To catch up on Episode 1 / Episode 2 / Episode 3 of the Project SD126 Build, click the links.
We’re back with another update on BDS’s Project SD126. With the shortened frame back from paint the team is getting started on reassembly. First step position the frame directly below the cab so it can be lowered down using the hoist after the powertrain is reinstalled. From there the cab is sent back up to give us room to slide the engine, transmission and transfer case assembly back onto the frame. Once motor and transmission mounts are tightened back down the cab is lowered into place, wires are reconnected and suspension is installed and this truck gets reassembled and ready for paint.

To go along with the high-end race ready suspension going under this truck we’re upgrading 8-lug Dana60/Sterling axles from out F250 to 10-lug Dana60/M300 axles out of an F450 truck. Along with converting over to a 10on225mm bolt pattern and substantially stronger, has 4.30 gearing stock, the front axle is 3″ wider at the inner-C to give us additional clearance away from the suspension components without effecting clearance to the fenders. In place of the factory dually hub spacers we machined custom sets of 1″ front and 2.5″ rear spacers to achieve even track width front and rear being as we are converting the rear over to a SRW setup. With the 10-lug axles now at the shop the team got to work removing factory mounts and adding the 1/4″ brackets for our suspension arms and shocks as well as a front truss, heavy duty steering linkage, custom diff covers and a rear brake outboard kit with Willwood drilled rotors.

Back on the body the bed is continuing to be prepped to be installed. The fiberglass bedsides were final fitted and inner fender liners were built to accommodate the 6″ flare. Inside of the aluminum bed the holes were cut to allow the rear coilover/shock towers from the frame to stretch up into the bed and a pair of aluminum enclosures were TIG-welded in place. One of the issues that came up from shortening the frame was lack of space to mount the factory fuel tank and DEF  tanks due to the drivetrain and exhaust occupying the same space. The solution, a custom 20-gallon fuel cell to install in place of the factory spare tire. With measurements taken the crew fabricated the fuel cell it to integrate the factory sending unit and a custom built aluminum DEF-tank. With the tanks relocated to the rear of the vehicle a new filler needed to be built so the team fabbed on into the rear driver side inside the bed.

For the suspension, this truck is getting a BDS 4-link front conversion along with an HD adjustable track bar + track bar relocation, drop pitman arm and oversized steering linkage to keep everything in phase. In the rear the leaf springs are getting switched out for a HD trailing arm setup more commonly found on trophy trucks and Ultra4 racers. For shocks this truck is being fitted with 14″ travel FOX 2.5 factory race series coilovers with a piggyback DSC as well as a 14″ travel FOX 3.0 factory race series quadruple bypass shock and FOX 2.0 IFP bump stops at each corner. The coils and sway bar assemblies are from Pac Racing to keep body roll under control out on the trail.

The cab and front clip are going through final assembly in preparation for paint with the RK Sport hood, Mcneil Racing fenders and Rogue Racing bumpers getting dialed into place. Inside the cab the custom console is getting closer to completion to integrate 12″ Kicker sub, Magellan TRX7 offroad GPS and PRP Racing 5.3 harnesses. With all components coming together the the truck was loaded up and sent back over to Butler Body Shop on the other side of town for paint prep and to lay down the PPG Night Orange Metallic paint (CD3L, EAK). Check back next week to see how the paint turned out and watch as the team does final assembly to get this truck to SEMA.

[Click here to continue on to Episode 5]

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