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        Resources

        The Complete Guide the Blacking Out your F-150’s Exterior

        The Complete Guide the Blacking Out your F-150’s Exterior

        Your F-150 is one of the best selling and customizable trucks in the world! From the factory to aftermarket, there is almost no combination of performance mods and looks that you can’t do. A very popular style you may want to do is black your truck out! Why would you not?  After all, it’s like the man Henry Ford said himself about the Model T: you can have it in any color, as long as it’s black.

        Thankfully we have come a long way from those days where if you wanted a different color anything on your ride, you pulled out a bucket of paint and a brush and went to town. Now we have factory options and a hefty aftermarket to black out your F-150 from bumper to bumper, inside and out.

        Let’s cover some terms, and then get to the nitty gritty with some popular products that you can use to summon the color of the night on your Ford’s exterior. For the most part, we’ll be focusing on the exterior of F-150s from 2009 to 2020+. If there is a specific year in mind for something I am mentioning, I’ll make note of it! 

        WHAT IS IT

        First off, what exactly does it mean to “blackout” your truck. In short, leave no color but black. Modern trucks feature chrome and other accents and trim that stand out from a subdued finish. Glass, plastic, chrome, and steel can all be changed in various ways either permanently or temporarily depending on your budget, commitment issues, or resale plans.

        HOW TO DO IT

        Replacement Part

        Sometimes the easiest and most effective way to black out a part is to simply replace it with a new one that is blacked out or tinted. With modern vehicles being pretty well suited to replacement parts, you can generally take most trim, panels, and parts off with simple tools that you have laying around. This will allow you to save your factory parts to either put back on for future resale, or sell to get some money back. Hey… If your wife is cool with it, old trim can make great wall art.

        Covers and Overlays

        If you don’t want to go about replacing parts, there are tinted or blacked out covers or vinyl that could be placed over some exterior and interior parts. This can either be achieved with tabs that snap over existing trim, fasteners that make use of factory holes and mounting locations in your truck, or things like glue and double sided tape.

        Sprays, Dips, and Paints

        Products such a Plasti Dip are a favorite product for blacking parts out on a budget. Products like Plasti Dip come in a spray can that apply a rubber coating to the part in question. The best part is that it is durable, but also easily removed. You can also go the more permanent route and use paint! While generally your most cost effective out (aside from vinyl), this can look like your most cost effective route if you don’t take your time and prep well. More on this later! 

        Window Tint

        One of the first things many people choose to do is black out their windows. It’s cheap, and it can be done at a local shop near you. If you have the skills, or need a weekend project, it is even something you can do yourself. Tint comes with some great benefits: it really dresses up your ride, it protects you from the sun and keeps the interior of your truck lower, and it blocks people from easily seeing who is driving the best F-150 in town! Make sure you follow all local and federal laws regarding the amount of tint. You don’t want your investment to lead to tickets and you having to remove it!

        If you do it yourself with pre-cut tint, make sure you get the tint that’s right for your model year and trim level. Be sure you are getting all of your windows covered, or at least the ones you want. If you get rolls of tint, make sure you get enough to cover the surface area of the glass that you need!

        Smoked Headlights, Taillights, and Third Brake Light

        Ford has been pretty bold with their headlights and tail lights on the F-150. They are loud and proud, while other manufacturers have started to go for squinty and minimal. Unfortunately this does mean a lot of red, amber, and chrome in places you may not want them. Thankfully this is easy to change in so many ways.

        Important note: when talking about blacking out your lights, it is generally referred to as them being “smoked.” Smoking your lights will give you that tinted look to compliment your style.

        Interchangeable parts make swapping out things like factory headlights and tail lights simple! A complete headlight swap will run you anywhere from $300 to $1000 for the pair, and tail lights from around $250 to $500. Of course since they are smaller and less “grandiose,” a third brake light can cost $30 to $80.

        If you are getting full replacement units, many manufacturers are integrating LED lighting. More common with headlights, this means you could have clear lenses, but a blacked out housing.

        LED lighting means you don’t have to worry about any bulbs being too dim to shine through tinted lenses, should you have them. That almost means you’re generally okay when it comes to the law. While you may want them to look cool, lighting is supposed to be seen. Going too dark could land you with a nice ticket or two. Generally speaking, aftermarket smoked/tinked replacement units should be legal where they are being sold, but always play it safe and check first.

