Tech: Lethal Performance Raptor, Part 1

Lethal Raptor, Part 1

On the Hunt

Lethal Performance sinks its talons into Ford SVT’s four-wheel drive monster

By Steve Turner

Photos by SID297 and StacyStangz

Having worked with the Lethal Performance crew for years, we know they aren’t shy about cracking open a brand-new Mustang and modding it until the car’s performance reaches the stratosphere. These days we can’t limit that statement to just Mustangs, however.

Not only does Team Lethal love to mod its project vehicles, the company loves to take them out and have fun with them too. The SVTP crew headed out with the Lethal boys to kick up a little sand at the J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area in West Palm Beach, Florida. “I take it out to JW Corbett any chance I get to go off-roading with it…” Jared said. “Whether it be going through the swamp or on tight trails out in the woods, it's never been stuck.”
Not only does Team Lethal love to mod its project vehicles, the company loves to take them out and have fun with them too. The SVTP crew headed out with the Lethal boys to kick up a little sand at the J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area in West Palm Beach, Florida. “I take it out to JW Corbett any chance I get to go off-roading with it…” Jared said. “Whether it be going through the swamp or on tight trails out in the woods, it’s never been stuck.”

That’s because Team Lethal has already dug deeply into the Ford Special Vehicle Team’s latest cargo hauler, the SVT Raptor. The Lethal crew is also about to embark on a Focus ST project, which you’ll be reading about here as well.

Ford SVT did an incredible job with the Raptor. At its introduction your author had the pleasure of riding shotgun while a Ford driver powered a stock one over the Nevada desert at over 100 mph. At the time, it seemed like this truck might be a real niche performer, but it has turned into a huge hit, and Lethal Performance wasn’t about to miss out on the fun.
Ford SVT did an incredible job with the Raptor. At its introduction your author had the pleasure of riding shotgun while a Ford driver powered a stock one over the Nevada desert at over 100 mph. At the time, it seemed like this truck might be a real niche performer, but it has turned into a huge hit, and Lethal Performance wasn’t about to miss out on the fun.

Now the Lethal boys still love their Mustangs, but they have also long been fans of the Ford trucks. They drive Ford pickups around regularly for daily work, and towing those aforementioned Mustang projects. So, when a truck with the performance potential of the Raptor came around, it was inevitable that one would join the Lethal fleet and go under the knife.

Before getting down to the serious performance mods, Jared had to add some Lethal style to the big truck. Naturally they just visited the shelves in the company warehouse to choose a few select parts. Jared got the party started by removing the stock taillight housings.
Before getting down to the serious performance mods, Jared had to add some Lethal style to the big truck. Naturally they just visited the shelves in the company warehouse to choose a few select parts. Jared got the party started by removing the stock taillight housings.

So, when Jared Rosen (Black 03) called to see if we were interested in covering the company’s 2012 Crew Cab Raptor project, we jumped at the chance. After all, our leader, Travis Hill (SID297) is also a big fan of trucks. So he headed down to South Florida to document a series of upgrades on the Lethal Raptor.

Here is a comparison of the new Recon smoked taillight housing (left) and the stock housing. The Recon units (PN 264168RBK; $379.95) are not only stylishly smoked, but they feature LED lighting for a brighter, cleaner display.
Here is a comparison of the new Recon smoked taillight housing (left) and the stock housing. The Recon units (PN 264168RBK; $379.95) are not only stylishly smoked, but they feature LED lighting for a brighter, cleaner display.

“The driving force behind it was that we just wanted something to have a good time with. We’d seen videos of people off-roading with them so we said why not. Let’s get one,” Jared explained. “Turns out that the Raptor market was growing pretty quickly as we took delivery of it so it was a great opportunity not only to have an awesome time with but to showcase parts that the manufacturers we deal with wanted to showcase…”

The only lighting in the Recon units that is not powered by LEDs is the reverse light. Fortunately, if you want an all-LED experience, Lethal offers a replacement LED bulb for the reverse lights as well. Here Jared plugs in the new, Recon LED reverse light bulb (PN 264203WH; $14.95).
The only lighting in the Recon units that is not powered by LEDs is the reverse light. Fortunately, if you want an all-LED experience, Lethal offers a replacement LED bulb for the reverse lights as well. Here Jared plugs in the new, Recon LED reverse light bulb (PN 264203WH; $14.95).

