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
For those of you that are just too hardcore for the Dana 60s under your rig, prepare to drool. Dynatrac is now building the ultimate extreme-duty axle, the ProRock80. Dynatrac’s ProRock80 is an axle that delivers unmatched strength, increased ground clearance, and unequaled component quality for ultra high performance on the trail. Made in the U.S.A. to the same exacting standards as every Dynatrac product, the new Dynatrac ProRock80 axle for Jeeps and 4x4s includes the patented Dynatrac-exclusive high-ground-clearance design. It is constructed from massive 4-inch-diameter, lightweight axle tubing and uses the standard Dana 80 11.25-inch ring and pinion gears, 40-spline full floating axleshafts, and a 37-spline pinion shaft. This axlehousing and finished assembly is ideal for running 40-inch and larger tires and eliminates housing and gear-life problems under severe use. The ProRock80 axle supports 40-spline differentials including the ARB Air Locker and Eaton’s Detroit Locker and E-Locker.
Christmas for XJs
Long out of production, but not forgotten, Rancho released not one, but two new suspension systems for Jeep’s venerable Cherokee XJ. Designed for ’84-’01 Jeep Cherokee XJ models equipped with either a Chrysler 8.25 or Dana 35 rear axle, the latest Rancho systems provide up to 2.5-inches of additional lift while allowing for the use of 31-inch tires, or 33-inch tires with trimming. The new systems use Rancho Add-A-Leaf kits to lift the rear, while full leaf packs are optional. Each kit includes heavy-duty, tubular-style front links with zerk fittings. Both kits include a steering stabilizer to reduce bumpsteer and vibration and are fully compatible with other Rancho technologies, including RS9000XL big-bodied shocks, RS7000MT monotube shocks, or RS5000 standard shocks. All Rancho suspension systems include highly detailed, full-color product installation guides.
Info: Rancho Suspension
MSD, a leader in performance ignitions for more than 40 years, is now offering a user-friendly EFI conversion kit. The all-new Atomic EFI is a throttle body system designed to update old engines with outdated carburetors to a fuel injection system with all of the modern benefits of EFI. It can be installed by anyone with access to basic tools and a vehicle with a four-barrel carburetor. No laptop is required and the owner doesn’t need to understand how to tune a fuel map because MSD does all that for them. Instead of having countless sensors that have to be installed on the engine, MSD incorporate the TPS, MAP, IAT, and more right in the throttle body so the user never has to worry about them. The best part of the Atomic EFI system is the returnless fuel feature. MSD uses pulse width modulation technology to control the fuel pump so that you only need one line. This means most users can keep their existing fuel tank pickup and never have to modify the gas tank. A small external Power Controller is required for the fuel pump, but MSD implemented CAN-Bus technology to keep wiring to a minimum.
Get unstuck in a hurry with TJM’s new 9,500- and 12,000-pound electric winches. These winches have improved functionality and strength and feature an integrated solenoid pack, high-output series-wound motor with a planetary gear system, sealing of the motor and gearbox, an automatic load holding brake, illuminated winch controls, and an ergonomic clutch handle. Components, such as the UV resistant plastic parts, aluminum tie bars, and powdercoated body resist corrosion for long-lasting good looks. Synthetic rope is also standard on either winch.
Info: TJM USA
Ready for Lift Up
The new ReadyLIFT Off Road Suspension Series 5-inch Lift Kit gives ’05 and newer Ford Super Duty owners a suspension option that will raise both F-250 and F-350 trucks a full five inches for maximum tire clearance and unbeatable off-highway performance. The ReadyLIFT Off Road Suspension 5-inch Lift Kit is available in three different configurations (Series 1, 2, and 3). The Series 1 kit includes custom-wound coil springs, radius arm drop brackets that allow you to use your factory radius arms, a mini leaf pack, and OEM-style cast-iron rear lift blocks. Other included components in this kit are a dropped pitman arm, track bar bracket, sway bar end links, driveshaft spacer, and all necessary hardware. The Series 2 kit contains everything in Series 1, plus fully boxed tab and slot radius arms, which are much stronger than the stock units. The arms pivot on urethane bushings that can be greased via zerk fittings, making maintenance easy. The Series 3 version of the 5-inch Super Duty system contains everything in Series 2, plus a new heavy-duty anti-wobble track bar and ReadyLIFT SST9000 shocks. ReadyLIFT guarantees that no other similar kit can provide the quality ride and off-road driving performance that this system delivers.
Looking for an affordable storage system for fuel or water? We found just the thing in the Daystar booth. Daystar Cam Cans are durable 2.5-gallon containers available in red, green, or grey/blue and feature a unique cam mounting system to positively lock the containers to the mount, or each other. These cans were designed to fit Jeep and Toyota spare tires, as well as universal applications. The red fuel can is CARB certified and the grey/blue can is designed for potable water. Best of all, they are made in the U.S.A.
Bushwacker has launched a line of Extend-A-Fender flares for the ’07-’11 GMC Sierra models. The GMC Sierra Extend-A-Fender flares offer a polished look while providing ultimate protection against road debris, with an additional 1.75 inches of front and rear tire coverage. Extend-A-Fender flares are easy to install with no drilling required and each kit includes three different bumper pieces to accommodate various bumper heights, providing peace of mind to owners who may alter their truck over time. The GMC Sierra Extend-A-Fender flares are compatible with most aftermarket bumpers, and feature an OEM matte black finish that can easily be painted to match or accent any paint job. Like all fender flares by Bushwacker, GMC Sierra Extend-A-Fender flares are molded from exclusive Dura-Flex 2000 for protection against chalking, cracking, or warping. Each set of flares is engineered with 100-percent UV protection to defend against fading and sun damage. GMC Sierra Extend-A-Fender flares are made in the U.S.A. and come with a limited lifetime warranty.