Fast & Low: Ford Raptor Tuning
We can’t leave anything alone. Even something as dialed-in as the Ford F-150 Raptor could use a little fine tuning. We’ve modified our 2012 Crew Cab Raptor over the years with things like our Addictive Desert Designs bumpers and King suspension. While we’ve been happy with just about everything with this truck, we were ready to change things up a bit more. Primarily, we wanted to adjust the suspension on the truck and freshen up the look.
To get you up to speed on how we’ve modified our Raptor, we put together the video above. Below, we’re expanding on a few more details for those of you looking to do similar with the first Gen Raptor.
Part of dialing in our front suspension was not only taking some of the pre-load off of the King front coil springs, but playing with the compression adjuster knob settings. The farther towards the firmer position you rotate the knob, the more fluid is diverted through the flow zones (low & mid speed, high speed and rebound). We keep ours around 4 clicks from the softest setting for most normal everyday driving. If we’re towing or want to go faster off-road, we will dial them up. Usually three clicks at a time gives us the most noticeable adjustments.
Our entire shock system was from King’s OEM Performance line, which is a direct bolt-on kit that’s application specific. Included with the system out back are a set of 3.0 bypass shocks. We currently have our secondary compression zone dialed softer by four turns and the primary compression zone dialed to zero, as we like the plush ride it provides. Our rebound is just as King sends it and does a great job of preventing any unwanted bounce from the rear of the truck.
We believe that a full replacement spring pack could up the performance potential of our Raptor. However, the stock springs fit the majority of our needs for this truck. We’re running a 1.5-inch lift block that shaves about 1.25 inches of lift from the back of the truck. While this means we’ve lost a little up travel, it has made ingress into the bed much easier.
After seeing a set of Center Line’s bronze and satin black RT4BZ wheels, we knew we wanted a set for our Raptor. Part of the off-road/truck series of RT wheels, the cast aluminum wheel set is designed to be lightweight and strong.
While 17-, 18-, and 20-inch sizes are available, we opted for the 17x9. This allowed us to transfer over our 35x12.50R17 Nitto Ridge Grapplers. Since the wheels comes with 5.71 inches of backspacing, they are also an ideal fit for the Raptor as they keep the majority of the tread tucked neatly under the fenderwells.
While we’ve had our Ridge Grapplers under the truck for well over 10,000 miles, when we swapped wheels, we opted to showcase the more aggressive sidewall on the outside this time. (The Ridge Grapplers, like most of the Grappler line, offer you two distinct sidewall options.) For a tire with such aggressive and deep lugs, we’re constantly amazed at how quiet they are. In the coastal southeast where we spend most of our time, the tires have also proven to work great in the sand and mud.
We have a few upgrades in store for our Raptor, some of which will help it on the camping and exploration front. It sort of makes us wonder. Can a Raptor be an overlanding rig, too?