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Spend Your Off-Road Stimulus Package: How Uncle Sam Can Help Build Your 4x4

Posted in Features on January 4, 2018
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Photographers: Courtesy of Manufacturers

It’s that time of year when we receive the long-awaited tax refund check from the government that we can put toward repayment of debts, savings accounts, profitable investments—or straight to the garage for 4x4 parts. We just happened to recently spend four days hunting through the aisles of the SEMA Show, searching for items we know you’ll want on your shopping list. Whether you have a few dollars or a few thousand to spend, you’ll find something droolworthy on the following pages.

Dana Blue-Coated Performance U-Joint
What: How do you get more life out of your universal joints? Dana has the answer: make them blue! Thousands of hours of salt spray and mud testing suggest these joints are better at resisting the crusty rusty stuff than the competition, and did we mention that they look sharp in that blue color? Available in sizes for popular 4x4s like the Ford Super Duty and the Jeep Wrangler.

Sinister AR Exhaust Tip
What: Add some (muzzle) flare to your rig’s rear with an exhaust tip from Sinister Diesel. The powdercoated stainless-steel tip not only replicates the quad-rail hand guard found on AR-15 rifles, but also features a dual-wall design, which effectively sheds heat.

ARB LINX Vehicle Accessory Interface
What: Gone are the days of dials and gauges haphazardly drilled and suction-cupped to your vehicle’s dashboard. LINX from ARB has created a sleek touchscreen interface to customize and control all your off-road tools. Out of the box, LINX includes modules to manage front and rear lockers, operate one air compressor, engage air suspension, monitor batteries, and track speed through satellite connection. The control hub can be stowed out of sight and the Bluetooth-enabled display can be mounted seamlessly to the dash.

EnerSys Odyssey Performance Series Batteries
What: Our 4x4s demand power not just from the engine, but also from the battery. Odyssey Performance Series Group 49 and 94R batteries are designed for the needs of modern 4x4 vehicles, featuring Thin Plate Pure Lead technology to deliver 850 to 950 amps of cold-cranking, deep-cycle goodness.

What: So maybe you don’t have a winch, or you’re in the middle of a field without a winch point in sight. No worries! Wrap a Trac-Grabber around one (or four) tires, accelerate gently, and you’ll be free of whatever minimally grippy surface has ensnared your rig. Available to accommodate tire sizes ranging from ATV to semitruck.

Fab Fours Front Grumper
What: Your grille and bumper eloped—and the Grumper was born! This powdercoated, angry-looking, 11-gauge steel addition to your front end is now available for trucks. Fab Fours recommends you have the pieces powdercoated to match the color scheme of your vehicle for maximum style and protection.

Black Forest Gear Trail Oven
What: Engine block burritos have never been easier! Mount this stealthy aluminum oven to your Jeep JK’s engine cover, fill with trail treats, and let the engine do the work.

Bubba Rope Synthetic Winch Line
What: Already known for hearty kinetic recovery ropes, Bubba Rope now has an Electric Green solution to your winch line woes. The lightweight Plasma rope is Gator-ized to protect from “fuzzing” and ultraviolet light. The rope is also color banded every 10 feet to easily identify how much line is spooled out.

Mopar Hellcat Crate Engine
What: Spend your tax return cash on what has been affectionately called the “Hellcrate.” The 6.2L Supercharged Crate Hemi engine gives you the freedom to inject 707 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque into the pre-1975 rig of your choosing.

Dometic CFX Portable Refrigerator
What: How do you keep stuff cold for that two-week overland trip? With a portable refrigerator from Dometic of course! The largest edition of this chilly chest can keep 113 soda cans cool, charge USB-compatible electronics, and be controlled via mobile smartphone app.

Mobnetic Pro 90
What: Relieve your cupholders of phone-corralling duty! The Pro 90 mount from Mob Armor mounts to any non-porous surface via a 3M adhesive pad. Your phone is held to the mount by a magnetic adhesive plate. The mount is designed for hard-core off-road use and resists swiveling even when bouncing over boulders, but allows for a 90-degree range of tilt adjustment.

Dynatrac Hard Core Plus ProRock XD60
What: Need a serious dose of bolt-on beef for your 4x4? Dynatrac built a high-pinion axle setup featuring aluminum knuckles, Rebuildable HD Balljoints, a selectable locker, and 4.88, 5.13, or 5.38 gearing options.

