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        The Ultimate Guide To Ford Ranger Mud Flaps

        The Ultimate Guide To Ford Ranger Mud Flaps

        Mud flaps are a fantastic option to help your truck stay cleaner, avoid rock chips, and they also offer a unique avenue for some extra customization. Not only do they protect your ride, but they protect cars and pedestrians behind you from flying rocks and debris that you might kick up.

        If for nothing else, they break up the curves and lines of your truck and add some extra dimensions to your ride. Which mud flaps are best for your Ford Ranger? Let’s learn a bit about them, take a look at some styles and options, and get you the best ones that work for you. 

        Front and Rear

        Mud flaps are known for being seen behind the rear tires in vehicles, especially big rigs, but on passenger vehicles, they are very common up front too. On big rigs and box trucks, they are pretty much designed to just stop rocks from hitting cars behind them, but on passenger vehicles, they mainly help protect your ride.

        Rocks can be kicked up and easily chip away at the paint on your fenders, doors, bumpers (rear), rocker panels, and running boards/steps. With mud flaps extending below the end of the wheel well both front and back, they will help deflect what your tires might kick up.

        Despite mainly offering protection to you, your higher ride height over that of a car can be less fortunate for those behind you if you are to kick something up. While standard size mud flaps won’t assure complete protection to any car too close behind you on the highway, these will help cut down on any rocks or debris that your tires may throw behind you.

        Drilling VS Non-Drilling

        When it comes to the installation of mud flaps, it could be plug and play, or you may need to drill a couple holes. This will depend on the kit that you get, and the trim level of your truck. If your truck came with OEM splash guards, you could luck out depending on the kit that you get. Other kits have mounting brackets to make things easy. Regardless, each reputable kit that you get will come with detailed instructions so you don’t have to worry about messing up.


        The material that a mud flap is made out of is key. They are designed to be beaten by rocks, mud, and dirt, so they have to be strong. The most common material mud flaps are made out of is rubber. Rubber can be thick and dense, but when hit, the material will rarely chip or crack. It will absorb the energy of what hits it, and deflect the debris away.

        Another good reason for rubber is flexibility. If you have longer mud flaps and you plan on doing off-roading, you want something that will not snap off when crawling over a rock. Over time, rubber flaps may get brittle depending on quality.

        Mud flaps can also be plastic, but if they are, they should be shorter, and of a higher quality material such as a polymer. As I mentioned about the flexibility, a long, plastic mud flap could have a tendency to snap if under the correct conditions. This leads me to my next category…


        Mud flaps can be really short, or longer. Typically from the factory, most vehicles come with short mud flaps generally referred to as splash guards. Visually, they are more acceptable to a wider audience. Keep in mind that not everyone buys a truck because they intend on using it as a truck. Short flaps don’t offer as much protection, but they are better than nothing. They can offer a nice color contrast while not being too obtrusive to the lines of your truck.

        Longer mud flaps are best when you plan on driving on rougher or dirt roads. They offer more protection to your truck, as well as to the people and vehicles around you. They also offer more versatility for customization which I’ll talk about now…


        With the right size and material, you can get some serious customization done. Laser engraving, chrome plates and silhouettes, text, and more. The most common would be brand names or logos, truck make or model names or logos, and of course the stereotypical “trucker” look of a chrome silhouette of an attractive woman. 

        Weighed vs Non Weighted

        Weighted mud flaps offer a metal piece on the bottom of a rubber/flexible mud flap to keep them hanging down. This is beneficial because when your truck is in motion, a flexible mud flap might tend to rise up in the wind, which would remove a good amount of protection. A weight helps avoid this.

        Popular Options for the Ford Ranger

        Now that you know almost everything about mud flaps, let’s dive into available mud flaps for the Ford Ranger. This is by no means a complete list, but just some of the popular ones found on forums, Facebook groups, and based on what our customers say. Hopefully this will help get you pointed in the right direction.

        Ford OEM Front and Ford OEM Rear Splash Guards

        If you want to keep things looking and feeling as factory as possible, then you’ll want to invest in the OEM front and rear splash guards from Ford for the Ranger. On Ford’s site, you have to buy these individually (front pair and back pair) for $53 each for a total of $106. The front ones are a clean and sleek design. The rear is as well, but with the Ford logo etched into the flap. Since these are OEM, you won’t have to worry about fitment issues!

        Husky Liners Mud Guards

        Husky has been protecting all types of trucks inside and out for years, so they know what they are doing! When it comes to their mud guards, the same applies. For $67 you get a kit consisting of front and rear guards that do not require drilling. There is a section of double sided tape to assist in mounting while avoiding drilling, but that does come with some mixed reviews. The guards themselves are made of plastic, and powder coated black for a durable finish.

        WeatherTech MudFlaps

        Like Husky, WeatherTech has been in the business for years protecting rides. While not as highly rated as the Husky ones, this complete kit allows you to purchase front, rear, or both flaps. Both would run you $100. There is no need to drill, and they claim to mount in minutes. The flaps are constructed from a proprietary thermoplastic resin to ensure long lasting durability, and if you had any doubts about that, they do come with a lifetime warranty for the original purchaser, and original vehicle installed on.

        Gatorback Front and Gatorback Rear Splash Guards

        If you have the cash and want something really over the top, you can get these Gatorback splash guards on the Ford Parts store for $339 for each pair. That’s $678 in total! These guards are made out of premium heavy duty rubber, and are weighted down with a plate that says “RANGER.” These require no drilling to install, and are backed by a lifetime warranty. While these can take a beating off-road, I personally think these would be more at home on your highway queen compared to your rock crawler. Let’s face it… Getting a ding in your $60 plastic mud flaps will hurn much less compared to scratching the metal plate on your close to $700 ones.

        All in all, mud flaps are a good investment to protect your truck and those behind you. Find what you and your wallet likes, and start modding your truck!

