Every year we look forward to the Moab Easter Jeep Safari, and it’s not just because we have the opportunity to hit the dirt on some of the coolest and most scenic trails in the U.S. We also get a chance to eyeball what’s hot and up-and-coming in the aftermarket industry. The Old Spanish Trail Arena hosts one of the more innovative product showcases we see all year. It’s large enough that the industry big dogs show up, but it’s also small enough that many new start-up and pioneering companies can afford to be there. This year we saw a wide range of cool new products. Here’s what tickled our fancy.
Wrangler IFS Conversion?
Even the idea of it sounds like a turd in a punchbowl, but when you consider that the Trail Mods IFS conversion kit for the ’07-present Wrangler features long-travel, desert-race inspired, hand-built A-arms and spindles, it starts to make sense. If you want to go fast across rough terrain it would be hard to beat this IFS 4x4 conversion. The front axle is a Ford 9-inch that will feature RCV halfshafts and huge disc brakes from a GM 1-ton truck. Trail Mods is also offering a prerunner-inspired rear link suspension system.
Info: Trail Mods
Thread the Needle
Mac’s Custom Tie-Downs had just pulled these anodized billet winch cable ends and trailer hitch clevis mounts off the CNC machine. The new winch ends allow you to use a clevis instead of the factory hook for safer recovery. The winch ends are available in both aluminum and titanium while the clevis mount is aluminum.
Info: Mac’s Custom Tie-Downs
Jeep totally flaked when it came to lift kit consideration on the ’12 Wrangler. Once a 3-inch (or taller) lift kit is installed, only a minimal amount of droop causes the front driveshaft to make damaging contact with the exhaust crossover pipe. The big brains at BDS Suspension came up with a quick and simple solution, exhaust extensions. These CNC-machined DOM spacers feature a ball/taper seat connection for a leak-proof seal. They bolt in place at the exhaust collectors using the included hardware and common hand tools.
Info: BDS Suspension
With plenty of heavy-duty CV-style front axle applications under its belt, RCV set to work on making some bomb-proof rear axleshafts to match. The company now offers heavy-duty flanged rear axleshafts for the Jeep Wrangler JK with other applications to follow. RCV plans to offer extreme-heavy-duty 300M versions as well. The new rear ’shafts will be covered by the company’s “You break it, we replace it” limited lifetime warranty and as always they are made right here in the U.S.
Info: RCV Performance Products
Anvil Axle Components offers up a heavy-duty Spin Lock free-wheeling hub kit for the front of ’07-present Wranglers. The addition of manual locking hubs eliminates parasitic drag from the front axle and driveshaft to help improve fuel economy. The design allows the front wheel bearings to be serviced and repacked when needed. What’s new is the Anvil heavy-duty locking hub that features a ¼-turn dial with positive engagement. The kit features a 5-on-5.5 lug pattern that matches the company’s rear full-floater kit.
Info: Anvil Axle Components
No matter if you are looking to perform an original Cummins engine swap or simply replace an existing worn-out diesel engine, ACD Engines has what you’ll need. The company offers used engines, brand new complete Cummins 4BTAA engines, short- and long-block 5.9L engines and even a trick, ready-to-run, modern, and adaptable common-rail Cummins 3.3L among others. Info: ACD Engines, 801/506-0090, www.acdengines.com
Cable Sway Control
The factory ’07-present Jeep Wrangler Rubicon electronic disconnect sway bars aren’t notoriously problematic, but they have been known to die and the factory replacement isn’t cheap. JKS showed us a prototype cable conversion that is simple to install and lets you disconnect the sway bar whenever you want. The lever is located in the front fenderwell for easy access. It should be available by the time you read this.
Info: JKS Manufacturing
Off Road Only took advantage of the extra space in front of the Pentastar 3.6L V-6 in the ’12-up Jeep Wrangler and designed a system that puts the venerable York air compressor right at the front of the crank. The compressor pulley noses right into the 3.6L crank pulley and the compressor clutch works just like normal. Now you can have an unlimited air supply under the hood of your newer Jeep that has limited space for such niceties.
Info: Off Road Only
Fullsize Gearing Options
Fullsize truck guys have yet another versatile gearing option from OffRoad Design. The Magnum Box is 100-percent new, plus it’s lighter, stronger, and shorter than the NP203/NP205 Doubler kit. It also provides a wider selection of gearing options than the Doubler. The Magnum Box features an NV241 six-pinion planetary gearset so when coupled to an NP205 transfer case you get four different ratios including 1:1, 2:1, 2.72:1, and 5.33:1.
