Hyundai Santa Fe Side Steps Installation

Installer: twospirits
Testers: twospirits
Part supplier: TFR Racing
Author, Images: twospirits

Introduction / History

The Santa Fe is a SUV that is not that high off the ground, but for those that have a hard time getting in and out of one, such as the elderly, or small children nothing beats the assistance a side step provides. Side steps make it much more easier getting in and out of any SUV, plus it helps keep a steady footing if you are stepping out into wet/slick ground or if off road onto rough terrain. Most side steps are sold as a kit, which provides all the parts necessary to fit the particular vehicle. Side steps attach directly to the frame of the vehicle. Most do not need drilling because they use the pre-drilled mounting holes that the manufacturer already made on the vehicle. The step by step instructions below are for  one such kit that I bought from TFR Racing. It is a genuine Hyundai Motor Corporation part manufactured by Hyundai Mobis. The original instruction sheet that is supplied by the manufacturer is in Korean. This is the reason why I created this install guide, to make it easier for others  plus saving to have someone install it for you.


Please Read the disclaimer before proceeding

Difficulty level / scale: On a scale of 1 - 10

Easy   Difficult
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Tools and materials needed:

The Kit was shipped and packaged very well and all the items were accounted for.
The kit consists of the following items...
   Item  Qty      
 01)  Side Step Assembly 1 Left 1 Right  
 02)  Bracket Side Step 2 Left 2 Right  (Attached to the Side Steps)
 03)  Bracket Side Step Mounting 1 Left 1 Right  (Front Set)
 04)  Bracket Side Step Mounting 1 Left 1 Right  (Rear Set)
 05)  Bolt (M8x16) 16 Pieces  (you can use a 13mm or 1/2 socket ratchet)
 06)  Bolt (M8x20) 16 Pieces  
 07)  Bolt (Level Type) 8 Pieces  
 08)  Nut (M8) 16 Pieces  (you can use a 12mm or 15/32 socket ratchet)
 09)  Nut (M10) 8 Pieces  (you can use a 17mm or 11/16socket ratchet)
 10)  Washer-Plain 8 Pieces  
 11) Installation manual 1 Item  

Side Steps out of the box
(SEE PIC # 01.)




Kit parts (nuts and bolts)
(SEE PIC # 02.)




Kit Brackets
(SEE PIC # 03.)

Main tools 
TFR Racing Side Step Kit SFE016  See above list
Socket Ratchet  For items # 5, 8 and 9 listed above.
Some way of lifting the Santa FE, either a hydraulic lift with stands, or ramps.
You will need to obtain besides the above at either Home Depot or any hardware store 16 cut washers that have a 15/32 size hole. (Comes out less than 12 cents each). I'll explain later.
Wood Block (chucks)
SFE000B Santa Fe OEM Chromed Letters

Time to install item:

Total time for mod: 60-120 min  

Step 1: Lifting the Santa Fe.

Note: If using a garage (floor) jack, perform Step 1a. Otherwise skip to Step 1b.

    Step 1a. Lifting the Santa Fe using a garage (floor) jack.

    Block the wheel, (by placing a wood block chuck) at the wheel that is at the opposite of the side you are going to lift.
SEE PIC # 04.)
You will need to lift the Santa Fe up either by placing her up on ramps or using a hydraulic lift jack. (I bought one at Sears that included the 2 1/2 ton stands for about $29.00. Of course on a shop lift you can do these steps standing up and much easier.) This diagram shows you the areas where to properly place the hydraulic lift jack to raise the vehicle.
(SEE PIC # 05.)
  In order to prevent scratching the sub frame, place a piece of cloth in the jack's contact surface (to prevent corrosion caused by damage to the coating.)
laced the hydraulic lift jack at the proper section and lifted up the vehicle as far as could go (about 15 inches) then placed the stands in. This should give you enough room to work on your back and install the side steps without any interference.
Picture shows where to place the hydraulic lift.

(SEE PIC # 06.)

    Step 1b. Lifting the Santa Fe using a Shop lift.

Using the shop lift, raise the vehicle to an appropriate height. (Refer to the diagram shown in picture # 5 above to locate the contact points.)

Step 2. Removing the plugs.

    At this point you will located the 4 rubber plugs in the frame (right side front) where the side step brackets will go. Take these plugs out.
SEE PIC # 07.)
You will do the same for the right side rear.

(SEE PIC # 08.)

Step 3. Inserting the bolts.

    You will now take the Bolt (Level Type) and insert them into the slots. You might need to use the hammer to tap them in.
Picture shows the rear bolts being inserted.
Rear side shown.
SEE PIC # 09.)
Do the same for the front right side.

(SEE PIC # 10.)

Step 4. Placing the undercarriage brackets.

    Starting with the front right bracket, take it and insert it onto the bolts and take a nut (M10) and screw it in. Do not tighten it just yet, since you will need to make final adjustments later.
SEE PIC # 11.)
Do the same for the rear right bracket.

(SEE PIC # 12.)

Step 5. Placing the side step brackets.

The side steps came with the side step bracket already attached. (see pic 1 above). I found it
hard to place it onto the brackets that were attached (in the above step) to the Santa Fe. Since I was doing this by myself, I took them off the side steps so I can attach them separately to the other brackets. (If you have another person helping you you do not need to separate the bracket from the side steps just proceed to step # 6 to place the side steps onto the brackets that you previously attached to the Santa Fe and insert the bolts and nuts.

    After I took off the side step brackets I placed them onto the brackets that we just attached to the Santa Fe. The washers that came with the product in my opinion are a bit two small, cause once you tighten the nuts and bolts, the bolt might squeeze through the holes on the bracket. Therefore I went to home depot and bought a bit wider "cut" washer sized 15/16. Now the bolts are screwed in and tightened.
SEE PIC # 13.)
Do the same for the rear side bracket.

(SEE PIC # 14.)

Step 6. Placing the side step.

    Placed the side step onto the brackets and insert the bolts.
At this point you will proceed to tighten the nuts after you have spaced the brackets to your preferred place.

Lower the vehicle and do the other side.
SEE PIC # 15.)

Final Views.

PIC # 16   PIC # 17
PIC # 18   PIC # 19

Additional Info - Dimensions


Additional Info - Adding an emblem to the side steps. (SFE000B Chrome Letters)

  Peel off the tape backing and place the letters where you want them to be. Gently lift the foam off the letters and press onto the side step.
  View of Chrome Letter Emblem placed on side step.

Hyundai side steps.

  Hyundai also makes their own side steps and the part number is shown in this pic.
  This is what it looks like on a Hyundai Santa Fe.
  Another view.

This site was last updated 06/10/05