Other than baseball, few things are as distinctly American as the Ford F-150. Developed to serve as a compromise between the lighter F-100 and the three-quarter ton F-250, the Ford F-150 was introduced in 1975 and was initially referred to as the "heavy" Ford truck since the F-100s were still in production. After its release, the F-150 has become Ford's standard half-ton pickup. The vehicle is the latest incarnation of the F-Series trucks that debuted in 1948 as the F-1, then redesigned with a modern rounded style and wraparound windshield, and renamed the F-100.
The F-Series is the best-selling American-made pickup. It was a modern-looking truck when it first came off the line, featuring a flat, one-piece windshield and integrated headlights. Available options included the "see-clear" windshield washer – operated via foot control – a passenger-side and sun visor, and a passenger-side tail light. It also came with the option of additional chrome and two horns.
Times have changed since then. By 1999, the F-150 had a refined bodyline, a 4.6L V8 engine that pumped out 231 hp, and performance packages with the 5.4L V8, generating between 235 - 360 hp. The F-150 is a true workhorse and has become synonymous with rugged performance. In addition, many owners have found aftermarket parts to be a serious boost to overall efficiency and high-output performance.
For example, F-150 exhaust systems work hand-in-hand with your Ford intake or similar system to vent spent gases from the engine in the smoothest and most efficient way possible, providing enhanced performance and maximum fuel economy. Stock exhaust components are comprised of numerous twists and turns that prevent the exhaust from flowing freely. Aftermarket parts work just the opposite. In addition to the performance gains, F-150 exhaust systems add the rumbling, throaty sound that has defined the Ford sound for generations. Perfectly suited to the do-it-yourselfer, many kits are bolt-on, eliminating the need for welding or other major modifications to your rig. And, they come complete with all the necessary mounting hardware.
An additional upgrade that's recently increased in popularity among enthusiasts is the mass air flow sensor, providing faster acceleration and passing boosts. An F-150 MAF is a delicate sensor that uses two wires to measure the amount of air flowing into the engine. The two wires are heated by electric current and the more electricity used to heat them tells the engine control unit how much air is flowing past them.
Finally, with Ford being the living-legend it is, the exterior appearance of an F-150 has become a factor, whether you're driving around in a classic or something fresh off the lot. To protect their pickup's exterior, many are turning to items like a Ford bull bar and Ford fender flare. A Ford bull bar protects the center section of your front end with custom-wrought 3" stainless-steel tubing. It's sealed against the elements with a durable powder coating or polished finish and comes with pre-drilled holes for mounting off-road lights. A Ford fender flare extends the reach of your existing fender and blocks gravel, sticks and other damaging debris from flying back and marring your finish. Constructed of automotive-grade ABS, they're durable enough for all-weather driving and come paint-ready to match any existing finish. Plus, with a Ford F-150 towing mirror, you can extend your field of vision when towing, making sure to steer clear of anything that could damage your trailer or your truck.
The Ford F-150 is an American workhorse, but there's still room to improve on greatness. Many owners have found aftermarket parts like Ford F-150 towing mirrors, F-150 MAF and F-150 exhaust systems deliver a serious boost to their overall efficiency and high-output performance.
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