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Old 02-11-2010, 07:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
MCF
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ML350 Studded Running Boards

1. If a 2010 ML350 comes with running boards, is it easy to remove them if you choose to do so at a later date and will the ML350 look just like those that did not come with the running boards?

2. A dealer is getting in an ML350 that meets all my requirements except it does not come from the factory with running boards installed. THe dealer wants $1500 to install them. This seems high to me. Thoughts?

3. If the dealer puts them on, will it look exactly like if the factory did and if the answer to question 1 is yes, will I also be able to remove them if I choose to do so in the future if the dealer puts them on?

4. Lastly, can you get these running boards and put them on yourself?
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Old 02-11-2010, 08:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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No
High
Yes
Yes

They can be installed later, but it is not simple. There are trim pieces that need to go on after the boards are removed (and vice versa). Many of the retainer clips have one life. It can be done, it will look factory either way, but it is not simple to do. I bought a set from MBZ for $761.00 and, without instructions, installed them myself in about 3 hours and 2 beers. If I can....

Also, if you search you'll find quite a bit of stuff. Good luck, Brian
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Old 02-11-2010, 08:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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1. Yes you can remove them. You will need the lower plastic peices to cover what you remove though. In other words, if you buy then ML without and you want to install OEM running boards, you will have to remove the in place covers to accomodate the new running boards.
2. That seems a bit high, but most say dealer gets around 800-1000 for the running boards and a couple hrs labor.
3. Yes it will look like factory installed boards. They are OEM boards, just not installed at factory.
4. Yes, I have been looking for either a used set or a discounted set from a MB dealer. They are a bit expensive, but my kids could really use the extra step. Search this forum for more info on the running boards. I believe there is even a DIY step by step as well.
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Old 02-11-2010, 10:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
MCF
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Thanks guys. So if you get one with the boards on, is it possible to buy only the trim pieces that are needed if you decide to take the running boards off?
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Old 02-11-2010, 10:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Shouldn't be a problem...MB dealer parts dept. or an auto body shop should be able to get the parts you need.
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If the car comes w/out boards, it has a plastic lower rocker panel molding that pops off and is replaced by the running board. It takes a special tool to do this without breaking the tabs off, thus rendering the rocker molding unusable.
If it has boards and they are removed, the rocker plastic can be purchased for installation.

Best bet, by far...decide now if you want them or not, and buy accordingly.
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quite frankly I think they are worthless. My ML550 came with them as standard and could not be ordered without them. I find them difficult to clean as dirt gets ingrained in the aluminum and they serve no useful purpose at all. I step over them each time I enter or exit the vehicle and they are not even deep enough to place your foot on should one wish to use them as a step.
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Old 02-11-2010, 03:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sosh View Post
Quite frankly I think they are worthless. My ML550 came with them as standard and could not be ordered without them. I find them difficult to clean as dirt gets ingrained in the aluminum and they serve no useful purpose at all. I step over them each time I enter or exit the vehicle and they are not even deep enough to place your foot on should one wish to use them as a step.
indeed it is true. I wanted them when I was getting my ML but the dealer talked me out of it. He said exactly those things you mentioned he also said that 90% of the customers who get them want them removed after the fact.
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morbid angel View Post
indeed it is true. I wanted them when I was getting my ML but the dealer talked me out of it. He said exactly those things you mentioned he also said that 90% of the customers who get them want them removed after the fact.

90%....seems more threads ask about putting them on than taking them off...

Either way, you either like them, or you don't. Blonde or brunette.

Above their limited use (or need) to get in/out of the ML, I find them helpful when:

washing the car (roof and sunrood glass)
de-icing the windshield
cleaning the windshield
loading skis/snowboards/gear on the roof rack
minimizing rock chips/sand pits in winter conditions
and, IMHO, they look sporty.

Plus, wife likes them (her car), and that alone is worth the price of admission.
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Old 02-11-2010, 06:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm sure they would be wide enough for a child foot. That is the main reason for me to want them. Our 3 and 6 yr old have a hard time climbing in and I'm sure the boards would help alot. I do feel they would be somewhat useless for an adult unless you would use the roof rack often. And of course, they do look good!
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