A few years back we overhauled a worn out, run of the mill, grocery getter of a ’05 Liberty CRD to take on the 4Wheel & Offroad Ultimate Adventure. The plan was simple, start with the most hated Jeep that we knew of at the time (to many the KJ that replaced the beloved XJ) and turn it into something cool, different, and most importantly capable offroad. Using a mix of off the shelf parts and some custom fabrication the BDS R&D build a low slung diesel rock crawler that is ready for Moab or a trip to the dunes. Check out our latest overview video on BDS’s Project KJ and to see more on hos this Jeep was transformed from stock to what it is today check out the blog thread complete with photos, videos and writeups at https://blog.bds-suspension.com/?cat=393&paged=6
This past weekend the BDS crew made the trip up to Drummond Island in the Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan for the 3rd Annual JeepEnd Adventure. With Project KJ in tow behind Project Ascension the guys made their way of for a weekend of incredible views, challenging 4wheeling and great camaraderie. Rather than read through a long winded recap from the event, check out the recap video to take in the sights and sounds of JeepEnd. Enjoy!
Each year the crew from BDS Suspension loads up and heads West to that magical offroading Mecca known as Moab, UT. Maybe its the red rock terrain, or the warm spring time temperatures after a long Michigan winter or maybe even the thousands of Jeepers (and other 4×4’s) that flock to the town each Spring for a week of 4wheeling, but its one of our favorite places to attend each year during Easter Jeep Safari (EJS). When it comes to media coverage, this event has plenty, from Jeep in attendance with their much anticipated concept builds to just about every offroad media outlet from magazines, to forums, and TV shows.
This past EJS marked the 50th annual year of the Red Rock 4Wheelers hosting the trail ride and gathering. BDS made it out in an assortment of vehicles including the BDS Colorado, Project Raider (Chevy HD), BDS Crawlorado, and of course Project KJ. During the week we met up with friends, customers and industry partners to hit that trails and test out the equipment. Along the way we met up with Ian Johnson, host of Xtreme Offroad TV and ran Pritchett Canyon, one of the quintessential Moab Jeep trails. View breathtaking views and hardcore terrain, this is one of those bucket list type trails that you don’t pass up on. With Ian in his BDS leaf sprung M715 project Lockjaw, us in Project KJ and a handful of other rigs in the mix we set out to run the trail with Ian and his camera crew. The trail lived up to its reputation and challenged not only our group, but all the groups that made it out to the trail head before us that morning that caused a bottle neck getting through the single file through the 4-mile trail. In the end over 11 hours spend on Pritchett Canyon, but made some friends along the way. Outside of some body damage, the only trail damage our group had was a front ring and pinion on Ian’s M715 towards the end as we climbed out of the canyon. For more on our week from the 50th Annual Easter Jeep Safari head to our official recap on the BDS Blog.
This past weekend BDS loaded up the rigs and headed east for the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival. Held just north of Butler, Pennsylvania, this event brought together thousands of Jeepers, for a weekend of family fun activities in the hometown of the birthplace of the Jeep. The event came about a few years ago to celebrate the town and the company that led to the WWII “Jeep”. Back in 1940 the American Bantam Car Company won the bid from the US Army to manufacturer a 4WD reconnaissance vehicle. You can read more about the history online, but ultimately the task of building nearly 600,000 “Jeeps” went to Willys-Overland and Ford to meet the US Army’s deadlines.
The 3-day festival includes tons of activities out at the fairgrounds by day and nightly activities like the Jeep Invasion of downtown Butler. By day the fairgrounds were filled with thousands of Jeeps enjoying the nice (at times windy) weather, hitting the trails and obstacle course, stoping by vendor booths and swap meet looking for hard to find items, checking out demonstrations, checking out the Jeep history museum, show-n-shine competition, and entering to win swag in the raffle.
BDS was out at the event set up in the vendor area with Project KJ, our 2013 and 2014 Ultimate Adventure tested diesel Jeep Liberty along with the #EverydayChase F250. Along with showing off new products, answering questions and handing out swag, we held a raffle with our friends at FOX, Zone Offroad, and JKS to giveaway gift certificates, and a set of shocks. Around the show we spotted tons of BDS equipped Jeep in the crowd and wanted to thank all everyone that stopped by the booth to say hi. Its pretty safe to say the highlight for us was taking over downtown Butler for the invasion party. With over 1500 Jeeps setup along the streets of Butler is was a mix of old vintage and new school Jeeps. A big thanks to the town of Butler, the staff that organized it, and the law enforcement officers for their support. Now back to the office, the 8-5 grind, until next time Butler…
Michigan is typically home to cold, snowy winters which makes for great conditions if you’re into winter activities like ice fishing, snowmobiling, skiing, and winter 4wheeling. This year, however, its been warmer than usual. This winter has seen more rainfall than snowfall and consequently the deep fresh powder just isn’t there.
Each winter, around the last weekend in January, the Soldiers of Fortune Offroad club (SoFo) holds a trail riding event known as SnoFari. The event consists of a day and a half of winter wheeling, great food and good people. Celebrating 10 years strong, the event has grown over the years and is limited to around 60 vehicles plus trail guides and sponsors. This was BDS’s 4th year attending and we have a blast each year. We hit the road in the Project Raider, our 2015 Chevy HD towing Project KJ, our 2005 Jeep Liberty CRD to hit the trails. With daytime temps predicted in the upper 30s we weren’t sure what to expect, but to our surprise there was decent snowfall on the ground, and the sunny 38 degrees made for pleasant trail riding. Plenty of hill climbs, tight trails and off-camber obstacles for use to put Project KJ to use.
Saturday is the main event and after a full day of action out on the trail we headed in to clean up and get ready for the banquet dinner. They have an awesome spread catered each year, give out to SoFo awards and raffle off tens of thousands of donated items from Sponsors. Congrats to everyone that brought home a SoFo awards and sponsor swag. SoFo once again hosted a great event, they go out of their way to make sure everyone has a great time. We look forward to attending next year, but curious if its too early to make a request for more snowfall?
SnoFari 2016 Video (go to link)
The BDS Project KJ just got some new bling from our friends at Factor 55. We’ve been running their prolink winch thimble for years now without any failures. While its performed great and got us out our fair share of tight spots hooked up to our Warn 9.5xp winch, the fairlead opening was too small to allow the winch cable to be synched in fully leaving us to hook the prolink to one of the d-rings which block our Rigid LEDs up front.
The solution, one of Factor 55‘s short drum comp fairleads in gun metal gray along with the Flatlink E to match. Its a great looking combo, tough as nails, and extremely compact. We’re excited to hit the trails, who wants to go wheeling!?