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Red Rock New Products

Posted in Product Reviews on July 24, 2015
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Contributors: KatieLevi Jansma
Photographers: Levi Jansma

After a full season of wheeling, many of us limp, trailer, or tow our Jeeps home. More times than not we have this grand plan that during the winter we will repair and upgrade the Jeep so it will be the envy of the whole community when spring rolls around.

Well, if you are as busy as the rest of us, it will become a mad scramble just to get it running well enough to make Easter Jeep Safari (EJS) in Moab. For those lucky enough to make it to this "can't miss" event, you must stop by the vendor show. There is always an expansive array of products and vehicles from all over the globe.

The sheer number of new aftermarket products, tools, and ideas may leave you exhausted, and this was one of those years. However, to help you navigate through the new product jungle, here are a few of our favorites from the 2015 Easter Jeep Safari.


1 Featherweight
It's no secret that a well-built JK Unlimited can be heavy as a tank. If you are looking to shed a few pounds, the all-aluminum JK 4 Door Body from Aqualu may be right up your alley. It's handmade and fashioned after the current Wrangler body. It will also bolt to your factory frame, but unfortunately, many OEM parts will not change over. The body is manufactured from 5⁄32-inch 5052-spec aluminum to take off-road abuse. Front and rear half-doors are available for a more complete package. Information: Aqualu Industries, 250/765-6714, aqualu.com

2 Bolt-on Coilovers
This year there were plenty of bolt-on coilovers for the Jeep JK. Icon Vehicle Dynamics offers a complete bolt-on suspension system, with the ICON 2.0 V.S. Series dual rate coilovers included. The system offers an adjustable ride height from 13⁄4 inches to 4 inches and allows you to return your rig to 100 percent stock. There is also an optional hydraulic bump stop kit available. Information: Icon Vehicle Dynamics, 951/689-ICON, iconvehicledynamics.com

3 Fat Shaft
Did you swap a Chevy transmission into your early model Jeep but then need a new T-case? Or maybe you are looking for a heavy-duty transfer case for your six-bolt round pattern (NP or D300) Jeep. We spotted Offroad Design's Magnum Box, a compact and lightweight four-speed transfer case system. Where many gear reduction units provide a necked-down intermediate shaft that quickly becomes a weak link, the Magnum Box has a much-improved "fat shaft." Its giant chromoly shaft is more than double the strength of the traditional smaller 32-spline connection. All you need is a big-bearing NP205. Information: Offroad Design, 970/944-7777, offroaddesign.com

4 Four-legged Comfort
A long day bouncing down the trail can wear on any of us. Now take away the cushy seat and sit on the floor. That is what it's like for your canine companions hitching rides in the back of the Jeep. However, DirtyDog let us play around with its Pet Crash Pad. The 1-inch thick memory foam pad is shaped to fit the cargo area of a Jeep flawlessly. It's sandwiched with OEM-appearance carpet on one side and an easy-to-clean vinyl layer on the other for the dirty dogs in the bunch. We think it would also work well for sleeping on during an unexpected camping trip. Information: DirtyDog 4x4, 855/704-0708, dirtydog4x4.com

5 Slide It
These new two-piece rock sliders from JCR have a nifty little cutout front and rear to accept a Hi-Lift–style jack, and fit TJ and LJ-model Wranglers. The two-piece design provides strength and eases installation. JCR also has a full line of TJ armor with a very modern look that we really like. Information: JCR Offroad, 269/353-1184, jcroffroad.com

6 Yoga Pants
When approaching the GenRight booth, these curvaceous corner guards caught our eye. Made of 1⁄8-inch steel formed to match the complex shape of your '07-current Wrangler, they are pre-drilled for an easy installation, and allow the use of any aftermarket or factory fender flare. The corner protection features a recessed LED taillight mount to achieve a sleek "frenched" look. Information: GenRight Off Road, 805/584-8635, genright.com

