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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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Check Out This Simple, Affordable LED Headlight Upgrade for the 2005-2016 F250!

Sometimes it really is the small things that make all the difference. That's definitely the case with the CrystaLux XHP50 H13 LED Head Light Conversion Kit. This simple, affordable LED headlight upgrade dramatically improves light output while setting your 2005 to 2016 F250 apart from the crowd with bright, head-turning LED technology. The drop-in replacement bulbs make an incredible difference in visibility and your truck's overall look. Check out the difference between your stock bulbs and the CrystaLux below. Check out the kit here and hit the jump to scroll through the picture gallery!

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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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2018 F150 3.5L EcoBoost with Auto Spring 2.5" Leveling Kit on 35" Tires

With the 2018 F150s finally arriving into the hand of general public, we've gotten our first taste and customer photos of 2018 F150s being modified. Some of the best images we've received so far have come from customer David, who installed an Auto Spring 2.5" Leveling Kit on his 2018 F150 3.5L EcoBoost FX4 and paired it up with a set of 17x8.5" Machined Method NVs and 315/70R17 Falken Wildpeak A/T3Ws. David did have to trim his crash bars to fit the combination, but the effort was worth it, because his 2018 F150 looks clean and mean.

2018 F150 with 2.5-in Leveling kit and 35-in Tires
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We Have Big Things Planned for Our First Project Trucks of 2018!

We're taking both of these trucks to Flagstaff! It's time for Stage 3's annual pilgrimage to Flagstaff, Arizona, for some muddy, aggressive, and cold off-roading. We're bringing along both our 2014 Tremor Build and 2014 Hunting Truck builds for a shakedown. Get an early preview of them both by liking, following, or subscribing to us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube! We'll be doing live video as much as possible, so stay tuned!

A couple of weeks ago, we revealed a preview of our upcoming projects for 2018. Now we want to dive into the specifics with the first two builds on the schedule, the 2014 F150 STX Hunting Rig and the 2014 F150 Tremor Overland Build. We've spent a bit of time with these trucks and come up with a complete parts list for each one, which we want to share with you here. Read on to find out exactly what we're planning with these two purpose-driven outdoor builds!

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Stage 3 Motorsports Takes On Toquerville Falls in Utah!

The first stop on our recent trip to Utah found us in Hog Canyon, a challenging trail where we gave our suspension systems a good workout. After a good night's sleep, we were primed to cool off at Toquerville Falls, a scenic duo of horseshoe-shaped falls standing over a natural grotto. The destination is accessible by a roughly five-mile path through a mixture of terrains and rocky inclines. We snapped some amazing shots of the trail and falls, so be sure to read on for the full experience.

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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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November 2017 Customer Spotlight: Kody's Ruby Red 2017 Raptor!

This month's Customer Spotlight features a Ruby Red 2017 Raptor with a backstory. A shopper and friend to Stage 3, Kody is having a blast working on his "bucket list dream build," and we think his journey is more than worth sharing. Hit the jump for a deep dive into this one-of-a-kind Raptor build!

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Stage 3 x Caliber9 Photo Shoot: See the Action Shots!

In search of a new face for our 2017 F150 project truck, we turned to Caliber9's Upper Light Bar Grille. We loved it so much that when we got word of an opportunity to collaborate on a photo shoot, we jumped at the chance without second thought. With the gorgeous Sonoran desert backdrop approaching twilight, our 2017 project truck never looked better. And with Caliber 9's Light Bar Grille up front, we were well-equipped for the ride out, no matter how many hours slipped away in the process. Get pictures, details and product links after the jump!

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Stage 3 Off-Roading North of Lake Pleasant!

With a round of installs finished on several members of our Project Truck Fleet, we decided to take four of our trucks on a quick jaunt just north of Lake Pleasant to get some photos and video of their new modifications in action. We brought our 2015 F150 FX4, 2015 F150 XLT, 2017 F150 3.5L EcoBoost2017 F250 6.7L out for some action in the desert and washes that lead down into Lake Pleasant with excellent results.

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September 2017 Customer Spotlight: Mark's 2016 F150 XLT SuperCab!

