Page 1


Exterior Accessories Buyers Guide 14


TeraFlex Long Arm Suspension Intall 34

Winter Wheelin’


Grilles Buyers Guide 32


Wheels Buyers Guide 28

Learn the ins and outs of 4x4-ing in snowy conditions 10

Tread Lightly SEMA 2017

Check out all the top highlights of the recent 2017 SEMA Show 39


Fresh Tracks---------------------------------- 4

Learn how to be an environmentally responsible off-roader 20

Gearing Up------------------------------------42 Winchin’ Out----------------------------------46 DEC/JAN 2017 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE 


Jeep Introduces All-New 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL


eep has released a few details and images of the all-new, nextgeneration 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL ahead of its official worldwide debut at the upcoming 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show at the end of November. The new Jeep remains true to the classic look of its predecessors but now offers advanced powertrains, has more openair options, and comes loaded with more safety and technology features than ever before. The unique design of the new Wrangler

features the instantly recognizable grille, round headlamps and square tail lamps, but now boasts improved aerodynamics, a folddown windshield and dozens of different door, top and windshield combinations. Look for complete coverage and images on the Wrangler JL in our first issue of 2018.  OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE DEC/JAN 2017

Volume 1, Issue No. 6

December 2017 / January 2018 STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS

Publisher: Dean Washington Associate Publisher: David Symons Managing Editor Jordan Allan Distribution Manager: Brenda Washington Copy Editor:

2018 Shelby Raptor Now Available The Ford F-150 Raptor is already a super-capable, aggressive truck that is unlike any other offering available on the market, and has now been made even more aggressive with the introduction of the Shelby Raptor. Based on the lighter, new 2017-2018 Ford F-150 Raptor, Shelby American takes the already capable pickup and turns it into an extreme off-roader with key upgrades to the engine, suspension and styling. Starting with the engine, Shelby takes the existing 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine and adds a custom cold-air performance intake system and tune which pushes the twin-turbocharged engine’s output to an impressive 525

Gerry Frechette Advertising Sales: Elaine Fontaine Contributing Writers / Photographers: Jordan Allan Howard J Elmer John Gunnell Albert Vandervelde 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: WEBSITE: Second Class Mailing Agreement #40050183


horsepower and 610 lb-ft of torque. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the Shelby Raptor is the incredible suspension system. Developed with FOX Racing, the four-corner adjustable system includes technologies that allow it to adapt to just about any terrain with no adjustments necessary. Aiding the upgraded suspension is a set of BFGoodrich KM2 35-in. tires mounted on 18-in. alloy wheels. In terms of appearance upgrades, the truck dons a full functional ram air hood, a custom front and rear bumper and a chase rack. Additionally, metal rock sliders with automatic running boards make it easier to get in and out of the truck especially after the 3-in. lift. Inside, the Shelby Raptor features Baja edition embroidered custom leather seats, floor-mats and console badging. The truck is available through authorized Shelby Ford dealers in the U.S. and Canada at an estimated MSRP of $118,460 which includes the base truck.

STANDING ON THE GAS SINCE 1963. Mickey Thompson was unstoppable. Today, the durability and reliability of Mickey Thompson Off/Road tires is UNDISPUTED. Our UNCOMPROMISED construction is a combination of our exclusive SideBiter™ designs, reinforced sidewalls and deeper tread depths. We never stop. We’re never satisfied. We always STAND ON THE GAS. UNCOMPROMISED construction delivers UNDISPUTED performance. 45K MILE LIMITED WARRANTY on the BAJA ATZP3. #MICKEYTHOMPSONTIRES



The Ed Coates Memorial Foundation Makes Largest Single Donation Volume 1, Issue No. 6

December 2017 / January 2018 ADVERTISER INDEX

Anzo USA ------------------------------------ 2 Bright Source -------------------------------- 9 Eibach -------------------------------------- 31 Go Industries ------------------------------ 29 Husky Liners - --------------------------18,19 HyperTech - ---------------------------------- 5 Iron Cross Automotive ------------------- 23 J.W. Speaker ------------------------------- 21 Lordco Auto Parts ------------------------ 45 Lowriders ---------------------------------- 35 Mickey Thompson -------------------------- 7 RPM Canada ------------------------------- 37 Smittybilt ----------------------------------- 48 Titan Fuel Tanks --------------------------- 27

