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CONTENTS BCOR 2019:
New Product from the 2019 BC Overland Rally ...pg 20
1997 Jeep Wrangler Icon Concept ...pg 36
POWERSPORTS: Powersports Products Buyers Guide ...pg 32
OFF-ROAD ACC: Off-Road Accessories Buyers Guide ... pg 15
NWOR Check out the latest and greatest from the 2019 Northwest Overland Rally ...pg 10
No Dog Left Behind
We put the all-new Ford Ranger through some real world off-road testing ...pg 28
Off-Roading with Man’s Best Friend ...pg 24
Fresh Tracks------------------------------ 4 1960 Ford F-250 4x4-----------------38 Gearing Up--------------------------------42 Winchin’ Out------------------------------46 AUG/SEPT 2019 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE
Upgraded 2020 Ford F-Series Super Duty Introducing Tremor Off-Road Package
he Ford F-Series Super Duty is set to undergo some changes as it enters the 2020 model year, including the addition of an all-new 7.3L gasoline engine along with a 10-speed automatic transmission plus some revised exterior and interior design features. As we get closer to the anticipated fall release of the 2020 trucks, Ford has announced it will be offering an all-new Tremor Off-Road package which will result in the most capable off-road Super Duty ever. Ford says the Tremor will provide the Super Duty with new hardware and tech that is designed to handle rough terrain and provide greater towing and payload than the similar Ram Power Wagon. The package will be available for the XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum F-250 and F-350 models with either the all-new 7.3L gasoline engine or the third-generation 6.7L Power Stroke Diesel. The Tremor package can be specified for 4x4 single-rear-wheel SuperCrew trucks with a 6.75-ft. Box, while the F-250 models will require the high-capacity trailer tow package. Off-road upgrades to the truck include 35-in. Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires on unique 18-in. wheels, and a 2-in. front end lift and shorter air dam that result in 10.8-in. of ground clearance and a best-in-class water fording of 33-in. plus the best approach and departure angle of any Super Duty ever. The progressive-rate springs help balance the heavyduty towing needs while also controlling body motion on rock-strewn trails. The Tremor trucks will also use a locking rear differential with electronic shift-on-the-fly engagement and a new Dana limited-slip OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE AUG/SEPT 2019
front differential. The new package will provide selectable drive modes which allow drivers to choose the best setting for the current conditions. These modes include Normal, tow/haul, eco, slippery and deep snow/sand. Finally, for the first time ever, the Super Duty Tremor models receive Trail Control which is a feature that debuted on the F-150 Raptor and Ranger and functions like cruise control specifically for off-road driving.
Volume 3, Issue No. 4
August / September 2019 STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS
Publisher: Dean Washington email@example.com Associate Publisher: David Symons firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor Jordan Allan email@example.com Distribution Manager: Brenda Washington firstname.lastname@example.org Copy Editor:
Lexus Unveils GXOR Off-Road Ready Concept Vehicle Lexus has unveiled a new concept vehicle called the GXOR (GX Off-Road) Concept which is inspired by Lexus GX owners who have experienced the large SUV’s brilliant combination of luxury and capability. Lexus typically isn’t the first auto manufacturer you think of when it comes to off-road capability, but perhaps they plan on using this concept as a way to change that notion. The GXOR began life as a 2019 Lexus GX 460 and has been fitted with so many aftermarket upgrades
Gerry Frechette email@example.com Advertising Sales: Elaine Fontaine firstname.lastname@example.org Contributing Writers / Photographers: Jordan Allan Stefanie Galeano-Zalutko John Gunnell Jason R. Sakurai Spencer Whitney CONTACT INFORMATION
OFF-ROAD PLUS Magazine is published seven times per year by RPM Media Inc. MAILING ADDRESS: 2460 Kingsway Avenue Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada V3C 1T4 TELEPHONE: (604) 629-9669 FAX: (778) 285-2449 TOLL FREE: (888)-500-4591 EMAIL: email@example.com WEBSITE: www.rpmcanada.ca Second Class Mailing Agreement #40050183
OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE AUG/SEPT 2019
that it has changed its look and feel completely. To immediately up its capability, Lexus has fitted an ICON Suspension System with remote reservoirs and billet control arms which cleared room for 18-in. Lexus F Sport wheels wrapped in extremely capable 275/70R18 General Grabber X3 mud terrain tires. From there, a CBI Custom Stealth Bumper with a hidden WARN 9.5 XPS Winch was added along with CBI frame slider step bars and full underbody armour. The GXOR also features a roof-mounted Rigid 50-in. LED light bar, a EEZI-AWN K9 roof rack, an Overland Solar 160-watt panel and a Goose Gear Custom Drawer system and National Luna Refrigerator. Towed behind the GXOR is a Patriot Campers X1H trailer that is as comfortable as it is durable and is helped along via a Redarc Tow-Pro Brake Controller. Now obviously, this is just a concept vehicle with tons of aftermarket add-ons as we mentioned, but it is always cool to see large, luxury oriented SUVs transformed into true off-road capable machines.
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World’s Largest Avalanche Detection System to be Installed Along Trans-Canada Highway Volume 3, Issue No. 4
August / September 2019 ADVERTISER INDEX
Anzo USA ------------------------------------ 2 Bright Source ------------------------------ 19 Eibach -------------------------------------- 48 Formula Distributors - -------------------- 35 Husky Liners - --------------------------16,17 HyperTech - ---------------------------------- 5 ICI ------------------------------------------- 31 Iron Cross Automotive ------------------- 21 LMC Truck --------------------------------- 39 Lordco Auto Parts ------------------------ 45 Mickey Thompson -------------------------- 9 Rugged Ridge ------------------------------- 7 Specialty Products Company ------------ 27 TrailFX -------------------------------------- 47 PICK UP LOCATIONS
OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE AUG/SEPT 2019
The Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, recently announced the installation of an Avalanche Detection Network on the Trans-Canada Highway in Glacier National Park, which will improve safety for visitors either traveling through or visiting the park during the winter. The system will be the first of its kind in Canada and the larg es t a nd most extensive detection network in the world. The monitoring instruments, which are located near avalanche paths along the Trans-Canada Highway in Rogers Pass, will utilize radar and infrasound technology to provide real-time avalanche activity information. It will provide early warning of increasing avalanche activity which will promote a quicker response, and provides better safety for travelers and a reduction in highway closure time. The new system builds upon measures already taken, and adds several new Remote Avalanche Control Systems and 2,200 metres of netting to hold the snow pack in place where the avalanches would normally start. “Canada boasts scenic back country landscapes and world-renowned slopes. Canadians across the country, and people around the world, come here every year to connect with nature,” said Catherine McKenna in a news release. “With the largest avalanche detection network in the world, we are working with Canadians to create greater and safer opportunities to enjoy the nature we love so much.”
Automotive World Saddened by Passing of Former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca Lee Iacocca, who was perhaps best known as the former President of Ford and the man who pulled Chysler from the brink of collapse in 1980, has passed away at the age of 94 in Bel Air, California of complications from Parkinson’s disease. “Lee gave us a mindset that still drives us today – one that is characterized by hard work, dedication and grit,” said Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in a statement. “We are committed to ensuring that Chrysler, now FCA, is such a company, an example of commitment and respect, known for excellence as well as for its contribution to society. His legacy is the resiliency and unshakeable faith in the future that live on in the men and women of FCA who strive every day to live up to the high standards he set.” Iacocca enjoyed a nearly five-decade career in the automotive world beginning in 1946 at Ford Motor Co. where he eventually became President and had a huge part in the release of the Ford Mustang in 1964. After not seeing eye-toeye with then Ford Chairman Henry Ford II, he was fired in 1978 but was soon recruited by Chrysler where he is largely credited with saving the company in 1980, aided by the release of the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager minivans. Iacocca is survived by his two daughters, Kathryn and Lia, from his first marriage to wife Mary who passed away in 1983 from health complications caused by diabetes.
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FEATURE: NORTHWEST OVERLAND RALLY
Untraveled... The 2019 NW Overland Rally
Story and photos by Jason R. Sakurai
here are many adventure travel events throughout North America, one in particular noted for its commercial success. There is another, lauded by participants and vendors, as the gathering where it’s perfectly okay to bring your entire family, and that’s the North West Overland Rally (NWOR). The NWOR was held in the Cascade Mountains, June 20-23 in Plain, Washington, about the same distance from Vancouver, BC as it is from Vancouver, Washington. The geographical proximity isn’t the main reason for the growing numbers of Canadians who attend the NWOR, any more than it is the draw for overlanders in Portland or anywhere else in the States, for that matter. No, it’s the organizational skills of Canadian Ray Hyland and his wife, Marianne, and their keen sense of balance that limits the Rally’s exhibitors so as not to interfere with or impede anyone’s enjoyment of this annual event. There are trail rides, whiskey and tequila tastings, mountain biking, a 45-minute boot camp with high intensity interval training, meditation and yoga, cooking classes, a solar power seminar, photography classes, 10 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE AUG/SEPT 2019
James Baroud will colourmatch their roof top tent to your vehicle.
even a legal session on protecting your overland brand and business. In short, there is about as much to do as you could possibly pack into two days, or you can opt to enjoy the Sonny, in black to the right, conducted a legal seminar on protecting your brand and business.
