#UA2015 - DAY 3Its become somewhat of a yearly ritual with 5 out of the last 7 years attend 4Wheel & Off-Road Magazine’s Ultimate Adventure as the official suspension. Each year (always over the July 4th week) the event is secretly organized in some region of the United States. The location and day to day plan is kept a mystery only the start and end points are known for those that want to drop a trailer for before or after. What isn’t know is how we’ll get there, some days are trail days and spent navigating difficult terrain while others are road days where the convoy covers hundreds of miles to get to the next destination. Road days are always dedicated to the highway as this year we made detours to run local trails along the way, crush cars with a tank, invade military surplus stores, and even a canoe race. The trip runs Saturday to Saturday and covers 1000-1500 miles and a handful of trails all out of the comfort of our semi DOT-compliant trail rigs.

The 2015 Ultimate Adventure (#UA2015) was dubbed summer camp and with that a canoe or other form of personal floatation device was added to the required list of gear along with a winch, recover points, lockers, 35”+ tires, roll cage, seat belts, and first aid gear. The UA convoy is made up of 4 types of wheelers; (1) the magazine staff and media crew their to document all the action for magazine, DVD, and social media. (2) the “cronies” who are a bunch of guys that attend each year with a variety of skill sets to help heard the group along, (3) the readers who are 4WOR Mag readers hand selected to attend the adventure in their personal rigs and (4) the sponsors, event sponsors are offered a spot on the trip to show off their products and partake in the action. BDS is part of the later, attending for our 5th year (2 in the BDS TJ, 2 in the Project KJ, and this our first year in the Crawloradofor more on any of those vehicles, click the links). Throughout the week the BDS Crawlorado was impressive. With a LS2 V8 powering the stock automatic tranny, ORD magnum 205 case box, Dynatrac ProRock 60s, 37” Pitbull Rockers, and BDS JK long arm kit retrofitted running Fox shocks the truck conquered the trails with a unique style. Also along for the trip was BDS’s 2015 Colorado acting as the social media support vehicle to bring the world daily updates from the action. This year’s event covered roughly 1300 miles and 7 states (OH, KY, TN, NC, SC, GA, and AL) over the course of a week, camping along the way in a convoy of 25 vehicles.

This year’s trip was a wet one, with gratuitous amounts of rain every single day of the adventure and event a tornado touching down in close proximity on one of the road days. Here’s a rundown of the day to day action along with photos and links on where to find more from #UA2015

2015 Ultimate Adventure
Day 1: Check In and Tech Inspection [view D1 video] and [4WOR D1 coverage]
Day 2: Powerline Park  [view D2 video] and [4WOR D2 coverage]
Day 3: Road Day – OH to KY  [view D3 video] and [4WOR D3 coverage]
Day 4: Black Mountain Adventure Park  [view D4 video] and [4WOR D4 coverage]
Day 5: Road Day – KY to NC  [view D5 video] and [4WOR D5 coverage]
Day 6: Durhamtown Tellico Park  [view D6 video] and [4WOR D6 coverage]
Day 7: Road Day – NC to TN  [view D7 video] and [4WOR D7 coverage]
Day 8: Adventure Offroad Park [view D8 video] and [4WOR D8 coverage]

See more coverage from of the 2015 Ultimate Adventure at:
View All 4WOR Magazine Coverage [link]
View BDS Crawlorado buildup [link]
View BDS Blog – Ultimate Adventure Thread [link]

BDS Suspension 2015 Ultimate Adventure Photos:

If you’re like us the photos from #UA2015 just aren’t enough. While only a lucky few get to experience the excitement, the sights and smells of Ultimate Adventure we documented all the action to bring it to you first. Check out the daily update videos  covering all the offroad trail action, road days and stops along the 2015 Ultimate Adventure now live on the BDS YouTube channel.

Watch the individual daily recap videos
Day 1: Check In and Tech Inspection [view D1 video]
Day 2: Powerline Park  [view D2 video]
Day 3: Road Day – OH to KY  [view D3 video]
Day 4: Black Mountain Adventure Park  [view D4 video]
Day 5: Road Day – KY to NC  [view D5 video]
Day 6: Durhamtown Tellico Park  [view D6 video]
Day 7: Road Day – NC to TN  [view D7 video]
Day 8: Adventure Offroad Park [view D8 video]

See more coverage from of the 2015 Ultimate Adventure at:
4WOR Magazine Coverage [link]
BDS Crawlorado buildup [link]
BDS Blog – Ultimate Adventure Thread [link]

UA2015-BDS

What an amazing week on the 2015 Ultimate Adventure. Despite daily rain showers, downpours at times, tornados and other inclement weather we had a blast on the week long, 1200+ mile adventure. This year BDS brought (2) Colorados with a 2011 Colorado trail rig dubbed the Crawlorado built by Pacific Fabrication along with a 2015 Chevy Colorado that served as media support crew throughout the adventure.

