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:
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 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!