'50s DeSoto on a 4WD truck chassis equals one of more unusual vehicles at the NWOR.
camaraderie of others from just about anyplace in the U.S. or Canada. NW Overland Rally is where you meet new people and become friends with whom you’ll be able to share adventures or a meal. Un-
VW Vanagon – who knew it would spawn a whole outdoor movement?
That’s our rig, a ’14 Toyota FJ Cruiser that’s a work in progress. AUG/SEPT 2019 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE 11
Jackdaw aka Richard Villacres travels in this ’54 Dodge M152 CDN he calls ‘Hella’.
restrained by societal norms where you reside or as a part of a larger area, NWOR is an opportunity to relax and be outdoors with others who enjoy many of the same activities that you do. That there were more women participating, not as domestic partners but as participants themselves, spoke volumes for the NWOR, and overlanding in general. It is a community that is non-judgmental, inclusive, and welcomes both experts and neophytes.
In a setting conducive to kids of all ages, it’s little wonder that camping as a whole is on the rise, and the trend over the last five or more years is that unlike motorsports or street rodding, the average age of campers is getting younger. As more children are introduced to adventure travel, they want to be a part of it too, and this is where it isn’t graying, it’s headed in the opposite direction. Where the pavement ends is where your kids, and quite possibly their kids, will want to go.
SilverFire’s Off-Grid Stove and cookware captivated our attention.
BC-based Range Rover Defender has the right idea. 12 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE AUG/SEPT 2019
Kupilka eco dishware is durable even in -30º C weather. See for yourself.
Fordâ€™s Transit vans are being converted, gaining popularity despite that of Sprinter vans.
Industrial-military carrier unites with Lance travel trailer, and it works! AUG/SEPT 2019 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE 13
We couldn’t find this Ford E-350-based rig’s owner, but admired it all the same.
For more information on the 2020 NWOR, log on to n w o v e r l a n d r a l l y. com. If you like overlanding, but want to stay closer to home, check out the Hylands’ other events, the BC Overland Rally in Whistler, BC at www.bcoverlandrally.com, or plan an extended tour of the States and include the Rocky Mountain Overland Rally in Gunnison, Colorado, at www. rockymountainoverlandrally.com. Carl from Nitro Gears held a seminar, one of many that were well received.
Overlanders need their own brew and the Overland Coffee Co. is here to accommodate them.
Vagabond Outdoors’ all aluminum Drifter camper is lightweight, perfect for mid-sized trucks. 14 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE AUG/SEPT 2019
PRODUCTS: OFF-ROAD ACCESSORIES
BUYERS’ GUIDE ARB Weekender Recovery Kit
Description: ARB USA’s Weekender Recovery Kit features a slim design that allows it to be easily stored in any vehicle. It includes the ARB 17,500-lb. vehicle recovery strap, two type “S” galvanized 4.75t-rated shackles, one set of leather gloves and a PU-coated cotton canvas recovery bag. The dual compartments of the bag provide space for a recovery damper which is sold separately. Specifications: Bag features sewn-in shackle holders, heavy-duty buckles and a rubber carry handle. Applications: Universal product. Website: www.arbusa.com
ARIES Automotive Shackles Description: ARIES Automotive recovery shackles feature a 12,500 lb. work-load limit and a highly durable carbide black powder coat finish for excellent rust resistance. They feature a 2-in. inside diameter to accept a variety of ropes, cables or chains. The kit comes complete with two shackles. Specifications: Features a solid, forged steel construction for maximum strength. Applications: Universal product. Website: www.ariesautomotive.com
Bubba Rope - The Original Description: The original kinetic energy recovery rope (KERR). Stronger and safer tool for dynamic vehicle recovery with its ability to stretch up to 35 percent using kinetic energy to help get your stuck vehicle moving. The only KERR with Vinyl Gatorize coating for UV and abrasion protection. Specifications: Breaking strength 28,600 lbs. Made from 7/8-in. double-braid nylon rope. Comes with mesh duffel bag. Weight:7.3 lb. 20-ft.or 30-ft. lengths available. Made in the USA. Applications: 4x4 off-road recovery and towing. Website: www.bubbarope.com
Garvin Wilderness Jeep JL Trail Rack Description: Garvin Wilderness’ Jeep JL Trail Rack is made from thick steel tubing and features supports that attach in-between the tailgate and factory spare tire mount utilizing factory hardware in the tailgate. The rack is coated with a zinc primer powder coat and then top-coated with a satin black textured coat. The measurements of the basket are 31.25-in. wide by 16-in. deep by 5-in. high which is perfect for coolers or other gear up to 75-lbs. Specifications: Rack is made from ¾-in. diameter, .065-in. thick steel tubing. Applications: Fits all Jeep JL Wranglers. Website: www.wildernessracks.com
Hi-Lift Hood Mount Description: Hi-Lift is now offering its hood mount for use on any Jeep Gladiator or Wrangler. The mount attaches directly to existing hood hinge holes with no drilling required for installation. It is compatible with both 48-in. and 60-in. jack models and gives you the opportunity to take your Hi-Lift jack with you on the trail without taking up valuable cargo or passenger space. Specifications: Manufactured from 6061-T6 structural anodized aluminum. Applications: Available for the Jeep Wrangler, TJ, CJ/YJ, JK, JL and Gladiator. Website: www.hi-lift.com AUG/SEPT 2019 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE 15
Pro Comp Recovery Tow Strap Description: Pro Comp’s Recovery Tow Strap features a 10,000-lb. load rating with superstitched end loops that will not break. They are manufactured using heavy-duty nylon and are completely weather resistant, making them ideal for even the toughest of conditions. Available in a variety of different lengths and widths, there are straps for just about any application. Specifications: Features a 10,000-lb. load rating. Applications: Not application specific. Website: www.procompusa.com
Rugged Ridge Traction Recovery Kit Description: Rugged Ridge makes it possible to take traction with you, no matter where you go. The Traction Recovery Kit features heavy-duty reinforced nylon traction boards, lightweight and portable, delivering essential grip on the slickest of surfaces. Sand, snow and mud are simply no match for their ultra-aggressive design, as the board’s built-in cleats deliver a giant dose of traction when and where it’s needed most. The boards are cast in bright colour for maximum visibility, engineered to withstand pressures up to 20,000 lbs. and paired with a handy tri-fold shovel for ease of placement. Specification: Injection molded high-impact polypropylene construction Application: Universal Website: www.ruggedridge.com
Rugged Ridge Spare Tire Tool Rack Description: Built from high-strength powder-coated steel plate and is designed to house a variety of tools and implements including axes, shovels, picks, saws, etc. Each tool attaches securely in place with the included retention straps for a quiet, rattle-free ride. The Spare Tire Tool Rack System features a rugged spare tire mounting plate that works with a wide variety of bolt circles and offsets, making it virtually universal for any vehicle with an externally-mounted spare. (Tools not included) Specifications: Stamped Steel Construction / Textured Powder Coat Finish / Nylon Retention Straps Applications: Universal fit for any vehicle with externally mounted spare tire Website: www.ruggedridge.com
GO AHEAD, THROW DOWN.
Smittybilt Premium Winch Accessory Bag Description: Smittybilt’s Premium Winch Accessory Bag contains nine pieces, all of which are fundamental winch rigging tools needed for recovery and performing other winch operations. The kit includes a 30-ft. 30,000-lb. recovery strap, an 8-ft. 40,000-lb. tree trunk protector, premium work gloves, a 17.6k-lb. snatch block, two ¾-in. D-rings, 10-ft. of choker chain with hooks and a heavy-duty bag with a strap. Specifications: Bag is 600-denier. Contains everything needed for winch recovery. Applications: Universal product. Website: www.smittybilt.com
TeraFlex Trail Recovery Kit Description: TeraFlex’s Trail Recovery Kit comes with essential recovery tools that are needed for the most common pulling tasks, packed in a heavy-duty tool and gear bag. The kit comes complete with a 30-ft. recovery tow strap, 7-ft. recovery tree strap, a pair of D-ring shackles, key chain air deflator and the bag itself. Specifications: Recovery tow strap and tree strap each feature a 20,000 lb. rating. Applications: Universal product. Website: www.teraflex.com
TrailFX Synthetic Rope Shackle Description: The new TrailFX Synthetic Rope Shackle offers a great solution to the hassles of dealing with heavy D-rings that sink if dropped in the mud! The TrailFX Synthetic Rope Shackle is a single-piece design constructed with soft, flexible HMPE nylon rope that has a 7,500-lb working load limit and a 30,000-lb breaking strength. Specifications: Easily wrap this versatile shackle that is highly resistant to water, UV light, and abrasion, around the most difficult pulling points and don’t worry, it won’t sink if dropped. Application: Universal Website: www.TrailFX.com
Form is our Function Precision ﬁt to perfectly match the contours of your SUV.
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Go to HuskyLiners.com or call 800.344.8759 to avoid unwanted stains and damage.
Tough to Beat. Made from a proprietary material blend that is sporty and rugged.
