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In a recent issue, MaxTrac Suspension helped jack this F-150 higher into the sky, which increased its ability to travel any unpaved path it comes across. Larger, off-road tires were also thrown at the truck, and that’s where the first minor hiccup was introduced during Ford’s restyling process.

WHAT WE STARTED WITH

Here’s a look at the F-150’s stock front end. Even when straight, the tires sit awfully close to the ends of the bumper, but that will change soon enough.

The problem with the 37-inch Nitto Tire Grapplers was that they were rubbing up against the factory front bumper at full lock. Leftover time, the tires would’ve ended up chewing away at the corners of the bumper, making it look terrible and possibly damaging the tread. The solution, however, was as easy as scouting out an aftermarket bumper, one that had enough clearance for the tires and that possessed a bolder look than the plain ol’ factory piece. Enter Addictive Desert Designs (ADD). Its Stealth series front bumper would be just the trick, and to make the deal even sweeter, the company even offered an equally cool rear bumper to complete the look. These bumpers look aggressive as hell with their hammer black finish, dimpledyed side profile and exposed rivets and mesh detailing. Installation was as simple as bolting the new pieces to the existing mounting points—as easy as can be.

 ADD’s Stealth front bumper is a more than worthy replacement for the standard issue FoMoCo front bumper. It’s as heavy-duty as they come, and the built-in skid plate will provide enough armor as the F-150 blazes through rougher terrain.

To take the styling and functionality of the Ford’s taller stance further, the MaxTrac crew opted for ADD’s LED-lit Rock Slider running boards to make hopping into the cab (especially at night) much easier and safer. The boards feature the same rugged finish of the bumpers and come complete with a pre-installed inner light bar that shines bright when opening the doors at night. To capitalize on the theme of increased visibility, ADD’s front and rear bumpers have been designed to accept a front LED light bar and rear reverse lights, which were also thrown into the mix for good measure. Rigid Industries’ RDS series light bar was a perfect addition to the front because it emits a wide spread of light output and a custom two-bolt mounting system that makes for easy adjustability and strength. For the rear, two DS series LED housings were installed in the rear bumper to serve as reverse lights. Darkness will never put this truck into a threatening position from which it won’t be able to free itself ever again.

The time has come for the second installment of this F-150’s transformation. Once again, the fellas at MaxTrac Suspension will be turning the wrenches and taking matters into their own hands. Follow along as every we document every single step.

Within a few hours, the F-150’s tire-rubbing issues were solved, and a handful of styling and lighting upgrades were made rather easily. Enthusiasts with skill levels from beginner to advanced could knock these out in their home garage no sweat. Since the completion of the mild overhaul, this Ford has been out and about chasing trails no matter the time or terrain.

SOURCES

MaxTrac Suspension
714.630.0363
Maxtracsuspension.com

 Addictive Desert Designs
855.233.8992
Addictivedesertdesigns.com

Rigid Industries
855.760.5337
Rigidindustries.com

THE FRONT BUMPER

Removing the front bumper started with peeling the cover strip. It was held in with retaining clips.

With the strip fully removed, the bumper’s supporting bolts were now easily accessible.

The ADD bumper was lifted and checked for proper bolt alignment, everything matched up perfectly, just as expected.

Now all J.J. had to do was reverse the steps from the OE bumper disassembly and secure the beefier Stealth series bumper into position.

The front side braces will no longer serve a purpose with the new bumper in place, so they were removed and tossed in the trash heap. Believe it or not, that just about wrapped up the installation of the front bumper. It’s a lot easier than you might think.

REAR BUMPER INSTALLATION

Moving to the rear, J.J. began the disassembly process by disconnecting the reverse bulb sockets and unbolting the bumper.

As quick as the rear bumper came off, the ADD Venom bumper was being mocked up and eyeballed.

The guys saw that the factory brace from behind the OE bumper would need to be salvaged in order to mount the ADD unit. The factory bumper had to be dissected in order to retrieve it.

With the brace pulled out, it was bolted back into place.

Unfortunately, the new bumper didn’t just slide right it because the center section of the bumper brace had to be sliced off in order for the ADD piece to push back far enough to be bolted on. This created a slight delay, but it was nothing a grind wheel couldn’t fix in a few minutes.

With that little tweak out of the way, the bumper could now sit far enough back to line up with the proper bolt holes.

All that was left to do was to tighten the bumper down and lock it up tight.

RUNNING BOARDS

The next step in this Ford makeover was installing ADD’s Rock Slider running boards, which bolted right up to the existing mounting points. This particular truck wasn’t equipped with factory running boards but it was helpful having the spot to bolt on the aftermarket parts ready to go.

The wiring required for the LED lights was tapped into from the harness running right along the frame; the connections were simple as could be.

The LED strip is activated when the doors are opened and stay lit as long as the courtesy entry lights are illuminated inside of the cab. This function definitely puts ADD’s Rock Slider running boards a step ahead of the rest.

LED LIGHTING

The entire wiring portion of the installation was saved for the very end. Here are Rigid Industries’ lighting upgrades that will soon reside on the new ADD bumpers. The two D2 square housings will soon be mounted to the rear and the curved 40-inch light bar will take center stage right up front.

Bob Sager took over this part of the installation by first sliding the Rigid light bar into place on the bumper.

Each side of the light bar requires only two bolts to lock it securely into position. This bad boy won’t be going anywhere, even when the truck is romping through the desert.

The F-150’s time to shine had finally come. The Rigid Industries light bar will definitely bring a bit of daylight to any pitch-dark back road. A push-button switch was mounted to the left of the steering wheel for quick on/off control.

The rear Rigid light housings were a cakewalk to install because they fit perfectly into the existing holes in ADD’s Venom series bumper.

The wiring from each of the lights was fed through behind each taillight. The reverse lights were tapped into making the Rigid housing’s illuminate as the F-150 backs up.

THE FINAL RESULTS

Within a few hours, the F-150’s tire-rubbing issues were solved, and a handful of styling and lighting upgrades were made rather easily. Enthusiasts with skill levels from beginner to advanced could knock these out in their home garage no sweat. Since the completion of the mild overhaul, this Ford has been out and about chasing trails no matter the time or terrain.

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