Off roading upgrade suggestions

vyruz

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I have recently upgraded my tires to the 235/65/r17 Open Country A/T III so decided to take my Big Bend off roading on what was listed as a moderate difficulty trail (Yankee hill in Colorado). Didn't have any traction issues or anything like that (aired down to 20-25 psi) and for the most part did just fine but did end up scrapping / bashing a few times on some larger rocks I couldn't completely avoid and even managed to brake one of the mounts that hangs the muffler (even the guy at the ford parts center was confused as to how the piece broke. The metal skid plate under the car car scrapped off on the drivers side and is a bit bashed and crumpled but apart from some scratches on plastics doesn't seem to be any other issues.

So that brings me to what are some parts I should swap out to make this a bit more reliable off road. I would like to have full metal skid plates covering all the important parts but i've been a bit confused by some of the posts here with links to a few part number of which areas these actually cover. I was planning to get a lift kit but not sure how effective the 1.5" from rough country really will be, id like the 2" from ford lifts but at over $500 that's way too much for a basic lift kit (should have done this and then bought largest possible tires but too late now). Being on the base big bend i don't even have the rear hitch and doesn't look like there are any front tow points so seems like i need to get something added there (not sure if the tow hooks from badlands can be easily installed or if something like rough country nudge bar would be a better option).

What parts have others added to help getting out in more rugged terrain?

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Rgill

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Most important thing to note. The Big Bend does NOT have skid or bash plates. They have composite covers over critical parts. Basically underbody liner.
There is no skid plate protection.

Only the badlands and First Edition have them. Off-roading with anything that can bash under your BB will require skid plates and I do not know of any aftermarket right now for the Base. OB or BB. Hopefully someone else might know.

You are talking about trying to make the BB into a BL. To be rugged you really should move up to a BL and sell the BB or buy a BL and keep the BB. Or buy a Bronco and keep or sell the BB.

The BS BL has the suspension, 2 additional goats, 4x4 lock, twin clutch locking dif, liquid coolant, hydraulic bump stops. Etc.

Do not put a nudge bar on a think it will take the place of tow hooks unless you want to be in a situation where the nudge tears right off and takes your bumper with it. Nudge bars are to push Like if a friend runs out of gas and needs a kind push.

If you are really wanting to be rugged where you are looking to go places that bash underneath and you may need help getting out of, I recommend driving something else rather than spending thousands trying to upgrade the BB. Join the unicorn crowd and order a 22 badlands!

Just my thoughts. I included a outline of the 2021 BS Trim levels To show that the undercarriage protection starts with the BL And in 2022 will only be on the BL as there will be no FE.

(I will also add as a caution that many of us know, even the BS BL has its Achilles heel without a skid for the very front radiator section in front (glass jaw should we say). For BS BL unicorn owners, this should be on a hunt list for everyone.)

398A1987-4C0F-4746-A1CD-D13491E06924.jpeg
 
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AndyMac204

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don't tug from a nudge bar - or you'll get fudge-barred. and yah, those arent skid plates. thats my one gripe with these sports, why the eff dont they have any protection?

in your shoes, i'd do a lift, get the ford transit recovery hook for the rear, and maybe someone local to fab up skid plates?
 
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vyruz

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Most important thing to note. The Big Bend does NOT have skid or bash plates. They have composite covers over critical parts. Basically underbody liner.
There is no skid plate protection.

Only the badlands and First Edition have them. Off-roading with anything that can bash under your BB will require skid plates and I do not know of any aftermarket right now for the Base. OB or BB. Hopefully someone else might know.

You are talking about trying to make the BB into a BL. To be rugged you really should move up to a BL and sell the BB or buy a BL and keep the BB. Or buy a Bronco and keep or sell the BB.

The BS BL has the suspension, 2 additional goats, 4x4 lock, twin clutch locking dif, liquid coolant, hydraulic bump stops. Etc.

Do not put a nudge bar on a think it will take the place of tow hooks unless you want to be in a situation where the nudge tears right off and takes your bumper with it. Nudge bars are to push Like if a friend runs out of gas and needs a kind push.

If you are really wanting to be rugged where you are looking to go places that bash underneath and you may need help getting out of, I recommend driving something else rather than spending thousands trying to upgrade the BB. Join the unicorn crowd and order a 22 badlands!

Just my thoughts. I included a outline of the 2021 BS Trim levels To show that the undercarriage protection starts with the BL And in 2022 will only be on the BL as there will be no FE.

(I will also add as a caution that many of us know, even the BS BL has its Achilles heel without a skid for the very front radiator section in front (glass jaw should we say). For BS BL unicorn owners, this should be on a hunt list for everyone.)

398A1987-4C0F-4746-A1CD-D13491E06924.jpeg
I really wasnt planning on doing serious off roading in this. For the first half or so it was good and about the level i was looking for so that I know i can get to some camp sites and things like that. Definitely won't be selling the car and buying another bronco, honestly the BL doesnt seem like its that much more capable. At least i've already kind of found the limits of what i can do in this, even with the 1.5" lift i wouldnt attempt trails this hard again i don't think. I would kind of like to replace that bent up metal covering but not sure how to go about finding that part number.
 

