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Old 01-27-2017, 10:04 PM
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Aftermarket Running Boards

UPDATE

Adding in some reference materials for other folks looking into doing a running board install:
RealOEM Part #s



Original Post
----------------------------------------------------------

I've been looking for a set of running boards for a while but didn't want them quite enough to drop the $1,500+ they seem to average. I briefly looked at aftermarket sets and everything I found was a stick-on that couldn't support any weight or otherwise very crappy.

While trolling ebay a few days ago I spotted these and decided to take a gamble. Logic being that the photos look like a straight-up OEM replacement and with a decent return policy my biggest risk is being out some shipping costs.

I installed them today and overall am very pleased with the results. Good use of three hours and $450. Random musings and pictures below.
  • The fit and finish is a little rough in places - burs in the metal, imperfect joints, etc. Not bad but noticeable while working on it.
  • Despite the picture they do not include new bolts. Something a hair longer than the stock side-rail bolts would have made life much easier.
  • The arches do NOT include the fender flare for the iS models. Need to figure out how to mount my old flair.
  • The kit includes a lot of pop-rivets. I prefer the expanding rivet/clip BMW uses.

Box came with some damage but well packed.


Parts are well labeled and generally high quality. No instructions but the OEM guide is fully applicable.






Fitment isn't perfect. I may be responsible for some of it, but I honestly believe this is more manufacturing tolerances. It's VERY tight on some of these joining pieces and in others there's no way to line the panels up without getting some nasty torque in the parts.




Overall very happy with the results though.



Last edited by OrangeFurious; 02-01-2017 at 03:13 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-27-2017, 10:16 PM
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Okay looks decent from a distance but I think I would struggle with the imperfections which show quite glaringly up close. Some wont mind and will find this option feasible. There is nothing wrong with aftermarket add-ons that blend in well with the product but when they don't blend in then it can be an eyesore. Thanks for sharing your results and giving the rest of us to consider. By the way were you not able to find a good used O.E. set from the junk yard for your application?
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Old 01-27-2017, 10:43 PM
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I share that OCD element and I'm wondering if this is going to trigger it for me. I haven't tossed the old parts yet.

You can absolutely see the imperfections when you get up close - it's a pass at five feet, not at one. I'm hopeful I can tweak some of the fitments over the next few days to get it better. I think with a pop-rivet gun and a bit more time I can get it to 90% of OEM. It will also look a lot better when I clean it up.
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Old 01-27-2017, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeFurious View Post
I share that OCD element and I'm wondering if this is going to trigger it for me. I haven't tossed the old parts yet.

You can absolutely see the imperfections when you get up close - it's a pass at five feet, not at one. I'm hopeful I can tweak some of the fitments over the next few days to get it better. I think with a pop-rivet gun and a bit more time I can get it to 90% of OEM. It will also look a lot better when I clean it up.
All right then tweak her up and keep us posted with the progress.
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Old 01-28-2017, 09:28 AM
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Glad I was patient and found the OE pieces from a wrecked X for $400 including new hardware and oem rivets from the dealer - that fitment would really bother me.

Sweet upgrade either way though
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Old 01-28-2017, 01:14 PM
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What a lousy quality control and fitment. It does add some nice touch to the E53 however.
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Old 01-28-2017, 01:58 PM
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Orange Furious the more I look at the picture of the aftermarket running boards the more I think it does not belong on your X5. You have nice BMWs and the lack of fitment detail on this component just cannot grace the beautiful X5 you have. If it does not fit up like the O.E. gonna have to ditch it. If you were someone that had a cobbled together X5 and a host of other aftermarket add-ons then I would say not bad but your vehicle is pristine clean and unmolested (with regards to add-ons).
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Old 01-28-2017, 02:17 PM
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Forgot to tell you Orange - your fitment issues might be partially the bolts.

The non running board uses less bolts and ones without a built in washer I believe. I distinctly remember the bolts I ordered per the OEM parts list were different than the ones I had on my X.

And the blind rivets are absolutely the ones included with the OE parts too. The expanding rivers are used on the underside rocker panel pieces connection.

The top thin strips that cover the bolts also should be laying completely flush and they are not uni-directional there is a left and right piece and it only fits one way.
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Old 01-29-2017, 01:11 AM
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Thanks for the details. I tweaked the passenger side today and it came together much nicer than the first attempt. I think the position of the running board is slightly off and that Ricky Bobby is right - the bolts are my culprit. I'm using the bolts from the standard rails right now and they're not quite right for this. I'll source a set of the OEM sized bolts and try to fit it all together one more time before I make a final call on keeping it or not.

Pic of my progress below. It's not perfect but much closer to acceptable than it was yesterday.



Quote:
Originally Posted by X53Jay4.8is
Orange Furious the more I look at the picture of the aftermarket running boards the more I think it does not belong on your X5. You have nice BMWs and the lack of fitment detail on this component just cannot grace the beautiful X5 you have. If it does not fit up like the O.E. gonna have to ditch it. If you were someone that had a cobbled together X5 and a host of other aftermarket add-ons then I would say not bad but your vehicle is pristine clean and unmolested (with regards to add-ons).
Thanks man, I appreciate the compliment. I try to take an OEM+ approach to my cars the fit/finish being up to par is a big part of that. Fit issues aside the quality on these parts is solid so I'm willing to put a little more effort into it first. But yeah, the fit bugs me and if I can't get that sorted they're out.
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Old 01-29-2017, 01:54 AM
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Hey OF,

If the price is right, that fit would pass muster with me. I love that running board look on the E53.

So if you decide they're now workable for you, put me on the list of folks who'd be interested.

Thanks,

Mike
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