Side Steps

Side Steps

Original style side step

This isn’t a modification but a restoration: the original style steps above are reproductions I got from Willy’s Works, Inc., located at 1933 W. Gardner Lane Tucson, Arizona 85705.  Contact Steve Windsor at Willy’s Works for all sorts of reproduction parts, accessories, and flat out help for older Jeeps.  At this time they do not have a website.  The gory details on how to put these steps on can be seen below.

The question to the person who took them off long ago is, why?  Why didn’t you send them along with the Jeep when you sold it?  Huh?  WHY!!!??   Sizzle…pop…fry…

Note: The reason these didn’t fit to begin with is they were for the newer style chassis frames that have an angle in the rails of the frames.  The older Jeeps had straight frame rails front to back.  There are now steps like these available for the older style frames.  Get the right ones to begin with and avoid this whole modification! —Stan

Older CJ5 “Reproduction Step” Modifications

Contents of the supplied kit:

  • 2 steps, each with 3 black washers and 3 black metric nuts (to secure main support brackets to steps).
  • 4 side brackets (2 left and 2 right, all are same size and are therefore interchangeable).
  • 8 hex head metric bolts and nuts (to secure side brackets to steps).
  • 2 main support brackets.

User-Supplied Hardware:

  • 4 pan (round) head ¼”-20 bolts (about 2″ long used on the step’s forward-most side brackets).
  • 4 large lock washers for round head bolts (inner diameter needs to be large enough to fit around square section underneath the round head bolt so they sit flush).
  • 2 large “fender” washers (optional—use on the innermost front bolts to provide added strength; the outer bolts do not have enough room around them for a fender washer to be used).
  • 8 hex head ¼”-20 bolts (about 1″ long).
  • 12 ¼”-20 nuts with integral (attached) lock washers (makes it a lot easier to tighten these babies up).
  • 2 square adapters made from 1″ stock (supplied by Willy’s Works, these provided the spacing needed on the forward-most side brackets—see diagram).


  • Drill
  • 3/8″ bit
  • Hammer and punch
  • Socket or wrench that fits ¼”-20 hardware (7/16″)
  • Socket or wrench that fits the metric hardware (13mm)


On my older 1965 CJ5, the “reproduction” steps wouldn’t fit right out of the kit and required a few modifications:

  • Addition of a 3″ long “square adapter” for each side of the vehicle (made out of 1″ square stock by Steve at Willy’s Works). This makes up for the difference in height between the Jeep’s floor brace where the rearward side brackets mount, and the floor pan where the forward side brackets mount (see diagram).
  • When using the step assembly unmodified, the angle of the step and side brackets in relation to the main support bracket is wrong.
  • When using the step assembly unmodified, the angle of the main support bracket in relation to the Jeep’s frame is wrong, and the distance from the bracket to the frame is too short.


  1. Note: Leave all nuts and bolts very loose until the end!
  2. Start by loosely attaching the side brackets to the steps themselves (follow the instructions enclosed in the kit for this).
  3. Attach one of the forward side brackets using the long round head bolts. You can “hang” the square adapter and the bracket on one long bolt and get a nut on it to hold it in place. Install the second long round head bolt.
  4. Loosely install the rearward side bracket to the Jeep’s floor brace using the 1″ hex head bolts (there are threads built into the Jeep’s brace for this). You may want to enlarge one of the holes in the side bracket to 3/8″ to make installing the bolts into the threads easier (if one of them is at a funny angle like mine was) and/or to give you more “wiggle” adjustment later.
  5. Tighten the side steps up enough so they are snug, but don’t cinch them down yet.
  6. Take one if the main support brackets and hold it in place against the frame and check where the step’s studs hit it. You should need to center-punch and then drill 2 additional holes as shown on the attached diagrams in the main support bracket. Note: drill the brackets one at a time after checking the fit on each one individually!
  7. After drilling the holes, loosen the side brackets again and loosely secure the bracket to the frame with a 1″ bolt and nut through the rear of the main support bracket and the frame of the Jeep®, and check the main support bracket again for fit. The bracket holes and step studs should match up, but you may need to push the main support bracket up a little to get the farthest washer and nut on the middle stud.
  8. Once you have the nuts and bolts on everything, you are almost done. Tighten the side brackets hex head and round head bolts to the floor (leave the bracket-to-step bolts loose for now).
  9. Tighten the main support’s bracket-to-frame bolt and nut. Note: on mine I had only 1 frame hole that lined up correctly. 1 bolt to the frame is sufficient due to the way the main support bracket works. If you want a second bolt, just drill the frame and install it.
  10. Tighten the metric nuts on the 2 step studs where the main support bracket mounts (see diagram). Lift the bracket up in front as needed to access the middle stud.
  11. Finally, tighten the metric nuts holding the side brackets to the step.
  12. Repeat for the other side of the vehicle.


You may see a slight slope to the step, and/or the side brackets may be slightly splayed out at the top. This is unavoidable to some degree, but you could add washers or spacers here and there to line it up better if desired. I left mine as it was and didn’t mess with washers as it looked fine and was quite sturdy.

The whole thing skirts a fine line between “forcing” things to fit and “finessing” things together. Leaving everything loose and trying things gently at first will help. The closest I came to having to really “strong-arm” something was when I had to lift the main support bracket up at the front to get the washer and nut onto the middle step stud. But even this didn’t require a Herculean effort and it all seemed to tighten up OK without bending or breaking anything.

Stan Day

March 20, 2000