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RPM Automotive News - March 2014

Posted in News on January 31, 2014
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That’s Interesting
Hottest Truck? SEMA says it’s the ’14 Ford F-Series. Hot, like that girl at work, if that girl at work is ranked hottest based on appearing in more exhibitor booths than any other make or model at the ’13 SEMA Show. Yeah, prob same meaning. Four times in a row for the F-Series. Prob same for girl at work.

Buy a ’14 model Jeep, Ram, SRT, and so on in the Chrysler entity and you’ll get a one-year sub for SiriusXM. That includes the Sirius XM Internet Radio, for easy listening outside the vehicle.

Hottest 4x4-SUV? SEMA says it’s the ’14 Jeep Wrangler. Hot, like that girl at work, if that girl at work is ranked hottest based on appearing in more exhibitor booths than any other make or model at the ’13 SEMA Show. Yeah, prob same meaning. Four times in a row for the Jeep. Prob same for girl at work.

The Wall Street Journal Market Watch revealed that the top one percent (you know, rich cats) are buying the Jeep Grand Cherokee, not the Ferrari. They are also buying the Ford F-Series, not the Lamborghini. Those two models made the top five of what wealthy Americans are buying.

National Car Rental took the top spot in the J.D. Power 2013 North American Rental Car Satisfaction Study. First time since 2001.

Ford has a new warranty on Ford Genuine and Motorcraft service parts—unlimited mileage for 24 months from time of install or when you bought. It used to be 12 months or 12,000 miles.

According to a survey by Consumer Electronics Association, if vehicles go driverless, the number one thing those asked said they would do it…watch the road. Number two would be listen to music, while three would be talk on the phone. Fifty percent said they’d sleep. And coming in at number 10 was…exercise.

Chrysler has produced more than three million 3.6L Pentastar V-6 engines. It birthed the 3.2L in the Jeep Cherokee and the 3.0L in the ’14 Grand Cherokee in China.

Ram Truck celebrated Year of the Farmer in 2013 by donating a million bucks to the National FFA Association. That org is sometimes also called Future Farmers of America.

Esquire bestowed the title of SUV of the Year on the ’14 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT.

And one more Jeep thing: The ’14 Wrangler gets a Polar Edition. Accents, badges, and a new grille are among the noticables. Coordinates on the badging represent the coldest temp ever recorded, -128.56 degrees Fahrenheit. Yep, in Antarctica.

Is It True?
The ’16 Jeep Wrangler will lose its solid axles?

Seventy percent of you haven’t ever driven a diesel vehicle before, according to a survey by Honeywell Turbo Technologies?

Lead demand is increasing? And lithium-ion batteries for hybrids will be replaced by lead-acid batteries?

A long-wheelbase version of the Range Rover?

Gee, That Press Release Sounds Naughty:
“Dodge Reveals New Scat Package Stage Kits with Mopar Performance Parts at 2013 SEMA Show”

Four Wheeler and Are Hipsters
Be sure to grab the next-gen Four Wheeler app, from the iTunes store. It’s had a redesign and will offer you all sorts of extra ease. More ease comes from the redesigned, which now includes content from our sister magazines, too. There is nowhere else you need to go to learn everything automotive and everything about building a 4x4. Seriously. Nowhere. Sorry if that came across as sounding like a threat. But maybe it was. You better click to be safe.

Which Trail Are You Happy Exists?
When we went to press, it was Thanksgiving, a time in which we like to take a moment to be thankful. So which trail are we thankful for? These are our trails. Maybe it can be your New Year’s resolution to check them out for yourself. Come on over to Four Wheeler’s Facebook page () and tell us your thoughts!

Brubaker: I’m thankful for the Imogene Pass trail in Colorado. It’s my happy place, and it calls to me daily as I sit in my Illinois office. While not especially difficult, the trail’s 18-mile length offers up everything from high-altitude shelf trails to numerous creek crossings. It’s dotted with old mines, too. If I had the space, I’d tell the story of driving a S-10 Blazer over the trail during a snowstorm. But I don’t, so I won’t.

Cappa: I’m thankful to be able to find my own trail in the few open areas that currently allow it in Southern California, such as Ocotillo Wells and Glamis. The vegetation in these areas is so sparse that one seasonal monsoon flood or windstorm will erase your tracks and extensively change the terrain, often making it more difficult than the first time you went through it. Most states don’t have the luxury of this open-area freedom; I simply grew up with it.

Mansour: I am going to say Black Bear Pass in Colorado. It taught me just how dangerous an easy trail can be when you place it on the side of a mountain. I had brake failure midway down the switchbacks. It could have been bad, but we made it out OK. For that, I am thankful.

What’s Happening In The Industry
Rancho, Daystar, and Skyjacker lift kits got a governmental thumbs-up for being compliant with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard for stability/working with the electronic stability control.

Eastwood now has an automotive podcast. It’s called Shop Talk. Topics will range from everything from restoration to how to get your vehicle in a magazine. You can listen to it via the Eastwood blog at or download at iTunes.

The winner of the best new off-road/4x4 product at the 2013 SEMA Show was Shenzhen Nova Technology’s LED headlight. The runners-up were Palmer Performance and its DashLogic and Omix-ADA/Rugged Ridge with its X-Clamp Mounting System for tubes.

Sherwin-Williams is now the Official Automotive Paint of NASCAR.

Want to win a custom ’13 F-150? Chip Foose and WD-40 partnered on it, and it features parts from AMP Research, Warn, Magnaflow, Whipple, Optima, and other manufacturers. Visit Proceeds will go to charity.

Complete Cherokee is a new company that sells parts for the Jeep XJ. Check it at

Line-X has a new custom truck division, Truck Gear. Look for private-label accessories, like tonneau covers, grilleguards, and more.

Yokohama has a new mobile website at It differs from the regular site because it works on smartphones.

Your Government At Work
There’s a bill floating in Michigan that would require front and rear license plates.

Ohio might be looking more closely into what laws should be handed down for headlamp light color. You know, white versus a hint of blue.

Random Photo We Dug
If you’ve never heard of George Barris, know that he’s the dude responsible for building the Batmobile, KITT, the Munster Koach, and more. And if you’ve never seen what he looks like, this is him. He was inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame in 2013 for building cool cars and for making them a household name and celebrities in their own right.

Chrysler Recalls
Here’s a statement from Chrysler: “Chrysler Group LLC will conduct three recalls affecting approximately 1.2 million trucks, though as many as 726,000 may not need repair. The campaigns target an estimated 453,000 vehicles with steering-system tie rods that may have been misaligned during assembly or steering-system service. Chrysler Group is casting the net wider than necessary to identify those vehicles that require repair. Any found to have suspect tie-rod assemblies will have those components replaced at no cost to customers. Two additional campaigns are being conducted to capture those vehicles known to have tie-rod assemblies linked to previous recalls. They comprise 294,000 model-year 2008-2012 Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups, chassis cabs and 2008 Ram 1500 4x4 Mega Cabs; plus 43,500 model-year 2008-2012 Ram 4500 and 5500 4x4 chassis cabs.” If you’re concerned, call 800-853-1403.

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