Get Badlands or go with lower trim + aftermarket parts?

Jhuff

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Part of the reason I am getting a Badlands is because I believe its the model that will retain it's value a lot more than say the Base, OB, or BD. The FE will obviously be the best value holder. That being said I am going to get all the off-road goodies I can with it from the factory. I'll worry about after market when the warranty is gone, and by that time the after market will be well established.
Yep, I am betting the Badlands will be the most sought after trim in the junkyards, and in used car sales. Just like the good old days of looking for certain years/models for the tougher blocks, heads, or pumpkins.


As to the OP, I have to disagree on most of these cost estimates; I think they are a little high, but that depends upon what your goal is, do you want something similar to the badlands (doable) or exactly the same? If it is the former, I would bet you could do it for less money if you can wait for the aftermarket.

(1) You will have to wait for the aftermarket to produce what you want, and maybe have to wait longer for enough competition between these companies to keep those prices reasonable.

(2) With some basic tools you could properly lift a modern Tacoma (IFS) several inches or more for about $2000 total (yourself), including an upper A-arm replacement which the bronco may or may not need. But, the rear lift on the bronco will likely be slightly more costly than just adding a new leaf pack, as with the Tacoma's rear end.

(3) If you demand the stronger front axle of the badlands, you might want to select this from the factory, as this will probably be a costly/PIA task.

(4) Slightly off topic, if you plan on 35's or bigger and can live with the factory wheels, you might want to just get the Squatch package. There is a lot of guessing that offset wheels, spacers, or more may be required to fit those tires, and having that from the factory could be a cost savings if it ends up that new wheels will have to be purchased. But, you could sell the factory wheels to offset the cost. Edit: This will also get you a slight lift which could offset the cost above... probably the best option in my opinion.





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beachztt

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Man, you can tell how much everyone is contemplating just by the length of the posts. Good stuff!
 

irv0735

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As an example : When's the last time you changed a stereo head unit in a vehicle < 8 years old?
On my 2017 sprinter...but that's a commercial vehicle and admittedly they changed it in 2018 and the factory option is now really nice. Haha
 

MadMan4BamaNATL

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Man, you can tell how much everyone is contemplating just by the length of the posts. Good stuff!
Yep, there is so much to consider and so many options, it's almost an endless discussion. This is why the Wrangler is so popular in the first place; customization.

If Bronco has similar aftermarket support (seems Ford is courting it a good bit), anyone with the motivation will be able to build based on needs and build as you go.

Unless you wrench, there really aren't many ways to build a crawler on the cheap with a new truck without risking safety, so I hope this thread inspires readers to dig and do some deep research before making final decisions and spending money.
 

MJJ

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Thanks for the replies. I'm thinking I'm gonna just roll with the Badlands (budget allowing) and potentially add a factory 2" lift. That way the warranty won't get voided as many of you pointed out.

I didn’t read the entire thread but I will add something I haven’t seen mentioned yet....

resale or trade in value consideration.

When you go trade in your bronco or even sell it private party you will get back pennies on the dollar for aftermarket mods.

I have spent large amounts of modding three different vehicles 04 SVT Cobra, 11 Shelby GT500 and 2017 Nissan GTR. I enjoyed “making them my own” but I did not get back any premium over if the car had remained stock.

summary: buy the badlands up front.
 

Grave Digger

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What you're written here is true and no one thinking along these lines should take any of it lightly. For clarification, think you should flesh out what you mean by roll. If I'm following, you're referring to the geometry being off when you lift a vehicle too high and add bigger tires. This throws off center of gravity, and high end IFS tend to be bouncy. This means you need to mod steering and brakes to compensate for balancing, but even then your car wouldn't pass crash tests.
When I say "roll" on page 2 I mean actually rolling the truck over.
 

MadMan4BamaNATL

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When I say "roll" on page 2 I mean actually rolling the truck over.
Right, so I was asking that you explain how and when that becomes possible.

Lots of guys who read our posts are new to wheeling, so I see this as education for all of us, but when new in particular. Off roading can come across as intimidating; doesn't have to be, so we need to be sure to tell the entire story to be most helpful. That's all I meant.
 

vel23

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I like this question and topic, but do want to caution that it is far more involved than it seems.

The base Bronco doesn't look to be a Wrangler Sport as far as capability is concerned, so the total cost of building from Base is going to cost you more than just getting the Badlands unless you start cutting corners.

