Exterior Aftermarket Parts
Whether you’re looking for tool boxes or tonneau covers, truck bed liners or nerf step bars, Midwest Aftermarket has got you covered
In the world of aftermarket truck and Jeep parts, one of the most prominent categories is the Exterior section. The parts that are on the outside of your vehicles, after all, tell all those around you that you are an aftermarket enthusiast and that you love your truck. Whether you have a Ford F-150 or a Chevy Silverado 1500, a Dodge Ram 1500 or the Toyota Tundra, we want to help you build your truck into the pickup truck of your dreams. And these vehicles are built to last, so the aftermarket community has stepped up to match. Let’s take a quick look at some of the great products available to upgrade and update your vehicle.
Top 10 Exterior Must Haves
A List of the Top 10 Exterior Aftermarket Truck Parts
If you’re interested in upgrading your truck’s exterior with some great aftermarket parts, here’s 10 areas we highly suggest you focus on starting with the must haves and ending with the cosmetic absolutely aftermarket pieces:
- Tonneau Cover or Truck Bed Cover
- Nerf Step Bar or Running Board
- Truck Bed Liner
- Truck Bed Tool Boxes
- Window Visors or Deflectors
- Hood Protectors or Bug Deflectors for your Hood
- Both Front and Rear Bumpers
- Fender Flares
- Custom Grilles
Tonneau Covers: A Must Have Aftermarket Part
Perhaps the most iconic and most popular of aftermarket parts, the tonneau cover really is the crown jewel of aftermarket truck parts. A truck bed cover isn’t just for looks though. It is one of the most useful and life-changing investments a truck owner can make. And I’m really not exaggerating here.
Before I got my first tonneau cover, I used my truck to haul all sorts of equipment, moved people, including myself, across country, but if I needed to head to the grocery store or wanted to pick up anything that would need to ride in the back--whether that be a simple run to get water softener pellets (a.k.a. salt) or just grabbing some lumber for a project around the house--I would always have to consider the weather first. Don’t get me wrong. I still consider the weather when doing outside work or taking on certain projects. But now I don’t have to worry about hauling something around in my truck bed when it’s pouring down rain because I have a tonneau cover.
Truck bed covers allow you to keep your gear and whatever you’re hauling out of the elements, but they also hide valuable items out of sight when you are out and about. And if you have a locking tailgate, most tonneau covers become almost a large extended trunk on the back of your truck. Often times I’ll even load up some items under my tonneau cover the night before work and just lock up the tailgate, knowing they will be there come morning. Now I live in a pretty safe neighborhood, and I get that some might not feel comfortable doing such a thing, but I definitely wouldn’t have done that before I had my truck bed cover.
Tonneau covers also reduce drag and increase your truck’s aerodynamics. I remember the first time I looked at that SEMA study that claimed tonneau covers improve your fuel economy. Google it. It’s out there. I thought that was probably the most exaggerated hunk of marketing trash ever. Then I started to run the numbers and thought, well, maybe. Then we started conducting our own real world test (no wind tunnels here), and shockingly enough, my tonneau cover did improve my fuel economy by a significant amount. We are planning to release a full blog series chronicling the fuel economy test soon, but just know that those numbers might not all be nonsense after all. Truck bed covers actually do improve your MPG’s some. And for me, it was actually noticeable at the pump too. I know. I’m still over here eating crow over it.
Finally, there’s the aesthetic appeal. Truck bed covers look cool. I can still remember the first time I saw one. I thought--what’s that? Immediately followed up by--where can I get one? Tonneau covers are great for curb appeal and add an individualized style to your truck. Whether you’re looking at a hard tri-fold or a retractable, a soft vinyl or a hard roll-up, they say something about the style you like and make your truck stand out. A truck with a tonneau cover is undoubtedly aftermarket. And that is certainly one of the reasons to upgrade with aftermarket parts in the first place.
Nerf Step Bars and Running Boards: Ease of Access with a little Flare to Boot
Another very common and useful aftermarket upgrade, the Running Board or Step Bar adds a great feature to your truck, especially if your truck is lifted. These products make it easier to get up into and out of your truck’s cab.
Now back in the day, I might have said I didn’t need no help getting up into my truck. But now that I’m a little older, I know better. I used to be young and spry. I liked showing off getting up into my truck with ease. I felt like a badass doing it too. But these days, I’d rather save my knees and a little effort too. Nothing wrong with using a step bar. And I think they look cool too.
While today the main use of nerf steps in the aftermarket community is to aid you in stepping up into your truck, the term nerf and original of these bad boys is from the racing community. Nerf steps come from the use of nerf bars in racing. A nerf was a racing term for getting bumped by another car on the track. Sometimes these minor bumps at high speed still lead to terrible accidents, especially if the nerf involved two Indy cars getting their wheels entangled, so to speak. Just go search for old pictures of Indy cars from back in the day. Then compare those straight sleek old style cars without any side mounted nerf bars to the ones you see today. These days Indy cars have a box or full metal piece between the tires, but back in the day, they didn’t have those. Then nerf bars were invented to help limit these kinds of race ending (and life threatening) accidents. Now they have a completely different design and lots of the nerf bars are gone from racing. But they’ve reemerged in the aftermarket world.
