SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal - March 2019

SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

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Page 59 of 86

READY FOR THE PITS BDS Built A 2019 Ford Ranger That Any Baja Race Team Pit Crew Would Desire By Dan Sanchez Photos Courtesy Sport Truck USA With the anticipation of the 2019 Ford Ranger coming back into the market, several aftermarket companies were awarded a Ford Motor Company image vehicle to create a unique version of the truck. While some companies opted to build a pre-runner style vehicle, BDS Suspension, a division of Sport Truck USA, took the idea a step further and wanted a truck that would be fun to drive off-road, but also be an example of something utilitarian. Their idea was to build the Ranger into a Baja style chase vehicle that had the capacity to carry tools and equipment to set up a quick pit-stop, yet be compact and lightweight enough to maneuver through rough terrain quickly to get to where it needed to be. The BDS Project Ranger X was also a vehicle the team had to build in five weeks, in order to get it to the 2018 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada this past November. Disassembling A New Truck The BDS crew took possession of the 2019 Ford Ranger in September of 2018 and immediately began tearing the truck apart. The idea began with a rendering by KEG Media and after assembling lots of parts, the crew utilized CAD modeling from Ford in order to design a completely new suspension system that would give the truck added ride height to install larger diameter wheels and tires. In time, BDS created a prototype six-inch IFS suspension system that consists of new cross members and differential relocation brackets for the transfer case and front differential on the truck. New upper control arms were also created and the suspension was made to accommodate Fox 2.5 Factory shocks in the front. The front suspension was designed to add more clearance for greater wheel travel, but maintain the Ford Ranger’s factory driveline angles. The rear suspension presented a greater problem. Because the crew was attempting to add a Knapheide aluminum utility cab that was made for a six-foot bed on an extended cab model, BDS had a crew cab model that only comes with a five-foot bed. Undeterred, they brought out the cutting tools and extended the frame 10-inches. This also meant adding new rear leaf spring perches and swapping out the factory mono-leaf spring for a BDS multi-leaf spring pack and used a set of their GM1500 springs to hold the extra weight of the utility cab and tools that would be hauled in the bed. A set of Fox 3.0 piggyback shocks were used on the rear suspension and are assisted by a set of AirLift airbags to provide added support if the load in the Ranger’s bed got too heavy. The electrical wiring also had to be lengthened, as well as the rear brake lines, to the truck that now had a 136-inch wheelbase. BDS reached out to Spicer, who builds the factory driveshaft, and who supplied them with an extended length unit to fit under the lengthened Ranger. BDS decided to keep the truck’s 2.3L EcoBoost stock but wanted a performance sound emanating from the exhaust system. While Borla created a new system for Ford Performance that fits the 2019 Ranger, the exhaust tubing had to be lengthened to fit BDS’s extended version. Adding The Extras As with all chase trucks, power for electric and air-tools is a must. Additional circuits were added to the utility cab that provided power for auxiliary Rigid LED lighting, a Kicker audio system, and more, that were organized nicely with an sPOD eight-circuit relay system and an Optima Yellow-Top battery. While the obvious modifications to the truck were evident from the utility bed, BDS also added a Warn Ascent front bumper that is equipped with a Warn Zenon 10-s winch and Factor 55 FlatLink. The rear bumper was custom made, as were the rock sliders along the truck’s rocker panels. A set of Bushwacker fender flares adds an aggressive look to the truck, that now sports a pair of 35-inch BFGoodrich KM3 tires mounted to 17x9-inch KMC XD series wheels. The final touches to the updated Ford Ranger included painting the cab to match the factory Magnetic (charcoal) paint and adding the orange, gray and black stripes to the cab. In addition, the utility cab was filled with a variety of tools and vehicle recovery products such as a Dometic CFX electric cooler, a James Baroud USA retractable awning, Airlift compressor and two-gallon tank, MaxTrax recovery devices and Rotopax fluid containers. Considering the truck went together as planned, and was completed in five weeks, the end result is an impressive off-road vehicle that just about any Baja chase team would love to use and ride in. SJ Engine, &, Drivetrain:, 2.3L, EcoBoost, Engine, Ford, Performance/Borla, Catback, Exhaust, System, 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, Ford, Performance, Rear, Diff, Cover, and, Diff, Skid, plates, ' Wheels, &, Tires:, 35×12.50×17, BFGoodrich, Mud, Terrain, KM3, Tires, 17×9, KMC, XD, Series, Grenade, OR, Wheels, Body:, , 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 Additional, Gear:, 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, sPod, 8-switch, Touchcreen, Relay, System, Kicker, Audio, System, (KMC10, Head, Unit/KMTC, Tower, Speakers), Optima, YellowTop, H6, Battery

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