Part 9: Odds and ends
Project RangeRunner has come a long way since its transformation to a long-travel trail machine was started. One of the main ideas of the project was to make the bed supremely functional, so we looked for products that would allow the bed to securely take our trail gear, while still leaving room for other items. We also looked for functional products to use on the rest of the truck, such as a new rear bumper. Here is a quick rundown of some of the cool products we found and are currently using.
Jim Imzz is the owner of Imzz Industries and the fabricator behind our bumper. We told him we wanted to have a sturdy pre-runner bumper to match the style of our truck, and that we needed to retain the hitch. With those requirements in mind, he built this trick bumper off of our stock hitch and told us he feels sorry for any car that might rear-end us. If you could see the heft of this bumper in person, you would understand. Jim finished it off by powdercoating it gloss black. Imzz Industries does everything from installing lift kits to custom fabrication, so if you are in need of something special, this just might be the company you are looking for.
Power Tank has one of the best onboard air systems on the market. The quality of the components is world-class, and we wanted to make sure we had one for RangeRunner. Power Tank provided its 10-pound B system in Competition Yellow, which included a 10-pound aluminum tank with SuperFlow HPX regulator (with a limited lifetime warranty), a quick-interchange Super Coupler, Super Bracket, regulator cover, and a HD Tire Inflator. We have used this tank from Baja to Moab, Death Valley and back and it has never failed to impress us (or those watching). It fills up all four of our 33s from 10 psi to 32 psi in the same time it takes our buddies with the little electric compressors to air up one. Filling up the tank is cheap, and it usually lasts us about five outings. Power Tank also offers 5- and 15-pound tank sizes, and it is strong enough to run air tools. This is a must-have to anyone on the trail.
We were looking for an adjustable tie-down system to maximize our bed efficiency, so we called our friends at 4 Wheel Parts Wholesalers who pointed us to Hi-Lift's Slide-N-Lock rail system. These 6061-T6 anodized aluminum rails have holes placed every 5 inches and come with locking pins that can be adjusted in seconds. Because of the strength of the system, each tie can support 1,000 pounds in any direction. They're available in 7-, 22-, 68-, and 99-inch lengths. We ordered up two sets of the 60-inch rails and strategically placed them on the floor and rails of RangeRunner's bed. We have found the adjustability makes all the difference in how we are able to carry gear in our bed.
Since the Ranger doesn't allow for a 33-inch tire to be stowed under the bed, we decided to go with Fabtech's Flat Spare Tire Mount. It installs easily, securely holds the wheel without scratching it, and can be locked from below so some desert freeloader doesn't take off with your spare.
We have been beating up these Dirt Bagz Coil Wraps for a year now, and they are holding up great. Dirt Bagz work by protecting your coilover shaft from pitting, thereby extending the life of your shocks. They are great when your tires are constantly throwing up debris.