Now we are just getting started here with a few fun basic mods that any Raptor owner might want to add. We know that most of you reading this site are hungry for performance mods as well. Don’t worry, in our next installment we will bring on the performance in a big way. So just stay tuned to the front page for the next installment.

As you can see the Recon tails are a direct replacement for the stockers, and they really give the Lethal Raptor a more sinister appearance.
As you can see the Recon tails are a direct replacement for the stockers, and they really give the Lethal Raptor a more sinister appearance.

 

It just wouldn’t do to have the stock, white Center High Mounted Stop Lamps riding high above those smoked tails. To remedy that situation, Jared chose one of Recon’s smoked third brake lights (PN 264111BK; $99.95).
It just wouldn’t do to have the stock, white Center High Mounted Stop Lamps riding high above those smoked tails. To remedy that situation, Jared chose one of Recon’s smoked third brake lights (PN 264111BK; $99.95).
The Recon CHMSL isn’t quite the easy plug-and-play install that the standard taillights are, but it is easy enough to follow the instructions, cut the factory connector off, and join the Recon and stock harnesses.
The Recon CHMSL isn’t quite the easy plug-and-play install that the standard taillights are, but it is easy enough to follow the instructions, cut the factory connector off, and join the Recon and stock harnesses.
With the wiring completed, the Recon CHMSL is a direct replacement for the factory housing. It delivers flicker-free, long-lasting light in a durable waterproof housing.
With the wiring completed, the Recon CHMSL is a direct replacement for the factory housing. It delivers flicker-free, long-lasting light in a durable waterproof housing.
With all that crystal-clear LED lighting on the outside of the truck, Jared couldn’t stick with the muddy fluorescent lighting in the cabin. This is how the stock-bulb illuminates.
With all that crystal-clear LED lighting on the outside of the truck, Jared couldn’t stick with the muddy fluorescent lighting in the cabin. This is how the stock-bulb illuminates.
The replacement LED bulb is a dead-simple swap. Just remove the old one and plug this one in.
The replacement LED bulb is a dead-simple swap. Just remove the old one and plug this one in.
How about that for a difference in the clarity of lighting?
How about that for a difference in the clarity of lighting?
LED lighting upgrades are like potato chips. You can’t just try one. In addition to the dome lights, Jared swapped out the two map light bulbs with replacement Recon units.
LED lighting upgrades are like potato chips. You can’t just try one. In addition to the dome lights, Jared swapped out the two map light bulbs with replacement Recon units.
Just like with the dome light, these map lights are far brighter and cleaner. This better lighting might come in handy when you are trying to get your bearings and point your Raptor back to civilization.
Just like with the dome light, these map lights are far brighter and cleaner. This better lighting might come in handy when you are trying to get your bearings and point your Raptor back to civilization.
This first round of mods isn’t all about looks. While out playing in the dirt, the stock skid plate earned a sizable dent. Apparently this is a weak spot on the truck.
This first round of mods isn’t all about looks. While out playing in the dirt, the stock skid plate earned a sizable dent. Apparently this is a weak spot on the truck.
Fortunately Ford Racing Performance Parts offers a more rugged skid plate (PN M-5018-F15R; $549.95) with a brace in the middle to bolster it against just the kind of blows that damage the stocker.From the bottom, the FRPP unit looks like a direct-replacement piece, though it does wear the Ford Racing logo.
Fortunately Ford Racing Performance Parts offers a more rugged skid plate (PN M-5018-F15R; $549.95) with a brace in the middle to bolster it against just the kind of blows that damage the stocker.From the bottom, the FRPP unit looks like a direct-replacement piece, though it does wear the Ford Racing logo.
Looking at the inner side of the FRPP skid plates, it’s easy to see why this unit is more durable. Not only do the sides have thicker, more pronounced lips, but the center of the pan (where the Lethal stocker took a big hit) features a stout bracing beam.
Looking at the inner side of the FRPP skid plates, it’s easy to see why this unit is more durable. Not only do the sides have thicker, more pronounced lips, but the center of the pan (where the Lethal stocker took a big hit) features a stout bracing beam.

 

 

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