The Ed Coates Memorial Foundation (ECMF) was created in honour of Lordco Auto Parts founder Ed Coates, with the main goal being to enhance the accessibility to education and training in automotive related fields. Recently, Ed Coates’ daughter Candace Gottschalk announced on behalf of the ECMF Board of Directors the commitment to an annual gift of $5,000 to the AFRI (Automotive Retailers Foundation Inc.) in order to assist in achieving its goal of furthering education in the industry. The new commitment is in addition to the ECMF’s long-standing donation of a toolbox for the winner of the Bob Clarke Memorial Scholarship. In addition to the ECMF’s continuing donations, Payless Glass out of Langley, B.C. will also be donating $1,000 to the AFRI in honour of its late owner Willie Freeburn. As previously mentioned, the AFRI uses the donations to fund scholarships and bursaries for students hoping to enter and work in the automotive field. For more information on the Ed Coates Memorial Foundation please visit For information on the AFRI please visit www.

Ford Reportedly Granted Patent for Autonomous Off-Road Driving System According to a report from Autoblog, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Ford Global Technologies a patent for an off-road autonomous driving system. As noted in the patent, the system is not strictly limited to pickups or traditional off-road vehicles and would work by sizing up an environmental obstacle such as a ditch or boulder and conquer the object without any sort of manual input. The autonomous system will use wide-ranging

TrailFX -------------------------------------- 47 Varsity Chrysler --------------------------- 44 WeatherTech ------------------------------- 15 PICK UP LOCATIONS

sensor arrays and on-board data gathered from cameras, radar, ultrasonic and height sensors, topographic maps and road-condition factors to name a few. The report states that the technology would first determine if it could safely navigate the off-road obstacle and if so it would then determine if it could do so safely with passengers in the vehicle. If it detects a significant rollover risk it would tell passengers to exit the vehicle, where through a remote device the driver could watch from outside. It’s not yet known when or in what vehicles the system would be in, but it’s been suggested by some that the upcoming Bronco may be a good candidate.  OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE DEC/JAN 2017


1(: 6$(&8%(/,*+76




Snow Wheelin’ What you need to know before going off-roading in the white stuff.

Nothing beats big fat tires when the snow starts to get deep. 44-inch Boggers are pretty common, though the hard core guys have moved to 46+ tires with larger axles of course.

Story and photos by Albert Vandervelde


or many, winter is that dreaded time on our roads. Highway closures, snow and ice make for challenging driving conditions, but for some crazy few, they peer at the sky waiting for that white stuff to come drifting down. I’m not talking about skiers or snowmobilers, but some crazy guys with giant balloon tires on their trucks, Jeeps and Land Cruisers, and massively huge engines to power the big tires, and many more who have embraced winter and still get their 4x4s out for fun in the white stuff. We have to embrace winter in Canada, and many friends to the south are embracing it, too, swapping out their summer 4x4 trail tires for fatter, larger rubber they can deflate to single digit PSI to float on the ever deepening white stuff. I’ve had a wide range of 4x4s over the years, from dedicated trail rigs to all-out big-tire snow machines, and it’s winter that gets me going still to get out on the big tires and go four-wheeling in the snow. Winter can take a mild-mannered forest services road and turn it into a giant playground, when the snow reaches 1-2-3 or even 4-feet deep for those with the big tires. I hear drivers who can’t stand getting out in the white stuff; they end up getting stuck, digging holes and generally making it nowhere. There is a technique that, once you master it, makes snow play a real blast even on regular trail tires. Embrace winter, get out, have fun; it’s not the time of year to put away your Jeep till spring – the fun season has just begun!

Toy runs in the winter are a great way to get together with all sorts of rigs and support local charities.

Tricks for snow (note: ice is a different beast): Don’t spin, don’t spin, and don’t spin!… Spinning your tires generally does nothing. I’ve drilled this into the heads of many wheelers when it comes to snow; they generally get it after many a furled brow looking at me saying how? It’s throttle control and managing your power and rolling on the gas not stabbing it, and keeping momentum when you need it, and knowing when to stop, and learning how to rock in your holes once you dig them to get back on top and moving again. Once it clicks in, it changes everything. Spinning makes ice, ice is pain. Spinning also digs holes, and holes are a pain, too. Avoid spinning your tires! Tire pressure. Here is where I find wheels that bolt your tires onto them, aka beadlock wheels, really earn their keep. The lower the tire pressure, the fatter your tire gets on the bottom. The fatter your tire gets on the bottom, the more displacement you have. The more displacement you have, all the better to stay on top of the snow – and not spin to make ice and dig holes. You don’t have to have beadlock wheels, you can get pretty low on a conventional wheel – you just need to be more careful. Air – don’t go out without air. Okay, yes, air is all around us; I’m talking the compressed kind that fills tires. Also take some time in your garage and learn how to get a tire on your rims if one falls off. When you’re very low in tire pressure, tires do fall off rims – even on rims with beadlocks on the outside. Buy a good air compressor and learn how to manage your tires. Flat tires work better in the snow – period. Flat tires don’t make ice and don’t dig holes.

