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Could anyone provide me some guidance on how long it would take a "mechanically challenged" individual to install the side steps. I am trying to decide whether or not it is worth it to try on my own (if my now 6 month and counting wait for X ever ends!) or have the dealer do it. Also, how many hours would be reasonable for the dealer's installation.
 

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That's a tool question

I did my running board installation in a bit less than an hour. However, I had all of the tools I needed, including appropriate socket sizes and some semi-exotic drivers which made it easy to work in limited access areas (like under a car) and to tighten bolts through narrow slots with minimal available arc space. Officially, you'll need a torque wrench too to tighten the bolts up to but not over the correct amount.

The biggest time sink is just the large number of bolts requiring tightening. I think the total is 72. If you have patience, you can do this yourself and save at least $100 of labor, and get a good feeling of I-did-it-myself satisfaction. But if you tire or bore easily, or if you would have to buy the tools to do the install, let a dealer do it.

-Marne
 

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Like Marne said, it isn't hard to do. The more tools you have, the better although the bare minimum would be two 13mm wrenches and a torque wrench.

Search for running boards where I and some others posted tips on how to install the running boards.

It took me a little more than 2 hours but I'm very methodical and I ran into things that weren't documented in the instructions, which is why I posted my experience.

Some of the things I did which aren't necessary include:

I inventoried all the parts first to make sure everything was there.

I wanted to use my Makita to bolt the brackets together so I had to find the socket adapter. I also had to find my Panavise to hold the brackets to make it easy to use the Makita. I then had to bolt the Panavise to a piece of wood which I clamped to my Radial Arm saw. I could have just sat at a table and use a socket wrench but remember that there are 48 bolts and nuts that need to be tightend down.

I could have used my old torque wrench with the moving needle but I opted to get a digital ratcheting torque wrench (an early CHristmas present). This way I didn't have to look at the needle as I tightened, all I had to do listen/feel for the click. As one of my friends pointed out, I could have bought quite a few more tools with the money I saved ($1200 just for the running board labor and excessive profit).

I built the brackets one day and the next day cleaned off the floor and installed them the next day.

When I first encountered the plastic hole covers on the bottom of the MDX, it took me a few minutes to figure out that you can push in the center and then pry out the assembly using a putty knife.

Everytime I found out I needed another tool, it took time to go look for it. One of the things I couldn't find was a set of Metric box wrenches (I just bought a new set from Sears, on sale!) but I had a ratchet that was small enough to fit inside the bracket.
So the lesson here is to make sure you have all the tools handy.
 

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it took me 45 minutes... i did mine this past saturday.... just follow the instruction... the dealer in my area wanted $549.00 for the part and $350.00 to install it so i baught it fron hondacuraworld.com for $432.00 and installed it my self it was actually easire than i taught just follow the instruction that come with it
 

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That 'buying tools with the money you're saving' is a great argument - I just got a 12" compound miter saw last week with the money I saved from not hiring someone that knows what they're doing to build my deck! :D:D

BTW if you go with the Manik side steps, there's a lot less hardware involved - 8 bolts to attach the steps to the brackets and maybe a dozen machine screw to attach the brackets to the frame. Easily under an hour, unless you cross-thread a bolt...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks

Thanks everyone for the good advice/experience.....now if I only had the X to put them on!
 

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If you have room

If you have room, why not order them now and put together the brackets before it even comes in -- it would give you something MDX related to play with and pass the time, and you could get a jump on the install. Plus, it would give you plenty of time to thoroughly read the instructions, get all of the tools together, and plan your attack.
 

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Rail,

But how much did he charge you for the steps?

My local dealer wanted over $1600 for the running boards, installed. :eek:

$80 would be good if the price was about the same as Tim's.

By installing it myself, I was able to spend the money I "saved" on a new digital torque wrench which I also used to install the wheel locks. :)
 
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