PowerBoard Install

Project Bedrock

Bestop PowerBoards install

by Bruce W. Smith

One common upgrade on pickups is running boards.

Running boards are an excellent convenience item,  providing those with short legs just the right amount of mid-step to make getting in/out of a pickup easy, which is especially useful when young ones are around.

For others, running boards keeps the pants from getting mud on them when headed to see a client or make a quick dash to the office from the jobsite.

If for nothing else, running provide a modicum of rocker protection and added aesthetic value to any pickup they grace.

We had fixed step-nerf bars on our 2011 GMC Sierra Crew Cab 4Ă—4, Project Bedrock. They worked fine for the application.

But this year wanted to step up to running boards that retracted to give Bedrock back its sleeker look — and retain the stock ground clearance.

The retractable running boards we turned to are the Bestop PowerBoards.

The PowerBoard™, which run about $1,100 retail and fit both late-model Chevy and GMC pickups, is an automatic running board system that hides underneath your truck.

The running boards retract when doors are closed and extend to meet your foot when a door on that side of the pickup door opens.

Here’re the highlights:

  • Extends down automatically when door opens , retracts up when door closes
  • Hides underneath your truck when doors are closed for complete ground clearance
  • Works with both front and rear door, driver and passenger Bestop PowerBoard components are both sturdy and well-finished.
  • Complete kit includes two steps, wiring harness with controller, weatherproof motors, LED light kit and hardware
  • 6.25 inch extra wide step is made with extruded aluminum with an ultra-durable powder coat that features a non-slip textured surface
  • Sturdy, cast aluminum alloy arms allow step to descend up to six inches to a comfortable stepping height when door opens and retracts back underneath vehicle when door closes.
  • All PowerBoards feature an integrated light kit, coated fasteners to resist corrosion and a heavy duty, weatherproof, pressure sensitive , pinch-proof technology motor to assure safety and workability for years to come
  • Each PowerBoard can hold up to 600lb load capacity PER SIDE and have been climate and salt spray tested to operate in any climate
  • 3 year/36,000 mile limited warranty
  • Extension arm is available to provide an additional 2 inches of height for lifted trucks

Installation is actually quite easy on this model GM pickup:

You bolt the actuator arms to the body, run the wiring harness to the motors, plug in the connectors, connect power to the Bestop controller and then splice the power leads to the GM “door ajar” module under the dash.

This setup saves more than an hour of labor compared to other automatic running board installations that require removing the pickup’s door panels and splicing in to each of the door’s door sensor wires.

Daniel Parker and David “Chops” Adair, two great techs at Truck Supply & Outfitters in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, handled our Bestop PowerBoards install. The job took about them less than two hours.

Our how-to gallery below show the installation steps. — PRO