(approx) 2 Hours
Light to Moderate mechanical skill required.
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Hey, guys. Adam here with americantrucks.com, and today we're taking a quick look at and, of course, installing the HD Replacement Front Bumper available for the '18 to '20 F-150 excluding the Raptor Model. Now, if you're looking for front end protection for your truck, traditionally you look at either the front bumper category or the brush guard category. This one is gonna be for the guys who want both. It's a fully welded one-piece front end protection bumper that has a brush guard welded to it to give you all-around protection at the front end with a full-width wraparound design for the headlights, the front grille, and the bumper. Now, this is something that not only is gonna give you extreme protection, but it's gonna completely change the exterior appearance of your F-150. Obviously, this is incredibly aggressive looking, and honestly looks like it can take on literally anything.Anytime you come in contact with an on or off-road obstacle at the front end, whether it be up toward the grille around the headlight area, the fender area or that trim or even the bumper, you're completely protected. Your factory front bumper definitely wouldn't be able to say the same thing. This is made from a fully welded one-piece design that has tubular steel construction, diamond plate steel, and schedule 40 pipe. All together it makes a really, really aggressive and really beefy package. And I will say this bumper is absolutely massive, which means it is extremely heavy and the installation, which we'll get to in just a little bit, requires a lot of helping hands. It's something that you're definitely gonna wanna be careful with when installing because of its sheer weight. Now, the nice thing about this is it's got an epoxy pre-coating and a black powder-coated finish and a nice satin sheen finished black. That means it's got a little bit of a gloss to it. It's not necessarily a textured black finish, it's a little bit more unique compared to some of the other offered bumpers out there.This is also one that carries a lot of utility functionality. As you can see in the middle, there are some mesh inserts where you can insert some winch plating if you wanna add a winch to your front in there. Above that, it's got a tow receiver on the front end welded on. So, if you wanna do something like that at the front end, you can definitely do it, it will be accepting of a hitch mount and ball. And also you can transfer over your factory foglights. Now, our '18 F-150 did come with factory foglights, so I'm gonna show you guys what that looks like. But if your truck did not, you can skip that portion or you can upgrade to an aftermarket foglight or spotlight LED that you can pick up from the aftermarket, that'll bolt right up there. On the back end, there's a lot of bracket systems to allow you to transfer over factory components if you have them, or you can add aftermarket stuff to customize it a little bit further. Now, the price tag for this guy is gonna be a little bit more on the premium side because it's so involved with high-quality construction, really high-quality materials, and it's just sheer overall weight and size.It's gonna come in right around 1,250 bucks. The install is gonna get two out of three wrenches on our difficulty to meet. It doesn't require any cutting or drilling but it is a little bit more involved than a traditional bumper install. Getting your factory bumper off is pretty simple, but installing all the brackets systems, transferring over your tow hooks and your foglights if you have them, and installing any additional auxiliary accessories you may want to can be a bit of a process. And of course, the sheer weight here requires a bunch of hands to help you get this on while you work the wrench and I'll show you guys that in a bit. I'm gonna walk you through the whole process here, it'll take about two maybe three hours. Let's get started. Tools used in this install include an impact gun, a ratchet, a couple of extensions, flathead screwdriver, panel removal tool 13-millimeter, 15-millimeter, 18-millimeter, 19-millimeter, and 21-millimeter deep sockets, universal swivel socket, Phillips head socket or screwdriver 13--millimeter, 19-millimeter, and 21-millimeter wrenches.All right, first things first grab a plastic panel removal tool, go to your factory bumper and you're gonna remove these two plastic trim pieces right above your tow hooks. Don't use anything metal because it can scratch your paint and you need to go right up against that to pry this guy off. You wanna have a hand there to catch it though, to make sure it doesn't come right off. Now, I want some pry in there just peel off. You can see there's just plastic clips and metal clips holding this guy on. Do the same thing on the other side. Now, once you have that removed, you're exposing two 21-millimeter nuts on these threaded studs here on both sides. We're not gonna completely remove them, we're just gonna loosen them up so that we can get them off by hand. Grab your 21 deep socket, grab an extension and an impact gun or a ratchet and loosen them up. All right, so we got that back all the way off, I'm just gonna keep it on a couple of threads. All right, same thing on the other side.All right, so at this point, you're crawling under the front end of the truck and you're gonna unplug the factory master harness for the foglights. Now, that's directly above the frame here and it may be attached to the frame itself, but you can just pull that plastic clip off like I have here. What you're gonna do is flip it over, and you're gonna pinch and disconnect. That way the fog lights are free and won't toggle in this harness attached to the vehicle. All right, now you have to actually unplug the back of the foglight harness. Now, it's really difficult to get to from underneath of the truck due to it being really close to the frame. So, I'm actually gonna go into our wheel well here on our passenger side and then repeat on the other side. There's two five and a half millimeter bolts, believe it or not. I have a quarter-inch ratchet and a short five and a half socket. Get these two out of the way. You can peel that trim back enough in the wheel well liner to get to the back of the foglight, which is right here. Let me do the other one, then we'll peel it back.At this point, you're basically gonna peel this guy back, you