Running boards, on the other hand, have been around since before automobiles were even a thing. In fact, the first running boards were on stage coaches and horse drawn carriages way back in the day. And back then as is now, they were designed to help people step up into the vehicle with ease. My favorite old timey running boards and side steps though weren’t the stage coach ones though, but the mobster ones. I remember my dad’s old Desoto had run stock running boards. It looked like one of those old cars from the mob movies with the boards that ran down from between the oversized wheel wells all the way to the back. Gotta love those things. Maybe I’m just nostalgic, but I thought those were the coolest parts of that old beast.
These days running boards don’t come stock on pretty much any vehicle, but the aftermarket community has stepped up (pun intended) to fill the void. And we have more options now for custom aftermarket step bars and running boards than ever before. You can get traditional oval step tubes all the way up to impressive automatically retracting powered running boards that hide up under your rocker panels when you don’t need them and drop down to be used as a step when you open the door. Talk about gangster!
And while the styles of nerf steps and running boards have evolved over time, the use is still the same. They are likely even more useful now if anything because more trucks are lifted or just stock taller than they used to be. And the added style means we can customize the look of our trucks even further while adding something useful. Trust me. Even if you don’t need a running board or step to help you into your cab, shorter people will thank you for it in the long run. My wife loves mine!
Truck Bed Liners: Protect your Truck Bed and your Cargo
Beyond the much loved matte black truck bed cover, the next most common and useful truck bed purchase is often a truck bed liner or drop in bed liner. These aftermarket accessories are designed to protect your truck bed and prevent your cargo or whatever you’re hauling around from sliding around and damaging your truck.
There’s nothing worse than slamming on your brakes only to hear that delayed thump against your bulkhead. We’ve all been there. You reach your destination and hope there isn’t a brand new dent or ding in your truck bed where whatever you were hauling just slammed into it. And more times than not, especially in the age of the aluminum truck bed, there is at least a scratch there, isn’t there?
Well if you’re looking for a truck accessory that will give you peace of mind and protect both your bed and your cargo, then you need a bed liner. Whether you’re looking for something more traditional like a drop in liner or a multi-piece truck bed liner or something a little more adventurous like a BedRug Classic carpet fiber liner or Impact Liner, we’ve got everything you need to keep your truck bed in perfect condition.
Often times these products are installed under tonneau covers too, and either way they help prevent water damage on your truck bed by sealing it and protecting against the elements. A truck bed liner is a great add on to your truck, making it last even longer and keeping her in perfect condition.
Tool Boxes: Truck Accessories that Store and Keep Tools Secure
What truck bed is complete without a massive, totally conspicuous, truck bed tool box? Alright, I’m playing around here, but we all know that when it comes to auto parts and tools, most of us what to store them securely and in the bed of our truck. Whether you’re going for the traditional truck bed tool box mounted at the bulkhead or something more inconspicuous like a pair of Swing Cases located under your truck bed cover, you need somewhere to keep your tools secure and from sliding all over your truck bed.
These days, there are a number of great tool box alternatives, like Undercover’s Swing Case, designed to keep tools safe and organized. Looking for something a bit more in depth? Why not check out a Decked Truck Bed Organizer System. Chances are good that whatever your needs are for tool storage, we have something great and heavy duty that will be able to handle whatever you throw at it--and in it--with ease.
Vent Visors and Side Window Deflectors: for those who just have to have that fresh air
Honestly, we know that a lot of our who insist on purchasing window visors or rain guards as soon as they drive their new truck off the lot are probably smokers. I’m a former smoker myself. No judgements here. And I still have the occasional cigar. And guess what? It’s a whole lot easier to have a stogie on the drive home every now and then if I have my window visors installed.
Others like vent visors because they let you have your winds cracked on a warm summer day without having the wind blow your hat off. We get that too. No matter what the reason may be, vent visors and window deflectors make a great aftermarket upgrade to just about any vehicle, not just Trucks and Jeeps.
Whether you want window channel or in-channel, stick on or stick in, low profile or traditional, we’ve got the rain guards you need in stock and ready to ship to you for easy DIY install.
All the Best Exterior Truck Accessories at Excellent Prices
Whatever you’re looking for, we hope you’ll find it here at Midwest Aftermarket. We have all the top brands and every style of exterior product for your truck or Jeep ready to ship out to you. And shipping is on us if you’re in the lower 48 States. That’s right--free shipping to the continental US. We also offer free returns, so if you get the wrong part, no worries. Just reach out to our US based customer service team, and we’ll get the right one shipping out to you immediately.
We’ve got the parts you need to upgrade your truck today. It’s time to go full aftermarket with Midwest Aftermarket. Let us help you build the truck of your dreams.