Trail Gear Rock Recovery Straps Description: Trail Gear’s Rock Recovery Straps are made from 100-percent high-tenacity, polyester double ply webbing that is both UV and abrasion resistant. The eyelets or loops are reinforced with an abrasion resistant material for maximum strength and durability. Finally, the 3-in. wide straps are available in 3-in. x 20-ft. and 3-in. x 30-ft. Specifications: Load or tow rating of 35,000 lbs. Applications: Not application specific. Website: www.trail-gear-canada.ca
UnderCover Overland Accessory Kit for Ridgelander Description: UnderCover’s Ridgelander Tonneau cover offers tons of customization options that allow you to carry just about any sort of equipment you wish. This particular example is the Overland Accessory kit which features a large Pioneer Platform Tray that provides a versatile surface for attaching cargo using either the eye bolt kit or the Sportz ratchet grab. This provides a secure spot to carry your camping gear and just about anything you need. Specifications: Kit includes large pioneer platform tray, Sportz ratchet grabs, eye bolt kits, high-lift jack bracket, shovel holder and combo shovel/high lift bracket. Applications: Available for trucks that can be outfitted with the Ridgelander Tonneau cover. Visit website for complete listings. Website: www.undercoverinfo.com
Viair Dual 444C Onboard Air System Description: Viair’s Dual 444C Onboard Air System is a pre-packaged compressed air solution that utilizes two 444C, 100-percent duty cycle compressors, a 2.5-gallon air tank, an inline pressure regulator and all necessary components. The 12-volt, permanent magnetic motor features a maximum working pressure of 200 PSI and boasts a max Amp draw of 40 amps. Specifications: Ingress protection rating: IP67. Comes with either a 30-ft. coil hose with quick connects or 30-ft. black-sleeved inside-braided coil hose. Can inflate tires up to 40-in. Applications: Not application specific. Website: www.viaircorp.com
WARN Epic Tool Roll Organizer Description: WARN’s Epic Tool Roll Organizer features a heavy-duty nylon construction and boasts heavy-duty weather resistant YKK zippers. The bag features integrated D-rings and straps for secure attachment to anything including seat backs and headrests and provides two small zipped pockets, one large pocket and one medium pocket which allows you to carry any tools or gear necessary to hit the trails. Specifications: Features rugged 600D Cordura nylon construction. Applications: Not application specific. Website: www.warn.com
Westin Automotive Recovery Shackle Description: Westin Automotive’s Recovery Shackle features a universal design that allows it to be mounted to a variety of places on a number of different applications. The heavy-duty steel construction ensures they will be able to handle any situation, while the sleek black look allows them to integrate into just about any design. Specifications: Available as a bow shackle or receiver bow shackle kit. Applications: Universal Fit Website: www.westinautomotive.com
18 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE AUG/SEPT 2019
FEATURE: BC OVERLAND RALLY PRODUCTS
BCOR 2019 Story by Spencer Whitney, photos courtesy of Mercedes Lilienthal and the manufacturers
his month, we take a look at three new innovative off-road products with a unique twist - they’re all made by small startup companies, two of which are based in Canada. It’s great to see local businesses getting their products out to the world, especially when countries like the U.S. and Australia dominate so much of the off-road market. All of these were on display at this year’s B.C. Overland Rally, which took place in June at Whistler Olympic Park. Despite gloomy weather, the turnout was impressive and many of the vendors present were happy to invite us under their awnings to check out some new stuff.
a license plate bracket. Their new solar system is set to take the overland world by storm when it is launched later this year. Developed from the marine industry, Cascadia’s VSS (Vehicle Specific Solar) consists of a flexible, durable solar array pre-cut
CASCADIA 4X4 VSS SOLAR SYSTEM WEB: cascadia4x4.com Based in Vancouver, Cascadia 4x4 is a relatively new company that’s making waves by focusing on inventing clever new products. The “Flipster” winch fairlead lineup has become very popular with many off-road drivers due to the inclusion of
to fit the contours of your 4x4’s hood. Initial vehicles supported will be popular Jeep and Toyota models with more vehicles being tested soon. Some of the initial applications may fit nicely on other vehicles right out of the box. Other versions, like the 20 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE AUG/SEPT 2019
FROM IRON CROSS
¾-.+, • Sensor Compatiable
• Multiple Lighting Options
• Customizable Accent Plates
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• Matte Black Finish • Low Profile Design
one made for JL Rubicons, are very specific with cut-outs for hood vents and windshield rests. The thin 2.5mm waterproof panels produce power in the range of 52 to 100 watts (1 to 7 amps at battery voltage) depending on their size, and include
an intelligent solar charge controller. Simply connect it to your battery system and your hood becomes a low-profile and unobtrusive source of backup power for long stays in camp. As an additional feature, the panels are matte black which reduces reflections on your hood while driving. And best of all, there’s no major maintenance involved - just wash them when you wash the vehicle. COLBY ULTIMATE TIRE VALVE WEB: Amazon.ca, colbyvalve.com Debuting in 2016, Colby Valve’s robust tire valve stem replacement solution was conceived after the inventor’s grandson ended up with a torn valve on his side-by-side. After recognizing that there was no easy way to replace stems without the laborious process of removing the tire on a wheel, inventor Neil Johnson came up with the now-patented design. Constructed of
strong precision-machined brass stock and made in the USA, these beefy valve stems are tested to 3000psi, and fit almost every wheeled vehicle in existence (0.453-in. stem openings are common throughout the world.) With hand tools and a few minutes per corner, you can install a permanent and strong replacement for off road use - without removing the wheel. The standard set is shorter than most OEM stems, which means you have less of a chance to snag a stem on the trail. The product is also offered in an extended size for recessed stem openings, an emergency pack (which requires no hand tools to install) and in an XL size for heavy equipment that uses a 5/8-in. stem opening. The owners of Colby Valve - who are also the only employees - are committed to customer service and satisfaction. These stems are used in all kinds of situations all over the world; word-of-mouth has gotten them in the hands of emergency vehicle operators, off-road race teams, construction equipment operators, and overland expeditions. We have a feeling that it only takes one bad stem on a trail for anyone to wish they had a set of Colby valves - save yourself the hassle and upgrade your valves now! GREENLANE OFF-ROAD BED RACK WEB: greenlaneoffroad.com
Building on experience gained in architecture and marine, the founders of Greenlane Off-Road are carving themselves a niche for high quality aluminum fabrication right here in British Columbia. Based in Sidney on Vancouver Island, they’ve been developing products for Toyota and Jeep since they founded 22 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE AUG/SEPT 2019
in 2018. Greenlane specializes in aluminum fabrication, something of a rarity in the off-road world. Aluminum is regarded as being weak and easy to bend, but with the right design it can be utilized in a way that ends up being stronger than a steel counterpart - and much lighter. (They don’t make airplanes out of steel after all.) Weight savings equals better fuel economy and less sprung weight, reducing the need for heavy-duty suspension in off road situations. The current product line includes slick OEM-integrated winch bumpers for Tacoma and 4Runner, and rocker guards for Toyota and Jeep models (full bumpers are coming soon.). On display at BCOR and brand new to the line up is an innovative bed rack system for pickup trucks, starting with an application for the Tacoma. This “A-rack” includes channeled cross bars on which you can mount all kinds of accessories and equipment like roof top tents, kayaks, and storage boxes. The sides feature laser-cut hinged panels with lock knobs that secure them from rattling. Owners can then outfit the panels with Rotopax mounts or any other type of accessory. The rack system also provides a bit of security - would-be thieves can’t just reach in and quickly grab whatever is in your bed. One unique feature of the side panels are the friction hinges - they allow the panel to hold open in any position. And of course, the rack is 100-percent aluminum, saving your payload capacity for whatever else needs to travel with you. More vehicle compatibility is expected to be added to this highly modular design. The company also plans to offer bumpers for the long-lived Land Rover Defender, along with other as yet unannounced applications in the future. Buying locally and from smaller companies not only means that
you’re supporting home-grown businesses, but you might also see savings too. Shipping and installation can increase the cost of some large, complicated parts like bumpers by as much as 50 percent. Some manufacturers are happy for you to pick up right from their factory and usually offer fantastic after-sales support if you buy direct. We hope to see more companies in Canada taking advantage of local talent in the future to develop new innovative products. Canadian off-roaders are increasingly attracted to buying products made locally instead of choosing the cheapest goods made overseas - something that benefits everyone with positive economic effects.
AUG/SEPT 2019 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE 23
FEATURE: OFF-ROADING WITH MAN’S BEST FRIEND
Ruff Ridin’ Some tips and tricks on how to best enjoy off-roading with your dog Story by Zalutko Business Services, Inc., photos courtesy of the manufacturers
f you’re an off-road enthusiast, you know the basics of safe trail-riding: respect your ride, respect the environment, and respect others. But just as you need to know the limits of what your rig can handle, it’s also important to respect the limits of your passengers—including the four-legged kind.
