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Before you Buy: Fitting 35x12.50" Tires and Why You Shouldn't

Let's just get right down to it: 35x12.50" tires are overrated and there's an exaggerated need to try to squeeze a 35x12.50" tire on the F150s. It's honestly kind of baffling the amount of Q&As, calls, emails, forum PMs, carrier pigeon microfilm, etc. from F150 owners desperately trying to find some combination of leveling/lift, wheel offset, and black magic to squeeze on a 35x12.50" (though also 33x12.50s, just to a lesser extent) and generally not liking the answers they get. The fact is that it's not easy to squeeze a 35x12.50" tire onto an F150 (unless you jump straight into a 4" lift kit), but you also shouldn't be obsessed with trying as there's plenty of other tire options that give you similar results without the fitment headaches or expense.

Stage 3's 2015 F150 XLT 3.5L EcoBoost Project Truck
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Before you Buy: 2019 Ford Ranger Front Suspension Upgrades & Coilver Kits!

Off the assembly line, the Ranger looks a tad underwhelming due to the small tires and disappointing rake. The Ranger doesn't earn the respect a truck deserves because of this. Looks aside, it could also perform better out in the dirt because of its low stance and tires. With the wide variety of aftermarket parts, the Ranger is far from hopeless; you can correct the Ranger's plain look and performance. One of the first additions you'll want to make is a front leveling kit so your truck looks aggressive, performs better off-road and fits bigger tires. With the addition of a spacer, strut, or coilover, your Ranger will be ready to crush the trail and make your friends envious! There are numerous ways you can achieve this leveling boost, but which is best for you?

2019 Ford Ranger Front Suspension Upgrades & Coilover Kits!
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Before you Buy: 2015-2019 F150 Rear Suspension Upgrades!

It's a well-known fact that the 2015-2019 F150s are more than a bit wallowy in the rear with the factory suspension setup. The rear ends of these trucks tend to bounce and jounce around like mad after going over even the slightest bumps and the rear-end roll makes high-speed corners and highway turns "interesting" to say the least. The good news is that there's more than a few suspension upgrades that can seriously help your F150 out and most won't even break your bank. However, there's more than a few rear suspension parts and upgrades to choose from and not all of them will play nice with each other. That's why we put together this handy guide so that you can find the right combination of rear shocks, rear blocks, add-a-leafs, leaf springs, helper springs, sway bars, or other rear suspension upgrades for your very own 2015-2019 F150.

2015-2019 F150 Rear Suspension Upgrades
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Before you Buy: 2019 Ford Ranger Rear Suspension Upgrades!

The 2019 Ford Ranger’s suspension looks pretty lame right off the lot if we're being completely honest. As soon as you want to raise your suspension to drive off-road, or to just look like a badass, you’ll want to upgrade these components. If you already plan on raising the front of your Ranger with some aftermarket coilovers, then it is crucial to fit on some rear suspension upgrades as well. You don’t want the back of your truck to sag like a Mastiff watchdog's face, because the truck is not going to get the same loving reaction from your peers that the dog would get. Don’t be that guy. With the addition of a rear shock, rear block, or an add-a-leaf kit, you can easily correct this problem and have an evenly leveled truck. However, which option or combination is best for you?

2019 Ford Ranger Rear Suspension Upgrades!
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Before you Buy: Hybrid-Terrain or R/T Tire Breakdown!

Back in the days of myth and lore of 2014ish, there were only three choices when it came to light truck tires: Highway-Terrains (which aren’t a choice at all, if we’re being honest), All-Terrains, and Mud-Terrains. It was a simpler time of absolutes and easy choices. Then Hybrid-Terrain Tires came along and had to ruin everything. The old cogers decry this new world of LTs, “Now LT tires exist on a spectrum and a tire can just DECIDE what kind of tire it is! It’s the end of western civilization as we know it!” Calm down, gramps. Hybrid Tires actually fill a pretty big niche that was missing in the LT tire market, and they’ve become some of our personal go-tos for our personal trucks and Project Builds.

2018 F150 with Falken Wildpeak A/T3W
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Before You Buy: Toyota Tacoma Bed Racks & Roof Racks

It's the time of year when everyone is trying to get out of the city and have some fun. Here in Phoenix, that means escaping the 115-degree Hellscape of the desert by going up North to camp, fish, kayak, or engage in some other recreational activity. These activities generally require extra cargo space in your Tacoma. Once your truck bed is full, you are pretty much out of options, but not when you install a bed rack or roof rack. These aftermarket additions will garner you the ability to carry more cargo or larger items with ease. Here at Stage 3 we have several options for bed racks and roof racks that can extend the utility of your Tacoma and make your next excursion much easier.

