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Purpose-Built BDS Suspension

A Semi-Custom Build for an Average Guy

Todd Headlee
Dec 1, 2011
Photographers: Todd Headlee
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.
Photo 2/27   |   01. When this ’08 Ford F-350 dualie arrived at Big O Tires in Lake Havasu, it was completely bone-stock.
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.
Photo 3/27   |   02. The BDS 6-inch lift kit will easily clear a 37-inch tire. The BDS kit is engineered to provide great durability and a factory-like ride. It comes complete with all the necessary drop-down brackets, including the company’s new four-link arms. This kit includes the optional rear springs and upgraded 9500 series gas shocks. Also shown are the 2-inch wheel spacers.
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.
Photo 4/27   |   purpose Built Bds Suspension big Os 35 Inch Tires

“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.”

Photo 20/27   |   purpose Built Bds Suspension new Bds Suspension Installed
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.
Photo 21/27   |   purpose Built Bds Suspension stock Bfg Tire Vs New Big O Big Foot Tire


BDS Suspension Inc
Coldwater, MI