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Old 02-14-2024, 11:30 AM   #51
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Join Date: Sep 2022
Location: NJ
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Amp Research has to be one of the more frustrating companies to get information out of. As was previously mentioned, they really don't want anyone using their steps for something other than the intended vehicle. Their website now simply redirects to too, so it's harder to find all the manuals.

But from what I have found, there are a few potentially better options for the E-350, speaking in terms of length only.

1. They make a version for the LWB Sprinter which includes a short step for the driver's side (36in) and a long step for the Passenger side (79in). This was the "ideal" setup a while ago, but required people to purchase 2 kits for the 2 different lengths. Personally I'd love an extra foot or so of running board. It also appears that this only has one motor per side. This is model 76264-01A Nomadic Supply Company carries them so perhaps they would be more amicable to helping fellow van owners see if they'll work.

2. The kit for the 2017-2019 Diesel Silverado 2500/3500 has 85in running boards. This appears to have 2 motors per side. This is Model 76247-01A

3. They make a kit for the 2018-2020 Ford Expedition Max that has 90in running boards and 2 motors per side. These have 2 models based on year 76333-01A and 76337-01A

4. They make a PowerStep Extreme version for the 2017-2019 Ford F250/350/450/550 This also has 85in steps and 2 motors per side. The Extreme version has a slightly wider step, higher weight capacity, and 3in lower drop than the regular model. It might be nice for lifted vans. This is model 78235-01A

Finally, you could simply order the 90in steps which are part number 20-03752-90 and they run about $160 each.

So I know this complicates things, and I don't intend any of this to change what MG has already put together. I wanted to share so that perhaps someone who is willing to take a chance has a little more info than what AMP is willing to provide.

I think the easiest path forward would be to buy the kit MG recommends and a pair of the 90in extrusions to replace the 79in ones in the kit.

Anyway, just a little info to stir the pot.

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Old 02-14-2024, 02:58 PM   #52
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If someone is interested in an off-the-shelf solution I did get a quick email back and forth with these guys

$2500 bucks and they will build whatever you want for your Econoline. They apparently have all the CAD and knowhow to make it happen. I am holding out for a cheap set of steps off Marketplace before I put a plan together.

The Powerstep Extreme version for the 17-19 F250 is what my eyeball is set on. I need to find someone who has one local and take some measurements.
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Old 02-14-2024, 07:11 PM   #53
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Please review the post I made towards the beginning of this discussion. Pay particular attention to point #2 as this is often overlooked by folks trying to find a better way. The AMP controllers on newer rigs require CAN inputs and are model specific. No worky on caveman dumb Eseries. Much thought and research into this AMP step me. Did I land on the be-all, end-all solution? Probably not...But I would bet it's one of the least expensive and least painful routes to power steps on an Eseries.

I just finished up closing my house in OR and settling in to the new job in the sunny SW so sometime soon I can make the final updates to the CAD models (based on user feedback). Sorry it's taken so long. Life has gotten in the way a lot lately.

Originally Posted by mgmetalworks View Post
As is often the case with forums these days, the original intent of the post has gone way off into the weeds....

My first experience with the AMP steps was with the SEMA van in 2015. The van had the steps installed before it got to me but since I was involved in the build, I got tons of questions about them. I later made a set of brackets for the Cummins van and got even more questions about them. However, I found that in the vast majority of cases, the "old way" (using Hummer H2 AMP mounts and motors and the frame mounted brackets) wouldn't work for people who had anything under the van mounted on the frame. So pretty much everyone who wanted them was disappointed to learn that the brackets wouldn't fit without, in many cases, a lot of extra work.

This last van build I'm working on comes along and the owner really, really, really wants the power steps. Could I have done the "old way" and made it work? Yes...but making those brackets sucked. Lots of welding, lots of drilling, super expensive Hummer parts kit plus the extra extrusions you have to get (especially nowadays with much high prices and limited availability). I pushed back a lot, I really didn't want to go through that again. Determined to find an easier way, I looked through every AMP Research instruction sheet and watched install videos of every kit that looked like it 'might' work. Then I gambled and bought a kit that met two criteria...

