The Keko Sports Bar is a product that is offered as an official item of the Ford Accessory catalog in Brazil for the Ford Maverick. Not available through Ford dealerships here in North America, Keko USA has just launched the styling product here through a regional merchandising and shipping depot.
Manufactured in Brazil, it’s made of steel tubing with a crinkle-coat finish and pretty robust plastic connection hardware, all for a very OEM look and feel. It’s made to attach without any drilling, using factory pre-threaded bolt holes in the bed of the Maverick.
It arrived to me in a large box, about the size of a water heater. Opening it up revealed a pretty good level of packaging inside to keep all the parts in their place and from being damaged. Once all the parts were out, I was pleased that the main forward section was already pre-assembled.
All the other components at first blush appeared to be well made and of good quality materials. The bag of attachment hardware was complete, nothing missing. There was of course a set of printed instructions but for my installation I downloaded the larger format PDF from the Keko website and printed it out for ease of reading.
The instructions were simple and the only tools needed were a 10 and 13 mm socket with ratchet, a 13 mm wrench and cross-tip screw driver. As mentioned, no drilling required.
I have a factory drop-in bed liner which this product is compatible with. If you have a factory drop-in bed liner, you will need to drill holes in it for the bolts to get through to the existing holes in the steel before installation.
I also had a cleat and rail system which had to be removed to install the Sport Bar as the two are not compatible. This is because it attaches to the same pre-threaded anchor points as the cleat and rail, and the brackets are not designed to allow both.
The process started with applying provided self-adhesive foam padding to the bottom of the upper mounting brackets so that they won’t mar the plastic bed caps over time. This is helpful if you want to remove it later and not have wear marks where it was.
After that the brackets can then be attached to the bed. The lower brackets attach directly to the bed wall and must slip in behind the steel bed cap rail because the upper brackets when installed create a clamping effect to the steel and plastic to keep anchored solid – a pretty ingenious design.
If you have the drop-in bed liner as I do, it takes a little extra patience to get the lower brackets worked into place as it is a tighter fit. All of the brackets are first installed with bolts hand tight so that they can move around and adjusted when it comes time to install the front and rear bar sections.
The front section is set into place first and then you follow up with hand threading the attachment bolts through the forward brackets. Once you get it loosely into position the side bars are installed by sliding the plastic connectors into the forward section tubing.
From this point forward it’s all about making adjustments to the position and brackets to make sure everything is straight and connect up where you want it. The side bars are then held in alignment with self tapping screws which keep the plastic pipe connectors solid at the side.
Once everything is adjusted and in the right place, you can can then tighten and torque down all of the bracket bolts front to rear, and on both sides to lock it into place. Torque specs are provided in the included instructions.