Each year the BDS engineering team puts together a custom build. Something cool, new or different. Sometimes its a trail rig for the Ultimate Adventure, other times its a show hauler, but it always serves a purpose and in true BDS fashion gets used and abused to ensure our products will hold up to the demand our customers expect.
We’ve built several Jeep vehicles over the years and while we do love Jeeps, we all see the potential in the truck market. Both Project Slate and Project KJ proved to be huge successes last year for us so we looked into popular trucks for the coming year(s) that we could use for both R&D purposes as well as promotion. Ideas of a 2015 RAM 2500, 2015 Ford F150, or even a 2015 GM Colorado/Canyon were discussed and debated over. With current RAM HD kits in development and our friends at Extang supplying an early release promo ’15 F150 that we designed kits from the decision was made and we pulled the trigger on a 2015 Chevy Colorado Z71, one of first 3 sold around the country. 5 weeks prior to SEMA the BDS engineering team jumped all over the new truck, measuring, designing, and prototyping parts with a goal of being first to market with lift kits for the new 2015 Colorado/Canyon. With just 3 weeks to go until SEMA the decision was made to bring the truck to the show and planning switched into high-gear as accessories were ordered to turn this truck into something SEMA worthy.
The goal for the suspension was to design 4-6” lift options with the ability to install 33-35” tires. For this project truck the BDS engineers are prototyping a 6” suspension system to feature Fox 2.5” remote coil overs, full width skid plate and rear Fox shocks. The task of designing-prototyping-test fitting is typically a 2-3 month process, the engineers did it in 3 weeks. While BDS was able to expedite this part of the development process it can take 3-6 months for production kits to be boxed up and released for sale. We’ll have more info on these new kits as production parts arrive and kits are released by Spring of 2015. During our downtime between prototyping the suspension our sister company Zone Offroad came by to borrow the truck to work on a few of their lift options as well. Currently the truck has a Zone 1” body lift installed on the truck in addition to our 6” suspension system.
With the suspension covered, we moved on to wheels. The new 2015 Colorado/Canyon uses a unique 6on120mm bolt circle not currently available through wheel manufacturers. After several calls, Raceline and Eagle Alloys were able to custom drill blanks for the project within our truncated timeline. For SEMA we’ll be running 20×9 (5.75” bs) Eagle Alloy 012 series wheels mounted on 35×12.50×20 Nitto Terra Grappler G2 tires. We were fans of the old Terra Grapplers as an all-purpose all-terrain tire and are excited to test out the new G2 version to give them our feedback. As new as this 2015 Colorado is we were striking out on many of our go-to accessories when building this truck. After giving Extang a call we were excited to hear they were releasing several bed covers including a Solid Fold tonneau to fit our truck. This will give us extra dry storage with many events and off-road outings planned for this truck in the future. With the new taller stance we wanted an easier way to access the cab. We called up N-Fab to tell them about the project and they were pumped on the idea, prototyping a set of steps for the truck in only a matter of days. While the new headlights work great on this new truck, we wanted to improve the visibility when we’re driving offroad. We’ve been running Rigid LED lighting on all of our company vehicles for years and continue to be blown away at the quality, brightness, and strength of their lights. For this project we’re running a 30” RDS (curved) light bar that will be mounted up front. Magnaflow wanted to be involved on the project, however their new Colorado/Canyon exhaust systems won’t be available for a few months so for the time being they sent a custom tip to dress up the truck until the full system is ready. Finishing off the truck will be a custom vinyl wrap helping this truck mimic the look of BDS’s 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 (stay tuned for photos of the 2 out at SEMA together).
Credits – By Brett Evans – BDS Suspension, Photography By Carter Reed