As many of you are aware, we built Project RangerX for the 2018 SEMA show. When the opportunity arose to be a part of the inaugural 4Wheeler Overland Adventure, we knew that Project RangerX was the perfect rig to take overlanding.

The event started at Flying E ranch in Wickenburg, AZ where 35 overland vehicles, ranging from a nearly stock Nissan Xterra, to a Unimog with 46” tires and a fold out deck came together to prepare for the adventure to come. The evening was spent sharing people’s favorite beverages from different regions of the country, and was concluded by the dinner bell to let everyone know food was on the table.

Day one started with an 8am driver meeting to introduce staff. The trail leader for the week would be Nina Barlow, a well-known off-road driver and racer from Arizona, as well as Rick Pewe, Editor of JP Magazine and Jeep extraordinaire. After the driver meeting, everyone lined up and headed out. We spent much of the first day driving through a mostly dry wash in the Arizona desert. There had been a storm a couple of nights before, so we encountered numerous shallow water crossings throughout the day. Nina made sure to educate everyone about the local wildlife, plants, and the small towns and ghost towns that we went through. The day concluded at Gold Bar ranch, where we were met by cows in our camping area. The dinner accommodations were 5 stars to say the least. The organizers brought in two amazing chefs to cook what was definitely the best meal I have ever had outdoors. Miles, our Rocky Mountain region rep brought out a keg from Brass Brewing in Colorado Springs, CO to pour from the new tap system that was installed in the service box of RangerX. So during dinner we poured beer for everyone, and provided tunes from the external Kicker audio system on the truck. Stories of travels were exchanged, and the night under the stars was amazing.

Day two was underway bright and early after everyone made their own breakfast at camp. One of the RAMs that were along for the adventure actually had a pizza oven installed in the bed, so we were greeted with cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven. From Gold Bar ranch we headed to the black mountains outside of Prescott.  We spent a good portion of the day climbing steep grades, and taking in the views. We were stopped for a quick break and met with some motorcycles and UTVs that were headed the opposite direction. One of the UTVs caught on fire as they were passing by, but the fire was quickly extinguished by a couple of participants in our group. We kept climbing and eventually made it to our next way-point for the night. We pulled into Dogtown Reservoir and once again were greeted by the two chefs from the previous night. Everyone picked their spots to call home for the night, and headed to dinner for what ended up being another amazing feast.

Day three was a shorter day because we were scheduled to arrive at the Overland Expo West around lunchtime. Nina brought us all out to an amazing overlook of a canyon near Dogtown Reservoir, and then we all headed west towards Flagstaff. All in all the experience was fantastic. Traveling and learning with like-minded people from all over the world was a blast, and we were very happy to be a part of it.

Once the caravan arrived at Overland Expo West, we split from the group. RangerX was headed for the FOX booth for the remainder of the week. Most of the group remained camped together at Overland Expo so they could continue to share travel stories, and plan out their next adventure.

Overland Expo is a pretty amazing show. If you are into off-roading, overlanding, camping, unique vehicles, or even eyewear for your dog, this is the show for you. There are hundreds of vendors and manufacturers showing off the latest and greatest within the industry. There are multiple classes offered on topics from topographic navigation using a good ole compass, to cooking over an open fire. There are motorcycle riding courses, and there are auto manufactures that actually let you drive their newest offerings on a closed off-road course. Needless to say, there is something for everyone. The show was open until 5 each day, but that definitely does not mean that the day ends at 5. Every evening, multiple vendors throw parties at their booth that are open to anyone that wants to come by. FOX was no exception to this. On Saturday night FOX and a couple of friends threw the “party to be at”. We guess that there was upwards up 500 to 600 people that came by throughout the night. It was a chance for Expo attendees to talk with manufacturers in a casual setting while having a beer and some food under the lights and heaters. We had a great time catching up with old friends and making plenty of new ones as well.

Sunday, the last day of the show, proved that spring time in Flagstaff can bring thunderstorms, warm weather, and snow all in the same day. Everyone was still enjoying themselves though,  and as the show closed attendees, vendors, and manufacturers all went off in their different directions to start their next adventure.