Toyota Tacoma Bed Racks & Roof Racks
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Before You Buy: When does my F150 need UCAs?

One of the more common questions we get about aftermarket F150 upper control arms is "when should I add them to my truck?" or "at what leveling height do I actually need UCAs?" As per usual, if I'm putting a blog post together about the issue, it's not a simple answer. Despite how innocent and straightforward the line of questioning appears, the answer really comes to down how much leveling you have, how hard you're going to push your F150 off-road, and the condition of your factory UCAs. In general, a set of aftermarket UCAs is never a bad idea, but whether they're worth the price tag is going to depend on a couple of factors.

F150 Upper Control Arms
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Before you Buy: 2019 Ford Ranger Tonneau Covers!

When you're racing down the road or bouncing on a bumpy trail, it could really ruin your day if you lost some of your equipment that fell out of your 2019 Ford Ranger's bed. Besides the fact that you lost one of your tools, it could also be dangerous for vehicles behind you if the object is large and/or sharp! No one wants to be the guy that lost hundreds of dollars of equipment or the guy that causes a major accident. You probably already know that there's an easy solution to prevent being this guy. With the addition of a tonneau cover from one of our many supported brands, your Ranger bed is theft proof, clean and mean, and more aerodynamic for better gas mileage. One of the best and worst parts about choosing a tonneau cover is that there are so many options! If you want to get a cover for your bed but don't know if a soft-rolling, retracting, folding, or a one-piece best suits you, then you're in the right place!

2019 Ford Ranger Tonneau Covers!
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Before You Buy: 2016-2020 Toyota Tacoma Leveling Kit Options

Your Tacoma is pretty sweet to drive, right? We know it is, but with just a few upgrades to the suspension, it can be an absolute beast. A stock Tacoma can suffer from rake, and the factory suspension normally feels less comfortable and less responsive. The issue is that with so many options available for leveling your Tacoma it can be overwhelming; that's where we come in. We want you to understand the basic tiers of the different leveling kits, what they offer, and who will benefit from which type of leveling kit. Some of you might want to get some extra tire clearance, for a kick-ass aggressive look. Others might want to drive a mountain trail at break-neck speeds (maybe not the best plan) and need suspension up for the challenge. No matter what you want to use your Tacoma for, there is a leveling kit that will improve the way your truck handles and drives.

Before You Buy: 2016-2020 Toyota Tacoma Leveling Kit Options
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Before You Buy: Off-Road Lights Lumens vs. Lux, and Why Lux is More Important

Shopping for off-road lights turns into a giant pain in the ass in one hell of a hurry with every company and online retailer throwing stats at you about whatever lighting system they’re trying to hock (us included. We’re sorry). The most common term you’ll see when shopping around is "Lumens" and the lumen wars have reached a point of utter ridiculousness. eBay is rife with LED light bars that advertise an ever-expanding lumen output with some bars supposedly throwing out 500,000 lumens or more. As impressive as some of those numbers are, the sad truth of it all is that if even those bars are coming close to that lumen output in the real world (they’re not), it wouldn’t really matter all that much. In the end, lumens is a pretty poor indicator of how effective a light bar operates. A much better determinant of the actual, real-world effectiveness of a given off-road LED light is lux. Specifically lux at a fixed range.

Rigid 50in SR-Series Light Bar
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Before you Buy: 2019 Ford Ranger Off-Road Light Mounts!

Driving off-road can be one of the most dangerous drives you have to make, besides getting run off the road by texting teenagers on Los Angeles's 405 freeway. If you have a camping trip or off-road excursion in your near future, then all of us at Stage 3 Motorsports recommend that you install off-road light mounts to ensure you can cut through the darkest of nights to see Bambi, boulders or other obstacles. The 2019 Ford Ranger has been out for a while now and there are some great options, especially from lighting giant Baja Designs. Check them out here to learn about the pros and cons of some of the best lighting options.

Baja Designs Off-Road Light Mounts
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Before you Buy: F150 ICON Stage System Breadown!

It's not exactly a secret that we have a long-standing lover affair with our friends over at ICON Vehicle Dynamics and their lineup of utterly badass and high-quality suspension components. Just head to our YouTube channel and watch us gush. As much as we love ICON, we're well aware that they're myriad of options for coilovers, shocks, and packages can be a bit overwhelming if you're not sure exactly what you're looking for. Thus, we decided to put together this breakdown of ICON's staged suspension packages for the F150s and talk a bit about what you get, but more importantly, why you should choose one package over another. We're also only going to be looking at 2009-2019 F150 ICON Systems, any other vehicles will have different components and Stage breakdowns. This is going to get a bit long, so prepare thy body.

2015 F150 with ICON Suspension System
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