Repairing Side Steps | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Repairing Side Steps


Well-Known Member
May 17, 2011
Reaction score
City, State
Wittenberg University
Year, Model & Trim Level
'03 Sport Trac XLT 4x4
Hey Guys!

Well I just took off my side steps because I would like to paint/repair them, but I did find some problems that I don't quite know how to address because I am new to my Sport Trac and also new to tinkering around with cars. Now, one of my side steps participated in an accident and is horribly bent out shape. Is the easy fix just to take a hammer to it? Also, there is a lot of rust on the steps. How should I approach this? sand the rust off? I was then going to follow it up with some paint, but I just wanted to ask for some advice on how to approach these coming tasks!


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you can try to beat it with a hammer but it will be hard to get that dent out. to get rid of the rust all you have to do is sand it down and paint it with some black paint or spray bedliner will look good but then your side steps wont match the grey on your truck. You could always get rid of that grey sand it lightly and paint the truck bumpers black bedliner.

Well I now either need to rent a sander, or just get some automotive sandpaper. I was going to get the running boards, the lower paneling along the truck, and the grill all rhino lined, I just need to figure out how to bang these puppies back into shape. I'll keep everyone posted

Hope you have better luck than I did,mine got bent from trails and after enough attempts to fix em I just kept them off

as long as its the brackets and not the actual running boards that are bent, they are pretty simple to bend back, especially if you have a big vice and some muscle. i used a cordless sander with 220 grit sandpaper and it took the rust right off. if you use rhino liner on them you should paint the cladding too to match. just search "painting cladding" on here, plenty of stuff should come up. good luck and post pics if you can!