Four Wheeler Features Project Ranger X

Anybody that knows offroad knows Four Wheeler Magazine. Its one of the largest, longest running, offroad focused publications in existence keeping up on events, trends and industry news. The staff got wind of the BDS 2019 Ford Ranger project build (Project Ranger X)  for Ford’s Booth at SEMA and immediately showed interest this, the newest version of Ford’s midsize pickup offering full outfitted into a utilitarian motorsports themed adventure rig before most had ever laid eyes on the new truck. After checking out the truck at the show Four Wheeler wanted more and set up a time after the show to shoot a full feature on it. Earlier this week that feature story went live on FourWheeler.com giving everyone the inside scoop on Project Ranger X, the truck they affectionately refer to as a mullet. Check out the feature online at (Four Wheeler – BDS’s 2019 Ford Ranger) and keep an eye out for it in an upcoming print issue of the Four Wheeler.

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.

Built up and ready for an adventure. With just 5 short weeks, the BDS build team took one of the first 2019 Ford Rangers in existence and overhauled it into a show stopper. Built for capability out on the trail, great looks with a strong stance and plenty of utility with room to haul gear BDS’s Project Ranger X elevates the Ranger to the next level. Starting with a pre-production 2019 Ranger right off the assembly line, this truck was torn down, the frame was extended, service bed and custom rack fitted, a BDS suspension lift installed and larger tires and accessories were added. We documented the build in a 5-part build series that followed the team as they transformed this 2019 Ford Ranger from stock to fully custom, click the links below to check out how it all came together.

Build Intro

Build Update #1

Build Update #2

Build Update #3

Build Update #4

Project Ranger X Built Sheet:

2019 Ford Ranger XLT 4×4
2.3L EcoBoost Engine
10-Speed Automatic Transmission

Chassis/Suspension:
Custom Long Bed Conversion (136” wheelbase)
BDS 6” Suspension Lift System (prototype)
BDS Upper Control Arms (prototype)
BDS GlideRide Rear Leaf Springs (modified GM1500 springs)
FOX 2.5 Factory Series front DSC Coilovers
FOX 2.5 Piggyback DSC Rear Shocks
AirLift Rear AirBag System w/ Lower Cradle Mount
Rear (Extended) Spicer Driveshaft

Wheels & Tires:
35×12.50×17 BFGoodrich Mud Terrain KM3 Tires
17×9 KMC XD Series Grenade OR Wheels

Powertrain Mods:
Ford Performance/Borla Catback Exhaust System

Vehicle Mods:
OE Magnetic (charcoal) Paint w/ Black & Fiery Orange Stripes
Knapheide Utility Box w/ Custom Built Rack System
Warn Ascent Front Bumper
Warn Zeon 10-S Winch with Factor 55 FlatLink
Custom Rock Sliders and Rear Bumper
Rigid LED Lighting (Radiance, SR-M, and Scene Series)
Bushwacker Front Pocketstyle Fender Flares
Dometic CFX 40W Electric Cooler on Slide
MaxTrax MKII Recovery Devices
Rotopax 2.5 Gallon FuelpaX Containers
Amp Research Fuel Door
Warn Epic Recovery Kit
James Baroud USA Retractable Awning
Air Lift Quick Shot Air Compressor and 2-Gallon Tank
Ford Performance Rear Diff Cover and Diff Skid
sPod 8-switch Touchcreen Relay System
Kicker Audio System (KMC10 Head Unit/KMTC Tower Speakers)
Optima YellowTop H6 Battery



2018 SEMA Show:

See it this week at the 2018 SEMA Show in Las Vegas in the Ford Booth in Central Hall #22200. Along with Project Ranger X, Sport Truck USA (home to BDS Suspension, JKS Mfg, RT Pro and Zone Offroad) will be set up over in the offroad section in South Hall, Upper Level in booth #30192. We’ll have severl new vehicles and new product on display to check out. Be sure to stop by to grab a beer with the BDS crew (served cold all week long) and see what’s new. Find out more about our SEMA plans by clicking the link, BDS’s 2018 SEMA Show Preview. We look forward to seeing you out in Vegas!

 

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…

(Click here to continue on to Update #1)

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?