        Keep in mind that in many cases, you’re going to get more than just blacked out lights if you go full on replacement. The “in thing” to do is have sequential LEDs, daytime running lights, and other fancy things. Shop around and find what works best for you so you don’t get more than you needed.

        2009-2014 Headlight and Tail Light Replacement Options

        Raxiom G2 (Headlight)

        These guys have been making headlights and tail lights for Fords for years. At $315, you won’t even break the bank with these. They feature projector headlights, clear lenses, and a blacked out housing.

        AlphaRex Nova Series (Headlight)

        No stranger to LED lighting, you’ll be getting projector headlights, sequential turning signals, and daytime running lights. More expensive at $882, but you get what you pay for.

        AKKON (Tail Light)

        With a smoked lens and LED tube lighting, you’ll be sure to set yourself apart with the tail lights. They do say intended for show car and off-road use only, so install with caution.

        AlphaRex Pro Series (Tail Light)

        Like the front, these guys bring up the rear with superior technology and design. They have multiple housing and lens options to choose from to fit the look you’re going for.

        2015-2017 Headlight and Tail Light Replacement Options

        Raxiom G3 (Headlight)

        You get even more with G3 over the G2, but you’re paying more for it too. At $565 you get all the same goodies as the G2, but with modern LED daytime running lights that will make your truck look brand new!

        AlphaRex Nova Series (Headlight)

        If you want to go all out with style, power, options, and badassery, AlphaRex is here. With daytime running lights, sequentials, and multiple projectors, the whole front of your truck will be transformed, for a starting price of $1300.

        RECON Fiber Optic (Tail Light)

        If you want to go with something super fancy, then for $700 you can get this unique fiber optic LED tail light pair with a black housing and smoked lens.

        Alpha Rex Pro Series Smoked Red (Tail Light)

        If you still want the red appearance, but with a smoked look and LED lighting, these have you covered, and not for a bad price starting at $295. These fit 2015 all the way up to 2020. 

        2018-2020 Headlight and Tail Light Replacement Options

        AlphaRex Nova Series (Headlight)

        If you haven’t figured out by now, we like AlphaRex. If you also haven’t figured out by now, things get more expensive as the model years go up. Either way, AlphaRex continues to hit the ball out of the park with these for $1435.

        Raxiom LED (Headlight)

        If you haven’t figured out by now, your writer likes Raxiom since he has them in his Mustang. These give you all the features you’d expect, and with a clear lens and black housing. All at $920.

        AmeriLite (Tail Light)

        If you’re not looking to break the bank, these budget tail lights will only set you back $250. They come with a smoked lens, but they do have a chrome housing, so make sure they have as much black as you want before buying!

        You can go for a much cheaper approach, but be aware that it may look cheaper, not last as long, and could cost you a lot in tickets if you do it the wrong way (I’ll get to that in a second.) There is film/vinyl available for around $60 that simply sticks over the plastic and spray coatings for around $20.

        Film or vinyl covers can either come pre-cut to size, or you can use a large sheet of it, and form it to your lights yourself, and cut as needed.

        While I generally encourage people to try something new and take a risk, I would suggest a complete swap of pre-tinted/smoked lights. A big reason is time. A good set of smoked lights will last the length of the truck. Film and spray coatings will shrink and become brittle with age. UV rays and incandescent bulbs will expedite the problem. When it gets that dry, it’s not the easiest or most fun thing to get off.

        Now, the ticket thing. Headlights and taillights are designed to help you see what’s around you, and for other drivers to be able to see you. Remember that whole legal thing I talked about before? If you tint something yourself, you could run the risk of doing too much, and you could have to pay for it. If you get a kit out of the box, they are generally approved by the Department of Transportation (or your country’s equivalent) and safe for use. Of course, please check before buying.

        Here are some kits for pre-cut tint for the different years. These are some average options.

        2009-2014 Precut Tint Option

        There is a shop on Etsy that has some high reviews when it comes to pre-cut tint. A quick search will lead you to see that that is not always the case. For around $25, Subject9Store can cover your front and rear! Choose between 20%, 35%, or transparent yellow or blue! For around the same price, you can have the same options for your tail lights as well!

