An F-150 Prerunner Offers More Bang for the Buck
As Raptors become more popular and also the focus of more aftermarket companies, standard-issue F-150s seem to have taken a back seat as the fanfare concentrates on the most optioned-out Ford half-ton available, the Raptor. It's no wonder; they're great trucks with a lot of neat options no other truck offers from the factory. While the Raptors are, and always will be, sought after, a lot of us cannot afford one.
But normal F-150s are largely similar to the Raptor F-150s, and can be picked up used for a third the price of an equipped Raptor.
Take Adrian Mirabal's 2004 F-150 prerunner for example. Adrian edits the Dezert Connection website and naturally built an according truck. His 2WD F-150 ended up getting a Camburg 7.0 front suspension, a rear bedcage and 2.5 F-O-A shocks, RSK fiberglass front and rear, and 35-inch KM2s on Method wheels. The truck looks great, performs well, and still has a subtle stock-ish theme—much like a Raptor. But now Adrian wants something different. He tells us, "The truck is a little big for what I want. I'll probably look into buying a prerunner Ranger after this."
That's why Adrian has listed his truck in Race Dezert's classified section for $16,000. Far be it for us to advertise a vehicle sale for anyone, but we specifically sought out Adrian's truck in the "for sale" section, looking for Ford prerunners that could be purchased for between $15,000 and $20,000. We wondered what we could buy under 20 grand that would get us through the desert reasonably well, but at a buy-in price that many more of us can stomach. When we came across Adrian's F-150, we knew it was a perfect example of what you can get for a third of the cost of a used Raptor.
Now which would you rather buy? A Raptor truck, or a used prerunner F-150 and a Mach 1 Mustang with the money you'll have left over?
Vehicle: 2003 Ford F-150 2WD
Chassis: stock frame, rear bed cage added
Body: F-150 standard cab with RSK fiberglass fenders and bedsides
Engine: 4.6L V-8, Superchips programmer
Drivetrain: 2WD automatic transmission, stock rear axle
Front suspension: Camburg 7.0 kit including spindles and upper A-arm, 2.5 Sway-A-Way 8-inch-stroke coilovers, and Eibach coil springs
Rear suspension: Stock rear leaf springs, 2.5 F-O-A 16-inch-stroke smooth-body remote reservoir shocks attached to a OCD Motorsports bed cage
Steering: Camburg Heim joint tie rods
Tires/wheels: 35x12.50R17 BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain KM2s on 17-inch Method race wheels
Interior: Stock with Pioneer stereo
Other Parts: Vegas Desert Fab front bumper, rear bumper by Josh Armbruster
Favorite Off-Road Area: Outside of Vegas