Project Dodge Mega Cab: AMP Research PowerStep & BedStep

Dec. 22, 2010 By Jaime Hernandez

Project Dodge Mega Cab has been tricked out with some diesel performance parts, off-road suspension, and some other goodies. Itís really starting to take a transformation of its own. One thing is for sure, the truck is tall and after we leveled the suspension, it got even taller. We are currently running 33-inch tires and are looking to go either 35 or 37s in the near future.  Before we can go any higher, we needed to address a safe way to get in and out of this mega truck.

Other Project Dodge Mega Cab Stories:

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Magnaflow Diesel Performance Exhaust

AAM 11.5 Differential Performance

We looked around at different steps, running boards and even considered fabing up some rock sliders that would double as steps. In the end, the simple and clean design of the PowerStep by Amp Research won us over.

WHY AMP POWERSTEP?

The AMP PowerStep is truly a mechanical marvel that has set the standard in power steps. Designed and made in the USA from high-quality materials, the AMP PowerStep is more than bolt-on gingerbread for your truck--itís a hardworking component that adds function and safety to your truck.

AMP has been around since 1980 and is located in Irvine, California.  They invent, build and market products designed to improve the function and utility of cars, trucks, SUVs, bicycles and motorcycles.

An ISO 9001:2008 certified manufacturer, AMP Research supplies quality components for the automotive aftermarket and OEM cars and trucks for Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota.

Founder Horst Leitner is an off-roader himself, having an extensive motocross and off-road racing career. He understands what works and doesnít work for those that play hard.  We quickly figured this out after being introduced to AMP Research a few years back at the SEMA show in Las Vegas.

The AMP PowerStep provides a safe and sturdy non-slip surface that extends below the truckís floorboard--making it a breeze to step in and out of your truck.

We found that most 4x4 trucks today, even in their stock form, are tall and cumbersome when getting in and out.  The AMP PowerStep is the answer to this.

Donít get me wrong--I donít mind a little work. But when you factor in loading a baby, two dogs and my wife into the truck, getting a step up into the cab is the way to go.

Here are some other key features of the AMP PowerStep:

ē Integrated LED Light System Ė Standard
ē High-strength, die-cast aluminum-alloy linkage arms, anodized and Teflon® coated to resist corrosion
ē Precision, zero-maintenance stainless-steel pivot pins
ē Extruded aluminum steps with a textured powder-coat finish for maximum grip and durability
ē 600 lb. load capacity (each side)
ē Weatherproof, OEM-quality electric motors and wiring harness with sealed weather-tight connectors
ē AMP-designed electronic controller employs pressure-sensitive, pinch-proof safety technology

INSTALLATION

We worked with Off Road Warehouse (ORW) in San Diego, CA, for our AMP PowerStep installation.  ORW is an AMP Research dealer and has been installing their product for quite some time now. ORW has four stores in San Diego County and Temecula that offer great off-road products, installation and service.

ORW has one of the largest selections of quality off-road parts for truck, SUV, Jeep and racing. For great deals on off-road parts, make sure to check out their website at http://www.offroadwarehouse.com/
 
Neil Bradley, Store Manager at ORW in El Cajon, CA, was gracious enough to lend a helping hand and give us access to his shop and techs.

James Shoults, ORW Tech tackled our Dodge Mega Cab PowerStep installation.  Heís been installing off-road parts on Trucks, Jeep and SUVs for over 10 years.

The AMP PowerStep comes packed in one box.  Inside, three smaller boxes with the components and two running boards are included.  Detailed instructions and a wiring harness is included to make the installation simple.

Hereís an overview of the AMP PowerStep installation:

The first step is attaching a set of brackets to the inner side of the cab. The bottom of the brackets is held in place by bolts that put pressure against the bottom lip along the bottom of the cab. Drilling is needed to press in a pop-rivet at the top of the bracket.
 
Next is bolting the arms that extend and retract the running board to the sealed electric motors. Both these pieces will be an instrumental part of making the AMP PowerStep work its magic. The electric motor is then secured on to the bracket already fixed under the cab from the previous step.

