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September 2006 New 4x4 Products

Posted in Product Reviews on September 1, 2006
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Rancho now offers suspension systems for '04-'06 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. Both two- and four-wheel-drive models are available. The kit allows fitment of 33-inch tires without rubbing. We like that this kit retains use of the factory torsion-bar setup while minimizing labor-intensive vehicle modifications such as welding or cutting. The system also includes new rear add-a-leaf springs and allows for the reuse of the OE front skidplate. Rancho claims this kit allows easy alignment to OE specifications. The new system is offered with a limited lifetime warranty. Info: 734/384-7805,

JBA now offers smog-legal after-cat exhaust systems for all '05-'06 Nissan Frontiers. The kit adds a distinctive rumble while freeing up horsepower and torque wasted by the restrictive OE exhaust system. The system works on all 4.0L V-6-equipped Frontiers and is easy to install with standard handtools. These systems are available in two versions: show-finish 304 stainless steel, or high-quality aluminized steel. Info: 800/830-3377,

If you've followed the latest technological offerings for competitive rockcrawling, you may already know about this new torque splitter from Lovell Engineering. However, for most readers, this is a whole new concept in transfer-case technology. This is the Lovell 357 transfer case. It was designed specifically for serious rockcrawling applications. It features a single reduction ratio of 3.57:1 and is capable of handling loads in excess of 5,300 lb-ft of torque. The patented design is unique because it features internal pneumatic clutches to engage front and rear output shafts. No more stalling while trying to get the rear drive to disengage for a front burn maneuver. Simply flip a switch and the front or rear will disengage, leaving the driver free to execute the maneuver or focus on the next obstacle. We expect this pneumatic clutch technology to find its way under 4x4 desert race vehicles soon. Info: 800/675-0855,

We've seen lots of technological advancement surrounding spark plugs over the years. One we've liked is the new E3 Spark Plugs with DiamondFire Technology. These plugs use a diamond-shaped electrode to optimize spark paths as well as increase plug reliability and lifespan. This patented design, the result of years of independent testing, delivers forced edge-to-edge spark discharges, proven to be the most efficient and effective way to get a spark to leave a surface. Backed by a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty, E3 automotive plugs with DiamondFIRE technology are now available for most vehicles at automotive retail stores nationwide. Info:

Airaid has just released a new QuickFit intake kit for the new Jeep Commander. The system utilizes the lower portion of the factory airbox and ensures cool outside air feeds the engine. On the dyno, Airaid's new Commander intake system is said to generate an additional 11 hp and 16 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels. Installation is a breeze, and can be accomplished with ordinary handtools in less than 20 minutes. Info: 800/498-6951,

Powertank has designed a new Power Grip Guard to complement a new series of Powertanks that feature a bright durable yellow powdercoat finish. The handle was designed to fit perfectly in either hand while protecting the regulator from abuse. The handle grip is billet aluminum and bolts to the neck of the C02 bottle with stainless steel fasteners. Info: 209/334-0898,

It's known that torsional vibrations and harmonics can destroy crankshafts and bearings. Did you know that these vibrations also rob horsepower and torque? The Bully Dog damper uses an internal inertia ring that has been surrounded by viscous fluid within a laser-sealed housing. The design is said to control vibration by as much as 80 percent over a stock unit's, thus providing additional horsepower and engine life. Available for all generations of the Big Three's diesel powerplants. Info: 866/BULLY-DOG (285-5936),

Engine weight has a significant impact on both acceleration and handling. That said, World Products' new all-aluminum Merlin big-block Chevy is perfect for any project. Tipping the scales at 471 pounds, these engines are available with displacements up to 572 cubic inches and with dyno-certified power outputs to 700 hp. What's more, the engines are backed by a 2-year warranty. The foundation for this powerplant is World's new Merlin X aluminum block, which is easily identified with its longitudinal ribs that provide extra reinforcement and cooling. Engines are individually assembled to racing tolerances, broken in, then dyno-tested to assure meeting or exceeding published performance specs. Info: 631/981-1918,

Camburg Engineering builds these billet tube clamps for those seeking a way to make tubular structures removable. For example, let's say you build a custom motor cage to brace each shock tower. With these billet tube clamps installed, you can remove the engine without having to cut out the cage. Each clamp has two fine-thread bolts that remove simply for easy disassembly. Made from 4130 chromoly steel, these tube clamps are perfect for do-it-yourself rollcages, roof racks, and skidplates. Sizes range from 1 to 2 inches, with wall thickness between .065 and .120. Info: 714/848-8880,

The engineers at Pro Comp have developed a hot new suspension kit for '05-'06 Ford Super Dutys. Dubbed "Double XX," this new coilover conversion replaces both factory coil springs with four Pro Runner 2.75-inch remote-reservoir coilover shocks. The system is available in either 6- or 8-inch versions and features two six-way adjustable MX6R reservoir shocks in the rear. Stay tuned to these pages for future tech coverage on this suspension system. Info: 800/776-0767,

Downey's new '07 FJ Cruiser suspension system utilizes front struts similar to the '03-'06 Toyota 4Runner. Downey's kit features custombuilt Bilstein shocks and 30-percent-heavier duty Tundra coils. This lift system is fully adjustable up to 3 1/2 inches with no trauma to the front CV joints. Out back, the system's rear coils, combined with Downey's new polyurethane upper spring seats (which are FJ Cruiser-specific), match front end lift at 3 1/2 inches. The system makes enough room to clear 34-inch tires; 35-inch tires will rub just slightly. Info: 562/949-9494,

This new kit from 4WD Products allows you to adjust the ride height and spring rate of your vehicle on the fly. This system combines all the adjustability of an air suspension with the reliability of steel coil springs. It can be totally transparent when turned off or can add valuable inches of ground clearance when on. Because each bag's pressure can be controlled individually, the vehicle can be fine-tuned front-to-back and side-to-side to compensate for load, off-camber situations, and torque roll associated with common coil suspensions. The retention of the coil springs as the basis for the suspension means that airbag or air-system failure will not result in a loss of driveability. Air Over Coil Kits are available for the Jeep Wrangler (TJ), Wrangler Unlimited (LJ), Cherokee (XJ), and Grand Cherokee (ZJ). Info: 714/556-5661,

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