using them. Correct alignment enhances the overall appearance of your vehicle while providing a consistent and level stepping surface. Remember, securing running boards is a vital step to ensure their longevity and efficiency. Taking the time to tighten all bolts and screws, as well as double-checking stability and alignment, guarantees a safe and reliable installation for years to come. Make sure to follow these steps when securing your running boards, and enjoy the added convenience and style they bring to your vehicle!

Final Touches

Clean the running boards to remove any fingerprints or dirt

Before you fully wrap up the installation process, it’s important to ensure that your running boards are clean and free from any fingerprints or dirt that may have accumulated during the installation.

To clean your running boards, simply follow these easy steps:

  1. Gather a soft cloth or sponge and a mild cleaning solution.
  2. Dampen the cloth or sponge with water and add a small amount of the cleaning solution.
  3. Gently wipe down the entire surface of the running boards, paying special attention to any areas that appear dirty or have visible fingerprints.
  4. Rinse off the cleaning solution with water and use a clean cloth to dry the running boards thoroughly.

By taking the time to clean your running boards, you can ensure that they look their best and maintain their pristine appearance for the long haul.

Take a step back and admire your newly installed running boards

Now that you have successfully installed your running boards, it’s time to step back and take a moment to appreciate the transformative effect they have on your vehicle’s overall appearance.

Admiring your newly installed running boards not only allows you to fully appreciate the hard work you’ve put into the installation process but also allows you to ensure that they are aligned and secure.

While admiring your running boards, make sure to check the following:

  • Inspect each running board for any visible gaps or misalignment.
  • Ensure that the running boards are securely attached to the vehicle chassis without any loose or wobbling parts.
  • Check for any protruding screws or bolts that may need to be tightened or adjusted.

By performing this quick inspection, you can have peace of mind knowing that your running boards are correctly installed and ready to enhance your vehicle’s functionality and style.

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Install Running Boards

Are Running Boards Hard To Install?

Installing running boards is not difficult.

How Do You Attach A Running Board?

To attach a running board, follow these steps: 1. Position the running board on the vehicle’s side. 2. Mark the mounting points and drill holes on the body. 3. Attach brackets to the running board using bolts. 4. Align the board with the mounting holes and secure it in place.

5. Tighten bolts to ensure a secure attachment. Remember to seek professional assistance if needed.

Do You Have To Drill Holes For Running Boards?

Yes, you have to drill holes for installing running boards.

What Do Running Boards Mount To?

Running boards mount to the underside of vehicles, offering a step for easier entry and exit. They are typically attached to the vehicle’s frame using brackets or bolts.


To sum up, installing running boards is a simple process that can enhance the functionality and appearance of your vehicle. By following these step-by-step instructions, you can easily install running boards on your own. Whether you’re looking to improve accessibility or add a stylish touch to your vehicle, running boards are a worthwhile addition.

With just a few tools and some patience, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the benefits of running boards. So, grab your tools and get started on this DIY project today!

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