7 Changing Gears
Adding larger tires often means a necessary change of ring-and-pinion ratios to maintain optimal power and drivability. As more families are hitting the dirt in their Grand Cherokees, more have become interested in getting all they can from their vehicles. Nitro Gear has revealed its 4.10:1 gear sets for the '05-'10 Jeep Grand Cherokee (WK) and Commander. Information: Nitro Gear & Axle, 916/673-6464, nitro-gear.com

8 Finished Inner
Many JK modifications require sacrificing the factory inner fender in lieu of greater performance or clearance for our aftermarket upgrades. DV8 Offroad was proud to show us its new aluminum inner fenders. Designed to fit well with its Coilover Radius long arm kit, it should also work well on a factory setup. It promotes lower underhood temperatures with its ventilated panel, as well. Information: DV8 Offroad, 951/680-9595, DV8offroad.com

9 Ripped
The Factory Jeep JK muffler hangs low for everyone to see and every obstacle to graze. Ripp has a cat-back system that tucks up neatly out of harms way. The new Ripp exhaust system offers stainless construction and tuning to avoid highway drone and provide a distinct rumble. Ripp dyno tested the system for gains of 10-15 hp at the wheels, and it's available now for all '07-current Wranglers. Information: Ripp Superchargers, 718/815-1313, rippmods.com

10 Adjustable Link
With a modern coil-suspension system, Jeeps can achieve incredible amounts of flex. At times so much so that some off-camber situations can become spooky in a hurry. JKS has attacked this beast from a whole new angle. Its new internally spring-adjustable sway bar end links were a spotlight product at this year's EJS event. They're available with an expansion set to create a wide variety of roll-control options. Only one link is required, but you can add another to the opposing side to dial your Jeep in even further. It can be used in conjunction with an adjustable sway bar unit. We can't wait to get our paws on one. Information: JKS Manufacturing, 517/278-1226, jksmfg.com

11 Three is Better
Clayton Off Road is well known for its long-arm kits to fit a broad line of Jeep vehicles and in particular, its formidable XJ 3-link system. Searching for every bit of travel possible, Clayton has come out with a 3-link long arm suspension kit for the Jeep JK that comes complete with a front truss greatly improving the factory axle housing strength. Some key features include full double Johnny Joints and equal-length upper and lower control arms. We especially liked the trick cage-nut system that located the front arms on the frame side. Information: Clayton Off Road, 203/691-8593, claytonoffroad.com

12 Imitation Game
Cut factory flares can look great on a Jeep, but often times lack the rigidity of their metal counterparts. When driven at high speeds or on rough roads, they can flap around like chickens running from The Colonel. These new beauties retain that sleek factory look all while keeping their shape. They are available in three styles and come with a slick little LED signal lamp to keep the local code-enforcement officer at bay. Information: Rock-Slide Engineering, 435/752-4580, rockslideengineering.com

13 Foxy
With the popularity of Ultra4 racing increasing every year, the driving styles of many people are becoming somewhat more aggressive. Combine that with heavy armored Jeeps with supple suspensions and a quality bump stop is in order. The new FOX 2.0 Factory Series Bump Stop IFP has an internal floating piston that separates the oil from the nitrogen to prevent cavitation. It includes a negative coil spring inside the housing to soften initial contact and features a fully threaded housing to allow for height adjustability. With its black anodized finish, it's purdy too. Information: FOX, 800/369-7469, ridefox.com

14 Wireless
Warn was proud to show off its Zeon Platinum line of winches. They use a wireless handheld remote control to simplify your recovery duties. Even the line release control is moved to the wireless handset, and with a redesigned shell, the new winches from Warn are easy on the eyes as well. Information: Warn Industries, 800/543-9276, warn.com