As people continue to view their pets as more a part of the family and less a part of the furnishings, cultural norms shift. “Man’s best friend has perhaps never been more popular than right now,” writes The Engine Block in an article about camping with pets. “Public (and private) spaces like hotels, restaurants, and retail shops are noticeably more dog-friendly these days, with special accommodations and complimentary treats becoming the new norm.” Consequently, the industry tasked with catering to these new consumer trends has shifted as well. Last clocked somewhere around $109 billion, the global pet industry understands the retail value in “pet humanization,” as insiders like to call it. And, while those innovative travel solutions, highquality food stuffs, and enormous array of lifestyle accessories might scream novelty to some, to affectionate pet owners they ensure that not only can Fido come along for a R-I-D-E, but he can do so in a safe, comfortable, and stylish manner. With about 65 percent of Canadian households currently owning at least one pet, and the country being home to some of the world’s most beautiful, rugged terrain, it’s only natural that this impulse to never leave the dog
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behind would extend to off-roading as well. Already ideal travel companions, thanks to a loyal, friendly, and judgment-free demeanour, dogs simply make outdoor adventuring more enjoyable. But that seemingly-boundless positivity has a limit like anything else, and it’s important to prioritize their needs in the face of new, intimidating experiences. According to Packaged Facts, the Canadian pet industry is worth around $7 billion, including food, supplies, and services—signaling that, for every perceived pet-related obstacle on the trail, there is a cleverly designed, neatly packaged, and highly-marketable solution. Here are a few kernels of advice (and unique products) to consider before you head out wheelin’ with your canine companion. And keep in mind that, just because the dog makes your experience more fun, this may not be the case for others on the trail. Know Before You Go “Before you assume anything, find out whether your dog is permitted where you want to go,” advises off-road accessories manufacturer Fab Fours. “One of the golden rules of off-roading is to never harm or disturb the natural environment. As innocent as they may seem, dogs can unintentionally do just that.” Depressing but true, many national and provincial parks, offroading trails, and OHV areas may have full or partial restrictions on dogs. If you’re unsure whether your furry friend would be welcome, check the destination’s website or call to ask a trail steward or park employee. Additionally, resources like BringFido are incredibly useful if your off-road excursion involves any long-distance travel, as a team
of online pet experts can help you find dog-friendly attractions, hotels, beaches, and more. Most importantly, however, is to ensure your pet is healthy enough for the adventure. Heading off-road means heading into nature, where curious pets can sniff out all sorts of threats. Even if you have no intentions of stopping at a campsite or park, stay on top of vaccinations (especially rabies and distemper), as well as flea and tick treatments. Packing Like A Pro You wouldn’t hit the trails without some quality recovery gear (and likely a few other well-tailored mods), so it stands to reason you’ll
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need to pack some appropriately dog-minded essentials as well. First and foremost is plenty of fresh, cool water and a substantial supply of food or treats. Australia-based company, DOOG, offers a neoprene water bowl that wraps around a 600ml bottle, keeping water insulated and cool while also providing an easy-to-stow portable bowl. And U.S. pet accessory company Kurgo provides a tough, waterproof Kibble Carrier bag with a bottom pocket that stores a collapsible silicone food bowl. Additionally, brands like Dexas Popware, KONG, and Lixit offer portable food and water containers engineered specifically with dogs in mind. If you plan on doing any camping, a stake and leash is a worthwhile addition—check out the twist-and-lock IntelliLeash Intelli-Stayk or Boss Pet’s solid, forged-steel version. If your destination has a watering hole, a good moisture-wicking towel may just save your vehicle’s interior, as will some quality mess-resistant floor mats or cargo liners, like those from Husky Liners or WeatherTech. If plenty of swimming is on the agenda—or you plan on fording some deep water on the trail—a doggie life jacket is an extremely affordable and valuable investment. A brand like FLOWT can outfit the whole family without breaking the bank. When it comes time to settle down for the night, a pet bed or soft blanket will keep your pup comfortable. (It can also help buffer the jarring side-to-side motion during off-road rides.) Biodegradable waste bags are always a smart investment, and something you will never regret bringing along, as are a couple of tennis balls or chew toys. But above all, a K9 first aid kit is a must-have. The American Kennel Club explains that, “Many items are common everyday supplies you already have in the house,” like gauze and hydrogen peroxide. So, it shouldn’t be too hard for you to build up your
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existing emergency kit with some dog-specific additions. You can also purchase complete sets—Adventure Medical Kits makes one small enough to tuck into a backpack. Securing Your Dog While it may be tempting to let ol’ Rover hang his head out the window or even run alongside your rig during trail-outings, a good harness is the recommended approach for maximum safety. Finding the proper method for securing your pup may take some trial and error, as it will largely depend on what vehicle you’re running, as well as any modifications you’ve made to it, plus local and provincial laws, the difficulty of the trail, and most of all—your dog’s temperament. Here are some solutions other enthusiasts have found helpful: • Comprehensive vehicle-restraint harnesses. Brands like Kurgo, Ruffwear, and EzyDog offer crash-tested dog car harnesses specifically designed for in-vehicle use. Designed with comfort and safety in mind, these options are compatible with vehicle seat belt systems and will provide maximum restraint during rides. • Purpose-designed crates. Popular among hunting enthusiasts, sturdy aluminum dog boxes like those offered by Better Built or Owens provide a safe and fully-enclosed transport option. Keep in mind though, that while a metal construction is rough and rugged, it also absorbs heat, so these may be better suited for cool weather excursions. • Backseat Barriers. If your dog responds poorly to being restrained or you only plan to tackle gentle trails, a safety barrier, swivel seat-belt tether, or backseat hammock from Kurgo, WeatherTech, or K&H might just do the trick. Giving your friend a little more room to roam, it will still keep him from becoming a projectile in the event of a collision or hard slam on the brakes.
Always remember that you’re toting around a passenger who lacks opposable thumbs. Even with a good harness, your dog is going to get bounced around. Be mindful of how you take turns and approach obstacles. If you’re planning something really hairy that could potentially topple your rig—either remove the dog and have your wheeling partner stay with them outside the vehicle, or save that trick for another day. Start Slow and Be Patient It’s completely possible that the first time you strap your pup into the passenger seat, you experience the kind of happy trail-riding experience worthy of a Purina commercial. It’s also completely possible that your dog will become scared or car sick, resulting in panting, whining, drooling, or something much more unpleasant. “The most important thing you can be when planning an activity or trip for your pup is realistic,” writes full-time van-lifer and Yakima brand ambassador, Brianna Madia. “Know your dog’s skill and comfort level and your own—and then plan to meet somewhere in the middle. And remember, familiarity reduces fear. Slowly introducing a new activity skyrockets your chances for long-term success.” Consider how your dog does on regular car rides around town or long-distance highway travel. If he or she handles that well, step up to a bumpy country road and see how things go, gradually increasing the rugged terrain over time. Invest in some sturdy car seat covers and a large batch of wet wipes, as pet messes are a very real possibility. And above all, stay in tune to what your dog is telling you. Excessive whimpering, scratching, or cowering are all clear signs that it’s time to stop and try again another day. Having a dog is a blessing, but it’s also a responsibility. If you want your loyal copilot’s off-roading days to be plentiful, be smart. Additional Advice for Off-Roading Dog Lovers • Big dogs need space. A full-size Lab is going to command more space than a Corgi—make sure you’re accommodating enough room. That might mean leaving other gear behind, or investing in a roof rack. • Check the weather before you go. Even with breathable tube doors, that car is too hot for your pup on a real scorcher of a day. If it’s uncomfortably hot for you, it’s too hot for the dog. • For obvious reasons, invest in a good reflective collar with an ID tag that has upto-date contact info. • If you’re doing any kind of ATV/UTV riding, invest in a set of Doggles. You’re wearing a helmet—the least you can do is keep flying debris out of your passenger’s eyes.
SPC’s fully forged steel arms provide strength and durability for the most demanding environments. Featuring an upgraded greaseable ball joint and rubber isolated xAxis™ bushing, this arm is designed to correct alignment angles while maintaining factory ride quality.
Get more droop travel: With 80° of articulation in the upgraded ball joint and free pivoting cross axis bushings. Get your drivability & tracking back: When you lift your truck you affect caster and camber. SPC’s arms have the most adjustment on the market so you can put your alignment angles back to spec. Get your tire where you want it in the wheel well: Move oversized tires forward in the wheel well to minimize or avoid fender trimming.