For this month's Customer Spotlight, we're diving head first into this absolutely gorgeous Ruby Red 2016 F150 XLT build lovingly piloted by Mark, a customer and friend of Stage 3. This towering F150 SuperCab is as show-ready as it is rugged and capable, with equal parts performance and aesthetic upgrades setting it apart from the rest. Read on for the full scoop on our September 2017 Customer Spotlight!

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Try Not to Drool over This Modded 2017 Raptor

One look at the 2017 Raptor will make you wonder what, if anything, can be improved upon. Right from the factory line these specialty pickups are as well-equipped as anything out there, modded or otherwise. Nonetheless, this 2017 Raptor in Avalanche Gray is here to prove that yes, there is always room for improvement. Read on to get the full details on @my2017raptor's one-of-a-kind Raptor build!

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Personalize Your Ford with Custom Vinyl by Stage 3!

We get a lot of questions about the vinyl you see on our project cars and trucks, and for good reason. Our in-house vinyl work is top notch and comes in a variety of colors designed to complement your Ford's OE paint job. While we've been carrying banners, decals and emblems for some time now, the newest edition to our vinyl selection is this striping kit for the 2013-2017 Focus ST, as featured on our very own 2016 ST project car. Read on to see for yourself just how much one of our high-quality vinyl kits can change up the look of your ride.

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Eibach Pro-Truck Sport Pack and Pro-Lift Springs Installed on our 2017 F150 Project Truck!

We've been itching to get our 2017 F150 3.5L EcoBoost Project Truck build going in earnest, so our good friends over at Eibach hooked us up with their Complete Pro-Truck Sport Shock Package as well as a pair of Eibach Pro-Lift Coil Springs to squeeze even more ride height out of our truck. With our 2017 F150 sitting at 2.7" higher then stock up front, we decided to add a full set of 275/70R18 Falken Wildpeak M/T tires wrapped around Method's 18x9" Bronze Roost wheels to give our truck a great look. While we probably need a tad bit more bronze elsewhere on the truck, the result looks pretty slick with our F150's Lithium Gray paint job. Check out our install video and more images after the jump!

2017 F150 with Eibach Pro-Truck Kit and Pro-Lift Springs
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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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2015-2017 F150 Bilstein 5100 Package installed on our 2017 F150 3.5L EcoBoost Project Truck!

Bilstein's 5100 Series has long been one of the best bang-for-your-buck suspension modifications that you could make to your aggressive F150, and we've been itching to get a set on one of our project trucks forever now. Well, the stars have finally aligned and we installed our 2015-2017 Bilstein 5100 Series Package on our 2017 F150 3.5L EcoBoost Project Truck. The front 5100 Series Struts leveled out our truck's stance, while the rear shocks vastly improved rear-end handling and control. Our 2017 3.5L EcoBoost F150 got a great look and the type of handling it should've had from the factory.

2017 F150 with Bilstein 5100 Front Struts & Rear Shocks

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Check out Stage 3's Newest Project - a 2016 Focus ST!

Stage 3 has finally jumped aboard the hot hatch train with our latest project car and very first Focus ST build. Our Oxford White 2016 Focus ST project is still in its infancy, so now's the time to sit back and watch this near-stock ST transform into a vicious track-ready hot hatch right before your eyes. Follow the official 2016 Focus ST Project Page for the full details on our latest build and perhaps you'll uncover an upgrade or two for your own ST build!

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Just Added: 2017 Super Duty 4.5" Suspension Systems by ICON!

Any time our friends over at ICON Vehicle Dynamics drop something new, it's pretty big news. And when that something new is a complete selection of 4.5" lift kits for the 2017 Super Duty, well, you can imagine our excitement here at Stage 3. From the Stage 1 kit to the Stage 5, we've already posted detailed listings of these awesome suspension kits so that you can find the right one for your truck. Check out the newest ICON suspension systems for the 2017 F250 and F350 right here and then head on over to our Super Duty Wheel & Tire section if you're looking for a complete styling and performance overhaul!

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Baja Designs Squadron Sport Driving/Combo Off-Road LED Light Kit Demonstration - Updated 2/21/17 with Video!

