BDS 4″ lift kit makes way for taller tires and better on- and off-road handling; softer ride, more suspension travel for work trucks
by Bruce W. Smith
Ground clearance, suspension travel, ride and handling.
Four factors that play a significant role in any pickup used in the oil/gas fields, road building, heavy construction or the utility company world where travel off paved roads is common.
One way to improve all four simultaneously on 2011-2014 Ford F250/F350 Super Duties is to ditch the stock suspension and replace it with a BDS four-inch 4-link kit.
We installed a 4-link kit on a 2012 F-250 Crew Cab 4×4 headed into that type of work.
“No road, no problem,” is the intended end result.
To that end we want more air under the differentials for those days when this truck has to take its occupants in and out of a tough job location. And do so with a high level of ride comfort.
The BDS 4-inch 4-link lift kit does that by increasing suspension travel and allowing clearance to run 35-inch mud tires.
The 4-link front suspension design allows full suspension travel while actually improving ride and handling by reducing caster change through wheel travel, which creates a more controlled feel both on- and off-pavement.
More suspension travel also improves traction by keeping the tires on the ground longer in situations such as crossing water bars, traversing deep ruts or crawling over rocks that tends to lift one wheel or another off the ground.
BDS offers numerous options with this kit. So we opted for the 4-link kit with replacement leaf springs instead of lift blocks, and the 9500 Dual-Steering Stabilizer kit, the latter to provide added stability for the taller, heavier tires.
The BDS “Glide-Ride” rear leaf springs, which feature tapered and roll-pointed leaves for an even deflection rate resulting in a softer ride with increased wheel travel, keep the stability when towing an equipment trailer.
(Using lift blocks in place of a spring pack is not recommended when heavy trailer loads are part of the equation.)
The $2,500 lift kit comes with anti-sway bar drop brackets, a dropped pitman arm for steering angle correction, a track bar relocation bracket to properly center the axle and bump-stop extensions. Installation takes about eight hours.
The BDS lift kit provides plenty of room for the 35-inch Mickey Thompson LT325/65R18 Baja MTZs to work while keeping the Ford Super Duty’s OEM steering geometry intact.
The MTZs, mounted on 18×9-inch Dick Cepek Torque wheels, are a nice work truck combination of function with form.
After the installation we took the truck for a spin around the block. We were surprised by how much the Crew Cab4x4’s ride and handling improved; it goes through dips and curves smoothly and with great control.
We also took a quick run off-pavement, through deep ruts, loose dirt and soft sand. The improvement in ride and traction is remarkable.
It’s a pleasure to drive and is one of the best 4-inch suspension kit kits we’ve been around in both performance and quality.
That control is there even while towing 12,000 pounds of equipment locked on the Super Crew’s weight-distributing hitch setup. And that’s exactly what we’d hoped for with this suspension upgrade: keeping function the top priority.