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Ranger X – Build Update #3

We’re back again with our latest update on Project Ranger X. The last couple weeks have been controlled chaos around teh shop as the BDS engineering team takes on the 5-week overhaul of our 2019 Ranger along with prototyping suspension kits for all of the other 2019 Ranger that will be on display at the show in Ford’s booth, building up our 2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 and prototyping several new lift systems for the Wrangler JL and other new applications to debut at the show. Now nearing the end of our 3rd full week with the 2019 Ranger we’re buttoning up the rear suspension ahead of the service box getting back from paint while its all easily accessible. With the new extended 136″ wheelbase and converted the factory mono leaf setup over to heavy duty BDS leaf springs along with custom shackles and a set of AirLift bags for additional carry capacity. The shock mounts have been relocated as well and once we get the frame painted we’ll be bolting in a set of FOX shocks to match the front coilovers.

Next project was the rear driveshaft. With the extended wheelbase we needed an extended length driveshaft to install in the rear. We reached out to Spicer who builds the factory 2-piece unit to source an OEM quality extended length shaft to bolt right into place under our 2019 Ranger. Perfect fit and finish on this build. Another side effect with extending the frame is exhaust fitment. On this build we’re installing the Ford Performance cat-back system from Borla and need to lengthen the pipe by about 10” to fit like a standard exhaust. This ought to give that 2.3L EcoBoost some deeper sound and free up some additional horsepowers. The wiring needs to be addressed on this truck as well. Along with the extending the factory wiring we’re also adding additional circuits to power all our new accessories like the auxiliary lighting, stereo, air compressor, electric fridge and more. To control all of these additional devices we have an sPod 8-circuit relay system with touchscreen controls. This will allow us to control and customize all of our wiring outputs while cleaning up and speeding up the install process over running individual switches and relays.

Up front we fit this Warn Ascent series winch bumper to offer extra protection. Its a stout design and with a few minor tweaks we’ll integrate their front skid plate in with our IFS crossmembers for extra strength. From here the bumper is off to powder coat so we can get it installed along with the Warn winch and Rigid lighting. The wheels and tires a mounted up and ready to bolt on as well. The prototype BDS 6” lift system will allow us to install this set of 35×12.50×17 BFG KM3 tires mounted up on a set of the new 17×9 XD-Series Grenade OR wheels. These wheels have a great look, strong design and the backspacing we needed to clear the new steering knuckles. We added orange rings to match the rest of the theme we have planned for this build.

Last week we sent out the Knapheide service box to our crew at Butler Body Shop on the other side of town to prep and lay down the matching Magnetic gray paint. They’ve been great at meeting our deadlines with a top quality paint job each time. After paint the bed was sent over to spray Line-X sprayed inside the box for extra protection. Time to start reassembly. Stay tuned for next week’s update as the SEMA crunch gets real with a mad dash to get bumpers, lighting, graphics and all the other accessories installed in the final week before this truck hits the road for the 30-hour drive out from Michigan to Las Vegas for Ford’s booth at the 2018 SEMA Show.

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