Lots of guys here on the forum will do a lot of talking, but very few who do have ever built a rig. There is also a reason why you normally don't build your own using a new purchased vehicle. You mostly want to go used and under $15K for your rig. #1 You're going to burn your warranties which isn't a smart idea. #2 the costs will give a lot of sticker shock unless you've done this before and/or do all of your own wrenching with a buddy. I'm talking around $17K to make a base exceed a Badlands. YES, I did just type that. I've seen kits for a new Rubicon that average between $12K-$15K and most of those miss a few areas in need of upgrade, usually in the interior.

Also remember that Badlands gets you the GOAT modes. Sure, there are some purists who will balk at that, but I will argue that a purist wouldn't even want the new Bronco.

Starting with suspension, for a set up including a 2" lift from a good maker (Fox, Bilstein, Falcon, Skyjacker, ICON) in a stage 2 configuration, add $4000; that's just parts. This will be mid grade. 3-4" lift so you can fit 37" or 40", add another $2000 or more. I am not including front and rear lockers here, add around $1200 maybe more (I've never had to add lockers, always came with) Yes you need lockers to wheel.

Wheels and 37" tires (pick your favorites here, I'm BFG all day) Add another $2800 at least.

Armor will cost around $2500-$4000 (Sliders, belly skids, rear diff cover) Steel Bumpers for front and back are another $1700, again, just parts.

Base comes with shit lights, so you should upgrade the headlights, but if you go straight to quality LED bars from KC, Rigid, etc, add another $1500. This is front amber, spread and beam, rear amber.

Roof rack and a winch should always be included if you plan to wheel. Not having a winch is just stupid if you're going to take even moderate trails or if you ever go near mud. Warn is of course where you should set as a baseline, but lots of guys swear by Smitty (to each his own), a winch plate is necessary also. Add $1400 - $3500 (Warn).

Do the math. Sure, you can ensure you get exactly what you want, so if you own a shop, wrench skills are good, an experienced wheeler, not your first build, or have money to burn to make it yours from day one while you pay a car note, knock yourself out. However, if you just think that building your own rig "sounds" cool, don't. Not on this new vehicle. The cost, the work, the risks, are just a gamble.

Not trying to discourage, just want to see people go in eyes wide open.

My advice, get everything you can from the factory offered upgrades, then focus your extra money on gear for your interior, or adding a good compressor that you'll run off a second battery set up, and a good fridge and storage system to keep your shit from flying all over the rig and hitting you in the head.

Is all of this necessary, no, but if you really want to build your own crawler, or off road spec rig, there are no short cuts that won't leave you stuck n fuked on a trail.

Happy wheeling!!! 🤪
I've got to say, I've been lurking this forum since the Bronco was announced but this post made me make an account just to say this is a VERY good post. I've been trying to figure out between Black Diamond and later mods (I've literally never done anything offroad related), Outer Banks, or Badlands with the extras to avoid mods later that I'd probably be discouraged doing at a later date because of my ignorance of what I'm getting into. If I got a Black Diamond and 3-5 years later I never add anything, I would just wish I would have gotten a Badlands. It's the same reason I got the 340 over the 330. I'm much more of a "rather have it and never use it" car buyer.
 

tshaw2009

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Personally I would go with the Big Bend (you can get the signature LEDs) or Base trim with the factory installed 2 inch lift on 37s if the rumors about its presence are true. I would hope they are since this picture is on the Ford website. I would think the factory 2 inch lift on 37s would be cheaper than the Sasquatch package due to all the extra suspension technology (electronic front and rear locking diffs) that is included in the Sasquatch package. This is my hope at least.
2021-ford-bronco-wallpaper.jpg
 

MadMan4BamaNATL

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I've got to say, I've been lurking this forum since the Bronco was announced but this post made me make an account just to say this is a VERY good post. I've been trying to figure out between Black Diamond and later mods (I've literally never done anything offroad related), Outer Banks, or Badlands with the extras to avoid mods later that I'd probably be discouraged doing at a later date because of my ignorance of what I'm getting into. If I got a Black Diamond and 3-5 years later I never add anything, I would just wish I would have gotten a Badlands. It's the same reason I got the 340 over the 330. I'm much more of a "rather have it and never use it" car buyer.
Appreciate you man. Yes, the nice to haves end up saving you money over time, as even the technology, although gets older by the day, also delays the desire to upgrade to something new since you do have something.

A Badlands on Sasquatch will in my opinion be cheaper overall to upgrade than starting from scratch.

Only reason to upgrade the above mentioned setup is either to rock crawl or the cosmetics. Now, I say that, but getting cosmetics for a few years, then as the truck ages, get into some crawling also makes sense.