        Image Credits

        Ranger with Mud Flaps - Courtesy of truck Hardware

        Ford OEM - Courtesy of The Ford Store

        Husky - Courtesy of Amazon reviewer Ryan

        WeatherTech - Courtesy of Amazon reviewer Robert Howley

        Gabtorback - Courtesy of The Ford Store

        The Ultimate Guide to Overlanding your Ford Ranger

        The Ultimate Guide to Overlanding your Ford Ranger

        When Ford announced the Ranger was coming back, Ford fans knew it was going to be a hit. Ford sat back and saw what was working and not working with other mid sized trucks on the market. That allowed them to check off almost every demand mid sized truck owners had for a truck.

        However, for those of us looking for a little more of an extreme truck such as a rock crawler or overlanding beast, we have to turn to the aftermarket. Let’s be real… No manufacturer can mass produce an overlanding truck and expect it to sell in high numbers. Thankfully the Ranger has an aftermarket out there to help you create the overlanding truck of your dreams on a tank of a platform.


        Overlanding is a journey to remote destinations across the open land. This isn’t your typical weekend rock crawling. This is a journey where you are one with your vehicle, your lodging is typically camping, and nature is all around you. The destination is the journey. It is one heck of an experience!


        Ask them! The Ranger is the perfect size to get in and out of tiger spaces that the bigger brother the F-150 can’t, but it still has all the power you need with even better fuel economy. Despite the smaller size, there is plenty of space to carry all that you need including tents, trailers, and more. All of this needs a bit of help to mount, and that is where the continuously growing aftermarket comes in allowing you to create the overlanding beast you need.


        The Ranger is a great truck, but if you’re going to be out on the open land for days or maybe weeks at a time, there are a few things that you need to do. What you get will depend on the terrain and how long you will be gone for. Will it be rocky, snowy, sandy, muddy, or flat? Do you have to worry about rivers? Will you be driving at night? There are a few key things to get dependent on the answers to those questions.

        Suspension is huge as it’s usually always good to have a little extra clearance. You’ll also want to protect your vehicle, especially if you’re in rocky conditions. Rock sliders, push bars, and cages/roll bars are excellent additions for that. Snorkels help for river crossing and aggressive tires help for the terrain, but don’t forget about you! Where are you going to sleep and eat? What about gas for your truck and lights? These are all things to consider.


        There are a good number of suspension upgrades for the Ford Ranger, but it’s important to remember that when overlanding, you’re generally not attending a rock crawling event. Clearance is always a good option if you have some bumps or rivers to get through, but you don’t usually need to get too carried away.

        There are many different ways you can get clearance on your Ranger, but it would be a good idea to start out with a basic lift kit. A coilover kit would be your best option overall for overlanding.

        Coilover kits are one unit (piston and spring) that are plug and play. Simply take your stock spring and piston out, and place the new one in. While these are more expensive over spacer lift kits, which simply stretch your stock spring and piston, coilover kits are far more durable. Durability is what you are after for overlanding, hands down.

        Coilovers can be ordered in various heights including adjustable heights, and there are plenty of name brand options to choose from. You can expect to spend anywhere from $1300 to $2500 for a complete kit, but it’s worth it.


        Your ride will get beat up and get dirty as your overlanding life continues, but there are steps you can take to cut down on serious damage, especially if you’re dealing with rocky and hilly conditions. Rock sliders, push bars, cages, roll bars take the impacts so your body panels don’t have to.

        Rock sliders bolt to your frame and are designed for protection. The average cost is going to be around $500 to $800 depending on brand and material. Some sliders offer built-in steps as well, which will aid you in getting in and out of your lifted ride. Keep in mind that when you’re shopping you’re getting sliders and not steps. Steps are usually just meant for your feet and don’t offer the same protection that sliders do.

        Push bars/grill guards go on the front of your truck and can be as simple as a small trapezoidal tube in the middle, or a complete network of tubing and mesh designed to protect all your lights and grille. These range from $230 to over $700, but the average cost is generally in the middle. 

        For ultimate front end protection, replacement bumpers will be your best options. Front bumpers generally replace the lower part of your front bumper with a much more aggressive and durable metal one instead of the factory plastic bumper cover. These are generally far more expensive but can include things like winches and light bars. Rear bumpers replace the factory bumper with metal ones. They are far more durable and can even include extra features such as LED lighting.

        If you’re at risk of rolling, you may want to look at a cage for your truck. This is most likely a rare occurrence for overlanding, but know your environment. This generally has to be custom made, so do a search around your area for someone who offers that kind of service.

        You can get a roll bar that mounts behind the cab for about $400 to $850, but it sits pretty far behind you, so the amount of protection you get really depends on how your truck rolls. Keep in mind that if you do get one, it might interfere with bed racks and roof racks, which we will get into later in this article.


        If you think you might be crossing some rivers, a snorkel might be a wise investment. Snorkels move your engine’s air intake closer to your roof. While you will need to cut holes in your truck’s body to make the modification, it’s better than hydro locking your engine (seizing your engine because water gets sucked in). These will run you about $500 to $700.


        Tires and the amount of air in them depend on where you are going. Mud, snow, sand, and dirt might all need different tires. Don’t forget about driving to and from your start point on the highway! There are so many points to consider when choosing a tire, and there are so many options. In all honesty, there are too many to cover here. However, just know where you’re going, and plan accordingly. A good set of off-road tires these days will run you over $1000.


        There will be no streetlights where you are going. Stock headlights and high beams work well, but you’ll need more in the pitch black darkness you’ll experience. I cover lighting terms and options in my Ultimate Ford Ranger LED Lighting Guide, but in short, it would be wise to invest in an LED light bar. LED light bars are extremely efficient, durable, and bright. They will flood the area in front of you with bright and clean light, which is terribly important if your overlanding trip requires you to drive at night. 

        It won’t hurt to look into ditch lights as well if you find yourself driving at night a lot for maximum illumination.