15 Future Racer
While at the Rock Krawler booth admiring its Krawler Pro Flex joints, we prodded the guys to tell us about the Jeep setup next to them. Most importantly, we wanted to know about the suspension system on which it sat. By the time you read this story, a Rock Race Long Arm kit for the JK Wrangler should be available. Information: Rock Krawler Suspensions, 518/270-9822, rockkrawler.com

16 Digital Protection
The sPOD power control system has been upgraded to a fully digital unit. There's no more worrying about which fuse to use, as the system automatically will protect from 11⁄2 to 30 amps in each instance. With a 31⁄2-inch LED-backlit touchscreen controller, operation is a breeze. It can protect up to eight circuits per unit, and the units are stackable. Information: sPOD, 661/755-8139, 4x4spod.com

17 Give it a Ring
TJ Rubicon Wranglers are super capable rigs right out of the box. Until now, however, you were hard pressed to get a deeper gear than a 5.13:1 for them. Revolution Gear now has the means to get you crawling along with its 5.38:1 ratio available for the TJ Rubicon Jeep. Information: Revolution Gear & Axle, 844/213-4327, revolutiongear.com

18 Recliners
Suspension seats are the greatest luxury you can imagine during an entire week of wheeling at Easter Jeep Safari and on the long drive home. Mastercraft's new Sahara reclining suspension seats are a direct bolt-in for your TJ, YJ, or CJ Jeep, helping make installation easy. Information: Mastercraft Safety, 800/565-4042, mastercraftsafety.com

19 Think Skinny
A bumper that has frame-welded shackle mounts, greatly increased ground clearance, and is 10 pounds lighter than the factory plastic unit? Yes, please. Savvy has introduced its new JK LHT aluminum rear bumper. With clever design everywhere and a super tight and clean look, this is one trick bumper. If you must have a spare tire, Savvy has a steel option with a cutout that will work just as well. Information: Savvy Off Road, 949/870-8106, savvyoffroad.com

20 American Air
G2 brought us over to gaze at its all-new air-powered selectable locker. It is manufactured right here in the good ol' USA. It will be available soon for the Dana 44, with more options quickly to follow. Information: G2 Axle & Gear, 877/852-7720, g2axle.com

21 High and Flexy
MCE is working on a high-rise flexible fender for Jeep TJ models that won't require cutting of the engine hood. When we saw it at 2015 EJS, it was in the development stage, but the finished product should be out soon. Information: MCE: 206/859-9020, modernclassicenterprises.com

22 On Track
With the ever-growing popularity of long-arm suspensions and increasing difficulty of the many popular trails, the demand for high quality components is here. Pushing a rig to its limits often will result in finding out just where your weakest link is. For a long arm-equipped TJ or LJ, the factory track bar often just isn't up to the task. MetalCloak's Long Arm RE Upgrade Front Track Bar is an excellent remedy. Its Durotrak bushing-equipped track bars have been engineered to withstand any abuse you may throw at it and won't quickly wear out press-in style bushings. Information: MetalCloak, 916/631-807, metalcloak.com

23 Fully Evolved
The EVO Manufacturing Front and Rear LCG Bolt-On Coilover kits can be used to convert a Wrangler JK into a superior performing coilover system. The kit delivers 12 inches of wheel travel, using custom brackets for the lowest center of gravity. EVO's SPEC valving and spring rates are dialed in just right for the JK. In addition, the company was showing off its Draglink Flip Kit that raises the trackbar mounting location 3 inches at the axle and its Double D Bolt-On Long Arm Upgrade kit for the Wrangler JK. Information: EVO Manufacturing, 714/879-8913, evomfg.com

24 Always Centered
Fabtech's 2.5 Coilover Conversion system is available for the Jeep TJ and JK. Bolt-on upper hoops replace the factory coil spring buckets, and lower mounts attach directly on top of the axle tube. According to the company, the design keeps the load of the coilover on the centerline of the axle (as is the factory setup), reducing link-arm bushing wear. A hydraulic bumpstop kit is an option. A rear Coilover Conversion system for the JK will be released in early summer. Information: Fabtech, 909/597-7800, fabtechmotorsports.com