I wil not be crawling during the first 4 years of ownership. I will get dirty, but will not intentionally go on trails with known boulders that can break suspension components and it doesn't take much. When I do decide to go crawling, that will be after a full suspension upgrade; hopefully form ICON. I plan for this to cost me around $5K-$7K depending on if I'll upgrade to 37s.
 
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MadMan4BamaNATL

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Personally I would go with the Big Bend (you can get the signature LEDs) or Base trim with the factory installed 2 inch lift on 37s if the rumors about its presence are true. I would hope they are since this picture is on the Ford website. I would think the factory 2 inch lift on 37s would be cheaper than the Sasquatch package due to all the extra suspension technology (electronic front and rear locking diffs) that is included in the Sasquatch package. This is my hope at least.
2021-ford-bronco-wallpaper.jpg
Don't bet on a factory 2" lift and all other strengthened components plus 37s to be cheaper than Sasquatch. In fact, it should be much more expensive since you'll also need to upgrade the IFS.

Think Sasquatch comes with a 2" lift already, but 35s don't need upgraded components other than those already in the package to be trail ready.

There is no "cheap" pathway to 37" tires that you plan to take wheeling unless you plan to deal with a number of broken components. Honestly, for 37s to actually go crawling, the axles need to be upgraded also.
 

Philly

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I personally would recommend getting whatever off road parts you can afford and think you might want from the factory. If you can't afford something, try to make it a project that you think you could take on yourself and add later. Also try and do some research on everything that you will have to put on these rigs to get them to drive "right." I jumped in head first with my bone stock Wrangler Sport and wow was I surprised with the costs of upgrading things the right way. Sure, with the wranglers you can get a 4" lift for about $500, but what people don't realize is thats usually just the cost of cheap shocks and springs and there are loads of other parts you will need to alter or replace to get things working properly, especially with the larger lifts. (I went a different route with a higher end 2.5" lift and flat fenders.)

If you get things from the factory, you know it will be done right. If you're unhappy with the upgraded factory parts, I bet there will be a market for them moderately used when you upgrade. There is for 4-door Wrangler springs and Rubicon shocks. I expect this with Badlands/Sasquatch suspension components

Basically, upgrading these vehicles properly to keep things safe or at least as functional as they were from the factory is VERY expensive. If it's your hobby to wrench on and figure things out, go for it. If it's not, buy everything you can afford and upgrade the easier stuff slowly. For example, I avoid differential work like the plague because it's expensive and I don't have the tools or capability (yet) so would hire out a regear or addition of lockers when it would probably be easier and possibly cheaper to get from the factory. Something to keep in mind while ordering.
 

vel23

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Appreciate you man. Yes, the nice to haves end up saving you money over time, as even the technology, although gets older by the day, also delays the desire to upgrade to something new since you do have something.

A Badlands on Sasquatch will in my opinion be cheaper overall to upgrade than starting from scratch.

Only reason to upgrade the above mentioned setup is either to rock crawl or the cosmetics. Now, I say that, but getting cosmetics for a few years, then as the truck ages, get into some crawling also makes since.

I wil not be crawling during the first 4 years of ownership. I will get dirty, but will not intentionally go on trails with known boulders that can break suspension components and it doesn't take much. When I do decide to go crawling, that will be after a full suspension upgrade; hopefully form ICON. I plan for this to cost me around $5K-$7K depending on if I'll upgrade to 37s.
That's what I've learned. I don't know much about suspensions, but I know the 2.7 and the Bilstein's are a wise investment "stock". Throw in the locking front and rear and that's pushing me for the BL being the best bang for your (big) buck for the novice like myself. I remember the fuss about adding a limited slip differential to the 340i when I was looking at getting mine, so to have that taken care of out the gate is big I'd think.

I plan on running this thing close to 300k miles. Buy smart in the beginning.
 
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MadMan4BamaNATL

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That's what I've learned. I don't know much about suspensions, but I know the 2.7 and the Bilstein's are a wise investment "stock". Throw in the locking front and rear and that's pushing me for the BL being the best bang for your (big) buck for the novice like myself. I remember the fuss about adding a limited slip differential to the 340i when I was looking at getting mine, so to have that taken care of out the gate is big I'd think.

I plan on running this thing close to 300k miles. Buy smart in the beginning.
You're thinking smart for sure. Having front and rear lockers may be the most valuable trail accessories there are. lockers can get you out of situations very effectively without the need for recovery gear for when those times come that you do wish to go camping without much fuss.

Remember that with Badlands you'll also get the sway bar disconnect.
 

Treeza61

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I think about the only thing "more extreme" I'd do over the badlands is like a 2" lift to get slightly bigger tires on it. Would that require replacing a lot of existing components? (I'm a noob.)
You can add the high clearance suspension.
 

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