Each year thousands of the top automotive customizers converge on the SEMA Show to showcase their latest creations. The show is a mix of late model and classic rides; some lifted, some lowered; from radical hotrod to purpose built race vehicles; bro dozers to rice rockets. Of those thousands of vehicles only a few hundred enter the ultimate builder showdown known as the Battle of the Builders. This competition pits the best builders and the most unique builds again one another where only one can take home the top honor.

Throughout the show the competitors are narrowed down to the top 100 builds, then top 40, then top 12 voted on a handful of industry professionals. For 2018 Battle of the Builders the BDS team entered the build, the 2019 Ford Ranger dubbed Project Ranger X. While the truck didn’t make the top 12, it did make it to the Top 40 Builds of the 2018 SEMA Show. Me sure to set your DVRs or tun in to watch the SEMA Battle of the Builders TV show to find out who took home top honors. The show premiers on the MotorTrend Network on January 7, 2019 at 10:00PM.

 

Power Automedia met up with BDS at the Ford booth at the 2018 SEMA Show to get some insight on #ProjectRangerX. Ford’s booth is definitely one of the best booths at SEMA. The 2019 Ford Ranger is coming to America, and not only did we got our hands on one of the first in the country, but we had the opportunity to  do a complete overhaul on it and have it featured in Ford’s booth.

This build was inspired by adventure. We are offroad enthusiasts and we wanted this truck to reflect that. This truck is awesome right out of the gate both on road and offroad, but we wanted to take it to the next level so that no adventure was out of reach. For full details on #ProjectRangerX check out our blog post on it at https://blog.bds-suspension.com/?p=17021

 

 

Its an exciting time in the mid sized truck world as the Ford Ranger returns to the great US of A for 2019. While at the 2018 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, we took some time to visit our favorite 2019 Ford Ranger builds, including our very own, #ProjectRangerX.

Most of these builds were featured in the Ford booth, and almost all of them featured BDS Suspension Systems on them. These lift systems will be making their way into the market in the near future.

You can find more information about the Ford Rangers that were in Ford’s Booth at the Ford 2018 Sema Show Press Release.

 

With the build announcement made public right before SEMA there were a number of news sites and media outlets that jumped on 2019 Ford Ranger press release. Several outlets shared the build renderings, backstory to the builds and created even more buzz for these revival of the midsize truck back in North American just a few short months away. Among them was BDS’s Project Ranger X, a motorsports themed utilitarian truck capable offroad and ready for an adventure. For more on Project Ranger X see the links below and head to the full buildup coverage.

Ranger X Coverage:

Build Intro

Build Update #1

Build Update #2

Build Update #3

Build Update #4

Finished Build

Media Coverage:

Ford’s media announcement: https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/media-kits/2018/ford-at-sema-2018.html

FourWheeler.com ran a first look feature story on the build along with photos of the completed project: http://www.fourwheeler.com/sema/2017/mtsema18-bds-project-ranger-x-first-look/

CarAndDriver.com ran a feature on all 7 Rangers debuting at the show: https://www.caranddriver.com/news/2019-ford-ranger-pickups-sema

MotorTrend.com ran a feature on all 7 Rangers debuting at the show: https://www.motortrend.com/news/2019-ford-ranger-gets-sema-treatment/

AutoBlog.com ran a feature on all 7 Rangers from the show: https://www.autoblog.com/2018/10/26/2019-ford-ranger-sema-concepts/

The Fast Lane Truck TFLtruck.com ran a feature on all 7 Rangers at the show: https://www.tfltruck.com/2018/10/2019-ford-ranger-raptor-lift-concept-xbox-sema-2018/

TheDrive.com ran a feature on all 7 Rangers at the show: http://www.thedrive.com/news/24518/ford-splashes-onto-sema-scene-with-7-off-road-2019-ranger-concepts

Ranger5G.com ran a feature on BDS’s Ranger X: https://www.ranger5g.com/revealed-first-2019-ford-ranger-sema-build/

