Because our F-150 is only the XLT trim, the factory halogen headlights are not only ugly but they're simply unsafe. In fact, the factory headlights cost the F-150 the IIHS top safety pic in 2019 as although it's crash test performance was excellent, the headlamps were rated as poor. We went with these blacked out Raptor style headlights which feature projectors for the high and low beams as well as a neat LED accent on the outer edge of the headlight. We ran our CLD Kong LED replacement H7 bulbs which offer much better output than the standard halogens that came with these lights. To top it off, we also installed this Raptor style grille to give the front end a more aggressive look. This grille also has three amber lights that we tapped in with the factory parking lights.
With the Raptor grille and headlights in place, it was clear that the Chrome bumper stuck out like a sore thumb. We used matte black Plasti Dip to black out the front bumper for now. Future plans for the front and rear bumpers may be in store but for the cost of 3 cans worth of plasti dip, we really like the effect it gives the front fascia. We also did the chrome door handles while we were at it.
For the wheels and tires, we chose the Fuel D665 Shok in the 18x9 +1 sizing. These wheels are hubcentric and finished in a nice Anthracite gunmetal finish. They're much lighter than the factory chrome wheels (about 15 lbs per corner!) which is ideal as the light truck tires we opted for weigh significantly more than the stock tires. For the tires, we went with the Toyo Open Country AT II AW in LT275/70-18. These are an all terrain tire that's rated for severe winter service. They're also 10 ply with more aggressive sidewall lugs that will work better off-road than the stock Goodyears. These tires have a 33.2" overall diameter, about an inch larger than stock.
To clear the 33" tires, we used a kit from RTX which gives the truck a 2" lift up front and a 1" block in the rear. This gives the truck a levelled appearance and works great even while towing. We tested this when we needed to help tow a customer's Mazda 3 which when combined with our open aluminum trailer weighed about 5000 lbs. All-in-all, we think the small touches here made a night and day difference with our project truck. The lighting improves the safety and the truck is more capable overall while also looking a lot more sporty and aggressive.