Running Boards for Nissan Frontier: Materials, Styles, and Installation Steps Complete Guide

Worried about getting the perfect running boards for your Nissan Frontier? You’ll love this comprehensive guide!

Here, we explain the different materials and styles of running boards available, as well as their installation steps. Get the perfect set now and make your life easier!

The Nissan Frontier is an incredibly versatile and dependable pickup truck capable of tackling any job or journey. To maximize its function and utility, many owners can benefit from installing running boards on their vehicle. Running boards are a great addition to any car, allowing you to get in and out of your truck with ease.

If you’re looking to purchase running boards for your Nissan Frontier, this guide provides key information regarding the materials, styles, installation steps and more. Going into the process with an understanding of the different options available will help you to find the perfect fit for your truck and your lifestyle.

Continue reading below for more insight into selecting the right running boards for your truck!

Materials Used in Running Boards for Nissan Frontier

Running Boards for Nissan Frontier are available in various materials and styles. The most common options for running boards include ABS plastic, aluminum, steel, and composite materials like reinforced plastics. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages.

ABS Plastic Running Boards: ABS plastic is the most popular material used for running boards due to its cost-effectiveness, easy installation and durability. It comes in a variety of colors to match your vehicle’s paint job and can be fitted to the exact length of your Nissan Frontier’s wheelbase. These boards are impervious to scratches, dents or warps which makes them suitable for long-term usage.

Aluminum Running Boards: Aluminum stone guards provide excellent protection as they offer great resistance to weathering and denting; they make your vehicle look more stylish while adding great value to it. They come in several designs like woodgrain finish or polished aluminum that make them look unique on vehicles of any color. This durable metal material weighs less than plastic boards but provides greater overall strength so it’s a great option if you’re looking for optimum performance from your running boards.

Steel Running Boards: Steel running boards provide greater protection than other materials as they are very resistant to impact from stones or other road debris that may be kicked up by your tires during normal driving conditions. On the downside though, these stones guards are heavier than other alternatives so they might not be the most attractive option depending on how much extra weight you want on your vehicle when off-roading or maneuvering difficult paths during adventures out into the wilderness areas of Oklahoma City forests or hillsides outside Tulsa County boundaries filled with dense brushland terrain and rocky surfaces compounding the stability issue associated with added weight imposed upon your truck’s frame underneath – coupled with potential rust problems posed by this heavier material over time – could actually lead toward extensive design fatigue potentially resulting in serious mechanical faults over time along with additional maintenance initiatives required not only at time of purchase but due to ongoing general degradation issues present decades hence into her Road Dog’s future monthly upkeep processes if left unchecked!

Composite Materials: Composite running boards provide greater safety as well as good looking finishes that last longer than any other type of stone guard material currently on the market today! They are made up of reinforced plastics with an added layer of protection from recure rubber moldings affixed into place around their edges designed towards preventing objects from coming inside where it could cause harm towards mechanical operations within without having prior avoidance successfully secure prior onward movement continuity guidance granted!


Aluminum running boards are a great choice for those looking to add a little style and convenience to their vehicle. Aluminum is one tough material that can stand up to even the toughest bumps, potholes, and slippery surfaces. In addition, aluminum running boards are corrosion-resistant and lightweight — making them perfect for any Nissan Frontier owner who loves to hit the open road. Plus, with today’s technology, some aluminum running boards come with aluminum extrusions for better flexibility, support, and durability. With a variety of colors available on the market today, you can find the perfect finish to match your Nissan Frontier perfectly.

Aluminum running boards offer superior strength due to their construction material — which makes installation easy—plus they can hold up against harsh weather conditions. If you’re looking for a quick way to add style and functionality to your Nissan Frontier without breaking the bank then an aluminum running board is definitely an option worth considering!

Installation of these boards usually involves drilling into your existing side panels then bolting them in place with stainless steel hardware. Some models may even require welding or rivets depending on your specific make and model of your Frontier.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel running boards are a popular style choice for the Nissan Frontier due to their sleek appearance and durability. Stainless steel is resistant to rust and corrosion, making it a great choice for any climate. The silver finish on stainless steel running boards gives your Frontier the look of luxury, making them a stunning addition to your vehicle’s exterior.

