Black 2013 Ram 1500 Black Express

Bad Black 2013 Ram 1500 Express

2013 Ram 1500 “Black Express”

For 2013, Ram has taken one of its most popular models and loaded it with attitude.

The Ram Black Express takes a combination of style, performance, capability and value and transforms into the “baddest-looking” factory-built truck on the market.

Black 2013 Ram 1500 Black Express

The 2013 Ram Black Express is distinguished by its all-black exterior.

Starting with 20-inch black aluminum wheels, it also adds a black front fascia with fog lamps, black grille surround with black hex-link inserts, black rear bumper and black Ram’s head badges on the grille and tailgate. All body-side badging has been removed.

“Ram Trucks are known for their bold, in-your-face presence,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO – Ram Truck Brand. “The new Black Express takes Ram’s aggressive good looks to an all new sinister level by ‘blackening out’ the entire truck while maintaining a great price.”

The Ram Black Express also features premium bi-functional halogen projector headlamps with black bezels, 15 amber LEDs for park/turn/position lamp and three amber LEDs for the side marker.

The taillamps also include black finishes and are comprised of 15 red LEDs with three red LEDs for the side markers.

The 2013 Ram Black Express is available in two- and four-wheel-drive models and a choice of regular cab, quad cab or crew cab body styles.

Ram Black Express pricing starts at $26,955, plus $1,095 destination charge.

In addition to the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine with Fuel Saver Technology, 395 horsepower and 410 lb.-ft. of torque, the Ram 1500 Express comes loaded with content that emphasizes its high-performance character.

The 2013 Ram 1500 Black Express will begin reaching dealerships in July 2013.


A.R.E.’s Overland Topper



The new Overland Series Truck Cap puts the finishing touch on today’s tough trucks


Designed to complement trucks styled with black fender flares, running boards and other trim options, the A.R.E. Overland is a cab-high fiberglass truck cap that delivers a rugged look and increased durability.

The Overland features the addition of a flat black protective coating along the front and bottom of each side of the cap for increased strength in high-stress areas.  This high-quality spray-on material, manufactured by Bullet Liner(r), is rust, fade and impact resistant.  The fine texture application of the material enhances the truck cap’s look, giving it an OE-quality appearance.

“Many enthusiasts desire accessories that enhance the unique style of their trucks, which is exactly what our new Overland Series Truck Cap is designed to do,” said Bryan Baker, director of marketing, A.R.E.  “This tough truck cap features a rugged design that highlights the black trim found on many of today’s trucks.”

A.R.E.’s Overland Truck Cap is available for all current model trucks, and will complement many of today’s trucks that are clad in black trim, including the Ford F-150 Raptor, XLT, STX, XI and FX4; Chevrolet and GM trucks with the WT package; Nissan Frontier and Titan Appearance Sport and SV; and Toyota Tacoma 4WD trucks.

A variety of options are available to customize the Overland, including roof racks, window designs and lighting options.  All A.R.E. truck caps are painted to match the owner’s truck using the exact OEM paint code for a high-quality appearance.

Caps and their painted finishes are backed with a limited lifetime warranty for the life of the truck they are originally installed on.  To learn more, visit or call 1.800.649.4ARE.


2013 F150 EcoBoost Smith

2013 F-150 EcoBoost Road Test

2013 F150 EcoBoost SmithRoad Test: 2013 F-150 XLT EcoBoost


2013 F-150 XLT a stealthy little performer for a V6-powered


by Bruce W. Smith

EcoBoost. The name sounds like an energy drink.

But in the automotive world the name evokes a sense of power in a new breed of Fords hitting the streets.

EcoBoost-powered Fords are the new muscle, and one of those Blue Ovals sporting the hot turbo’d engine being the world’s best-selling pickup, the F-150.

With a choice of 10 trim levels and five axle ratios, the 2013 F-150 EcoBoost allows any pickup buyer to fine-tune their purchase to fit just about any work or lifestyle transportation need.

One can go from the bare-bones  two-door XL work truck to the ultra high-brow  four-door Limited with the price range spanning $25,000 – $55,000.

Somewhere in the middle of all those makes and models of F-150s sits the SuperCrew XLT 4X4 – the meat-and-spuds pickup that’s well-suited for the working man and outdoorsman.2013 F150 special edition

It’s also the model I found myself driving for a two-week stretch earlier this year here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

My seat time included a four-day, 600-mile round-trip on interstates  and another 200 miles spent in a mix of local city and country driving, hitting the local malls, making grocery store runs, and other errands typical of everyday life.


Ford’s hottest-selling F-150 didn’t disappoint for the most part: The level of interior comfort and road manners in the XLT are among the very best of any mid-priced pickup currently on the road.

