15 new things you never knew you needed
SEMA 2011 was another successful event for the automotive aftermarket with nearly 2,000 new products being introduced from countless companies trying to invent the next big thing. We walked the endless miles of aisles to touch, feel, and smell as many of these products as possible and have narrowed our list of favorites down to the 15 cool, interesting, and noteworthy products you see here.
For those of you who have ever been caught with your soft top down, Rugged Ridge is now offering the electric Power Top for the Jeep Wrangler JK. With the Power Top, there is no more struggling to get your soft top up when the occasional thunderstorm catches you off guard. The patent pending design allows the top to be lowered or raised in seconds with the simple push of a button. The Power Top kit fits all four-door Wranglers and comes complete with a sailcloth top, 30-mil, 31-percent tinted windows, power top frame, hydraulics, wiring harness and installation packet. Professional installation is recommended, but a skilled do-it-yourselfer can also install it and no special tools are required. Estimated install time for a professional installer is approximately 5 hours and the warranty is good for three years.
Info: Rugged Ridge
Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels introduced its new Gun Metal 7 wheel, a machined aluminum wheel with a seven-spoke design for newer trucks and SUVs that require a higher offset, additional brake caliper clearance, and the ability to reuse the factory TPMS sensors. The wheel also features a tough satin clearcoat that provides a layer of UV protection for superior durability and ease of care, even in harsh climates.
Info: Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels
TeraFlex, continuing its push to be your one-stop shop for Jeep products, announced the Tera44. The manufacturer of TeraFlex suspensions, body protection equipment, low range gearing, and HD axles, developed the Tera44 to replace bent, broken, or damaged front axles in Rubicon vehicles. This replacement axle can also be used as an axle upgrade for non-Rubicon JKs. The Tera44 includes a heavy-duty Tera44 ductile cast-iron housing with a smooth radius bottom design, an asymmetric housing design for long tube side strength, 3.25x0.25-inch axletubes to resist bending and torsion with minimal weight increase, inner seals, axle bracketry, and outer knuckles. Simply transfer your existing internal components (including factory Rubicon locker), outer knuckle assembly, and brakes to the new housing. A one year, unlimited mileage “No Excuses” warranty should seal the deal.
Plug and Play
For those who are tired of unreliable trailer connections, EZ Connector has a product that will make all your trailer connection headaches disappear. The EZ Connector is an electrical connection system that ensures trouble-free operation, regardless of the conditions. The waterproof connector is sealed with O-rings, attaches magnetically, uses spring-loaded face-to-face contacts, and has a no-fail breakaway feature. With a limited lifetime warranty, this might be the last trailer plug you will ever have to buy.
Info: EZ Connector Inc.
Warn Industries is now offering several of its popular winch models with the company’s new Warn Spydura synthetic rope. The Warn 9.5cti-s, 9.5xp-s, M8000-s, VR10000-s, and VR8000-s winches will come directly from the factory with 100 feet of 3/8-inch rope, eliminating the need to replace the wire rope with synthetic. Spydura synthetic rope is a high-tech, lightweight, easy-to-handle alternative to steel rope. Made from ultra-high molecular-weight polyethylene, it is coated with black urethane for increased UV and chemical resistance. It includes a high-temperature-resistant sleeve on the first layer, and a unique self-tightening rope attachment to hold the rope securely on the winch drum. Additionally, the rope has a sliding ballistic nylon sleeve to provide extra protection against abrasion and wear. For those who already own a Warn winch with wire rope, Warn Spydura synthetic rope can be purchased separately and installed on any Warn truck/SUV winch with a pulling capacity of 10,000 pounds or less. Those who purchase the rope separately will also want to get the Warn polished aluminum Hawse fairlead.
Info: Warn Industries
Not all chargers are an appropriate option for AGM Batteries, so Optima has taken the guesswork out of choosing what charger to use by adding the Optima Chargers Digital 1200 Battery Charger to its product lineup. The Digital 1200 Battery Charger enhances the performance of Optima and other AGM batteries, recovers deeply discharged batteries, and extends battery life. It also features a tri-color LCD display for charging, maintaining, and fault mode indication. With a gauge that displays battery charging and fill rate with charger mode and fault messages, this new charger offers one of the best user interfaces on the market. The Optima Chargers Digital 1200 Battery Charger is optimized when used with high-performance AGM batteries, but has enhanced charging capabilities that can be used with all traditional types of automotive batteries. It also offers USB charging.
Info: Optima Batteries
Alterations to radius arm-equipped Ford Super Duty trucks, such as the installation of a suspension lift or leveling kit, can cause the steering pivot axis and tire position to swing resulting in wandering, wobble, pulling, stiff steering, and tire cupping. By installing BD’s Cam Caster Adjustor Kit on the radius control arms of the Ford ’05-’10 Super Duty pickups, correcting the caster to a more positive angle is made easier and helps to prevent a number of potential steering problems.
Info: BD Diesel Performance
Looking to haul and store cargo more safely and securely in your Wrangler JK? If so, then you’ll be interested in the Mac’s Custom Tie Downs’ Black Box. Designed for use in any ’07+ Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, the Mac’s Black Box is made from lightweight aluminum and incorporates a locking drawer, an integral locking floor cover, moveable dividers for modular interior space, Mac’s VersaTie tie-down track, removable fittings for even more gear space and a sliding drawer cover to maximize work surface space. To offer double protection against the elements, the interior drawer features a gasket on all sides, so rain and mud will all stay on the outside, where it belongs. The Black Box is easily installed behind the rear seats, utilizing the factory rear seat bolt holes, but because of its innovative tilting design, it still allows access to the factory storage well. The entire storage system, from mounting plate to powdercoated drawer unit can be installed in 15 minutes without any drilling, allowing for easy removal if desired.
Info: Mac’s Custom Tie Downs