The purpose of this thread is to chronicle the 'build' and ownership experience of my new 2018 F-150 Raptor. In it, I’ll post photos, videos, product development updates, modifications, test results, shenanigans and so on. Most recent updates will appear at the top of this post and chronological updates will appear in the second post. Current mod list is below!
Alright, what better time to start than the day after picking up the truck? I traded in my 2016 Lariat Screw yesterday morning for a 2018 Raptor Screw in Magnetic Gray. I've always enjoyed documenting builds, hearing feedback and suggestions and coming up with creative solutions to things that I want.
I'm just a regular guy. Mechanical engineer by training, with a bit of business experience - I call myself a professional tinkerer. I want this build to be an exercise in experimenting, using or developing quality parts and hopefully providing some information and documentation for other F-150 owners interested in the same or similar mods. This truck won't be for everyone. I'm not into crazy off-roading, but I also don't feel the need to buff the truck with a diaper. I enjoy camping, weekend adventures and having a truck that will facilitate those but still be able to haul pallets of parts, much, whatever periodically.
So without further rambling, meet my 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor. It took a while to find the right truck. I wanted a subdued color but as my 2016 was black, I also wanted a change. I'm not much for the Raptor graphics across the side, but I did appreciate the beadlock wheels. As luck would have it, just about when I was ready to buy, a truck that met my needs popped up at a local dealership. With a bit of back and forth, we had a deal. This truck is an 802a package with the beadlock wheels, twin panel moonroof, carbon package and probably other bits that I'm forgetting at the moment.
Because this build is based off of what I want out of my own personal truck, I’ve included my ‘automotive resume’ below to give you some insight on my preferences, biases, etc.
My first car was a 1996 Toyota Camry, followed closely by a 2000 VW Jetta VR6. After that, it was a 2001 GTI 1.8T and then my first Subaru, a 2006 STI (currently broken, 600whp). Since then, I’ve had a number of daily drivers including a 1994 BMW E36, 2005 Subaru Legacy GT, 2004 Silverado 2500HD, 2015 Subaru WRX, 2016 F-150 Lariat and finally, the Raptor.
The plan is to modify this truck by making small, incremental improvements, as I identify things or features that we want. Anything that I can design, manufacture and test myself, I will. Definitely open to suggestions and feedback or things people would like to see. Here's a list of what I'm interested in at the moment:
- Tonneau Cover – I'll just swap my soft cover from the lariat for now
- Stubby Antenna - Hate that the longer antenna runs into the outside of garages and parking ramps
- Bed Protection - Being aluminum, I'm not too concerned with corrosion, but we'll see
- Interior Protection - Floor mats, seat material protection of some sort? Center console cover?
- Window Tint - Subtle tint on the front windows to match the rears
- BuiltRight Industries Bedside Racks - keep tools/etc organized without occupying valuable sqft in the bed
- BuiltRight Industries Rear Seat Release - How much space will there be with the 802 package audio equip?
- Additional lighting - Nothing crazy, but something to light up a campsite or the road in bad weather
- Bike Rack - Again, how can we accomplish this without losing bed functionality?
- Cell Phone Mount - Clean and factory looking? Hidden wiring?
- Dash Cam and Radar Detector - mounting? wiring? want clean installation
- Performance - Truck performs nicely from the factory, but we'll see where this goes
- Truxedo Lo-Pro Tonneau Cover
- DeeZee Bed Mat
- Stubby Antenna (not thrilled with size/shape)