Credit that to how the design engineers have tuned the suspension, the switch to electric power steering, and the general layout of the XLTs interior.

If you are wear big-boy work clothes, this truck has an abundance of leg, hip, head and shoulder room front and rear. If you have kids, the split bench-style backseat can take all the abuse they can dish out while keeping them safe and sound.

Combine that front spaciousness with the 6-way power driver’s seat and adjustable pedals that are part of the Equipment Group 302A option package ($4,080), and one feels at ease right away.

That same option package includes power-sliding rear window, rear-view camera, Sat radio, and Ford’s 4-inch LCD screen in the center of the dash.

Convenience items such as defroster and power windows/locks, along with the trailer brake controller and select-shift 6-speed automatic, are also included.

The cloth bucket front seats and all those extras makes it easy to get – and stay — comfortable behind the wheel be it for a short trip or one that puts you on the road for half-a-day or more.

One outside otption that I’d highly recommend is the $375 tailgate step.  Like found on the F-150’s big brothers, the step is hidden inside the top of the tailgate so it’s easy to pull out and deploy when the gate is open.

It’s a “must-have” for anyone working out of their pickup or hauling items in the bed.


Then there’s the best option of all: the 3.5L EcoBoost V-6. You couldn’t get a better engine upgrade for the $1,095 Ford charges for the 365hp twin-turbo powerhouse.

Start it up and the EcoBoost has that quiet patter of a truck V-6. It’s smooth and unassuming.

The V-6’s tiny little turbos, one tucked tight on each side of the block, can instantly turn uphill grades into flats – and flats into a downhill rushes. All it takes is a heavy right foot. Power on demand.

I took the truck to Gulfport Dragway for a half-dozen romps down the ¼-mile dragstrip.

The EcoBoost isn’t as fast as the F-150 Lightning or Raptor. But the drivers of those two muscletrucks better be on their “A”-game or the results of an impromtu stoplight challenge with the EcoBoost could be a little embarrassing.

The 5,600-pound EcoBoost Super Crew hits 60 in 6.9 seconds and exits the ¼-mile in 15.4 seconds at a shade over 90mph. That’s movin’ for a four-wheel-drive pickup with all-terrain tires.

Its four-wheel disc brakes are every bit as strong as its acceeration, bringing it to a halt from 60mph in an impressive 129 feet.

The EcoBoost is just as impressive showing its muscle while towing. I had a chance to drive several F-150s with different engine options last year while towing 8,000-pound box trailers.

Each truck was equipped with a weight-distributing hitch per Ford’s towing requirements. And each was driven over the same stretch of Texas hill country in back-to-back runs.

In the end it was clear the 3.5L EcoBoost will easily out-pull 5.0L F-150s and make a run at the 6.2Ls until the big V-8s show why it’s torque that wins towing wars.

So if you are worried a V-6 can’t handle towing a boat or small trailer compared to a V-8, be assured the power is there.


But there’s a price to pay for that power when it’s used: fuel economy.

Ford boasts a lot about the F-150 EcoBoost’s 15/21 city/hwy EPA numbers. They can be achieved. But you better be driving very conservatively.

What I saw over 600 miles of interstate driving is the 4×4 SuperCrew XLT gets 18mpg cruising at 70mph. Drop to 65mph and it stays around 19mpg.

That 21mpg EPA number only showed up when I had the truck cruising at 55mph on I-10 under ideal conditions.

The F-150 EcoBoost’s mpg numbers are very sensitive to speed – and the heaviness of one’s right foot.

Drive with an egg under your right foot and you’ll see the 25-percent better fuel economy one would expect by lopping off two cylinders of a V-8.

But most of us don’t drive that way out on the open road; we like to stay with the flow of the faster traffic, and bring those turbos into boost-mode once in a while. When you do, it’ll get similar fuel economy to the 5.0L V-8.

Now, driving around Long Beach, Gulfport and Biloxi the fuel economy stayed pretty close to the EPA 15mpg listed on the window sticker—as long as I resisted toying with mustangs and those with hot-sounding pickups.

Even with fuel economy numbers that were a little disappinting, I think the 2013 F-150 EcoBoost XLT Super Crew is a strong contender for being the best ½-ton of the year.