        Pre-cut headlight vinyl kit

        Pre-cut tail light vinyl kit

        2015-2020 Precut Tint Option

        Same company, and great reviews.

        Pre-cut tail light vinyl kit (2015-2020)

        Pre-cut vinyl headlight kit (2015-2017)

        Pre-cut vinyl headlight kit (2018-2020)

        The last option would be a cover that goes over your headlight or tail light. You can get these for around $100, but they are not the most popular option. If you live in an area where tinting can get you in trouble, these are great if you take your truck to shows. You can pop them on or off. I would not recommend them for driving. For that reason, I’m going to leave the link searching to you!

        You don’t want to overlook your third brake light. They are probably the easiest thing to swap out, and the subtle change they create is not something you want to pass up. The best part? They are inexpensive! Here are some options for you for under $100!

        2009-2014 Third Brakelight ($34)

        2015-2020 Third Brakelight ($89)

        Exterior Badges

        The F-150 has a few exterior badges that can really go against the feel you are looking for if you want to black out your truck. You’ll generally have the two “F-150” fender badges, and the one on the tailgate. You’ll also find the “FORD” blue oval on the front and back.

        All of these badges can be easily blackout on by either getting full on replacement badges, overlays that sit over the existing badge, or by painting them, or using something like Plasti Dip on them. If you want to maintain the “FORD” in the center of the blue oval, you will have to look at a replacement badge or vinyl overlay that goes over it.

        Since the badges you have can vary depending on the engine, trim, and other options you have, I’m not going to list any examples, but they are all easy to find online, and they all pretty much do the same thing!

        If your truck is not black, and you want to have a unique touch, you can look into vinyl inserts for the “F-150” imprinted on the tailgate for some model years. While you can sometimes get them in various colors, black inserts will make that stand out more, but also help the blacked out look you’re going for!

        Grilles

        Ford has a few different grilles that show the world what you’re driving. Some of them are pretty flashy chrome, and if you’re reading this, that’s not your style. Thankfully, there is a huge aftermarket to help combat the flash. Like the badges, you have a few options from full on replacement, wrapping or covering them, or using PlastiDip or paint.

        There are tons of grilles out there to choose from, but here are a few to get you thinking in the right direction about ditching the chrome.

        2009-2014 Grille Options

        Ford Raptor Style Grille

        One great option would be to go for the Ford Raptor style grille. While a real one will not fit, these aftermarket ones are designed to fit your truck, and come with LED lighting as well. This one at $250 is far cheaper than a real Raptor!

        OEM Black Grille

        If you have the chrome grille but want the lower spec black one, that is an option. You can pick them up for around $260 new, or you can find one used. For the new one linked, you will have to transfer your emblem.

        2015-2017 Grille Options

        OEM Style with LED Lights

        OEM tends to be more expensive, but you can always get something that looks OEM, but is aftermarket. That is just the case with this grille with $145, but it even comes with some amber LEDs across the top. You need to use your FORD oval.

        Rough Country Mesh Grill

        Mesh grilles are pretty popular for blacking out, and are usually inexpensive. This does come with chrome accent rivets, so it may not be truly blacked out, but for $180, it’s a good deal.

        2018-2020 Grille Options

        RedRock Baja Upper Replacement Grille

        If you want a simple blacked out look for $206, this grill takes away all of the frills aside from some amber lights across the top. This leaves no mistaking you want a blacked out look.

        Raptor Style

        I have to throw this type of grille in again. It should be obvious. No chrome, and means business. This aftermarket one for $200 could be the next grille for you.

        Wheels

        This is where things can get a little pricey. However, it is one of the first things people see when looking at your truck. They stand out! It could be worth some investment, but let’s talk about some options.

        Some of the less expensive options would be “dipping” or “wrapping.” When you “dip” your wheels, you’re referring to spraying them with something such as Plasti Dip. Matte black Plasti Dip is very popular on wheels, and there are lots of pictures and videos online of people doing it. You’ll need more than one can, but you’ll also want to have some backups for when they chip and peel over time. It’s easy to reapply!

        “Wrapping” refers to covering the wheels in vinyl. While usually better looking than dipping, it’s not as easy to repair if you get curb rash or other dings. You can also get overlays for some models. They are basically form fitting “hubcaps” that will snap over your existing wheel, turning them into black wheels! Make sure you get the right ones for your wheels. Ford released quite a few different styles and sizes, and you don’t want to buy the wrong one!

