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djkeev Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:52 am

Well...... Kudos to BusDepot!
They Can Get stuff out quickly!

8:30 this morning (shipped yesterday) ........
Fred replied to me at 12:59pm ..........
I am impressed!


djkeev Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:22 am

The BusDepot step is labeled on the box and paper work as

It is a very high quality unit, heavy polished Aluminum..... Haven't installed it, snowing, cold, windy, wet right now..... It was enough that I had to fix my JCB Hoe today! NOT working on the Van!!!


If you type in that address you are directed to

Which has the step.

I am fairly certain that and the GW brand of NLA are indeed one and the same.

BTW 145 pounds is $203 plus shipping(if they even ship to the USA) and a huge time lag.......


djkeev Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:10 pm

I finally got back to my front "Bully step.

As you may recall ..... bolted directly to the bottom of the foot well, it sat crooked.

To remedy that I thought that I would install some square tubing between the VW step and the Bully step.

I picked up a length of both 3/4" and 1" square tubing. Some preliminary eyeball looking told me that the 3/4" would be perfect!

I cut a 3" chunk, drilled two holes through it and found a couple of 5/16-18 x 2 bolts.


Sits level and it works so well!

And the best part is, though it is on there with standard hex bolts now, I've ordered 5/16 - 18 x 2 ELEVATOR BOLTS and the stock footpad should almost cover everything!!!!


Very VERY pleased.

Even for a "healthy" old fart like me, that extra step makes getting in Soooo much easier!


djkeev Sat Mar 05, 2016 12:05 am

Finally installed my sliding door step.......

Unit loosely assembled waiting for installation......

Closeup of the step brackets and the holes that are predrilled.....

The hardware supplied and the two pages of VERY POOR instructions.....

If you follow the instructions, step #1 is to mark the bottom of the rear jack point 42 mm in from the flat outer edge. You will drill a 9mm hole vertically up through the jack mount.

A little math tells me that 42mm = 1 11/16"
I measured, marked, center punched, pilot drilled and drilled the 9mm (23/64") hole.......

Not a lot of space for a drill..... I could have jacked up the Van but it was easier to use my 90* stubby drill.......

Now they tell you to screw in a provided 25mm bolt into the inner rear bracket from the bottom......


djkeev Sat Mar 05, 2016 12:34 am

The next instruction is to take the steel tube and slip it over the front step bracket. Through multiple readings ( maybe I'm just dense?) gathered the welded on nut goes up and will be towards the center of the Van when installed.....

Now this next step was really obscure in the directions but the second 25mm bolt is installed from the top down, through the drilled hole in the square tube into the threaded hole that will bevtowards the center of the Van when installed.....

Now, slip the step assembly into the two jack holes. (The ends are still loose on the step itself, they will be tightened last)

Take the mid length supplied bolt 60mm with a washer and place it through the 9mm hole you drilled snd up into the available outer hole in the step bracket.

Do NOT tighten it just yet, just catch a few threads to hold the step from falling out.

Now the longest bolt supplied 80mm has the steel plate on it and holds the front step bracket to the jack point......

It took a bit of head scratching but the long bolt and steel plate are placed through a hollow of the inner most part of the jack point. The bolt angles up towards the outside of the Van.
The bolts engages the nut welded on to the square tube you fastened earlier.....


djkeev Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:03 am

Now..... I had two problems with this design ....
A third problem of my creation..... :oops:

First my problem..... I measured in for the 9mm hole I drilled in the rear jack point 1 3/16" instead of 1 11/16" !! :shock:
Easily fixed with a redrill.
This mistake made the step angle away from the body and looked really bad!

My Bad.... Fixed!

The first design issue is with the rear mount. They had me install the 25mm bolt from the bottom threaded up into the bracket.
This bolt is intended to supply angled adjustment for the step...... A very true fact....

It ends up that the mounting point flexes when weight is applied...... the inner part of the step bracket is not firmly braced against the top of the jack point!

I think if you Flex this a number of times, the long mounting bolt will probably break.

My solution was to thread the 25mm bolt down from the top to brace the bracket against the top of the jack point and thus prevent movement when weight is applied.

That worked great!!!!

I now had no lower step angle adjustment!
For now I simply slipped a few washers under the inner bracket point.
It works fine but I will source two bolts, about 15mm long or so, and thread one from the top and one from the bottom in the same hole which will give me the support AND the adjustment needed.

Here is the current assembly with the washers in place......

Now, problem number two was just as heineous but easily fixed.
The bolt supplied for the front step inner mount was too long and jammed up against the Van's frame without yet being tight!
A few washers under the bolt head fixed that in short order.

But, a third design installation flaw raised its ugly head once I was able to fully tighten this bolt......

As you tighten the front bracket mounting bolt (the one with the washers under the head to shorten it) the bracket is pulled into the jack point as you do.

It pulls the step in excessively causing it to once again not be parallel to the body!

To solve this I simply threaded in a bolt, from my bolt supply (not provided) and the head wedged up against the jack bracket keeping the step parallel to the body.
The washers and the additional bolt are seen in this photo......

