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May 2005 New 4x4 Products

Posted in Product Reviews on May 1, 2005
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This is Lisa Lincoln, the five-armed welding intern, who loves to strike beads and burn up rod. She's also pretty good at giving massages too. But what's really interesting here is her new Power Mig 350MP from Lincoln. This multiprocess machine does it all: Stick, TIG-, MIG-, pulsed, flux-cored, spool-gun, and push-pull welding methods are no problem for this flexible unit. Powered by single-phase 230-volt AC current, this versatile tool will enable anyone with a garage to join the tube buggy fabrication craze. Contact: Lincoln Welders, www.lincoln.com

Owners of '00-'05 Ford pickups and Excursions with the 7.3 and 6.0 Power Stroke diesels now have a safe and easy way to improve performance and fuel economy. Based in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Predator Diesel Performance Products now offers a product named the Air Fury. Predator's preliminary testing has shown a drop of 62 degrees EGT (exhaust gas temperature) and an increase of 3 to 4 mpg. Air Fury supplies easy how-to instructions and template for an average install of 10 minutes. Contact: Predator Diesel Performance Products, 888/333-1533, www.predatorpower.com

The Power Pup downloader is ideal for those looking to increase power for towing and performance. This is the only on-the-fly adjustable downloader available for the '03-'04 Ford 6.0L Power Stroke. This unit claims the highest horsepower and torque gain of any downloader device, with rear-wheel gains of 50 to 155 hp and 100 to 341 lb-ft of torque. Contact: Bully Dog Technologies, 208/397-3200, www.bullydog.com

The Lowrance iWay 500c portable color GPS+WAAS navigation system shows you the way to any destination across town, or across the U.S. Pick your destination with the touch-screen display and the iWAY(tm) 500C automatically displays the best route, and gives you turn-by-turn directions with voice and visual guidance. The unit uses a substantial 20gb internal hard drive, with 10gb allocated to built-in, high-detail mapping, and 10 gb reserved for MP3 music storage to be used with the built-in MP3 player. Find a dealer near you at www.lowrance.com.

The newest innovation from TeraFlex is this Extreme Short Shaft kit. It is the shortest transfer-case slip-yoke eliminator kit available (shorter than all other SYE kits and the Atlas II transfer case). The ExtremeSS kit increases stock driveshaft length by more than 7 inches, a valuable gain for short-wheelbase vehicles. The ExtremeSS kit comes with all necessary components and hardware to modify the stock 231 case. Fits '91-and-newer NV231-equipped vehicles with an electronic speedometer. The kit comes with a two-year warranty. Contact: Tera Engineering, 801/256-9897, www.teraflex.biz

These new Dodge Ram replacement bumpstops from KORE (Kroeker Off Road Engineering LLC) are just what the doctor ordered for you Mopar men who regularly pound your truck's suspension system. They are slightly longer than stock, are made from a special "soft-durometer" polymer that absorbs more energy than rubber and won't deteriorate, crumble, or lose resiliency like OE rubber parts can. They install in minutes and fit all '94-'05 Dodge Ram solid-axle trucks. Contact: KORE, 760/749-8687, www.koreperformance.com

Centerforce has a new Dual Friction clutch assembly for the '01-'03 Chevrolet and GMC 6.6L Duramax Diesel. Designed as a direct bolt-in replacement, it's said to achieve superior holding capacity, while still delivering a stock pedal feel. This clutch may just be what you need for your juiced-up Duramax. Centerforce is now taking orders for part number DF098085. Contact: Centerforce, 928/771-8422, www.centerforce.com


J.E. Reel designed and built the first waterproof U-joint for those of us who don't want to deal with the hassle of greasing U-joints after each water crossing. Thanks to its specially designed seals that remain effective through a greater range of temperature than standard U-joints, these unique joints are not affected by water and are said to last much longer than OE units. Forged from high-strength alloy steel, these U-joints are cryogenically treated to increase durability by up to 40 percent. Contact: Reel Driveline, 909/629-9002, www.reeldriveline.com

Kilby Enterprises now offers dual battery kits for Jeep TJs with or without A/C. Make sure you have enough power for winching, running lights, your CB, and listening to tunes on the trail. This new mounting kit allows you to carry two batteries in your Jeep TJ so you will never have to ask for a jumpstart on the trail. The kit is designed for 34- and 34/78-series Optima Batteries only. Contact: Kilby Enterprises, 818/565-5945, www.kilbyenterprises.com

In order to meet the increased demand, Hanson Enterprise is stepping up its production of bumpers and accessories. Formerly produced on a limited basis, Hanson's sought-after designs will be available to the public and suppliers on a large-scale basis. Expect to find front and rear Jeep bumpers, cargo racks, and rockers, Ford Super Duty front and rear bumpers, and Dodge Ram front bumpers ready for immediate shipment. Contact: Hanson Enterprise, 831/757-9779, www.hansonenterprise.com

Staun internal pneumatic bead locks are going to change the current trend in 4x4 wheels. The Staun Internal Bead Lock holds both tire beads onto the wheel rim via a separate low-profile tube that inflates to lock the tire beads against the wheel lips. The design is simple and strong, made from industrial-grade materials and is available for just about any wheel size. While also cushioning the tire from the rim, this ingenious design presents no problem with wheel balance, and being inside the tire, it is unaffected by weather or damage from rocky terrain. Sound good? We think so. The only question is how much it costs. We asked and were told around $250 per wheel. Contact: Staun Products, www.staunproducts.com

Pennzoil's new Truck, SUV, and Minivan motor oil is a synthetic blend designed for larger vehicles that place greater stresses on their engines. It is said to contain unique antiwear additives to protect engines during short trips or severe use, such as prolonged use in extremely hot and cold conditions. The oil also meets all European and Japanese engine performance specs relevant to severe service applications. Available viscosities are 5W-20, 5W-30, 5W-40, and a universal 15W-40 for diesel and gas engines. Information: www.pennzoil.com or contact your local automotive retailer.

That's right, you heard it here first. TKO Jeeps of Woodside, California, builds custom Extreme Portal Boxes for just about anything with knuckles. The setup is super-strong, and the gears inside are specially cut to prevent noisy operation. Engineered to withstand extreme loads commonly found in rockcrawling, these bolt-on units are built to order and feature 2.0:1 gear reduction, while offering 8 1/4 inches of lift. Now that's high clearance! Contact: TKO Jeeps, 650/851-9315, www.tkojeeps.com

Dynatrac and Walker Evans Racing team up to offer specialized high-performance shock absorbers for Jeeps. They feature a dual-stage, nitrogen-gas-charged valving that helps keep tires in traction and drivers in control. A 16-way adjustable-control knob at the remote reservoir gives these shocks flexibility to compensate for light- or heavy-vehicle loads. These shocks are available for all '97-and-newer Jeep Wranglers directly from Dynatrac or through any of their local distributors. More applications are coming soon. Contact: Dynatrac, 714/596-4461, www.dynatrac.com

Trail authority Rick Russell has teamed up with Premier Power Welder on a new 104-minute DVD titled Learning To Weld. We recently reviewed the DVD for ourselves and found Rick's latest work to be very informative and surprisingly entertaining. Featuring nine chapters on everything from proper welding safety to TIG-welding preparation, this DVD is a gotta-have for anybody considering an underhood welding system or a stand-alone unit for the garage. Available through various 4x4 accessory stores at a cost of $24.95, this DVD makes the perfect gift for any gearhead. Contact: Sidekick Off Road, 877/628-7227, www.sidekickoffroad.com

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