Project KR, Part VII: PowerSteps Installation
Project KR has PowerSteps Installed for Easy Cab Access with a Stealth Appearance
From the March, 2012 issue of 8-Lug
Author: Chuck Eickhoff
Photography: Chuck Eickhoff
01. Everything was laid out...
Everything was laid out on the floor prior to the install: two boards, four linkage arms, one controller, two motors, and one wiring harness.
One of the build requirements of the Project KR Ford Super Duty was the King Ranch package. This trim level offered what we wanted from the factory in regard to seating, body color, and other amenities, but the King Ranch also gave us some items we would want to change. One of the items not on the wish list was the factory running boards. They fit great and have a function, but for our build, they had to go. We wanted a clean bodyside, free of visual exterior steps.
Project KR’s theme is “King of the Road,” and to accomplish that task, we are using premier quality parts, bringing together the top manufacturers in the automotive industry. Ford Motor Company, BFGoodrich, Centerline, Eaton, Rancho Suspension, Edge, AFE, BASF, Superior Gear, Penhall Fabrication, and Warn Industries are a few of the manufacturers involved with Project KR.
02. With the truck in place,...
With the truck in place, the crew at Granger’s Classic Auto Body removed the factory running boards.
When it came time to choose steps for our project truck, we went with the PowerStep from AMP Research in Irvine, California. Horst Leitner, founder of AMP Research, has been an innovator of products and vehicles for years. His ATK motorcycles and AMP mountain bikes took us to new levels of design. So when he entered the automotive world with his Bed Extender, PowerStep, and other folding steps, he again made his mark with innovation. The quality he puts in all his products is what is so impressive. Everything is made in America, and he uses the finest materials so they will last. It’s like having the aerospace mindset in the automotive industry—and that’s a winning combination for a person who understands and appreciates it.
03. There are four linkage...
03. There are four linkage arm assemblies—two with motors for the forward position of the steps and two without motors for the rearward position of the steps. The forward linkage arm assemblies need the motor installed. Fidel Acosta started the process by attaching the motor to the linkage assembly.
04. With the motor in place,...
04. With the motor in place, the supplied screws were installed. Three screws hold the motor. This is done by hand to ensure proper fitment.
05. Here’s the motor and...
05. Here’s the motor and linkage together; the screws are tightened and ready to install on the cab.
06. Utilizing the factory...
06. Utilizing the factory installation holes from the factory running board, the front linkage is installed. We used the factory bolts on the top mounts of the linkage.
07. After the top bolts,...
07. After the top bolts, we installed the lower bolts that come with the step. These are stainless steel fasteners.
08. With the front installed,...
08. With the front installed, we set the rear linkage in place and repeated the procedure with the supplied hardware, utilizing the factory mounting points in the cab.
09. With the linkage installed...
09. With the linkage installed for the boards, we moved to the emergency brake cable. On the factory spring perch, the emergency brake cable needs to be extended up, so we removed the cable from the factory location by sliding it from its slot on the spring perch.
10. Using the supplied extender...
10. Using the supplied extender bracket, the emergency brake cable was slid into place on the bracket that has the same slot hole as the spring perch.
11. The extender bracket...
11. The extender bracket was attached to the spring perch using the same mounting point where the brake cable was removed.
12. This photo shows the...
This photo shows the linkage in place and the emergency brake cable moved up and out of the way. The steps are attached to the linkage. The step and the linkage were locked in place and secured with fasteners supplied by AMP.
Now, about the AMP PowerStep: It installs right where the factory running boards attach to the cab, utilizing the same mounting points. When not in use, the PowerSteps retract and are hidden under the cab. The running board is activated by opening the door, and drops into place, allowing easy access to the interior. Another nice feature of the power running board is that when in the down position, it is approximately 3 inches lower than the factory running board—a great feature for our lifted Super Duty. In the retracted position they are not visible, leaving the exterior of the truck lines clean. In fact, to see the steps on our truck, you actually have to get below the floor cab line and look up. The step boards are made from extruded 6063 aluminum, with a textured, powdercoat finish. The linkage is a die-cast, U.S.-certified, aluminum-alloy, anodized-black that’s Teflon-coated to military specs to prevent corrosion. The pivot pins and bearings are made of stainless steel, generating a load capacity of 600 pounds for each step.
“Project KR’s theme is “King of the Road,” and to accomplish that task, we are using premier quality parts, bringing together the top manufacturers in the automotive industry.”
For Project KR, we needed a quality shop to do the installation of the steps. For that, we enlisted Fidel Acosta and his shop, Granger’s Classic Auto Body, in Reseda, California. Since the install, we have been impressed by how flawlessly these quality steps have performed. On the Super Duty the fit is excellent, offering a solid feel when you step up on the board. When activated, they appear from under the cab in a smooth, solid, quick action. We’ve enjoyed watching first-time passengers give the “How am I going to get in?” look. And when the door opens, a little smile hits their faces.
Step on up, lets go!
13. With the steps in place,...
13. With the steps in place, it was time to do the wiring portion of the installation. The supplied fuse link had its fuse removed during the connection process and would not be reinstalled till we were ready to go with power.
14. On the passenger side,...
14. On the passenger side, we removed the floor plate under the door, exposing the many wires (of which we will only need a few). Because we have a crew cab, four wires (one for each door) will be connected. AMP supplies connectors that do not compromise the integrity of the wires.
15. With the crew cab, there...
15. With the crew cab, there are three wires under the floor plate, with a fourth wire on the front floor (firewall area) on the passenger side. This wire had us second-guessing ourselves, as the test light did not give us confirmation. A quick call to AMP’s tech department assured us we had the right wire.
16. The controller is mounted...
16. The controller is mounted under the hood using supplied zip ties next to the battery. If it sounds too simple, it is.
17. From under the cab, you...
17. From under the cab, you can see part of the wiring loom pass through the cab floor with one part crossing the frame to connect to the other step and one part of the wiring loom going up the firewall to the engine compartment.
18. Here, part of the wire...
18. Here, part of the wire loom is directed to the engine compartment by following the firewall and exiting over the inner fender.
19. To power the driver side,...
19. To power the driver side, part of the wiring loom is attached to the underside, in the recess of the transmission crossmember, to keep it away from the direct heat of the exhaust, which could damage the wires.
20. With the wire loom in...
20. With the wire loom in place, the connection is made to each of the two drive motors.
21. Now that everything was...
21. Now that everything was mounted and wired, we installed the fuse into the fuse link and we then had PowerSteps.
22. The steps mount under...
22. The steps mount under the bottom of the cab line, occupying dead space not typically used.
23. Now you see it. Open...
23. Now you see it. Open any door and the PowerStep is activated on that side, offering easy access to the cab.
24. Now you don’t. With the...
24. Now you don’t. With the doors closed, the step hides under the cab, giving a stealth look.
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