We knew right away that a basic cab mounted step was not going to offer the necessary assistance in getting up and into the cab of the truck. After some searching for power steps, we found the Kodiak Sidewinder retractable steps. So we contacted Kodiak to inquire about a set of Sidewinders for Project Responder and they were very gracious in their support. Kodiak Products supplied us with a set of twelve inch drop kodiak sidewinder steps.
At first, installation looked like it was going to be a large project, but after unpacking the boxes and reading the incredibly thorough directions, we found that installation was actually very simple. We began by installing the back bracket to the sidewinder unit. Next, the sidewinder step unit was placed under the cab of the truck and 'eyeballed' into position with the Kodiak step in the upwards position. Now, using a thin marker, the mounting holes were draw onto the cab support. The sidewinder step was set aside and the mounting holes were drilled out. Now we could bolt the Kodiak step to the truck, finger tight.
Now, we could start figuring out where to mount the rear brackets. The mounting instructions are very easy to read and we were able to locate mounting locations on the floor seam for the angled brackets. Using the supplied bolts, we loosely attached the brackets to the sidewinder step so we could put the bracket against the seam and mark the location for the holes that needed to be drilled. With the brackets out of the way, we drilled the holes into the floor seam and the installed the bolts and began to tighten the four mounting bolts, starting with the two allen head bolts that hold the Kodiak step to the outside of the truck's floor pan. Then the two rear bolts were tightened. Lastly, the bolts that connect the sidewinder to the rear brackets were tightened. The same process was duplicated on the passenger's side, except that we measured the distance of the first step so the second would be identical. It took just over an hour to mount both steps to the truck.
From here, all that was left was to connect the wiring. There are three wires which connect via a waterproof connector, which control the Kodiak Sidewinders. We ran the wires down to the rear of the cab and into the power distribution center under the bed of the truck. The power lead and ground wire were connected to an always on 12v power block and to the power center enclosure, respectively. For the actuator leads, we decided to control the sidewinder steps with a switch on the center console as opposed to using the ground actuated push switches that were supplied. Because the doors get opened and closed a lot at shows and just in general when the truck is being detailed or being worked on, this just made more sense for this installation. The actuator leads are ground activated and we connected them to one of the relays. The TST power system is designed to allow for a positive or negative feed and after a few minutes, we had the steps working perfectly.
The Kodiak Sidewinder power retractable steps are some of the best accessories we've installed on Project Responder. They make getting and out of the truck so much easier and the steps really get's people's attention when they are activated. If you have a lifted truck or suv, these are a must have accessory. We are very grateful to Kodiak for their support.