2017 Super Duty Went From The Trail To The SEMA Show

    Project Ascension

    Drew RileyPhotographer, Writer

    These days the automotive aftermarket is chocked full of accessories; some improve vehicle performance and capability, while others focus on comfort and aesthetics. Judging by the expansive Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in recent years it’s safe to say the automotive aftermarket is alive and well and the recession is long gone. As soon as the OEs roll out new models, the aftermarket companies race to design, test, and release new products to meet consumer demand. From lift kits and bumpers, to floor mats and engine upgrades, there’s no shortage of options to customize most late-model vehicles. An example is the all-new ’17 Ford Super Duty. We anticipated it would be the hot new truck at the 2016 SEMA Show, and it was.

    Among the companies that showed up at the SEMA Show with a new Super Duty was BDS Suspension, a full-line suspension manufacturer out of Coldwater, Michigan. “The Super Duty lift kits have been a staple of our product line over the years with the four-link conversion being a go-to for many truck owners,” says Mike Maloney, VP of sales and marketing at BDS Suspension. In early September, BDS took delivery of a new ’17 F-250 and the team of engineers got to work overhauling the pickup into Project Ascension, a capable commuter, ready for road trips and backcountry four-wheeling adventures. With six weeks to build the truck prior to the November SEMA Show, the crew began taking measurements, prototyping parts, and calling around in search of other accessories for the build. The team worked diligently to get the truck ready for the show by fitting the lift kit, wheels, tires, bumpers, lighting, recovery gear, and storage. With the truck so new, parts were hard to come by for the build, as many companies were still in the development/testing phase.

    With phase one of the build complete, the truck was loaded to the brim with displays and promotional products and driven approximately 2,000 miles from Michigan to Las Vegas for the SEMA Show. As has become tradition for BDS over the years, the crew stopped in the wheeling mecca of Moab on the way out to hit the trails and test the newly built truck, and that’s where we caught up with the guys. The truck was wheeled over parts of Golden Spike, Hell’s Revenge, and 7-Mile Rim. BDS Sales Representative Miles Henderson piloted the truck out on the trails, taking some of the more technical lines. “I’ve been impressed with this truck. It’s comfortable on the highway and super capable out on the trail. The Nittos find traction wherever you point them, and the suspension is super predictable with the four-link coilover setup,” Miles says.

    BDS’ Project Ascension is capable and practical. We’ll be seeing this truck again at the Fullsize Invasion during the 2017 Easter Jeep Safari this spring, and we hear there will be more mods to the truck, so stay tuned.

    To check out BDS’s video of this truck in Moab, head to youtu.be/6fygVt0IN78.

    At A Glance

    General
    Vehicle: '17 Ford F-250 Super Duty
    Owner: BDS Suspension
    Stomping grounds: Coldwater, Michigan
    Build time: Six weeks

    Drivetrain
    Engine: 6.7L Power Stroke turbodiesel V-8
    Transmission: 6R140 TorqShift six-spd auto
    Transfer case(s): Stock two-spd
    Low range ratio(s): 2.64:1
    Crawl ratio(s): 39.1:1
    Front axle/differential: Stock, 3.73:1 gears/open
    Rear axle/differential: Stock, 3.73:1 gears/electric locker

    Suspension
    Front: BDS 6-in four-link conversion, Fox 2.5 coilovers with remote DSC, auxiliary Fox 2.0 IFP shocks
    Rear: BDS GlideRide rear leaf springs, Fox 2.0 IFP shocks, BDS RECOIL traction bars
    Steering: Stock w/dual Fox steering stabilizers

    Tires/Wheels
    Tires: 38x13.50R20 Nitto Trail Grappler
    Wheels: 20x10 KMC XD Machete w/ custom rings

    Miscellaneous
    Lighting: Baja Designs 30-in S8 LED lightbar, XL-R Pro spotlights, RTL Rear Taillight, S2 Pro lights
    Armor: Fusion aluminum front and rear bumpers
    Cool stuff: Warn Zeon 12-S Platinum winch, Factor 55 ProLink XXL winch shackle mount, Warn Epic shackles, 3M brushed metallic wrap, Amp Research Powersteps, Bushwacker Extend-A-Fender flares, Bestop canvas Supertop, custom roof rack, Magellan eXplorist TRX7 navigation, Roadwire leather seats, sPOD six-switch modular system