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Aries AdvantEdge Headache Rack Installation - 2021 Ford F-250 Super Duty

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How to Install the Aries AdvantEdge Headache Rack on a 2021 Ford F-250 Super Duty


Hi everyone, it's Evangeline here at etrailer and today we're taking a look at our Aries AdvantEdge Headache Rack right here on our 2021 Ford F-250. So you have your Ford F-250 and you're ready for adventure, or maybe you're ready for work. Whatever you have in your truck bed, sometimes you might want a headache rack just like this. This is a strong, durable, but also lightweight headache rack, which allows or gives protection for your back cab window, but also is nice and sporty looking. So this is the Aries AdvantEdge Headache Rack. So this is great one match with the AdvantEdge series.

So you can find the Aries running board as well as the bull bar that will complete your whole set. You can also get this in two different colors. So I have, this in it's black. Now you can also get this in a chrome powder coated aluminum. So we're gonna take a look at some different specs, some of the different measurements, especially in relation to your Ford F-250.

Later on, I'll show you how to install this rack. But first, let's talk about the different accessories you can get from it. So starting from the top, we have this track system. So this is gonna be where you can mount your light bars. Let's say you wanna put anchor points.

You just mount them right into those tracks. The distance of the channels is gonna be about 1 3/4 inches apart. Now the width of our headache rack is gonna be about 5 1/2 inches. So measuring from one end to another here on our F-250, we have it at around 49 inches of length for that track system. So that top channel can have your light bars.

You can even put up to three light bars on here. Moving down, we have our stamped-grid. So you have two types of opening here. You have your main opening which is gonna be for your third brake light. You can see on our F-250 that it's clearly seen, which is great. You also have your stamped-grid. So it still creates that protection, prevent items from falling towards your window. But you can also see out of them. This is all made of a durable rust-proof aluminum. This version has a black powder coat finish, which helps with that corrosion resistance. Very important, if you have this outside, even in the rain, even in the storm, you should be okay. It's gonna work in the exact same way for the chrome version, exact same specs, just the different color. My favorite part about this headache rack is how lightweight it is as well as how easy it is to install. Look at where it sits right here on our truck bed. Even if you had a soft tonneau cover, as long as you're not using those stake pockets, it sits above the bed and not inside the rails. So something unique to the F-250 is the way it's mounted. It was really nice that we only have to lift the stake pocket covers in order to install this. Now it does come kind of close to our cab though, because we had to install the bolts on the inside. So our clearance is gonna be from the cab to the end of our headache rack, 1 1/4 inches of clearance. So how much clearance do we have above the cab So measuring from the top of our cab to the top of the headache rack, it sits at 2 inches of clearance. So it goes over these, if you have, let's say a ladder rack on top of your roof, you probably will be able to reach it, but it's nice to see that if you have loads on here, it can clear. I also noticed it has a very custom fit look to it. As you can see here, it's contoured towards the side of our vehicle, probably just a coincidence, but those look good on the F-250. I do see why it's a series with the bull bar and a running board. You can get the full sporty off-road look. So you've heard me talk about how easy it is to install. Well, let's take a look at that process. And it's gonna be a little bit different depending on your truck. Sometimes you have to cut out the stake pockets, sometimes you only have covers, sometimes they have plugs, things like that. So make sure to follow the instructions for your specific vehicle, just to make sure that everything gets installed correctly. But what I have here is really all the parts we are going to need. All of these over here are gonna be included. You're gonna have your two bolts, you're gonna have these plates. You're gonna have these that fit into stake pockets, and you have other hardware here. What's not included, but what I added is gonna be your T20 Torx Bit as well as your 22 millimeter socket. So, first step is to check that you have all the tools you need as well as that everything works. So here, this goes into your stake pocket, you just wanna make sure it's fully extends. Makes sure to watch for your fingers, so they don't get caught as it slides around. If it does not fully extend like this, you may have to use prep pliers to pry the tabs apart, so that you have enough clearance. Now I do recommend test fitting this first, just to see where your stake pockets line up on the headache rack. In our case here, if we have it flushed with the bed, you can see that there's a tab here that prevents me from sliding the bolt through. So I'm just gonna have to install the bolt on the inside first and then drop it in. Now, I do recommend doing this on a work bench, just so that the bolts drop down, but you can do it the way I do it, just 'cause it's easier to lift into the stake pockets when you're done. So, this bolt is gonna fit right into that hole. You may have to get lined up a little bit, just 'cause we are in the inside. So that goes out and then connects to your stake pocket plug. All right, so this should just be able to drop into those stake pockets. Now this can be tricky because they open once released. So I do recommend getting a second person to hold them down as you drop them in. Now, just line this up to where you want your headache rack to sit. For me, I wanna flush with the end of my bed. Now, I'm gonna hand tighten the bolt. Now, make sure you don't over tighten this bolt. It should not exceed 70 pounds of torque. So just get that tightened up. And to complete your install and make everything nice and neat, don't forget to put in all your different screws with the bracket, this is just gonna cover that hole there. Remember you're using a T20 Torx Bit. So my personal thoughts about this headache rack is I was really impressed by the install process. I've tried other headache racks that have bolts that go into the stake pockets. Then you have to tighten it down on the other side, maybe it installs inside of your truck bed. There's a lot of process to those other headache racks, for this one, it was super easy. It just pops into your stake pockets, it sits above your truck bed. So I'm super impressed by how easy it was, even I could install it with no issues at all. So comparing this with those other headache racks, we have different options here at etrailer. We have more premium options, more affordable options. If you're looking for something more affordable, but with less protection, definitely check out the buyers products headache rack that is also does not involve any drilling, but it does have an open bar design. Something a bit more premium would be the B&W headache rack that's custom fit for your vehicle that has an included wiring, has included lights. The downside to that one though, is it does involve drilling. It's a bit more permanent and a bit more pricey. So if you have different needs, hopefully this video was able to help you out with figuring out what's the right fit for your cargo, for your work, and for your truck. And that was a look right here at our Aries AdvantEdge Headache Rack here on our 2021 Ford F-250. My name is Evangeline, and I hope you enjoyed the journey..


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Info for this part was:

Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee John S
Video by:
John S
Employee Evangeline M
Test Fit:
Evangeline M

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