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Trail Hardware 2013

Posted in Product Reviews on September 26, 2013
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Photographers: The Manufacturers

As we bring this year to a close, let's look back on some of the best products that appeared in our 4xProducts department. We've also added a few here that haven't appeared yet. Since we're 4Wheel Drive and Sport Utility, this roundup includes trail hardware, and trail hardware only. Tools, lubes, and other ancillary items are certainly important, but we'll save those for another time. Here's Trail Hardware: the 2013 version.

Mickey Thompson's Mickey Metal
Mickey Thompson is best-known for aluminum performance wheels, but there's a new wheel in town and it's called Mickey Metal. A steel wheel, Mickey Metal is designed to be rugged, aesthetically pleasing, and affordable.

Style options include the MT-28 (original eight-hole) and the MT-88 (10-hole D-window). Look closely: Notice the Mickey Thompson logo stamped directly into the wheel face.

These wheels are available in the popular 15-, 16-, and 17-inch sizes, including the 17x9 size common to today's vehicles with larger brakes.

For more information, contact:
Mickey Thompson Tires & Wheels

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Warn ZEON Lineup
There are a lot of players in the winch game, but Warn Industries isn't just a player. The company is a serious competitor and the one all other winches are measured against. Warn's latest winch lineup is called the ZEON series and brings several new features to the self-recovery table.

The series includes the ZEON 8, ZEON 10, and ZEON 12 with respective capacities of 8,000, 10,000, and 12,000 pounds. These winches are equipped with wire rope and a roller fairlead. The ZEON 8-S and ZEON 10-S are equipped with synthetic ropes and aluminum Hawse fairleads.

The sleek new design is only the beginning: Warn added a host of new features. A quieter motor and planetary gear train to reduce noise. Faster pulling speed un-sticks your vehicle sooner, and improved sealing keeps the elements out. A new winch drum has an integrated rope anchor for easier rope installation.

For more information, contact:
Warn Industries

Trail Tough TT Towers
Trail Tough's new shock tower is designed for front or rear use on the Suzuki Samurai.

It positions the shock as high as feasible to accommodate long-travel shocks.

The kit includes two TT Towers and all necessary hardware for bolt-on installation. Choose from bolt-on or weld-on applications.

For more information, contact:
Trail Tough Products

Cam Can Trail Box
Daystar's original Cam Can offers a clever way to carry fuel and other liquids in a secure, convenient manner. Now the Cam Can Trail Box lets you carry recovery ropes and other trail needs in a hinged container that's easy to carry and easy to access.

Snap the Trail Box inline with your other Cam Can containers. The durable design withstands rugged use.

Available with or without a mounting kit. The hinged design provides quick access to essentials.

For more information, contact:
(800) 595-7659

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Replacement JK CVs
Until now, replacing a bad CV joint in a JK Wrangler driveshaft meant replacing the whole driveshaft, as stand-alone replacement CV joints aren't available from the OEM supplier. Rockford Driveline offers a replacement CV assembly for the JK that allows you to replace the CV by itself and retain the rest of the driveshaft.

Bottom line: This will save you money.

Fits both front and rear drive shafts on 2007 to 2013 JK Wranglers. Kit includes CV boot, end cap, grease, and required hardware.

For more information, contact:
Rockford Driveline
(815) 312-5728

JK Three-Link Upgrade
Rubicon Express now has a way to make your Rubicon Express-equipped JK's rear suspension that much better. The three-link Upgrade adds improved suspension geometry and better traction to the mix.

Includes heavy-duty axle truss, chromoly centerlink, differential support ring, and high-quality hardware.

Eliminates rear steer and bushing bind. Designed as a bolt-on for JK Dana 44 axle housings. Compatible with Rubicon Express Extreme Duty Long Arm Systems.

For more information, contact:
Rubicon Express
(310) 900-8728

Mastercraft Nomad Seat
Mastercraft's Nomad Seat shares the same philosophy as Henry Ford's Model T. It's designed to be basic and affordable, and you can have any color you want as long as it's black. Even so, the quality remains high. This is Mastercraft, after all.

A budget-minded import version of the legendary Rubicon fixed-back seat, the Nomad is a true suspension seat with a precision-crafted tubular frame, open-mesh suspension liner, and high-resiliency foam.

The bolt-in application fits most CJ-5s, all CJ-7s, and all YJs, and mounting kits are available for many other vehicles. They're Federal motor-vehicle safety-standard tested and rated.

For more information, contact:
Mastercraft Safety
(619) 449-9455

Rugged Ridge Modular JK Bumper
Rugged Ridge successfully introduced an aluminum JK bumper system, but discovered many JK owners wanted something more affordable. To that end, Rugged Ridge released a modular bumper rendered in tough, affordable steel.

