I like a clean running board without the step plate. Is there a thin black adhesive backed neoprene rubber mat, about the same size as a step plate, that could blend in with the black running board to be used in place of the unsightly step plate to protect the running board from muddy shoes and gritty soles? If not, it might be a consideration for the parts houses to think about.
It might be hard to get it to stick down, with the diamond pattern tread on the running board.
What about making one out of thin plywood (or aluminum?) to give it some structure, and glue a black mat to it. Paint the plywood black to hide it. Install it the same way the step plates are with 4 small bolts.
Thanks Greg. I'd still like to get the protection of a step plate without the intrusive appearance. Something that will blend into the bare running board and be almost invisible. I went on McMaster-Carr and found something that might work. a piece of 1/32" X 12" x 12" adhesive backed neoprene rubber thin enough to adhere to the raised diamond pattern, as well as the deeper portions at the base of the diamonds. See www.mcmaster.com and type 8610K89 into the search box. Another good thing about this option is that you won't have to drill your running board as you must to install the step plates. Jim Patrick
Here is the rubber mat used on the Model A running boards from Synders.
Maybe you could make up a metal frame to hold rubber mat and mount that on the running board?
It would be almost invisible especially if you painted the frame black.
Just a thought.
I'm sorry that its not an answer to your very good question but I didn't like the paint scraping by shoes on the outboard 'ridges' of the running board when step plates are used so I went to Lowes and bought some commercial hard rubber step covering material. Its black, fits under the step plates and covers the sides of the running board. But I feel like you and only one of my Model Ts has step plates - the first one I got in '65.
Thank you all for your input. I have ordered a piece of the 1/32" adhesive backed black neoprene rubber and will try it. If it works (or if it doesn't, I will post pictures as to how it looks compared to the aluminum step plates. Jim Patrick
Thank you all. I have ordered a piece of the 8610K89, 12" x 12" x 1/32" adhesive backed neoprene rubber from Mcmaster-Carr and will try it. If it works (or if it doesn't), I will post pictures as to how it looks compared to the aluminum step plates that have been on my running boards since 1972. Jim Patrick
No, you're not seeing double. I posted before finishing my post...
If that doesn't work for you, you can always try putting the film on the running board that they use on the fronts of cars to protect them from stone chips. Crystal clear, and will conform to contours.
You've already ordered, but to solve that issue on the 26 sedan I am currently restoring, when I took the frame to be powder coated, I included the running boards. That stuff is pretty tough, you might give that option a consideration, no worry about something looking out of place.
That's a good thought Dale. I think I saw some of that in McMaster-Carr. I'll keep it in mind.
Thanks Dale. My Running Boards are painted with the old rock hard Gloss Black Dupont Imron epoxy, which is probably equally as hard as powder coating, but any coating, can be sanded through especially by the gritty dirt and mud from twisting shoe soles and I don't want to chance having the paint ground through to the bare metaL by numerous entries and exits and possibly start it to rusting. Jim Patrick
Oops. My first thank you should have been to Greg.
Jim, have you thought about masking of your area then painting on some rubberized truck bed lining paint? That will blend in and give cushioning and protection. MG
My buddy whose obsessive about his running boards uses a soft computer mouse pad. He has a string tied to it so after he gets in the car he just reels in the pad and throws it inside the car till he's ready to use it again.
It's actually a pretty slick solution, though I won't give him the satisfaction of knowing it :>)
I'm reminded of the urban legend which tells of how, during the space race, NASA spent a gadzillion dollars developing a pen that would write in the weightlessness of outer space. The Russians, instead, used a pencil*.
With that in mind, may I humbly recommend you simply buy a little can of black Rustoleum paint and once every few years, touch-up your running board. You might also consider wearing shoes without metal cleats.
*The truth is, Paul Fisher of Fisher Pen, developed the "Space Pen" at his own expense, did indeed sell a few to NASA, but made a fortune marketing the trendy little toy to the space-crazy public.
Gotta love that rattle can Rustoleum!
A nice solution is to take some black interior carpet material cut as wide as the running board and about 12" long, double it up with carpet on both sides and sew edging around it with 4 magnets inside in the corners. Protects the running board and is removable for when you don't need it.
Greg already mentioned the clear film stone guard but I wanted to mention that it is available in spray cans. It forms a thick clear "sheet" that clams to be removable. So it could be replaced if it started to look ragged. Auto body shops have been using similar products since the 70s.
If your adhesive backed rubber doesn't stick well, try some contact cement. Its truly amazing stuff when applied according to the directions.
Jim, here is my two sense take the running boards off and pay someone to powder coat them, then the paint will never come off cause its baked on. Even Henry would approve because powder coating is model t tough and it looks good when done right
I agree with Jim. I don't like step plates either. The main reason is you have to drill four holes in a nice original running board. Running boards were made to be stepped on in the first place. I saw one once where the diamonds were worn through. They must have used it for a foot scraper! I bought a '13 runabout a while back, and had to weld up several holes someone drilled for a tool box. Oh well, to each his own!
I forgot to mention, the one that gets me are the people who put step plates for the dummy door!
I second the comment about powder coating, I had my running boards done and they turned out great!
My 15 runningboards were powdercoated a year ago and still look good. My TT runningboards were painted with POR 15 in 1999 and have still never worn through to steel on top of the diamonds.They did develop a brown tint after a few years, but, a rattlecan fixed that.
Another vote here for powdercoat. I would never consider a step plate.
Larry, a step plate by the dummy door may be useful if one of the Keystone Cops wants help with a car chase
How about aircraft wing walk compound? Available from several sources. Non-slip and meant to be walked on.
I don't know if the diamonds would prevent it from sticking, but how about going to your nearest sign shop and buying some magnetic material that they make signs out of. It wouldn't harm or cause unsightly adhesive marks on the running boards, and if the diamonds did prevent them from sticking well enough to drive with them on the boards, they could be removed and carried inside the car while in motion. On my 26 fordor, I just happen to have two aluminum step plates (not Ford Script) that have the same mounting hole spacing as the carriage bolts holding the running boards to the braces, so I'm just going to drill the tapered holes on one side big enough to slip the carriage bolts through. If I ever want to remove them, two bolts will do it.