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-   -   Calling all BDS lift owners (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f282/calling-all-bds-lift-owners-238269.html)

spencerlj 04-28-2013 10:23 AM

Calling all BDS lift owners
 
I just had a 3" BDS basic lift installed and I posted an early review in the lift review thread at 3" BDS Basic Lift with Steering Stabilizer. I did a lot of reading on this and other forums, external and magazine reviews and talking with some local jeepers about their own experience before going this route.
What I think is missing in the lift thread is a way to ask questions of the reviewer other than a pm. Then others like myself miss out on the questions and responses. Likes and dislikes, issues and how they overcame them, and what they think long term sometimes is lacking. Therefore, I am asking for any of you that have BDS lifts to fill in the missing blanks here.

Are you still happy with it?
What would you change if anything?
Have things broken, shifted, sagged, or otherwise not worked as advertised?
How has the warranty exchange process been?

I have read nothing but positive reviews so far but to keep the latest info as the industry is always changing, thought I would see what I should expect down the road in 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, etc.

So please let me know what I should expect.

My ride:
2004 Sport
3" BDS lift
MTR Baja MTZ 33x12.5x15

NC Bear 04-28-2013 01:35 PM

BDS 3 inch:
I have had mine 6 months and I am happy. No sag with heavy bumpers, will be adding a winch soon.

I wish I would have opted for adj. control arms all the way around. I did the SYE and no problems but I would like to do a TT now.

spencerlj 04-28-2013 01:46 PM

Adding links to other BDS lifts I found and used in my own search - latest to oldest:

BDS 2" lift - BDS 3" lift -

dabolt55 04-28-2013 01:48 PM

2" BDS here, still love em.....:thumb:

thewampus97tj 04-28-2013 01:56 PM

1 Attachment(s)
3" BDS. Its a great suspension. Flexs great ,rides good(with the bilstien 5100). I have heavy bumpers along with winch, flat belly, rock sliders and other armor. Dosent seem to sag at all.

spencerlj 04-28-2013 07:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thewampus97tj (Post 3692757)
3" BDS. Its a great suspension. Flexs great ,rides good(with the bilstien 5100). I have heavy bumpers along with winch, flat belly, rock sliders and other armor. Dosent seem to sag at all.

Why did you and @Dabolt55 go with Blistiens instead of the BDS Shocks? Have either of you had any wobbles or issues since installation? I seem to have a slight wobble at 35-45mph but everything else is smooth as can be. It has only happened twice but I have only had it installed for a day.

Just wanted to see if either of you had issues like that.

Big Cole 04-28-2013 07:32 PM

I run 4.5" BDS coils with bilstein shocks. Spring have held up well to the added weight of my winch. I opted for better quality control arms instead of what BDS offers.

flflash 04-28-2013 08:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Big Cole (Post 3693742)
I run 4.5" BDS coils with bilstein shocks. Spring have held up well to the added weight of my winch. I opted for better quality control arms instead of what BDS offers.

I've ran BDS arms on mine for a long time now, what kind of problems did you have?

Big Cole 04-28-2013 08:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by flflash (Post 3693948)

I've ran BDS arms on mine for a long time now, what kind of problems did you have?

I chose not to purchase BDS control arms because I wanted arms that could be adjusted while installed and johnny joints. BDS did not offer these features.

spencerlj 04-29-2013 10:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Big Cole (Post 3694056)
I chose not to purchase BDS control arms because I wanted arms that could be adjusted while installed and johnny joints. BDS did not offer these features.

True that the BDS control arms do not have a JJ, but they do offer the GenII arms with adjustable and forged flex ends. I personally did not upgrade my control arms yet but I may after a couple of runs and seeing what havoc (or not) I bring on the stock ones. I am a believer of if it ain't broke don't fix it. My installer was too because I asked his opinion and he gave me the same without letting him know how I felt.

spencerlj 04-29-2013 10:42 PM

Did anyone have any vibrations following install? I have only felt it twice and both times it was when I was going 35-45mph. I suspect it may be the tire balance as I did not rebalance the tires after I purchased them already installed and balanced. Would intermittent vibes come from out of balance tires? Seems like a cheap way to test before installing more parts.

thewampus97tj 04-30-2013 07:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spencerlj (Post 3693612)
Why did you and @Dabolt55 go with Blistiens instead of the BDS Shocks? Have either of you had any wobbles or issues since installation? I seem to have a slight wobble at 35-45mph but everything else is smooth as can be. It has only happened twice but I have only had it installed for a day.

Just wanted to see if either of you had issues like that.

The BDS shocks were in need of replacing and the 5100's seemed to be ideal for me.

Sounds like you need a SYE to help with the vibrations.

spencerlj 04-30-2013 10:01 PM

I am going to try balancing first before adding components but I had considered the SYE as a next step. Thanks for the advice and I will keep boosted on the balancing act.

thewampus97tj 05-02-2013 07:43 AM

Sye should be on next your list for next mod to do to your jeep.

spencerlj 05-02-2013 11:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thewampus97tj (Post 3709660)
Sye should be on next your list for next mod to do to your jeep.

I almost did that in the beginning especially after reading many different reviews and experiences on the forum. My dealer/installer talked me out of it and it is still very intermittent. I did not get by to balance the wheels yet this week. Maybe over the weekend.

spencerlj 05-05-2013 08:09 AM

I took it in yesterday to have the tires balanced. The dealer noticed that one of the tires was cupped a little. Not too much to need replacing but since it was on the front, it may be more noticeable. He also said the tires were really bad out of balance. So after getting them balanced and having had the 4WD alignment the weekend before, I had to take it for another test run.
I drove it about 200 miles yesterday after getting the tires balanced and rotated I have no more vibration. It was definitely in the balance for me. Thank you for all the suggestions and if something else crops up, I will consider those as next steps.

mrk130 05-06-2013 05:21 PM

I'm glad I found this. Hopefully those that have this lift can answer a few questions for me.
I bought my TJ with a RC 3.25 lift. As far as I know, nothing else was done to it. I'm not a fan it and I'm thinking about replacing it with the 3" BDS. On their website, they also have the Ultimate Upgrade which includes adjustable control arms and everything else you'd need for that. My question is, how do I know if I need or will need the adjustable controls arms? Newbie question but thanks for any responses.

spencerlj 05-06-2013 11:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrk130 (Post 3726201)
I'm glad I found this. Hopefully those that have this lift can answer a few questions for me.
I bought my TJ with a RC 3.25 lift. As far as I know, nothing else was done to it. I'm not a fan it and I'm thinking about replacing it with the 3" BDS. On their website, they also have the Ultimate Upgrade which includes adjustable control arms and everything else you'd need for that. My question is, how do I know if I need or will need the adjustable controls arms? Newbie question but thanks for any responses.

I had the very same question when I was looking at the BDS. Should I get the Ultimate with the Control Arms or not? I had answer, honestly both way. The main reason for getting the ultimate kit, in the responses I read was that you could get adjustable arms for greater flexibility and the replaceable arms are sturdier/stronger. Other responses included that the new arms are less likely to hang up on rocks/obstacles. I personally don't get that crazy offroading so I took the stance that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". I had several others agree including the one I had do the install.

So I suppose that would be your preference. If you do a lot of heavy offroading, I would say it may be a good idea. If you don't, I would say it is a personal choice. My choice was the basic and will upgrade to control arms when/if I break one or start wheeling harder.

mrk130 05-07-2013 08:00 AM

Thank you for the info. What you said is about what I was thinking. I do go off-road but mostly some dirt roads and trails to get to some fishing spots. At this point I don't plan on doing any rock crawling or anything of that nature. I'll take your route and go with the basic kit, if I need to upgrade, I will.
Thanks again.

spencerlj 05-07-2013 11:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrk130 (Post 3728660)
Thank you for the info. What you said is about what I was thinking. I do go off-road but mostly some dirt roads and trails to get to some fishing spots. At this point I don't plan on doing any rock crawling or anything of that nature. I'll take your route and go with the basic kit, if I need to upgrade, I will.
Thanks again.

If you find out that you need them, or have problems without them, I would love to hear why and what happened. I have not been offroad yet with my lift and trying to line up something this month to test, so I honestly don't have offroad experience, but I don't do anything crazy. the only times I have been offroad were with the stock setup and everything worked fine then so I will let you know if that changes with the new 3# lift setup.

mrk130 05-08-2013 06:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spencerlj (Post 3731901)

If you find out that you need them, or have problems without them, I would love to hear why and what happened. I have not been offroad yet with my lift and trying to line up something this month to test, so I honestly don't have offroad experience, but I don't do anything crazy. the only times I have been offroad were with the stock setup and everything worked fine then so I will let you know if that changes with the new 3# lift setup.

I'm already on a 3.25" RC lift so I don't even know what's its like to be offload with a stock Jeep. I'm just looking for a better ride quality. If I wind up needed the control arms, Ill get them. I need to figure that out.

spencerlj 05-09-2013 08:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrk130 (Post 3732626)
I'm already on a 3.25" RC lift so I don't even know what's its like to be offload with a stock Jeep. I'm just looking for a better ride quality. If I wind up needed the control arms, Ill get them. I need to figure that out.

For me personally, the ride is better and smoother since I upgraded to the BDS Lift. Adding new Shocks, Springs and Sway bars along with Steering Stabilizer it feels smoother over bumps and roads. My wife also commented on how much smoother it was than stock. I don't believe Control Arms will do much for Ride Quality, but I honestly do not know that for a fact. I do know that with stock Control Arms, BDS Hydraulic 5500 Shocks, new Springs and Swaybars from BDS, that I have a much smoother on road experience.

spencerlj 05-09-2013 11:11 PM

I wanted to post an update on the gas mileage after the lift/tire change. Prior to the lift and 33" tires added, I was getting about 16-16.5 mpg mixed highway/city. I just took a long roadtrip last weekend with both mixed driving and now my mileage is about 14.75-15 mpg. That was within my expectation. I was estimating as the speedometer needs to be updated and I plan to update the Speedometer gear as outlined elsewhere in the forum in several places. It appears my speedometer is about 7-8% off of what it should be so I factored the mileage based on that. I will check again after updating the speedo gear.

flflash 05-10-2013 11:22 AM

One of the reasons for going with the control arms even if you don't do any heavy offroading is that the arms are designed for the added lift and restore correct suspension geometry, including castor which is a major contributor to the dreaded "Death Wooble" You'll also find the arms smooth out your ride due to the improved geometry. Well worth the money on a lifted Jeep.

spencerlj 05-10-2013 10:11 PM

As I mentioned above, a great piece of advice I received from the forum was to change out the speedo gear for TJs (JKs need a reprogramming based on the article I read). Using a GPS as well as another car behind me, I found my speed is off about 8.4% (at 65 on the speedo I am actually going 71). The thread is here: http://www.wranglerforum.com/f105/sp...-121033-2.html and I ordered my gear from Quadratec. 39.95 for the Gear and a new O ring for 1.49. Now I will not only know what precise speed I am going, but my mileage will not be understated and I will be able to more precisely measure my gas mileage. I used the 8.4% figure to get a close estimate on my first tank post lift. I am getting about 1.25-1.75 mpg less than I was before the lift. It was 16-16.5mpg (mixed city/highway) and now it was about 14.75 mpg.

I have a Dana 35 rear with 3.73 gears. you will need to know both to use the chart in the article. He explains it all in there.

spencerlj 05-20-2013 11:34 PM

More and more on the forum are saying Control Arms really are necessary and have me second guessing the advice I have received from others locally. So, how difficult of an install or replacement of the arms is it? Many have suggested Lower for certain and Uppers when I can.

spencerlj 06-01-2013 09:33 PM

I went offroad today for the first time since my lift. it was in the Virginia mountains on some private land that I had been on when it was still stock. The lift performed very well. I cleared items that I was dragging across before without it, it was quite a bit smoother and with the larger tires, the ride more comfortable. I was able to easily climb parts that were somewhat sketchy with the all terrain radials. I did not really overtest the flex in the system and did not open the front sway bars to test as I was mostly on trails, creek crossings, up and down hills and open fields with some sprinkled about rocks. I had no scrapes today for the first time! I really thought it performed well.

I did have a slight problem with my 4WD Lo gear initially wanting to pop out but after I got it to stick, I had no further problems all day.

TJMichael 06-01-2013 10:08 PM

I just purchased a silver 2000 Sport which has a 3" BDS lift with their shocks, steering stabilizer, disconnects, and the fixed-length BDS lower control arms. The tires were worn completely out, so it suffered from intermittent vibrations. Yesterday I put on a new set of 33x12.50 BFG AT-KO's, and the vibrations are gone. I haven't had a chance to try it off-road yet, but it handles well on-road. The front seems to be about an inch or so lower than the rear, but I don't know if I will add spacers in the front or not. I gave my daughter my yellow 2000 Sport which is still basically stock on 31's, so this Jeep (my sixth one) is my first lifted one. I was actually looking for a stock TJ, but this one was in too good of condition to pass up, and I had read many positive comments on the Forum about BDS lifts. Hopefully I can update my profile and add some pics soon.

Arch Stanton 06-02-2013 10:04 AM

I have the BDS springs and OME shocks. At first the ride was rather stiff, but it smoothed out a bit. In hindsight I should have bought the OME kit. By the way, BDS told me that their lifetime warranty doesn't cover their shocks, so I didn't buy their kit.

ipath68 06-02-2013 10:26 AM

They might not cover shocks but there warranty on parts is awesome, my track bar bushing cracked on my 4.5" and they sent a new one and had a shop install it for me free. Most places wouldn't cover a bushing, no questions just sent a new one. The only issues I have ever had with mine is because the shop that installed it were idiots! They mounted the track bar where the steering stabilizer should have been. Sent a picture via email to the tech dept. they called the shop told them what they did wrong and had my jeep fixed. You can't beat customer service like that.


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