Rgill

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I really wasnt planning on doing serious off roading in this. For the first half or so it was good and about the level i was looking for so that I know i can get to some camp sites and things like that. Definitely won't be selling the car and buying another bronco, honestly the BL doesnt seem like its that much more capable. At least i've already kind of found the limits of what i can do in this, even with the 1.5" lift i wouldnt attempt trails this hard again i don't think. I would kind of like to replace that bent up metal covering but not sure how to go about finding that part number.
Then definitely keep the BB. Your Ford dealer should be able to pull the part number and get the covering ordered up for you without a problem.

If you wonder about the BL capability and think there is little difference, please watch this video. Cannot be done without rear lockers and 4x4 locked and rock crawl. The finish is awesome!


 
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vyruz

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Then definitely keep the BB. Your Ford dealer should be able to pull the part number and get the covering ordered up for you without a problem.

If you wonder about the BL capability and think there is little difference, please watch this video. Cannot be done without rear lockers and 4x4 locked and rock crawl. The finish is awesome!


While that is cool I feel like ive seen a lot of videos of pretty questionable cars being able to handle hells gate. There are videos of stuff like a jeep renegade (which as far as im aware doenst have any locking diff) making it up. Id be interested to see someone attempt this in a non-BL bronco sport but doubt I'll ever see that video.
 

Rgill

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While that is cool I feel like ive seen a lot of videos of pretty questionable cars being able to handle hells gate. There are videos of stuff like a jeep renegade (which as far as im aware doenst have any locking diff) making it up. Id be interested to see someone attempt this in a non-BL bronco sport but doubt I'll ever see that video.
Well, the upside is we can all love the BS that we order and have and that is what is most important. Offroading is a combination of vehicle, tires and driver. A Jeep Wrangler can suck off-road with a bad driver or bad line :)

Here is a good video where they took a base up a trail with a Bronco. The base has the same off road capability as the BB and OB. It made it pretty far. They also explain the differences in the sport at one point.

 
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MaxVelocity

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I really wasnt planning on doing serious off roading in this. For the first half or so it was good and about the level i was looking for so that I know i can get to some camp sites and things like that. Definitely won't be selling the car and buying another bronco, honestly the BL doesnt seem like its that much more capable. At least i've already kind of found the limits of what i can do in this, even with the 1.5" lift i wouldnt attempt trails this hard again i don't think. I would kind of like to replace that bent up metal covering but not sure how to go about finding that part number.
Why do you think the Badlands is not much more capable?

You want bash plates, more clearance, and tow points. All those features are included on a BL, plus locking center and rear diffs which are most definitely a benefit off road.
 

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vyruz

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Why do you think the Badlands is not much more capable?

You want bash plates, more clearance, and tow points. All those features are included on a BL, plus locking center and rear diffs which are most definitely a benefit off road.
I meant more just because of the limited clearance. Those things are obvious going to help but it seems like the ground clearance is really going to be the barrier for these things. I thought the BL still didnt have all the skid plates people wanted but maybe i was misreading/misremembering.
 
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vyruz

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Well, the upside is we can all love the BS that we order and have and that is what is most important. Offroading is a combination of vehicle, tires and driver. A Jeep Wrangler can suck off-road with a bad driver or bad line :)

Here is a good video where they took a base up a trail with a Bronco. The base has the same off road capability as the BB and OB. It made it pretty far. They also explain the differences in the sport at one point.

Pretty decent video. It would be interesting to see a video (or series) of how well BS (base and BL) stacks up on light-medium trails against some of its competitors.
 

cmosuna

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I really wasnt planning on doing serious off roading in this. For the first half or so it was good and about the level i was looking for so that I know i can get to some camp sites and things like that. Definitely won't be selling the car and buying another bronco, honestly the BL doesnt seem like its that much more capable. At least i've already kind of found the limits of what i can do in this, even with the 1.5" lift i wouldnt attempt trails this hard again i don't think. I would kind of like to replace that bent up metal covering but not sure how to go about finding that part number.
The Badlands is much, much more capable.
 

RRD

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If you are seriously looking to do some off-roading, do NOT rely on the factory skid plates, even on the BL. If Ford is anything like Toyota then those "skid plates" on the BL are thin and weak. First time I went off-roading on my Taco TRD OR I hit a rock and almost punctured the oil pan.. the rock went right thru the "skid plate". Even the guys who own the TRD Pro replace the factory skid plates if they are getting into off-roading/overland adventures. A little money up front will save you a lot of $$$$ down the road.
 

AndyMac204

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bandlands are sweet, dont get me wrong. but a base/ob/bb does a hell of a job off road.
driver and tires are a huge factor as well.
 
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vyruz

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If you are seriously looking to do some off-roading, do NOT rely on the factory skid plates, even on the BL. If Ford is anything like Toyota then those "skid plates" on the BL are thin and weak. First time I went off-roading on my Taco TRD OR I hit a rock and almost punctured the oil pan.. the rock went right thru the "skid plate". Even the guys who own the TRD Pro replace the factory skid plates if they are getting into off-roading/overland adventures. A little money up front will save you a lot of $$$$ down the road.
From what i can see therese still arent any skid plates aviable to but and i don’t have a equipment needed to make them myself. Havent tried looking for a shop to do them for me though.
 

Cabezone

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The extra torque alone in the Badlands engine makes it much more capable. Brake locking tires sacrifices torque, even without the rear locker it'll be able to climb much better. The rear locker takes it up another notch above Base.
 
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