Info: Offroad Design
We actually spotted these at the local gas stop. The Stump Stove is a portable, biodegradable camp stove that doubles as campfire fuel when you’re done cooking. The Stump Stove is 10-inches in diameter and features air vents to control the heat for cooking as the wood burns from the inside out. It can even be reused more than once if you extinguish the flames (once you are done cooking) by dunking it in water.
Info: Stump Grill
It used to be that installing coilovers in your Jeep would cost you a small mint in fab work, but that isn’t so anymore. Thanks to the innovative engineering at EVO MFG., you can now install coilovers into your Wrangler JK with this completely bolt-on kit. Achieving an impressive 12-inches of useable wheel travel, the EVO MFG LCG Bolt-On Coilover kit is designed to have the lowest center of gravity possible and uses King coilovers with EVO SPEC valving and spring rates. The install is easily reversible if you ever need to return your rig to stock.
Info: EVO MFG.
Blowers are becoming a popular power-adder for Wrangler JKs and Magnuson, a huge name in aftermarket supercharging, has now turned its attention to the Jeep. Known for OE-quality systems with 50-state emissions certification, Magnuson has developed this complete 100-percent bolt-on kit for the ’07-’10 3.8L-equipped JKs. The MP1320 6th Generation blower hybrid-roots supercharger and optional air-to-water intercooler will add about 40-percent more power to your lethargic Jeep. Applications for the ’11 3.8L and ’12 3.6L are on the way.
Info: Magnuson Superchargers
One of the cool shiny things that caught our eye in Moab was GenRight’s new aluminum inner fenders for YJs and TJs. These inner fenders are laser-cut and CNC-formed using corrosion-resistant aluminum and completely replace the factory inner fender. No drilling is required and they will work with standard suspension or coilovers, as well as GenRight or other aftermarket tube fenders. Plus they just look cool.
We see it all the time, people carrying way-too heavy of a tire on their stock JK spare tire mount, stressing the tailgate and eventually causing rattling, hinge failure, or even body damage. For wheelers who have larger tires, but like the stock spare location, Teraflex has a new spare tire carrier for you. This carrier reinforces the tailgate and uses forged steel hinge bases and a stout cast-aluminum pivot assembly that can safely support up to a 37-inch tire.
Modern Classic Enterprises (MCE), which manufacturers those lightweight, yet tough and flexible fenders for Wrangler YJs and TJs, is now working on flexible fenders for JKs. On display in Moab was an early prototype, but MCE tells us that they will be available later this year.
Info: Modern Classic Enterprises
Building off the foundation of its unique 6Pak shock, MetalCloak trotted out its latest development in Moab—a long-arm upgrade kit. Designed to be used with popular long-arm suspension systems, the MetalCloak kit is available for either 3.5-inch or 5.5-inch lift applications. The 3.5-inch application comes with 12-inch-travel 6Pak shocks front and rear, while the 5.5-inch application gets 14-inch-travel 6Pak shocks in the front, but retains 12-inch-travel shocks in the rear. The included dual-rate coils are said to offer more travel, better ride, and increased stability to your current long-arm suspension.
While Moab tends to be inundated with Wranglers, the XJ guys weren’t left out this year. OR-Fab introduced front and rear XJ bumpers for the loyal Cherokee crowd. These new full-width bumpers are made from 3/16-inch steel, will clear up to 37-inch tires, and are completely bolt-on. The low-profile winch mount-equipped front bumper will accept a Warn M8000 and heavy-duty reinforced D-ring mounts make vehicle recovery a breeze.
Big heavy JKs require stout axles, and you won’t find many as stout as the monsters we found sitting in the Torq axle booth. Torq Development Company now offers its Super-14 crate axle line in a bolt-on, JK-specific version, with or without steering. The Super-14 utilizes GM 14-bolt axle architecture and packages the 10.5-inch ring gear into a drop-out-style third member. These axle assemblies are available now with a wide variety of gearing, hub, brake, differential, and axleshaft options. Upgrades include an SSBC Big Brake package, ARB Air Lockers, and 40-spline axles.
Info: Torq Development Company
While Superlift offers a slew of stabilizer options, ranging from a single in the stock location to duals that mount above the tie rod, we were especially interested in the dual Superide SS model seen here in Moab. Manufactured by Bilstein, the SS monotube stabilizers offer better performance than a twin tube, and the dual opposing stabilizers limit the tendency for some Jeeps to experience pull when using a single monotube stabilizer.
You may remember this Grand Cherokee from our August 2011 (pg. 36) issue, and we found it in the Jeepin’ by Al (JBA) booth in Moab sporting JBA’s 4-inch WK Adjust-A-Strut coilover system. The kit includes Fox emulsion piggyback shocks, new A-arms, 4-inch rear coils, rear Fox shocks, and swaybar links.
Info: Jeepin’ by Al