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2018 F150 & Super Duty Holiday Buying Guide

It's a struggle every year to come up with the perfect gift for our loved ones, which is why we try to make the gifting process a little easier for our automotive-minded families. Being so familiar with Fords an the aftermarket, we feel it's our duty to help inform your holiday buying or even inspire your wish list. Broken down into categories for vehicle type and price, this handy shopping guide should help reduce some of the time and stress involved with the holiday season and give you more time with your family and friends.

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F150 Fall Prep Guide

Every fall, the days get a little shorter and the nights get a little longer leading up to winter. With temperatures in that Goldilocks zone between too hot and too cold, it's the perfect season to get some quality time with your F150. Even better, we've got everything your build needs to make the most out of the fall season, no matter the budget! From leveling and lift kit options to bed protection, to wheels and tires, and a whole lot more, your dream build is just around the corner.

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2018 Budget Build Round 2 Upgrades: $4500 Limit

We've been having a great time getting creative with our first ever 2018 F150 build, which also happens to be our first build where we set defined spending limits. We have to admit, we were surprised with what we were able to do with $2000 for the first budget tier, and we're excited to show you what can happen when you have a little more to work with.

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The Stage 3 Motorsports 2018 F150 Budget Build: Progress Report

Saying we've had some over-the-top builds in the past might be an understatement, with most of our builds riding on big lifts and rugged off-road tires, decked out head-to-tail in LED lights and other accessories. This time, however, we're going in another direction with our newest F150 build. Our first take on the tweaked 2018 F150 will be a more subtle, modest affair in relation to our previous builds. This blog will be your one-stop resource for all things Stage 3 Budget Build, updated regularly to reflect the latest mods, so be sure to bookmark this one!

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Introducing Two New Project Trucks: 2017 Street Queen and 2018 Budget Build!

It's time to introduce our newest builds: the 2017 Street Queen and 2018 Budget Build! These all-new purpose-built projects will serve two very different purposes, all with that signature Stage 3 flair. These are also two of our most commonly requested builds, so we can't wait to get the full details and final results out! Hit the jump for a brief introduction and general run-down of our plan for each build!

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2011-2018 Super Duty 6.7L Powerstroke Throttle Sensitivity Boosters!

While it's hard to complain about the 6.7L Powerstroke's insane power, the 2011-2018 Super Duty trucks aren't built for racing. Depending on what you're coming from, the pedal lag on these trucks can be a problem when you're towing a trailer, hauling a huge load, or just maneuvering through traffic. Thankfully, we have a couple of affordable, plug-and-play solutions designed to reduce pedal lag and improve off-the-line performance. The BD Diesel Throttle Sensitivity Booster and the Edge Amp'd Throttle Booster are both solid options, each featuring different power level settings and easy control options. That makes it easy to get the performance you need when you need it without doing harm to your engine in the process.

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Your Mustang Spring Preparation Guide

With the Spring season comes perfect track day weather, and we've got everything you need to get your Mustang in tip-top shape. In this guide, we'll go over some of our most popular parts as well as upgrades we've personally spent time with in our own project Ponys. If you're looking for inspiration on your Mustang build, the Stage 3 Spring Preparation Guide is for you!

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Your F150 Spring Preparation Guide

Spring can be a messy time of year for your F150, thanks to an ideal off-road climate and an abundance of mud wherever you go. And while a little bit of mud can add character to your truck, you can't let it get out of hand. This F150 spring prep guide will cover everything you need to make it through Spring and out the other side in one piece. From protective gear to utility racks and lighting kits, we'll go through the best spring prep products the aftermarket has to offer. Hit the jump to get started!

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Your Super Duty Spring Preparation Guide

We all love the Spring months, but sometimes our trucks don't share the same love. When you're camping, hunting, fishing, or just commuting here and there, mud and grime can quickly turn your freshly-washed F250 or F350 into a total mess. That's why we put together this handy guide to help you prepare for the season. We'll cover everything you need to protect your investment and come home from your next outing with a clean and pristine Super Duty! Hit that jump to get started!

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Build Overview: The Stage 3 Hunting Rig

We'd been getting requests to put together a dedicated hunting rig for some time, and at long last it's here. We built our hunting rig from a relatively modest foundation, beginning with a stock 2014 F150 SuperCab with the 5.0L V8, but today there's nothing modest about it. It's aggressive, capable, and fully loaded with everything we need to get in and out of the woods with ease. Read on for a quick look and check out the complete build overview video after the jump!

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F150 Leveling Kit Breakdown

There's more than few leveling kits out there for the F150s, so we decided to put together a video explaining the main types with both their pros and their cons. Even with our helpful (but very general) Leveling Kit Explainer, there's still a lot to know and a bunch of choices you still have to make when it comes to choosing the right leveling kit for your truck. Check out more after the jump.

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Before You Buy: F150 Exhaust Kits, Leveling Kits, and Tonneau Covers

We here at Stage 3 pride ourselves on being more than just a place to buy aftermarket parts for your Ford. We strive to help inform your shopping experience by providing real-world accounts of our experiences with the parts we sell. That's why lately we've been putting together videos with recommendations for all sorts of performance parts and accessories. If you're in the market for a new F150 exhaust kit, leveling kit, or tonneau cover, let us help you find the right kit for your build. Hit the jump for videos with sound clips and recommendations for your next big upgrade!

