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I too have had this issues with my Running boards. At first it was slow, and it sometimes open when door are open or not. I was driving to my local Super market, and once i got out I noticed my runnig board was dangling from the rear hinges. Once done shopping I took it home and crawled under to see what exactly was wrong. Upon further inspection, I noticed my Aluminum brackets that pivots the Running board was detiorated into a "salt and pepper" like condition. It flaked off with a touch of the fingers, and could be pick out with a pencil. Ive recently heard that 2004 - 2008 Ford brand cars/Trucks/SUV are known to have these issues with other alumium parts detiorating. Under investigation, I found that the Aluminum detiorates due to metal "unsimilarity" contacting and mounting on each other. It causes a chemical/atomic reactions that possibly causes fatigue in our running boards.
Called the stealerships for an estimate, and pricing. I got a starting price of $700 parts and labor for one hinge, and one week to order and install. Called Ford/Lincoln Customer care services, and asked if this was covered under warranty, and they stated that it did not, and they have never recorded or heard of this situation before. Who knew they would deny hearing such a problem?
So with the choice of forking out $1400 for one side of my running board or just tear it out. Ive decided to fix it myself. It ended up costing me $10 to fix. I did this with running boards still dangling underneath the Lincoln.
1. Cleaned out the mounting area with wire brush, and air hose. Cleaned up the detiorated bracket.
2. JB/Epoxy any exposed aluminum area that would be touching the steel mounting frame. Sprayed it with a coat of rubber sealant paint.
3. I Bought a 2 5/16"( I think it was that size) U-bolt anout 5" inches long at my local Lowes/HomeD. Ran the U-bolt into the existing holes where the original mounting brackets was bolted. Put a fender washer and Nylock on the threads. Sinch it up. Did about 20 ope/closed door tests. Jumped/bounce on the running board with my 200 Lbs weight.
Sorry for the vague descriptions, but if you crawl under neath, look at the pivot hinges, and just think about it. Its an easy fix.
As for detiorated dis-similar metals. I had an issue with my Lincoln shutting off. I was making a left hand turn with on coming traffic. Luckily i coasted out of the way before I got T-boned. But anyways, found out it was the Fuel pump driver module sending unit (FPDM for short). Took it out, and it deterioated like salt and peppers shaking out. It had a couple holes that moistures would get into them module. The module would fault and possibly ruinning your sending unit, or fuel pump, or blow your #12 fuse (located inside the front passanger kick panel). Search for Dorman 590001 590-001, and read on it, and it will also make sense on why some of your cars/truck/SUV gas hesitiations might be resolved.
I believe the FPDM issues should be recalled, because it causes safety issues when your Lincoln/Ford just shut off for no appearant reasone. Luckily my family and I didnt get hurt because of this.
2008 Navigator with similar problems. Fords running boards are junk and just short of 98k I have running boards, three window motors, seat belt retractor, rear window defroster, drivers seat trim, drivers seat heater and cheap trim all with problems. I have no issues with routine maintenance and have done tires, breaks etc. but there is no excuse for all the other failures which appear to all run a few hundred dollars or more. I left Chevy and Dodge due to poor quality and it appear Lincoln is no better especially considering what you pay for their premium line. My machine shop also noted an issue with dissimilar metals between the running board hinge and bushings causing issues. We are going to see if we can rebuild them rather than spend a few thousand to replace.
03 with severely rusted running boards, one works the other not. I would like some suggestions. 1. get boards in closed position and disconnect power? 2. Remove entirely and look at fixed replacement running boards for that 03 year? 3. Who makes them? 4. Leave off and don't worry about replacing. Thanks