Bronco’s Boss HOSS System: 4 Levels of Performance

Jun 22, 2022

By Will Marshal, Forge Overland, and Laura Zielinski

Fresh on the heels of the release of the Bronco Raptor, Ford announced the HOSS 3.0 system for Wildtrak. That suspension addition, plus the silent implementation of a rear sway bar to the Sasquatch package on 4-door Broncos, means Ford is putting out some very significant updates for 2022 Broncos.

These upgrades, besides making the Bronco more capable, fully showcase the tiered suspension system Ford has been using since launch to the public. With the HOSS branding stretching across the entire lineup, Ford has four different levels, with major gains in suspension performance at each tier.

Below, we’ll go over HOSS 1.0-4.0, breaking down on which series you can find each system, the suspension makeup, and the benefits Ford gives you with each setup. Let’s also cover some suspension basics before we get started.

Suspension, Defined

A vehicle’s suspension system affects performance, handling, and comfort. Axles, springs, dampers, and sway bars are just some of the elements that play into a better ride for occupants, increased performance, and more control for the driver.

  • Axles: Axles carry vehicle weight, assist in steering, and deliver power to the driving wheels. Stronger axles support lockers, heavier wheels, and larger tires.
  • Steering gear, rack, and tie-rods: The Bronco has rack and pinion steering. When you turn the steering wheel, the steering gear moves the steering rack. The steering rack slides, and with it, the tie-rods, which connect the steering rack to the steering knuckle. This moves the wheel. You want your steering system to support the amount of force it is put under to prevent failure.
  • Springs: Springs let wheels move up and down over bumps and keep the body of the vehicle relatively level when doing so. Two of the more common types of springs are leaf springs or coils. The Bronco is equipped with coil springs. Coil springs extend as a wheel moves down and compress when it moves upward (a movement known as jounce).
  • Dampers (shock absorbers): After a spring compresses and rebounds, dampers are needed to absorb the energy so the vehicle doesn’t bounce and so the steering is easier to control. There are several kinds of dampers, including struts, lever-arms, and then the telescopic dampers found on Bronco. Good shocks control the body during extreme compression and rebound (caused by jumps, high-speed off-roading, rock crawling), keeping the suspension from bottoming out or topping out.
  • Jounce bumpers: Jounce bumpers, or bump stomps, are bumpers at the top of the spring and damper that provide cushion during extreme compression.
  • Damping strategies: These refer to how the suspension reacts to the road. The HOSS systems use varied damping strategies. Passive damping responds to changes in the road through the springs and shock absorbers in a configured way. Active damping uses sensors to gather detailed info from the terrain, and the computer modifies the damping force accordingly and to each wheel independently.
  • Sway bars: Stabilizer bars reduce body roll and add stability by transferring movement between wheels. They help reduce vehicle lean during cornering.

By upgrading elements of the suspension system, you get a more comfortable ride and maintain greater vehicle control. However, each HOSS system is specially designed, and you can’t DIY your way into a higher level without considering and maintaining the whole geometry of the system.

HOSS 1.0

Found on the 2022 Base, Big Bend, Outer Banks, and Black Diamond. Includes:

  • 190mm IFS axle
  • 220mm solid rear axle
  • 1-zone damping
  • Base-level steering rack, steering gear, and tie-rod system

The HOSS 1.0 system is capable and comfortable. Armed to the teeth with a set of conventional house-tuned Hitachi twin-tube dampers, this suspension is ready for just about everything under the sun –– as long as you are not in a hurry. More gas means more force applied, and that’s when limits are felt.

This is the standard suspension setup offered across the Base, Big Bend, Outer Banks, and Black Diamond trims. It features twin forged alloy A-arms with long-travel coil-over springs, 190mm IFS axle, 220mm solid rear axle with long-travel, and variable rate coil-over springs. If you’re headed off the beaten path, it has you covered.

HOSS 2.0

Found on the 2022 Badlands, Everglades, Wildtrak, and series equipped with Sasquatch. Includes:

  • 210mm IFS axle
  • 220mm solid rear axle
  • 3-zone damping
  • Two steering rack, steering gear, and tie-rod systems: base and Sasquatch
  • Two track widths: base and Sasquatch (25mm offset)
  • NEW for 2022: rear stabilizer bar with 4-door Sasquatch

For your 33” and 35” off-road fans, the Badlands, Everglades, Wildtrak, and trims equipped with the Sasquatch package ship with Bilstein monotube dampers with external piggyback bypass reservoirs. These 3-zone position-sensitive shocks are expertly tuned for resisting bottoming out or donkey-kicking at full suspension droop. External reservoirs pump up the oil capacity within the shock for greater endurance against shock-fade, and the End Stop Control Valve (ESCV) tech improves handling and ride.