        If you’re going to be gone for a long time, you need supplies: spare parts for the Ranger itself, tools for any repairs, food, water, first aid, survival gear, and extra fuel. While our trucks can hold a lot, space runs out fast when you’re getting all of your supplies together.

        Bed Racks

        Bed racks are one of the best options for carrying more gear. These mount onto your bed and either give you a full length “roof rack”, sidewall storage, or both. Prices range from $350 to over $1200, but you’ll be able to pick the one you need for the amount of storage that you require. Some come with modular panels and containers designed to attach to the side. They are great ways to store spare water and fuel. For a complete guide with options, check out our Ultimate Guide to Ford Ranger Bed Racks.

        Bed Drawers

        While these take up more room in your bed, they are a good way to organize your gear, and keep it out of the way. These install in your bed, and raise the floor of your bed by adding a row of drawers underneath the new bed floor. Prices for these are around $1500 for one you can depend on.

        Molle Seat Covers

        While you’re not going to be storing spare tires on your seats, first aid supplies, flares, fire starting equipment, extra magazines, and other small items will be right at home. These covers offer plenty of storage possibilities and are one of the best ways to keep your small and loose items at hand. These range from $75 to $200.


        When overlanding, there are no resorts, no hotels, and no cabins. You are on your own, so you want to be comfortable. Regular old tents are an inexpensive and easy option. They are tried and true, and they don’t take up much space. However, if you want to be fancy and camp in style, there are options made specifically for our Rangers.

        Roof Top Tents

        When you want the ultimate amount of personal space, luxury, and room on your truck’s roof, roof top tents are the best option, especially when paired with a cab height bed rack. While they can be pricey ($250 - $2000), they are amazing options if you’re serious about overlanding. You sleep up high, which not only gives you better views, but it keeps you safer from any lurking creatures. Some come with an annex room that goes from the ground to the sleeping section. They are great for a multi-person party, or a “living room” if you want it. Some of these annex rooms have “backdoors” that allow you to access the inside of your truck (through your side doors) giving you an incredible setup.


        If you are going on a long trip on flat land, you might need a trailer. Trailers are a great option to carry a bunch of other gear for an extended journey, but only on flatter land. You can get a specific overlanding trailer, and while more expensive, they are designed for harsh off-road environments.

        Trailers can be your tent, leaving your roof and bed rack available for more storage, or they can hold all of your extra gear and leave your roof available. A good overlanding trailer will cost you over $2000 and can be as high as $12000. If you’re all about the overlanding life, it could be a wise investment, but most weekend warriors won’t have a need for the extra space.

        While fuel mileage isn’t the main concern while overlanding (beyond making sure you have enough), pulling a heavy trailer will result in the use of more fuel. You will also limit where you can go.


        Going out on your own or with people that you can fit in your truck can be a lot of fun, but sometimes hanging out and going on an adventure with a convoy of like-minded people is a lot of fun. Not only can you form bonds with people who share your passion, but someone could save you or your Ranger if you’re in trouble. If you’re a novice, or this is your first time, I would highly recommend going with other people.

        Facebook is a great way to find like-minded people/groups. There are many overlanding groups, and even some Ford/Ranger specific ones.  Forums also have diehard fans when it comes to overlanding with Ford and Rangers. Reach out to these people through these mediums and find out what’s happening next and where. Go out and have some fun with some like-minded people!


        While an incredible experience and lots of fun, overlanding is a serious and potentially dangerous adventure. However, rest assured knowing your Ford Ranger can be up to the challenge with some light modifications. Remember, a good overall, mid-range priced package to get your truck ready would consist of the following:

        Moderate height coilover lift kit ($1500)

        Tires ($1000)

        Rock sliders ($700)

        Push bar/grill guard ($400)

        LED light bar ($350)

        Roof rack/tent ($700)

        Fuel cans, water cans, and other incidentals/extras ($250)

        All in all, you could be looking around $5000 for a complete kit. Keep in mind that this is mid-range. You can get much more expensive gear, or cheaper. Most of these things are one time investments as well. The only things you would need to replace are your tires. Anything else just needs to be replaced if it gets damaged.

        You also have to determine what you need. If you’re driving through the Sahara, you probably don’t need a push bar or rock sliders. That’s $1100 taken off right there. If you are only going on weekend trips, you probably can get away with an inexpensive tent set up independently from your truck, and you won’t need a roof rack. That’s $700 gone.

        There is no this-is-how-you-have-to-do-it way for overlanding. There are two rules to overlanding: get from Point A to Point B, and have fun doing it. How you accomplish it depends on how much money, time, and effort you want to put into it. Determine where you want to go, find out the best way to do it, and build and plan accordingly.

        The Ford Runner is a safe, durable, and reliable truck. Use it, be safe, and have fun.

        Image Credits

        Overlanding Ranger - Courtesy of The Ranger Station

        Suspension - Courtesy of Icon Vehicle Dynamics

        Rock Sliders - Courtesy of Shrockworks

        Bull Bar - Courtesy of Westin Automotive

        Bed and Roof Rack - Courtesy of Roof Top Overland

        Tent - Courtesy of

        Overlanding Trailer - Courtesy of Off Road Xtreme

        The Ultimate Guide to Bedracks For Your Ford Ranger

        The Ultimate Guide to Bedracks For Your Ford Ranger

        While the Ford Ranger may be a great little truck, if you need maximum storage solutions and organization, you might need to look into some bed racks. Regardless if you are doing some overlanding, or a weekend camping trip, bed racks make a world of difference in your Ranger. Bed racks are a popular mod to Rangers that are railed systems that bolt into the bed of your truck in minutes. They allow you to mount your gear to the sides and top of the unit keeping what you need organized and within reach. 


        What Do You Need Them For?