©2019 Niwot Corp. dba Specialty Products Co.® Patent No. US 7,513,514
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OFF-ROAD TEST: 2019 FORD RANGER
Solid Challenger The all-new 2019 Ford Ranger is much more off-road capable than you may think
Story and photos by Spencer Whitney
he past year has been a big one for off-road pickup trucks. First there was the debut of the long-awaited Wrangler-based pickup. Combining a legendary solid-axle drivetrain with the styling and drivability of newer Jeeps, the new Gladiator has been a top seller since it hit dealer lots across the country earlier this year. Then came the return of the Ford Ranger. Many doubted that there was space in the market for more small trucks now that GM, Jeep, Toyota and Nissan are fighting for market share. The discontinuation of the original Ranger in 2011 left a big gap in that market, and considering that it was a top seller, it left many people wondering what would come next from Ford. In the intervening years, the compact pickup truck segment evolved into the mid-size segment, leaving small trucks like the Ranger a distant memory. While the original Ranger was not quite as popular as other trucks for off-roading, it did possess everything that we hold dear as four-wheelers: an available two-speed transfer case, a manual transmission, good ground clearance, a solid rear axle, ladder frame, and lots of aftermarket support. The loss of another true off-road platform was certainly felt, and as a result, it was largely Toyota that managed to scoop up buyers looking for a city-parking-spot-friendly 4x4. However, Ford had an ace in the hole: the Ranger has been evolving overseas all along. As compact four-door trucks grew in popularity in Europe and Asia throughout the 1990s, Fordâ€™s extraterritorial divisions sought to adapt their design to local tastes. The cramped interior of the original Ranger became much roomier, and two additional full doors were added (something the original never possessed.) 28 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE AUG/SEPT 2019
Thankfully, the off-road abilities of the original Ranger are back as well. While it is no longer a budget vehicle (the Ranger once retailed for under $20,000 well-equipped, and today it starts around $30,000), it’s a competent and capable daily driver that can easily excel in off-road situations. It’s just enough truck to be good at both of these things, while not exposing itself to any compromises like a fullsize might.
Thankfully, Ford was listening, and the “global” Ranger gets to live a new life - built in North America and tuned to the tastes of North American drivers. At first glance, it may seem like a big vehicle compared to its predecessor. It only takes parking next to an F150 to realize that the Ranger is still very much a compact truck. Gone are the days of cramped, tiny trucks - perhaps a welcome change for those seeking a refined vehicle fit for daily life that isn’t just another SUV.
We had a chance to take a 2019 Ford Ranger with FX4 package to some off-road conditions near Squamish, B.C. Most of the terrain around there is rocky, steep, and loose - certainly worse than what the average owner will see but not anywhere near what you might call rock crawling. The factory all-terrain tires were aired down to 20psi to avoid punctures and provide a bit more traction. Amazingly, the TPMS system didn’t seem to protest. We’re not sure if it should have, but the lack of obnoxious warnings was a welcome change compared to other vehicles. The uprated tires come as part of the FX4 package but we would recommend something a bit more aggressive and durable if rocky driving is something you might do regularly. Once we lost the pavement it was up into the hills behind the famous Stawamus Chief mountain, known for its rock climbing and hiking trails. The rough roads behind the Chief offer amazing views of the Squamish Valley and hike-in access to the Sea-to-Sky Gondola
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lodge, and a few open areas provide opportunities to have a bit of fun in a 4x4. In several places, the road became very rough and rutted and despite a lot of bouncing, the Ranger never lost traction thanks to its independent front suspension and FX4-specific shock absorbers. Terrain Management is also helpful in various off road situations and can be enabled at the press of a button. Each terrain mode modi-
Also useful is the new Trail Control system. This is similar to hill descent control but with a twist - you set a speed through the cruise control buttons to crawl up or down a hill. The ABS and computer will then take over and manage tricky obstacles and steep hills at the speed you define - this is a feature unique to the Ranger and very welcome for some drivers who want to take it slow in tricky situations (but not too slow.) fies the way the truck behaves in adverse conditions. For example, Sand mode will keep the revs up and gears low to maintain torque in loose conditions, and allows for much more wheel slip than on-road driving might. Some may think that this type of system is a gimmick or unnecessary, but we believe it’s a step in the right direction. With all of the automation and “smart” features in vehicles today, it’s nice to see manufacturers giving us a bit of control over how a vehicle performs and reacts.
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Both of these add-ons are key components of Ford’s well-loved FX4 package, and give this truck an edge in rough terrain driving compared to its competitors. The package is available alongside all trim levels on the 4-door and 2-door Ranger, including the luxe Lariat version. At $1,400 it’s a must-have - you’ll also get skid plates across vulnerable parts of the underbelly, uprated shocks along with the previously mentioned all terrain tires, and a true electronic locking rear differential.
For the more ambitious, many third party off-road and overland manufacturers are starting to market accessories and modifications for the Ranger. Winch bumpers are available, as are lift kits and roof racks. There’s even a full conversion available that turns your truck bed into an Aussie-style aluminum tray, giving you almost endless options for customization. We expect the Ranger platform to be well supported in the industry, if early efforts are anything of an indication - and there’s already lots of support overseas. However, it might not be a good idea to add much more than a few hundred pounds in accessories and gear. The Ranger isn’t underpowered by any means, but it doesn’t feel like the kind of truck that wants to be loaded up with heavy equipment. Save your weight capacity for people and gear, rather than heavy accessories. The Ranger already has a lot to offer for four wheelers, so it’s easy to see why Ford won’t be offering a higher-spec Raptor model here. There’s a possibility that the U.S. market will get a diesel engine option, but it’s reportedly not going to appear in Canada any time soon. For now, you’ll find just a 2.3L EcoBoost and 10-speed automatic on dealer lots, which is more than enough to propel the Ranger through freeway situations and strong enough to tow a class-leading 7,500 lbs behind. (The loss of a manual transmission is a sore point, considering overseas customers have the choice.) While Ford still enjoys healthy sales of the full-size F-150 lineup, the distant future might be smaller. Rumour has it that the company is preparing a Focus-based unibody micropickup for the European market, and the reborn Bronco is likely less than a year from being shown. A Bronco pickup is also rumoured, and the entire Bronco lineup could end up being a real Wrangler competitor. For now though, the Ranger is a solid challenger in the off road market and one that we hope carries on for a while this time around.
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BUYERS’ GUIDE Airaid Direct-Fit Replacement Filter
Description: Airaid’s Direct-Fit Replacement Filter is a drop-in replacement for the Polaris RZR XP 100 stock paper air filter that is designed to improve both horsepower and acceleration. The air filter is constructed with multiple layers of filter media and provides significant improvements in air flow and filtration. Additionally, the filters are washable and reusable and only take a few minutes to install. Specifications: Red oiled filter media. Applications: Now available for the 2019 Polaris RZR XP 100 EPS 999. Website: www.airaid.com Anzo USA 6-In. HID Off-Road Lights Description: Anzo USA’s 6-In. HID Off-Road Lights provide the ultimate lighting solution in an extremely durable package. The High Intensity Discharge lights feature a clear lens with black housing and ultra-durable lens protectors that will protect the lens from flying debris and obstacles in even the most challenging of off-road situations. The small nature of the lights allows them to be mounted in to tight spots including those found on many powersport vehicles. Specifications: Features a Xenon bulb with High Intensity Discharge (HID) lights. Applications: Universal product. Website: www.anzousa.com
Bright Source Cube Light Kit Description: Bright Source’s Cube Light Kit provides ample light in a small package, which is perfect for smaller applications including ATVs, UTVs, and dirt bikes. The kit includes two lamps and a wiring harness which is necessary for installation, and also come in a durable housing that is sure to withstand the rigours of off-road driving situations. Specifications: Features Cree LED lights with a 1,440 lumen rating and an IP67 waterproof rating. Applications: Universal product. Website: www.brightsourcehid.com
Bulldog 6,000 lb. UTV Winch Description: Bulldog’s new 6,000-lb. UTV winch solves the problem of side-by-sides getting bigger and heavier, which increases the demands on a recovery winch, by providing all of the necessary pulling power you need while still remaining small enough to fit on your UTV. The winch powers loads both in and out and features an automatic load-holding in-drum mechanical brake. Specifications: Includes 200A Contactor, hand-held controller with plug and wiring harness and 3-stage all-steel planetary gears. Applications: Ideal for large UTVs. Website: www.bulldogwinch.com
Cognito Motorsports Long Travel Control Arm Kit Description: Cognito Motorsports Long Travel Control Arm Kit provides your UTV with a wider stance for both stability and extra travel, which you might need during extreme off-road conditions. The weight-conscious Chromoly and DOM construction provides the kit with the strength necessary to withstand rigourous conditions while also remaining lightweight. Specifications: System includes driver and passenger upper arm with sway bar mount, lower high-clearance arm, Uni-Balls, SS pins, Poly bushings and all necessary hardware. Applications: Available for the 2015 Polaris RZR XP1000 FOX Edition and 2016 Polaris RZR XP Turbo. Website: www.cognitomotorsports.com 32 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE AUG/SEPT 2019
Eibach PRO-UTV Performance Spring System Description: The Eibach PRO-UTV Performance Spring System delivers maximum performance for any terrain. The Stage 1 System replaces the factory springs with Eibach dualsprings, while the Stage 2 System includes an adjustable lockout collar, allowing adjustment to the dual-spring transition point. The Stage 3 System includes more aggressive spring rates for heavier loads and additional passengers. Specifications: Includes springs, sliders, stop rings and set-up instructions. Made in the USA with a lifetime warranty. Applications: Polaris RZR, Yamaha YXZ and CAN-AM Maverick. Website: www.eibach.com
J.W. Speaker Model TS3001V Auxiliary Light Description: J.W. Speaker’s Model TS3001V Auxiliary Lights are designed for rugged off-roading and feature an impact-resistant Xenoy housing and state-of-the-art LEDs that are resistant to both shock and vibration. The improved mounting design simplifies installation and provides added flexibility to mounting. Specifications: 7x5-in. oval LED lights. Includes black lens cover. Applications: Not application specific. Website: www.jwspeaker.com
