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Top 25 Bolt-On Truck Accessories - Truckin'

Bolt-Ons To Customize Your Truck

Brandan Gillogly
Dec 15, 2009
Contributors: John Mata Jr
Photographers: Brandan Gillogly, John Mata Jr
Everyone is in the market to improve the appearance and performance of their truck, and bolt-on modifications not only represent endless possibilities, but they also promote the DIY attitude the custom truck scene has thrived on for so many years. We have put our heads together to assemble a collection of more than 25 hot bolt-on accessories that are sure to satisfy your hunger for custom. Whether you are looking to score some new wheels, a suspension upgrade, a couple of cosmetic changes, or better performance-we've covered all the bases. We've also hand selected a few items and strung together a small series of quick-hitting tech pieces that are sure to get the creative juices flowing. So, without further ado and in no particular order, here is Truckin's top 25 bolt-on lineup.
Airaid Intake Systems
All Airaid intakes are computer designed to give your engine maximum airflow that creates more horsepower, torque, and improved overall performance. All Airaid intake systems are dyno tested providing maximum performance and efficiency. Each Airaid premium air filter provides superior air filtration. All Airaid filters are constructed of stainless steel wire mesh, inlaid with multiple cotton gauze layers, trapping the smallest dirt particles. The Airaid filters are 100 percent washable, reusable, and feature a lifetime warranty.
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Airaid Filters
(888) 876-8984
If wheels are one of the most important purchases you'll make for your truck, a steering wheel purchase should be seen as the anchor of any top-notch interior. not only sells hundreds of styles of steering wheels, for a small fee, they can also custom-cut any design of your choice. Got custom wheels? Get a wheel cut just for your truck. Made out of quality, solid billet aluminum and available with leather half-wraps, these wheels will give your interior a look of class.
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(877) 480-3798
Amp Research Power Step
Retractable running boards from Amp Research are an easy-to-install bolt-on part for lifted or stock height trucks and SUVs that makes getting in and out a breeze. With the simple motion of opening a door, the full-length Power Step descends from its tucked away, out-of-sight position. Once the doors shut, the Power Step retracts back underneath the cab, which lends a much cleaner and sleeker appearance to your vehicle while its parked or in motion. The Power Step is constructed from high-strength aluminum and features a black anodized and Teflon powder coat finish. Each kit comes complete with both left and right side Power Step running boards, so driver and passengers alike can take advantage of Amp Research's most courteous invention.
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Amp Research
(949) 221-0043
A Safer Alternative
Grant Revolution Airbag Steering Wheel
When it comes to improving the looks of your interior there are literally hundreds of options: painted plastics, upholstery, audio, billet knobs and levers, the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, the list gets very short when it comes to steering wheels options that retain your factory airbag. Grant's Revolution airbag replacement steering wheel bridges the gap between boring stock wheels and great-looking billet wheels that ditch the airbag. Better yet, Grant's newest wheel allows the steering wheel buttons to remain functional while still improving the look and feel of the wheel.
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Your Questions Answered
Time Spent Working: 1 hour Approximately
(We spent more time trying to find a steering wheel puller we didn't need)
Degree Of Difficulty: Easy
(Removing the horn ground plug requires dexterity, not a problem unless you have big gorilla fingers)
Tools Needed:
Torx drivers, torque wrench, sockets, flat screwdriver for removing electrical clips.
Parts Used
Grant Revolution Steering Wheel #61030 $367.39
Banks Techni-Cooler System
Diesel owners, listen up! Banks' Techni-Cooler system is a gem if you are interested in injecting cooler, denser air into your truck's engine, which, in turn, will deliver up to an extra 60 hp and 140 lb-ft of torque. Improved fuel economy and ease of installation are two additional perks to ditching the restrictive OEM intercooler for the high performance Banks Techni-Cooler. The 3.5-inch mandrel-bent boost tubes and all-aluminum end tanks are great improvements in efficiency over stock equipment and promote a 10 percent increase of oxygen density. The Techni-Cooler also comes with a two-year warranty, so pumping up your truck's power can be done worry-free.
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Gale Banks Engineering
(800) 601-8072
General Tire
If your truck sees more dirt than it does pavement, General has a new line of Grabber tires in its new Competition line that may be the key to more off-road fun. Designed for extreme performance, the Grabber Competition tire was developed by General's race teams with cutting-edge technology to withstand use and abuse in off-road terrain. If a weekend in the dirt or mud is on your calendar, you may want to think about a tire upgrade.
