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The Best (and worst!) of SEMA 2011

Sema 2011
Robin Stover | Writer
Posted April 1, 2012

Consumption Junction

Each year the Jp staff scours the Las Vegas convention center to check out the latest creations of the automotive aftermarket industry. The annual convergence is a spectacle for the eyes and punishing to our feet, as over 2,000 exhibitors fill up two million square feet of floor space with vehicular frivolities to astonish nearly 100,000 attendees. Premier car builders from across the nation face off for the annual who’s-who of automotive customization. In the months leading up to the show, limitless budgets merge with unstinted creativity to produce some of the most useless vehicles in existence. Amongst the sea of superfluous new product ideas and non-functional show cars, we always seem to find a gem or two that are worth shooting—whether it’s for target practice or magazine content. Our primary mission with SEMA coverage is to point out cool stuff that will make you smile (or drool). Typically we only report on what we feel is relative to Jeep vehicles. However, this year we decided to take a little different approach and include some of the most obscene things we found during our four-day trek and contrast them to their real-world Jeep equivalents.

Engine Swaps
The SEMA show always features vehicles stuffed with alternative engine combinations, however this was the first time we’ve ever seen such a misapplication of power. To counteract the offense, we found Bruiser Conversions, a company that specializes in turn-key engine conversions for Wrangler JKs. Utilizing a turbocharged Cummins 4BT, the company claims to double highway mpg and cruising range. Several configurations are available but in stock form, the oil-burner puts out 400 lb-ft of torque at 1,700 rpm.
Info: Bruiser Conversions
727/709-0239, dieselbruiser.com

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Superior Interior
We stopped counting at nine. If there is one place were SEMA vehicles seem to have no issue with excessive abundance, it is with flat-screen displays mounted inside the vehicle. We suspect that the owner of this Chevy truck was deprived of television as a child. To combat this needless waste of interior space, ARB has a new series of modular roller drawers that installs easily in the cargo area of any Jeep. The drawer design is robust with lockable compartments to suit a wide variety of uses. Accessories such as cargo barriers and removable anchor points add versatility, while the standard UV-stable, commercial-grade carpet lines the exterior.
Info: ARB USA
425/264-1391, arbusa.com

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Wheels
Few places can compare to the SEMA show when it comes to finding wheels that are downright offensive to look at. This hideous example comes from our unapologetic friends in the lowrider industry. If your vomit splash missed the magazine, read on. You will be happy to learn that Pro Comp now offers an awesome looking cast-aluminum wheel for redemption. It’s called Series 3036 and it was designed specifically for ’07-’11 JKs. This new wheel features an extra-thick outer bead surface to help prevent rock rash and a clear-coated machine finish with black accents. It’s only available in a 17-inch diameter with 5-on-5 lug spacing and 4.75 inches of back spacing, which is perfect for lower control arm and sway bar link clearance on JKs running larger-than-stock tires.
Info: Pro Comp USA, 800/776-0767, procompusa.com

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Get Hitched
Amongst all the jacked-up Super Duty and Silverado pickups at SEMA, we could have built an entire Jeep from the scrap metal used to construct drop hitches. Some of these units were interesting to look at, but you wouldn’t catch us towing with them. If you tow a trailer with your Jeep or are amongst the 33 percent of Jp readers who tow a Jeep to the trail, check out the new weight-distribution hitch setup from Andersen Hitch company. The design is radically different than others available today, and it costs less too. Instead of bulky spring bars to transfer trailer weight forward, the Andersen model uses two chains in tension, which are connected to a bracket that preloads the ball shank in a double-shear arrangement. The system dampens bounce and sway thanks to a pair of polyurethane motion-arrest bushings. It also features a self-adjusting conical ball shank that is lined with brake pad material to further resist trailer sway.
Info: Andersen Hitch, 800/635-6106, andersenhitches.com

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