        Whatever you do, avoid spray paint at all costs. You will hate your wheels. It looks bad, it runs, and it will chip very fast.

        While it is your most expensive option, it will be your longest lasting and best looking option: new wheels. This can get very expensive, but you can probably find some good used ones online if you look hard enough. Just make sure to inspect them. The last thing you want to do is put a bent wheel on your truck.

        Bumpers

        You may find that your F-150 has some pretty obvious chrome up front and on the back on the bumpers. Like the rest of the stuff in this article, you have options.

        You can replace them with off-road bumpers. Off-road bumpers are generally all metal and all black. Aside from achieving the color in question, you of course can get a much meaner look too, if that is what you’re going for.

        Bumpers also offer a lot of real estate for painting, dipping, and wrapping. If you are to go this route, I would suggest a professional paint job or vinyl wrapping. Since this is a large and flat surface, Plasti Dip and paint, if not applied correctly, will show major flaws, and it won’t last as long. This can get expensive, but it’s worth it if you want things to actually look good.

        The most cost effective solution and one of the best would be covering them with BumperShellz. These guys offer covers that place directly over your bumper (front or rear) to “delete” the chrome. The good thing is that these are not a permanent modification, so you can save your chrome! For the front bumpers, you can choose if you want just the sides, just the middle, or the full set. Prices start at $200.

        Conclusion

        To sum it all up, if you want that blacked out look, you can easily achieve it with the aftermarket world, and a little bit of time and some skill. Stick around because soon I’ll be talking about how to black out the interior.

        * Please note that some of these links are Amazon affiliate links and we make a small commission if you purchase the product.

        Images Credits

        Blacked Out F-150: Courtesy of Ferrada Wheels

        Window Tint: Courtesy of F150 Forums user Golfman454ss

        Headlights: Courtesy of AlphaRex

        Tail Lights, Third Brake Light, and Rear Tailgate Inserts: Courtesy of AlphaRex

        Badges: Courtesy of Levittown Ford Parts

        Raptor Style Grille: Courtesy of F150 Forums user Drago77

        Wheels: Courtesy of Forgestar

        BumperShellz: Courtesy of BumperShellz

        Which Grille Is Right For Your Ford F-150?

        Which Grille Is Right For Your Ford F-150?

         

        If you have an F-150, you have the best selling truck, and one of the most customizable trucks in the world. For that reason, the front end of the F-150 features an unmistakable grille that lets people know what you have. However, match that large grille with a large aftermarket, and you have a recipe for some great customization.

        We have combed the forums and Facebook groups, as well as talked with some of our loyal customers to find some of the most popular grilles available. We are going to focus on the newer model F-150s for this, but make sure you check the descriptions for each grille to make sure they fit your truck. Let’s take a look at what’s out there!

        Raptor Style Grille 

        One of the most iconic features of the Raptor is the front grille. Not only does it scream “FORD” literally, but it screams Raptor without even having to put the words on it. The shape, style, and integrated lighting has been copied by so many aftermarket companies offering “Raptor style grills” for all brands and makes of trucks. Thankfully your non-Raptor F-150 can look like the big brother with one of these as well!

        Ford made the front facia of the Raptor a tad different compared to the other trims, so while you may want to go out and get an OEM Raptor grille, it simply will not work.  Due to copyright and trademark laws, these grilles will generally not come with “FORD” across the front. For that reason, some of these grilles will come with the letters F O R and D and that you can put on yourself to spell what you would like, which will most likely be FORD.

        RedRock Wire Mesh, with or without Rivets ($222 - $228)

        If you want something simple but unique, RedRock has you covered with its black mesh grille for 2015-2017 F-150s. The front end of the stock F-150 can be sort of busy with the logo and trim across the front, this grille replaces all of that with a black mesh that gives a solid look to the front of your truck.

        However, if you want to step up to a little more flash, RedRock does make a model with surrounding rivets. Both are finished in a durable back powder coating to ensure a lasting finish. 

        T-Rex Revolver ($1,312 - $1,974)

        Now that we covered one of the most simple designs, let’s jump to one with some of the most flair, but with some serious elegance. T-Rex is no stranger to custom grilles, and their revolver model proves they know how to make something unique. The precision cut steel is finished with a back powder coat. In the middle of the classic honeycomb design are four aluminum accented cutouts which almost add a luxury feel.

