Lifting A 1500 With BDS
The new Dodge 1/2-ton 1500 trucks were a great departure suspensionwise from the previous-generation Mopars. Gone are the funky front-end parts (albeit the IFS junk) and replaced with a farsuperior coilover suspension, which makes the Dodge a real contender. Of course, lifting it for bigger meats is essential, and BDS was up to the job with its new 1/2-ton offering. We cruised to the plant in Michigan (hence the cold-looking photos) for a closer look.
Few companies in any industry offer an "if you break it, we'll replace it for free" warranty. The folks at BDS Suspension are confident enough because they design their components to take a beating, even on a fullsize truck. Just like everything else they manufacture, this 6-inch '05-'07 Dodge 1/2-ton kit is definitely heavy duty, and bolts on except for one easy slice of a stock differential mount.
The kit is well thought out for ground clearance, and it replaces the knuckles with much heavier-duty units; drops the differential mounts; lowers the control arms, struts, and sway bar; and adds compression struts up front. In the rear there is a choice of standard lift blocks or the new Glide Ride leaf springs. There are also options for steering stabilizers, traction bars, and a shiny stainless steel front skidplate. Although we didn't install any of these, BDS recommends at least the steering stabilizer with this kit.
Our testdrive showed that the truck rode well on the road as well as in the dirt. It's hard to judge the characteristics of a lift kit before it's broken in, but considering the ground was frozen, it was a pretty smooth ride for a lifted vehicle. The rear springs were quite flexible for not being tweaked enough to reach their full potential, and the frontend did impressively for being IFS. Dick Cepek's new DCII wheels and 35-inch Mud Country tires also did well for the conditions, biting into the snow wherever we pointed them. There's even room enough for 36s or even 37s if the stock axle pieces can hack it.