Ford F-150/F-250: Tow Hook Modifications

Here are some of the popular tow hook brands available on the market today for the F-150 and Super Duty truck.

By Brett Foote - October 28, 2014

This article applies for the Ford F-150 (2004-2014) and the F-250, F-350 Super Duty (2005-2014).

Tow hooks mount to the frame, and you use them to free your truck if you get stuck somewhere like off-roading. There are three types of tow hooks, custom made hooks, universal hooks, and rugged hooks. Read on for the details of each type and all the popular brands of tow hooks.

Figure 1. Tow Hook.

Custom Made

Figure 2. Custom made tow hook.

There are a wide variety of tow hooks available in addition to the factory hooks that most people are familiar with. The simplest are custom made specifically for the make and model of the vehicle, and simply bolt in somewhere on the grill guard or frame. They are very easy to install, requiring only a socket or wrench set, and can cost as little as $30-$60. Often these hooks are rated up to 10,000 pounds or more, making them a great choice for most people. Some popular brands of bolt in tow hooks include Blue Ox, Smittybilt, and Curt Manufacturing.


Figure 3. Universal tow hook.

The next type of tow hooks are universal, and can be even cheaper than bolt in models. These can cost as little as $15 and can be made to fit virtually any vehicle. The problem with universal hooks is that they require some modifications to your vehicle, such as drilling or removing the bumper. These can sometimes either bolt in or be welded on, but tend to have lower rated capacity than bolt ins. They also may need to be professional installed, especially if you want to have them welded in. Some of the most popular universal tow hooks include Blackworks, AllSales, and ProComp.

Rugged Hooks

Figure 4. Rugged tow hook.

As with most things in life, if you want the ultimate in towing capacity, you can spend up to $500 on a set of rugged hooks. These are often chromed out or made in fancy and rugged looking shapes that accent the tough look of your truck. Some can even fold out of the way when not in use, which is appealing to people who don't want to disturb the lines of their truck. Like universal hooks, these high end tow hooks can often be bolted in with some drilling. Some of the more popular high end hooks include AMI, JDM, and Dee Zee.

Depending on which truck model you have, your bumper may or may not already have holes cut out for tow hooks. If it does, installation is a simple process requiring only a socket set and possibly a screwdriver to remove the front air dam. If you don't, your bumper may need to be removed and some sort of cutting would be involved to make clearance for the hooks.

Figure 5. Tow hook.

No matter which option you choose, tow hooks are a very useful accessory that is pretty much required if you like to travel off the beaten path from time to time. With a few simple tools and a short amount of time, you can turn getting stuck in the mud into a minor inconvenience rather than a major one.

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