Its with a heavy heart that we pay tribute to one of our most iconic builds to date, Project SD126, our go anywhere, desert race themed, short wheelbase Ford Super Duty. Built by the BDS engineering team over the course of about 3 months in late 2017, this truck was overhauled from the ground up to make its debut at the 2017 SEMA Show front and center in Ford’s booth and promote at events across the country over the last year.

The Build

The truck started out as a bone stock, standard cab long bed F250 brought into the shop and completely torn down to just the frame before cutting out 18” of length for a custom standard cab short bed configuration with a super short 126″ wheelbase (aka SD126 or Super Duty 126).

From there the build team fabricated the custom suspension with front BDS 4-link and rear trailing arm setup to mount 14” travel FOX 2.5 DSC coilovers and 3.0 quadruple bypass FOX shocks at each corner to soak up the terrain. Also added were Pac Racing springs and monster sway bars to allow a set of trussed F450 10-lug axles to be bolted under the truck. The 6.7L Powerstroke engine was kept fairly stock with the goal being to maintain 50-state emissions compliance with the DPF intact. A custom Diamond Eye DPF-back exhaust kit was added along with an S&B cold air intake and EZ Lynk auto agent with a custom tune for a bit more power. Power was sent back through the factory 6R140 transmission and 2-speed transfer case to a pair of JE Reel custom drivelines to the front super Dana 60 and rear M300 axles to turn the 42” BFG Baja TA KR2 tires mounted on a set of 20×11 Stazworks Cheyanne 8 2-piece wheels. In place of the stock aluminum body panels we went to McNeil Racing fiberglass fenders and bedsides with a 6″ bulge to give a menacing raptorized appearance. These flares along with the RK Sport ram air hood and Rogue Racing bumpers were all finished in PPG night orange metallic paint laid down by the pros at Butler Body Shop. All the badging was customized and the bed was fitted with a fullsize spare along with a think layer of Line-X. Due to the additional travel from the rear suspension setup the fuel tank was removed in a custom 30 gallon aluminum fuel cell and DEF tank were built, both protected by 3/16” steel skidplates.

As far as the interior and electronics on SD126 this truck had the works with a custom roll bar console with integrated Kicker audio system and a Magellan TRX7 GPS unit on an electric actuator. The factory bench was tossed to make way for a pair of custom PRP enduro recliner seats and 5-point harnesses. The dash was fitted with custom orange accents and the factory upfitter switches were used to control all of the Rigid LED lights and other accessories. Up front a Warn 12,000lb winch and Factor 55 flatlink were bolted on to help with recovery duties and a set of Amp Research power steps were added to make accessing the cab a bit easier. In place of the factory halogen headlights a custom set of laser etched projector units were swapped in from HIDprojectors.com along with smoked cab, mirror and brake lights from Recon. This build was all about the details to create a truly custom, truly unique Ford Super Duty.

See the 5-part build series for a more in depth look at how it came together:

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

Unveiling

The Promotion

This truck made its debut at the 2017 SEMA Show, front and center in the Ford booth where it received rave reviews from media and show attendees. From there SD126 went on to make appearances at dozens of events around the country to include Chicago Auto Show, 4Wheel Jamborees, Unlimited Offroad Show, Scrapin the Coast, and the Pomona Offroad Expo just to name a few. It made the cover of both Four Wheeler Magazine and Diesel World Magazine, both times with full feature spreads on the truck. It made multiple appearances in other online editorial. With this truck and its connection to Ford through their project vehicle program we had certain display requirements so the decision was made to use it primarily as a “show truck” for the first year before it’d get thrown into the mix used for more trail rides. That being the case anybody that knows BDS knows that’s a hard ask and the truck still found its way onto the dirt and sand on a few occasions to see how the truck performed. I’ve got to say from personal experience we had a blast every time we got behind the wheel. Aside from the attention this truck demanded, each time the truck charged through the rough stuff it soaked up the terrain powering through the whoops big and small with a comfortable ride.

For SEMA 2018 we decided this truck had more to show so we brought it back again, this time displaying it in the BDS booth over in the truck and offroad section. All week long the truck was flanked by show goers snapping photos and getting photos and Following SEMA and some more high speed testing out in the desert alongside our newest build Project Ranger X we made the trip from Vegas to Florida to bring SD126 to an end of the year event that was on the schedule. Being there was a few weeks between the 2 events we dropped if off at Precision Offroad, our local BDS dealer in Leesburg, FL to hold onto the truck for safe keeping until show time.

