Saturday, March 07, 2015

Removing LR4 Running Boards

Here's how I removed the running boards on my 2015 Land Rover LR4.  These are a mandatory feature on the 2015 model.  They are installed at the factory and the dealership is forbidden from removing them.  I removed them so I could install my after-market rock sliders.

They're relatively easy to remove.  It's just time consuming and requires some awkward positioning since I don't have a lift.  I found a video online showing the installation process, but that LR4 had a slightly different rocker panel trim.

Tools Used:

a) phillips screwdriver
b) T40 Torx bit and socket wrench
c) 10 mm socket and 3 inch extension
d) trim removal pry tools

Procedure Used:

1) Locate and remove all 9 Torx bolts on the bottom of each running board that fasten it to the frame.  Don't worry about needing to support the running board at this time.  There are 7 more bolts to be removed and they easily hold it onto the car.

2) Remove 2 screws that fasten the rear of the rocker panel trim to the car.

3) Looking up at the bottom of the running boards, remove the 7 nuts that fasten the board exterior to its structure.

4) Remove the running board surface.  Close the doors and lift the running board.  To get it free, you must clear those bolts (that you removed the nuts from) from the holes in the structure.  I had to jiggle it a bit and roll it toward the car as I lifted.

5) Open both doors and pry the rocker panel trim away from the body along the top edge using a pry tool.  I happen to have some plastic trim pry tools that worked well.  But I also did a bit with a screwdriver.  I did not completely remove the trim.  I only unsnapped the white/yellow snap-fasteners.  This was enough to let me squeeze a socket wrench in from above to remove the remaining bolts.

6) Remove the remaining 7 Torx bolts that hold the running board structure to the side of the car.  Remember that the last one will be supporting the entire weight of the running board.  They are a bit heavy.  I weighed one and it was 54 pounds.  I simply removed the front and rear bolts first, then I sat on the floor facing the car with the running boards resting on my (slightly bent) knees and removed the center bolts.

7) Lower the running board structure and set it aside.

Note: I did the above procedure in my garage with the car in off-road height.  It would have been easier in extended mode, or on a lift.  It helped that I had a handy low-profile ratchet driver to get at the bolts behind the trim and the screws at the back of the trim.  I'm sure competent people have better tools.

It took me about 2 hours total to remove both running boards.  More was spent on the first one, then it got easier.

Since I won't install the rock sliders for a week or so (it looks like I might need to cut one of them to fit), I snapped the rocker panel trim back into place and fastened the 2 screws at the back of the trim.  The car now looks normal.  You'd have to be very short and know a lot about Land Rovers to notice that the rocker panel trim has some factory-made cuts to accommodate the running boards.  

Now I can focus on protecting the finish and such.

UPDATE: I've added a new post with photos showing the LR4 without running boards, before I installed rock sliders.


bander said...

Just got my wife's boards off easily, with your assistance. You saved me a lot of frustration and time. Thanks
Are they mandatory as side impact protection or if vehicle rolls? I noticed all the bracing underneath(silver) that ties it to frame

Michael said...

I'm glad I could help. I don't know any details about the "mandatory" running boards beyond what I read on various rover forums. I think that Land Rover installed them to satisfy some new US Dept of Transportation requirement. They weren't on the models a few years prior, and I don't know what DOT rules might have changed. I also don't think that I have any legal obligation to keep them on (CYA: but don't take any legal advice from me). They would only protect me from the side impact of a very short vehicle. They'd protect me if I were T-boned by a Porsche 911.

Anonymous said...

Hi there. First off thank you for taking the time to post this. Very informative and helpful indeed.
I am about to pick up a new 2016 Lr4 and loathe the running boards. I will be removing them straight away but will not be adding sliders for some time. My concern is the cuts left on the lower trim to accommodate the mounting brackets. are they visible (open door or closed) ? Is there a concern of having these areas exposed to the elements (road salt etc...)? Lastly if these are valid concerns I was thinking of ordering trim from a MY 2014 which I believe was the last year that the running boards were an option and should fit the 2016 without issue.
Unbelievable that Land Rover is force feeding these....I look forward to your reply and thank you once again.

Michael said...

Thanks for the comment. I'm glad my post can help.

