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AMP Powersteps on FGT Double Cab

Discussion in '1st Gen Tundras (2000-2006)' started by Tohopko, Mar 7, 2020.

  1. Mar 7, 2020 at 7:04 PM
    #1
    Tohopko

    Tohopko [OP] New Member

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    Let's start with the why.
    Lifted 2"
    I'm short
    I'm not as nimble as I used to be
    She who must be obeyed is even less nimble
    I was getting new leather seats I didn't want to scarf sliding in and out
    I don't need rockers
    I don't like the look of boards/steps that hang down all the time
    I have the AMPs on another truck that have been abused for 10 years and are still going strong

    AMP does not list a kit for the FGT. Their earliest is a 2007 Tundra. They also have a kit for the Taco double cabs. Comparing the instructions and a few videos, it became apparent the Taco kit was not going to be an easy mod. The 2nd Gen Tundras, however, have the same basic mounting points as my 2004 DC. The difference is in the angle of the inner rocker from horizontal. The 2nd Gens have a much lower angled (more horizontal) surface to mount to. Without some kind of adapter, the boards will not fully retract, and when fully extended, will be angled down from horizontal (outer to inner edge)20200218_091222.jpg
    On the 2004, there are 3 mounting points, one approximately centered on each door, with one between. The upper mount is an M8 stud, the lower is an M8 nut welded to a support plate behind the rocker skin. I was unable to remove the studs, so ended up cutting them off and tapping them, as the studs were not long enough for my first go at a mounting solution. I've figured out since that it would have been fine to leave them. The lower bolts were missing on my passenger side, but were in the lower holes on the driver's side.
     
    speedtre and CodyP like this.
  2. Mar 7, 2020 at 7:08 PM
    #2
    Tohopko

    Tohopko [OP] New Member

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    The boards that I used were :

    75137-01A PowerStep Electric Running Boards for 2007-2018 Toyota Tundra Double Cab & CrewMax, 2008-2017 Sequoia

    This is the kit without the OBDII interface. I was not sure the same signals would be sent on the FGT, so went with the direct wire. $1399 from Amazon


    Note: These boards are made to fit the 2nd Gen Crewmax unaltered, with the board being cut to fit the Double Cab. The length is almost perfect for the FGT Double Cab.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2020
  3. Mar 7, 2020 at 7:09 PM
    #3
    Tohopko

    Tohopko [OP] New Member

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    So the AMP Research Powersteps have a safety feature that also serves as their movement limiter. If the board hits an obstacle, on extension or retraction, the extra load and current draw on the motor causes the controller to stop movement.

    My first thought was that this feature could be used to stop the boards from over-extending beyond horizontal by adding a shim under the existing stop bumpers. I used tape on wheel weights, slightly bent, to provide approximately 1/8" of "shimming" against the bumper. It did indeed stop the extension, but not until it was about 10° beyond horizontal.20200214_174240.jpg20200214_174246.jpg

    Here the arm is shown in the correct orientation. The board mounts into the "slot" on the lower portion of the arm




    20200214_174224.jpg

    Obviously, plan "B" was needed, some kind of spacer with the mounting brackets
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2020
  4. Mar 7, 2020 at 7:09 PM
    #4
    Tohopko

    Tohopko [OP] New Member

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    Now the redneck part comes in. My first thought was that I would simply be able to stack washers or a spacer under on the top stud to make the mounting surface of the arm more horizontal. As I mentioned before, the top studs were too short, so I ended up drilling and tapping to accommodate longer M8 bolts. The next problem was that the arm, if mounted flat against the rocker, would not clear the pinch weld at the bottom of the rocker. That was the easy solution:20200218_110539.jpg

    A piece of flat 1/4 steel, drilled for the mounting holes, spaces the arm out away from the rocker enough for it to clear the rocker pinch weld. It did not, however, change the angle. Since figuring out the geometric ratios was beyond my old aviator brain, I started stacking washers. With the wheel weights limiting movement, washers stacked to provide 5/8" spacing on the top mounting bolt stopped the boards at horizontal.
    20200218_191701.jpg20200218_184505.jpg
    Several problems with this approach, of course. First, the angle between the bolt head and the mount puts too much shear stress on the bolt. It holds me fine at 170lbs, and I have had a 200lb friend use the board, but I would not push it much beyond that, or expect it to last. In addition, only one "arm" is motor driven on the AMP boards. The rear arm is simply an idler. Unfortunately, my less than rigid mounting solution allows the front motor-driven arm to twist slightly as it retracts, which causes a slight bind and delay in the rear portion of the board coming up. It also requires a bit of "fiddling" with the board to arm mountings to get them set just right, else the twist also causes the rear portion of the board to stop short of full retraction. This video shows the "walking" retraction:
    https://youtu.be/aJXtfQmMdJk

    I believe the spacing is adequate using the front and rearmost mounting points, but a more rigid adapter is needed. My thought is a flat mount to bolt to the existing stud and holes and a wedged portion with M8 studs for the board. Something like this:
    20200218_175218.jpg
    Karmakannon was kind enough to do a file in solid works that illustrates it much better than my crude drawing. This could be a machined part, or as Karma noted, it could be built out of sheet metal, with the wedge being a welded piece. The measurements on hole spacing are not quite right, but this gives you the idea. I'm not certain they are all exactly the same, but measuring the centers of the mounts, as well as the centers of the holes on the AMP mounts is the only positive way for a good fit.