These issues are not catastrophic and the step is really high quality. I would recommend the step for little Children, those with a bad knee or those who are older.
The step makes entry SO MUCH EASIER.

I will also add a support handle inside the sliding door behind the passenger seat too.

The install is just better if these changes are incorporated into the design.


djkeev Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:09 am

I am very pleased with the step......

Was it worth the price I paid?
The construction of the step is really nice, I do not know the value of heavy extruded aluminum or highly polished aluminum castings but I figure that while it was on the high side of affordability, for one who needs an exterior step to continue enjoying the Van, it is totally worth the price!

Ok........ What about ground clearance?
For sure it is decreased...... Here is a photo looking under the Van, the step hangs lower than the gas tank (2 wheel drive) .....

The gas tank has 9 1/2" of ground clearance..... (The tape measure body adds 3")

Here the tape at the step shows approximately 8" to the ground, a loss of 1 1/2" .....

The issue is that the step runs jack point to jack point at an 8" ground clearance. Any off road rocks or road humps could easily make contact with the step mid span.

Just be aware of this before you venture off the beaten path.


djkeev Wed Jul 13, 2016 6:50 pm

Just an update now that Summer is here and the Van is being driven. I find The Bully step to be amazingly handy!
I purchased them for my Wife but I find myself using them more often than not. Easier entry without the giant upward "hop".

The elevator bolts were the answer to mounting them. The step cover doesn't completely cover the bolt heads so some painting will be needed.

Overall a B+ for practicality and ease of installation, just order the elevator bolts when you order the steps.

I also switched to 1" Aluminum square tubing for rust purposes.


?Waldo? Wed Jul 13, 2016 7:16 pm

You should grind the Y in Bully so that it is an I instead = Bulli.

Gnarlodious Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:36 am

I’m getting sort of old, and I carry a lot of old people around. So:

When I first took it apart I found this horrible situation (some of you might say this is hardly any rust):
…rather than fight with it I decided to just take the job to my metal guy.

My welder did a solid job but left it real messy:
Thanks to Dave ‘djkeev’ for the hot tip on the flat head 5/16x18 ELEVATOR BOLTS, which allowed me to glue the original rubber footpads down flat.

A view from the bottom welded on dropdown extensions that leveled out the step bar, all painted in Rustoleum:

I had to cut off the long bolts with a Dremel and carbide cutter. WEAR GLOVES doing this! Better yet, plan ahead and get shorter bolts! Notice that I used ⅛ nylon spacers between the aluminum and steel. Not sure why except that I know the metal difference can aggravate corrosion.

Wire brushed the slag off, painted and ready to glue the rubber down:

Pretty happy with this mod. I just need to be careful of sideswiping high curbs.

djkeev Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:04 am

I'Ve done maybe 16,000 miles since I put on the steps, NEVER an issue with curbs, high spots or approach angle.


Steve M. Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:58 pm

Just saw these steps on JC Whitney website:

They say these will not work without the Lund rock bar, but scroll down and they show other varieties of steps.

Gnarlodious Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:39 pm

I thought the aluminum looked stupid, and after a few winters looked even worse. So I had them powdercoated UV resistant glossy black:

The step collects a lot of abrasive grit during winter, so I think I’ll glue down some rubber, or spray on some of that peelable polymer.

Honuak Fri Apr 26, 2019 4:01 pm

I had a local shop bend these for me. Solid steel. Heavy but I can jack the van up on them and they make getting in and out much better.

Steve M. Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:51 pm

djkeev wrote: I ordered my BusDepot side step but stumbled upon this parts drawing of a Vanagon step.

Anyone ever seen one? Curious how it works, it has a spring but does it slide or flip?


I missed this thread!
Check out my thread as I have this on mine and not going to part with it!;start=0

Steve M. Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:46 am

Two images of the "Ambulance" step as it was named earlier in the post.

The spring on this step really adds a bit more effort into getting the door all the way open into the locked position.

When I first saw it on VW Classic Parts it was listed for 1650.00€.
Now last time I saw it it was down to 350€.

Gnarlodious Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:56 am

Another shot of the glossy black side steps with the VW Beetle ‘Heritage’ wheels!

Jake de Villiers Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:17 am

Gnarlodious wrote: Another shot of the glossy black side steps with the VW Beetle ‘Heritage’ wheels!
You're not really going to put your gritty shoes on that gorgeous shiny powdercoat, are you?!?!? :shock:

weisswurst Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:41 am

[quote="Steve M."

Two images of the "Ambulance" step as it was named earlier in the post.

The spring on this step really adds a bit more effort into getting the door all the way open into the locked position.

When I first saw it on VW Classic Parts it was listed for 1650.00€.
Now last time I saw it it was down to 350€.[/quote]

I saw Steve's step in person when he visited us a week or so back to pick up an engine and it was pretty nice (the sliding step I mean)

mikemtnbike Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:07 am

I just want to know if Steve travels with a pygmy goat all the time. Because that would be awesome.

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