It provides a comfortable, well-designed and appointed pickup that can deliver excellent fuel numbers and power – just not a the same time.—Bruce Smith

2013 F-150 EcoBoost

MODEL: 4×4 Super Crew XLT

PRICE AS TESTED: $45,300 (base price: $37,965)

ENGINE: twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve V-6

  • Displacement: 214 cid (3510 cc)
  • Power: 365hp @ 5,000rpm
  • Torque: 420 lb-ft @ 2,500rpm

AXLE RATIO: 3.55 w/ limited-slip

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic


  • Wheelbase: 144.5 in
  • Length: 231.9 in
Width: 79.2 in
  • Height: 76.7 in
  • Curb weight: 5,615 lb
  • Towing Capacity: 5,000 lbs conventional; 9,600 lbs w/W-D hitch


Truck Test Digest Numbers:

  • Zero to 60 mph: 6.9 sec
  • Standing ¼-mile: 15.4 sec @ 91 mph
  • Top speed (governor limited): 101 mph
  • Braking, 60–0 mph: 129 ft


  • EPA city/highway driving: 15/21 mpg
  • Truck Test Digest observed: 15/18 mpg (Hwy @70mph)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Bruce W. Smith is a 30-year veteran automotive/boating,  writer/editor/author  who lives in Long Beach, MS. Smith owns and is currently the editor of ProPickup magazine ( based in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He can be reached at



Related Images:


F-150 Upper Control Arm Upgrade



ICON Vehicle Dynamics has developed tubular uniball upper control arm systems for the 2004 – 2008 & 2009+ Ford F-150 2wd or 4wd trucks.

Weak OEM ball joints present problems by limiting suspension travel, especially when using our 2.5” VS Series performance coil-over shocks.

Using 1” Teflon Lined Stainless Uniballs combined with our 17-4 Stainless Taper Pin Adapters increases the upper arms misalignment, allowing for smooth and clean wheel travel without worrying about factory ball joint bind.
The Ford F-150 gets pushed to the edge of the alignment spec range when installing a set of aftermarket leveling coil over shocks like our V.S Series 2.5″ Coil Over Shock.

These arms not only add strength and durability, but correct alignment geometry and add additional castor for better stability on and off road.
Key Features:

• CNC Bent 1026 DOM Seamless Tubing
• CNC Machined Bushing Housings and Sleeves
• 4130 CNC Machined Uni-ball Cup
• 17-4 High Grade Stainless Steel Uni-ball Adapter Pin
• High Precision CNC Machined Pin Provides OEM Like Fitment
• Teflon Lined Stainless Uniballs

• Includes polyurethane Bushings w/ anti-deflection ring for increased performance

• Professionally Precision Welded
2009+ F-150 Uniball Upper Control Arm System – 98500


6.0L Powerstroke Fuel Repair Parts

6.0L Powerstroke Bostech Fuel Replacement Parts

Bostech is now offering ugraded IPR screen kits as an improvement for the 6.0L Powerstroke.

Upgrade Your 6.0L IPR Screen (ISK112)

The new screen replaces the one on the end of the IPR valve. It is reinforced and larger in diameter, eliminating the problems that can occur when the screen breaks down and gets lodged inside the IPR valve itself.


Upgraded STC Fitting (ISK616)

Bostech is now offering the upgrade to the 6.0L Powerstroke STC (snap to connect) fitting by itself. This item has been coming as a standard upgrade to the high pressure oil pumps Bostech sells, but is now available as a stand alone item.

Upgraded Spring for Fuel
Pressure Regulator (ISK612

The STC fitting is one of the most common places for leaks to occur in the high pressure oil system. The upgrade takes the snap to connect part out of the equation, leaving a screw in connector that eliminates leaks.

This item can probably do more for the longevity of your 6.0L Powerstroke than any other part you can buy for under $40.

This upgraded spring allows the engine to build more pressure in the fuel system, ensuring the number 7 & 8 cylinders at the back of the engine receive the pressure needed to properly work and lubricate the injectors. This item has previously only been available from the dealer.



Duramax Turbo-Back Exhaust

aFe 6.2L MACH Force GM Exhaust

The new MACH Force XP exhaust is engineered to perform in the most extreme environments. Constructed from 5″ mandrel bent, 409-stainless steel tubing for maximum flow and increasing horsepower and torque while lowering EGT’s.

This system is available in 5″ turbo-back without muffler.

All MACH Force exhaust systems come with all the necessary hardware for a clean and simple installation.

This exhaust system utilizes a two-piece tailpipe design for a perfect fit by allowing adjustability at the tailpipe section. All systems use factory mounting locations providing stability and hassle-free installation.

High quality OE style flange and band clamps are used for a complete 360 degree sealing surface.
A muffler delete-pipe is used for a true race-inspired sound and maximum flow.

OE style bayonet hangers are used to maintain a stable pipe location during high vibration and high heat conditions. The bayonet tip holds the hanger bushing in place for an OE style fit that does not change with time..

P/N 49-440077NM retails for $660.45 and is available in stores now.