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You Spoke and We Listened: A Preview of Our Upcoming Builds for 2018!

Over the years, we've built all sorts of trucks for all sorts of purposes, so this year we turned to you for inspiration on our next build. We saw massive support for every build we polled, so as usual we're taking on more than we planned and working something in for everyone who responded. Yes, that means four purpose-built project trucks for 2018 - our biggest, most ambitious year yet. Read on for an in-depth preview of everything we have planned for 2018!

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Stage 3 Motorsports Takes On Utah's Hog Canyon Trail!

Last month we kicked off our off-roading excursion in Utah with a quick stop by Hog Canyon Trail. The challenging, sandy climb out of Hog Canyon proved well worth the effort, revealing breath-taking views and letting our trucks really flex. Read on for details, pictures, and tips for success!

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Your F150 Buying Guide for the 2017 Holidays by Stage 3 Motorsports

Ready or not, it's that time of year. Holiday music is the inescapable soundtrack of our lives for the next month-or-so, and we're all scrambling to figure out what to get for our loved ones. No fear - Stage 3 has your back. If you're looking for that one thing to light up their eyes, we're giving you a quick run-down of some of our most popular and universally adored items for the F150 owner in your life. After the jump we'll get you links and descriptions to help you make 2017 the best holiday season in years!

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Your Super Duty Buying Guide for the 2017 Holidays by Stage 3 Motorsports

Not sure what to get for the Super Duty driver in your life this holiday season? No worries - Stage 3 has you covered! Our Super Duty buying guide will cover some of the most popular F250 and F350 upgrades on the site at different price points to suit your budget! Hit that jump for product links and descriptions to help you make this holiday season extra special for your favorite Ford performance enthusiast!

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Stage 3 Motorsports Takes on the Coral Pink Sand Dunes!

Whenever we get a chance to get out of the office for a therapeutic romp in the trucks, we go all out. This time around, we wanted to set a new bar for ourselves. Our first stop on our trip to Utah found us in some rather uncharted territory - sand dunes. We're pretty darn accustomed to crawling through rocky trails and snow, but we'd be lying if we said we didn't break a sweat when we looked over the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. Regardless, we all made it back in one piece and, miraculously, with both trucks right-side up. Hit the jump for a full review of the trip - from preparation to parts reviews and of course, pictures of everything.

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Stage 3 in Utah: You Decide Our Next Trail Run!

If you're at all familiar with Stage 3's off-road shenanigans, you've probably noticed a lot of wooded areas and forest backdrops. Well this time around we're taking our trucks across Arizona's northern border for a change of scenery, and we need your help deciding which trails to take on! We have a few locations picked out already, but we won't have time for each one, therefore we're turning to our community of off-road enthusiasts for some advice. Hit the jump for complete details!

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2017-2018 Raptor Suspension Upgrades Buying Guide

The 2017-2018 Raptor's Fox 3.0 coilovers and shocks are tough to top, and we knew that it would take something incredible (and incredibly expensive) to top the stock Fox hardware. Yet, the 2017-2018 Raptor's suspension isn't without flaws. Unsurprisingly, more than a few manufacturers have jumped at the chance to develop suspension modifications for the 2017-2018 Raptors so that you can squeeze some extra ride height, performance, handling, and good looks from your hyper-aggressive off-road truck build.

2017-2018 Raptor Suspension Upgrades
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Prevent EcoBoost Shudder and Protect Your Engine With a Catch Can!

Have you ever wondered if your Ford EcoBoost engine needs a catch can? In short, it sure as heck can't hurt. For a few reasons - including its direct-injected DNA, unique location of the intercooler and a PCV system that lets oil blow-by through to the intake - the EcoBoost engine is particularly vulnerable to the various issues caused by oil blow-by. Read on to get a better idea about how a catch can can be a simple, yet effective solution and preventative measure to all sorts of long-term issues.

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No Longer a Pipe Dream: The Ford Ranger Raptor Is Coming

The Ford off-road performance community has a reason to celebrate today. In a heart-pounding demonstration video, Ford Australia confirmed this morning that the Ranger Raptor will be available in Australian and New Zealand markets in 2018. While stateside we're still waiting for the standard Ranger's 2019 reemergence, this is a good sign that we can expect our own Ranger Raptor down the road. Read on for further details, speculation and Ranger Raptor media!

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Street Review: Borla's Touring Cat-Back Exhaust Kit on our 2016 Focus ST!

Aftermarket exhaust kits go a long way in improving any Focus ST's sound, looks and performance, but finding one that walks that line between ostentatious and practical can prove a real chore. We wanted our 2016 Focus ST project car to turn heads when we stepped on it but stay quiet enough on the freeway for long drives, and Borla's Touring Cat-Back Exhaust System absolutely delivered. It also looks pretty damn sleek, if we do say so ourselves. Read on for details and pictures.

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Upgrade your Focus ST with Brake Kits by StopTech!

