Jeep JL Wrangler Amp Research Powerstep Install on a 2019 Jeep Wrangler JL

    It’s Not Hard to Enter Easy!

    The four-door Wrangler Unlimited has been a smash hit from the day it entered the marketplace as a 2007 model. Given the vast improvements the JL Wrangler brings to the table, it's little wonder Jeep is still selling ever four-door Wrangler it can manufacture. But not everybody who purchases a new JL Wrangler wants to immediately turn it into a hardcore rockcrawler. Many are content to use their Jeep Wrangler as an everyday commuter and weekend fun machine. After all, they are super-capable right out of the box.

    However, some things that lend to Jeep's off-road abilities make it less than easy to live with on a daily basis. And a high step-in height is definitely one of those things. We had a buddy who just picked up a brand new JL Wrangler Unlimited, and while he absolutely loves the vehicle, it was difficult for his elderly parents to climb into. Not to mention little kids and even the dog.

    Enter Amp Research and its Powerstep and Powerstep XL automatic, electric-powered running boards. The Powerstep keys into the door light switches and automatically extends to a lowered position when the door is opened and retracts when the door is closed. For tall, lifted vehicles, the Powerstep XL offers a 3-inch-lower stepping surface compared to the regular Powerstep, and is housed inside of a custom rocker rail. For muddy, snowy, and other harsh climates, there's the Powerstep Xtreme, which is designed to hold up to heavy caking of snow, mud, ice, and other contaminants. However, for this particular application, the regular Powerstep proved perfect. Here's how we added some easy entry ability in an afternoon.

    Amp Research provides everything you need for installation down to the wiring zip ties and connectors. You'll need regular sockets and wrenches, Allen-head wrenches, and a crimping tool. We laid out the parts on our 1971 CJ-6 workbench and got to it.
    The first step is to install the brackets at the indicated positions. There is absolutely no drilling required to install the Amp Research Powersteps on a JL Wrangler. The brackets install with two bolts horizontally through the pinch seam and one bolt vertically into the existing factory running board mount. The small angled bracket for the LED lamp should be positioned into place before the brackets are tightened down.
    With the brackets mounted, the next step is to hang the running boards on them and fasten with the supplied hardware. The mounting plates inside the boards are captured and slide fore and aft, allowing some adjustment in board placement on the brackets. We measured from the rear tire to get the boards evenly positioned on both sides of the vehicle.
    The electric motors index into the forward brackets and are held in place with two bolts. The instructions say to leave off the motors and install after the running boards are mounted to the brackets, but access to the driver-side motor bolts is very, very tight. If we were doing it over we would install the motor on the forward driver-side bracket before mounting it to the body.
    With the hardware cinched down we installed the Powerstep wiring harness. The harness comes preassembled in a protective loom and is nearly the prefect length out of the box. Leaving the fuses out, we connected the power to battery, and ground to chassis, and ran the harness down to the electric motors per the directions. A portion of the harness needs to be snaked up through a drain hole in the passenger-side front floorboard to access the door light wiring per the instructions.
    The interior harness connects to the four door-open wires on the passenger-side kick panel. Follow the instructions and match the wire colors to factory. Once that's completed, hook the interior harness to the wires that you ran up through the floor drain plug, insert the fuses, and test for function.
    The LED lamps attach to the bracket with automotive-grade adhesive. When either door is opened the step will lower and the light will illuminate. If you want to leave the steps in the lowered position for loading, just put a little pressure on it and it will stay deployed until the door is reopend and closed. Conversely, if the step encounters resistance when trying to open, it will retract back to the closed position to avoid damaging anything.
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