can actually just bend it right behind the tire, especially if you have one of these larger tires like we have here. And then right there, you'll see the foglight connector, right where my fingertip is here. All right, so it's got this blue connector on it, and you're basically gonna peel back on the black and I know that's tough to see here right at my fingertip and disconnect that. So falls right off. Repeat on the other side. Next step, we have to remove the third 21-millimeter not from underneath of the truck connecting it to the frame. It's basically right where the first two were but on the opposite side on the inside of the truck. So, we're crawling underneath the front end, I got my 21 socket. Now, keep in mind, guys, as you remove these two last ones, one on each side, the bumper is gonna start coming down. That's why we left the first two nuts loose so that it can catch it and it's not gonna come down on top of us. All right, so grab your 21 deep socket and extension and get these off.All right, so at this point, I'm gonna repeat that process on the other side. What you're seeing now is the front side view of that same bolt on the driver side. All right, at this point, you're basically gonna support the front bumper and remove the four 21-millimeter nuts that we left on just a couple of threads. Keep in mind as you remove these guys, it's gonna start coming off. All right, off we're for off, let's pull this guy out of position. And with everything disconnected, set it aside. All right, so next up, we have to remove our factory tow hooks, grab a 15 socket and an impact gun or ratchet, go underneath and take those two bolts out. Pull that bolt plate out as well. Same thing on the other side. All right, so now we have to take off the factory double-bolt plate just by pulling off these retainer pieces of plastic that hold them on. And you're basically gonna pull it out, they're all in one piece. Just like that. I'm just gonna put the plastic things back on so we don't lose them, do the same thing on the other side.All right, so we got the factory front bumper off of our '18 F-150. It's on the ground here next to our Steel Craft HD replacement front bumper and obviously it goes without saying this is head to toe 100% different than the factory option in almost every single way. Not only is this completely massive, but it's made of an extremely high-quality steel plating and it's an entirely one-piece fully welded design. It's not just a bumper, it's a bumper brush guard combo all in one. That basically means you're getting your steel off-road-ready bumper, but you're also getting this brush guard that comes up and protects the entire front grille. And it has three bars that wrap around the headlight. So, it really truly does have a full-width design to really protect the entire front end of this truck. Now, even though it's a full-width design, and it comes up really high, you still have complete access to open the hood, it's gonna clear that top bar, of course. So, it's thoughtfully designed to make sure you don't have to do anything to modify in order to make it work.Now, right out of the box here guys, this is something that is ready to be bolted up. You don't have to worry about bolting up any of these bars here, it's just ready to go and take on whatever you need. It's got a bunch of features here that I wanna mention that your factory bumper does not. Inside this middle section of your grille, you have those cross support beams that are a lot thicker, but you also have this punch plate in the middle to protect little things from getting through to your grille. You also have directly below that a receiver. So, you have some recovery options at the front end that most bumpers don't have. Underneath that you can see some honeycomb or mesh style inserts, blocking off some of those sections that can either house a winch plate if you're looking to go with full recovery if you're looking to add some utility. But it can also house some light mounts if you want to add some cube lights or a light bar in there as well. Underneath that, you get another protection bar for the bottom end, on each side here there is rubber wrapping around this metal bar so if we were to come in contact with something, at least it can not only take the hit here but, of course, that rubber is gonna help protect the finish.That finish by the way is a black powder-coated and epoxy pre-coating finish that is a semi-gloss black. So, the semi-gloss is actually a little bit different. Usually, you get a textured black powder coating. Semi-gloss is a little more unique, gives it a nice shine to it just looks really sharp. And then, of course, like I said down here the bumper portion of the bumper itself has a diamond plate pattern, so it looks extremely, extremely aggressive, and pretty industrial. With that, you can also add fog lights to the outside portions. You can see the square cutouts, they're also gonna house some additional auxiliary so lots of room for additional auxiliary lighting if you're looking to light up the off-road trail, of course. Now, with that said, guys, we have a lot of brackets we want to install and preparation for the bumper itself. So, what do you say we toss this stuff aside, and get to work. All right, so next step, we can start installing this giant bracket. Now, the giant bracket is gonna go right where the tow hooks were. It's gonna go right around that tow hook.So the toke area is gonna sit right in here, we're gonna take this really long bolt, and it's gonna go right through the back like that, but through the frame. So, you wanna grab the side-specific bracket, you wanna make sure you're checking the instructions for which side is which, set this guy up through and put the bolt through. Grab a washer, put it through the other end, these are the only gold plated options here. So, just grab the ones that all match there, put that guy through, just like that. Now, we have to take these spacer tabs and basically put it between the bracket and the frame and right around the bolts, so the bolt is gonna sit right in that little slot. Do the same thing on the other side. And with them in place, we can lift this guy up so it's level, bring it in closer, so there's about a half-inch gap and we're gonna tighten down that back bolt. I'm using my 18 socket on the bolt head and 19 socket on the nylon lock nut. All right, so at this point, we're gonna take the double bolt plate included