Baja Designs' lineup of auxiliary off-road lighting systems has finally made its way to Stage 3, and we spared no time throwing the Squadron Sport Combo Kit on our 2017 F250 project truck and taking it up to the snowy mountains of Flagstaff, Arizona for a full demonstration. And now that we've come home and had time to wash the six-inch-thick coat of mud from our trucks, we're ready to share the results. Check out our full line of Baja Designs Off-Road Lights and deck out your F150 or Super Duty with the latest and greatest in off-road lighting technology. Hit the jump for more pictures of the Baja Squadron Sport Combo Kit in action!

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Halo Lifts Carbon Wrapped 2.0 Boss Coilover Images

It's long been the plan to throw our 2015-2016 F150 Boss Trail Package 2 onto our 2015 F150 3.5L EcoBoost XLT Project Truck, but things got a little...wild in the planning phases of this little operation. Instead of being boring and just doing the standard coilovers, we decided to splurge a bit and upgrade the Halo Lifts Boss 2.0 Coilovers that come in that kit with a white spring and a Halo Lifts Carbon Fiber-look WeatherWrap. The end result turned out pretty awesome, and should make our Oxford White 2015 F150 really pop.

2015-2016 F150 Halo Lifts Boss 2.0 Coilover with Carbon WeatherWrap

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Stage 3's 2017 Project Truck with 20x10" Fuel Mavericks and 35" Toyo Open Country Tires!

Our 2017 Super Duty Project Truck is due for more than a few exterior and power upgrades, but we were especially anxious to rid our F250 of its inexcusably small factory wheels and tires. We threw on a 2.5" ReadyLift Leveling Kit so that we could clear 35x12.50R20LT Toyo Open Country M/T tires and Fuel Maverick 20x10" D538 Wheels. While most any of our 2"+ leveling kits should be able to clear this setup without issue, we've been very impressed with the ride quality we're getting with ReadyLift's 2.5" kit, and we haven't experienced any rubbing whatsoever with the 35" tires. This wheel and tire setup was one of the first upgrades we made to our 2017 F250, and arguably the most effective at transforming the look of the truck. Have a look at our Super Duty Wheels & Tires and 2017 Leveling Kits to customize your very own setup! Read on for more pictures and keep up on our 2017 F250 Project Page for more updates on where we're taking this awesome truck.

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Off-Road with Stage 3's 2017 F250 6.7L & 2015 F150 2.7L Project Trucks!

With our 2017 F250 6.7L Super Duty Project Build now actually underway and our 2015 F150 2.7L EcoBoost Project Truck now equipped with some proper tires in the form of 285/55R20 BFG KO2 All-Terrain Tires, it was time to hit the high deserts of Northern Arizona for some fun and games and put both these trucks through their paces. Both trucks are extremely capable, even while having a clean, near-stock appearance. Needless to say, we had a pretty good time.

Off-Road with Stage 3's 2017 F250 6.7L and 2015 F150 2.7L EcoBoost!

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ReadyLift 2.5" Front Leveling Kit Installed on our 2017 Super Duty Project Truck!

Leveling out some of that factory rake is essential to your 2017 F250 or F350's exterior styling, especially if you plan on stepping up to a bigger wheel/tire combination. That's why we couldn't wait to get our hands on ReadyLift's new 2.5" Front Leveling Kit and throw on some off-road tires and wheels. For reference, our 2017 Super Duty project truck is equipped with 35x12.5x20 Toyo tires and 20x10 Fuel Maverick wheels with a -12 offset. Check out pictures of the installed leveling kit by hitting the jump.

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Extang Solid Point 2.0 Tonneau Cover Installed on our 2017 Super Duty Project Truck!

You may have noticed we're rocking a pretty massive selection of tonneau covers for the newly-redesigned 2017 Super Duty. While there are certainly plenty of other options, the Extang Solid Fold 2.0 is a tough, stylish and functional tonneau that won't break the bank. We installed the 2.0 on our 2017 F250 Project Truck which you can view in all of its glory right here by hitting the jump.

