Even if you’re able to keep the miles down, wear and tear is just part of owning any vehicle. While we tend to focus our hard-earned paychecks on engine rebuilds and performance modifications, sometimes we need to step back and fix the minor, less exciting issues.
Such is the case with our 7.3L project truck. The stock passenger sidestep broke nearly a year ago and we’ve just been ignoring it. As long as the step stayed on its original brackets and didn’t slide too much (since the bolts are now stripped out), we were able to look past the problem while we focused our attention on other projects.
We finally decide that enough was enough and we needed to swap out the rotten steps and upgrade to something safer. Our first call was to Dee Zee because this is a company who specializes in a lot of great aftermarket accessories all across the truck spectrum. However, the problem wasn’t finding the right manufacturer. The problem was selecting what we needed since this company does have a wide selection of quality products.
Even though there are still plenty of chrome accents on our Power Stroke, we wanted to go all black and felt the Dee Zee 6-inch Oval step was the best option for us. With the extra-wide design, the beefy step is perfect for our large Super Duty truck.
Why Dee Zee
Constructed of heavy-duty steel, it was the oval design that features molded plastic end caps and step pads that first caught our eye. The rugged step pads are embossed with the Dee Zee name and help provide a solid non-slip surface. The best part is each step is protected by a textured black NRT (No Rust Technology) powder coat finish.
We placed our order for our steps online and remembered to order the required custom-fit bracket kit too, that is sold separately.
[Install—Dee Zee 1]
The first step was to get the old stock boards off. Once we got on the creeper and took a closer look underneath, we were a little shocked to see just how bad the passenger side really was. Just getting them off we got a face full of dirt that had collected inside the steps on our 12-year-old truck.
[Install—Dee Zee 2]
It’s best to get organized when doing an install, even on a simple one like this that doesn’t include a lot of different parts. We laid out everything in the back of the truck and did a quick inventory to make sure we had everything we needed before we went any further. Next, we recommend that you read through the instructions from start to finish so you have a good understanding of the process. Then gather all the necessary tools you’ll need to complete the job.
EZ With Dee Zee
[Install—Dee Zee 3]
Each side needs three custom-fit braces that bolt up using the original holes so no drilling is needed with this installation. The sturdy brackets feature a black powder coat protection so you know they’ll endure better than our original stock ones did. The install really is simple since several time-saving and error-proof designs are in place to help make sure it’s done correctly.
If you have a fear of drilling into the frame of truck and making a mistake, you’ll love how easy this really is. You simply line up the matching holes and thread with the supplied bolts.
[Install—Dee Zee 4]
The slots for the bolts on the underside of the rugged 16-guage steel running boards make the last step of the install extremely easy. You just center the steps to your cockpit, level the stepping surface in relation to the vehicle and then tighten the bolts for stability. [Install—Dee Zee 5]
With the old one still in sight, it’s clear the must-needed upgrade was worth it. The new Dee Zee Oval UltraBlack tube step not only looks great, it’s a lot safer now with the 6-inch wide stepping area. It comes in three different cab lengths to fit full-size trucks, which helps give it a custom look as if it was made just for our 7.3L.
[Install—Dee Zee 6]
The steps were easy to install and we couldn’t be happier with looks as well as function. And with a three-year warranty, we feel confident these steps will be around for many more miles to come.