A More Civilized Raptor The 2019 F-150 Limited

For Ford pickup fans who love Raptor power but want a more upscale package, America’s truck leader is delivering with the new 2019 F-150 Limited.

“F-150 Limited customers create their own success; the truck is their reward,” said Todd Eckert, Ford truck group marketing manager. “They wanted more power, so we combined Raptor’s engine with Limited’s business-class features to deliver Baja fierceness, boardroom style and the grit to tackle tough jobs.”

Rated at 450 horsepower and 510 ft-lbs of torque, the new Ford F-150 Limited leads the competition, offering more power than any light-duty pickup on the road. F-150 Limited sports a new dual exhaust system with exhaust tips smoothly integrated into new rear bumper cutouts.

In addition to improved performance, F-150 Limited’s refined cabin delivers an elegant, purposeful interior.

“It was important for us to get this interior just right as we continue to raise the bar for premium pickup trucks,” said Aileen Barraza, Ford color and materials manager. “The materials we chose to incorporate are authentic, distinctive and durable.”

Luxurious materials used throughout include a Miko suede headliner and leather-topped instrument panel and door panels.

“The gradated ash swirl trim is like something you see in a fine instrument,” said Barraza. “Each piece is hand-finished, and a halo around the edges with a heavily polished center really brings out the natural beauty of this wood.”

New Camel Back two-tone leather is soft to the touch, and multi-contour front seats feature Active Motion for lumbar support and a soothing massage to help reduce lower back and leg fatigue. A heated steering wheel and heated and ventilated captain’s chairs provide additional comfort in the front. Each new F-150 Limited includes a laser-etched plaque on the center console armrest bearing its serial number.

Every aspect of the truck’s interior has been scrutinized down to the smallest detail—even the holes in the microperforated leather are enlarged to improve cooling performance.

Signature design elements include raised Limited lettering on the hood, polished aluminum 22-inch wheels, unique satin-finish grille and tailgate applique, and satin-finish window trim and door handles. Standard power-deployable running boards, remote start, tailgate release and a twin-panel moonroof helps make the new F-150 Limited a premium choice.

An integrated trailer brake controller is standard, as is a 360-degree camera with split-view display with dynamic hitch assist to simplify the hitching process. Class-exclusive Pro Trailer Backup Assist is optional to make maneuvering easier by letting drivers rotate a knob to control its direction, with the truck automatically steering to follow the course selected.

Look for the 2019 F-150 Limited in dealer showrooms soon.

2015-2017 RAM Trucks Recalled for Faulty Tailgate Locks

FCA US LLC is voluntarily recalling an estimated 1.1 million U.S.-market pickup trucks to upgrade their tailgate locking mechanisms.

An investigation by FCA US has discovered the power locking mechanisms in the tailgates of certain pickups share a small internal component that may break over time. If this were to happen, the vehicle’s tailgate may unlatch. FCA US is unaware of any related injuries or accidents.

The recall affects certain Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups from model years 2015 through 2017. Trucks equipped with manual tailgate locks are excluded from the campaign, as are those with 8-foot cargo beds. The redesigned-for-2019 Ram 1500 also is unaffected. Its tailgate mechanism benefits from a new design that delivers enhanced functionality, such as lift-assist.

Customers will be notified when service becomes available. In the interim, FCA US reminds that all loose cargo should be secured while driving, as stated in the operating manuals of the affected vehicles. Further, FCA US pickups offer alternate features to accommodate load security, such as tie-down rings, cleats, high-friction bed-liners, bulkhead dividers and bed-extenders.

FCA US urges all customers to heed recall notices. Those who have questions may call the FCA US Customer Care Center at 1-866-220-6747. Additional vehicles will be subject to recall in Canada (est. 260,315), Mexico (est. 19,432) and certain markets outside the NAFTA region (est. 25,361).

Z’d Frame

With all of the available bolt-on low-profile front suspension crossmembers available these days, a lot of us have forgotten one of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to slamming a truck: the frame Z. Basically, the frame is cut right in front of the firewall, raised up a couple of inches or so, then welded back up with plenty of reinforcement.

The end result kind of looks like a “Z,” hence the name. Keep in mind that the frame will also have to be cut and moved a similar manner right before the core support to keep the truck’s sheet metal lined up, just like would be done for a bodydrop. If you’re not afraid of some major cutting, a Z can be an effective, budget friendly alternative to a dropped crossmember!