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2010 ML350 4MATIC
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688 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
An ML350 I'm looking at has running boards.

Do they really reduce ground clearance?

Can you just take them off - or do you have to install different side panels in their place?
 

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2008 ML350 (W164)
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117 Posts
They certainly look like they reduce clearance. Although they may not be the lowest point on the car.

Would a few inches be a deal- breaker for you? What are you planning on using it for?

PD
 

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2009 ML320 BlueTec
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83 Posts
I'm looking to ad running boards.
But I wonder if I will be touching this boards with the pants , and it's bad when bad weather like snow and dirty roads.
Is anyone has experience to get dirty pants with running boards?
 

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2008 ML 320CDI 4Matic, 2006 C350
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284 Posts
Mine are original equipment. Without measuring against an ML with no running boards, it looks like ground clearance is reduced by about five inches on the sides.

If they are removed you would need to put something in their place for it to look decent. Ground clearance has never been an issue as I don't off road.

I've attached a picture for reference.

As far as clearance for pants, just need a wider stance when getting in or out of the vehicle. No big deal.

I use mine when cleaning the roof.
 

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2010 ML350 4MATIC
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688 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
They certainly look like they reduce clearance. Although they may not be the lowest point on the car.

Would a few inches be a deal- breaker for you? What are you planning on using it for?

PD
I would like to drive dirt roads. I am regularly hiking into the wilderness, and with my E class I was barred from accessing a more remote area of wildernesses like the Ventana wilderness on the Pacific coast.

I also like the car's looks better without running boards, as it appears visually more agile.

I'm looking to ad running boards.
But I wonder if I will be touching this boards with the pants , and it's bad when bad weather like snow and dirty roads.
Is anyone has experience to get dirty pants with running boards?
I heard that with the dirty/wet pants when getting into the car. The advantage of running boards are mostly in deep snow - so I heard. Mostly people install them for the looks.

Mine are original equipment. Without measuring against an ML with no running boards, it looks like ground clearance is reduced by about five inches on the sides.

If they are removed you would need to put something in their place for it to look decent. Ground clearance has never been an issue as I don't off road.

I've attached a picture for reference.

As far as clearance for pants, just need a wider stance when getting in or out of the vehicle. No big deal.

I use mine when cleaning the roof.
Thanks for the information. I didn't notice the wider stance getting in. For me it's the ground clearance on dirt roads.

Too bad, I had a nice 2010 in my eye, technically very good with 137 k miles and a beautiful cream interior, but it has 20" wheels (bad for dirt roads and giving a harder ride) running boards (for which I would have to buy the panels when I remove them) and previous damage to 2 doors and rear quarter panel (very well repaired, but repairs are never as good as the factory paint)

It really looks like one has to exactly know what one wants, and then pay a bit extra to get it. And sometimes you won't get it at all, as silver outside cream inside color combinations are very rare.
 

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2010 ML350 4MATIC
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688 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
By the way:


If you removed the running boards (OEM) - what kind of part would you have to put into its place.

It looks like all ML without running board have a black metal profile that is like a micro running board, a slightly flat surface underneath the doors and seems to provide protection against ground contact and terrain contact so the doors would not be damaged if a rock should come to close to the car (or the other way round ;) )
 

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W163 Crash Test Driver
2008 ML350 (Me!), 2018 GLC300 (Wife), 2010 GLK350 (sold), 2003 ML-350 (Totaled!)
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1,835 Posts
If you removed the running boards (OEM) - what kind of part would you have to put into its place.
If you don't have option 846, there is a molding piece in it's place (assuming 164.186). See below.

 
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