Who says you have to put your sand rail away in the winter!


Tires – get big ones, and groove them up. Here is one of those areas where bigger is better. Remember we are not talking ice here – we are talking snow. You can’t get far when you’re trying to push 2-3 feet of snow with your headlights – you have to get on top. I had a Jeep with a 46-inch-tall tire, and the tires were 2 feet wide. The Jeep weighed 5,800 lbs… big trucks weigh lots. I did an interesting test once. I measured my snow boots’ ground area and my weight (I’ll keep that to myself), I weighed my snowmobile and measured my track area, I weighed my Jeep, and dropped the tire pressure to 2 PSI which

What did I say about not digging holes? Well, sometimes it’s just fun to spray snow when you know there are six more rigs close at hand to drag your butt out. was my snow wheeling tire pressure, and measured those. It was very interesting. In my boots I was 2.2 lbs per square inch, but I have to pick a foot up to move. That doubles to 4.4 psi. My sled was 1.6 psi. My Jeep on 2 psi in the tires was 2.4 psi – but it didn’t have to pick a tire up to move… that’s how you stay on top of the snow. And stop the spinning and stop digging holes. Most are pretty hesitant to take a brand new set of tires and groove them to pieces. I have dedicated snow-wheeling tires – I groove everything. Currently, they are 44 inches tall and 2 feet wide. It takes a lot of modifications to get tires this big on anything. Getting the fattest, largest tires you can onto your rig and not rubbing them round on rocky trails (square edges are your friend), then getting at them and cutting extra grooves into them to bite into the snow will make you 1,000 percent more successful in the white stuff. Oh, and not spinning and not digging holes… Tire chains are for ice. Argue with me all you like, there are people I just can’t convince. Tire chains are for ice, not for snow. Tire chains are designed to dig through stuff to find traction. Chains dig holes in the snow – see #1 and you don’t need chains. Sometimes though, depending where you live, ice on trails to get to the snow is a fact of life, and it sucks. Move to somewhere with no ice… or get chains and stay out of the deep snow. I have no other answer for you. Dress for success! It’s winter. No one likes a whiner - buy good snow boots, wear long johns, pack extra clothes, boot liners, a couple of pairs of gloves, etc… Its way more fun if you’re not freezing to death. I camped for a week in -20C snow. Had a great time - we built a big fire for the evenings, I had a down sleeping bag...and no, don’t sleep on an air mattress, it’s -20 out – how cold do you think the air is in your air mattress? The snow is warmer! Bring a foam roll, and extra pillowcases. We are 90 percent water, and you will freeze your pillow by breathing on it all night once your warm head is off it. Oh, and at -20, beer freezes (bury it in the snow to keep it, ahem… warmer) or drink Scotch. Scotch solves everything – and toques. Learn how to get your buddies unstuck (and yourself). You’re having fun in the snow, you forgot #1 and dug holes you can’t get out of. You’re in a snow field and nowhere close to a tree to winch to. Now what? Remember, no one likes a whiner. Buy and learn how to properly use a tug strap. Keep it handy - you’re going to use it lots. A tug strap is not a tow strap. Tug straps stretch and retain energy – and use that energy to bounce you out of holes. Rarely, if ever, when out with the

