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Hello:

I have a 2013 Raptor Supercab and started reading Raptor Forum when I purchased the vehicle new and started doing "factory plus" style mods. Now that I have had the truck 7 years / 72K miles I though some forum readers might like to see some of these mods and how they worked out. A few like mid-perch front levelling are Gen 1 specific but most mods can be done with Gen 2+. I worked as an OEM vehicle engineer and as a commercial fleet manager so appreciated the useful information I was able to gather from other technically informed forum contributors. My effort here is to try and give back the forum and help others that might be thinking about getting a Raptor or doing mods on one they recently acquired.

I purchased the Raptor when I lived in Colorado and was doing longer distance commutes in often heavy snow. The truck was very good for this use case and also a lot of fun to drive up in the Colorado Rocky Mountains on forest service gravel roads out for scenic touring in the summer. Now in Oregon so not as much heavy snow (but occasionally) but use more now for taking two full size mountain bikes for trail head rides. One bike in cab and one bike on its side under locked hard cover so both secured.

Overall the Raptor has proven to have the largest area in the "Spider Chart" of any vehicle I have had to date. A spider chart is where you have any number of lines coming out from a point in the middle. On each line you can graph which vehicle is better in any one respect like 0-60 time for quantitative measures as well as things like "sounds cool" for subjective measures. The Raptor has delivered a lot of different cool attributes like "adventure support vehicle", goes pretty fast, handles pretty well (for a big truck), rides comfortably, good outward visibility, can take two full size bicycles onboard secure, can tow two-axle trailer for cross-country moves, goes well in deep snow, etc.. I have had other pretty nice cars in the past like a Corvette that goes faster and handles better but, that granted, was hopeless with two snowflakes on the ground and certainly would not make the scenic road to Leadville. In an ideal world like if you were Jay Leno you might have several cars like a Porsche 911 and a Raptor available as daily drivers. For me and many others where one vehicle at a time is a more practical reality the Raptor has been very good in delivering more on many fronts, not just a lot on one or two.

2013 Ford Raptor Supercab 6.2L 4x4 Terrain color with OEM bead lock style wheels

Mod list:

1. Front Fox suspension strut mid-perch levelling.

Very nice OEM design allowing easy no-parts front levelling and stance correction. Remember to plan for front alignment as part of the job as the toe settings and steering wheel index will be off. Vehicle ships from factory nose-down stance. Levelling the Raptor makes it look a lot better and has had no adverse effects.

2. Line-X rear wheel openings and bed outer panel.

There is a large gap between top of rear tires and rear fender lip where you see the body color sheet metal of the box outer panel. Spray all body color metal parts visible from inside rear wheel opening area with Line-X looks better from a side view and also helps protect the exposed metal from stone chips etc..

3. BFG TA KO2 raised white letter tires 35x12.5x17.

The TA KO2s with raised white letter has a 1970s kind of retro off road race truck look.

4. Mil-Spec aircraft valve stem covers.

You can order mil-spec aircraft valve stem covers from aircraft supply shops. They are machined brass with O-rings and powder coat yellow. 5000 PSI rated for the small high pressure fighter jet landing wheels so way overkill for an off-road 4x4 but not too expensive and kind of cool once you know what they are.

5. Roush CAI and Corsa X-Treme resonator delete cat-back exhaust.

Butt-dyno results maybe +15 hp or so. Really helped the personality and driving experience. Pretty loud at initial start-up and very loud at WOT but actually quieter in cabin at normal light throttle highway cruise and around town. Kept factory engine tune for warranty but use the Tow/Haul switch basically as a "Sport Mode" for driving on twisty mountain roads.

6. Diamondback locking hard shell bed cover.

You don't see all that many trucks with Daimondback covers here in the States but they seem more common in Western Canada. The Diamondback covers are heavily built structurally reinforced aluminum, are gas-strut assisted for opening, lock when closed, and have tie-down cleats to secure heavy loads like a flat-deck. Some of the HD models you can park a snowmobile or ATV on top of the closed cover and secure it with the cleats. I mainly use the locking cover to secure a full size MTB inside but have used the flat-deck and cleats to move queen mattress and box springs and other bulky items.

7. Rigid LEDs front and rear on OEM upfitter switches.

Raptors do not come factory with fog lamps which you really need on the Oregon Coast. Rigid makes a Raptor Gen 1 bracket for two large-ish LED bars one on either side of the front plate mount. The yellow LEDs work best for heavy fog. Important to aim them quite low to be most effective at flood lighting up the short distance roadway and also to keep from blinding on-coming traffic. Rear white LEDs were cut into the rear bumper. I use the yellow fogs all the time but not the rear whites so much. Good for some off-road situations and sometimes in a tight parking deck or something to let other cars know if you are backing out (slowly) blind.

8. LED exterior non-flashing lamps.

If you replace any of the incandescent bulbs that are on a flasher circuit the truck will sense a bulb fault due to the much lower resistance of the LED vs. the OEM incandescent bulb and put the circuit on "hyper-flash" which looks weird (on purpose). The bulbs not on flashers like the front side markers, rear license plate, and white back-up bulbs can be changed to LEDs with no problem and deliver a lot more light. The white reverse bulbs in LED are nice because they are so much brighter.

9. Stubby antenna.

My truck with levelling and BFG 35s comes in at about 6'10" so I can safely get under a 7' garage door or park in a deck with 7' clearance. The factory whip antenna however would drag the whole way so I put the stubby on. No antenna drag and looks kind of cool too. Radio reception is crap though so can only get stations around town. I don't mind the radio reception trade-off but could see where others might.

10. Weathertech mats front and rear.

If you off-road or drive to beach a lot you need the Weathertech bucket-style mats where you just dump them out every now and then and wash them with soap and water when you hand-wash the truck. Related point on washing... always hand wash or touch-free. If touch-free wash make sure the truck will fit safely inside and not get dinged by the spray bar or other mechanicals.

11. Painted front and rear tow hooks.

Oddly enough I got more comments and questions on this one inexpensive mod than most of the others from friends and fellow vehicle enthusiasts. The Raptor rear tow hooks end up looking faded gray and surface-rusty after a few years. The front tow hooks with bracket can be removed from the vehicle but it is a tedious job. The rear hooks are on the drawbar and are bigger job to remove. Either way, wash the hooks down with Simple Green and dry off. Light sand all surfaces with fine grit sandpaper. Wipe with alcohol and dry. Carefully masking tape off to only paint the exposed surfaces. Carefully brush paint with Rustoleum enamel red, yellow, or color of your choice. Plan for 3 to 4 coats allowing good dry time and light sanding between coats for a thick powder coat like smooth finish.

12. Line-x front skid plate.

I had several large stone chips and a few dings in the front skid plate that were looking bad. I pounded out the dings and bends with a large hammer and wood blocks and had the skid plate and oil filter access cover Line-X spray on both sides. Looks much better now and does not show any chips.

I hope that at least a few Raptor Forum readers find this useful...

John

Raptor at Doreena Lake.JPG Raptor yellow fog LEDs.JPG Raptor rear LEDs.JPG
 
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