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I posted something about this a while ago and got a little help. Now I have a more specific question. I have a 2001 Frontier SC 3.3 4x4 I just got a few months ago to use as a second vehicle with limited use (hauling lumber, etc). I happened across a pair of OEM step rails on craigslist which were really inexpensive and bought them even though I thought I would have the following problem: Nissan did not preinstall bolts on the rocker panel for the step rails. Despite a lot of research online, I haven't been able to find out how or even if step rails were to be installed on a 2001. I even emailed Nissan but they directed me to contact my dealer, which I haven't gotten around to. Anyway, I'd still like to install them because I particularly like the style of these rails and my use of the truck does not warrant spending much on modifications.

The only way to mount them is to drill holes in the rocker panel but of course, there's no way to get a nut behind the hole (or put the bolt through from the back). So here are my questions: can I make a access hole to allow me to feed the bolt through? Would this weaken the panel? There are already holes in the panel, so it isn't completely sealed.

I guess I implied that I had a single question so here it is: am I an idiot for considering this approach and spending the amount of time I have in trying to figure out how to install a pair of step rails I bought for well below$50?
 

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Would it be possible to bolt them to the frame rails? Would be a lot easier to mount, compared to the rocker panels, stronger too. Perhaps you could use standoffs to space them out to the correct position. Can you send photos of the parts?


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I would re sell them (for a profit) and buy rock sliders that can me bolted or welded to the frame
 
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