        Need is a subjective word that, for lack of better words, depends on your needs. What gear do you need to carry?  Do you need a rooftop tent? Is it something you want on your daily driver? These are all things to take into consideration when you start looking at bed racks. If you do some serious camping, overlanding, or just like to be prepared, a bed rack can become your new best friend.

        How are they installed?

        Installing a bed rack on a Ford Ranger is actually very easy! Once you get it into place on top of the bed, you simply clamp it down onto the lip of the bed, and you’re done! There is no cutting or drilling required with most modern day “plug-and-play” kits.

        How do they work?

        Bed racks give you another layer of storage above your bed. In most cases, these racks will have flat rails that stretch across the top of the rack to give you anchor points to tie down your gear, or mount things like rooftop tents.

        If you have a bed rack that is taller to match the height of your cab’s roofline, it is common to find rails or mounting points on the side that allow for more locations to keep your gear. The sides are common to store fuel cans, water cans, tools like shovels and axes, and other slim items that won’t extend the overall width of your Ranger by too much.

        What heights do they come in?

        There are three main heights that you can find for your Ford Ranger: flush, roof height, and mid height. Flush height would rest right across the top of your bed. While this limits the amount of storage that you can have under the rack as you will just be limited to the cubic footage of the bed itself, this means you can mount taller things on the rack. Even if it’s just a spare tire, you now don’t have to worry about the overall height of your truck being extended. It also gives your truck a much more subtle appearance.

        Bed racks that extend to the height of your cab’s roof give you maximum storage capacity in your bed and under the rack. If you have side rails as well, you have even more storage capacity at your disposal. Keep in mind that you’ll definitely be changing that overall appearance of your Ranger. It will have that overlanding/bugout look.

        Of course there are racks that meet in the middle as well that we will call mid height. These can also have side rails depending on the height, but of course, you will not be able to haul as much. Just keep in mind your needs, and purchase accordingly.


        Now that you know the basics about bed racks, let’s take a look at some popular options. These are what we have found are popular on the forums, Facebook groups, and with our own customers. This is by no means a complete list. Find what works for your needs and your budget.

        RCI Off Road 12” HD Bed Rack

        One of the most popular bed racks on almost any truck would be this one from RCI. While this is a universal rack, it has not stopped anyone from making use of it on their Ranger to great success. This rack stands at 12 inches, and includes two top braces perfect for rooftop tents and other gear. One of the key features are the side rails that make your mounting capabilities almost limitless. You can hold up to 750 pounds of a static load. The rack installs quickly and looks great! You can get this rack for just over $1000.

        Cali Raised Overland Bed Rack

        Cali Raised has been in the off-road industry for a while now. While known for their LED lighting solutions, they are no stranger to many of your other off-roading and overlanding needs. Unlike many other racks that come in one height, this kit allows you to order 7, 10, or 17.5 inches in height. It is only 55 pounds and comes with two top rails and side walls for mounting. In the event you want to get yourself a rooftop tent as well, you can get a Smittybilt tent with this kit! No guessing and researching fitment needed. Prices start at $930, but can be optioned up to just over $2300.

        Prinsu Cab Height Bed Rack

        Prinsu has been mentioned in a lot of our articles before, and for good reason: they know what they are doing. Their cab height rack is no exception. In addition to being highly capable, it is one of the most aggressive looking designs. So, if you are looking for that off-road look, here’s what you need. Beyond that, you get plenty of mounting locations on the top and sides, and you can choose between bare metal or a black powder coat. Prices start at just over $1035.

        Yakima Medium Profile Bed Rack

        If you want to keep things as “factory” as possible, this kit from Yakima can be found directly on the Ford Accessories website. While not Ford exactly, for it to be in the shop, it is something they trust. This rack is a bit different. The front and back supports are not connected, so you can place these any distance you want for greater flexibility. However, this also means no side rails. This keeps things more basic, but flexible. One down side is the cost: $1100. While that does not seem like a lot of rail for the money, that is a price you can expect for something “almost OEM.”

        Front Runner Slimline II Bed Rack

        Front Runner Outfitters offers something different. With most of these racks offering storage on the sides, Front Runner focuses more on the top of the rack. The lightweight aluminum design gives you maximum surface area to give you the best base for a rooftop tent, or to tie down anything you need anywhere on the rack! While more pricey with a base price of $1225, they do offer the surface area of a second bed. It’s a more streamlined design over having side storage.

        TO SUM IT UP

        Hauling your gear is something you need to take special attention to. A weekend warrior will have different needs compared to an Overlanding pro. Do you need all of the side storage mounting surface area possible, or do you need the most streamline top storage? Now that you have some idea on what’s out there, the next step is getting a bed rack for your Ford Ranger! Get out there, haul your stuff, and have fun. 

        Image Credits


        RCI Rack - Courtesy of Stage 3 Motorsports

        Cali Raised Rack - Courtesy of Cali Raised

        Prinsu Rack - Courtesy of Prinsu

        Yakima Rack - Courtesy of Ford Parts

        Front Runner Rack - Courtesy of Front Runner

        The Ultimate Guide To Ford Ranger Lighting

        The Ultimate Guide To Ford Ranger Lighting

        Ford hit the ball out of the park with the Ranger. It checks just about all of the boxes from looks to performance. Ford sat back and saw what worked on all the midsize trucks, and more importantly, what people were asking for. Then they stepped in and said, “Here is a damn good truck.”

        However, like any production vehicle, it has to be cost effective to make, and that means leaving off some key features that “truck” owners and vehicle customizers love such as lighting. Thankfully with the popularity of the Ranger, there is an ever growing aftermarket that can help with all of your lighting needs.

        Before we get into all the goodies you can get into lighting for your Ford Ranger, let’s talk a bit about what you are most likely going to be upgrading to: LEDs.

        What are LED Lights & How Are They Different Than Halogen?