These types of running boards are available in a variety of styles and lengths, allowing you to find one that best fits both your style and budget. Plus, stainless steel running boards install easily with no special tools or customization needed. The installation process can be completed in approximately an hour or two depending on the make and model of your vehicle. Before beginning installation, you should make sure that the running board kit is designed specifically for use with the Nissan Frontier. Once you have chosen the right model, follow these simple steps to get your new set up in no time:

  1. Ensure surfaces are clean and secure attachment points are available
  2. Select mounting locations following manufacturer’s instructions
  3. Attach preassembled brackets using screws
  4. Securely attach running board using provided hardware
  5. Check that all components are tight before testing
  6. Take car out for test drive


Plastic running boards are a great cost-effective option for installing on your Nissan Frontier. They tend to be much lighter than metal running boards, making them easier to install. Additionally, plastic running board kits usually include both the step boards and mounting hardware for quick easy installation.

As for construction, plastic running board corbels are usually made from polyethylene plastic with a wide variety of finish surfaces available such as off white, black and aluminum. Some even have natural zinc or stainless steel finishes which look nice when matched with other chrome parts and premium accessories already installed on your truck.

When installing plastic running boards, you must use the mounting brackets provided in the kit to ensure perfect fitment. With that said, always follow manufacturer instructions because they often include specific wall opening requirements as well as other important design information unique to particular models of trucks like the Nissan Frontier.

Styles of Running Boards for Nissan Frontier

When considering the selection of running boards for your Nissan Frontier, you will come across three distinct styles, with some differing styles between aluminum and plastic boards. All three styles provide a secure step to get in and out of the truck, but have unique aesthetics that allow you to choose which style fits your pickup truck’s personality. Each running board also requires a different installation process, but all steps are achievable by any person comfortable with tools and hardware – no professional help required! The types of running boards for Nissan Frontier are outlined below.

Sliders: Slider running boards for Nissan Frontier feature more of an angled-down design and protrude further out towards the edge of the truck’s body than traditional side steps. These boards slide down closer to the ground when not in use, making them unobtrusive while driving and giving them an overall sleek look when parked. Aluminum sliders require drilling into your truck’s frame while plastic sliders can mount directly onto existing holes along your vehicle’s running board bracket.

Nerf Bars: Nerf bars have more vertical support than other running boards with a short tubular design that typically utilizes only two mounting points per side. Nerf bars offer less coverage underfoot than slider or hooped models but can be fitted perfectly wide for you vehicle for a tailored fit. As nerf bars are made from stainless steel, they tend to still be strong despite their abbreviated size and can handle smaller amounts of weight better than heavier hooped options.

Hooped Running Boards: Hooped running boards features larger support brackets that “hoop” over each wheel arch for added stability and strength – perfect for those looking to load heavy items onto their truck without worry about bending or warping the board material over time. These boards usually start out at around 42 inches from end-to-end so they cover more visible space on your truck body while providing solid footing underneath each wheel arch as well as foot room between both tailgate and front bumper tread pieces when getting in/out of vehicle cabin area at both ends back to cab doorside.

Cab Length Running Boards

Cab length running boards for the Nissan Frontier are designed to fit your make and model perfectly. They connect the side edges of the cab and offer easy entry into your vehicle without straining or harming your body. They also provide extra protection from road debris, dirt, and dust. When purchasing a set of running boards for your Nissan Frontier, you will have several options when considering materials and styles.

Aluminum Cab Length Running Boards: Aluminum is a great choice if you are looking for strong yet lightweight boards that will not corrode even after prolonged exposure to mud, rain, or snow. Aluminum running boards are durable, sleek in design, and custom polished for a show-stopping look that enhances the appearance of your Nissan Frontier’s exterior.

Stainless Steel Cab Length Running Boards: Stainless steel is an ideal choice due to its premium look pairs well with modern-looking vehicles like your Nissan Frontier. These heavy-duty boards provide enhanced protection while accenting the rugged exterior of your vehicle with bold lines and a mirror-like finish.

Nylon Step: Nylon step sided cab length running boards are designed for maximum strength and durability for any driving terrain. The diamondplate textured surface offers secure stepping grip even when wet and looks great on higher profile vehicles like SUVs or trucks such as your Nissan frontier! The added benefit to this style by using nylon step is that it helps protect from mud splatter so you don’t have to constantly clean off those dirty board rails!