If you weren’t one of the lucky few to go on the 2015 Ultimate Adventure or maybe you  were and want to relive the action than check out 4Wheel & Offroad Magazine’s coverage then you’re in luck. In addition to everything on social media sites the magazine has posted their photos just one week after the weeklong wheeling trip is a wrap. Check out all of 4WOR’s coverage at http://www.fourwheeler.com/ultimate-adventure/2015/

For individual daily recaps check out:

Check-In and Day 1: Powerline Park  [view story/photos]

Day 2: Road Day – OH to KY  [view story/photos]

Day 3: Black Mountain Adventure Park  [view story/photos]

Day 4: Road Day – KY to NC  [view story/photos]

Day 5: Durhamtown Tellico Park  [view story/photos]

Day 6: Road Day – NC to TN  [view story/photos]

Day 7: Adventure Offroad Park [view story/photos]

Crawlorado2Long days and long nights, neglecting family and friends and banished to the fab shop as he slaves away on his latest project build. While those may or may not be the words from Kevin Stearns of Pacific Fabrication, I’m sure that sentiment has crossed the crew’s mind as they overhaul this year’s Ultimate Adventure entry to represent BDS Suspension. If you haven’t heard how this build came together check out the UA Winner! article and find out more about the plans at Crawlorado build plans.

With less than 2 months to complete the transformation (all the while managing the shop’s day to day business), the crew at Pacific Fabrication set out to tear down their shop truck, a timid looking beige 2011 Chevy Colorado with a healthy 5.3L V8 under the hood. The stock suspension, steering, axles and bumpers were pulled to prep for the new components. From there measurements were taken and calls were made to get new parts coming to the Gilroy, CA based fab shop. Fast forward a few sleepless weeks and we have our first update on the build progress with a little under a month to go before this rig hits the road for the secret start point of the 2015 Ultimate Adventure. The first order of business on the buildup was converting the torsion bar independent front suspension (IFS) over to a more reliable and adaptable solid front axle. With strength and reliability the goal an order was placed from our friends at Dynatrac for a set of JK spec’d ProRock 60s with 4.88 gears and Detroit lockers. These axles are slightly wider than the Colorado’s stock track width, but should work nicely for our plan to adapt JK steering and suspension under this Colorado. Some of you may be asking why the move to JK parts? Well the JK is a similar size, weight and has unparalleled aftermarket support making it easy to source parts for the build and easy to find replacements in a pinch if we run into any issues on the trail.

In keeping with the JK theme the JK spec’d axles are being installed using a BDS 4-link front long arm designed for a JK that took a few mods to fit the Colorado framerails. The upper and lower arms are built from 1.75”x.250-wall tubing with 1.25” forged flex ends for plenty of strength and up to 30 degrees of misalignment. Rather than converting to coilover an upper coil bucket and shock mount are being used to allow the use BDS JK coil springs paired with Fox 2.5 shocks with the remote resi and DSC adjuster to adjust the compression/rebound on the fly. To compensate for weight of the Colorado and allow us to dial in the ride height and bump stop positioning, a set of JKS ACOS Pros are being installed with the coils. With the suspension install moving right along what steering is being mocked up.

For steering the factory rack-and-pinion would not have cut it for our planned use. Instead a PSC steering box designed for a JK was sourced and is being fitted to the Colorado’s framerail. Once plumbed it will have the added benefit of hydraulic ram assist to make easy work turning the 37” Pitbulls aired down in the rocks.  Heavy duty linkage was installed to connect the steering box to the front axle. Also added was a JKS sector shaft brace to reinforce the box and add a track bar mount to control lateral axle positioning.

Along with these mods other parts are beginning to arrive for the build like LED lighting from Vision X, a magnum box from Offroad Design, 37” Pitbull rockers radials, a Warn Zeon winch, Factor 55 flatlink and a few upgrades for the stock 5.3L V8. Stay tuned for updates as this build comes together on the BDS Blog and watch for daily updates on Facebook and Instagram as we hit the trails for the 1000+ mile Ultimate Adventure June 27-July 4, 2015. #ua2015