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Westin Pro Traxx 4 Side Steps Installed on our 2017 Super Duty Project Truck

A pair of high-quality side steps is an easy and affordable way to add function and style to your 2017 Super Duty. We installed Westin's Pro Traxx 4 Side Steps in Stainless Steel on our 2017 F250 project truck, and needless to say, we were quite pleased with the outcome. Check out our install pictures and pick out your very own 2017 Super Duty side steps!

Westin Pro Traxx 4 Side Steps in Stainless Steel

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Undercover Flex Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover Installed on our 2017 Super Duty Project Truck

One of the ways we're able to provide such detailed information about the products we carry is by actually ordering them and installing them on our own project vehicles. Doing this allows us to identify vehicle-specific issues with installation and fitment and therefore better assist you with choosing the right upgrade for your truck or Mustang. We recently installed Undercover's sleek Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover on our 2017 Super Duty project truck and we were more than impressed with its precise fitment and low-profile look. The assembly features three interlocking hinged panels that flip up to grant access and rest on a built-in prop rod and buckle straps when your bed is loaded down. Everything is easy to operate and install, although with the 2017 Super Duty sitting at a towering height from the factory, you might benefit from having a taller person do the install. Read on for more install pictures and be sure to check out our complete selection of tonneau covers for the new '17 Super Duty.

Undercover Flex Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover

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Husky Liners All-Weather Floor Mats and Laser-Measured Floor Liner Installed on our 2017 Super Duty Project Truck

Whenever we get started on a new project truck here at Stage 3, one of the first things we do is throw on a set of high-quality aftermarket floor mats to preserve its factory interior glow. Husky Liners' All-Weather Floor Mats and Laser-Measured Floor Liners are some of our favorite aftermarket upgrades for a few reasons - unmatched durability, innovative designs and industry-leading warranties being just a few of them. But the main reason we can't get enough of these little interior blessings is because they keep all matter of dirt and debris from sinking into your truck's carpet where it would otherwise become a permanent fixture. Needless to say, we couldn't wait to get our hands on Husky Liners' newest line of floor mats and liners for our very own 2017 Super Duty project truck. And now that we have, our install pictures are here for your viewing pleasure.

Husky Liners WeatherBeater All-Weather Front Floor Mats (Black)

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Off-Road with Stage 3's 2015 3.5L EcoBoost & 2011 F150 5.0L XL Project Trucks

With our 2011 F150 XL Project Build well under way, and with a few changes made to our 2015 F150 3.5L EcoBoost Project Truck, we took both of these F150s up to the high scrub lands of Northern Arizona to put their suspension hardware and their tires through their paces. Both trucks performed extremely well with the 2011 F150's BOSS Trail Package 1 and 325/60R18 Toyo Open Country A/T IIs easily tearing through the soft and dry land, while the 2015 F150's Zone 6" Lift Kit with BOSS Front Coilovers and 35x12.50" Nitto Trail Grappler M/Ts let it crawl through desert washes and water runs without breaking a sweat. Check out all of our photos after the jump!

Stage 3's Project Trucks Off-Road in Northern Arizona

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2015-2016 F150 Rancho QuickLifts Installed on a Customer's 2016 F150!

F150forum.com user MNSportsman is a customer of ours who owns a very nice 2016 F150 FX4 SuperCrew. He recently purchased a Rancho Driver's Side and Passenger's Side QuickLift Loaded Leveling Kit from us here at Stage 3, and he allowed us to use some of the images he posted of the QuickLifts installed on his truck. For the uninitiated, the Rancho QuickLifts are fully-loaded spring and strut assemblies that add about 2" of ride height to your truck. Since they come with a spring, strut, and mounts all pre-assembled, they can just drop right into your 2015-2016 F150 of choice without much fuss, making them an easy way to give your truck some extra ride height and a suspension overhaul at the same time. Best of all, the Rancho QuickLift Struts have adjustable stiffness settings, letting you dial in your F150's ride height just where you want it. There's a lot to like about the QuickLifts, and they certainly give MNSportsman's truck a great look.

2015-2016 F150 Rancho QuickLift Leveling Kit Installed

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