The Fire

Tragically, one night after the shop had closed the warehouse caught fire due to an electrical short consuming the entire building and everything inside. Among the property lost was Project SD126, that had been sitting on a trailer. Luckily no one was injured, unfortunately SD126 was a total loss.

To say we were stunned to hear the news would be an understatement… Its been a couple months since the fire leveled the warehouse and destroyed SD126. We’re finally coming to grips with the realization that the truck is gone and we won’t get used (and abused) to its full potential. It was an unfortunate fire that destoyed SD126, but in the big scheme of things it was just a truck, a really expensive custom one-off truck, but all the same its just a truck. Luckily no one was hurt or worse yet killed in the fire and at the end of the day we have the technology and skill sets to build another truck, maybe some similar or maybe something completely different. What might the be? We’re open to suggestions, comment below with what you want to see us build next and keep an eye out for future project builds. Thanks for checking out the tribute to Project SD126.

For any Project SD126 fans out there be sure to check out the latest issue (May 2018) of Four Wheeler Magazine to see the bright orange Raptorized Ford Super Duty on the cover with a 6-page feature on the truck inside. If you missed any of the coverage of how we transformed this 2017 Ford F250 Super Duty work truck into the off-road monster it is now head online to our build series on the BDS Blog at https://blog.bds-suspension.com/?cat=1124&paged=2 and to check out the online version of this story head to FourWheeler.com and check it out.

If you follow along with BDS Suspension, you likely caught some of our coverage building up Project SD126, a bright orange single cab, short bed converted 2017 Super Duty we overhauled for Ford’s booth at the 2017 SEMA Show [If not click here to check out the build  coverage]. The truck garnered tons of attention at the show from media, vendors and the public walked around it on display as it attempted to break the internet  with media coverage. Following the show FourWheeler Magazine got their hands on the truck for an up close and personal feature shoot that just went live over at FourWheeler.com. Check it out and keep an eye out for it in an upcoming print issue of FourWheeler Magazine coming to newsstands.

[Link to FourWheeler’s SD126 Feature Story]

Another SEMA has come and gone, and wow what a year it was.  What has become the mecca for the automotive aftermarket, the SEMA Show is 4 days of sensory overload, from custom cars and trucks to race vehicles and innovations in automotive customization. Held the first week of November each year at teh las Vegas Convention Center this show brings in nearly 100,000 to check out more than 2000 vendors showcasing new products across the 1,000,000 sq.ft facility, in the surrounding parking lots, walkways and anywhere else that will fit these custom vehicles. BDS Suspension and its affiliates (Zone Offroad, JKS Mfg, and RT Pro) all of which make up the Sport Truck USA division of FOX were out in force this year at the 2017 SEMA Show bringing a bigger staff, bigger booth, and more vehicles to showcase out latest and greatest. Each year this seems to grow as more vendors, more vehicles, and more new products flood the show.

In the booth this year BDS had a large 25×80 footprint in the offroad section to showcase a number of project vehicles, new products, and a newly built bar/lounge area to entertain customers, clients, and media all week long. From right to left we showcased ORO Fab’s 2017 Ford F350 Super Duty Dually outfitted with the BDS 8″  Coilover 4-Link System on 40s, followed by the RT Pro RZR1000 Turbo running the gamut of RT Pro suspension and armor with FOX podium series shocks. Next to that the Rockstar Garage Colorado ZR2 expedition rig outfitted with a prototype BDS 5.5″ DSC Coilover System on 37s. Front and center the new bar/lounge area featured a newly built 16ft wide bar serving up cold beers, waters and Rockstar energy drinks all week long. Acting as backdrop to the bar all week was a 6100 Spec Chassis owned/built by Pacific Fabrication/Tilden Motorsports serving as one of the TV stand to entertain visitors all week long. Last but certainly not least the last vehicle spot was held be another 6wheeled monster, this one being the 6×6 JKU built by Bruiser Conversions running a BDS long arm front with JKS rear arms and FOX coilovers/shocks on 40s. Scattered throughout the booth were several new products and displays highlighting things like the soon to be released late model GM1500 8″ Lift Kits, ’01-10 GM 2500HD 4.5″/7″ Coilover Conversion Kits, RAM Rebel Lift Kits, RAM Powerwagon Lift Kits, new Ford Super Duty Lift Kits, new UCA Kits for popular applications and updated 2018 model listings. Keep an eye out for these new products to hit the shelves ready to ship over the coming weeks/months.