big boys of snow wheelers do we winch. Actually, most don’t even have a winch, as it adds weight in the wrong spot. However, all know how to A: tug someone out, and B: how to react when someone is tugging you out. Oh, and bring stuff to dig with; there will be times you will need to dig yourself out. Also, your tug strap seconds as a base for your jack - bundle it up in a pile, place jack on pile, and it’s just like your flat tires, the larger area disperses weight allowing you to jack on an otherwise un-jackable surface. Oh, and a ratchet strap to ratchet your axle to the frame so you don’t have to jack so high if you need to fix a tire on our flexible trail rigs, which leads into… Bring extra stuff and a buddy You should do this any time you go off-road. I off-road a lot on my own – but rarely in the snow. Tools, jackets, food, drinks, tire repair kit, recovery gear, air compressor, fuel (you will go through 2X the amount of fuel in the snow that you think you will). Let people know where you’re going, be prepared to stay the night, and stay warm. A note on ice. I like to break ice out of the snow-wheeling category. Ice is something we tend to deal with on our winter roads or busy Forest Service roads, where lots of people are driving and spinning. When a lot of cars are driving, snowplows are working. This compacts the snow, and ice is a different animal. Big fat tires increase your footprint and reduce your weight per square inch. I’ve slid backwards down an icy road on my big tires where a pickup on proper winter ice tires looked at me like I was an idiot. I had the wrong tires… I moved over into the snowy ditch and stayed off the ice and crawled right up. Make sure you have the right tires for the job. Ice and snow are far more about the right tires than how big and bad and flexible your 4x4 is. Oh, and not spinning, which makes more ice – and sometimes holes…

Well, once in a while, you find an unfrozen mud hole under the snow and you just gotta pull winch cable! DEC/JAN 2017 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE 13



Description: ARB’s new Summit Bull Bar for Toyota 4runner features press form cover straps, larger ARB fog lights and surrounds, and a two piece split pan grill. An access door for winch clutch operation has been integrated to create a sleek look and the bar will be available in ARB’s textured black Inegrit and black Satin powder coat. Specifications: Features a durable steel construction for maximum protection. Applications: For 2014+ Toyota 4Runner. Website: ARIES Jeep Inner Fender Liners Description: ARIES fender flares show off your off-road tires better than factory flares, and they feature strong, lightweight aluminum construction to easily stand up to the elements. These inner fender liners are designed to mount with Aries’ Jeep fender flares and provide ultimate protection for your engine compartment against mud, water and road debris. Aries also covers them in a highly durable carbide black powder coat finish for maximum corrosion protection. Specifications: Aries Jeep inner fender liners are constructed from welded aluminum to not only be lightweight and rust-free, but also to offer better strength than the plastic factory fender liners. Applications: 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler JK Website: Bestop Oversize Tire Carrier Description: Bestop’s Oversize Tire Carrier replaces your Jeep’s factory tailgate carrier and adds more heft and muscle to handle larger-than-stock tires. The factory tire carriers are fine for the regular OEM spare, but larger tires cause more stress on tailgate hinges which is alleviated by this new carrier. Specifications: Both models can accommodate body lift kits and include all necessary hardware for installation. Applications: Available for 1987-2006 Jeep Wrangler TJ and 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler JK. Website: Body Armor 4x4 Cargo Rack System Description: Body Armor 4x4’s Cargo Rack System was designed with the Jeep Overlander enthusiast in mind. It’s constructed out of 2-in. diameter steel tube with a front crossbar that features four welded light tabs for auxiliary lights, while the rear bar features two tabs for rear-facing lights. The rear uprights can mount down on the frame rails for a no-drill installation with an additional option of mounting to the body near the taillights. Specifications: Constructed out of 2-in. diameter steel tube. Applications: Made for the 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler JK. Website: Bushwacker Premium Aluminum Fender Flares Description: Bushwacker’s Premium Aluminum Fender Flares are an upgrade on the Jeep Wrangler’s factory fender flares, as they provide a unique reinforced style and durable protection. The aluminum flares are as durable as steel, yet lightweight enough to stand up to off-roading and trail crawling. The complete set comes with four flares and come finished in a black lightly textured powder-coated finish. Specifications: Constructed of premium high quality aluminum. Applications: For 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler JK and JKU. Website: CURT Ratcheting Tray-Style Bike Racks Description: The new CURT tray-style bike rack is a convenient and highly secure way of transporting your bicycles to that next destination. Its secret is a three-point mounting system. With two bottom, tray-style cradles and a ratcheting vertical arm, the bike rack holds each bike frame at three points, keeping it locked in place over hills, bumps and whatever else the road has in store. Specifications: The ratcheting arm also features an integrated lock to keep your bikes even more secure and well protected from theft. CURT tray-style bike racks are available in two-bike and four-bike models. Applications: 1 1/4-in. or 2-in. receiver tube (depending on the model) Website: 14 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE DEC/JAN 2017


