Neat New Off-Road Widgets
Amazing! We all survived another 12 months of wrenching and wheeling, and it's time once again for the neat new products of SEMA 2008! We just spent a week in Las Vegas walking around this giant industry trade show till our feet were sore and our voices gone from yakking with all our friends in the off-road aftermarket. Though everyone seems to think the economy is dead, we're here to say that the aftermarket is alive and kicking. Manufacturers are still making cool stuff for every make and model 4x4 out there, and dealers are still signing up to carry these wares at a 4x4 shop near you, so get out there and do your part to help the economy.
We're willing to buy something new for our project every month to help jump-start this stumbling economy, and you should too. It doesn't need to be a major purchase, because no matter how much the part costs (even if it's a used part from your buddy), it helps give the 4x4 marketplace a boost. The economy won't fix itself; we need to make it happen. We consider any buy a good buy, especially when the money is being pumped into the off-road scene. All those items, whether it's a tow strap or a crate engine, help feed our sport, encourage new technology, and eventually help keep trails open. We all know that this year is going to be tight on money, but if you can, give the economy a boost and treat yourself and your truck to something new.
We've been waiting for this type of innovation. We're going to call this the coolest off-road product from SEMA 2008. Axletech International Motorsports revealed its new four-gear bolt-on portal wheel ends. Currently in the works for front Kingpin Dana 60 and rear GM Corporate 14-bolt, the portals add nearly 5 inches of lift and adds 1.5:1 gear reduction. Stay tuned for a complete install in a future issue. Information: Axletech International Motorsports, 877.877.9717, www.motorsports.axletech.com
Gas prices are like a roller coaster these days, so why not kill two birds with one stone? Outfit your Tacoma with a tough but lightweight aluminum rear bumper from Aluminess Products for high-price gas days, and then fill it with full jerrycans on low-price gas days. Information: Aluminess Products Inc., 619.449.9930, www.aluminess.com
Flap On, Flap Off
Tired of Johnny Law giving your wide ride the hairy eyeball? Check out these easy-to-bolt-on Rock Tamer mudflaps from Enkay and Cruiser Accessories. They bolt onto most trailer hitches and should let you casually cruise by the black-and-whites without another look. Information: Enkay and Cruiser Accessories, 800.545.1894, www.mudflaps.com
Metal Tech displayed its new FJ Cruiser tube doors, and we think they'll be great for any Cruiserhead that is tired of the lack of visibility FJ's offer. Made from 1 1/2x0.083-inch HREW tubing, these doors bolt right on in place of your stock door and will be available with panels and storage pockets in the future. Information: Metal Tech, 800.839.0684, www.metaltech4x4.com
We don't usually promote snake-oil fixes, but if this stuff really works, it would help a lot of you off-roaders with faded plastic headlight fixtures ('88-'98 GM trucks are notorious for this problem). The 15-minute fix claims to resurface the headlights to a new clear lens. Information: CrystaLiner & Voyager Spray Systems, 413.284.0000, www.clearbedliner.com
Tuff Dodge Arms
Jeeps TJs often perform better with a long-arm suspension, so why not coil-sprung Dodge trucks? Tuff Country is offering a new radius long-arm for '03-'08 Dodge Ram 2500/3500 4x4s from stock up to 6 inches of lift. Built out of heavy-duty solid stock, these arms bolt to the frame and use a mixture of bushings and rod ends. Information: Tuff Country, 801.280.2777, www.tuffcountry.com
Superwinch winches have been pulling Land Rovers out of the mud for years, and the company has now upgraded its legendary Camel Trophy Husky-10 into the Bill Burke Signature Series. Burke is an off-road enthusiast and teaches recovery classes to fledgling wheelers. His namesake winch is fitted with synthetic rope rated at 19,600 pounds, a robust commercial-grade swivel hook, and a roller fairlead per Burke's specifications. Information: Superwinch, 860.928.7787, www.superwinch.com