While its become customary for the BDS team to build a promotional/trail vehicle to debut at the SEMA Show, this year we had the honor to build a truck for Ford’s main booth. Located over in central hall and out front of LVCC, Ford hands down has the best presence at SEMA of any of the OE manufacturers showcasing cool rigs, live demos and drift ride alongs for show goers. Our contribution for Ford’s booth this year was a super cool standard cab, short bed converted 2017 Ford Super Duty dubbed Project SD126. The short (126″) wheelbase truck had aggressive Raptoresque styling with a BDS 4-link/trailing arm setup with FOX coilovers and bypass shocks on 42″ tires. We’re excited to hit the trail with this vehicle to see what its capable of so keep an eye out for more coverage on SD126. For the complete rundown on the build up of Project SD126 click here.

Around the show were dozens of vehicles on display, split between booth and featured vehicles, in a wide range of Ford, Chevy, GMC, RAM, Toyota, and Jeep applications showing off current and new products. A big thanks to all the builders for their hard work and effort to promote BDS and our affiliates at SEMA this year. For everyone that stopped by the booth to check out the vehicles, new products, and grab a drink with with our staff thank you for helpign make the 2017 SEMA Show one for the ages. Stay tuned to the BDS website and social media outlets to see more coverage from SEMA, official releases of new products, and feature coverage on several of the vehicles from the show.

 

Power Auto Media (home to Diesel Army, Xtreme Offroad and other great titles) stopped by the Ford Booth at SEMA to check out our latest creation, Project SD126. This brand new 2017 Ford F250 Super Duty was on the main stage where it entertained the masses the entire week of SEMA. Check out the interview and walk around of this standard cab, short bed converted Raptor Super Duty created by the team at BDS Suspension. For more on Project SD126 click here.

To catch up on Episode 1 / Episode 2 / Episode 3 / Episode 4 of the Project SD126 Build, click the links.


After a couple months designing, cutting, building and modifying the truck was delivered to Butler Auto Body to get painted and the suspension parts were sent to powdercoat. At first there is a weird sense of anxiety and relief as the build is out of our hands at the moment and in the capable hands of Butler Auto Body to lay down some color. That relief quickly changed to work as the team is also responsible for designing and building all the new product displays and both props needs for our booth (#30192) at the 2017 SEMA Show. Switching gears the team built a 15ft wide modular bar for us to serve drinks, TV racks to keep everyone entertained and several new products displays to debut some of our latest and greatest to the world…

Butler Body Shop made quick work of the body, prepping and painting it in a super cool orange by PPG paints from their Smart ForTwo collection known as Night Orange Metallic (CD3L / EAK). From interior to exterior, the team took on painting the body and bumpers to the interior panels and emblems implementing an Metallic Orange – Satin Gray – Gloss Black color scheme that tied everything together from the gray/black/orange of the suspension parts to the black interior with orange/gray accents and everywhere else. The color is something else, super bright and it changes depending on the lighting.

With the truck back from paint the team got back to work on final assembly. Up first was fitting the suspension and axles so we could get this back to being a rolling chassis. The BDS front 4-link arms and rear trailing arm setup is finished in a gray powdercoat and custom BDS badges added. The shock situation on this truck is under control with FOX 2.5 DSC Coilovers at each corner along with FOX 3.0 quadruple bypass shocks allowing infinite adjustment and tuning possibilities to dial in the performance of this truck. From there the team worked on routing brake lines, running wires and completely reassembling the truck inside and out. Being that the chassis has been shortened we turned to our friends at JE Reel for a custom set of front and rear heavy duty driveshafts to get this truck mobile again. Inside the PRP seats/harnesses, Kicker audio system, and Magellan GPS were reinstalled along with the center console for the last time. Inner fenders were fitted one last time and fenders were bolted back on. On the performance side the team added to the S&B cold air intake mounted before paint with a Diamond Eye Performance DPF-back custom exhaust and an EZ LYNK programmer. The ROgue Racing enforcer bumper is modular with the center section getting fitted first housing the Warn Zeon 12S winch and Factor 55 fairlead and flatlink E. From there the 40″ Rigid RDS light bar is added to the center and a set pf 4 Rigid Radiance lights with amber backlight are added to the Rogue bumper wings to finish off the off the look. Last up is wheels and tires… to keep this truck true to its Raptor inspired roots we’re going with a tires synonymous with Baja racing, the BF Goodrich Baja TA KR2-S in a 42×14.50×20 size. These will be mounted on a set of 2-piece 20×11 Stazworks Cheyenne 8 wheels in our 10on225mm bolt pattern. We’re excited to show you the final product, stay tuned for the official unveiling of this truck coming soon…

[Continue on to see the finished SD126 build]