        Let’s first get some basics out of the way. What exactly makes these two types of lights different, what are the benefits, and so on… First off, a “light-emitting diode” (or LED) is a semiconductor in an enclosure that emits light when electricity passes through it. Sounds fancy, but in most basic terms, power passes through a small chip or electronic material, and it lights up when it does.

        Sounds great, but what’s the difference? Basically we are talking about analog and digital forms of light, so to speak. A halogen is an updated version of the classic incandescent bulb first designed in 1879. While halogen bulbs are using much higher grade material compared to their historic counterparts, the operation is the same: electricity heats up a filament that interacts with the gas in the bulb, and you have light.

        In the case of a halogen, we’re talking about a heated tungsten filament interacting with halogen gas. This will make a much brighter light compared to the bulb in your grandpa’s attic, but all analog mediums have a shelf light. The filaments can degrade over time, they can physically break, and the heat emitted can cause premature failure if the glass of the bulb was contaminated by something such as oily fingers during installation. This will have them fail before LEDs will. Since we’re talking about one type of metal and one type of gas interacting, you’re going to get one color and brightness of light.

        While the invention of the LED is a bit dated too coming into light in 1962, when we think of it in terms of a “digital” device, we can definitely imagine how much it has improved since then! An LED light is going to give you an instant on/off light stream, better control of the color, and different brightness levels that halogens simply cannot do.

        One easy way to imagine this is to think about buying a phone. Every phone these days is going to do the same thing. Some just do them better, and that usually depends on the cost. LED lights are the same: they all light up, but the amount of technology in them will allow them to be different.

        Here’s a quick chart to explain some differences:

        What Kind of LED Lights Are Available For Ford Rangers?

        I hope you didn’t forget why you’re here: Rangers! Now that you should be convinced that LED lighting is the way to go, what is actually available for your Ford Ranger? Thankfully since LEDs and Fords are both so popular, the short answer is everything! Let’s take a look at some categories, and a couple popular choices for each. 


        These are easy to get in either replacement bulbs, and entire housing assemblies. Bulbs are easy plug and play replacements that simply take the place of your factory bulb. Replacing the entire housing with a completely built aftermarket headlight assembly will be more costly, but are still pretty straightforward to install, and don't require any modification.

        A complete assembly will generally give you a complete style overhaul with new features (such as sequential turn signals) over a standalone bulb. They also generally come blacked out in some way (housing or lens) which will give a very popular smoked/tinted look. Of course, high end models generally come with different style or color options so you’re not stuck with one option.

        AlphaRex LUXX-Series LED Projector Headlights

        These guys make some incredible headlights for all types of vehicles, and the level of expertise does not change when it comes to the Rangers. These lights come with Black or Alpha-Black housings that either match your truck give that smoked look respectively.

        The sequential turn signal also activates when you lock and unlock your truck giving you a custom light show each and every time you hit that lock or unlock button. These also come with white daytime running lights for a bit of extra class. All of this is for $860.

        GTR Lighting Carbide LED Headlights

        If you want something that won’t break the bank but still has style and function, GTR Lighting has this pair. Complete with daytime running lights and sequential turn signals, these high output lights will make sure you are seen and that you can see.

        The daytime running lights are a unique “C” shape that take up maximum real estate for superb visibility especially when offset by the gloss and matte black housing. With an MSRP of $600, you’re getting a lot of headlight for not a lot of money.

        Tail Lights

        These are pretty limited to get anything “name brand” for the Ranger. It’s a sad reality, but it’s just not as popular. You can find some stuff on eBay, which not everything on there is bad, but longevity becomes the main issue.

        One thing that you can do would be to tint them or “smoke” them yourself. The two easiest ways would be with vinyl or a spray tint. Vinyl would be your best looking option, but over time it can become brittle and shrink. A spray is cheap and easy to do, but also easy to mess up and make LOOK cheap, which is not what you want.

        RVINYL Rtint Precut Tail Light Tint

        You can go ahead and get a sheet of tint and cut and form it to your tail lights yourself, or for $40, you can get something precut for your Ranger. This takes the stress away from measuring, cutting, and forming. However, you don’t want to mess up! Thankfully installing vinyl to any part of a vehicle is generally pretty easy, as long as you take your time.

        Fog lights

        These are generally get overlooked, but are easy and inexpensive to replace. In most cases, to get the best performance from your fog lights, you’ll want to replace the whole factory pod with an aftermarket LED one. While it sounds like a daunting task, it’s easy!

        These are normally all plug and play, making use of your factory hardware. In the event they don’t directly fit into the factory cutout, brackets are generally supplied. Of course you can take a different route and just replace the bulb with an LED bulb, but like the headlights, that’s not ideal if you want the best.

        Cali Raised LED Fog Light Pods

        The guys over at Cali Raised are pros when it comes to LED lighting for superior off-road performance and night time illumination. Their fog light pods are no exception. These are made in the USA, and are a direct replacement of your factory pods. They have all the needed hardware, and you can choose between white or amber LEDs. This kit will run you $175.

        Rigid Off-Road Ford Performance Fog Lights

        If you want something a little more “Ford,” these fog light pods by Rigid Off-Road are sold directly on the Ford store as an accessory for your 2019-2022 Ford Ranger. The kit is plug and play and reversible with no cutting or splicing required. It integrates with your factory fog light switch. Like most things “from the factory,” you are going to pay a bit of a premium: $530.

        Ditch lights

        These are not something you get from the factory, so these would have to be aftermarket. These lights mount behind your hood on either side, and when installed properly, cast extra lighting off to the sides of where your headlight’s field of view stops. These are great when you’re off on the trails or off-roading at night as they will generally light up the sides of the road you can’t normally see. They will keep you safe in the dark, and don’t require any permanent modification.

        There are many cases where you can get a kit that offers brackets and LED light pods, but it’s not uncommon to have to buy both separately. Since the main concern with mounting something on any vehicle is the actual mounting part, you might have better luck finding brackets that fit, and then getting the light pods you want.