        The grilles come with amber accent lighting across the top. For an extra cost, you can add four, six inch light bars that sit in the cutouts of the grille. All this is backed by a lifetime warranty on the structure, and a five year warranty on the finish. These grilles are made in the USA for your 2020 F-150.

        T-Rex Torch ($1,995 - $2,455)

        If you need lighting, flare, and aggressive styling, the T-Rex Torch covers all that with a high amount of customization. This grille, while expensive, will allow you to stand out from the rest of the F-150 crowd the way you choose. Even the most “basic” of this line comes with a 30 inch, dual row LED light bar located in the center of the grille featuring a spot/flood combo beam.

        Beyond that, choose between black, chrome, or brush trim, rivets or no rivets, and the style of mesh that you want as well. Each one can allow a front facing camera or not, depending on the equipment you have. Like the other T-Rex grilles, they have a lifetime warranty on the structure, and a five year warranty on the finish. They are of course made in the USA.

        Mesh Grille with DRL ($289)

        If you want some extra lighting, unique styling, a bit of a Raptor look, and not break the bank, this grille from Modifying found on Amazon checks all of those boxes. While it is constructed of plastic, that does allow the cost to be kept low. Installation is a direct swap with the factory one with no drilling or modification required.

        While some customers complained a bit about the wiring of the lighting, the results when you do get everything hooked up speak for themselves. Unfortunately this grille will not fit if you have a front camera, but I suppose anything can be modified if you have a drill!

        300 Industries American Flag ($895)

        Driving a truck built in the USA, you might want to be repping the flag as well. 300 Industries makes that easy with their flag grille. This one piece, laser cut, steel grille will replace your Ford branded one with one that is branded America! No cutting is required, and you can get one that works with a front camera, or one without a cutout for it. No cutting or drilling is required, and the grille is of course made in the USA.

        Since your grille is likely one of the first things someone will see on your truck, it is important to get it right. While Ford offers a great one from the factory, you should make it your own. There are plenty out there on the aftermarket, and hopefully this will get you looking in the right direction! 

        Image Credits

        Raptor Style - Courtesy of Truck Stuff Shop

        RedRock - Courtesy of American Trucks

        T-Rex Revolver - Courtesy of RealTruck

        T-Rex Torch - Courtesy of RealTruck

        Modifying - Courtesy of Amazon

        300 Industries - Courtesy of 300 Industries

         

        Top 25 Mods & Accessories Under $300 For Ford F-150's

        Top 25 Mods & Accessories Under $300 For Ford F-150's

        The newest generation of Ford F-150s are some serious trucks from the factory. Countless options and trim combinations allow you to build the truck of your dreams! What if you get your truck used, don’t want to buy a complete package from the factory for the one thing you may want, or the factory simply doesn’t offer what you need? This is where the aftermarket comes in.

        There is one of the largest aftermarkets out there for the highest selling truck. We have searched the forums and Facebook groups and talked to our customers to find out what people have done to their trucks. I hope to point you in the right direction of customization with 25 mods and accessories for under $300.

        For this, we are going to focus most on the 2020 model F-150, but keep in mind that some parts may fit on other models. We’ll do our best to specify in the descriptions, but always check before you buy.

        Raptor Grille ($200) 

        This most iconic F-150 is the Raptor. However, it is also one of the most expensive. A great addition to your truck without having to spend the big bucks on an actual Raptor would be a Raptor style grille. You can’t get a factory one to work as Ford made the front fascia a bit different, but this one will fit your 2018-2020 F-150. It will come with integrated lighting, and the letters F O R D that can be added.

        LED Headlight Bulbs ($220)

        The stock headlights on the F-150 look great, but they could be brighter. Not everyone is a city dweller, and when you’re driving a back country road, then 9000 lumens from LED bulbs will get the job done. The company “F-150 LEDs” offers low beams, high beams, and combination kits. The prices will vary based on what you get.

        LED Fog Lights ($100)

        If you don’t want the expense of the more pricey low and high beam bulbs, but still want to have a little something extra on tap, these fog light bulbs could be what you’re looking for. These bulbs will ditch the warm incandescent bulbs for clear, white light that will show you the way when activated!

