The 2013 F-150 is part of the 12th generation of Ford’s light-duty pickups, and with this model year, they introduced a redesigned grille on most models, available HID headlights, Sync with MyFord Touch infotainment and other new standard features, such as Hill Descent Control. Ford also added the new premium Limited trim level this year. The engine lineup features the four Ford standards. The base 3.7L V6, which is the same one found on newer Mustangs, an adequate daily driver, but not much towing power. The twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 is more capable with 365HP and 420ft-lbs of torque, plus a best-in-class towing capacity of 11,300lbs. Also borrowed from the Mustang is the 5.0L V8, tweaked for truck use and now producing 360hp and 380ft-lbs of torque. The hefty 6.2L V8 delivers an impressive 411hp and 434 lb-ft of torque and matches the EcoBoosts towing ability.
Drop it Like A Muscle Car
A six-speed automatic transmission is standard across the 2013 lineup, and all but the 4.2L comes standard with electric power steering, providing more responsive steering and good maneuverability. If there’s any complaint with the 2013’s handling, it's its frequent body lean when cornering. One potential solution? A lowering kit. Now this might seem counterintuitive for a pickup truck - dropping muscle cars is definitely more common - but reducing rather than raising your ride can pay dividends in terms of more control and better handling. The basic premise is pretty straightforward: lowering the truck results in a corresponding lowering of its vertical center of gravity. That change delivers improved grip, increased stability, and all round better handling. Kits can focus on lowering just the front, only the rear or the whole truck altogether. It will depend on what you’re after, but mixing-and-matching separate front and rear kits can create quite a unique result. Frontend options include:
- Lowering springs: Shorter than regular coil springs and also feature a revised spring rate that is responsible for lowering your front fascia, typically between 2-3inches.
- Drop spindles: engineered to provide a 2-3inch total drop, they replace the factory spindles but their pin assembly is 2inches higher than stock. This closes the gap between the wheel and fender by drawing the wheel up.
- Drop Control Arms (set): features a deeper spring perch for the bottom of the coil spring to sit in, thus changing the length of the spring. Expect around a 2inch drop.
And for the rear:
- Drop Shackles: Replacing the factory shackle at the rear end of the leaf spring, this shackle is taller and effectively raises the leaf spring, thereby drawing the rear axle up and closer to the frame rail.
- Leaf Spring Lowering Blocks: Manufactured from steel, these 1-3inches boxes will simply sit atop the leaf spring and between the axle. Drops blocks also come with longer u-bolts to cover that increased distance between the leaf spring and axle. Blocks are typically very budget-friendly.
Reserved for only the most aggressive drops, an axle flip kit relocates the axle beneath the spring lead, and the spring on top of the axle. These can provide up to 7inches of drop, but this is a labour-intensive process and will also all but negate any kind of towing and hauling capabilities. So, realistically, if you’re looking for improved handling while retaining your pickups functionality, opt for a mild to moderate 2-3inch drop.
The 2013 F-150 is distinguished for its large muscular size and classic styling. After Ford’s ‘softer’ period back in the nineties, they’ve now definitely returned to a rugged styling for this twelfth-gen pickup. If you’re looking to beef yours up even further, then consider a set of bigger aftermarket fender flares. Most sets are made from tough ABS plastic and come with stainless steel mounting hardware. They’re flexible enough to avoid cracking under the truck’s normal flex, while tough enough to withstand impact. When paired with large aftermarket tires, and even when not, fender flares offer multi-purpose benefits. As well as adding aggressive style notes to your truck, aftermarket flares are designed to provide additional wheel and tire clearance. In some states, if your wheels extend past your fender wells, then your truck becomes illegal for street use. With flares available in different widths, from 1.5 - 4inches, the wider, larger design will quite literally keep you covered - and legal. Their size also means they cover a greater area of your F-150s fenders and sides, meaning more protection against flying road and trail debris.