Upgrading your Focus ST's brake setup is easier said than done, but it's also well worth the work. Considering how easy it is to bolt on power-adders, a modified ST can quickly necessitate a stronger, more effective brake system. The good news is that we've just added a bunch of different StopTech brake kits for the Focus ST. The bad news is that if you're rolling in a 2014 Focus ST, you'll have to read this article to figure out which kit is right for your ride.

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Lowering Springs Improve Focus ST Performance and Styling!

The best upgrades are those that improve both performance and styling in one package, which is exactly what a set of high-quality lowering springs can do for your 2013+ Focus ST. And if you're on the hunt for a set of premium aftermarket lowering springs, you've come to the right place. We carry lowering spring kits from the biggest names in the industry like H&R Springs, Eibach, Steeda and COBB, so feel free to take your pick! Check out our selection of Focus ST Suspension Lowering Springs to get a head start on your hot hatch build!

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2019 Ranger Spotted During High-Altitude Testing

While we certainly do love all of Ford's F150s, one of the greatest travesties in the automotive world was that our dear Ford overlords didn't bring the global T6 Ranger to the United States after the US Ranger went away in 2012. Luckily, Ford realized the error of their ways (probably by looking at Tacoma, Colorado, and Frontier sales figures) and are bringing the Ranger back for the 2019 model year. The folks over at Motor-1.com managed to score some spy shots of the the 2019 Ranger testing up in Colorado. While still camo'd out, we're pretty excited about a 4x4 Ford truck with a shorter wheelbase and narrower track than the F150s to satisfy our trail-running needs.

2019 Ford Ranger Spy Photos

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Off-Road Review: BDS 4" Radius Arm Lift Kit w/ Upgraded Fox 2.0 Shocks on a 2017 F250 6.7L

Last month a few of us at Stage 3 packed our bags (and recovery gear) and took the nearly two-hour trek from Phoenix to the forests and cinder hills of Flagstaff, Arizona for the chance to really put our project trucks through the paces. Our five-truck caravan included our 2015 F150 3.5 Ecoboost Project Truck riding on a 6" Zone Off-Road lift complete with Fox 2.5 Remote Reservoir Coilovers and 35" Nitto Trail Grapplers. Needless to say, our stocky 2017 F250 was up against some stiff competition. Thankfully, our Super Duty was equipped with the beastly BDS 4" Radius Arm Lift paired with 35" Toyo Open Country tires, a combination that undoubtedly spared the F250 from embarrassment more than a few times during our off-road review.

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TruXedo Deuce 2 and TonneauMate Tool Box: A Winning Combination

If the most handy thing we took on our 2017 Flagstaff Trip was our MaxTrax Mark IIs (for obvious reasons), the second most was the combination of the TruXedo Deuce Tonneau Cover and the TruXedo TonneauMate Under-Tonneau Toolbox on our 2011 F150 XL Project Truck.

Stage 3's 2011 F150 XL with a TruXedo Deuce 2 and TonneauMate Toolbox

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Just Added: T-REX Replacement Grilles for the 2017 Super Duty!

There aren't many exterior upgrades as effective at changing up the look of your truck than a custom replacement grille. And as it turns out, that's exactly the sort of thing our good friends over at T-REX Grilles specialize in. Introducing our newest selection of exterior swag for the 2017 Super Duty, available and ready for pre-order today! These wicked custom grilles feature aggressive, eye-catching designs and premium construction for lasting style and utility. Speaking of utility, many of these grilles include high-powered LED lights to make those late night trail runs easier to navigate. Check out our complete selection of 2017 Super Duty Grilles and read on for a closer look at T-REX Grilles' latest creations.

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Improve Ride Quality, Reduce Suspension Wear and Sagging with an Air Bag System!

Most folks rolling around in a Ford Super Duty are no strangers to heavy duty towing and hauling. And while a Super Duty is practically built for that sort of thing, every truck has its limitations. Whether it's a 5th wheel trailer or a massive payload, your suspension can take a real beating which can result in sagging and eventually structural and mechanical degradation. That's why any one of our premium air bag systems can be just what you need to improve ride quality and preserve the integrity of your suspension system for the coming years. We've recently beefed up our selection of air bag suspension kits to include both 4WD and 2WD variants as well as gas and diesel.

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2011-2014 F150 IWE Problems and Fixes

In what should come as no surprise to anyone is that a 2011 F150 with 174,000 miles has its fair share of problems, one of the most egregious for our 2011 F150 XL Project Truck was a broken IWE system that caused pretty horrendous grinding and sounds of suffering when first taking off and when turning. For the uninitiated, Ford's Integrated Wheel End (IWE) system is what locks and unlocks the front hubs when you change back and forth from 2WD and 4WD. The system works off of vacuum and functions a little counter-intuitively in that it uses vacuum to keep the hubs unlocked for 2WD and shuts off the vacuum to lock the front hubs for 4WD. While actually a pretty clever way of doing things, anything vacuum-operated is prone to problems, and the IWE system isn't an uncommon point of issues on any 4WD F150, regardless of engine option. Hit the jump to see how we solved the IWE problems on our very own project truck!

2011-2014 F150 IWE System Failure and Repair

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