25 Better Brakes
So now you have more power and more ground clearance for your Jeep, but what about that stock brake system? You definitely need upgraded brakes if you have big meats on those axles, and a lot more weight in accessories. The Dynatrac ProGrip Brake System comes with larger rotors for the front and rear, the calipers end up mounted farther outboard, and you get better brake pads. This is an easy-to-install upgrade and is made even more convenient because you don't have to tap into the brake lines and subsequently bleed the system. Information: Dynatrac, 714/421-4314, dynatrac.com

26 Change-Up
The XL Sport and XL-R Sport LED lights from Baja Designs feature the company's High Speed Spot and are built into a powdercoated, cast-aluminum housing with clear anodized billet bezels. You can change the lenses and optics with no worries about voiding the warranty, and the lights are waterproof, dustproof, and submersible. The Baja Designs patented circuit design allows the lights to be driven at 100 percent, and they create light at 5000K, allowing better terrain recognition and less driver fatigue. The topper: All Baja Designs LED lights are backed by a 30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee and a limited lifetime warranty. Information: Baja Designs, 760/560-BAJA (2252), bajadesigns.com

27 Suspension Duty
Quadratec came through this year with its Maximum Duty Suspension system for the Wrangler. This new suspension setup allows the use of tires up to 33 inches and passed the rigorous FMVSS 126 physical testing that measures how the vehicle reacts with the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system after suspension modification. It's available for '07-current Wranglers. The company's Maximum Duty Suspension system is also available for '97-'06 TJs that don't have Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems. Information: Quadratec, 800/745-2348, quadratec.com

28 Super Jeep
While superchargers are not something you see on Jeeps every day, Magnuson is on the trail to changing that with the introduction of its blower kit for '12-'14 Jeep Wrangler JKs with the Pentastar 3.6L engine. The company claims a gain of 80-100 hp and 60-70 lb-ft of torque, using a safe level of induction pressure of 6 psi. The MP1320 TVS Supercharger kit includes the Eaton Twin Vortices Series supercharger that has a four-lobe, 160-degree high helix rotor design for increased airflow, a wide operating range, and cooler operating temps. Information: Magnuson Superchargers, 805/642-8833, magnusonproducts.com

29 Let the Sunshine In
What guy doesn't like a girl in a bikini? Well, now you can get one for your Jeep too. The Sun Bikini from Bestop is perfect for almost any model Wrangler from '97 to '15 because there's no windshield channel needed. It attaches above the driver/passenger area and stays there whether your soft top or hard top is on the vehicle. It uses a simple hook-and-loop system for a no-drill installation, and you have the choice of two styles and two fabrics. Information: Bestop, 800/845-3567, bestop.com

30 Shining Bright
Rigid Industries shined its all-new R-Series 46 Light on the EJS scene this year and touted the LED unit as its first circular light with all the output and technology Rigid is famous for. An adaptive crossover design, the R-Series 46 features a curved lens, curved housing, compact design, and an advanced heat sink. The R-Series 46 is designed to be a spotlight, but it's available in Spot, Hyperspot, Flood, Combo, Driving, and Wide beam patterns. Information: Rigid Industries, 855/760-5337, rigidindustries.com

31 Bully Bumper
New from ARB is its winch bumper for the Wrangler JK owner who is looking for all the protection, light mounting locations, and winch portal features of a beefy steel bumper, but without a hoop blocking that characteristic seven-slot front grille. The new bumper offers an integrated winch platform; and its recovery points, hi-lift jacking slots, and auxiliary light mounting positions deliver the additional functionality you want with all the protection of a big front bumper. The ARB JK Deluxe Combination Bull Bar is pretreated with a zinc shield before two different powdercoat finishes are applied. Information: ARB USA, 866/293-9078, arbusa.com


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