        Cali Raised Low Profile Ditch Light Bracket Kit

        Back at it again is Cali Raised LED with their bracket kit. This mounts directly to your hood and allows for the articulation of the pods in any direction. These are the lowest profile mounts on the market which will help keep your lights safe and your visibility high. The kit will run you $160, but you have the option of four different types of pods.

        Diode Dynamics Stage Series Backlit Ditch Light

        The brackets are made from thick stainless steel for prolonged durability and corrosion protection. They are easy to install, and they guys over at Diode Dynamics give you plenty of lighting options. Not only can you choose between just the brackets, white, or amber LED pods, but each color pod gives you four different styles! This variation in style also comes with variation in price with the highest priced kit coming in at $440.

        Light Bars

        These are for the ultimate in off-road looks and low lighting performance, you can’t go wrong with an LED light bar. These generally mount either on your roof, in, on, or behind your front grille, or the same for your lower grille/bumper. The bumper one is the most popular for the Ranger due to it being out of the way, subtle, and easy to install without major modification. Light bars are simply a robust row (or two) of bright LEDs designed to make sure you see everything in front of you. There are different types, so let’s get into them!

        What are Light Bars Used For?

        In short, light bars are used for extra illumination. While high-beams can offer better light in darkness, light bars allow for a more customizable line of sight in the dark from the different size and mounting abilities. Light bars are mainly for off-road use and most are generally not allowed to be used on public roads. So keep that in mind when you think about getting one.

        What Are The Different Light Bar Sizes?

        Single Row: For the most part, a single row light bar is going to have a single row of LED lights that produce a more focused beam of light. Think in terms of a spotlight. Generally this is best if you want to light up a longer distance.

        Double Row: A double row light bar is best for more of a floodlight, containing two rows of bright LED lights. If you want to light up a large area, a double could be better. This is just a basic principle, but things could change depending on which LEDs you use, the length of the row, placement, and so on.


        What Are The Different Types of Light Bar Beams?

        While the size portion above talked about what types of beams the number of rows generally produces, there are specific beams of light that you can look for: spot, flood, and combo. What you should get depends on where you plan on using them, and what you plan on using them for.

        Spot Beam: Spot beams focus a narrow beam of light in a specific area. These are best for distance and a specific line of sight. If you are faced with long open roads without much vegetation, this could be an option for you. On a road like that, you could be going at faster speeds then you would be if you were in the woods. You will want a beam of light that can see obstacles in the road far before you reach them.

        Flood Beam: Flood beams spread out light over a wider and taller surface area, but not as far as a spot beam. Something like this would be better in thicker vegetation where you need to see more around you, and light can’t travel that far of a distance in that type of an environment anyway (with all the trees). If you use the lights on your truck to light up a work site or something along those lines, this could be a better option too.

        Combo Beam: What if you need both? Enter the combo light. This has the narrow throw of the spot beam, with a wide spread of a flood beam. This is generally accomplished with two light sources in the same fixture. Keep in mind that some combos may not shoot as far as a standalone spot fixture, but they are very versatile. Can you switch between modes on combo lights? Some bars allow that function, and that could make them the best between all three worlds.

        What Are The Different Light Bar Colors?

        While there are technically many colors of LEDs you can get, there are laws about what color lighting you are allowed to use on public roads. The safest two options would be white or amber. Basically it comes down to preference. Amber lights have the same patterns as white lights, but are not as bright due to the filtered light. Some LED bars and bulbs offer both options. Shop around and find what’s best for you! Keep in mind your federal and state laws before you get too carried away with other colors.

        Standard Light Bar Mounting Options

        The three main ways to mount LED light bars on your Ford Ranger are on the lower grill/bumper, the main grille, or on the roof. While money and creativity can make almost any mounting location a reality, let’s take a look at the three main ways.

        Lower Grill/Bumper Mounts: This is definitely the most popular spot to have the light bars for a Ranger. As mentioned, the area is out of the way and makes the inclusion of a light bar pretty subtle. While you can of course see it, it fits the lines of the truck and looks factory. Generally there is not much detrimental modification that you’ll have to do, so installation is pretty straightforward.

        If you live in an area where you must have a front license plate, thankfully they sit high enough on the bumper to not interfere with a potential lightbar. There are a couple out there that make use of mounting to the lower grille, but then arch up and the light bar goes across the center of the bumper. That definitely will cause issues with a front plate, so buy accordingly.

        Cali Raised 22” Hidden LED Bumper Light Bar Kit

        You knew I was going to mention these guys again! This kit is easy to install with minimal modification. You can choose either just the brackets or a 22” spot or combo beam. If you choose to add the light bar, your kit will of course come with all of the wiring you need. The total kit will run you $434 (that is the brackets and light bar.)

        Rough Country 20” LED Light Bar

        If you’re looking for something a little more cost effective but still quality, Rough Country offers this kit. The kit comes with the brackets and wiring that you need, and of course with a 20 inch light bar. It is only a single row, but you can choose between their black-series or chrome-series to match the look you’re going for. The kit costs $200.

        Upper Grille Mounts: If you choose to go for the upper grill mounts, you’re going to get more into that “off-road” look. The mid level placement can command better lighting options for those dark trails, but you might start to see more modification required to get these to fit depending on the kit. Since the upper grille is larger, this means that you can usually fit a larger light bar as well, which is great for you off-roaders.

        Options are a bit more on the limited side with this method since you do have to be after a certain look to want this across the front of your truck.

        Single 30 Inch Light Bar

        This 30 inch light bar will sit across the upper portion of your upper grille. It makes use of the factory openings in your grille, so there is no cutting or modifications required making mounting a breeze. You can choose between an amber or white LED light bar, but unfortunately a harness is NOT included. It will run you $358, and then you have to get a harness.