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General Tire
EBC Brakes USA
Nearly every time we bolt on a set of bigger wheels and tires we preach about the importance of upgraded brakes to stop the additional mass. When you don't have ginormous 40-inch tires to reign in, an upgraded pad and rotor can be just the ticket for improved braking without the wallet-draining expense of an entirely new brake system. We recently tried out EBC pads and rotors on a lifted F-150 and dramatically improved the performance and our confidence in the truck.
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EBC Brakes
(818) 362-5534
When it came time to lower our in-house Colorado project, we called up Belltech right away. Their new rear springs worked just as promised, but the best part of the kit was the adjustable coilovers that allowed us to custom tailor the ride height. The whole kit bolted on in an afternoon and transformed the mini into a fun, road-hugging machine that eats cloverleaf interchanges for breakfast.
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(888) 712-8811
Daystar Lift and Leveling Kits
Looking to lift or level your truck? Daystar has a wide variety of kits that will quickly upgrade the look and performance of your ride, whether you plan to hit the off-road trails or keep things clean on the streets. Unlike other kits on the market, Daystar utilizes the noise and vibration absorbing action of polyurethane, which not only eliminates unwanted in-cab sounds, but it avoids metal-on-metal contact, which equates to excellent ride quality. Best of all, Daystar's kits are backed by a lifetime warranty, so if you ever have a problem, Daystar has your back.
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Used on several of our own project trucks, we can vouch for Katzkin for superior fit, quality, and overall looks. Swapping the factory seat covers for a set of color-matched leather units makes a huge difference in your interior's appearance. Bringing the color of your paint into your interior via new seat covers is an easy-to-do mod you can do in a day. Katzkin seat covers won't break the bank and with different materials, including custom exotics, the possibilities are endless.
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(323) 725-1243
Giovanna Wheels
The quickest way to bolt on a fresh, new attitude to your ride is selecting an attractive set of wheels. It's no secret that wheels don't get much more attractive than the eye-catching, luxury appeal of Giovanna, and that's exactly why we selected the DBL-G 505 wheel for our project Street Shark Suzuki Equator. Incorporating the truck's paint scheme into the wheels always adds a subtle, classy touch, and the KoKo Kuture wheel bezel proved to be a perfect way to add a dash of custom color to our rollers.
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Giovanni Wheels
Late Model Restoration Supply
Using OEM-quality parts, Late Model Restoration Supply stocks thousands of parts for your Chevy, Dodge, Ford, and GMC truck. Back in issue #2 of 2007, we used a whole bed full of parts to give a plain Jane regular-cab Silverado an SS-style front clip. From headlight and body panels to hard-to-find interior trim, Late Model Restoration Supply had the whole swap covered and the parts fit and looked like OE.
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Late Model Restoration
(254) 662-1714
Lowering A Dodge SRT-10
Sport Truck Soup-Up
The Dodge Ram SRT-10 pickup is the most feared factory tailgate dragger on the streets. To improve both the '05 SRT-10 pickup's stance and handling we decided to lower the center of gravity to help eliminate some of the body roll during heavy cornering and nose-diving during braking. To do so we called on McGaughy's Suspension in Fresno, California. Their Dodge SRT-10 Viper truck lowering kit would be the answer. At the same time it was smart to install the McGaughy's rear airbag helper kit that would assist while carrying heavy loads or towing. The McGaughy's lowering kit consists of 2-inch shorter progressive coils for the front. The rear received a 41/2-inch drop by flipping the rear axle housing assembly atop the rear leaf springs. To handle the install while we took the photos, we drove over to Trader's Sport Truck, in Santa Fe Springs, California, and our SRT-10 was ready to roll with added handling performance and roll with added styling in just a few hours. Does your truck need a new suspension? Give McGaughy's a call today.
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McGaughy's Suspension
PN44004 2-inch drop via coil springs/ 4.5-inch rear flip kit (shackles, flip, shock extension, shocks, bumpstops) $421.68
PN44012 Rear airbag helper kit $352.64
Total: $774.32
Get Your Grille On
Quick & Easy Front End Styling From Option Racing
Option Racing sells quite a few grille shell models for many types of vehicles, but we took notice of two that would look awesome on two of our past Fantastic Four stars. Both of our Chevy Silverados sit on the opposite end of the color spectrum, so we selected a two-tone, flat black and chrome grille shell for our white truck since it's rolling on two-tone wheels, and an all-chrome diamond-style grille for our metallic blue Crew Cab. Both Option Racing grilles were direct replacements of the OE shells and required less than 20 minutes and the most basic of hand tools to complete the installation. Best of all, we haven't seen too many other trucks sporting these grille shell styles yet, so they both served as quick and refreshing front end upgrades.
