Bestop PowerBoard Install

Everything about Tim’s 2002 F-350 Super Duty was in pristine condition when he bought it used last year except the OEM chrome tube side steps, which had loose step pads and rust from hanging out at the coast. Off they came. Tim liked the look of the pickup without the side steps, but Lacey, his young bride, didn’t like the climb to get in. She deserved better.

LW_10_04699Enter Bestop with a brilliant solution: the PowerBoard (www.bestoppowerboard.com). The PowerBoard is a well-engineered system that uses heavy-duty motors to deploy a cab length step in less than a second when a door on that side of the vehicle opens. The step completely retracts under the vehicle as soon as the door is closed.

Most pickup step boards are mounted too high and too close to the vehicle to provide a natural step. Not so with the PowerBoard, which splits the distance between the ground and the pickup floor boards, making a comfortable step into the vehicle.

The key is the fact that the steps retract. They couldn’t be positioned as low or as far away from the vehicle if they didn’t tuck away while the truck is in operation. Now Tim has the look he wants on his pickup and everyone has a comfortable step for climbing aboard.

The components fit very well to the stock mounting points, the wiring harness was the right size for the crew cab and the kit included some nice details such as butt connectors, cable ties and connecting wires.

The operation of the steps is just cool. When you open any door, the step on that side deploys very quickly so you don’t miss a step getting in. When the doors are closed and the steps are up you cannot see them unless you happen to be two feet tall.

At 6 ¼” wide, the steps are comfortable and nearly skid-proof when clean. They appear to be thin, which helps them tuck away, but they are quite strong.

You can find several of the PowerBoard models on line for about $1,000 and save money by installing them yourself. When ordering the kit, be sure to research any information available on Bestop’s website about your specific pickup model. You can download the installation guide and scroll down until you get to the wiring guide. Find the page that is specific to your truck and look for any additional kits required. In Tim’s case he needed a different control module than comes standard with the kit.

Here’s how Tim got the install done on his 2002 Ford F-250 Super Duty Crew Cab:

Since Tim had already removed the OEM sidesteps from his pickup, he located the second and last set of mounting holes on the inner sill. Get your head under the frame rail and look up and toward the outside of the vehicle. He used a hex bolt and a small washer to install a mounting clip on each side of each hole
Since Tim had already removed the OEM sidesteps from his pickup, he located the second and last set of mounting holes on the inner sill. Get your head under the frame rail and look up and toward the outside of the vehicle. He used a hex bolt and a small washer to install a mounting clip on each side of each hole.
Do not tighten the bolts at this time. You may need to remove the old u-nuts before installing the new version that comes with the kit.
Do not tighten the bolts at this time.
You may need to remove the old u-nuts before installing the new version that comes with the kit.
Next he positioned a front arm (with motor mounts) so the platform faced outside the vehicle to support the step. He slid the notches at the top up under the washers he put in earlier
Next he positioned a front arm (with motor mounts) so the platform faced outside the vehicle to support the step. He slid the notches at the top up under the washers he put in earlier.
He used two phillips head bolts and two large washers through the outside of the sill and into the threaded holes at the bottom of the arm. He repeated the arm install in all four corners.
He used two phillips head bolts and two large washers through the outside of the sill and into the threaded holes at the bottom of the arm. He repeated the arm install in all four corners.
Tim used a ratchet with hex head bit to tighten the lower bolts
Tim used a ratchet with hex head bit to tighten the lower bolts
He used a standard socket with extension to torque the upper bolts
He used a standard socket with extension to torque the upper bolts
Tim used the supplied zip ties to attach the control box inside the engine bay above the passenger tire
Tim used the supplied zip ties to attach the control box inside the engine bay above the passenger tire
He removed the fuse from its home in the wiring harness so he wouldn’t be working with hot wires during the remainder of the install
He removed the fuse from its home in the wiring harness so he wouldn’t be working with hot wires during the remainder of the install
Next he put the coiled wiring harness in the engine bay and connected the harness to the control box
Next he put the coiled wiring harness in the engine bay and connected the harness to the control box
He then connected the battery leads to auxiliary pins on the battery terminals, red to positive and black to negative
He then connected the battery leads to auxiliary pins on the battery terminals, red to positive and black to negative
Tim threaded the short leg of the harness out of the engine bay between the firewall and the fender well on the passenger side and the long leg across the top of the firewall and then between the firewall and the fender well on the driver side
Tim threaded the short leg of the harness out of the engine bay between the firewall and the fender well on the passenger side and the long leg across the top of the firewall and then between the firewall and the fender well on the driver side
We removed the step plate inside each door and rolled back the carpet
We removed the step plate inside each door and rolled back the carpet
Tim punctured the floor grommet and pulled the purple trigger wire from each side of the harness up through the floor on each side of the truck
Tim punctured the floor grommet and pulled the purple trigger wire from each side of the harness up through the floor on each side of the truck
We popped out and unplugged the door lock controls
We popped out and unplugged the door lock controls
We popped out the door light lense and removed the door panel mounting bolts.
We popped out the door light lense and removed the door panel mounting bolts.
The door trim panel near the A-pillar comes off with a standard screw driver
The door trim panel near the A-pillar comes off with a standard screw driver
We removed the door panel by lifting up and over the lock pin, which pulls out the tabs on the bottom
We removed the door panel by lifting up and over the lock pin, which pulls out the tabs on the bottom
Be careful to fish the light fixture out of the back before setting the door panel aside
Be careful to fish the light fixture out of the back before setting the door panel aside
We detached the speaker and tipped it out of its door mounting hole
We detached the speaker and tipped it out of its door mounting hole
Bestop supplied a tube, which we fed through the speaker opening, past the grommet and through the wire chase into the cab
Bestop supplied a tube, which we fed through the speaker opening, past the grommet and through the wire chase into the cab. With the tube in place, a wire can be threaded through it.
Tim located the yellow-black wire in the door panel and used a supplied Posi-Tap connector to splice a purple connecting wire into it
Tim located the yellow-black wire in the door panel and used a supplied Posi-Tap connector to splice a purple connecting wire into it
We located the black wire under the rear sill plate, cut it and taped it off
We located the black wire under the rear sill plate, cut it and taped it off
Tim located the light green-yellow wire under the front sill plate and used a supplied Posi-Tap connector to splice the purple connecting wire into it
Tim located the light green-yellow wire under the front sill plate and used a supplied Posi-Tap connector to splice the purple connecting wire into it
Over at the passenger door sill plate, Tim spliced the purple wire into the pink with light blue stripe wire
Over at the passenger door sill plate, Tim spliced the purple wire into the pink with light blue stripe wire
Next, Tim cut the black wire and spliced the rear half of it into the gray wire
Next, Tim cut the black wire and spliced the rear half of it into the gray wire
With the wiring done, Tim reinstalled all of the speakers, lights, door panels, switches and sill plates. Then he  attached the wiring harness to the top of the firewall with zip-ties
With the wiring done, Tim reinstalled all of the speakers, lights, door panels, switches and sill plates. Then he attached the wiring harness to the top of the firewall with zip-ties
Tim installed the motors and attached the wiring harness plugs to the motors
Tim installed the motors and attached the wiring harness plugs to the motors
He attached the lights but left them hanging until he could see what the optimal spot would be with the steps installed
He attached the lights but left them hanging until he could see what the optimal spot would be with the steps installed
Tim located the sliding T-nuts, lined them up with the corresponding grooves in both arms and fastened the steps to the arms with the supplied fasteners
Tim located the sliding T-nuts, lined them up with the corresponding grooves in both arms and fastened the steps to the arms with the supplied fasteners

 

 

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