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So this is what my running boards looked like at the start. The corrosion bothered me every time I washed the car so I decided it was time to fix them up. The pictures show what the running boards looked like with a quick wipe down of a rag. So ignoring the water spots this is as clean as they would look.

I looked into the corrosion issue pretty heavily and determined that the cause of the corrosion was water getting in between the rubber grips and getting trapped under the clear coat. In my case the clear coat is defective in the holes as water was allowed in through these holes. You can notice this by the pattern of all the corrosion coming from the holes. As the aluminum continues to corrode under the clear coat it causes the coating to lift up which just leads to more issues.









My solution was simple. I basically stripped the original 2-part clear coat off using aircraft paint remover. The clear coat used on our running boards is the same clear coat as is used in car paint from what I can tell. From there I sanded down the running boards. I found the most effective combination to be a palm sander and elbow grease. I used the palm sander with 150 and 220 grit sandpaper only for the flat portion of the running boards. For the curved portion I started at 100 grit and worked my way up to 220. After sanding with the palm sander you will lose the original brushed finish. To bring back the brushed finish I sanded parallel to the running boards across the top using long strokes. After getting them nice and clean using degreaser, I had a clear powder coat put on the running boards. They were coated all the way around so it is one continuous coating covering the running board. This is key because it will prevent any corrosion from starting in the holes that the rubber grips come through.

Here is the final result:













 

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Nice work! :29:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great work.. did you do the powdercoat by yourself? If so, how easy is it?
I had a friend who knew someone with a powder coating setup. If you do not already have a powder coating setup I recommend that you just pay someone to do it for you like I did. From what I know about it, it is pretty easy to do especially compared to paint because it uses charge to attract the powder evenly to the part that is being coated.
 

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Great info. I've got the same problem. Wondering if the (4 bolts) you mentioned are easily accessible? I didn't realize they could be detached from the running board itself....
Thanks for your help on this....
 

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Bringing back an old thread but I'm also trying to refinish my running boards and am struggling to get the aluminum inserts off. I removed the screws on the side that would sit against the vehicle but I can't seem to get the inserts to lift off from the other side. Are there screws on both sides of the aluminum insert that I'm not finding? Any tricks/tips anyone has to get these removed are appreciated.
Thank you.
 
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