With the debut of the 2021 F-150 Raptor, Ford has done something that no automaker has done before them. In order to offer customers maximum off-road capability, Ford fit the off-road F-150 with optional 37-inch tires straight from the factory. These are the largest bits of rubber ever fit to a production truck in the U.S., which is awesome. This wasn’t exactly a simple process however, requiring quite a few adjustments over the standard 35-inch tire-equipped model. Unfortunately for Raptor buyers looking to save money and install these larger units after the fact, it appears this is a bad idea.
This information comes by way of Pickup Truck + SUV Talk, who sat down to speak with F-150 Raptor Program Manager Tony Greco to discuss the jumbo rubber. Mirroring what he said in his own interview with MC&T, Greco noted that one simply can’t stick 37-inch tires on a Ford F-150 Raptor that wasn’t ordered that way. This has to do with a number of things, including the modified frame required to fit the full-size spare tire. Because the larger tires bring more unsprung weight to the platform as well, Ford was also forced to adjust the suspension by fitting modified versions of the Fox Shocks found on the standard truck. These new units feature larger-rod shafts and taller jounce bumpers to prevent any rubbing inside the wheel wells under compression. You know, the sort of thing that might happen when an owner absolutely sends it.
The 37-inch tires do hamper the amount of overall wheel travel that is on offer from the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor, but it does so in the name of other performance metrics. With a 33.1 degree maximum approach angle, a 24.9 degree breakover angle, and a 24.4 degree maximum departure angle, the large-tired truck is a bit more capable than its stablemate. In order to show this off to other truck owners, Ford will fit customer vehicles with unique “37” badges on the tailgate, as well as a different colored shock housing. A small nod sure, but it’s for those in the know.
Once 2021 Ford F-150 Raptors start popping up on the used market, these slight changes can help customers confirm whether or not the truck they’re looking at is a real big-tire model. Should you still be concerned about some aftermarket trickery, you can always check the truck’s VIN via Ford’s tool linked here.