Step By Step
Driving around with your bits and pieces all cold and tingly? This little heater from Flex-a-lite has a multispeed fan and hooks up to your vehicles cooling system to provide 12,000 BTUs of thermal thawing output. It measures 10.12 by 9 by 5 inches, so you can mount it under most seats or dashboards. The optional plenum (right) provides a source to hook up a windshield defroster so you dont have to drive with your head out of the window any more. Information: Flex-a-lite, 800/851-1510, www.flex-a-lite.com.
Flat Bottom Pig
Sure, it looks like someone took a deli slicer to a regular old Dana 60 housing, but the Teraflex Tera60R centersection is a far cry from a factory unit. The Tera60R Dana 60 centersection is a custom casting made from 20 percent more material than stock and features a high-pinion housing and an enhanced diff cover thats made nice and thick to stand up to rocks and bad trail mojo. The really cool thing, however, is the shaved bottom that provides almost 1 inch more clearance than a regular Dana 60 axle and 1/4 inch more clearance than a Dana 44. Information: Teraflex, 801/256-9897, www.teraflx.com.
Something Wicked This Way Rolls
New tire designs are way better than Halloween, Christmas, and the Easter Bunny all rolled into one. The latest, from Explorer Pro Comp, is the Extreme Terrain. Sources from up high inform us that the new, aggressively treaded rubber will be made in 33x12.50-15, 35x12.50-15, 37x13.50-15, 35x12.50-16, 37x13.50-16, 35x12.50-17, and 37x12.50-17 sizes. Look for the first 33x12.50-15s to be available around April or May, with other sizes following. Information: Explorer Pro Comp, 800/776-0767, www.explorerprocomp.com.
McLocker, No Cheese
Theres another one out there now thats all beef. Jack McNamara Differential Specialist has air-actuated lockers for full floating Land Cruiser, Toyota pickup, Land Rover, Range Rover, Dana 60 and 70, and Ford F-150 applications. The lockers require only minimaland in some cases noalterations to the standard differential housing to install. The secret to the Dana 60 and 70 locker is in the engagement mechanism plate that sandwiches in between the housing and the differential cover, thereby eliminating the need to drill into the housing. Information: Jack McNamara Differential Specialist Party Ltd., 61/3-9555-2213 (Australia), www.mcnamaradiffs.com.au.
Dont worry, were not going to take a rifle to them. Mickey Thompson bought the floundering Dick Cepek name and has resurrected the popular Radial M-C II and Radial A-S lines as well as revamping the super-fat Fun Country line. The new F-C is comprised of polyester plies and Kevlar belts for increased strength and stability. As soon as we can get a set in our hands for testing well let you know how they fare. Information: Dick Cepek, 330/928-9092.
Blow It Up
Its for those of you who dont want to carry your portable air compressor around in your Scooby Doo lunchbox. We spotted the Extreme Outback Products Big Red Plus air compressor kit through a field of chrome gee gaws and it was love at olive drab sight. It includes the Big Red Plus 12-volt compressor, 25 feet of poly hose, 10 feet of jumper cable, a waterproof on/off switch, brass quick-release fittings, a clip-on air chuck, and a pressure switch all mounted in a waterproof 50-caliber ammo can. Information: Extreme Outback Products, 707/447-7711.
Dang Ol High-Tech Winch
Now you can control your winch from up to 50 feet away or really mess with those pimply-faced parking lot attendants. The Ramsey Universal Wireless Remote works on virtually any 12-volt electric winch with an electric solenoid. It includes a weatherproof transmitter and receiver and you can buy additional transmitters to operate the same receiver. The transmitter has an on/off button as well as separate buttons for in and out. An indicator light shows when the winch is in operation. Information: Ramsey Winch, 800/283-9740, www.ramsey.com.
Whats better than a hot tub, a Wonderbra model, and a Wyle E. Coyote marathon? An electronically controlled locker, of course. It not only slices and dices, but the newest brainchild from Tractech is a tried and true Truetrac limited-slip differential until you flick the switch, thereby actuating a solenoid that turns the Truetrac into a spool. Its the ultimate in traction action. Information: Tractech Inc., 800/328-3850, www.trachtech.com.
Super Gizmonic Transtabulator
If you put bigger tires on your late-model truck and didnt recalibrate the speedo, then youre probably running out of excuses to tell the cops. The Tru Speed Speed Signal Calibrator from Superlift allows you to easily recalibrate the speedometer of most 92-and-up computer-controlled trucks. The unit installs with a simple four-wire hookup and is easily calibrated by using the supplied chart, as long as you know your vehicles original tire size and current tire size. If you dont know your current tire size, you probably shouldnt be driving anyway. Information: Superlift, 318/322-3458, 800/551-4955 (tech), www.superlift.com.
If youre too cheap to spring for a safe deposit box, Tuffy makes storing valuables in your factory TJ console a viable option. The TJ security console insert is made from 16-gauge steel and is lockable, so low-lifes cant get your goodies, even if they can get your seats. For added protection you can insert a rabid Chihuahua with a bad temper, but youd better add air holes. Information: Tuffy Security Products, 800/348-8339, www.tuffyproducts.com.
Ted Nugent flying over the crowd in a leopard-skin loincloth. Pee Wee Herman on a goofy big red bike in the Tour de France. Jennifer Lopez at the Grammysperiod. Whether too cool for words, androgynously frightening, or downright mind-blowing, some first impressions you can never get out of your skull.
Thats why we attend the Specialty Equipment Market Association, or SEMA, show in Las Vegas every year. SEMA is a weeklong O.E. and aftermarket bacchanal of the newest of everything automotive, from tires to tools to concept vehicles. Some stuff we gagged over, some we flat laughed at (is there ever going to be a market for gold-plated chain link license plate frames?), and some we really grooved on. Burn some of these trick products into your brain.