Lund makes a brilliant sidestep for your truck, and they offer several styles and colors, like the 3 Inch Round Tube, the 4 Inch Oval Tube, and the 5 Inch Oval Tube. But maybe you’re still hanging onto Labor Day, and you don’t want to undertake the huge job of installing them. In the words of James May, “Great news!” Because installing a pair of Lund side steps isn’t tough at all. There’s usually no drilling involved, and it comes with all the hardware you can eat need. We’ll use this example, a 5 Inch Oval Curved Tube Step for a 99-12 Ford F-250 to 450, to demonstrate, but other models are very similar, and just as simple. Here’s our quick Lund International sidestep install guide.
- Empty the box. Make sure everything in the included parts list is present and accounted for. Save the box itself to kneel on while you’re working. Genius life hack, right? Here’s another: read the instructions. Like we said above, there might be some subtle differences depending on your model. Lund will have those covered.
- Find the mounting holes. The average Lund sidestep will mount in your truck’s existing mounting holes. These can be found in the body panels and the pinch welds. Each mounting hole is rectangular, like a tiny Bigfoot pizza, flanked by a round hole on each side. You’ll find the front pinch weld holes right beneath the center of the front door, and the body panel holes should be above those up under the truck.
- Get two 8 mm clip nuts. These are the metal clips that look like you could put a bolt through them. Because you can. Remember that rectangular hole? It’s there so you can access the round holes. So line up the clip nuts with the round holes, and make sure the threaded sides are pointing inward, toward the center of the truck.
- Attach the top of the front bracket. We’re something like halfway done with this side. Grab the mounting bracket. You can tell it’s the correct one because the “cradle” or mounting holes, on the lower part of the bracket (the holes you’ll eventually use to attach the bar) will be facing toward the front of the truck. The front and back brackets are identical. Line up the top holes on the bracket with the clip nuts you just put on the body. Then get your hardware ready. Start with an 8mmx30mm hex bolt, add a lock washer, then a flat washer, in that order. Then thread this into the clip nut. Repeat with the other one.
- Attach the bottom of the front bracket. Now your bottom two holes in the bracket should be lined up with the existing holes in the pinch welds. You can probably guess where things go from here, but we’ll spell it out for you.
Arrange your hardware just as it was on the top holes, but instead of the clip nut for the back, use a traditional 8mm hex nut. Bolt it all up.
- The back bracket works the same way. The back holes should line up just like the front. But if you’re having trouble finding them, you can grab the actual step bar and measure it out.
- Line up the step bar. Then use the same bolt arrangement as the brackets: Bolt, lock washer, flat washer. The holes in the bar are threaded, so you won’t need a nut. Then thread the hardware loosely in place. Next you can make sure the bar is level and looking good. Then tighten everything home.
- Hey, you’re done! See? Nothing to be scared about, unless your truck is underwater, and you’re trying to put your side steps on while surrounded by a flock of hungry sharks.
So don’t waste money hiring someone to do this. Conversely, if someone hires you to do this for money, take the job. Now don’t forget to install the other one.
Andy Sheehan is a blogger, aspiring novelist, and relentless hoon. He plans to will his 2002 Subaru WRX Wagon to his firstborn, plans his daily commute around the swoop of its roads, and doesn’t plan to ever buy an automatic. A cool-car omnipath, he loves the common Mustang or Chevelle, but hunts for the weird and wonderful Velorexes and Cosmos of the autoverse. And when he can afford a garage, he’s going to turn an MX-5 into a race car.