Black Diamond Stock - looking for opinion

mdepll

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Looking for an honest opinion of a stock Black Diamond. Not Sasquatch.

Everything I read is about sasquatch suspension, tires, etc. and without these things the truck seems not very capable off road, avg suspension, not great clearance, etc.

Just trying to get a real review/opinion on its capability off-road and on-road as an SUV without all the upgrades. Can it really survive stock off-road....or is it similar in performance to every other mid-size suv on the road....unless it has all the upgrades? Which isn't great....

Also, on road....how loud and bumpy is the ride as a stock truck?

I guess it all depends on what you are used to driving...I'm coming from an Explorer, Dodge Journey, Kia Sorento background.
 

Rtml10

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Looking for an honest opinion of a stock Black Diamond. Not Sasquatch.

Everything I read is about sasquatch suspension, tires, etc. and without these things the truck seems not very capable off road, avg suspension, not great clearance, etc.

Just trying to get a real review/opinion on its capability off-road and on-road as an SUV without all the upgrades. Can it really survive stock off-road....or is it similar in performance to every other mid-size suv on the road....unless it has all the upgrades? Which isn't great....

Also, on road....how loud and bumpy is the ride as a stock truck?

I guess it all depends on what you are used to driving...I'm coming from an Explorer, Dodge Journey, Kia Sorento background.
It needs to be lifted and bigger tires. Or the ground clearance. 295/70r17 tires and a 1 inch level or lift will make it more then capable. That tire is an inch wider as well.
 
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Garemlin

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You do not have to lift and have bigger tires to do serious off-roading. Yes it makes things easier. But is easier really a challenge?? Take a look at this video of a base Wrangler on stock tires and suspension. Tell me if you NEED a huger lift and tires.

 

Jakob1972

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As a stock vehicle it is pretty capable. It is not your average SUV. It will get you places most folks would never go. Will it get you over the toughest parts of the Rubicon? Not without help but it will get you to 95% of the trail. With a slight lift and larger tires and some recovery gear it can get you through. That said the vehicle is only as capable as the driver.
 

dover157

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I ordered a non sas BD 2dr manual.
With the kind of off roading I plan on doing having a front locker might be nice from time to time but not a requirement. The 32’s will also be cheaper to replace and get slightly better mileage vs the 35”. For pretty much the same price as a base Sasquatch I decided the underbody protection, easy clean interior and slightly lower long term cost of ownership was a better way to go. May put a small lift and 33” tires down the road but not right away. I personally think it will be the perfect blend for daily driving and some off road fun when my schedule allows.
 

AllthePonies

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Looking for an honest opinion of a stock Black Diamond. Not Sasquatch.

Everything I read is about sasquatch suspension, tires, etc. and without these things the truck seems not very capable off road, avg suspension, not great clearance, etc.

Just trying to get a real review/opinion on its capability off-road and on-road as an SUV without all the upgrades. Can it really survive stock off-road....or is it similar in performance to every other mid-size suv on the road....unless it has all the upgrades? Which isn't great....

Also, on road....how loud and bumpy is the ride as a stock truck?

I guess it all depends on what you are used to driving...I'm coming from an Explorer, Dodge Journey, Kia Sorento background.
There are definitely some solid comments in this thread. As a Black Diamond owner, I’ll add that there are certainly a number of areas underneath the vehicle that could get high centered or scrape in stock form. However, you can lift the vehicle or install the takeoff suspensions from some of the higher end models to get some additional clearance. I’ll be going this route if it turns out that I do enough serious off roading to justify this. I’m not sure yet as I really just wanted a beach friendly vehicle that could handle winters and transport my kids.

In terms of the ride, I think it’s great. The tires are very quiet for what they are. It’s not a passenger vehicle or a CUV so you’ll have more noise, vibration, and road feedback. However, I think it’s well done as a balance between capability and comfort. I currently drive an Expedition as my main family vehicle so that’s my reference point. It may be different coming from a sedan or refined SUV meant for on road.

I’ve added some (imperfect) pictures to help you see how the transfer case, transmission, and gas tank could potentially get high centered. People have definitely taken these off road with success though, but I’m sure skill and experience are important factors.
 