        Tint (Depends on Location)

        This is one of the most basic and rewarding modifications you can do to any vehicle. Not only does it keep your ride cooler when the sun beats down, but it stops the public from spying on who might be driving the stunning F-150 that’s driving around. The price depends on where you go, or if you do it yourself.

        Durable Floor Mats ($127)

        If you use your truck as a truck, or if you deal with lots of rain, snow, kids, or dogs, you might want some tough floor mats. These mats from Husky are just one example of the options out there. Note that the ones linked are for a 2015 - 2021 SuperCrew.

        Wheel Well Liners ($88)

        Rocks, dirt, salt, and other debris on the road can cause your wheel wells to degrade over time. Let’s face it… Not everyone takes the time to wash out the nooks and crannies under there. With these liners, you don’t have to worry about as much road muck being trapped. They are easy to clean and very durable. If you’re off-road quite a bit, you might want to consider these for your 2015 - 2019 F-150.

        Mud Flaps/Splash Guards ($56)

        If you want to cut down on the amount of mud and other garbage that gets kicked up on your F-150, you might want to consider a set of mud flaps/splash guards. This specific set however requires you to have OEM fender flares on your truck. These are also great for cutting down on the amount of rocks you kick up at cars behind you.

        Center Console Organizer ($12)

        This is one of those additions to your ride that you didn’t realize you were missing until you get it. This $12 accessory will give you control over how you want to organize your center console. With slip resistant mats and coin slots, you’ll keep your smaller cargo contained and where you want it.

        Interior LED Lighting Accents ($29-$180)

        This isn’t just one product, but if you want to spice up the interior of your F-150 with some unique accent lighting, you might want to check “F-150 LEDs” out. They offer the basics like map/dome LED lights, but even more options like cupholder lighting, footwell lighting, and dash accent lighting. They offer plenty of colors to choose from so you can find something that meets your style.

        Under Seat Storage ($160)

        To help maximize the storage in your F-150’s interior, making use of the space under the rear seating is a great option. Kits like this will give you some compartments to store whatever you’d like. You can get carried away with more expensive ones that lock, but storage units like this will cover the basic needs.

        Bed Mat ($100)

        A bed mat helps with three major things: protects your bed, stops things from sliding around, and makes your bed easier to clean. With all the abuse your bed can take over its life, an investment like this is almost a no brainer. Make sure you get the right size. This one is for models with the 6.5 foot bed.

        Tonneau Bed Cover ($209)

        While a bed mat might protect your bed, a bed cover will protect what you have in your bed. While I would normally suggest paying a little extra for something like this, the one from Tyger Auto has an abundance of high ratings. Let a cover take the beating of UV rays and rain, not what you have in your bed.

        LED Bed Lights ($69)

        While we’re talking about the bed, let’s bring up “F-150 LEDs” one more time for their bed LED lighting kit. While you may have factory bed lighting from Ford, this will give you even more lighting to really make sure you can find what you’re looking for in the dark, with the color of light you select. These also work if you don’t have the factory option, which of course is a plus.

        Bed Toolbox/Storage Box ($200)

        As much as I would like to list one of the big boys that go across the width of your bed, we’re not going to find a good one that’s new for $300 or less. However, these side boxes are pretty slick. Not only do they tuck away in a section of the bed you probably don’t use much, but they can swing out for easy access, and hold up to 75 pounds worth of gear!

        OEM Tailgate Dampener/Assist ($68)

        If you don’t have this factory option, you can get it off Amazon and easily install it yourself. This will slowly lower your tailgate so you never have to worry about it slamming down again. While your tailgate is designed to be able to take a beating, you do want to be nice to it.

        Tailgate Net ($19)

        If you’re the kind of person who likes to rock the tailgate down or off, but still might want to throw something in the back, you’ll want a net to keep your cargo secure. There are plenty of options out there, but this inexpensive one on Amazon will get most jobs done!

        Builtright Industries Rear Seat Release Kit ($30)

        If you find yourself folding your rear seats down frequently for whatever reason, you’re probably getting annoyed with the process. Builtright makes this the easiest task to do. In addition to that, installation takes under 10 minutes. Now, with a simple pull of a strap, your seats are down!

