Building your dream truck is something many of us have wanted to do since we were kids. Unfortunately, building a truck can be expensive, especially if it’s your dream truck. This leaves many builders to figure out the best bang for the buck parts.
Even the big-name builders and SEMA trucks find it difficult to set their build apart.
I have been a part of dozens of SEMA trucks and thousands of the everyday man’s dream trucks. As a result, I’ve realized the five things set your build apart.
And no, it’s not a 12” lift or 30s or even a brand-new truck.
1. Powder Coat
There’s no denying the biggest bang for the buck mod you can do is Powder Coating. Now, I know what you’re saying “Powder coating is expensive,” and you’d be right. But you don’t have to coat every part of your truck to make it stand out. You can be as subtle or crazy as you want.
Start by coating your Exhaust Tip, Trailer Hitch, or the logos on your lift kit. A little color goes a long way. Then, when you buy your next mod, have it powder coated to match before installing. The great thing about powder is adding more color as you build your truck.
2. Custom Exhaust Tip
We are biased because TSO brought Custom Exhaust Tips to the masses. After all, Exhaust Tips are the most overlooked parts of a truck. A custom Exhaust Tip can take your truck from cool to a neck breaker. Not because a tip completely changes the look of your build but because itbrings it together, and for $200-$300, you won’t find a mod that can do as much for less.
Custom Exhaust Tips are expensive when compared to the eBay special. What you gain is the ability tomatch your tip to your build. Custom Exhaust Tips are the perfect way to add a splash of color to your build while deepening the sound of your exhaust. With TSOiD, you can upgrade to a custom color for as little as $19.95!
3. Color Match
This one is similar to a powder coat in that it adds color to your build. Even if that color is to match the color of your truck, hence the term color match.Color matching is when you paint the black plastic or chrome parts the color of your truck. The most common parts to color match are the Grille, Bumpers, Headlights & Taillights, and Mirrors, but you can go as crazy as you want.
On our company truck, we color matched every piece of black plastic down to the parking sensor housings. There are many companies online that offer color matching. The only downside is you must ship your parts to them.
We recommend finding a local paint shop or Do-It-Yourself. Headlights and taillights are the only parts we suggest you leave to the professionals. Pick up a spray gun and paint from an automotive paint supplier, and you’re ready to personalize your build! (Do NOT buy rattle cans from Autozone, thinking it will look good. I learned this the hard way when I was 16…)
4. Custom Emblems
An inexpensive way to personalize your build is with Custom Emblems. Custom emblems allow you to put your social media handle, your truck's name, a company logo, or anything else anywhere on your build. No, I’m not talking about stickers; I’m talking about laser-cut and powder coated aluminum emblems.
Attached with double-sided tape, the installation couldn’t be easier. Aluminum emblems allow you to powder coat the emblem rather than guessing if the sticker will match the color of your truck or suspension. Two-layer custom emblems in various colors are less than $100.Match your Emblems to your build.
(Source: CTC Fab)
5. Custom Grille
The fifth mod to set your build apart is a Custom Grille. Like an exhaust tip, a grille can bring your build together to add a finishing touch. Often, you can have your social media handle, truck’s name, or company logo cut into the grille. That way, you can rep your company or personal brand everywhere!
They are easily color matched and powder coated. Many people don’t realize they can upgrade the factory grille. Depending on the vehicle and options, custom grilles range from $300-$1,000.
The last tip I have is to build your truck for you! Build the truck you want, not the truck you think people on Instagram or TikTok want.