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Your Questions Answered
Time Spent Working: 20 Minutes
Degree Of Difficulty: Beginner
Tools Needed:
Flathead screwdriver and pliers
Parts Used: Black and chrome grille shell (#1GT049-32300) $188.95
Lexani Wheels
The most dynamic components that you can bolt on to you truck or SUV are custom wheels. At Lexani/Asanti, size matters. Lexani is a quality wheel manufacturer of high-end custom works of rolling art. Lexani/Asanti has fresh new designs in sizes from 20 inches all the way up to 32 huge inches! Lexani wheels always make a statement of wheel royalty any time you take a drive.
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Lexani Wheels
(951) 340-2060
LMC (Long Motor Company) Truck
LMC's mega assortment of high quality parts extend from bumper to bumper for Chevy, GMC, Ford, and Dodge trucks. LMC offers 20 free illustrated truck and SUV parts and accessories catalogs for your truck. These catalogs make it easier to repair and restore your '47-'08 Chevy / GMC trucks, '48-'08 Ford, and '94-'08 Dodge trucks. The catalog illustrations are detailed and in a schematic format so you can get the right part to get the job done right, the first time! LMC stocks over 40,000 parts in their huge warehouse, which means quick turn around on orders.
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LMC Truck
(913) 492-8756
Magnuson Superchargers
The new Magna Charger Radix Max Superchargers have got your GM truck and SUV horsepower needs covered. GM's new '07-'09 Vortec engines are popular options, but they still leave some owners looking for more power, especially for towing or rolling on a set of 20-28-inch wheels and tires. The new Radix Max supercharger package is just the answer, delivering up to an additional 124 hp to the wheels, and stump-pulling torque that instantly comes to life when you hammer the accelerator. The Radix Max is super-efficient, demanding less than one horsepower to drive under normal conditions. Testing has indicated a slight fuel mileage increase at steady cruise speeds. The Magna Charger Radix Max is legal for installation in California carrying CARB E.O. Number D-488-13.
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Magna Charger Superchargers
(805) 642-8833
MBRP Exhaust
We've used MBRP exhaust systems for several of our Fantastic Four tech articles and each time they've bolted on in a matter of minutes. They come in economical aluminized steel and two stages of stainless steel. On a Colorado, their straight-through design was just the ticket to wake up the big (for a four-cylinder) four-cylinder, but they really sound mean on a V-8. You won't be able to sneak up on anyone, but you will be grinning every time you fire up your engine.
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MBRP Performance Exhaust
(888) 636-7223
After you build it you have to keep it clean. Mothers polishes, cleaners, and waxes have your custom truck's exterior and interior covered. Those painted surface ailments such as oxidation, scratches, water spots, bug, and road residues are no more with Mothers. For interiors, Mothers cleaners, stain removers, and leather treatments will restore and maintain your seats, dash and door panels better than new. To shine up those custom wheels you will find Mothers wheel cleaners, polishes, and tire dressing will give your rolling stock a high dollar appearance. Mothers truck care products will help turn heads at shows or cruisin' down the boulevard. After all, Chip Foose uses them on his personal Ford F-100. We've seen it firsthand.
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Mothers Polish
(714) 891-3364
Nitto Tire
All-new from Nitto, the Trail Grappler M/T tire is a hybrid tire combining the off-road grip of the Mud Grappler and the legendary quiet and comfortable ride of the Terra Grappler. Three-ply sidewall construction, strategically placed blocks, and sound-engineered tread design ensures a high-performance off-road tire that will survive the trail and bring you back with a smile on your face. Sizes vary from traditional 16-inch to a 37x13.50R22 for lifted applications. Look out at your driveway, if your truck is still dirty from the last off-road trip, you may want to invest in the new Trail Grappler M/T from Nitto.
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Nitto Tire
(562) 562-3044
Turn-by-turn navigation, audio and video connectivity, Bluetooth compatibility, and MSN Direct service round out the features of Pioneer's all encompassing AVIC-X910BT entertainment unit. The navigation database from Tele Atlas can pinpoint nearly twelve million points of interests (POI) coast to coast, as well as in Alaska, Hawaii, and Canada. Various map view modes offer full 3D graphics as well as 2D North Up and Heading Up viewing options. The MSN Direct tuner links you to updated traffic and weather conditions, as well as gas prices, movie times, news headlines, and more—who could ask for more from a single source? The 5.8-inch touch screen puts total control of iTunes, MP3, CD/DVD, and USB and SD memory card at an arm's reach. The possibilities are seemingly endless with Pioneer's latest and greatest in-dash navigation receiver.
