This post takes us to the running boards, where we have built more custom touches for this classic restoration of a 1938 Chevy pickup truck hot rod.
The running boards needed customizing from the original configuration of the split panels added in between the running boards and the bedside. The original split panels didn’t fit great initially from the factory, and as our bedside is a different size than the original bedside, the whole deal really didn’t work for the quality of fit and finish we were looking for.
Rather than modify the panel, we decided to modify the running board to add extra flow and smoothness of transition to the truck bedside. To accomplish the deep radius profiles we used our magnetic brake from Baileigh, which did the trick to perfection. Also, we took patterns to ensure each custom running board was symmetrical.
The running boards are then bolted to the underside of the bedside with a 3/8″ rubber sandwiched in between. This way everything is tied together between the front and rear fenders, including the bedside and also nicely cushioned for real-world road vibrations.
Enjoy these photos of the running board build.
Chevy running board starting point
Let’s begin by cutting out the truck running board area that we are going to fabricate. We cut away from the edge quite a bit so that there is enough material to make a nice sweep up the vertical face. You can also see how far forward we are going to customize this to tie into the truck cab.
Fabrication of the running board
We used a magnetic brake to aid the custom build, along with a piece of pipe to form the curvature.
Here we are using the stretcher and shrinker for profiling the new metal piece.
Here we are fitting the newly made piece, mocking it up and checking it on the truck.
These photos show a work in progress, fitting each new piece to each other. Each different surface needs to flow to meet the next, which is why it took several pieces to accomplish.
And finally, TIG welding all the pieces together.
Rearview of the completed custom running board set. Similarly, we mimicked the stiffening backing bracket from the original board.
We also added these battery jump locators with bracket housing. This truck restoration included door poppers, so if the battery dies, we need an easy way to get power back to the truck systems.
Running board restoration in paint
And finally, here is the custom restoration running board detail in this beautiful blue paint with all the pieces put together!
This post is part fourteen of a series of classic restoration posts on this highly custom 1938 Chevrolet Truck restoration. In post one, we introduce you to the project and the custom features to be fabricated. In post two, we look at the individual truck parts that make up the front end build. Next, we cover the chassis build and drip rail removal in post three. In post four, we show you the process of metal finishing the fenders. Post five takes us through the classic restoration of the original inner grille housing panel. Five also displays our custom touch of deleting the cowl vent panel. Number six takes care of the lower cowl metal and left-hand front fender.
Post seven on this 1938 Chevrolet truck restoration covers the toe board panel and door lock upgrades. Seven mainly shows the upgrades to the inner fender support panel; we heavily modified this panel to take the new location of the hood side panels. We created a custom hood to open by pulling forward instead of the original butterfly design in post eight. Post nine covers the rest of the custom hood: completion of the skin and design and fabrication of the inner structure. Ten shows the firewall modifications. Next, post eleven shows how we fabricated the ‘grille chin’ panel from scratch due to bad damage. Twelve shows one of the steps we took to customize the interior: adding the AC/heater control knobs to the dashboard! Post thirteen displays how we created the windshield defrost vents, cab vents, and duct housing, followed by the shifter housing build.