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Old 05-05-2016, 03:34 PM   #1
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Do You Like Your Running Boards?

Hi. Just starting out on what's likely to be a set of slow ($) upgrades/conversions on my 2014 E350 RB. First order of business: running boards/nerf bars. My legs aren't as long as they need to be!

Since this vehicle is my daily driver, as well as a trailer-hauler, it'll see more time on the highway than the backroads, tho a 4WD conversion is planned.

I'm looking for ease of entry/exit in good and bad weather. I liked what I saw of the AMP powersteps, but the mfr tells me they don't make it for the E350 anymore. I was hoping to find a good, strong, easily-accessed set of steps that could still stay out of the way in snow and the occasional off-road bunch of rocks. I like the look of the Aluminess nerf bars, but am I right that they attach only to the body? Is that a solid feel when stepping?

I'd really like to hear what works on your van and why. Thanks a lot for sharing your experience.
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Old 05-05-2016, 05:54 PM   #2
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We have the Aluminess Nerf Bars. I am conflicted though. They are good for getting in and out, but they also limit the van's clearance a bit, and we got the smallest lift possible from Agile Off-Road. We have not done any hardcore 4x4 since getting the conversion done, but I am considering something higher.
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Old 05-05-2016, 10:07 PM   #3
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My van has the AMP boards. The van is a 2009; I'm the third owner, so I don't know much about the build process, but the paperwork included in the purchase says they are a model for a Hummer. Maybe there's boards made for other vehicle models that will fit your rig? I really really like my AMP boards - they have an override that stops movement if resistance is encountered, tuck up nice and tight, and make a HUGE difference getting in and out of the very high vehicle, plus allowing incredible clearance off-road.
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Old 05-05-2016, 11:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyrat View Post
We have the Aluminess Nerf Bars.
Thanks,George. Could you comment on the "stability" of these? Are they mounted to the body or the frame and do they "bounce" when you step on 'em?
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Old 05-05-2016, 11:46 PM   #5
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We sell a lot of Aluminess Nerf Bars - great product!

When mounted correctly (they mount to the body), they are very stable and add greatly to the ease of getting in and out of the van.

You will lose some break over ground clearance...

I also really like the FORD factory running boards. I just bought some used ones to go on one of my vans. All of the others have the Aluminess Nerf Bars - which look great.
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Old 05-06-2016, 04:04 AM   #6
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We run the Aluminess nerf bars as well. Feel super solid when stepping on them. Really like the look as well. Highly recommended.
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Old 05-06-2016, 04:23 AM   #7
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My vans are cargo only types, used mostly for work where entry and exit both front and rear is made much easier by home made running boards. Going that route was pretty much necessary due the dismal range of products for vans in general, running boards especially so.

They're very much utilitarian in appearance but were designed specifically NOT drill holes into the body, using existing frame holes for mounting.

I'd be happy to post a few photos if something of the butt ugly variety isn't out of the question? Or have a look here: http://s184.photobucket.com/user/JWA...?sort=3&page=1
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Old 05-06-2016, 05:13 AM   #8
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Occasionally the OEM ones pop up on Craigslist. I got a set a few months ago for $175, brand-new with all the hardware in a bag. Easy to install.
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Old 05-06-2016, 07:44 AM   #9
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I've retained the OEM Ford running boards on my 2008RB mainly because we have two small dogs that need to hop into the lifted van....and they work fine as running boards....and they are dark grey.....not chromed out.

I imagine that our dogs could get hung up on the tubular stye boards.
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Old 05-06-2016, 12:51 PM   #10
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Thanks for all this great information. I've been doing a lot of reading in the last week and still wondering about this frame vs body mounting "issue". Some folks warn of rust issues with body mounting, but most of what I see available new seems to use the pinch weld.

Is this a non-issue really?

BTW, JWA, your steps look sturdy but you're right... probably no beauty contest winner there.

EDIT: Maybe I answered my own question here, watching a couple of YouTubes. Seems that if you're using factory holes and not drilling new ones you're not introducing a rust isssue. Have I got that right?
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