        RTR Light Bar Grille with LED Lights

        This one is a bit different. Yes, this has a light bar, but you are going to be replacing the whole upper grille. Not only will you have an integrally mounted 18 inch LED light bar, but you’ll get a massive style change as well. It’s a straightforward install with no cutting required. You’ll get everything in the box you need from hardware, wiring, and even cable ties!

        Roof Mounts: Roof mounts offer good function and style. If you want that off-roading look as well as serious illumination power, roof mounts are the way to go. While you may not be able to see directly in front of your front tires with the bar on the roof, you get a good line of sight, depending on the beam (spot, flood, or combo) that you choose. Keep in mind that in many cases, drilling may be required to mount these.

        If you decide to end up getting a roof rack or may want to get one down the road, keep in mind that many roof racks can come with or allow the pairing of an LED light bar as well! Like ditch lights, you’ll find it common to have to buy the mounts and light bars separately. This is also where you can usually get away with mounting your biggest light bar due to the amount of real estate available!

        Here’s the bad news… Since this is the least popular way to mount a light bar on a Ranger, and the Ranger has only been around again since 2019, there are no real mainstream options for light bars. This is where you are going to get into custom territory. You’ll generally have to buy a universal light bar, and mount it yourself (or take it to a shop). As time goes on, there may be more kits out there, but sadly, most people are going just for the grille mounts.

        To Sum It All Up…

        LED lighting is generally the way to go. They last longer, they are brighter, they are more versatile, and they just look so much better. With LED technology being so inexpensive now, the sky is the limit! Light up the night sky, or simply be the best looking Ford Ranger in the parking lot. Either way, I hope this guide has answered all of your questions regarding LED lighting for your Ford Ranger.


        Image Credits:

        AlphaRex LUXX - Courtesy of AlphaRex

        GTR Lighting - Courtesy of GTR Lighting

        Cali Raised Fog Lights - Courtesy of Roof Top Overland

        Rigid Fog Lights - Courtesy of Ford Store

        Cali Raised Ditch Lights - Courtesy of Cali Raised

        Diode Dynamics Ditch Lights - Courtesy of Diode Dynamics

        Cali Raised Light Bar - Courtesy of Cali Raised

        Rough Country Light Bar - Courtesy of Rough Country

        30 Inch Light Bar - Courtesy of American Trucks

        RTR Light Bar Grille - Courtesy of RTR Vehicle

        Roof Light Bar - Courtesy of Driving Line

        Ford F-150 DIY Maintenance Reference Guide

        Ford F-150 DIY Maintenance Reference Guide

        Every vehicle on the road requires maintenance, and that is no different for the most popular truck in the world: the Ford F-150. If you want your truck to run well, deliver the best performance, and last long, you have to take care of it.

        While many aspects of repairs on modern vehicles are best left to the professionals, many maintenance tasks are things you can do at home. As long as you have the right tools, the right knowledge, and a little bit of time, you can get the most out of your Ford F-150. So, let’s get into it!

        Reference Vehicle

        To keep things a little on the newer side, when referencing a vehicle, I am going to reference a 2020 Ford F-150 with the 5.0L V8. I will clarify when it’s not.

        Fluid Inspection and Top-Offs

        Your F-150 has lots of fluids that you will need to inspect from time to time. Being low (or in some cases too full) could lead to some very expensive problems down the line. On top of that, fluid doesn’t just vanish. If you’re losing some type of fluid, you want to realize that sooner than later to find out what you need to do to stop it.

        Each fluid reservoir in your engine bay has a MAX and MIN fill line. You want to make sure that your fluid is between that. Oil, is of course measured and inspected by your dipstick.

        Oil, power steering fluid (not applicable to newer F-150s), brake fluid, and coolant are all products that you can buy of the shelf at your local auto parts store, big box store, or even Amazon. If you are low on any type of fluid, check your manual to see what type of that particular fluid that you need, buy it, and fill it up.

        After doing so, check that reservoir again from time to time to see if it leaks again, and how fast it is if it does. Make note, and get your truck to a mechanic.

        There are other greases and fluids that you will find in your manual, but these are the most important ones, and the ones that are user serviceable.

        Oil Changes

        While we're talking about fluids, let’s talk about the most important thing you can do to prolong the life of any vehicle: oil changes. Oil is the life and blood of any engine. If it gets too old or too low, your engine will suffer and cost you thousands in repairs. 

        Conventional oil should be changed every 3,000 miles, or at least once every year if you drive less than 3,000 miles. Synthetic oil can get closer to 10,000 miles. Why is this important? Oil brakes down over time. The more it is used, oil will get dirty, break down, and lose the ability to lubricate your engine properly. Letting it sit over time will cause it to naturally break down, and will lead to similar results.

        Here is a good video on how to change your oil. While this person has some helpful shop tools, you only need basic tools to get this done:

        Ford did make some creative engineering choices, so try not to make a mess! If you don’t want to do it yourself, a dealership is a great, yet expensive option. There are plenty of local shops that offer coupons to get your business. Bottom line: CHANGE YOUR OIL when you’re supposed to and with what you're supposed to.

        Tire Pressure and Alignment

        While this may not seem like something overly important, the pressure and alignment of your tires can make a world of difference in your truck’s performance.

        Ford suggests filling your tires up to 35 to 40 psi on both the front and rear tires. Keep in mind that these are for factory brand and size tires during normal driving. If you put different sized tires on, there is a chance that you may need a different pressure. Off-roading may require you to air down your tires for better traction, but we’ll save that talk for another post!

        Thankfully, modern vehicles will monitor tire pressure for you, and warn you when things get too low. Head off to a gas station that has an air pump, and fill them up when they get low! If one particular tire keeps getting low, you may want to check it for leaks, or perhaps a damaged wheel.

        Alignment refers to the angles that your wheels and tires are in relation to your truck and each other. While there is a ton that we can go into about this, there are a couple things you can look our for to see if your alignment is off.