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ChetC

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The Bronco, in its stock form, will be more than capable for any "off-roading" 80% of the owners will ever do. Most will never make it off of gravel roads, fire trails or forest service roads. I'd be wiling to bet most of the Sasquatch packages purchased were purchased for form not function and for many it's the first time they've ever owned a locker that they now feel they need.

I'm a realist. I know I'm not going to go rock crawling. I know I'm not going to drive it into a 3' deep mud pit. I'm going to drive in snow, I'm going to travel forest service roads and moderate off-road trails. The stock 32' tires and 9 1/2" of ground clearance is plenty for my needs and I'm guaranteed better MPGs than a Squatched setup. That's physics. I did order the optional locker because that was the only option available and I like that little extra oomph for my winter needs but if Ford would have offered a limited slip I would have gone that route instead.
 

Shoresy

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If you haven’t, watch this one (I’m sure there are others). It’s a BL, scrapes a bit, probably used some front lockers and SBD, but a good vid.

And this one is stock obx. Hells revenge (partial).

good grief so much time spending watching bronco videos!
 
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mdepll

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There are definitely some solid comments in this thread. As a Black Diamond owner, I’ll add that there are certainly a number of areas underneath the vehicle that could get high centered or scrape in stock form. However, you can lift the vehicle or install the takeoff suspensions from some of the higher end models to get some additional clearance. I’ll be going this route if it turns out that I do enough serious off roading to justify this. I’m not sure yet as I really just wanted a beach friendly vehicle that could handle winters and transport my kids.

In terms of the ride, I think it’s great. The tires are very quiet for what they are. It’s not a passenger vehicle or a CUV so you’ll have more noise, vibration, and road feedback. However, I think it’s well done as a balance between capability and comfort. I currently drive an Expedition as my main family vehicle so that’s my reference point. It may be different coming from a sedan or refined SUV meant for on road.

I’ve added some (imperfect) pictures to help you see how the transfer case, transmission, and gas tank could potentially get high centered. People have definitely taken these off road with success though, but I’m sure skill and experience are important factors.
But what are you climbing or driving over that would make the ground clearance not good enough for its ground clearance ?
 

CaliKAP

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Looking for an honest opinion of a stock Black Diamond. Not Sasquatch.

Everything I read is about sasquatch suspension, tires, etc. and without these things the truck seems not very capable off road, avg suspension, not great clearance, etc.

Just trying to get a real review/opinion on its capability off-road and on-road as an SUV without all the upgrades. Can it really survive stock off-road....or is it similar in performance to every other mid-size suv on the road....unless it has all the upgrades? Which isn't great....

Also, on road....how loud and bumpy is the ride as a stock truck?

I guess it all depends on what you are used to driving...I'm coming from an Explorer, Dodge Journey, Kia Sorento background.
I have a stock BD, manual, 4 DR and we absolutely love it. It's my daily driver - haven't done anything at all as far as modifications go yet. It's not loud, I have the soft top. It's a remarkably smooth ride - in my opinion.
 

mdepll

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As a stock vehicle it is pretty capable. It is not your average SUV. It will get you places most folks would never go. Will it get you over the toughest parts of the Rubicon? Not without help but it will get you to 95% of the trail. With a slight lift and larger tires and some recovery gear it can get you through. That said the vehicle is only as capable as the driver.
Why isn’t it your average SUV? Is stock suspension better than average ? Are tires better ? Clearance is not really.
 

AllthePonies

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But what are you climbing or driving over that would make the ground clearance not good enough for its ground clearance ?
A tree stump or a large rock, or a significant mud rut. Any significant change in elevation or obstacle approached incorrectly can lead to getting high centered. I’ve even done it in a snow storm in a Geo Prizm when I didn’t realize there were two parking lots and the height changed between the two. I’ve also seen regular SUVs run over/get stuck on fire pits at camp grounds. Ground clearance can get you out of a lot of poor driving decisions. Thus, the Sasquatch! I couldn’t abide by not having the crash bars though.
 

