Review & Install Video
Hey, guys, it's Joe from AmericanTrucks and today we're gonna be taking a closer look at the Barricade 3.5-inch Bull Bar in Black fitting all '04 and newer F-150s, excluding the Raptor models. Now, this is gonna be a great option for you if you're looking for some off-road styling and protection for the front end of your truck at a budget-friendly price tag.
Now, diving into the video here, we're gonna start with what this thing is made out of and to answer that question, it's 3.5-inch tubular stainless steel. It's finished in that awesome black powder coating, which is not just there to add to the looks, albeit, it if you were going for the blackout look, this is gonna be a perfect match. It matches our grille really, really nicely, but it's also there to serve as a second layer of protection over top of that stainless steel and the powder coating in combination with the stainless steel are gonna make sure that this thing is doing its best job to resist any corrosion and it's gonna be looking good for years to come.
Diving into the features here, down here, we do have a little bit of a skid plate. Now, this isn't the most durable thing in the world. If you were planning on doing some serious off-roading, I would recommend the standalone skid plate, but at the very least, this is going to encourage any obstacle that would have went into the front bumper to go underneath of the truck, so that's a nice touch. It also has some holes cut in at the bottom here to allow you to keep that airflow to the intercooler if you do have an EcoBoost truck.
Another great feature about this bull bar is we have some pre-threaded end pre-drilled poles up top here. Brackets for those are included in the kit and what that's intended for is some 3-inch LED cube lights. They don't come in the kit, but if you did have an aftermarket pair of those, they would mount right out to this bull bar and allow you to take it to the next level. If you didn't wanna go with the cube lights, you could also mount up to a 20-inch light bar up on the top here. Now, speaking about lighting, this isn't the only variant of this Barricade bull bar. If you know you wanted to go with lights, Barricade offers that as a kit. This kit plate will have a cutout right here and the kit will include a 20-inch light bar, obviously, however, that is gonna cost you at a little bit extra. This is gonna be the most budget-friendly option if you're just looking for some front-end protection. Also, if the blackout look is not your thing, Barricade also offers this in a polish stainless if you're going for more of the chrome look on your truck. So this all comes together to make a really, really nice package for the front end of your truck. It's a great bull bar. The fit and finish, build quality and features are all there. If you don't believe me, take it from our customers. It's about mid-2019 right now. This has over 100 reviews on it and currently sits at about a 4.7 out of 5 stars, so I'm not the only one that thinks this way. This is a great option for the front end of your F150.
Now, that's not to say that this bull bar is without its flaws. Couple things I do think are worth mentioning here is the mounting brackets for this, they're going to effectively replace your tow hooks, so you will lose that as a recovery option. Also, if you have any sensors, radar cruise control, proximity sensors in the front, this will interfere with that, obviously. Another one is if you have a front-facing camera, this hoop right here is effectively going to take off a little bit of what that camera sees. But again, even with those flaws considered, this is a really popular option. If you're not worried about those things too much, this is gonna be a great buy. Pricing is gonna come in right about 150 bucks. Now, I've already sung the praises enough, but that is one heck of a budget-friendly price. You're getting a lot for your money here. Build quality, features, fit and finish, it's all there, definitely well worth the 150 bucks as this is gonna bring a lot of style and off-road protection for the front end of your F150.
The install for this is going to be really, really easy if you have tow hooks. No modifications required, if that's the case for you. Definitely gonna get a one out of three, should take at most an hour in that case. However, if you don't have tow hooks, you will have to do a little bit of cutting on the lower front bumper to allow you access to the frame rails, and the instructions do a great job on telling you how to measure that up and make the cuts so this will fit perfectly. So without any further ado, let me show you what tools you'll need and how it's done.
Tools required for this install are going to include an impact or a ratchet, 18, 16, and 13-millimeter sockets as well as 17 and 15-millimeter wrenches. Again, obviously, if you don't have tow hooks, you will need to bring either a Sawzall or a body saw to make some cuts to the plastic of the front bumper. Now, this is gonna be really, really easy if you have tow hooks like our truck, no modifications required. If you do not, you'll basically have to cut this hole in the splash guard to allow you access to the frame rail. But other than that, all the hardware you need is included in the kit. So on our tow hook truck, we're gonna be reusing some of that factory tow hook hardware. If your truck does not have tow hooks, again, all the hardware you need will come included in the kit. So basically, what we're gonna be doing first is installing this little mounting bracket right here. This is going to go on in place of our tow hooks, so we need to get that tow hook out of here. And in order to do that, we're gonna loosen up this 18-millimeter bolt at the front of the tow hook and this 15-millimeter bolt at the rear of the tow hook.
Here's a closer shot of that. This bolt up front, 18-millimeter, that's gonna have to come all the way out. At the rear here, 15-millimeter. We're only gonna have to loosen that up. You can see that's gonna go through this slot in the tow hook and allow us to get this outta here. Now, you will have to use the wrench for this one because the splash guard is in the way a little bit, but that's not too bad. We're gonna have to do the same thing on the other side to get the tow hook out of the way over here as well. And again, 18 at the front and loosen up this 15 at the rear, and that will allow you to get the tow hook out.
So now that we have our tow hooks out of the way, we could start with our mounting bracket install. Now, again, if you don't have tow hooks, you won't have this hardware there. However, this U-bolt does come included in the kit. You're basically gonna fish that through the frame rail like so and then you could tighten down the mounting bracket we're about to do. But since we do have tow hook hardware, this is gonna be even more simple. All we're going to do is take our mounting bracket. You wanna make sure you have the right one. You can see this one is marked with a D there for driver side. This is slotted at the back, so we're just gonna put it through our 15-millimeter bolt and then at the front, we're gonna reinstall our 18-millimeter bolt. And then we can tighten them both down. The holes on there are slotted. We're just gonna aim for the middle right now. If you do need some adjustment, later on, you can always come back, loosen this, adjust, and then tighten it back down. We're gonna do the same exact thing with the passenger side mounting bracket on the other side. One thing to note here, just to make this a little bit easier on yourself, you wanna make sure that the threads are lined up with that hole and slide on your bracket and secure with an 18-millimeter bolt. And just like the other side, then you could tighten down this 15 at the rear.
So now we have all of our prep work done on the side of the truck. We can start a little bit of prep work on the bull bar itself. We're basically just gonna take the mounting brackets that install to the bull bar. These are gonna sit on the ends like so. You wanna make sure this tab portion is facing toward the inside. That's already pre-threaded. We're just gonna take the 13-millimeter hardware included in the kit and secure it. Now we're just gonna tighten that down with a 13-millimeter socket. And before we do, one thing to mention, this is slotted just like all the brackets on the kit. We're gonna aim for the middle right now and what I'm gonna actually do is push that in just a hair extra. I find that that little wiggle room with this tab slightly more toward the inside makes this line up a lot easier. And we're gonna do the same thing to the other side.
Now we're just gonna put our two brackets together, secure them both with the 16-millimeter bolt and 17-millimeter nyloc nut. And then once we have these finger-tight, we're gonna align the bull bar, tighten it down with a socket and wrench.
Guys, that's gonna do it for me. It's also gonna do it for the Barricade 3.5-inch Bull Bar in Black fitting all '04 and newer F-150s, excluding the Raptor models. Thank you, guys, for watching. Subscribe for more videos like this one. Keep it right here at AmericanTrucks for all things F-150.