K&N Off-Road Replacement Air Filters Description: K&N’s off-road replacement air filters are ideal for extended use in dirty and dusty off-road riding and have been designed to provide increased horsepower and acceleration. The filters are designed specifically for dirt bikes, ATVs, UTVs and Side-by-Sides and fit directly into the OEM air box with application-specific sealing bead to ensure a precise fit. Specifications: Pleated cotton media provides a large filtration area offering low restriction, high-capacity and long service intervals. Applications: Now available for the 2019 Can-Am Commander 1000R XT 976. Website: www.knfilters.ca
Red Line Oil UTV/ATV 10W50 Powerpack Description: Red Line Oil’s UTV/ATV 10W50 Powerpack is a complete lubrication kit that is designed for select late-model Polaris vehicles. It comes complete with three quarts of 10W50 Powersports motor oil, two quarts of the UTV/ATV Gearcase Oil, one bottle of Complete Fuel System Cleaner for Powersports, one bottle of WaterWetter, a funnel and a Red Line hat. Specifications: Each kit has been tested for compatibility and includes enough fluid for a complete oil change. Applications: Available for select late-model Polaris vehicles including 2009+ RZR, 2010+ RGR and specific Hawkeye, Ace and Sportsman ATVs. Website: www.redlineoil.com
Rigid Industries Chase Lights Description: Rigid Industries’ new Chase rear-facing LED light is ideal for owners of UTV, rail, buggy, Jeep or other off-road applications looking to add to the safety and functionality of their vehicle. The light packs reverse, courtesy, strobe, running and brake lights all into one single convenient package. The powerful halo coloured LEDs in red, amber or blue surround the perimeter of the aluminum housing and can be used for any number of different functions. Specifications: Centre portion of the light functions as a 715-lumen white light that is suitable as a reverse light. Applications: Ideal for UTV, rail, buggy, Jeeps or other off-road applications. Website: www.rigidindustries.com AUG/SEPT 2019 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE 33
Smittybilt XRC 2 Winch Description: Smittybilt’s XRC 2 is a powerful 2,000-lb. winch that features a 3.9-horsepower motor equipped with a 3-stage planetary gear system with a 136:1 gear ratio that delivers lightning-fast line speed. The winch comes complete with a 11-ft. remote control, high-performance solenoid and wire loom, four-way rolled fairlead and a universal mounting plate. Specifications: 2,000 lb. capacity. 3.9-hp motor. Applications: Not application specific. Website: www.smittybilt.com
Superwinch Terra Series Description: Superwinch Terra Series is designed for premium powersports performance and comes in three capacities with a choice of either synthetic rope or steel cable. The Terra winches use steel-cut gears on 2nd and 3rd stages to ensure long life, while thick copper winders are used to deliver the most efficient power, yet provide more surface area for rapid cooling. Specifications: Available in 2,500-, 3,500-, 4,500-lb. capacities. Applications: Made for use with ATV/UTV. Website: www.superwinch.com TrailFX ATV/UTV Winches Description: TrailFX’s ATV/UTV series of winches meet IP67 standards for water resistance, and come with a mini rocker switch and handheld remote control for the ultimate in versatility. The high-strength wire or synthetic rope models are designed to pull loads safely, while the winches are offered in a number of different sizes to fit just about any ATV/UTV applications. Specifications: Available in 3,500- or 4,500-lb. capacities. Applications: Ideal for ATV/UTV applications. Website: www.trailfx.com
Vision X Polaris RZR Headlight Upgrade Description: Vision X’s Polaris RZR headlight upgrade kit has been designed with stainless steel brackets and comes with two specialized wiring adapters to make the installation as simple as possible. The kit consists of four Vision X XIL-OP11 LED lights and everything else needed for a plug-and-play installation. Specifications: Maintains separate high/low beam operation. Applications: Available for the 2008-2014 Polaris RZR 900/S/4/570/170. Website: www.vxautomotive.com WARN AXON 45Rc Description: With the all-new AXON™ lineup, WARN has taken winching to the next level by combining a powerful motor and first-of-its-kind digital contactor into one unit called a Motactor™. The WARN Motactor™ increases performance, drops installation time, and provides never-beforeseen levels of performance and feedback to the user. Tech is nothing without durability, so WARN made AXON the most durable powersports winch ever. All-metal construction, waterproof sealing, and increased structural rigidity are made for extreme environments. It’s smart, tough, and perfect for a wide range of powersports vehicles. The AXON 45Rc has a hefty 4,500 lb. capacity winch in a narrow, short-drum version specifically made to fit a variety of sport side-by-sides. Capacity: 4,500 lbs. Website: www.warn.com WARN VRX 45-S Description: The new WARN VRX winches are the very definition of durability. Not only is the all new VRX completely waterproof, it also features a sturdy all-metal drivetrain and end housing, improved clutch design, increased capacity and class-leading motor technology. The new best-in-class VRX elevates every feature of the standard-duty winch except the price. The result: a whole lot of get-the-job-done-ability. Specifications: The VRX 45-S features a big 4,500 lb. capacity, perfect for UTVs. It also includes 50-ft. of ¼-in. synthetic rope that’s lightweight and easy to handle, a hawse fairlead, and a dash-mounted control switch and corded remote. Capacity: 4,500 lb. Website: www.warn.com 34 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE AUG/SEPT 2019
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HISTORY: 1997 JEEP ICON CONCEPT
Fresh and Modern
The 1997 Jeep Wrangler Icon concept looks fresh even to this day Story by John Gunnell, photos courtesy of FCA Canada
he Jeep Icon concept was unveiled by Chrysler in 1997 as the prototype of “a Jeep for the next Millennium.” It’s hard to believe that the Icon concept bowed 22 years ago, because it looks so fresh and modern even today. “If you get up enough nerve to tackle the world-renowned Rubicon Trail by early next century, you could easily imagine yourself driving Chrysler Corporation’s Jeep Icon concept vehicle,” said a press release from that year. The Icon concept was revealed to the public at the 1997 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. The Jeep concept was then displayed at other new-car shows throughout North America. It was well-received by the public and pointed towards the future look and technology of the iconic Jeep Wrangler as it transitioned from the 1990s into the 2000s. “The Jeep Icon is a creative exploration for a next-generation Jeep Wrangler,” said John E. Herlitz, Chrysler Corporation’s vice president of product design. “It’s solid, stable, built like a rock and its capabilities have been further enhanced.” Re-designing the Wrangler for the next century was a unique challenge for Chrysler designers. “We have a responsibility as caretakers of one of the world’s most recognized brands,” said 36 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE AUG/SEPT 2019
Trevor M. Creed, the company’s design director. “Sooner or later, we will be challenged with freshening Jeep Wrangler’s appearance without sacrificing its distinctive image and instantly-recognizable characteristics.” Chrysler designers achieved the Jeep Icon’s compact, muscular look by increasing the size of the Wrangler’s bumper, tires and wheel arches. “Our objective was to give Icon a trim, poised look while keeping much of Jeep Wrangler’s unique character,” said Creed. “However, we widened Wrangler’s track, cut its length by five inches, reduced overhang by two inches and increased wheel travel from eight to 10 inches.” Traditional Jeep Wrangler design cues were retained in the Icon’s design. They included long dash-to-axle proportions, a classic Jeep-style grille face, exposed door hinges, a fold-down windshield and roll cage. Emphasis was placed on re-defining and updating these design elements for the 21st century. “We wanted to capture the essence of a practical product design that fit the Jeep image,” said Creed. “We kept the familiar vertical-slot Jeep grille, but made it shorter and wider. We also kept the Jeep’s traditional exposed hinges, bold bumpers, exposed door handles and exposed gas cap.” These were all redesigned to give the vehicle more of a mechanical, industrial design feel and add intrinsic value at the same time. Where the Icon concept vehicle differed the most from Jeep styling traditions was in the fact that it was designed with unibody
construction. It had an integrated aluminum roll cage that made it a much safer highway vehicle. The Icon concept was painted Steel Blue Metallic. Its interior was deliberately simple and rugged. It featured the same type of exposed aluminum fittings and painted steel finish. One of the Icon’s most notable interior design elements was its seats. Creed explained that they were inspired by the design of a camper ’s backpack. The seats were lightweight construction being made of exposed aluminum tubes that supported durable, waterproofed, olivegray leather upholstery. According to Icon Designer Robert Laster, his overall design concept was inspired by design elements found on highend mountain bikes in 1997. “Just like top-of-the-line mountain bikes and Jeep sport utility vehicles, the Icon was built to go anywhere,” said Laster. “Its
SPECIFICATIONS: Overall length.......................................................142.0 inches Overall width .........................................................67.7 inches Overall height.........................................................70.1 inches Wheelbase................................................................93.4 inches Front track ............................................................59.2 inches Rear track................................................................61.6 inches Wheels.................................................................Cast Aluminum Front wheels........................................................ 8 x 19 inches Rear wheels.......................................................... 8 x 19 inches Tires............................................................................. Goodyear Front................................................... 245 60R-19 Rock Climber Rear.................................................... 245 60R-19 Rock Climber Engine................................................................. 2.4L, Inline four Drivetrain....................................... Five-speed manual gearbox Body........................Two-door. Unitized with integrated roll cage Front suspension......................................... Double wishbone Rear suspension.......................................... Double wishbone Brakes.................................................................................. ABS Front...................................................................................... Disc Rear....................................................................................... Disc Exterior colour........................................... Steel Blue Metallic Interior trim.......................... Olive and Gunmetal Gray leather
parts were high in quality, light in weight and purpose-built. To communicate the quality of each part, we branded the Jeep logo on the Icon’s hinges, door handles, wheels and bumpers.” Part of the Icon’s mission was to let enthusiasts know their Jeep would still look like a Jeep in the 21st century. Although it was fresh and modern in many ways, anyone who saw the 1997 Jeep Icon concept knew that it was directly descended from the famous World War II military Jeep that started it all.
