Purpose-Built BDS Suspension
A Semi-Custom Build for an Average Guy
There are many reasons to own a lifted four-wheel-drive truck. Some are for function, and some are for looks. You don’t want to spend a ton of money but want it to look good. In our case, we like to think we have the best of both worlds: a totally functional and super-cool looking lifted four-wheel-drive ’08 Ford F-350 Power Stroke diesel dualie. Unlike other project trucks that have been built over the years, this truck was going to serve a several-fold purpose. First, it had to be able to maintain tow quality. Second, it had to be a comfortable ride, as it’s a daily driver. And third, it will need to make regular trips to the desert and lake.
We also thought the added bonus of being a diesel engine would provide better fuel economy once the pickup was lifted compared to a gasoline-equipped truck. Plus, the added torque of the diesel would make pulling the steepest of highways that much easier. So, with that in mind, we set out to build a suspension that would perform superbly but also look cool enough to pull into a truck show. We succeeded on both fronts. First, we had to determine whose suspension kit would be suitable and up to the challenge. Immediately, one company came to mind: BDS Suspension in Coldwater, Michigan. Known for its sterling reputation, BDS offers lift kits with an added bonus: the security of knowing you purchased the finest lift kit in the aftermarket suspension industry. The company backs its commitment to engineering reliable, quality, 4x4 off-road Jeep and truck suspension products with a unique “No BS Hardcore Lifetime Warranty.”
Once the kit was acquired in its granite powdercoat form, we sent it over to Big O Tires in Lake Havasu, Arizona, for the installation, as it is an authorized BDS dealer. Since Big O was the elected choice for install, why not use its tires, too? The tires selected for this project are the 35x12.50-R17 Big O Big Foot X/T. To round out our suspension, we enlisted the aid of Wheeladapter.com for a set of 2-inch-thick hub-centric and wheel-centric eight-lug in-between dualie spacers for the Ford F-350 (they are also available for other makes—check the website for details). The spacer is manufactured in the United States with the highest-quality, American-made Alcoa 6061-T6 billet aluminum.
Follow along as we highlight the BDS lift expertly handled by the crew at Big O. This company specializes in all things: lifts, truly custom suspension systems for four-wheel-drive vehicles, custom fabrication, and traction bars. Big O in Lake Havasu has mastered the detail work needed to complement a superbly designed suspension system for our latest project vehicle.
03. While the BDS kit will clear 37-inch tires, we elected to run Big O’s 35-inch tires: the 35x12.50R17 Big Foot X/T fit with Ultra wheels. These wheels and tires are a nice balance of form and function and will not howl too loudly on the freeway, something quite common from a true mud-terrain tire.
19. The new BDS Suspension is now installed, so it’s off to the tire install.
20. Here’s the stock BFG tire (left) vs. the new Big O Big Foot X/T (right). The Big Foot X/T radial comes in a wide variety of sizes and is designed for both maximum on-road traction and wear as well as off-pavement grip and traction, especially on deeply rooted and hilly terrain.