        Seat Covers (Around $200)


        Seat covers have come a long way. They once used to just protect your seats, but now they can do that while transforming the look of your interior. Stuck with cloth seats? Not anymore! Use your truck for work and don’t want to damage the cloth? You're covered (literally). Prices can vary depending on what you get, but here are a few to get you looking in the right direction.

        Stubby Antenna ($25)

        For some reason, Ford still has that eight mile long CB antenna on some models. While Matt on Demolition Ranch put a bullet antenna on his Raptor, you can go for a more subtle approach with a simple, short, and durable stubby antenna such as this one.

        Decals ($20 - $125)

        American Trucks offers plenty of exterior decals for your F-150 from fender flags, to side stripes, hood accents, tailgate accents, and more. Prices vary, but installation of them all is pretty straight forward. It’s a great way to show off and accent the sharp lines of the F-150, without investing in a costly paint job.

        Tailgate Letter Insert 

        The imprinted “F-150” on the tailgate of the Ford F-150 looks great. The font and size really leave no mistake for what you’re driving. However, you can do one better with vinyl inserts. These precision cut numbers (and one letter) fit perfectly into the factory imprints. Choose the color you want to stand out from the crowd. 

        Running Board/Side Steps ($275)

        If your truck doesn’t have running boards, is it even a truck? Give your F-150 the truck mod it deserves with a set of running boards. I know that the style and function is subjective and dependent on your needs, but here is a set on American Trucks to get you looking in the right direction!

        Brush Guard/Bull Bar ($130)

        A brush guard/bull bar is a great addition to any truck for on or off-road use. They protect your bumper against branches and brush, and even bad parkers in the city. If you plan on doing some serious off-roading where maximum protection is required, I would suggest a full size guard that protects your whole front end, but for basic protection and looks, this kit from TAC will do the job.

        Leveling/Lift Kit ($109)

        Lifted trucks look great, but doing so can be expensive. While not going into too much detail, leveling kits are a cost effective way to give your truck some lift. While not the best option for serious off-roading, if you’re going for looks, kits like this are a great start.

        Fender Flares ($215)

        If you want to add a bit of an aggressive pop to the exterior of your F-150, fender flares will do just that. They are easy to install, look good, and give room for bigger tires and a wider stance in the future. There are so many styles, colors, and options, but these are one style to get you thinking!

        Please keep in mind that prices fluctuate daily on Amazon/eBay and the prices represented above are accurate as the day of this posting.

        * Please note that some of these links are Amazon affiliate links and we make a small commission if you purchase the product.

        Image Credits

        Header - VIP Auto

         

        How To Make Your Boring Ford F-150 Look Like a Raptor

        How To Make Your Boring Ford F-150 Look Like a Raptor

        I hear you are the owner of a Ford F-150! Congrats! You own one the best selling trucks for many years straight. You also own one of the most customizable trucks on the market. From Ford to aftermarket, there is something out there for you to make your Ford yours.

        While it can be argued, the F-150 Raptor is one of the most identifiable and best looking variations of the F-150 that you can get. What if you don’t plan to do off-road racing? Maybe you don’t want to spend the extra $15,000 or more to get the Raptor? Maybe you already have a truck you love, or got a sweet deal on, and want to make it look more Raptor-ish? This article is for you.

        While making your F-150 perform like a raptor can cost quite a bit more, style is a little less expensive and easier to attain. I will clarify more as the article goes on, but just a heads up: most OEM Raptor parts will NOT fit on a normal F-150. Sad face...

        Before we dive in, please note that we are only including accessories that fit the following years of truck production:

        • 2009
        • 2010
        • 2011
        • 2012
        • 2013
        • 2014
        • 2015
        • 2016
        • 2017
        • 2018
        • 2019
        • 2020
        • 2021

        What we’ve found is that it’s quite difficult to find parts that fit anything older than a 2009 due to part manufacturers wanting to focus on newer year vehicles.

        The Raptor Grille

        One of the most iconic features of the Raptor is the front grille. Not only does it scream “FORD” literally, but it screams Raptor without even having to put the words on it. The shape, style, and integrated lighting has been copied by so many aftermarket companies offering “Raptor style grills” for all brands and makes of trucks. Thankfully your non-Raptor F-150 can look like the big brother with one of these as well! 

