This is a pretty straight forward install and it does indeed fit my truck with the factory fender flares. This install was true to the instructions, mostly, so I will be elaborating on the parts that caused us issues and, well let's face it.. just plain sucked. :i_rolleyes:
I started off by assembling the main linkage bracket.
Be very careful and pay attention to the alignment you want (driver side or passenger side) AND the configuration required for your bed length. There are four illustrations on the instructions.. two (driver and passenger alignments) for 6.5' and 8' beds.. and two for 5.5' beds. I made the mistake of paying attention to one but not both and ended up having to disassemble and turn stuff around. So, you have been warned! :shy2:
Once I had the linkage assembled correctly, we gathered everything needed and got the template in place. My husband surprised me when he slid out after placing the template and handed me the center punch and mallet saying "It's all you."
Tap the holes through the template, then drill using a 1/4" bit, followed by a 3/8" bit. Remove the template. Place the threaded plate into the channel above your holes and line up the holes.
*Note.. please wear proper eye protection while drilling the holes. I have never drilled in this position before and it caught me off guard when I saw metal shavings falling onto my glasses and bouncing into my hoodie. This may be a no brainer for most others so just consider this a friendly reminder to were safety goggles or eye wear.
Now comes the most annoying, excruciating, painful, and time consuming part. There is very little room to work with here and you will not be able to see the outer most bolt.. this one you will have to thread by feel only. I was lucky and got the inner bolt to thread almost immediately. The outer bolt took me, and my husband, nearly an hour to catch - we kept taking turns as this will seriously drain your fingertip, forearm and shoulder power and we needed to take breaks.
*Edit: I forgot to mention another contributing factor that added a whole degree of difficulty to this step of the install that some out there may want to know..
This step involves placing the threaded plate in a slot in the bed frame so that it sits flat directly above the holes you just drilled. This slot it is in is bigger than the plate thus giving it plenty of room to scoot and shift freely. When you bring the linkage assembly up and try to attach it to the bed frame via these holes.. it is unbelievably difficult to not only get the bolt threaded into the hole in the frame, but ALSO catch the hole in the threaded plate that seems to enjoy utilizing it's free will. LOL! Ugh. This was the cause of my (and hubby's) painful and drawn out hour.
I was able to get the first bolt (most inner and one you can actually see) threaded on my second attempt, so we tightened that bolt up in an attempt to restrict the floating movement of the threaded plate above. This worked. Then, using the center punch, I was able to align the hole in the threaded plate with the freshly drilled hole in the bed frame in order to allow the bolt to catch and thread. This all sounds very easy now that I am explaining it.. but when you take into consideration that the work space (at least on my truck) was equivalent to the width of two forearms held side by side, this was a trying task to undertake. I am only glad my husband was willing to tap me out every few minutes for a breather. (And a personal issue was in the mix as well.. I recently had surgery on the back of my left hand and am in therapy to release the tendons from the resulting scar tissue - so that was really no help either! At least I can miss therapy tomorrow and not feel guilty about it! LOL)
Cut to the ending.. once you have both bolts threaded, tightened and torqued to 16ft lbs, continue following the steps (as I said, unlike other installs I've done, these are true to form and are easy to follow).
I finished up by attaching the foot pad. I had two positions available.. one with the pad centered on the linkage when extended out, but looked off center with the lines of my truck when flipped closed.. the second option (the one I chose to go with) has the pad off center with the linkage, but perfectly centered between the end cap of my side step and the leading edge of the rear fender flare.
It may appear as though the pad will not clear the end cap of the side step, but it does! The way it lowers slightly when pulled out and down, it just curls right around the end cap. This position is also better than the other position because the rear edge of the foot pad does not cross the visual midline of the fender flare leading edge.. thus not cutting into the wheel well opening.
Initial review and bottom line:
- The Amp Research BedStep 2 fits on the short bed 1500's with factory fender flares and side steps. I am unsure if it would fit if I had Bushwacker pocket flares, or any other thick flares. I am also unsure if it would fit with other side steps.
- It does not strike or come in any contact with the fender flare when in the closed position.
- It does not strike or come in any contact with the end cap of the Mopar chrome side steps.
- It is difficult to install due to the restricted space available on my short bed 1500. This is not the fault of Amp or the product.. my truck simply doesn't have much room in the installation area.
- There has been some questions recently expressing concern about this step dropping down while going over pot holes or bumps in the road. I haven't driven any distance yet, so I cannot say for sure.. but it takes more than a slight tap of the toe to move this, up or down. I feel confident that this step will not budge, even when the truck is in motion and traversing terrain.
Superb product with very good build quality. All parts felt sturdy and sure in hand. Highly recommend to others! :smileup: (I'm now considering adding one to the passenger side too. lol!)
If I missed or skipped over something and you would like more details about a specific step or whatnot, please ask and I'll do my best to help you out. That's what I am here for, after all!
Final installed pictures
I will get better shots in the sun tomorrow! But I know how pics make the post - so these are the best I could do tonight. If anyone wants a picture from a certain angle or zoomed in on something, please let me know and I'll get it for you.