Wheel-to-Wheel Running Boards

Wheel-to-wheel running boards cover a wider area than regular steps because they run the complete length of the truck. They also have a higher profile and provide protection to the rocker panels in your Nissan Frontier. These boards are made of either steel or aluminum, with some versions using both materials. Steel running boards are extremely durable and often come with anti-slip tread plates, while aluminum running boards are lightweight, corrosion-resistant and very stylish.

Before purchasing a wheel-to-wheel running board, you should double check the compatibility of your truck with the specific model you’ve chosen. Also be aware that some manufacturers require special brackets or mounting blocks for installation, so if you want an even look you might want to invest in those additional parts.

Nerf Bars

Nerf bars, also known as running boards, are an excellent way to make entering and exiting vehicles much easier. Nerf bars are available in several different materials, styles, and lengths that suit specific models of vehicles, such as the Nissan Frontier. They can provide a sturdy handhold for passengers to hold on to when getting in and out of the vehicle. They also protect existing paintwork from scratches or chips caused by contact with footwear or debris on the ground.

Common materials used for nerf bars include: stainless steel, anodized aluminum, steel alloy with a black powder coating finish and polyester powder-coating which provides a very good matt finish covering most colors from scratch and chipping. Some manufacturers offer specific models that perfectly fit certain vehicles such as the Nissan Frontier; however there is often enough play for these styles to fit other vehicles too.

The installation process for nerf bars is often very straightforward though there may be situations where drilling is required depending on the mounting style chosen. Common mounting types include no-drill brackets (which do not require any drilling) or ‘drill style’ brackets (which requires some drilling). The most important step during installation is ensuring you measure correctly before drilling any holes into your vehicle’s bodywork – ensure that you make all drill holes carefully taking time to check twice before cutting once! Installation instructions are often included with each product buy or can be found online if you need help completing this task safely and efficiently.

Installation Steps for Running Boards on Nissan Frontier

Installing running boards on your Nissan Frontier is a straightforward process. To begin, make sure that you have the right tools and parts for the job. This includes self-tapping screws, double-sided mounting tape, drill bits, a step ladder, and a power screwdriver or drill.

Once all of these items are gathered, you can begin to install the running boards on your Frontier. The exact steps to do this may vary depending on your vehicle model and the specific running boards being installed. Generally speaking however, here are some of the steps you’ll likely need to take:

  1. Measure the space on your Frontier for where the running boards will fit best.
  2. With those measurements taken, mark where you should attach the running boards so that they fit neatly against your vehicle without any tension from them putting pressure on any other part of it.
  3. Position and attach one end of each running board at either side of your Nissan using double-sided mounting tape or screws depending on what type of installation you prefer (screws will provide more durability).
  4. Apply more mounting tape or screw down additional sections along each board’s length depending upon how many are needed for even support along its entire length as laid out for measuring earlier in Step 1 above.
  5. Give final safety checks by going over all screw and mount points with careful inspection to make sure everything is secured with no risk of coming loose while driving or in adverse weather conditions such as high winds or heavy rainfalls; if necessary – add more screws at any weak points found during this inspection process until satisfied with their robustness prior to moving onto the next step below –

6 Finally – check each board’s securement by pressing firmly on their surfaces one last time before fully completing their installation into place; likewise – test out their support strength by standing fully atop them at either extreme edge point (left and right sides), then middle section(s) as confirmation that all mountings have held up well through this harsh testing period until all is ready for final use!

Required Tools

In order to effectively install running boards on a Nissan Frontier, the required tools will vary depending on the specific application and model of your vehicle. If you plan to install the running boards yourself, it is important to have a list of necessary tools at hand. This can help ensure that you have everything you need while avoiding unnecessary trips to the hardware store in the middle of installation.

Generally speaking, in order to install running boards onto a Nissan Frontier, following basic set of tools will be required:

  • Socket Wrench Kit
  • Sturdy Step Ladder
  • Drill with Bits
  • Utility Knife
  • Pry Tool or Crowbar
  • Masking or Painter’s Tape
  • Screwdrivers/Pliers
  • Threadlocker  (optional)

Additionally, depending on the model and mounting system used for your specific running board set, other additional tools may be needed. It is often advised that users reference their vehicle’s production manual prior to attempting any driveway installations in order to accurately gauge what additional materials and tools may beat hand or otherwise useful for their particular vehicle make and model.

