Running board fell off 1997 Suburban 1500

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by stilllearning6, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. stilllearning6

    stilllearning6 Rockstar

    After seeing that my driver side running board had fallen off ,it appears that the running board brackets are intact and the board fell off the 3 support arms .

    Upon inspection , I suspect that each support arm secured 2 bolts , all of which rusted /sheared and each end had screws to secure the ends from flapping .
    The running board appears to be molded fiberglas , no structural metal was seen .

    Questions :
    what was the OEM method to secure the running board to the support arms ?

    Was there a hex nut imbedded in the fiberglas ?
    My boards have a rubber traction pad glued over the top of the board . When I peel back the traction pad , I do not see any hex nuts remaining in the running board .

    I thought that 6 bolts would pass through the running board and receive a locknut underneath . My concern is that this would cause a protrusion above the running board ( the hex head bolt would stick out and interfere with the traction pad ).
    Perhaps there was a hex nut imbedded in the running board and the bolt passed upward from underneath ?? Just don't know .

    Would like to drill out the remains of the sheared off/ rusted bolt remaining in the original salvaged running board and then re-tap threads for new bolts .
    What is the correct OEM bolt size ? OEM hex nut size ?
    It appears to be a simple nut/bolt application except for the lack of structural steel within the fiberglas running board . Fender washers may help prevent crushing the fiberglas but they would create a bump in the top side .

    Anyone experienced this repair so the top side does not have a bulge ?
  2. TexasEdition

    TexasEdition Rockstar 3 Years 500 Posts

  3. stilllearning6

    stilllearning6 Rockstar

    TexasEdIi I appreciate your input.
    The site provided a schematic which duplicated my knowledge base .
    That still keeps me wondering how the OEM method of securing the running board to the existing factory installed 3 steel brackets was accomplished .
    Perhaps someone is out there who has done this .
    I am trying to understand if there had been some steel hex nuts imbedded in the fiberglas and which way the steel bolts were pointing.

    The vehicle is a hundred miles away and I can't even try to disassemble the other side as a guide , not considering the wet , slushy snow and ice and the probably fully rusted condition of the other side . The other side may disintegrate if I were to tamper with it.

    Thanks anyway . Your efforts were excellent in finding a replacement part .
  4. stilllearning6

    stilllearning6 Rockstar

    After attempting to drill out any hidden rusted /sheared off bolt stubs that may have been contained in the running board underside , I learned that the running was merely plywood planking covered with epoxy / fiberglas.

    The running board had no structural metal imbedded in it .
    The original construction appeared to be wood screws attached from the underside pointing upward into wood .
    Over the years , the wood got wet, the wood softened and got spongy , the wood screws disappeared .
    Resolution : drilled through the planking and inserted 5/16 bolts , wide washers , lock washers , hex nuts . Countersunk the hex head bolts , wide 7/8 inch washers.
    Then, covered the top side with silicone caulking and covered all with the glued on traction pad to hide all.

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