Holy rusted metal, Batman! Probably not what you want to hear coming from your sidekick as you start your new project, but the cold hard truth is that's just the way it goes. When dealing with vintage sheetmetal, there's pretty much no getting around rust, because when living with years of Mother Nature's trials and tribulations, it's only a matter of time before vintage sheetmetal begins to wear thin.
Just like anything, trucks have their Achilles' heels as well. Places where water tends to fill, such as bed corners and fender corners, are prime victims of rot. On '55-59 Chevy trucks, one of these high-risk areas is the inner step plate. These flat steps lay in a danger zone for water to drip down the truck's cab and doors and set up shop. Long story short, before too long, those inner steps will begin to look like Swiss cheese.
The good news is, the steps are just sheetmetal, and just like the rest of the sheetmetal on a truck, they're replaceable. Even better is the fact that aftermarket companies re-pop sheetmetal to replace the rusted spots on a vehicle, including inner step plates. Brothers in Corona, California, is one of the places that specializes in classic Chevy and GMC truck parts. Because of the volume of enthusiasts looking for a way to repair the rusted steps, Brothers decided to add a replacement step to their already extensive repertoire.
The new Brothers '55-59 inner step plates are as close to the original equipment as possible. The Brothers steps are stamped from heavy-gauge steel equal to the original steel's quality. The step's pattern is the same as the OEM, and the step also includes a support brace underneath. Brothers offers two different step options. One step includes the rocker panel, and the other step is just the step. Both are trim-to-fit and install fairly easily-well, as easily as a patch panel is going to get! For our install, we visited 714 Motorsports in Westminster, California, where they were repairing the step on a '55. The procedure took them about an hour, but they still had to do the finish work. All in all, the installation is pretty easy-see for yourself.
Here's the step before 714 Motorsports started. Notice the grooves in the step were rottin
Todd at 714 Motorsports started by cutting the bulk of the step out. Marking about 2 inche