Ford Performance ran a feature on all 7 Rangers at the show: http://performance.ford.com/enthusiasts/media-room/20180/10/built-ford-tough-ranger-returns-to-sema.html

TruckTrend.com ran a feature on all 7 Rangers at the show: http://www.trucktrend.com/news/1810-mtsema18-customized-2019-ford-ranger-headed-to-sema-2018/

Motoroso.com Full Feature on BDS’s Ranger X: https://www.motoroso.com/5baaa67309ba0/Project/5baabc14417ba/2019-Ford-Ranger-SuperCrew-by-BDS-Suspension/5bd7f45695fcb/2019-Ford-Ranger-XLT-4X4-SuperCrew-by-BDS-Suspension-%E2%80%93-Las-Vegas-Trucks-FordSEMA?ajax

Go Back to Update #3  |  See the Completed Project RangerX  |  Jump Ahead to SEMA 2018 Preview

Ranger X – Build Update #4

The SEMA crunch is getting real, with just 2 build days to go until we need to hit the road for Vegas, there is still a lot to get done on this build, from wiring, assembly and final installation and graphics. At this point the shop is operating like a well oiled machine with everyone doing their part to get the job done. The “To Do” list is starting to dwindle down and their’s a light at the end of the tunnel. All the parts are back from paint and powder coat, the Warn winch and Rigid lights are installed in the bumpers and its getting bolted up front for the final time. With the larger wheels and tires we needed some additional tire coverage. In the rear the wider design of the service box does just the trick, but for the front we needed a set of fender flares. We turned to Bushwacker and got their first prototype set of pocket style flares for the Ranger and had them color matched to the factory Magnetic paint and swapped out the hardware to black stainless.

In a way this truck is like a mullet, its all business up front with that Warn winch bumper and 6” coilover system while its a party in the back as with custom outdoor stereo, dirt bike, electric fridge, spare fuel, lighting and more. Now that we have the Knapheide service box installed for the final time we’re fitting up the rack and wiring up accessories. With the goal to build this into a capable adventure rig able to haul a dirt bike and gear we knew we’d plenty of fuel supply. We turned to Rotopax for their 2-gallon Fuelpax containers and mounted them to a custom build rack designed for additional storage of gear and lights. When it comes to the auxiliary lighting, we turn to the pros at Rigid Industries. We’re installing an assortment of lights on this truck to include front amber radiance pods in the bumpers, a 40” front facing amber radiance light bar on the roof, and their SR-M floods all the way around the bed to light up the trail or camping spot. To keep things a bit cooler when setting up camp, we added a James Baroud retractable awning off the side for some easy access to shade on hot days and dry covering on rainy ones. Also in the theme of keeping cool is we have a Domestic CF-40W electric fridge/freezer mounted in the bed. We mounted this on one of the slide kits for easy access out on the trail. This truck is full of fun, from the mount for a dirt bike in the back to the bluetooth stereo in the bed. The stereo consists of Kicker’s KMC waterproof head unit powering a pair of Kicker marine grade tower speakers mounted to the rack to keep the party going. Along with the front mounted winch, we have more recovery gear in the back from Ford Performance and Warn along with a pair of Maxtrax recovery mats that we can stick under the tires if we find ourself stuck on in silt, sand or snow. The extra storage on this truck will be used for tools and camping gear. We have on-board air and a 120 volt power inverter to run tools and charge devices. We also have a ramp to load the dirt bike in and out of the truck.

We’re getting close, Project Ranger X is almost complete and ready to make its debut at the 2018 SEMA Show in Ford’s Booth #22200. We’ll have one more update before the show kicks off, a preview of the finished truck and then plenty more coverage of it out at SEMA and as we hit the trails afterwards. For more on the build be sure to head to the BDS Blog, on YouTube and on Facebook and Instagram at #ProjectRangerX. Check it out next week as this truck makes its debut at SEMA.

See the Completed Project RangerX  |  Continue on to SEMA 2018 Preview

Go Back to Update #2 | Jump Ahead to Update #4

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.

Continue on to Build Update #4