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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got home from a long road trip. The return was marred by a rattling noise behind my seat that developed far from home. I checked the tool box on the floor behind me; I checked that both doors were fully closed; I checked that the door latch was not loose; I checked that the rear door window was not loose. "When I get home, I'll have to crawl underneath and check it out further," I said to myself.

I was traveling on rough, two-lane roads, and left my last campsite to head toward home. It had been a cold night, and I was still bundled up. I stopped just before the on-ramp to a major highway, in order to get out of the cab and strip off a layer of clothes. As I stepped onto the chrome, nerf bar-style step, its rear mount gave way and the step crashed to the ground.
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Luckily, I had the tools with me to remove the other mount's bolts, and I tossed the step into my already-crowded bed.

At home, I noticed that the rear step mount had bent - and eventually tore through - the body sheet metal. It's a really lousy mounting system that could have been made much stronger if the lower two holes in that area (obvious in the photo) had also been used - which is how I fixed it (and also strengthened the passenger-side step).
Because those holes had not been used, it allows the bracket to rock away from the body and causes the sheet metal to flex each time you step on the step - metal fatigue is inevitable.

The fix: two additional 8mmX25mm bolts (13mm head to match the original bolts), two 8mm Nylock nuts, and four washers (for a bolt-washer-step bracket-rocker panel flange-washer-nut sandwich) on each rear bracket (i.e., on each side of the truck). There's very little room on the outside (due to the plastic trim piece obstructing the direct line-of-sight), so you'll need to use a wrench (and a lucky, slender finger), or locking needle-nose pliers, to hold onto the nut, at least to get it started. Snug up the stock bolts while you're down there.

Bolt up!
 

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06 6.0 drw 635 rwhp (retired) 08 KR build in progress
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Went through same on my 06 truck as well as a few newer ram trucks come to shop for same reason.
 

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My 06 has each running board mounted in 5 separate brackets with multiple bolts each .. what were they thinking just using 2 SMH




 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited by Moderator)
My 06 has each running board mounted in 5 separate brackets with multiple bolts each.
Exactly! My truck's rocker panels have holes for two more brackets! (Although there are no matching holes in the step itself.)

But the biggest mistake was in not using the lower two (out of four) bolt holes on the existing brackets, which would have eliminated the rocking of the brackets and the resulting flexing of body sheet metal. Four brackets X four bolts would have been bomb-proof.
 
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