Custom running boards: 1938 Chevrolet Pepsi Truck Restoration Part 14
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!