How we design new lift kits (Part 3)
The prototype kit is on and the fun begins. This is when we put a truck through its paces to make sure that everything performs. BDS has acres of land behind the R&D facility that twist, flex, and abuse our systems. After the offroad abuse the truck is tested with lots of highway miles. The truck will visit authorized BDS retailers to gain additional test mileage. One of the best places to really push the truck and kit to the limit are the Silver Lake Sand Dunes in Mears, MI. Low air pressure and the soft sand create a lot of drag which stresses the drivetrain and brings out any possible problem areas. The BDS TJ will be trailered to offroad events behind the new truck. Anything someone that purchases a BDS kit might do, we do first.
After about 6 weeks, painted production sample crossmembers, differential drops, and skid plates arrive. The truck is put back on the hoist and torn apart. The sample parts are test fit with lots of pictures being snapped along the way. Finally the new hardware is noted and sample bolt packs are created. Everything goes together well and it is time for another alignment. The painted brackets are a big improvement over the raw steel. The truck looks clean and ready to be shown off. The old raw steel brackets are thoroughly inspected for any possible signs of wear. Aside from the occasional rock rash everything looks good.
Throughout the next couple of months, more driving is scheduled; long trips to the east coast really break the new truck in. The R&D department has already moved into the next stages of a different project when all of the final parts begin to arrive from the painter. We search and find another truck to install this kit on, in addition to our own truck. Final fitment of the parts, instruction sheets, and bolt packs are all verified. Everything fits and looks good so it is time to move the project to the graphics department for the final touches. Press releases and product flyers are produced to promote the new product. As soon as the press releases are made public to our retailers, the kit is available for purchase.