        The first would be driveability. Do you notice your truck pulling in a random direction? Does it shake when you drive? Things like this could be an alignment or tire balance issue. You can also check for uneven wear on the tire tread. Do you notice the outsides or insides being worn out faster compared to the rest of the tire? That’s generally a poor alignment. While that’s not something you should really attempt to fix yourself, it is a good thing to be able to know how to spot.

        Filter Inspection and Replacement

        There are two main filters located on the F-150 that you need to worry about: the main air intake filter, and the cabin air filter. The main air intake filter is responsible for filtering the air that goes into your engine, and the cabin air filter (think of the filter for the air conditioning unit in your home) is responsible for filtering the air that enters your truck’s HVAC system. Both should be replaced regularly to maintain top and safe performance.

        This is something that mechanics love to charge a good amount for because it’s pure profit for them. The filters are cheap and very easy to get to and do yourself. Both filters (if you get budget ones) will be about $10 each.

        Fun fact... If you want to go all out with your air filter, you can replace it with a cold air intake which is not only easy to do, but gives you more power!  You can read all about that in our F-150 performance mod guide.

        A good rule of thumb for replacing your intake air filter should be every 10,000 miles or so. You may want to do this more if you drive in dusty areas. Failure to do so will lead to your engine having to work harder. We have all had to wear masks recently, right? Try breathing through that mask if you cover the front with leaves. Not fun!

        Your cabin air filter can go a bit longer to about 20,000 miles. This once again though will depend on how frequently you use your HVAC system and the conditions you drive in. Yours truly forgot about this in his 2005 Mustang and replaced it for the first time couple years ago. Needless to say, it was black.

        Here is a video about how to replace the air filter: 

        The cabin filter is a bit trickier to get to, but still easy.  Here is a video on that: 

        Spark Plugs

        This is going a bit beyond your every day maintenance, but Ford makes this very easy to do on the modern F-150 engines. Spark plugs deliver the spark your engine needs to ignite the fuel being sprayed into your engine. Over time, your plugs begin to get fouled (dirty), and don’t deliver a strong spark. You may notice this in terms of misfires or a rough idle.

        Spark plugs should be changed every 30,000 miles or so, depending on what type you have. With a few basic tools (ratchet, sockets, spark plug socket, and screwdriver/pick tool), you can tackle this. If you don’t have these tools, get them! You will use them far more than you think.

        With Ford’s “coil on plug” design in both the EcoBoost V6 and the V8, everything you need is on the top of the engine. After unplugging and removing the coils, unscrew the old spark plugs and screw the new ones in. No taking off wheels and lifting the vehicle needed here, like on some makes and models. 

        Here is a quick video on replacing the spark plugs on a V8 F-150: 

        Here is a video on replacing the spark plugs on an EcoBoost F-150: 

        Cleaning your Throttle Body and MAF Sensor

        Your mass airflow sensor (MAF) is a bit of circuitry that reads the air that’s coming into your engine. It will read a number of parameters and tell your engine how to run accordingly… What RPM, the amount of fuel, amount of air, and so on. When this gets dirty over time, it can start causing false readings. You’ll start to lose power and probably some MPGs as well.

        Thankfully this is super easy to clean. For a few bucks at your local auto parts store, you can pick up a can of MAF sensor cleaner. Then just disconnect your battery (to be on the safe side), unplug your MAF, unscrew two screws holding it in, then pull it out and spray it down! Once it’s dry, reverse the process, and your truck will come alive once again.

        Your throttle body is responsible for letting air into the engine. If it gets dirty, it may slow down how fast it opens and closes, or it may have trouble opening and closing completely. Your truck may start to sputter, and maybe even stall. This is also easy to clean!

        Go back to that auto parts store and pick up a can of throttle body cleaner (not carb cleaner). Take off the intake tube, spray the cleaner onto a cotton cloth (like an old t-shirt), and wipe the inside down! Make sure you open the valve and get behind it. Be careful and gentle, and don’t let the valve slam closed.

        If you do these two things, especially if it’s been a while or never since the last time, you’ll be amazed at the results. Close to $10 will get you the two cans (that will last you years), and it will take you 30 minutes to do both things. A shop will charge you close to $100 for this service.

        Fuel System Cleaner

        Regardless if your truck is new or old, a good fuel system cleaner added regularly can aid in keeping things running better for longer. What this is is a little bottle that you can get for around $5-$7 that you pour into your gas tank. It will clean your fuel injectors (which can get expensive) and things like the valves in your engine. Some suggest doing this every time you get an oil change as a good and even interval.

        Make sure you read the label on the bottle you plan to get. Some are for higher mileage engines and stuff like that. Find the one you think would work best for you, and dump it in when it tells you to, which is normally right before you get gas.

        While you won’t notice any amazing gains in performance, you won’t be losing any in the future either! Again, this is something shops love to charge for since it’s pure profit. Save the money, and do it yourself!

        Washing Your Truck!

        Okay, okay... Washing your truck?  Really?  Yes... Really. Roads are dirty. The great outdoors are dirty! While some dirt may be harmless, other dirt can be a disaster. Salt and other corrosive contaminants that you may encounter in your journeys can be a death sentence to your paint and the metal of your truck.

        These contaminants (salt being the most common from either ice prevention or being near oceans) eat away at paint and metal over time. If you ever encounter these conditions, it is best to wash your truck as soon as you can. This includes the bottom side of your truck! While this is not the easiest thing to do, if you plan on keeping your truck for a while, you want to keep it clean so you don’t start getting rust. Rust is death.


        There is a lot that you can do to keep your truck running longer, performing better, and to keep more money in your pocket. If you have greater mechanical skills, there is plenty more than you can do on your own, but if you’re just a novice with a couple of tools, you will be able to do everything I talked about.

        Just keep up with it. Ford’s are very strong, but they need to be taken care of like any vehicle. Take care of it, and it will take care of you!