For more information on this or any other aFe product, please visit our website at or
contact our Power Professionals at (888) 901-7693.

Superchips Tuning For 2013 Ford F-150 EcoBoost

2013 FORD F-150 ECOBOOST Superchips

Superchips tuning takes performance to a new level on the 2013 Ford F-150 EcoBoost™. The backbone of Ford’s vehicle lineup, the F-150, is now even more exciting with two available performance tunes and towing tune file for heavy load applications.


2013 Ford F-150 EcoBoost Features:

• 3 tuning levels that offer improved horsepower and drivability
• Gain up to 54 HP and 68 lbs-ft of TQ
• Enhanced throttle response over stock
• Optimized shift points and firmness for each tuning level
• User-adjustable speed limiter options
• Speedometer corrections for upgraded tires and gears
• Spark advance options
• Monitor & record driving & vehicle performance with data logging
• Real-time vehicle sensor display
• Reads and clears engine trouble codes
• Compatible with most aftermarket air filters and cat-back exhaust
• Internet updatable



Superchips Tuning For 2013 Chevrolet Silvervado

2013 GM 6.6L DURAMAX LML Superchip

2013GM6.6L_DuramaxSuperchips’ history in truck tuning goes back 30+ years. A track record of impressive power gains continues with the release of tuning for the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500 6.6L LML and GMC Sierra 2500/3500 6.6L LML diesels. Included are multiple power levels and several user-tunable options.

2013 GM LML Duramax Features:

• 4 Power levels tuned with Emissions Systems intact
• Adds up to + 81HP in Performance level
• Adds up to + 170 lbs-ft of TQ in Performance level
• Speed Limiter adjustability
• Improve HP, TQ, and drivability
• Enhanced Throttle response
• Installs in minutes
• Internet Updateable
• Scan Tool/Diagnostics



A.R.E., BOLT One-Key Lock

BOLT Locks Standard On A.R.E. D.C.U. Truck Caps

 In a move benefitting commercial fleet managers to contractors who rely on trucks for their livelihood, A.R.E. has partnered with STRATTEC(r) Security Corporation to make its BOLT(r) one-key locks standard equipment on all A.R.E. Deluxe CoA.R.E.bolt_on_key_closeupmmercial Unit (D.C.U.) pickup caps and Site Commander units.

A.R.E. and BOLT have been collaborating in the industry for several years, merging heavy-duty, fully welded aluminum commercial truck caps with patented, advanced lock technology.

Now, A.R.E. truck cap owners can experience reduced downtime cauA.R.E.Bolt_One_Key_imagesed by lost and broken keys, or having the wrong keys at job sites, while minimizing the frequency of theft, through BOLT high-quality locks, which are permanently programmable to a specific ignition key.

quipping A.R.E. commercial truck caps with BOLT OEM-grade lock cylinders eliminates the need for multiple keys to operate the truck as well as the truck cap, toolboxes and doors.

BOLT technology, which offers quality, durability and corrosion resistance, enables any number of locks to be configured to a single key.

“Offering BOLT solutions for commercial truck fleets and commercial operators is the next logical step for this technology,” said STRATTEC Sales Manager Erika Garcia.

“BOLT locks can help increase efficiency for fleet managers and individual operators alike, by virtually eliminating the wasted time spent searching for the right key.”

With BOLT technology, drivers insert their ignition key into the lock cylinder, enabling spring-loaded plate tumblers to move up and down until they are matched exactly to that key.

The first time the key is rotated, the cylinder is uniquely coded to only that key. When the key is removed, the cylinder moves into the locked position and only rotates to the unlocked position again when that key is inserted.

“This latest innovation is another convenience item A.R.E. is offering to fleet buyers and fleet maintenance managers, to make their jobs easier,” said Jim Blayne, Commercial/Fleet Division Sales Manager, A.R.E. “This is now standard for all our commercial cap offerings.”
About A.R.E.
A.R.E. began manufacturing aluminum frame truck caps in 1969. Since then, the company has become a leading manufacturer of fiberglass truck caps and hard tonneau covers, and boasts more than 700 employees at its ISO-9001:2008-certified manufacturing facilities. They have a network of more than 650 independent authorized dealers. For more information, contact A.R.E. at 400 Nave Rd. S.E., P.O. Box 1100, Massillon, OH 44648, email or visit
STRATTEC Security Corporation is the world’s largest manufacturer of automotive locks, keys and related access control products, and is the primary lock supplier to Ford, GM and Chrysler. STRATTEC’s history in the automotive business spans 100 years. For more information, write to 3333 West Good Hope Rd., Milwaukee, WI 53209; call 414.247.3333; or visit

Automotive News & Reviews,New Products & Tech