The SEMA show in Las Vegas is one of the largest gatherings of the automotive industry and features some of the latest and greatest innovations, as well as cool cars and trucks built by some of the best fabricators and builders in the world. The show is so large you can literally get lost inside one of the halls and spend a whole day there before you find your way out. As you can imagine, it’s a gearhead’s dream with more than 26 miles of red carpet.
This year featured some of the coolest rides, from classics to luxury prerunners, as well as some really cool products worth taking a look at. You can’t do the SEMA show in one day; you need at least a week to see most of it, but we did our best to get you coverage of some of the baddest products about to hit the market.
We stopped by at Bubba Ropes’s booth and checked out their latest products. Their newest offering is called the ‘Tree Hugger’ which is a recovery strap that will allow you to extract yourself without causing any harm to trees that are used as winch points. The strap is made from 3-inch-wide, 100-percent polyester webbing that can gently wrap around a tree keeping your winch cable from grinding the bark off a tree trunk. It also features a tuff Cordura covering over the synthetic webbing for added web protection and reduced eyelets for easily attaching a joining shackle and the whole thing is rated to withstand up to 58,000 pounds of breaking force.
MaxTrac Suspension just released their new 6.5-inch lift kit for the ’05-to-’11 Tacoma which uses a one-piece, ductile cast-iron 4-inch lift spindle as well as 2.5 inch fabricated steel spacers. The new spindles are very similar in design to MaxTrac’s Titan lift spindles and offer the same quality and strength while clearing 35-inch tires.
Strategic Racing Designs displayed their F-150 luxury prerunner in the Bilstein booth and we were very impressed with the attention to detail in fabrication. We’re positive that this truck can haul the mail without a problem, especially considering its running Bilstein’s 9300 Black Hawk bypass shocks.
While wandering around the off-road products area we came across these awesome fully-boxed A-arms from ReadyLift. Their new Series 1 upper control arm kits are available for most late-model trucks and feature tab and slot boxed plate arm construction, Teflon lined 1-inch uniball for outer pivot, urethane bushings, 4340 heat treated conversion pin, 17-4 stainless steel CNC machined high-misalignment spacers and a top quality metallic gray powdercoat.
One of the cool new products we came across was BOLT Locks which allows you to lock your spare tire, trailer hitch and tool box using only one key–your ignition key! The BOLT Locks lock works by inserting your ignition key into the BOLT lock and turning it once at which point the lock mechanically learns the key code and you’re all set.
This is AEM’s new Dyno-Shaft. It puts a dynamometer on the slip yoke of your transmission—literally. There is a small housing that clamps around the end of a 2WD transmission and picks up a reading off a special slip yoke. The reading on an in-dash gauge gives you real power numbers while you’re driving the vehicle. And because of its design, it can handle infinite amounts of horsepower. It’s only available for 2WD transmissions, though.
G2 Axle and Gear unveiled its newest differential cover for the Ford 8.8 for the Explorer, Ranger and Bronco. They feature high-strength aluminum construction with a ribbed design for added rigidity as well adjustable bearing cap supports. They also come with a magnetic dip stick and drain plug and offer added fluid capacity to ensure proper oiling.
We made our way to the Mickey Thompson booth to check out some of their newest products and found their new innovative Classic Big Rig wheels. They feature a simulated 10-lug big rig bolt pattern while still bolting up to your 6- or 8-lug truck. No more adapter plates, simply mount the wheels and lock the lug cover into place and no one can tell it’s not a real 10-lug wheel.
Another cool and innovative product was Cap-Pack’s elevated storage drawer. You can pack it full of tools, tow straps and camping gear and keep it secure and locked while leaving room underneath for more storage or a place to sleep. The Cap-Pack is made of a heavy duty Zinc-coated steel frame and legs and features a black powdercoated aluminum storage with spring assist for easy opening and closing and is rated for 250 pounds of weight.
Although the MaxTrax recovery gear isn’t new, they are offering limited editions of the MaxTrax ramps in your choice of either olive drab or desert tan. What we can tell you is that if you decide to venture out on your own to the middle of nowhere, make sure you take some MaxTrax recovery ramps with you, they’ll make self recovery a breeze.
We stopped by the N-Fab booth and found these awesome Nerf Bar steps. N-Fab says their AdjustSTEP can hold up to 465 pounds and has 5.5 inches of adjustability. These are perfect if you’re building your truck in stages but you don’t want to fork over a bunch of cash every time you lift it or put bigger tires on your truck, all you have to do is loosen a few bolts and adjust the height of the step.
BDS brought out this wicked single cab short bed F-350 that featured fiberglass fenders, a shortened bed and frame, and smoothed frame rails that were painted to match the truck along with the entire suspension. It’s hard to miss a giant truck with loud orange paint especially when it’s sitting on giant Boggers!
With all the custom versions of Dana-style axles available, it was only a matter of time before Dana started offering crate versions of their own axles—the ones almost everyone else bases their custom creations on. Dana just launched their Dana Crate Axle program and is offering universal crate axles for the Dana 30, Dana 44, Dana 60, Dana 70 and Dana 80 models in both front and rear axle assemblies.