1) The mounts had to be compact with a simple mounting surface (custom brackets are hard to design for oddly shaped parts so a flat surface was key).
2) The controller had to work off of the analog door switch grounding principle, not tie into some CAN bus nightmare.

And what do you know??? I found a kit that mounts to the van, out of the way of most peoples' frame mounted stuff that only requires a simple bracket up front and some measuring and hole drilling in the rear. The wiring harness was a little short for the driver side but, hey, it's only a few wires everything worked out fine.

Are power steps for everyone? Nope. You folks who run the Rubicon or take your vans out to Moab 15 times a year for Hell's Gate... you probably want a true rock slider. But if you're like the 90+% of people with an Eseries van who contacted me that wanted either 4x4 or power steps or both and wanted the lowest step in height possible, then this method of AMP steps might work out ok for you and be low risk for boulder damage.

My thought here was to post that there's finally a way to have power steps with little pain and the brackets to make it happen are very simple. It's not something that I want to pursue as a product to sell so I was planning to post the drawing and dxf file so anyone interested could make it themselves (or have it made easily).
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Old 02-14-2024, 07:38 PM   #54
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Congrats on the move. Life happens. I left OR a couple years ago also.

Thanks for the update and your work!

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Old 02-15-2024, 11:28 AM   #55
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I have done a fair bit of digging in to these steps and the CAN-BUS thing may not be as big of a deal as we assume it to be.

From the information provided by AMP, even the newer CAN based controllers still rely on dummy-dum-dum trigger wires (supply a ground and step goes down). All the smart CAN stuff is in the plug-in OBD controller. The OBD controller is then spliced to the step controller to make it work.

Pretty smart, really. The step controllers are universal and do not touch the OBD or receive CAN signals. The only part of the control system that is vehicle specific is the little dongle that plugs in to the OBD port.

Consider if you will....

Install instructions for the 78235-01A (17-19 F series) reference the XTA controller and OBD plug FD15. Same story for the 76333-01A (18-19 Expedition MAX) - XTA Controller, FD15 plug.

XTA controllers are used in all 4-motor applications. This Includes Any 78xxx Series, And The 75135-01a, 77135-01a And 76247-01a Kits.

If you look up just the OBD plugs for the system (FD15, etc) they are all vehicle specific, and they all feature two purple wires coming off of them.

It is also telling that if you need to buy a new controller, they are *not* listed as vehicle specific, only the OBD plugs are YMM specific.

The thread posted here confirms this information - the controllers are universal, all the CAN stuff is handled in the OBD plug. This thread references the XTA controller PN 19-04279-XTA rev6

The much-lauded 2007-2021 Tundra kit (75137-01A) uses the STA controller. It stands to reason therefore that *any* kit with an STA controller could be made to run without a CAN/OBD connection since the controllers are not kit-specific.

Oddly enough the 2007-2021 Tundra Extreme Kit (78137-01A) uses the XTA controller and is controlled through the OBD.

The installation instructions for the Jeep Gladiator with XTA controller (78135-01A) on page 12 describes how to hardwire any XTA module without using the CAN/OBD. Same story as above. Ground purple/black for drivers side and ground purple for passenger side.

Barring any of that, if you do not care if *both* steps come down at the same time, you can use the "override" switch function (documented here) to control any XTA controller based kit. You can use the switch or use relays and trigger off your door switches

So what does all this mean?
  • STA and XTA controllers are not vehicle specific and can be easily made to work without relying on signals from the CAN or OBD systems.
  • The OBD plugs are vehicle specific and will not work on Econolines.
  • To run any kit using the "STA" (2 motor) controller, follow the instructions included in the Tundra kit 75137-01A
  • To run any kit using the "XTA" (4 motor) controller, follow the instructions included in the Jeep kit 78135-01A

How to physically attach the boards? Well thats a story for another day.
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Old 05-05-2024, 08:20 AM   #56
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Bringing this back up since there was a relatively recent post from MG Metalworks - y'all got any of them bracket drawings?
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