Next is adding the running board to the drop-down aluminum arms. Loosely secure the bolts, and then make adjustment on the vertical plane of the step.  The adjustment is a nice feature that allows the installer the flexibility to fine-tune the AMP PowerStep.

After installing the mechanics of the AMP PowerStep, itís time for electrical.  The automotive grade wiring harness will deliver power to the steps and LED lights illuminating the AMP PowerStep. James carefully studies the harness and instructions before moving forward.

This box is mounted on the firewall and is the controller for sending the power signal to the step motors and LED lights when opening and closing the doors.  The controller is vehicle specific, and it works in conjunction with your trucks factory wiring.

For our 3rd Gen. Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel truck, we only needed to tap four wires inside the cab to make the AMP PowerStep work.  We used an existing hole in the firewall being shared with wiring for our Diesel Gauges. The instructions from AMP Research helped us identify the color code for the four wires needed. The wires will signal when any of the four doors are opened or closed.   
 
Once the wiring inside the cab was done, James carefully routed the wiring from one side of the truck to the other in order to reach the passenger side AMP PowerStep. All that was left was securing the wiring harness and connecting it to the step motors and LED lights.

AMP BEDSTEP
  
While we were at it, we also bolted on an AMP Research BedStep.  Chris busted this out while James finished the final wiring on the LED lights and step.  The boys at ORW are all about teamwork.

The last step was to connect the power (+) and ground (-) wires to the battery to juice up our AMP PowerStep.  DONE.

The entire installation took less than 2.5 hours. 

We asked James what he thought about the AMP PowerStep installation. He really liked how simple they were to install.  He also liked the safety features they have. The AMP PowerStep has a built-in safety mechanism that wonít allow them to close if there is any obstruction or force placed on them (e.g. like a foot or hand).

FINAL THOUGHTS

The AMP PowerStep is a great way to get a step up into your pickup truck.

Wow, what a great product.  It was easy to install, the instructions were simple to follow and everything worked the way it should.  We like that.

The AMP PowerStep hides and stays out of the way when not in use.  This ensures that our truck keeps high-clearance for off-road travel.

Some of the features we really like is how well hidden the steps are when not in use.  They stay nicely tucked underneath the cab.  The high clearance assures us that our AMP Power Steps will not get in the way or high-center our truck when off-road.  Iíve seen too many factory or aftermarket stationary steps that lower the vehicles clearance. 

The LED lighting is a nice touch.  It looks awesome at night and adds extra safety when getting in and out of your truck.

Now if all this wasnít enough, the AMP PowerStep also makes a great conversation piece. Itís great to see your friends mesmerized by power running boards with cool LED lights. It really is amazing how smooth these steps come down and retract from under the cab.

The AMP PowerStep makes it easy to step up on your lifted truck to access the bed.My wife canít stop talking about them--and thatís a good thing. Sheís even coming on more rides with me. She likes being able to get in and out on her own without the use of a clunky stepladder. Heck, even my Lab is having a good time using the steps.

The AMP BedStep is a nice little bonus to add to any truck that gets use of the bed.
I am now able to load and unload things from the back of the truck with ease.  It also makes getting up on the bumper and into the bed easy on this lifted truck.

All in all, we are really glad we went with AMP Research. They are truly a step above the rest.

For more information on AMP PowerStep, BedStep and other fine products from AMP Research please visit http://www.amp-research.com/

SPECIAL NOTE:
 
AMP Research is running a promotion through the end of the year (Dec. 31, 2010).  If you buy a PowerStep, theyíll throw in a FREE BedStep or BedX-tender ($200 Retail Value).

Make sure to take advantage of this deal on Off Road Warehouseís website
http://www.offroadwarehouse.com/products/productID/51249

SOURCE

AMP Research
http://www.amp-research.com/
Irvine, CA
Phone: (949) 221-0023
Toll-free 1-800-309-6823

Off Road Warehouse
http://offroadwarehouse.com/
425 N. Marshall Ave.
El Cajon, CA 92020
Phone: (619) 442-8689

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