Baja Designs LP9
What: Blast through the dunes, churn through mud, sink your rig in water, and this 8-inch LED spotlight will keep shining. Nine forward-projecting LEDs crank out 11,025 lumens and a 200-degree spread of light to keep the trail and the neighboring county illuminated.

Decked Truck Bed Organizer
What: A tough and ergonomic way to organize your truck’s bed while maintaining its function and protecting your gear from the elements. HDPE drawers slide smoothly out for easy access. You can store 2,000 pounds of gear on top of it, and it comes form-fitted for most full and midsize trucks on the market.

Flex-A-Chill 3000
What: Perfect for ventilating the shop or quickly cooling down a smoking rig on the dyno, the Flex-A-Chill can move 2,600 cubic feet of air per minute and can be aimed wherever you need it. The fan only draws 2.7 amps, puttting minimal strain on your circuitry.

What: Tired of those cheap non-adjustable cable ties cinching your wire bundles too tightly? GripLockTies are releasable, rubber-coated cable ties that can be adjusted, released, and reused. The rubber coating is also friendly on painted surfaces while adding extra gripping power.

Superwinch EXP
What: EXP series winches are now equipped to yank 14,000-, 16,000-, and 18,000-pounds of stuck truck out of the muck. These behemoths are IP69K-rated (blast ’em with high-pressure steam and they’ll keep running), equipped with auxiliary ports to run off-road lights or other electronics, and available in steel or synthetic cable varieties.

Dana Builder Axle
What: Gone are the days of digging through the junkyards when it comes time to build a beefy axle for your rig, because Dana now offers all the genuine parts you need to build the custom axle you need for your 4x4. Choose from front or rear axles, then add in your choice of brake and bearing kits, ring-and-pinion gearing, lockers, and a long list of customizable options.

Magellan TR5
What: So you want a navigation system that gets you to the coffee shop, up to the edge of a rocky cliff, and back home? Magellan has you covered. The TR5 comes with a 5-inch screen displaying topographical and 3D imagery of the United States and Canada. Preloaded with 120,000 off-highway trails, such as the Moab Rim trail shown here.

Bilstein B6 4600
What: Want to replace those blown-out and beaten-up shocks on your rig? Bilstein offers monotube shocks to increase the safety, comfort, and off-road performance of your light truck or SUV. The shock fits ’17-and-newer Ford F-250 and F-350 trucks.

Westin HDX LED Grille
What: Need more LED light in the front of your truck? Of course you do. Westin has mesh grille covers with LED bars seamlessly integrated into the design to brighten whatever road, trail, or parking lot you find yourself lost in. Custom-fitted for most newer Ram, Ford, Chevy, and Toyota trucks.

AMSOIL Reformulated XL Synthetic Motor Oil
AMSOIL gave us some impressive numbers on the new XL synthetic oil. The new recipe is 64 percent more resistant to breakdown, offers 100 percent protection against low-speed preignition, and delivers 25 percent more cleaning power. Comes in five flavors: 0W-20, 5W-20, 5W-30, 10W-30, and 10W-40.

ROLA Stormproof Cargo Bag
What: Road trips don’t come guaranteed with sunny skies, so when the rain starts pouring, make sure your rooftop gear stays dry with ROLA’s new cargo bag. The urethane-coated zipper and welded seams keep the dirt and moisture away from your belongings while the four side straps make sure nothing takes flight. An additional zipper lets you expand the capacity from 13 to 16 cubic feet.

AEV Switch Pod for Ram Trucks
What: If you have an ’09-’18 Ram 1500 or ’10-or-newer Ram 2500/3500 and you need a convenient way to mount your rocker panel, AEV has you covered. The Switch Pod is colored black to seamlessly match the Ram’s interior color scheme, but can be painted to suit your fancy. Rocker switches not included.

Flowmaster Delta Force Cold-Air Intake
What: Want to free up a few ponies from your rig’s engine? Flowmaster replaces the restricting factory intake with a streamlined design that the company claims will not only boost performance but increase efficiency. Models available for most common 4x4s and installation is simplified by using factory mounting holes.

Pro Eagle 2-Ton Floor Jack “The Beast”
What: That floor jack in your garage can lift an entire vehicle, but the wheels still can’t roll over a zip tie. Pro Eagle wants you to know that this jack is a big wheel monster, and will not be hindered even by a gravel driveway. The lift pad is extendable by eight inches and the handle is crafted from lightweight aluminum.

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