The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is marketed as a heavy duty, off-road capable vehicle; however, some owners have become discouraged by signs of Raptor frames bending within just a few months of ownership of the vehicle. The publicity of this infrequent occurrence has caused many customers to wonder if the Raptor was really built Ford tough, or if it’s breakable and should not be used for off-road purposes. Read on for a brief overview of the problem and potential causes and implications.
The Common Bending Problem
There are widespread reports which claim that, after minimal usage, the bed of the Raptor has come out of alignment with the cabin. Instead of creating a straight line from the front of the vehicle to the back, the bed frame seems to bend downward and away from the cabin at its highest point. This was pointed out first on a message board, when 14 Raptor owners had an off-road adventure and returned to notice that 10 of the vehicles seemed to be out of alignment.
Some forum members attribute the ease with which the Raptors were bent out of alignment to the construction of the rear frame of the vehicle. The rear frame isn’t fully boxed, which means that it has less overall support than the other parts of the frame. Additionally, it is thinner at certain areas to accommodate bumpiness in driving. When driving the vehicle on standard paved, dirt roads or gravel, there is typically quite a bit of clearance between the rear axle and the bed of the truck. However, some forum members have raised concerns that the axle can bump up against the frame while driving off-road, thereby weakening the frame further and causing it to bend.
Though some would suggest that the Ford Raptor is not adequately suited to off-road driving, there are a minimal number of cases, compared to the thousands of Raptors that have been sold this year alone. Ford has yet to officially acknowledge the bending that occurred in these cases.
Many forum members have suggested ways of modifying the truck or making simple repairs to deal with the problem. Some have suggested a simple bolt kit that is designed to fasten the rear bed of the vehicle to the front cabin to provide additional support for the rear frame. This kit costs approximately 100 dollars and is easy to install at home.
While it may seem like a widespread issue, many feel that such damage was bound to occur as a result of overzealous drivers taking a purpose-built off-road vehicle to the limits of its abilities. That perhaps the drivers of these Raptors might be getting a bit extreme, and pushing the truck well-beyond its intended capabilities.
Regardless of whether the damage to these Raptors represents a weakness of the vehicle or overuse on the part of the driver, or both, it’s important for new and potential customers to note this risk before purchasing a Raptor.
Check out the video below to see just how hard some of these Raptor drivers are charging:|