in the kit and put it back in where the tow hook bolt plate was. All right, so you're gonna put your bolt plate in, it's easier to lay underneath of it so you can help line it up. Grab your 18 socket and tighten those down.So, now we can grab this frame support bracket, it's side-specific, but they're labeled P and D for passenger and driver. Lay that guy right up on top, line up the holes to the frame, line up the hole to the bracket. We're gonna drop one of these bolts through the top of the washer on each of the front ones. Put a washer on the bottom, follow it up with the nylon lock. Now you can tighten them down. Grab your 19 wrench again and your 18 socket. I'm actually gonna use a swivel socket for this gadget because is at a little bit of a tougher angle. All right, so now we can take that factory support bracket, the double bolt plate, put it back through the back. Except now we're gonna bolt it down instead of just to the bumper, it's gonna go through to the bracket we just installed just like that. I am however gonna put our plastic pieces back on. The plastic basically just keeps it from falling backward so we can just put that on now. Just this one's gonna be a little bit more tricky because we have this bracket there now in the way, so we might need to just tighten it down by hand as far as we can go. Grab your 21 socket, and tighten this guy down.Unfortunately, this bracket end keeps us from being able to get a socket straight on that so I just had to break out a regular wrench. And it's kind of annoying you have to go up and down and up and down. But tighten this guy down and we'll move on. We've already got it worked on most of the way. All right, so because our vehicle does have factory tow hooks, the tow hooks can reinstall up here. So, it's relocating from the bottom up a little bit higher, but that means we now have to take the nuts off of these two bolts here and then reapply them with the tow hook in place. So, of course, retaining your tow hooks is optional. If you don't wanna put the toes back on, you don't have to. We're gonna take those nuts off though and put our tow hooks back on. Put the tow hook back through and then do the same thing, putting the nuts back on. All right, once you have this entire assembly with the brackets and your tow hooks if you're using the factory tow hooks, once you have all that installed, repeat that exact same thing for the other bracket on the driver's side.First step here we're gonna have to remove our factory fog light. Now, you can skip over this step here if you don't have factory fog lights, you can move forward, but if you do, grab a Phillips head screwdriver and we're gonna remove this retainer screw. With that out, you got to pull the spring out of the middle as well, now your fog light is loose. These two tabs on each side are basically clipping it in. So, you're gonna pry back on the tabs and push the fog light out from the back and pull it out from the front. All right, so you can kind of peel back one side and push it and then do the same thing on the other side. All right, so we got the one side loose, other side loose. Once you have both loose, you can start to pull, just like that, do the same thing on the other side. All right, so next up, we have the factory foglight out, I'm starting on our driver side one. Grab your driver side attachment bracket if you're using them, and you're basically going to put the foglight in the middle and this L-bracket or this elbow bracket right here is going to be where that spring is gonna go.So, you're basically gonna hook on one side just like that, so that the knob comes to the side, and you're gonna have to bend it upward to hook around the other side, so it should sit just like this. At this point, you wanna be careful, but you basically wanna tilt this back so you can fit your spring in this section here. Line up the holes on both sides. Grab that factory Phillips head screw and put it back through the spring and attach it to this plastic clip. Once you have that in place, grab your Phillips head and tighten it down. All right, you wanna tighten it down just to the point where this bracket is straight. So, obviously, we have a little bit of ways to go. So I'm just gonna tighten this guy down again, it should get to a point where it's pretty straight. And then at any point you can go back and the whole point of this is it's an adjustment screw. So, if you need to start tilting at different ways you can tighten and loosen it once it's on the bumper. Repeat on the other side and now we can install this on the bumper itself.All right, so now we can focus on our driver side here in this cutout on the back of our bumper. There's a slot on the top and a slot on the top of this bracket. I'm gonna take the bolt included in the kit along with the flat washer and put it through the inside facing up. Insert that into the cutout, drop a washer on and follow it up with your nylon lock nut. All right, so now you have the ability to slot forward and backward and side to side. So, you just wanna center it there, grab your 13 socket and wrench and you're gonna tighten those down. Once you start getting tight, you wanna make sure you just have everything aligned. So, you might want to crack it loose just to make some adjustments, center it up, make sure it's angled properly, and then tighten it down. You just wanna look to the front to make sure it's aligned properly and repeat on the other side. All right, next up here I have a helping hand. This bumper is extremely heavy, so you wanna have at least one or two people on deck.We're gonna get it up into position, it can kind of sit on the brackets here at the front end. I'm gonna swap out with my buddy, Joe, crawl underneath, and start working the wrench. Now, you're basically tightening down the rest of your bolts. We've got two of them taken care of, we're just getting this top one. Repeat on the other side and you're good to go. That's gonna wrap up my review and install for the HD replacement front bumper available for the '18 to '20 F-150 excluding the Raptor models. Again, you can pick yours up right here at americantrucks.com.
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Features, Description, Q&A, Specs & Installation
Fitment: 2018 2019 2020 Details
CA Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov
(approx) 2 Hours
Light to Moderate mechanical skill required.
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