I think that the cuts in the rocker panel trim aren't very noticeable, unless you're an expert on LR3/LR4s. But since photos are more helpful than words, I'll dig through my photos and post a few in a separate post to show you what I mean. There is a small sliver of body panel that can be seen, when looking from a lowered (squatting) position, or viewing from a distance. This will be more noticeable if the body panel paint contrasts with the trim (as my red does). I hav eno concern about exposure to the elements because they appeared to have the same finish as the rest of the body panels. I waxed mine a bit before adding the sliders (but I do stupid things).

Unknown said...

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the write-up, an am actually adding running boards for my wife's LR4. I found some used OEM boards (man they were heavy) but have no hardware.. Do you know the sizes of the hardware, or where I can get it?



Michael said...

I'm sorry to report that I don't know the size. I was looking for the bolts that came with my rock sliders so I could inspect them and determine the size and TPI, but I can't find them. I installed the sliders using the bolts that held the running boards on. If you're unable to find an easy answer on other sites, then I can remove one of the bolts and examine that.

Christopher Causee said...

Do you have your old running boards? I got the passenger side ones all thrashed up on a extreme tall curb and LR wants $2k to replace.... Was going to order some after market OEM and install just the one side. Thanks

Michael said...

Nope. Sorry to report that I don't have them any more.
I imagine that there are some available, based on the number of people who routinely read this particular post. Google says: 47 people in the past month. So you might find some recently removed ones if you post to the Land Rover forums.
Good luck.

Christopher Causee said...

Thanks! I thrashed the aluminum rail around the side step and need to now buy both side to replace just the one. I am trying to figure out if I can use the already installed step hardware and just slide on a new step. Thoughts? Thanks

Michael said...

I would imagine that you can easily mount an OEM step to the rails. I think you're on the right track, since there seem to be many owners who are removing these things from their rigs. You're bound to get a good deal on one, or two.

Andy Reeves said...

Great post. Thank you. Putting sliders on my LR4 this weekend.

How did you remove the yellow snap fasteners that held the lower trip on.

Mine are hard plastic and I broke one all apart trying to remove it and scratched the paint.


Michael said...

Thanks for the comment. I just used a putty knife and a hammer and I chiseled them off. That caused the back-side of some to drop into the interior where I couldn't retrieve them. But that was OK with me. I also found the same plastic snaps for sale on amazon, and I had bought some just in case I wanted to remove my sliders and return to the original state.

Anonymous said...

Christopher Causee ... I have a 2015 LR4 and am about to replace my running boards with sliders. Be happy to sell one or both boards if you want them and want to post an email address or number where I can contact you. I live in southern Alabama.

Bo Williams

Christopher Causee said...

Bo.....please email me at
I am interested!

Christopher Causee said...

No... you still have your original running boards? Please email me at:

Unknown said...

Just purchased used 2015 LR4 and not liking running boards aesthetically. If your interested in purchasing let me know.

Anonymous said...

I like to buy running board for my 2011 LR4 . Anybody have a pair .

Anonymous said...

Have a set of boards from wife's lr4 2015 that we traded in due to family growth. I will have to hunt down the hardware. Let me know if interested

Anonymous said...

Yes pic please, how much?

Unknown said...

Great Blog,

Following your recap of the removal of your LR$ side step/boards, I did the same in approx. 30 mins (total) by using an 3/8" impact driver with a 40M Torx socket and 10mm socket which makes removal of the bolts and nuts quick, easy and clean. I also used an angled Philips head screwdriver for removal of the 2 ea screws on the rear trim moulding. Fortunately using a wide blade plastic trim removal tool I was able to pull back and away the rocker panel trim without breaking any of the yellow snaps or which allowed the trim to be popped back on fully afterwards.

I did denote that on the sides of the step board rail frame(s) they are clearly stamped "SAFETY ITEM DO NOT REMOVE" but since I'll be going back with Prospeed Rock & Tree Sliders I particularly am not concerned about it. I also noticed the crush bars (I'd call them) that LR installed between the inward side of the side step rail frame and the unibody frame rails which are likely designed to absorb shock from a side impact collision. When I install the new Rock & Tree sliders I will see if there is something I can to do intersect them with the crush bars but if not, will leave "well enough" alone.

Lastly, I plan to keep the OEM side steps/rails and reinstall them in the event I sale the vehicle to a private party in the future.

Thanks again for a great Blog. Your sharing was very useful guidance.


Easy task.