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6.0 Powerstroke Project Truck Exterior Modifications

Project Low Dollar Hauler Part Three

Let's Make It Purdy....

In Part 3 of the Low Dollar Hauler we focus on fixing up the exterior looks.

We have driven the LDH for a couple hundred miles and so far so good. The steering and suspension needs some work and while we were waiting for an open spot in the shop to get that work done, we decided to clean up the outside a little.

First thing we did was order a new passenger mirror cover since ours was cracked. Most people think you have to replace the whole mirror assembly, all the parts are available separately to repair them. We ordered up the cover that comes with a new marker light from Ford and replaced the broken cover. As long as we had Ford on the phone we ordered a new tail gate upper trim piece since that was missing too. Just replacing those two simply things made the truck look a whole lot better.

 As you can see from the picture, the front seats are pretty tore up. We checked on replacement Ford leather covers and were shocked to know it would cost us almost $1,000 to redo the seat with Ford parts. Instead we grabbed a seat of Covercraft Seat Savers off the shelf. The nice thing about the Covercraft line is that they are form fitted to your specific vehicle and seat style. Adding the covers really made the interior look a million times better. As long as we were inside the truck we pitched the factory floor mats and added a set of Weathertech Digital floor liners. These are hands down the nicest floor liners on the market today. --> --> Back to the outside, we grabbed a set of AVS Vent Visors and a bug shield off the shelf. I am still surprised how many people don’t know about Vent Visors even though they have been out forever. They attach above your windows and allow you to roll the window down when it’s raining and keeps the water from running right in. You can also roll down you windows a little for ventilation when leaving the vehicle parked in public places and it’s really hard to tell the windows are down if you are passing by. The bug shield not only protects the front of the hood from chips, but also helps direct air flow up and over the windshield to help prevent stone chips. Plus, they both spruce up the look of the truck.

Since we use the truck mostly for picking up parts and deliveries during the week, we decided to add a Truxedo Truxport tonneau cover to keep the cargo dry. The Truxport is a soft roll up cover that is extremely affordable. The great thing about it is that the rear rail, cross bow supports, and tarp all roll up at once and leaves the bed completely open to haul large cargo. We don’t have to worry about storing the bows in the bed when hauling cargo and the whole thing is out of the way in about 30 seconds. Plus they look really nice.

The running board on the passenger side was broken as you may have noticed in the pictures. We removed the factory boards and pitched them in the trash. We replaced them with a set of 4” GT tube steps. They give the truck a whole different look. We also added a set of Weathertech mudflaps which are some of the easiest to install out there. No drilling required and they look great since they are form fitted to the specific truck.

Lastly, the wheels didn’t match and just made the truck look terrible. We had a set of 18” wheels off one of our other trucks that had like new Hankook tires on them that we decided to swap onto the truck. When we pulled the aftermarket front wheels off, we found the source of the mystery shake we have. It’s hard to say whether the previous owner didn’t know any better or just threw these wheels on to get it to the dealership for trade in. We actually see this problem come into the shop every once in a while because people don’t know the difference between lug centric and hub centric wheels. The factory wheels on Ford Superduty trucks are hub centric which means the center of the wheel is the same size has the hub of the axle. The lug nuts are flat on the back and are only used to hold the wheel one. Lug centric wheels do not fit tightly on the hub and are usually a little loose. To center the wheel, the lug nut holes are tapered and the lug nuts center the wheel as they are tightened up. People usually refer to the lug nuts for this style of wheel as acorn lugs because that is what they look like. The previous owner of this truck installed aftermarket lug centric wheels on the front and used the flat style factory lugs to install them. The wheel is not centered and will create some interesting vibrations at certain speeds and while turning. The proper wheels and lugs together cured that problem and cleaned the looks of the truck up.

The appearance of the Low Dollar Hauler is greatly improved and it looks like a pretty nice truck now. Most of the items we installed in this article aren’t absolutely necessary, but this is pretty much exactly what customers come into our store and buy right after they buy a new truck and we think this is definitely a realistic path a new truck owner would take. While we had the wheels off we noticed we had more suspension and steering issues than we originally thought and will be tackling them in the next article.

Total Cost So Far:        $6,704  
Ford Mirror Cover             $120
Ford Tail Gate Cover         $89
Covercraft Seat Covers      $160
Weathertech Floor Liners   $110
Vent Visors                          $56
Bug Shield                           $58
GT Steps                              $290
Weathertech Mudflaps         $90
Truxport Tonneau Cover     $299
Total Spent So Far:      $7,976