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FEATURE: 1960 FORD F-250 4x4 FLARESIDE
The Schweitzer family’s 1960 Ford F-250 4x4 was used as a ‘Canadian Getaway’ Truck Story and photos by John Gunnell
ord entered 1960 with a line of restyled and greatly improved light- and medium-duty trucks. It was comprised of over 200 models in six series. Heavily promoted selling features included increased economy of operation and maintenance and improved “cab-livability.” In contrast to last year’s clean look, the 1960 model was jazzed up considerably. The badge-shaped Ford truck emblem was centred
on the face of the hood, between two vent slots. The new rectangular pattern grille extended down to include the parking lights. A thick bar at its top connected the larger, inward-slanting headlight pods. This gave the truck a bug-eyed appearance. The hood side ornament looked like a stylized rocket or arrow, depending on your point of view. Improvements were made to the springs, door seals, electrical system and exhaust system. Among the standard features were a Lifeguard steering wheel, safety double-grip door locks, plain nylon-rayon-saran seat upholstery with gray vinyl bolster and seat facings, a dome light, a lefthand sun visor, an ash receptacle, a dispatch box, a coat hook, a white instrument cluster cover plate, Hi-Dri all-weather ventilation and a three-speed manual transmission. The F-250 pickup was offered in Flareside and Styleside versions. It could also be ordered with four-wheel drive at extra cost. New standard features on that option were 1,200 lbs. front and 1,950 lbs. rear springs. The nominal payload rating of the F-250 pickups was 3,550 lbs. Ford’s 1960 calendar-year production total included 337,468 trucks for a 28.17 percent market share. Ford produced 49,043 trucks in two California cities (San Jose and Long Beach); 23,940 in Louisville, Ken.; 60,325 in Kansas City, Mo.; 63,786 in Lorain, Ohio; 16,698 in Norfolk, Va.; 16,450 in Dallas, Texas; 10,404 in St. Paul, Minn.; 13,277 in Atlanta, Ga.; 67,223 in Mahwah, N.J. and 17,724 in
38 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE AUG/SEPT 2019
An Emerald WARNE N.’S 1974 Ford F100 Ranger
in the Rough. When Warne stumbled across this original 1974 F100 Ranger, he couldn’t believe his luck. Having never owned a Ford before, he quickly fell in love with this green beauty — and who could blame him? Trucks like Warne’s weave their way into our lives and become a part of who we are. It’s our job to make sure they stay that way. Read Warne’s story and share your own at LMCTruckLife.com Get your FREE CATALOG at LMCTruck.com
Chevy/GMC 1947-13 Ford 1948-16 Dodge 1972-15
KEEP`EM ON THE ROAD
F-250 tipped the scales at 3,563 lbs. Of course, four-wheel-drive versions were a bit heavier. Ford only built 1,806 of these trucks with four-wheel drive. The base price of the F-250 Styleside Pickup was $2,245 and adding four-wheel drive was $609 extra.
Ford built just 1,806 of these trucks. Chicago, Ill. The total included 196,516 light-duty trucks up to 6,000 lbs. GVW and 51,362 in the 6,001 to 10,000 lb. category. Ford was also number 2 in registrations for 1960 with 280,501 compared to Chevy’s 316,962. J.F. McLean, Jr. became Ford’s truck marketing manager that year. The V8 version of the F-250 was designated Model No. 25 Body Style No. 83. It had a 118-inch wheelbase and a 7,400-lb. GVW rating. The Styleside version had a pickup bed with smooth, slabsided outer side panels, rather than fenders and running boards. The bed was 8-foot long and the truck was 203.2 inches long overall. Originally, 6.50x16 six-ply tires were mounted. The standard
Don Schweitzer, Sr. of Oconto Falls, Wis., was driving a 1957 Ford pickup when the 1960 models came out. He visited Jacobson Ford, in his hometown, to purchase a Caribbean Turquoise four-wheel-drive F-250 Styleside pickup. He had no idea it was rare. He just wanted a four-wheel drive truck for his fishing and duck hunting trips in Canada. “What I can’t get over is him driving the truck that far,” says the truck’s current owner--Don Schweitzer, Jr. of Clintonville, Wis. “It’s a hard-riding truck and it isn’t very fast. It must have been miserable for him when he was driving it to Canada.”
Don’s dad would take a friend along to Canada and they would take turns driving and sleeping. He had a camper that he would put on back of the truck and that made the truck even heavier and slower. Plus, the truck lacked a full tailpipe, so whoever rode in back would get a heavy exhaust smell. Don Jr. says they didn’t mind it too much and considered themselves lucky because few families had their own campers back then. His dad would drive the truck to a spot near his favorite Canadian fishing spot and then take a train to the place. In the beginning, they built a cart that fit on the train tracks and they would load it with their gear and push it to the final destination. “Dad found out it was Truck was originally white and was changed to red and then turquoise blue.
40 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE AUG/SEPT 2019
illegal being on the train tracks, so they actually abandoned the cart in the woods and started riding the train,” Don recalled. “They got lots of fish and ducks.” The truck doesn’t have a lot of options or accessories, but it does have a funky radio with a small round dial that looks more like a clock face. Don, Jr., can’t figure out why his dad ordered the radio, because he never liked music. The truck’s engine is a Ford V8 that has a 3.75 x 3.30 bore and stroke for 292 cubic inches of displacement. With an 8.8:1 compression ratio and a two-barrel carburetor, the five-main-bearings engine was rated at 185 hp at 4,200 rpm and 292 lb-ft of torque at 2,200 rpm. Some of the few options on this truck include a heavy-duty fourspeed manual transmission; a transistor-powered truck radio; an outside rearview mirror; a chrome grille; a re-circulating heaterdefroster and dual electric windshield wipers. It has Custom Cab scripts, but does not have the full factory Custom Cab package. This truck was never babied, at least not until after its second restoration in 2006-2007. In fact, right after he first bought it from Jacobson Ford, the elder Don Schweitzer wanted to try it out. There was a hill right outside Oconto Falls that he drove the truck down and into a swampy area. Even with four-wheel drive the truck got stuck and Don couldn’t get it out. He had to call for a wrecker from Jacobson Ford and they had to add onto the winch to pull the truck out. Don, Jr., recalls that the truck was all full of clay. “I know because I helped wash off all the clay that got on the wheels,” he said.
This was in the early 1980s and the truck was fixed up with new parts and painted Cherry Red. The job was completed in 1982. After that, it was still not babied very much. In fact, Don used it for plowing snow for about 25 years. It wound up getting so rusty that Don put the plow on another truck and started thinking about restoring the 1960 one. His friend Mark Kutchenriter did the restoration and did a really fantastic job. Mark fabricated some parts and others came from a grain farmer in North Dakota who Don had hooked up with in regards
Back in the ‘60s, the Schweitzer family was just opening a tire business that later became successful, so they had no family car. His mother drove the sluggish F-250 and one day she got it hot and burned up the engine. “Dad was really mad about that,” Don, Jr., recalled. “He had to replace the 292-cid block with a brand-new short block.” Don’s father would also drive the truck, with the camper, to Michigan to go camping. His mom and dad would ride in the front and he and his sister would ride in the pickup bed, enduring the smelly exhaust fumes. Ultimately, the truck was left sitting in the woods up in Michigan and started to rust out really bad. So, Don, Jr. and his family brought the Ford back to Clintonville and started to fix it up.
to buying a second 1960 Ford F-250 without four-wheel drive. The doors needed replacement and a ’57 Ford pickup found in nearby Iola, Wis., donated a pair of nice ones that had “Custom Cab” scripts on them. Luckily, Fords didn’t change much between 1957 and 1960. Don says that other parts “came from all over the place.” Today, the truck looks like a new one. It still has the replacement small-block engine installed in the late-1960s that now has about 100,000 miles of use on it. The truck has a chrome front bumper and chrome grille. The body, tailgate and seat are original and have all been restored. Naturally, the Ford is no longer used for Canadian getaways, but the Schweitzer family often turns local car shows into family affairs with “all hands on deck” to get the two 1960 F-250s to the show and set up all of the show signs they made. AUG/SEPT 2019 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE 41
TECH: NEW PRODUCTS
Mickey Thompson SideBiter Lock Wheels
Iron Cross Automotive’s Full-Width Jeep Wrangler JL Front Bumper Iron Cross Automotive’s Full-Width Front Bumper for the Jeep Wrangler JL is available with or without a bar and combines full width coverage of your Jeep while still maintaining a sleek, low-profile design. The matte black textured powder coating provides a great look as well as increased durability, and all options of the bumper are indeed winch compatible. They include D-Lug plates for shackles and offer a light cut-out for some Iron Cross lights or the factory fog lights. Finally, the JL bumpers will fit the 2018 Wrangler JKs.