Bschurr

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I would venture to guess that the overwhelming majority of Broncos will NEVER get off pavement but all are super capable off-road. Aside from the Bronco Off Roadeo, I haven’t had a Bronco off road (yet) but have taken my Jeeps off roading for years. I have wheeled with stock 2 door Wranglers and they are able to just about everywhere I go in my Rubicon. Sure, lower end models with smaller tires, no lockers and connected sway bars can get there but it may take them a little longer and may actually require a bit more finesse and skill to make up for limited abilities of the vehicle. If you are talking about hard core gnar then there are certainly limitations but this would be limited to the top percentile of extreme.

TL;DR <in the words of George Orwell>

All Broncos are capable off-road vehicles but some are more capable than others…
 

AllthePonies

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Why isn’t it your average SUV? Is stock suspension better than average ? Are tires better ? Clearance is not really.
On average, clearance is definitely better. Broncos have a full frame that increases rigidity and helps with clearance, most models have larger all terrain or mud tires, many have lockers that allow both wheels to turn at the same time significantly increasing traction, many models have skid plates to prevent damage, and there are calibration options to make off road traction better (I.e. goat modes).

With a front or rear wheel drive alone you only have one wheel turning, with 4H you have two wheels turning, with 4H and a locker you have three wheels turning, and with 4H and two lockers all four wheels are be turning. AWD on an SUV can be pretty decent on road, but I think there is a reason you don’t see many of them off road where I have seen Jeeps or Broncos go.

A lot of CUVs and SUVs today are more or less passenger cars that offer the driver a higher ride position. Some are better than others, but I see a lot of them off the side of the road in bad weather.
 

dover157

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Why isn’t it your average SUV? Is stock suspension better than average ? Are tires better ? Clearance is not really.
Even on the base bronco non sas the suspension was designed for off road use. Hence why the tow rating is so low, the engine transmission and brakes will easily handle more than 3500 pounds of trailer but the suspension is too soft for that added weight, especially under braking. Most “average SUV’s” are either designed after a truck with strong stiff suspension for hauling things, or in a crossover modeled after a car with strong stiff suspension for handling. In the current market the only SUV’s designed for off road use and slightly tamed to make them acceptable on the highway is the Bronco and the Wrangler. This design allows for more wheel travel (articulation) and a more gentle impact when hitting bumps at speed or slipping off of a rock. A stock non sas black diamond will certainly outperform a stock 4x4 F150 off road, or even a stock 4x4 Tahoe. And if you add the advanced 4x4 to a BD with a manual that crawler gear gives you enough torque to climb a building.
 
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AllthePonies

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We plan on testing out and comparing the BL sas and the BD non-sas. For the sas vs non. Also throwing in the poor man’s sas. We are supposed to have them within a month. Cross fingers. Lol
Clearly, the larger tires with more sidewall, increased clearance, heavier differentials, higher gear ratios, and dual lockers will have a huge off-road advantage for the most difficult trails. I’m curious about what the ride difference is like for people like me that do a lot more mall crawling and grocery getting than I would like. The other thing I’d want to know is how much of a difference SAS really makes on average trails.
 
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AllthePonies

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Even on the base bronco non sas the suspension was designed for off road use. Hence why the tow rating is so low, the engine transmission and brakes will easily handle more than 3500 pounds of trailer but the suspension is too soft for that added weight, especially under braking. Most “average SUV’s” are either designed after a truck with strong stiff suspension for hauling things, or in a crossover modeled after a car with strong stiff suspension for handling. In the current market the only SUV’s designed for off road use and slightly tamed to make them acceptable on the highway is the Bronco and the Wrangler. This design allows for more wheel travel (articulation) and a more gentle impact when hitting bumps at speed or slipping off of a rock. A stock non sas black diamond will certainly outperform a stock 4x4 F150 off road, or even a stock 4x4 Tahoe. And if you add the advanced 4x4 to a BD with a manual that crawler gear gives you enough torque to climb a building.
Even in first gear and 4A, you can still put together an impressive launch with the manual! I haven’t found any shortage of torque with the 2.3 yet.