At WeatherTech® we don’t believe in one size fits all. That’s why our DigitalFit® FloorLiner™ is laser measured to perfectly contour your vehicle’s floor, providing a custom fit and the ultimate in protection. And with a lifetime warranty, it’s guaranteed to outlast even the harshest Canadian winters. 888.905.6287 © 2017 WeatherTech Canada

Fab Fours Jeep Tube Doors Description: Fab Fours’ Jeep Tube Doors provide a unique combination of aggressive styling, functionality and durability which will make your open air driving experience that much more enjoyable. The doors generate little-to-no vibrations and offer increased visibility, full surround tubing, and an integrated sun visor. Specifications: Made with 1.5-in. OD tubing with a two-stage matte black powder coat with epoxy primer. Applications: Made for the 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler JK. Website: Extang Solid Fold 2.0 - UTV Edition Description: The Extang Solid Fold 2.0 UTV Edition offers the same premium features of the normal Solid Fold 2.0. It optimizes cargo capacity with maximum protection and versatility. Features a new articulating front hinge that allows for full bed access without complete removal of cover. The UTV Edition also comes with exterior tie down cleats and straps that allow for maximum cargo optimization and secure the cover folded up or fully open. Utilizes SpeedKlamps that lock cover in place, adding strength and stability for off road adventures. Specifications: EnduraShield Panels, Matte Finish, revolutionary snap-on perimeter seals, and integrated corner and hinge seals Website:

Dee Zee Bumper Guards Description: A Dee Zee Bumper Guard is the perfect way to protect your truck’s bumper. Constructed of aluminum with heavy-duty rubber trim, this bumper guard is finished with a patented NRT™ (No Rust Technology) Black Powder Coat for optimal corrosion resistance. Provides protection from dense brush, wildlife, and even careless drivers. Applications: Most models of Ford, Chevy, GMC, and Dodge/Ram. Website:

Go Industries Rancher Grille Guard Description: Go Industries’ Rancher Grille Guard is an easy, no-drill, frame-mount installation that is designed to utilize existing holes in the frame for extra strength, rigidity, and no vibration. Specifications: Made from heavy-duty 1.9-in., 14-gauge steel, this tubular frame is designed to accentuate each vehicle’s front end. The centre grille is made from 18-gauge steel with ½-in. punched holes, and ¼-in. laser-cut steel uprights. There is a built-in wide “step plate” that allows easy access to the hood and engine. This one-piece, fully welded application provides maximum front-end protection for the headlight and grille areas of your truck. Applications: Ford, Chevy, Ram, and GMC Trucks Website:

Husky Liners MudDog Mud Flaps Description: Made from an impact-resistant, tough and flexible material, in a universal design, Husky Liners’ MudDog Mud Flaps will fit almost any truck and are easy to install. They protect your truck from flying debris encountered either on- or off-road. Specifications: Designed to fit almost any truck, MudDog Mud Flaps protect you and those around you from the rage of the road. Applications: Available for most trucks and JK Jeeps. Website:

Husky Liners Long John Fender Flares Description: Husky Liners’ universal-fit Long John Fender Flares have you covered. Made from a durable, impact-resistant all-weather thermoplastic, Long John Fender Flares protect your ride and those around you from the rage of the road. Plus, they’re easy to install, come with a lifetime guarantee and are ridiculously affordable. Specifications: The one-piece universal-fit fender flares provide the coverage to keep the muck off your truck. Plus, the low-profile design delivers a rugged look to complement your gargantuan tires. Applications: Available for many full-size trucks and JK Jeeps. Website: 16 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE DEC/JAN 2017