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Nu Image
Nu Image offers the hottest custom gauge face overlays and clusters for your truck or SUV. Nu Image replacement gauge face kits are designed to give your truck a complete custom look. Nu Image offers their Gauge Face kits in 10 different unique designs. You can choose from a sporty white face gauge or as elegant as brushed stainless steel with diamonds. The Nu Image replacement gauge faceplates are not a simple overlay cover. They are designed to provide an OEM fit for a factory installed look with easy installation that requires no cutting, drilling, or wiring. The Nu Image faceplates, gauge needles, and billet trim are all backed by a lifetime warranty.
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Nu Image
Street Scene Speed Grille and Cal Vu Mirrors
A Whole New Look In An Afternoon, Sorta
Adding a new grille has got to be one the top five ways to drastically change the look of your truck for the littlest money, and new mirrors aren't far behind. After we lowered our project Colorado and added some black chrome wheels, the next logical step was to add matching black chrome grille inserts from Street Scene. Our big, grainy plastic mirrors would stick out even more with a clean grille, so we doubled-down and got a set of manual mirrors too. Why manual? They are cheaper because they're simple, and since we rarely switch drivers, moving them isn't a hassle. Set it once and you're good.
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Your Questions Answered
Time Spent Working
Speed Grille Inserts: 1.5 hours
(The clips can be tricky; you don't want to scratch your grille shell.
Mirrors: 10 minutes
(If you plan to paint, prepping is a snap, but it will add time and cost to the install. It is worth it)
Degree Of Difficulty
Minus the painting, these installs are a cinch.
Tools Needed:
Saw, sanding disc or file, socket and ratchet.
Parts Used:
Street Scene Black Chrome main grille insert #950-76240 $170.95
Street Scene Black Chrome bumper insert #950-76241 $118.95
Street Scene Cal Vu manual mirrors #950-11211 $114.95
TOTAL COST: $404.85
Pro Comp Suspension
Pro Comp Suspension helped us out on our very first '07 Silverado lift kit back in issue #9 of 2007. That kit is still performing flawlessly and the truck has racked up tens of thousands of miles and allowed us to bolt on a set of 35-inch tires for a much more appealing look and a commanding presence both on and off-road.
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Pro Comp Suspension
(619) 216-1444
Raceline Wheels
Wheels can make or break your truck. That may sound like a bold statement, but choosing the right wheels for your ride should be a choice you take seriously. For this reason, we've used Raceline wheels on several of our truck projects and they have always over-delivered on looks, quality, and fitment. Raceline has dozens of wheel styles, finishes, and coatings available. If you can dream it, they most likely can create it. With its two-piece billet line, the wheels add a hot-rod flair to any project and the option to color-match your wheels is always available. Close to finishing your truck and you can't find the right wheels, check out the beautiful designs from Raceline.
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Raceline Wheels
(800) 529-4335
Recon Lighting Components
Every truck deserves to look great from front to back, and Recon has just what your hauler needs in the form of quality LED taillights, 3rd brake lights, projector headlights, and a great selection of auxiliary lighting options. Taillight housing are available in smoked, dark red smoked, clear, and traditional red finishes and the super bright LED bulbs shine bright enough to demand attention day or night. Installation is a breeze and the quality of Recon's products is always top notch. Replace your old, weathered light housings or just upgrade to something better for the sake of looking good.
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(877) 377-3266
Ride Tech
A staple in the world of custom trucks, Air Ride Technologies is now called Ride Tech. The good news is, despite the name change, the quality airride and suspension parts are still the same. One such part is the Shockwave air spring. Using a Shockwave, there is no excuse to put off 'bagging your truck because it’s easier than ever. Also hot for 2010, the new RidePro e3 was completely redesigned and made even better. Faster, more accurate, and a brighter screen are just a few of the upgrades made to Ride Tech's ultimate airride control system. Take your truck to the next level with Ride Tech.
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Ride Tech
(812) 481-4759
Stillen offers AP Racing big brake systems for trucks and SUVs that can return your big wheel/tire-equipped ride to better-than-factory braking performance. The oversized discs move the caliper's clamping force further out from the centerline of the rotating mass, creating greater leverage and increasing brake torque. AP Racing manufactures the AP7500 front brakes system for '07 fullsize GM 1/2-ton trucks and SUVs. The BIG kit has heavy-duty 15x11/4-inch two-piece floating rotors and massive AP Racing six-piston calipers to decrease the braking distance of the big SUV's. The upgrade stays compatible with the OE master cylinder and ABS system. All necessary brackets, brake lines and hardware are included in the kits.
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(714) 540-5566



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