        Ford made the front facia of the Raptor a tad different compared to the other trims, so while you may want to go out and get an OEM Raptor grille, it simply will not work. Wildrock 4x4 offers a Raptor style grille for $200 that will fit your F-150.

        You may notice on eBay (where most of these types of grille are) that it’s almost impossible to find anything that says FORD. Let’s just say that Ford takes its name very seriously and doesn’t like it on anything they don’t make. However, Wildrock will just so happen to include four letters that happen to spell our FORD if you put them in the right order. That, or DORF. Whichever you’d like. Here are the different grilles to choose from:

        The Raptor Bumper

        While we’re up front, you may notice the Raptor has a distinctive lower bumper compared to its non-Raptor counterparts. American Trucks offers a Raptor style replacement bumper to fit your 2009 to 2021 F-150. It is a simple, three piece design that will replace your stock bumper with the more aggressive styling of the Raptor. Match this up with the grille above, and your front end is almost complete.

        If OEM is desired, you can actually find new take off or used ones that vary from $200 to $300 or so, but do keep in mind that they will not directly fit onto your non-Raptor F-150. Can you make it work? That depends on your skills, but the Raptor does have a different front end.

        The Raptor Headlights

        The LED and projector lighting featured in the Raptor headlights just downright looks cool.  Alpha Rex offers projector headlights that mimic the Raptor’s aggressive style. These lights will fit your 2009 to 2020 F-150 as direct replacements. Not only will they make the front of your boring F-150 (sorry) look better, they will improve your visibility while turning more heads. That’s a win/win/win.

        Keep in mind that if you find a pair of OEM headlights for a good deal and try to snatch them up, you’ll be upset when you realize they won’t fit in your standard F-150. Here are the different lights to choose from:

        The Raptor Wheels

        The second most iconic feature of the Raptor after the grille would be the signature wheels. These unique 17 inch forged aluminum wheels are only found on the Raptor, which makes them pretty darn exclusive. If you do want to go the true OEM route, that comes with a bit of a cost.

        Blue Oval Industries offers a set of Raptor wheels for 2017 - 2020 F-150s for just under $3,000. However, that does include free shipping. You can find them on eBay as well for $150 to $400 per wheel on average. Some come with tires, and some don’t. Generally buying used wheels is safe, but make sure they are not bent, and always use caution when using used tires.

        If you don’t want to dish out the extra cash for OEM and don’t want used wheels, but still want that Raptor look, American Trucks offers a solution for $205 per wheel.  That’s well over $2000 cheaper compared to OEM.

        The Raptor Fender Flares

        Love them or hate them, the Raptor comes with black fender flares. They are not too aggressive, which many aftermarket ones are, and they have built-in amber lights, which many aftermarket ones don’t. American Trucks has a kit for $345 that will give you that Raptor look.

        They are made of ABS plastic, and do give you an extra two inches. No jokes please. The harness included for the lights splice directly into your factory harness, so no need to run massive amounts of wiring and hoping your custom job works. Installation is simple as they line up with the factory plastic wheel well holes, but some drilling is required, according to the manufacturer. 

        The Raptor Tailgate Panel

        On many Raptors, you’ll see the large insert on the outside of the tailgate that says “FORD.” While it's pretty much impossible to find an aftermarket option for an F-150 because of the trademark and copyright reasons mentioned for the grille, Bumpershellz makes a applique/cover for the tailgate that gives it a raptor style look and feel. Starting at $189, you can check that out here.

        The “What we left out”

        Okay, okay… There are some things that we left out such as the hood and the fenders. The truth is, the aftermarket on these is slim, and you need many parts to make things work. For example: for the fenders to work, you may need a specific hood, and so on. For this reason, it’s not really cost effective for many manufacturers to tool up to make these items. Those that do are making them out of carbon fiber or fiberglass for specific functions like racing. For that reason, we decided to leave them out.

        I will say again though… Most OEM Raptor parts will NOT fit on the common F-150. Ford put a lot of time and effort into the Raptor. It’s not a re-badged F-150. Beware if you find a quality take off hood or fender set!

        The Conclusion

        The F-150 is one of the best trucks out there for a reason, and for many, it is a blank canvas to build into a dream truck with countless aftermarket and OEM Ford parts. If that canvas is destined to turn into a Raptor look-a-like, hopefully this guide will put you in the right direction!