Long days and long nights, neglecting family and friends and banished to the fab shop as he slaves away on his latest project build. While those may or may not be the words from Kevin Stearns of Pacific Fabrication, I’m sure that sentiment has crossed the crew’s mind as they overhaul this year’s Ultimate Adventure entry to represent BDS Suspension. If you haven’t heard how this build came together check out the UA Winner! article and find out more about the plans at Crawlorado build plans.
With less than 2 months to complete the transformation (all the while managing the shop’s day to day business), the crew at Pacific Fabrication set out to tear down their shop truck, a timid looking beige 2011 Chevy Colorado with a healthy 5.3L V8 under the hood. The stock suspension, steering, axles and bumpers were pulled to prep for the new components. From there measurements were taken and calls were made to get new parts coming to the Gilroy, CA based fab shop. Fast forward a few sleepless weeks and we have our first update on the build progress with a little under a month to go before this rig hits the road for the secret start point of the 2015 Ultimate Adventure. The first order of business on the buildup was converting the torsion bar independent front suspension (IFS) over to a more reliable and adaptable solid front axle. With strength and reliability the goal an order was placed from our friends at Dynatrac for a set of JK spec’d ProRock 60s with 4.88 gears and Detroit lockers. These axles are slightly wider than the Colorado’s stock track width, but should work nicely for our plan to adapt JK steering and suspension under this Colorado. Some of you may be asking why the move to JK parts? Well the JK is a similar size, weight and has unparalleled aftermarket support making it easy to source parts for the build and easy to find replacements in a pinch if we run into any issues on the trail.
In keeping with the JK theme the JK spec’d axles are being installed using a BDS 4-link front long arm designed for a JK that took a few mods to fit the Colorado framerails. The upper and lower arms are built from 1.75”x.250-wall tubing with 1.25” forged flex ends for plenty of strength and up to 30 degrees of misalignment. Rather than converting to coilover an upper coil bucket and shock mount are being used to allow the use BDS JK coil springs paired with Fox 2.5 shocks with the remote resi and DSC adjuster to adjust the compression/rebound on the fly. To compensate for weight of the Colorado and allow us to dial in the ride height and bump stop positioning, a set of JKS ACOS Pros are being installed with the coils. With the suspension install moving right along what steering is being mocked up.
For steering the factory rack-and-pinion would not have cut it for our planned use. Instead a PSC steering box designed for a JK was sourced and is being fitted to the Colorado’s framerail. Once plumbed it will have the added benefit of hydraulic ram assist to make easy work turning the 37” Pitbulls aired down in the rocks. Heavy duty linkage was installed to connect the steering box to the front axle. Also added was a JKS sector shaft brace to reinforce the box and add a track bar mount to control lateral axle positioning.
Along with these mods other parts are beginning to arrive for the build like LED lighting from Vision X, a magnum box from Offroad Design, 37” Pitbull rockers radials, a Warn Zeon winch, Factor 55 flatlink and a few upgrades for the stock 5.3L V8. Stay tuned for updates as this build comes together on the BDS Blog and watch for daily updates on Facebook and Instagram as we hit the trails for the 1000+ mile Ultimate Adventure June 27-July 4, 2015. #ua2015