    Even more rigidity could be produced by extending the flat plate between the center and rear mount for the idler arm, then placing the idler wedge about 6" forward of the rear mount. This would decrease a little more twist, and still keep the arm centered approximately where someone would step.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 8, 2020
    bmf4069 likes this.
  5. Mar 7, 2020 at 7:09 PM
    #5
    Tohopko

    Tohopko [OP] New Member

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    I'll say right up front that I HATE wiring. I remember when I installed these on my 2006 Dodge--the wiring was just downright painful. Guess what? This was simple.

    First, follow the AMP directions for placing the brain box (Driver side engine bay) and wiring it to the battery. The positive wire is fused, and you will be pulling the fuse before continuing to work.

    From the "brain", there are two branches of the wiring harness. The longer end routes across the engine bay on the firewall, the shorter drops down under the master cylinder. Both sides follow along the frame rails. This brings you to step #

    Now, remove the scuff plates from both the front and rear doors, fold the rear seats forward, and remove the rear trim panel as well as the corner panels just aft of each rear door.

    Lift up the carpet and find the body plug/grommet that is just in front of the front row seats. Cut a small slit in the grommet and feed the blue and grey wires from the harness up through the slit. This brings you to step #12 in the AMP instructions. Now you can stop following them :)

    AMP would have you find the signal wires from each door on the plugs that lead to the body ECU. That makes from some tight fits and some mental fits as you try to sort out which is which ( did I mention I hate wiring and wiring diagrams?). The MUCH easier way is to identify the wire from each door courtesy switch and tap into it with the provided vampire taps. I actually pulled each of the switches to check the wire color. AMP isn't completely clear in their instructions which of their wires to use, but : Blue is front for both sides, grey is rear.

    On the 2004, the easiest spot to tap the wires was near the transition from the front scuff panel to the front kick panel. On the passenger side connect the Blue Amp wire to the light Green wire with black stripe in the wire bundle that runs along the sill and to a connector in the right kick panel. On the driver side, connect the blue AMP wire to the Grey wire with the red stripe. On the driver side, I just separated the bundle and found the wire. No way was I digging into the mess under the driver side dash to find a connector.

    Rear switches (2004) are both black with an orange stripe, but that color does not extend to the front. They pass through a diode and change to Red with white, but there is a problem. Once they pass the diode, the signal is not differentiated between doors. If you tap the Red with white near the front, regardless of which rear door you open, both boards will come down. I added an extension wire to the grey AMP wire and ran all the way to the rear courtesy switches, tapping into the Black with orange just below the switch.

    That's it, believe it or not. Put the fuse back in the positive feed and test.

    Once you have good function, go back to the AMP directions to read about the light installs. Ignore the measurements--just find a center point on each door, drill the pinchweld, insert grommets, connect wires and stick on the lights. All done!

    Passenger side: The wire running from the front courtesy switch is

    Colors for other models may be different, easy to pull the switches and see what color wire is attached.

    Also--if any of you wiring gurus knows the colors or better spots to tap for other models, sing out!

    Oh...almost forgot. Boards retracted. With a better bracket, I would anticipate a slightly tighter fit against the body. (wires hanging were for the lights)20200219_193634.jpg 20200219_193647.jpg 20200219_193653.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2020
  6. Mar 7, 2020 at 8:01 PM
    #6
    artsr2002

    artsr2002 2005 Tundra DC SR5

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    Looking forward to this......
     
  7. Mar 7, 2020 at 8:27 PM
    #7
    CodyP

    CodyP Such a n00b

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    Man if I could only justify those steps. I love them and like you hate the look of bars and steps. Looking forward to seeing these done.
     
  8. Mar 8, 2020 at 4:46 AM
    #8
    abcinv

    abcinv OEM Junkie

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    So what’s the cost for the custom install???
    Great job!
     
  9. Mar 8, 2020 at 6:51 AM
    #9
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    Nice job! Thank took some brain power. That mounting post you cut off is non-existent on the 2002 model.
     
    TX-TRD1stGEN likes this.
  10. Mar 9, 2020 at 8:42 PM
    #10
    KarmaKannon

    KarmaKannon Master of None

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    Some junk
    Getting there. Need any more cad stuff?
     
  11. Mar 9, 2020 at 8:57 PM
    #11
    Tohopko

    Tohopko [OP] New Member

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    Definitely a maybe ;) About to hit the road for a couple of months on dog and hunting/guiding events, so I won't be able to get back to it until late May.

    One thought...the sheet wedge we discussed...any reason it couldn't be a piece of angle with one side cut down to 3/4"?
     
    richiewestside likes this.
  12. May 15, 2021 at 2:16 PM
    #12
    richiewestside

    richiewestside New Member

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    Amp power steps, land cruiser heritage wheels, Jeff Westcott lift, NSV light bar, tinted tail lights.
    Can’t wait for more in this. I just bought a first Gen and have always had Amp steps on my other trucks.
     
    Tundra2 likes this.

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