Getting in and out of pickups can be a chore, especially if they are of the lifted variety. With a 4-inch lift and 37-inch tires, side steps are mandatory for our ’11 Ford F-250. Our ¾-ton truck had factory-installed running boards, easing entry into the big truck. Unfortunately, the passenger step suffered significant damage from a recent tire blowout, which left us with a dangerously sharp broken step.
Our initial plan was to just replace the damaged board seeing as the drivers side was just fine. But after contacting our local dealer for prices, which came in at nearly $800 for just one side, we figured it was the perfect opportunity to upgrade the appearance and functionality of the truck with a set of AMP Research PowerSteps.
After picking up our PowerStep running boards from AMP, we loaded them in the back of the truck and headed to the local 4Wheel Parts where they had the old steps off and the new steps installed in a snap.
| Amp Research Step Install Damged Factory Step
| The damage to our factory step was hard to miss, and it was quite the eyesore. With the old steps removed, we were ready to install the new AMP Research steps and have our truck looking presentable again.
| With all the small pieces laid out, we made sure all the components were on hand and ensured that none would wander off during the installation.
| Before putting the truck on the lift, the tech at 4Wheel Parts started the install by mounting the PowerStep controller to the factory ECM Harness on the passenger side of the engine bay using the supplied zip ties. Once the controller was mounted, the harness was then routed over the wheel wells and ready for us to plug into the motors.
| The AMP Research mounting arms use existing holes in the factory body. With the top two holes only having access from one side, speed clips were utilized.
| Once the speed clips were installed, the mounting arms could be attached to the body. We attached the arms’ four bolts loosely, leaving us plenty of slack to mount the steps without binding.
| Amp Research Step Install Retractable Arm Mounted
| With both mounting arms installed, we could set the step into the mounting grooves on the arms.
| After the step was located in our desired location, we used the hex-head bolts to secure the step to the mounting arms.
| Now that the step was secured and everything was moving freely, it was time to tighten the bolts holding the arms to the body of the truck.
| To clear the AMP Research step when retracted, the parking brake cable needs to be relocated. The supplied bracket attaches to the front of the leaf spring hanger on the driver’s side. With the slack pulled out of the cable and held with locking pliers, the cable is easy to handle and attach to its new home.
| Three bolts attach the motor’s retractable arms. Pro tip: Make sure you align the teeth of the gears so the motors can actually drive the step.
| With the steps secured and motors mounted, we turned our attention to the courtesy LED lights. The lights require a small hole to be drilled to run the wiring and mount to the bottom of the cab with the supplied 3M double-sided tape.
| The LED lights are the only part of this kit that require a crimp-style connection. With a set of crimpers in hand and a pocket torch, quick work was made of the LED connections, giving the PowerSteps that OE-style lighting feature.
| The final step in the wiring process was to route the four wires that control the retractable feature of the PowerSteps. The wires were fed through where the connections could be made by removing a drain plug on the passenger-side floorboard.
| It’s easy to see how well the PowerSteps clean up the appearance of the truck. By not having a huge step hanging down all the time, our risk of future damage, whether on the street or the trail, just went down and we still have the functionality of a factory step.
| Amp Research Step Install Step Extended