Crawlorado

Project Crawlorado, dreamt up by the guys are Pacific Fabrication and BDS Suspension. If you haven’t read how the project came to be, head back and read the last article, 2015 UA vehicle winner.  The plan Pacific Fabrication is getting started on the tear down and will be overhauling the 2011 Chevy Colorado 4WD over the next few months leading up to the Ultimate Adventure this summer. The midsize truck has a full-size 5.3L V8 putting out 300hp/320tq stock. Pacific Fabrication specializes in GM-powertrain upgrades so this truck is sure to be a screamer. The stock engine and tranny will be backed up by a Off-Road Design Magnum T-Case sending power to a pair of Dynatrac 60s, running 4.88 gears and lockers. Suspension under this Colorado will be modified BDS JK 4-link long arm up front with BDS coils, JKS ACOS adjustable spacers to dial in the ride height and Fox 2.5 remote resi shocks. For steering the factory rack-and-pinion setup was scrapped for a PSC JK hydraulic assist steering box, 1-ton steering linkage and a JKS sector shaft brace. While the fenders will likely need to be trimmed the goal is to clear a set of 37×12.50×17 Pitbull Rockers getting install on a set of beadlocks. For body armor this Crawlorado is getting custom bumpers, rock sliders, and rollcage tabbed up by the crew at Pacific Fabrication. Up front the high clearance bumper will house a Warn Zeon 10,000lb winch with synthetic rope and a Factor 55 flatlink. Vision X LED lighting will be used throughout the build and an Extreme Outback air compressor will be used to air up tires and run tools if needed out on the trail. Stay tuned for updates over the next few weeks as this build comes together in time for the 2015 Ultimate Adventure late June-early July.

Project Name: Crawlorado
Vehicle: 2011 Chevy Colorado 4WD
Engine: 5.3L V8
Transmission: 4-speed automotic
T-Case: ORD Magnum Box
Front Axle: Dynatrac 60, 4.88, locker
Rear Axle: Dynatrac 60, 4.88, locker
Steering: PSC JK box + hydraulic assist, JKS sector shaft brace, 1-ton steering linkage
Front Suspension: modified BDS JK 4-link long arm setup, BDS coils, JKS ACOS, Fox 2.5” remote resi shocks
Rear Suspension: BDS leaf springs w/ Fox 2.5” remote resi shocks
Tires: 37×12.50×17 Pitbull Rocker (radial)
Wheels: 17” beadlocks
Bumpers/Body Armor: fabricated bumpers, rock sliders, rollcage-rack system
Winch: Warn Zeon 10,000lb w/ synthetic rope and Factor 55 flatlink
Lighting: Vision X LED lighting

DCIM100GOPRO

For the past several years, BDS has held the coveted title of official suspension of the Ultimate Adventure (UA). The prestigious position is good advertising, but it also gives us the opportunity to build a kick ass trail rig and spend time wheeling with a select group of magazine reps, corporate sponsors, and readers as we all challenge ourselves and our rig to the  ultimate test, a weeklong off-road road trip covering more than 1000-miles across multiple states. The terrain varies from year to year depending on the region we wheel, but one thing is certain, you never know what to expect on the UA. Each day is a mystery lead by 4WOR’s Rick Pewe, some days consist of 100% hardcore trails and others have hundreds of road miles to get to the next location. One of the perks of sponsoring the event is being able to participate on the trip. When BDS started out on the UA we brought a mildly built Jeep TJ on 37s. After 2 years completing the UA that TJ retired to be weekend trail warrior. The next trail rig to come along was Project KJ, a low slung diesel 1st gen Jeep Liberty on solid axles and 40s. Once dialed in that Jeep was unstoppable, conquering the trails, mud, and rocks all the while still able to cruise along the highway at 80mph. The BDS KJ went on the 2013 & 2014 and at this point continues to be used out on the trail and at shows, but at this point is retired from the Ultimate Adventure to make way for a fresh face on the trip.

For 2015, BDS Suspension is once again the official suspension of the Ultimate Adventure. We wanted to change things up this year by opening the sponsorship vehicle spot to one of our distributors. We had a call for submissions back in March to find out which distributors were interested and what they would build for the trip. We had several submissions and after looking through them all and discussing the plans with each of the applicants, one stood out among the rest. Kevin Stearns of Pacific Fabrication in Gilroy, CA pitched the idea for the Crawlorado, a 1st Gen V8 Colorado running solid axles, modified BDS long arm kit and 37s. Kevin is no stranger to the Ultimate Adventure, he attended as a reader back in 2009 followed by being selected to build the magazine’s Tug Truck for the 2014 trip. That year Kevin wheeled the UA as the official builder taking his KOH-prepped BroBlazer. Kevin and his crew are skilled fabricators and the Crawlorado is an excellent opportunity to showcase those skills. BDS Suspension will be teaming up with Pacific Fabrication to turn it into a capable trail rig with a custom BDS JK long arm kit that is being used and Fox shocks, the truck and several other mods to get this Colorado UA-ready. Thank you to all the applicants for their interest and congrats to Pacific Fabrication, stay tuned for more on the build plans and updates from the transformation!

Crawlorado