This wasn’t a simple plug-and-play kind of a scenario

LISTEN 04:08

Ford launched the third-gen Raptor with a lot of interesting goodies. However, the 37-inch tires from the factory caught everyone’s attention. This is the largest size ever offered by any automaker from the factory in the light-duty truck segment. While it sounds exciting, it forced Ford to make some drastic changes to its production lines to accommodate it.

Folks from the Blue Oval spoke to Road and Track about this and it surely wasn’t as easy as it looks.

Ford Actually Had to Modify Its Production Lines to Handle The F-150 Raptors 37-Inch Tires Exterior
- image 968778
The third-gen Raptor is offered with 35-inch and 37-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires.

35-inch tires were offered previously as well, but not 37-inch sets. In fact, this is the first time such big tires are being offered from the factory in this segment. This came with its own set of problems.

The 2021 F-150 Raptor’s Program Manager, Tony Greco, told the publication, "Imagine those monsters and how we’re dealing with them in the assembly plant,". "It’s a big, big truck. It’s bigger than F-150 and it got taller than the last Raptor. We had a lot of help from the assembly plant who understood what a game-changer it was for us."

With these big tires, the truck is 80.7 inches tall, which makes it taller than even Michael Jordan!
Ford Actually Had to Modify Its Production Lines to Handle The F-150 Raptors 37-Inch Tires Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 968757

Apples to oranges here, but you get the perspective. This meant the company had to make a lot of changes to its factory and production lines. Greco said, “Getting it into the plant, that went on for 15 months to find the solution,". "Every single station, every single piece of equipment ... We’d run a 2020 Raptor [through the factory] with foam blocks on top to simulate the height. Constant digital reviews with the manufacturing team ... They took every down week in the summer and over Christmas trying to change the cycle line to make provisions for what was coming. In the end, we found a really clever way to execute it."

This Meant Making Changes To The Suspension System And The Vehicle Frame

Ford Actually Had to Modify Its Production Lines to Handle The F-150 Raptors 37-Inch Tires Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 968767

The 37-inch-tires Raptor comes with a whole lot of other changes, too, which is why it is sold as part of a package. The front shock absorber features a larger rod with a different spring perch location in the case of the 37-inch tire Raptors. The F-150 Raptor comes with an all-new five-link setup with Panhard bar at the rear this time around, but for the bigger tires, it receives unique shock absorbers and bump stops. The travel range is 13 inches in the front and 14.1 at the rear, which is less than the 14- and 15-inch travel range of the Raptors equipped with the 35-inch rubber set.

If some smart-ass thinks he can buy the 35-inch Raptor and equip 37-inch tires, he’ll have to go without a spare tire. Touching base on this, Greco said, "The biggest thing is the stowing of the 37-inch spare. The frame that comes with the 37-inch configuration is unique to the 37-inch truck,". "A guy that gets a 35-inch-equipped truck and decides he wants to put on 37s, he’s never going to get a 37-inch spare underneath there."

Ground Clearance 13.1 inches
Approach Angle 33.1 degrees
Departure Angle 24.9 degrees
Breakover Angle 24.4 degrees

Final Thoughts

Ford Actually Had to Modify Its Production Lines to Handle The F-150 Raptors 37-Inch Tires Exterior
- image 968764

Because Ford had seen people get 37-inch tires in the previous generation Raptors, the people involved with the production were hell-bent on offering them from the factory itself. This will be fruitful in the long run and you will certainly see a lot of 37-inch packages sold once the Raptor’s deliveries begin.

The pricing is not announced yet, but going by the changes made to accommodate the bigger tires, we expect the 37-inch package to be priced at a heavy premium, perhaps pushing the cost of the third-gen Raptor in the Ram 1500 TRX category. If you were to buy the new Ford F-150 Raptor, would you get it with the 35-inch tires or the 37-inch? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Source: Road & Track

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert -
Sidd joined the team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read full bio
About the author

Related Articles

Everything We Know About The Ford F-150 Raptor R V-8

2021 Ford F-150 Raptor

2021 The New Ford F-150 Raptor Is Allergic to Electrification

2021 Ford’s Inspiration for the F-150 Raptor’s Exhaust Will Blow Your Mind

2021 Brace Yourselves, The F-150 Raptor With A V-8 Engine Is Coming In 2022!

2021 Ford Debuts The 2021 F-150 Raptor With An Upgraded Suspension System And New Tech Features

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: