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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
[NOTE: As of May 2010, I've actually switched from a BDS to a Superlift; the reasons and the results are explained much later in the thread, starting around post #105.]

So I've been trail-testing the 4" BDS lift for awhile now, and I have some preliminary impressions to share. First, the requisite overall shots.

Before:



After, running 285 tires on the stock wheels with 1.25" spacers:



First off, I'm very pleased with the look of the 4" lift. The ride is great, the performance excellent so far -- and I'm currently running without an EGR module. Happiness.

But I suspect that's not likely to be what folks are wanting to know about. More pertinent, I imagine, is how this compares to the Superlift.

Since I've been able to look at these two 4" kits side-by-side on the trail and in the garage, I can tell you that they both have some real positives. That said, if I was choosing today, I'd go with the BDS. Not because I'm a Superlift hater (I'm not), but because of the sorts of things I'm looking for in a lift.

Now for some details...



What you see here is the rear of my XK with the BDS installed. This is the closest I could get to a one-pic summary of what I really like about this kit vs. the Superlift. In a word, I'd say that the difference between the two is engineering. While they share a number of parts, the things they don't share can be telling. If you look at the body attachment point for that upper control arm, for instance, you'll see two things that make me very happy. First, a solid, durable bushing that is far superior to the press-in, quick-to-degrade thing you get with Superlift. Even better, you can see a zirc fitting -- which sure ought to be standard on the part but most assuredly is not. These are "little" things, but they're sure worth it over the long haul, especially if your vehicle (like mine) is both a trail rig and a daily driver. Advantage BDS.

You can also see here that the BDS, as is well known, has a different configuration for the lower control arms, which results in the omission of those dreaded clearance-reductions that you get with the Superlift. This is huge to me, since I'm a big fan of not crashing into rocks on the trail. Big advantage BDS.



The pic above is looking toward the front of the vehicle with the BDS installed. You can start to see here that the finish of the BDS parts is far superior to Superlift's. The powdercoating is thicker and much more polished. (And I even like the color!)

Back to the engineering side of things, though, can you see that big grey crossmember? It matches one on the very front of the vehicle (which can be seen in picture 2, above). This "back of the front" crossmember is very different from the set-up that Superlift has, and it is a big positive and (at least for the moment) a slight negative to the BDS kit.

On the positive side, this is (again) good engineering. By having this rail-to-rail bracing, the BDS kit keeps the front end tighter and stronger than the Superlift does. It also helps to protect the mounting points for the lower control arms, which can take hits now and then (not a good thing). All in all, it's more thought-out than Superlift's set-up, and I can see exactly why they chose to go this route.

On the negative side, this lovely crossmember won't allow the fitting of the 4xGuard Belly Guard as it is currently designed, which is a shame. Since I happen to think that the Belly Guard is one of the few "must haves" on these rigs, this is a real bummer to me. While there may be a redesign of the BG at some point, it isn't here now. So know that going in.

Okay. So far it's been mostly good for the BDS kit. But it ain't all BDS roses. Now for the one real problem I've had with the BDS that the Superlift does not have:



This is the front differential skidplate for the BDS. If you've ever seen the Superlift kit, you know that they have a much wider plate under the front end. While I would like it if the BDS one was the same width as the Superlift one is, that's not my real problem here: this BDS skid, after all, covers the low-hanging fruit, and those heavy-duty crossmembers to either side of the diff area should prevent almost any other hit up into the axle area above.

No, my problem is that the BDS engineering, which is so great everywhere else, didn't do so well here. As you can see, I've taken some blows on the skid. Big blows. I was, after all, field-testing the lift, and that means giving it a good hard workout (this damage was done on the rockpiles going up to Red Cone in Colorado). Anyway, the point is that when it was really crashed down upon, the skid bent back a little. Not enough to hurt the diff, but enough to get a buzz off of it and to annoy me. It's not the end of the world, but in my humble opinion this skid ought to be gusseted, and it's not.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't bring up one small but rather significant point that's apropos to this damage: BDS has a "no fine print" warranty. Seriously. That means that if I send this plate back to them, I'll get a new one. Doesn't matter how the part failed, or why. It bent back and it shouldn't have, so BDS will take care of it -- that's some real peace of mind for me.

I hope all that helps a bit. Let me know if you have any follow-up questions.
 

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If you look at the body attachment point for that upper control arm, for instance, you'll see two things that make me very happy. First, a solid, durable bushing that is far superior to the press-in, quick-to-degrade thing you get with Superlift. Even better, you can see a zirc fitting -- which sure ought to be standard on the part but most assuredly is not.

You can also see here that the BDS, as is well known, has a different configuration for the lower control arms, which results in the omission of those dreaded clearance-reductions that you get with the Superlift. This is huge to me, since I'm a big fan of not crashing into rocks on the trail. Big advantage BDS.
I thought the superlift kit uses upper link arm brackets to relocate the upper control arms. So arn't the press-in, quick-to-degrade things you mentioned part of the stock oem upper control arm?

Also just out of curiosity what does the BDS kit provide for the lower control arms? They look like the stock oem control arms in the pic. If thats what they are then you could easily buy the 4 inch superlift, upgrade to the BDS adjustable upper control arms to get the better bushings and zerk fittings you were talking about and still pay less then the BDS kit.

Can you take some measurements of the clearance under the front crossmembers on both the Superlift and BDS kits. I just cant see the BDS having that much more clearance over the Superlift since they both use front crossmembers to relocate the lower control arms.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Can you take some measurements of the clearance under the front crossmembers on both the Superlift and BDS kits. I just cant see the BDS having that much more clearance over the Superlift since they both use front crossmembers to relocate the lower control arms.
The clearance difference is on the rear. In particular, it's in front of the rear tire. The front of the vehicle is more or less the same, for just the reasons you note.

You can, as you mention, get some of the benefits of the BDS by mixing and matching parts with the Superlift kit. Depending on pricing, you might even come out ahead that way.

As I said, I have nothing against the Superlift kit at all. It's not that I think it's necessarily bad. I'm just liking the BDS kit more at this point.

So arn't the press-in, quick-to-degrade things you mentioned part of the stock oem upper control arm?
Well, sort of. I didn't make it clear in my text (my bad), but I was using that upper control arm bushing as a visible example of the difference in bushings that are everywhere post-BDS. I wanted to use the example of the bushings on the swaybar links (which can really get to squeaking with those crappy press-in things), but you can't really see them in my picture.

Again, these are "little" things, but they make a big difference in my mind. In short, if I was shopping for one and the price points were close enough, I would swing for the BDS. But if I had to "settle" for a Superlift I wouldn't be unhappy. I was, after all, planning to get a Superlift myself before their recent business troubles. :)
 

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Ok you got me confused. All the parts that you mentioned on the BDS kit that you feel are better then what Superlift provides all can be upgraded on the Superlift kit still costing you less then the BDS kit in the end. The only other positive you really mentioned was the thickness of the powdercoating on the front crossmember. Im not sure what others here think but id rather have the protection of the Superlift front skid plate over the BDS kit that only had the advantage of thicker powercoating on the front crossmember.

Basically what it comes down to is Superlift made their kit first and BDS followed making a few changes. Changes that can be upgraded to the Superlift costing you less then actually purchasing the BDS kit. With that being said my vote still goes for the 4 inch superlift!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok you got me confused. All the parts that you mentioned on the BDS kit that you feel are better then what Superlift provides all can be upgraded on the Superlift kit still costing you less then the BDS kit in the end. The only other positive you really mentioned was the thickness of the powdercoating on the front crossmember. Im not sure what others here think but id rather have the protection of the Superlift front skid plate over the BDS kit that only had the advantage of thicker powercoating on the front crossmember.

Basically what it comes down to is Superlift made their kit first and BDS followed making a few changes. Changes that can be upgraded to the Superlift costing you less then actually purchasing the BDS kit. With that being said my vote still goes for the 4 inch superlift!!!!
I don't know that there's "voting" involved, and you're free to put whatever you want under your rig. I don't get paid either way. :)

Some points of fact, though:

1. BDS did not copy Superlift as you suggest. Indeed, the designs were done so concurrently that the two companies actually shared the cost of making molds for the pieces they knew they'd share.

2. I'd actually like to see someone price out all those parts that need replacing to see if it is as simple and easy and affordable as you think it is. I'm not attacking you, by the way. I'd just really be curious. If you save hundreds going that way, it might be worth the trouble. If you don't.…

3. You're ignoring the other inequalities: front lower control arm protection, stronger overall front end with the extra rail-to-rail crossmember stabilizing everything, and the warranty. Plus, one of the companies is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy; the other is not.

Again, I'm just trying to get the facts out there. Not trying to convince folks one way or another.

And seriously, I'd like to see a breakdown of costs on getting a Superlift and "BDSing" it versus just getting the BDS in the first place.
 

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I don't know that there's "voting" involved, and you're free to put whatever you want under your rig. I don't get paid either way. :)

Some points of fact, though:

1. BDS did not copy Superlift as you suggest. Indeed, the designs were done so concurrently that the two companies actually shared the cost of making molds for the pieces they knew they'd share.

2. I'd actually like to see someone price out all those parts that need replacing to see if it is as simple and easy and affordable as you think it is. I'm not attacking you, by the way. I'd just really be curious. If you save hundreds going that way, it might be worth the trouble. If you don't.…

3. You're ignoring the other inequalities: front lower control arm protection, stronger overall front end with the extra rail-to-rail crossmember stabilizing everything, and the warranty. Plus, one of the companies is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy; the other is not.

Again, I'm just trying to get the facts out there. Not trying to convince folks one way or another.

And seriously, I'd like to see a breakdown of costs on getting a Superlift and "BDSing" it versus just getting the BDS in the first place.

I was under the assumption and told by the guys at superlift that they were infact the ones that came out with the kit first and the BDS uses some of Superlifts parts to make their kit complete. Maybe I got some bad information, who knows.

Also I never said BDS copied them. I just said it looks like they made improvements on their kit over the superlift which you could purchase from BDS for the Superlift making it still cost less.

I assume that your refering to Superlift being in Chapter 11 bankruptcy obviously because if it was BDS you would have never brought it up. With that being said who really cares. The way the economy is today there are a lot of companies in bankruptcy. In the end you still see more people running superlift on thier commanders.

Basically the only part needed to fix the problem with the superlift that makes the BDS better is the rear upper adjustable control arms. I have priced out both kits using the BDS rear adjustable control arms and it is in fact cheaper then buying the BDS kit. I have been doing extensive research on both kits over the past two years so when It comes time to pull the trigger I know what my money is paying for.

Im not trying to start a pissing contest either, it's just your thread makes it sound like the BDS kit is far superior to the Superlift even though it really isnt. Just my .02
 

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4 "Superlift - $1606.99
If you watch the website they have offered it for 10% off quite frequently in the past year for a total of $1446.30

http://www.4wd.com/productdetails.aspx?jeep-sid=357&plID=71&partID=13844

BDS Rear Adjustable control arms - $274.68

Total - $ 1881.67




4" BDS - $1994.73

http://www.bds-suspension.com/kits/458H


So basically you can order the BDS adjustable upper control arms and have the same rear setup as the BDS kit and still save $100. You could even put that $100 todards the BDS Adjustable Lower control arms that they also sell as an upgrade to the original BDS lift. Now if you were to catch that website listed above with the Superlift for 10% off you would be able to purchase both the upper and lower adjustable control arms for the price of the BDS lift.
 

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BTW I am not biased towards the Superlift. I absolutely love BDS. In fact im currently running the BDS 2 inch spacer lift and absolutely love it. I think its far superior to the 2 inch poly spacer lifts on the market as its practically bullet proof!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes, it's Superlift who is in chapter 11. As you said, that's not the en of the world -- except that BDS is currently filling orders, and Superlift is not. That may change soon, but that's the lay of the land right now. (You might well find the Superlift in stock somewhere until supplies are out, of course!)

The prices you list are fascinating in that you've got the manufacturer's price for the BDS and a discounter's price for the Superlift. This is a major problem for BDS, I think. They don't have a good marketing/distro network in the Jeep arena. Trucks, yes. But us? No. Maybe that'll change in the future, maybe not. No surprise, though, that
most folks have gone Superlift over the BDS so far.

To each their own, but if it is as close as $100 I'd go with the BDS and have it all from the same manufacturer. At this point, anyway. Ask me again after another month of trail-testing this thing!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oh, and I should say again that the lack of a 4xG Belly Guard For the BDS at the moment blows. Seriously blows.

Very seriously blows.

I hope for a solution soon.
 

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I love the back and fourth between you two, it brought up some goods points. On the matter of filling orders, all I know is I ordered my Superlift over a month ago through 4wheelparts, and it's still not in. They say they're waiting on a part. ?????? I want my lift damn it. Anyone know if someone has them in stock?
 

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I love the back and fourth between you two, it brought up some goods points. On the matter of filling orders, all I know is I ordered my Superlift over a month ago through 4wheelparts, and it's still not in. They say they're waiting on a part. ?????? I want my lift damn it. Anyone know if someone has them in stock?


http://www.4wd.com/productdetails.aspx?jeep-sid=357&plID=71&partID=13844

You should have called prior to making the order to make sure they had it in stock and when it would ship.
 

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I called 4wd.com prior to and they said it was backordered. That's why I called 4wheelparts. They told me it would be a couple of weeks, but it's been way more. Maybe something is going on?
 

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I called 4wd.com prior to and they said it was backordered. That's why I called 4wheelparts. They told me it would be a couple of weeks, but it's been way more. Maybe something is going on?

Haha probablly the chaper 11 bankruptcy that has been talked about in this thread. I hope the dont totally discontinue making the 4 inch lift for the XK. If so id have no choice but to buy the BDS in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
This is indeed part of the chapter 11 issue. I had a lift order in directly with Superlift for two months before I gave up and took the chance on the lesser-known (to Jeepers) BDS for my XK. Obviously glad I did.

Based on the information I have, I would advise you not to hold your breath on the production of your kit. Sorry. We can all just hope Superlift comes through eventually. It's good to have a choice in the market.
 

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Just my luck! :cowfrown:
I wonder what piece they are waiting on to make the kit complete. If only you knew you could probablly get a discount on the kit and have them send it as is and order the missing part from BDS or somthing.
 

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I just ordered the 4" Superlift, supposedly they only had about 20 ESP modules available but were due to ship within 4 weeks. Lets see if that holds up since its been a week since I placed the order from my shop.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well, I hope you get what you ordered in due time. I'm running without an EGR module on the BDS because Superlift told me they were out of them with no idea when they'd have more.

By the way, I don't know if it's a difference with the XK or BDS's engineering, but I've been surprised how little the ESP is a problem with this setup. I might not ever get the EGR and use that couple hundred bucks on something else.
 

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Well, I hope you get what you ordered in due time. I'm running without an EGR module on the BDS because Superlift told me they were out of them with no idea when they'd have more.

By the way, I don't know if it's a difference with the XK or BDS's engineering, but I've been surprised how little the ESP is a problem with this setup. I might not ever get the EGR and use that couple hundred bucks on something else.

Have you tired ordering the EGR Module directly from AEV?
 
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