Mickey Thompson’s SideBiter Lock wheels are styled after one of the best known innovations in off-road history – Mickey Thompson’s revolutionary “treadon-the-sidewall” tire design called SideBiters. They feature a satin black finish with machined accents and have a high load rating for strength and durability. The wheels feature a non-corrosive, black plastic, screw-on centre cap and are available in sizes from 15x8 through 20x12, which allow it to fit on a number of different types of applications. For more information please go to www.mickeythompsontires.com
For more information please go to www.ironcrossautomotive.com
Enthuze 3-In. Multi-Colour Flood Lamp Enthuze’s 3-In. Multi-Colour Flood Lamp combines three colours with the use of an RGB controller and can be controlled via Bluetooth. The lights come with an 18-ft. plug-and-go harness with an in-dash on/off switch included and are good for a 30,000 hour lifespan. The high UV-resistant black powder coated aluminum housing and polycarbonate lens means the lights will provide great durability, while the adjustable side mounts allow for flexible beam aiming. The bottom mount allows for flexible mounting at any point and the lights themselves are vibration protected and corrosion proof. For more information please go to www.enthuze.ca 42 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE AUG/SEPT 2019
JKS Manufacturing Flex Connect Master Kit JKS Manufacturing’s Flex Connect Master Kit allows Jeep owners to easily tune their vehicle’s handling characteristics for improved on- and off-road use. The spring-loaded sway bar link design allows the factory sway bar to be transformed into a tunable performance sway bar which provides better control of body roll and improves wheel travel. It is currently offered for the JT, JK, TJ, XJ, MJ, WJ and ZJ Jeeps and is now offered for the Wrangler JL. The kits include the flex connect, spring options and wrenches in one complete package. For more information please go to www.jksmfg.com
Jeep Cherokee XJ Silicone Coolant Hose Kit from Mishimoto Automotive Mishimoto Automotiveâ€™s new direct-fit Silicone Coolant Hose kit for the 1991-2001 Jeep Cherokee XJ with the 4.0L I6 engine option are constructed from five layers of silicone with heat-resistant em-
Rugged Ridge Announces New HD Stubby Bumpers for 2007-2019 Wrangler JK/ JL Applications Rugged Ridge has recently announced the release of its new HD Stubby Front Bumper for the 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK and the 2018-2019 Jeep Wrangler JL. The bumpers are constructed from durable 2.5mm-thick plate steel that has been formed to blend muscular angles with subtle contours. The result is a departure from typical bumper designs with innovative mounting brackets also included to conceal the hardware on the inside of the bumper for a clean appearance. Each bumper features two integrated tow hooks while the lower fascia is also fitted with T-shaped notches on either side to serves as lifting points for a Hi-Lift jack.
bedded fibres. The hoses are meant to improve heat and pressure tolerance and include both upper and lower radiator hoses as well as high-quality worm gear clamps for ease of installation. They are available in black, blue or red to fit any under-the-hood design. For more information please go to www.mishimoto.com
For more information please go to www.ruggedridge.com
ARIES TrailCrusher Front Bumper for Gladiator and Wrangler JL The ARIES TrailCrusher Front Bumper for Jeep Wrangler JL and Gladiator offers winch and shackle rating of 12,500 lb for ultimate off-road functionality, and a standard winch-mounting platform that
Rampage Products TrailCrawler Skid-Plate for Gladiator and Wrangler accepts most types of winches. The one-piece design and 3/16-in. thick steel plate construction provide incredible protection for your front end, while the no-drill installation utilizes factory mounting points with no pump relocation required. The narrow width and high ground clearance provide an improved off-road design in terms of both functionality and appearance, while the centre round cutouts accept both Jeepsâ€™ OE bumper fog lights.
Rampage Products new TrailCrawler Skid-Plate is manufactured with 3/16-in. steel and will provide the ultimate protection for the undercarriage of your Jeep Wrangler JL or Gladiator mid-size pickup truck. There are two models of the skid plate available, one with no light and another with a 20-in. LED light bar which provides added visibility whilst on dark or poorly lit trails. Each skid plate is application-specific which ensures a perfect fit, and all are coloured black which integrates into any vehicle.
For more information please go to www.ariesautomotive.com
For more information please go to www.rampageproducts.com AUG/SEPT 2019 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE 43
TECH: NEW PRODUCTS
Magnum Standard Series Front Bumper for Jeep Gladiator from ICI ICI’s Magnum Standard Series Front Bumpers are now available for the 2020 Jeep Gladiator pickup are made from cold-rolled steel, and feature a 1/8-in. external shell and ¼-in. internal support and brackets. The bumper goes through a three-stage coating process for ultimate durability and offers the choice of square or round light hole pockets on most models. The patented angular design light bar is designed to fit a 20-in. light bar, while optional accessories are available such as a front hitch receiver, license plate accessories, and front-facing winch mount. For more information please go to www.icionline.com
Airaid MXP Air Intake System for Jeep Wrangler JL The Airaid MXP Air Intake System provides your Jeep Wranlger JL with a replacement one-piece roto-molded air box that addresses the shortcomings of the restrictive factory design. Housed inside the air box is an AIRAID premium air filter for outstanding air flow and filtration, and air is then directed through a new air intake tube constructed of cross-linked, high-density polyethylene. The system is meant to provide increases in both horsepower and torque for an immediate performance gain. For more information please go to www.airaid.com
McGard Jeep Wrangler Door Locks
Westin Automotive’s New Pro-Mod Bumper Given that removable Jeep Wrangler doors are an easy target for theft, McGard offers Jeep door locks that simply replace the lower hinge nuts with the McGard door lock. They are very easy to install and for maximum security, the spin-collar turns if they are attacked by gripping tools to further protect your vehicle. The locks match the OEM hinge nuts so no modifications are necessary and the locks are available for both 2 or 4-door Wranglers.
Westin Automotive’s New Pro-Mod Front Bumper features a lightweight, modular design that is uniquely engineered with outrigger reinforcement brackets to provide maximum front end protection without having to compromise strength or durability. The ‘high and tight’ bumper profile creates a greater approach angle which will improve off-road driving capabilities, while the textured black finish with an e-coated base coat provides long-lasting protection from the elements.
For more information please go to www.shop.mcgard.com
For more information please go to www.westinautomotive.com
44 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE AUG/SEPT 2019
Hope Invermere Kamloops Kamloops II Kamloops IV Kelowna Kimberley Ladner Ladysmith Lake Cowichan Langford Langley Lillooet Lumby Maple Ridge Merritt Mission Nanaimo Nanaimo II Nelson Newton North Kamloops North Vancouver North Vancouver II Oliver Osoyoos Parksville Penticton Pitt Meadows
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Port Alberni Port Coquitlam PORT Coquitlam - OXFORD Port Kells Powell River Prince George Princeton Qualicum Beach Quesnel Revelstoke Richmond Salmon Arm Sidney Smithers Squamish Summerland Trail Tsawwassen Valemount Vancouver - E 2nd Vancouver - S.W. Marine Dr. Vernon Victoria West Kelowna Whistler White Rock Winfield
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100 Mile House Abbotsford Agassiz Aldergrove Armstrong Bridgeview Burnaby - Douglas Rd Burnaby - Edmonds Burnaby - Metrotown Cache Creek Campbell River Castlegar Chase Chilliwack - Sardis Chilliwack - Yale Clearbrook Cloverdale Coquitlam - Clarke Rd Courtenay Cranbrook Creston Delta Duncan East Kelowna Enderby Fernie Fruitvale Golden Grand Forks
WINCHIN’ OUT He looks so lonely out there.
Always a good thing to go wheelin’ with a heavy-duty truck.
The last vehicle you’d expect to see helping a Jeep out of the mud.
At least they’re all stuck together.
If all he has is that log, this may take a while.
It’s always important to bring friends on the trail.
We’re sure that most of you have had the misfortune of getting stuck while out on a weekend adventure. So send us your photos of your adventure to firstname.lastname@example.org and if we use your photos we’ll send you a cool RPM Media hat! 46 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE AUG/SEPT 2019
PERFORMANCE SUSPENSION SYSTEMS
Capable of handling any terrain in its path, the PRO-TRUCK-LIFT is a system of Eibach springs and shocks developed to give your truck or SUV a lifted and leveled stance. Each PRO-TRUCK-LIFT maximizes all available wheel travel to deliver a balance of off-road performance while maintaining a controlled, compliant ride on the street.
The August/September 2019 issue of Off-Road Plus Magazine