It fits 2007 to 2013 JK Wrangler models. Hardcore users benefit from steel construction, as it's more rock-resistant than aluminum.

A center section forms the base, and options bolt to the base. Options include a winch plate, bumper ends, and upper hoop.

For more information, contact:
Rugged Ridge
(770) 614-6101

B.A.D. Wheels: Beadlock Reinvented
Traditional beadlocks do a great job of keeping the tire firmly in place, but they come with as many disadvantages as advantages. The B.A.D. (Beadlock Assist Device) wheel brings the advantages of traditional tire bead retention, but does away with the drawbacks. The B.A.D. Eklipse 17 is offered in a 17x10 size and available in all the popular lug patterns. Even better, they're made in the U.S.A.

The B.A.D. wheel brings the beadlock clamping device inside the air chamber. This means the wheel maintains its original outer lip and is DOT compliant. Since it's located inside the air chamber, the clamping device is not vulnerable to rock damage.

The B.A.D. wheel can also be equipped with external rock rings where traditional beadlock rings once sat. The rock rings function as sacrificial parts, taking trail damage, and are easily replaced once thrashed.

For more information, contact:
B.A.D. Wheels
(864) 491-0438

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Trail-Gear Tacoma Three-Link
If you've got rockcrawling in mind for your first-generation (1995.5 to 2004) Toyota Tacoma, odds are you're also thinking about a solid axle swap (SAS) for the frontend. It's entirely possible to source your own builder parts and create a one-off linked frontend, but Trail-Gear offers a sound alternative in its ready-made Trail-Link kits.

Kits are available in three different packages (A, B, and C) to accommodate varying needs and budgets.

The C kit—the most inclusive —is shown here. An already constructed third member is part of the package, and you can choose between a Detroit Locker and an ARB Air Locker.

For more information, contact:
(877) 4X4-TOYS

Rocky Road Outfitters: Support Your Local WK2
What's that? You say the 2011-and-newer WK2 Grand Cherokee isn't a rockcrawler? Point taken: You're right. It's still a Jeep, and that means it needs to leave the pavement behind on a regular basis. To make the dirt more fun in Jeep's latest Grand Cherokee, Rocky Road Outfitters has released a new front winch mounting system.

It completely replaces the stock steel bumper frame and provides mounting provisions for a winch and a Hawse-style or a roller fairlead. Accessorize this system with a brushbar for further protection and style.

Requires no welding or any other type of metalwork installation. You will have to cut on your plastic bumper fascia, but the installation instructions include lots of photos telling you just where and how to cut.

For more information, contact:
Rocky Road Outfitters
(888) 801-7271

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BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO
If your daily driver is also your 'wheeler, it's hard to beat the versatility of the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO. This tire excels on a range of terrains including hardpack, sand, gravel, granite, loam, and the pavement required to get to the trail. About the only place the BFG All-Terrain doesn't excel is in mud, and BFGoodrich has a tire for that, too.

Available in 54 sizes to accommodate a wide variety of vehicle applications. Radial construction rides smoothly on the highway and flexibly conforms to irregular trail surfaces.

Underneath the tread you'll find two full-width steel belts, as well as BFG's TriGard three-ply polyester carcass.

For more information, contact:
BFGoodrich Tires

Poison Spyder JK Crusher Flares
Poison Spyder's JK Crusher Flares are available in a narrow width, which is 2 inches skinnier per side compared to the still-available original version. On tight trails, it's often an advantage to have your tires protrude slightly past the body, making the narrow-version Crusher Flares a perfect hardcore trail choice. Narrower flares also offer additional tire clearance during full-stuff suspension articulation.

Available in either steel or aluminum. Paint to your preference.

Crusher Flare package includes a set of structural braces that anchor the flare to the structural members of the JK's body tub, rather than to the thin exterior sheet metal.

For more information, contact:
Poison Spyder Customs
(951) 849-5911

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Synergy JK Front Cage Kit
Tip-overs seem to happen at the least convenient time. Synergy Suspension offers a way to get a high-quality, professionally engineered sport cage in an affordable, DIY package.

Front cage kit only; fits JK two- and four-door models 2007 and newer. Made from 1.75-inch-diameter 1026 DOM tubing. (Choose from model-specific rear cage options for a complete rollcage system.)

Features a true frame tie in for added strength and safety. Tie ins feature bushing mounts to help isolate vibration and noise. DIY kit is pre-cut, pre-bent, and pre-notched. Weld it yourself, or coordinate with your favorite local installer.

For more information, contact:
Synergy Suspension
(805) 242-0397

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