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Ranger X – Build Update #2

New 2019 Ford Ranger, check. Complete teardown of suspension and removal of bed, check. Frame cut and extended 10″to accomodate the Knapheide service box with 136″ wheelbase, check. Nearing the end of our second full week with this truck we’ve made a lot of progress prototyping the suspension. Using a mix of CAD sourced from Ford and raw measurement taken off our Ranger we’ve designed the complete IFS system from the ground up to improve this trucks performance with clearance for the larger 35” BFG tires we have planned to go under it. At this point the prototype crossmembers, differential relocation brackets, upper control arms and FOX coilovers have been cut, welded and are test fitted. This setup will correct the suspension geometry at 6” of lift while keeping all driveline angles in check. The last thing we’re waiting on are the steering knuckles. We just got the prototype knuckle castings in from the foundry. Right now they’re over in our manufacturing plant getting CNC machined on our Mazak so they’ll be ready to install.

In the rear of this truck we’ve begun mocking up the new suspension setup as well. Being the frame on his truck was extended 10” we will need to build new spring perches and extend the brake lines, wiring and rear driveshaft. Even though this service box is built out of aluminum, its heavier than the factory box and with all the gear we’re planning to load up we need a heavier spring pack. Being that we’re already building new perches for the truck we’re swapping out the factory monoleaf setup for a BDS multileaf spring pack using a set of BDS GM1500 leaf springs that should give the ride height and load capacity we’re looking for and pairing them with a set of FOX 3.0 piggyback shocks. For good measure, we’ve also called up our friends at AirLift to add in a set of air bags to help support extra more weight as needed.

While all of this is going on, we’ve also got a few guys fabbing up the adventure rack to mount on top of the service bed. This will give us even more storage for things like fuel cans, offroad lighting, retractable awning and other offroad essentials. The rack will be fitted to 3 sides of the truck and left open in the back to give us room to mount a dirt bike in the back. We’ve been mocking things up to figure out the best positioning to mount the bike and other gear going in the back of this Ranger.

At this point the service box has been on and off several times as we figure out logistics for things like the fuel filler, suspension, and steps. Rather than go with the standard cab length nerf steps we wanted to build a set of custom rock rail capable of supporting the weight of the vehicle and offering rocker protection. This set we’re mocking up will integrate a step for easier access to the bed.

With all this attention being given to the back of the truck we wanted to make sure the front is ready as well. In place of the factory stamped steel bumpers we’re test fitting Warn’s prototype Ascent Series winch bumper on the truck. This will allow us to install a Warn 10,000 lb winch and auxiliary lighting while offering up additional protection.

That’s all to report on this week, stay tuned for next week’s update as we continue to prep this truck for SEMA. Check out more of the build progress photos below.

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Ranger X – Build Update #1

One week in and the build team is diving in head first to tear this truck back down and start laying out the plan of attack. At this point we haven’t had much seat time in the 2019 Ford Ranger, just a short 2hr drive back from Dearborn to Coldwater and some driving around the BDS test course.Despite the limited seat time up to this point we can already tell its going to be a contender going toe-to-toe with the Toyota Tacoma and Chevy Colorado once it hits the market early next year. We like the styling inside and out and the 2.3L EcoBoost backed by the 10-speed automatic transmissions has some pep. While our tight 5 week build timeline is keeping us from doing a full review on this truck it seems to have the right recipe to be comfortable and capable on and offroad.

Last year if you watched the buildup of Project SD126, our bright orange Raptor Super Duty, we took a standard cab Ford Super Duty and chopped the frame to take 18” out for a short bed conversion because Ford doesn’t offer a standard cab-short bed configuration. The end result was a super short 126” wheel base Super Duty what was agile on the trail and tear through the desert at high speeds with a long travel suspension on 42s. This year we’re doing the opposite, starting with a crew cab for 2019 Ford Ranger so we have more room to haul people and gear around. The plan is to fit this Knapheide service box to haul tons of gear on the back to build an ultra capable adventure rig. The problem with that is the crew cab Ranger is only offered in a (5ft) short bed configuration whereas the service box is only offered for the extended cab Ranger that use the (6ft) long bed. The solution, we brought out the cutting tools and welder to extend the frame on this brand new truck by roughly 10” to accommodate the Knapheide box. This will give us the best of both, optimal cabin space and more bed storage.

Up front the engineers has been hard at work using a mix of CAD we received from Ford as well as measurements taken off the truck to develop a number of suspension upgrades for this new Ranger. With the plan to outfit the entire fleet of 2019 Ford Rangers in Ford’s booth at SEMA our team has been working closely with Ford and FOX to get these options dialed in. We’ll have more on the other trucks beign showcased at SEMA when showtime rolls around, but on our particular truck we’re designing a full IFS lift system to include the crossmembers, taller steering knuckles, differential relocation, FOX coilovers, upper control arms and more. The team is in the process of designing and test fitting components so we’ll check back on the progress later on. The longer rear section of frame is also requiring a change to the rear suspension with new leaf springs, shackles, shock mounts and more. Check out the progress and stay tuned for more…

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Project Ranger X

Its finally time to let the cat out of the bag. We’ve been holding or tongue for months waiting for the approval from Ford to announce our latest build and on the coat tails of their big announcement we’re excited to announce that BDS is building a 2019 Ford Ranger to showcase in the Ford Booth at the 2018 SEMA Show, located in central hall #22200.

Dubbed Project Ranger X, this 2019 Ford Ranger is one of only a handful of the new trucks in existence at this point as production doesn’t ramp up until early 2019. This early production version was built special for us as part of Ford’s Project Vehicle Program were we submitted a concept proposal back in February to build an adventure themed offroad capable truck. After months of planning, proposals, CAD modeling and waiting for production we finally took possession of the truck mid-September which left us with 5 weeks to overhaul the new 2019 Ford Ranger into the concept you see hear. All serious builds start with a rendering to put the ideas to paper and figure out what does and does not work. We turned to the artists at KEG Media with a napkin sketch and a list of parts and in a matter of a day had a finished rendering ready to go.

Being we went into this build knowing the timeline would be tight, we sourced vehicle CAD from Ford to start designing suspension components and accessories ahead of time along with reaching out to industry partners to make sure parts were on hand and ready to install as soon as the truck arrived. The build list will include a newly developed (and future production) BDS 6″ suspension lift, 35″ tires, heavy duty winch bumpers and offroad lighting, swapping the bed out for a service box loaded up with tons of gear.

Follow along as we overhaul our 2019 Ford Ranger into a show stopper that not only looks good but is built to perform out on the trail.

Here’s the truck in stock form. It won’t be like this for long…

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BDS Project X:

Over the last couple weeks the BDS Suspension research & development team have been hard at work on the overhaul of the newest vehicle to join the company fleet. Built to be a super capable adventure rig with plenty of gear and supplies, this truck will make its public debut in less than 2 weeks out at the 2018 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. We’re bubbling over with excitement to announce the vehicle and build plans, unfortunately the announcement is under embargo at the moment and we’re waiting for the manufacturer to lift it before we can spill the beans. For now we’d like to give a quick shout out to the companies we partnered with to help make this build possible.

Stay tuned for the big announcement in the coming days as we have tons of photos, videos and write ups from the build up that will be going live right before the show kicks off the week. Can you guess what it is?