This suspension system also qualifies your Bronco for a 210mm IFS axle and half-shaft upgrade. The 35” tire Sasquatch package-equipped vehicles gain additional upgrades in the form of a heavy-duty steering rack, motor, gear and tie-rods to further combat the forces of the larger and heavier 35” tires. Available sway-bar disconnect allows mogul aficionados to further stretch out the suspension to navigate wildly uneven terrain.

HOSS 3.0

Available on 2022 Wildtrak. Includes:

  • 210mm IFS axle
  • 220mm solid rear axle
  • 5-zone damping
  • Ford Performance Severe-Duty steering rack, Raptor motor, upgraded tie rods, Sasquatch steering ratio
  • Track width: 25mm offset
  • Rear stabilizer bar on both 2-doors and 4-doors

Speed hunters are about to get their fix with 5-zone rate-sensitive 2.5” FOX Racing internal-bypass shocks available for the Wildtrak. A big mid-travel upgrade over the HOSS 2.0 offering for those with gasoline in their veins, the off-road damping ability upgrade is sure to please –– you’re getting improved control of the vehicle with less penalty to normal ride.

These trophy-truck-inspired, fully rebuildable nitrogen-charged shocks are siblings to the race-proven FOX shocks available in the F-150 and Bronco Raptor. Frame-mounted external remote and piggyback reservoirs front and rear transcend the HOSS 2.0 equipment in even greater thermal capacity and fade avoidance. Coping with all this unbridled speed, HOSS 3.0-equipped Wildtraks also receive the Ford Performance Severe-Duty steering rack for the Bronco Raptor, with Sasquatch close-ratio steering gear ratios. Tie-rod ends are further upgraded to cope with various misadventures.

Wildtrak owners can get in on the HOSS 3.0 suspension for $2,515. Further 3.0 package upgrades are the Capable powder-coated steel front bumper with tow hooks, front steel bash plates, and fog lamps. While not quite ready to hit the rally stage, this is as far as you can get within the confines of the stock suspension geometry.

In introducing this suspension, Ford has stated that it will not detract from current orders being built. If customers do not upgrade to HOSS 3.0, fewer 3.0 systems will be built.

Next up is the king of the desert: Bronco Raptor.

HOSS 4.0

Found on the 2022 Bronco Raptor. Includes:

  • 210mm IFS axle
  • 235mm solid rear axle
  • Unique steering rack, motor, tie rods
  • Infinite-zone damping
  • Rear track bar

The Boss HOSS, HOSS 4.0 is the coveted Raptor suspension. Pumped full of technology, the system features FOX 3.1” internal bypass semi-active shocks. These shocks feature the same FOX Live Valve technology that is present in the F-150 Raptor.

This Live Valve suspension reacts to the terrain it is traveling over, in real time. It takes thousands of measurements every second from over a dozen different sensors, pumping that information through computers doing some really-really fast trigonometry, and spitting out a stream of data that controls the compression and rebound valving within the shock. The control computer is reading data points from things like yaw, roll, suspension position, speed, acceleration/braking and more to make split second decisions to modify how the suspension reacts to terrain. This information allows the suspension to perform better, letting you go faster, further.

Additional upgrades with the Bronco Raptor HOSS 4.0 are numerous, in the form of totally unique suspension components and geometry, frame rails, jounce bumpers, axles, and driveline.

The Hidden Gem

With four different suspension options available for the Bronco in various speed and utility-focused performance tiers, it is clear Ford is focused on checkered flags. While HOSS 3.0 and 4.0 are bright, shiny machined parts that steal the show, the hidden gem is really the HOSS 2.0 system. Neatly tucked away in the middle of the lineup, this suspension offers you an incredibly broad range of use-cases. Strength-upgraded steering, axle and suspension components net you a nice durability increase and the improved Bilstein monotube dampers wrangle an athletic suspension that is just as at home running to Home Depot as it is creeping its way through Big Sluice on the Rubicon trail.

A further highlight to this gem is the optional disconnecting front stabilizer bar. An incredibly useful tool allowing the best of both worlds, the sway bar allows you to maintain a stiffer street-friendly rate while being able to disconnect and allowing the suspension to move freely on its own off-road. A unique characteristic of Bronco’s disconnecting sway-bar is that it can be operated while under load, instead of requiring a finicky and unreliable choreography of movements like in the Wrangler’s design. Once free from its bindings, the front suspension is able to utilize its full range of movement, helping keep tires firmly planted in the dirt.

Whether speed or utility is your thing, Bronco has you covered in a way that no other manufacturer else really has. A wide-ranging modularity allows you to outfit your truck exactly the way you need it or how you want to play with it –– factory tuned and warrantied.

Comments or questions on the four levels of Bronco suspension? Head to the forums!


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