As the autumn weather arrives, most of you are raking leaves, carving pumpkins, and fitting snow tires to your 4x4, but we are prepping for the annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas for the SEMA Show. SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) is the biggest trade show for the automotive aftermarket. You know, all those companies that make stuff for cars and trucks. The show has every conceivable product, from lift kits to lowering kits and giant tires to lowrider paint. We attend every year, and the place is wild with all the great stuff to check out. Well, maybe not all great, as we have seen trends we wish would die. The truck and 4x4 scene has every shape and size of vehicle you can imagine, some that should work great off-road and others that were very much show trucks. We (and 140,000 other attendees) walked the show for a week straight, and we want to show you a glimpse of what SEMA had to offer.
Plaid is pretty popular in the aftermarket these days. We saw old Jeeps with plaid headliners and this CJ-7 in the Crown automotive booth with stylin’ plaid seats.
The Fab Fours Kymera was a big hit amongst SEMA attendees. It started out as a Chevy Colorado but was stretched, chopped, and reborn as a cross between a cab truck and a monster truck. The mid-engine, twin-turbo Cummins diesel sends power forwards to a pair of ZF heavy equipment axles. This wild truck is a “love it or hate it” machine.
It is not a 4x4 but rather a top-speed log. Yes, you read that right. Someone was displaying a log that had set the world record with a speed of 47.64 mph. It seems to us that this is a pretty easy record to break. Maybe we’ll have to consider a bigger engine for our 4x4 log project.
There is a whole class of the Dakar race where teams run massive trucks with the cab over the engine across the desert. The guys from Rebel Off Road built their own version, the Rebelzilla, out of an Isuzu NPR. It was parked in the KC Lights booth. The big crew cab has a Chevy 6.0L V-8 and 1-ton axles. The back is outfitted for storage or camping in distant locations. It was the first truck of its type that we’ve ever seen at SEMA in all the years we’ve been going.
The SEMA garage is a product development research studio that helps SEMA members with both physical and digital data about vehicles and products. To showcase what type of work they can do, they built this brand-new Ford Super Duty to clear 40-inch tires. Most of the work was done from digital drawings of the Ford. This allowed many companies to collaborate on the build from different locations and then assemble the truck in one spot with the parts all built to spec. With the proliferation of products being designed and built with CAD (computer aided design), this type of R&D is the future.
This was a brand-new Ford Raptor with an EcoBoost engine, and it had already been torn apart and built into an amazing prerunner before being put on the carpet in the Ford booth. This was an over-the-top build with a tube chassis, an integrated rollcage, and safe seating for four. The truck was immaculate and had us dreaming of a Baja adventure.
Warn had a winch on display with an accessory power outlet that could be used to run other 12-volt accessories such as off-road lights, a blender, or a coffeemaker. We love coffee and things made in blenders, so we approve this message.
Advance Adapters is continuing to improve the Atlas transfer case. The company has now upgraded it with an internal oil pump so an Atlas-equipped 4x4 can be flat-towed and the gears will get oiled. Plus, there is a new parking brake option coming soon so you can keep your 4x4 from rolling away if your factory parking brake is gone.
We have been carrying the Ingersoll Rand line of rechargeable tools for year. Now Ingersoll Rand has a new rechargeable impact with adjustable torque settings, and a built-in ring light for visibility in dark spaces. Also available is a line of weighted impact sockets that multiply the torque to help break rusty bolts loose.