Preparation Steps

Before you begin the installation process for running boards for your Nissan Frontier, it is important to take a few preparatory steps. First, gather all the necessary components, tools and materials that you need for the installation. This includes parts such as running boards, brackets, bolts and washers. Next, check to make sure that you have all the pieces needed for your specific model of Nissan Frontier.

Once you have determined that all necessary components are present and accounted for, find a safe work area with plenty of lighting so that you can inspect each part as you go along. Find a flat surface that will support the weight of your vehicle and prevent any potential damage to either party (you or the vehicle). Be sure to keep any sharp edges away from other vehicles or personnel in your work space.

In addition to this preparation process before beginning installation of running boards on a Nissan Frontier, be sure to read through the instructions carefully before beginning any steps included in those instructions. During this stage of preparation it’s also important review any safety precautions provided in the instruction manual in order to stay safe throughout this process.

Mounting Steps

Mounting your running boards is generally a fairly straightforward process, though you will likely need some power tool knowledge and experience to successfully install them yourself. Before starting, take into consideration the weight of the running boards as each manufacturer will give specific recommendations as to how much pressure needs to be applied when mounting them.

First, refer to your vehicle’s manual for specific instructions about mounting the running boards and for other important safety information relevant to your make and model. Then, gather all of the necessary tools and materials – an owner’s manual, references guide, power drill, drill bit sets, screws and washers or nuts, a socket wrench (or even an impact driver or powered wrench), torque wrench (if necessary), an appropriate sized ladder or step stool etc. You may need some padding material (carpet padding or heavy-duty foam mat) between the running board and frame if required.

Now that you have all that you need, it’s time to get started:

1) Position the run bars in place near their respective brackets. Make sure they fit flush against each other on both sides by measuring from end-to-end with a tape measure before making any holes.

2) Drill holes through each bracket using the appropriate drill bits according to what is recommended by your manufacturer’s instructions – remember: if plastic brackets are used instead of metal ones then it’s best not to use too big a drill bit as this can damage them. It may also be easier to begin drilling with smaller pilot holes so that large screws can be more easily driven into place later on with minimal effort.

3) Install each bolt one at a time while making sure they’re properly aligned in order for them to hold their position after installation has been completed; once in place tighten down on each one with either a ratchet wrench or an impact driver (if available).

4) Finally secure additional hardware (e.g., bolts and washers/nuts) again using either hand tools or powered ones such as an impact driver/wrench depending on what has been specified for by your manufacturer’s instructions – remember not to overtighten them though! Once all fasteners have been tightened down then proceed ahead by repeating these same steps until both sides are securely mounted in place before testing out their proper functioning ability by standing up on them while holding onto something stable nearby just in case any issues arise when walking around up top too quickly – if anything doesn’t feel right adjust accordingly until everything feels safe enough before calling it done!


In conclusion, running boards for Nissan Frontier can be a great addition to your vehicle, and can enhance the look and feel of any type of truck. Installing running boards is not too hard and can be done with a few simple tools, like screws and nuts. With the right materials and styles, running boards for your Frontier will give you the security to climb in or out of your truck safely.

Hopefully this guide has provided some insight on what types of materials, styles, and installation steps are involved when adding running boards to your Nissan Frontier.


How are running boards installed?

Running boards are typically installed by attaching them to the underside of a vehicle’s frame using brackets and bolts.

What tools do I need to install running boards?

The tools needed to install running boards may vary depending on the specific installation instructions, but typically include a socket wrench, drill, and screwdriver.

What are truck running boards made of?

Truck running boards can be made of a variety of materials, including aluminum, steel, and plastic.

What metal are running boards made of?

Running boards can be made of either aluminum or steel.

Are steel or aluminum running boards better?

The choice between steel and aluminum running boards depends on personal preference and the specific needs of the vehicle owner.

Is aluminum or stainless steel better for running boards?

Aluminum and stainless steel both have their advantages and disadvantages for running boards, and the choice between the two will depend on the specific needs of the vehicle owner.

How do you install truck step rails?

Truck step rails are typically installed using brackets and bolts, and may require drilling holes in the vehicle’s frame.

What is another name for running boards?

Running boards are also sometimes referred to as side steps or nerf bars.

Do you have to drill holes for running boards?

Depending on the specific installation instructions, drilling holes in the vehicle’s frame may be necessary to install running boards.

Where do running boards attach?

Running boards typically attach to the underside of a vehicle’s frame using brackets and bolts.

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