I just addedMy chrome kit for the door rocker panels (Honda P/N 08F57-T6Z-100) arrived yesterday, and I installed them in a couple of hours. All you plasti-dippers can move along now, nothing to see here! ? Seriously, no need to read on until you are ready to DIY with this kit.
This is probably a 2 hour job for most of you, and a 2 out of 5 on difficulty. You must be able to drill some holes in plastic, tighten some nuts, and have enough strength to pull the rocker panels off the truck after it is loose. These chrome trim pieces install right on the plastic rocker panels, which must be removed and reinstalled.
I won’t bore you with the complete step-by-step details but for those of you planning to add this trim accessory I did want to document some “ah-ha” moments I had. There are no installation instructions provided in the box, but most of the purveyors of discount Honda gear (Bernardi’s, College Hills, HondaPartWorld, etc.) make them available on their websites. The Honda technician’s notes are well-written for the most part, but if you (like me) are not familiar with how car body trim pieces work, there are a few gaps I would like to fill. You will still need to download the real Honda instructions; my notes below are meant to give you confidence in the tough spots... And I have included as many pictures as the forum would support.
1. First thing of note for me, the plastic bag with the 22 flange nuts was taped to the inside of the lid of the box for my kit, but it was not sealed, so the nuts were all loose in the box when I opened it. Unfortunately, six of the nuts had escaped, leaving me with only 16. So before my project even could start, I had to run to the hardware store. If you need spare fasteners for your kit too, FYI - the flange nuts are M5 x 0.8 metric threads, and I selected stainless steel ones in the hope that they would not corrode or rust. The hardware store did not have SS flange nuts in metric, so I bought SS washers too. I think it will be alright.
2. The instructions tell you to remove a plastic plug from the bottom of each door and remove a small screw. Well, my son and I found it impossible to get the screw out of the deep plastic socket, so we lost three of the four screws inside the door (he retrieved one with a magnet and pair of pliers but it is not worth it). It is not really a problem; I just replaced the lost screws with some small brass screws I had in the junk drawer at home. The purpose of this little fastener is to lock the trim piece to the door, making it difficult to get the rocker panel off the truck if the door is locked.
3. Once that little screw is out, all you have to do is slide the trim panel toward the rear of the vehicle, and it will separate from the truck body (I say that like it is easy, but it is not). The two back doors take only a reasonable amount of force to get the panel off, but the front doors required a lot more force, so much force that you are certain you are going to break something (on the truck or yourself). Just keep at it, I found that putting the edge of the door in the center of my chest and reaching around in a hugging motion, grasping the panel from both sides was the best way to put your weight into it.
4. Once the panel is off, you will see a number of white clips still attached to the truck door. These must be removed, but it is not obvious how. The trick here is to rotate the clips 90 degrees in either direction, and they pop right out. I spent a lot of time trying to pry the first one out, and I can tell you that is not the way to do it.
5. All that is left is to drill 22 holes in the rocker panels (this is the point of no return, putting holes in your new truck). The instructions tell you to pierce the scribe hole with a thumbtack (the scribe hole is a couple of concentric circles with a bull’s eye cross in the middle) and then drill a 3mm pilot hole followed by a 7mm (.276”) final hole.
If you live in the kingdom of fractions like I do, the closest thing to the two metric sizes are a 1/8” bit and a 9/32” (0.281”) bit, though I suspect just about any size small pilot bit followed by a ¼” hole would suffice. I did use the 9/32” bit because I had one. The key is to try to land in the center of the scribe hole as best you can, but don't sweat it, you are not building a Swiss watch here.
6. When tightening the flange nuts, be firm but not to the point of cracking anything. There is a torque wrench spec in the instruction guide, but I don’t have a tiny torque wrench (or any torque wrench for that matter), so I just used my experience and judgement to get them tight without breaking anything. I suspect the weak spot is where the bolt attaches to the chrome piece. The threads have some sort of coating to prevent the nut from backing off, so you don’t need to worry about that.
7. Last step is to reinstall all the white plastic clips (and be sure to reinstall the little foam gaskets on each that are easy to lose) back on the rocker panel, align the clips to the holes, and then just pop it back on the truck, starting from the bottom making sure the bottom of the panel wraps up under the bottom of the door a bit. It just takes a few presses with your hands to get it back on tight. Replace the little rubber plugs, clean up and you are done.
Good luck. I can't wait to put on the Chrome-look wheels this week to complete my RL's chrome transformation.