ICI Magnum RT Steps Description: ICI’s Magnum RT Steps feature a distinct drop-down design with a wide step area, which allows for the easy entry and exit of your truck or Jeep. The steps features pads that boast a non-slip diamond tread for added safety, and are slotted to allow drainage so that snow or dirt doesn’t collect. In addition to providing a safe step, the step’s lower rocker provides protection from flying debris. Specifications: Manufactured using cold-rolled 10-gauge steel. Applications: Available for a number of Trucks and the Jeep Wrangler. Website: Luverne SlimGrip Running Boards Description: New Luverne SlimGrip running boards are constructed from powder-coated aluminum and feature expanded aluminum treads running the entire length of each board. The expanded metal treads offer maximum traction, even in wet or snowy conditions, and they are also designed to knock dirt and snow off, allowing them to pass through and keep the step and interior of the vehicle clean. SlimGrip™ boards measure 4 3/4-in. wide and 1 1/2-in. tall, and they come with angular injection-molded plastic end caps for an aggressive look. They are also easy to install with VersaTrac™ brackets. Specifications: While the boards come in a handful of base lengths, each application uses vehiclespecific brackets to provide a custom fit. The VersaTrac™ system also accepts other running board options from Aries, a sister brand of Luverne. Applications: Multiple Website: N-Fab Jeep JK 4-Door Rocker Guard Description: N-Fab’s Jeep JK 4-Door Rocker Guards utilize the factory rear bumper and feature a solid one-piece construction with a non-modular design. The guards are precision-built for a perfect fit and come in a textured matte black finish to complement the rugged look of your Jeep. The main bar extends from tire to tire and features an all bolt-on design that won’t flex. Specifications: Available only in black. Bar is positioned high and tight for a better fit and cleaner look. Applications: Made for the 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler JK 4-door. Website:

Rampage Products TrailDoors Description: Rampage Products’ new TrailDoors let you enjoy the feel of the trail while staying protected from the rough-and-tumble of the great wide open. The safari-style tube doors feature strong and stylish removable nylon webbing for a true no-door feel. The doors feature a centre bar for added protection and are available in a set of four, front and rear, for the JKU and in a set of two for the JK. Specifications: Feature a thick steel construction with 1-1/4-in. diameter outside tubing in a textured black powder-coated finish. Applications: Available for 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler JK and JKU models. Road Armor Jeep Body A-Pillar 50-In. Light Mount Description: Road Armor’s A-Pillar Light Mount for Jeep JK is a unique and good looking way to mount a 50-in. light bar over the windshield of your Jeep. The light bar mounts are CNC laser-cut from 3/16-in. thick plate, then precision brake-formed and finish welded. The contoured design provides the strength needed to hold the massive light bar securely in place. Specifications: Manufactured from CNC laser-cut 3/16-in. thick plate. Applications: Made for the 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler JK. Website:

Rugged Ridge XHD Steel Corner Guards Description: Rugged Ridge XHD Corner Guards are purpose-built to protect your factory sheet metal from threats on and off-road. Tooled to match the contours of your Jeep for a great fitment, and finished with a textured black powder coat to resist rock chips, rust and corrosion. Unlike many of our competitors, XHD Corner Guards fully surround your Jeep’s tail lights, shielding from direct impacts for unrivalled protection. Specifications: Exterior: 3mm-thick plate steel. Finish: Black Textured Powder Coat Applications: 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK 2-Door (11615.21) and 4-Door (11615.20) models. Website: DEC/JAN 2017 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE 17

Smittybilt Atlas Door Steps Description: Smittybilt’s Atlas Door Steps combine safety, functionality and durability, and provide a safe, surefooted solution to offer easy access to Jeep roof racks and more. They feature an easy, direct bolt-on installation with no drilling required, and a 350-lb. load limit. The steps also feature a built-in bottle opener and a non-slip serrated step design. Specifications: Constructed of 1/8-in. steel with a durable black powder-coated body with clear zinc step. Applications: For 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler JK. Website:

TeraFlex JK Falcon Bolt-On Rear Shock Skid Plate Kit Description: TeraFlex’s JK Falcon Bolt-On Rear Shock Skid Plates are designed specifically to protect their Falcon piggyback shocks. They are manufactured from cold-rolled steel with a textured black powder coat finish and have survived a 1,000-hour salt spray corrosion test. The plates boast a 100-percent bolt-on installation requiring only basic hand tools. Specifications: Manufactured from ¼-in. cold-rolled steel with a textured black powder coat finish. Applications: Made for the Jeep Wrangler JK with TeraFlex Falcon piggyback shocks. Website:

TrailFX Tube Doors for Jeep JK Description: The TrailFX tube doors give the Jeep JK an incredible open-air experience while still providing protection for its passengers, both on and off the road. Look good wherever you take it and take advantage of the additional visibility they provide. Specifications: These are direct bolt-on replacements using the factory hinges and include side-view mirror mounts on the front doors. Application: 2007-2017 Jeep JK. Website:

TrailFX Soft Grab Rail Handle Description: The TrailFX soft grab rail handle adds functionality and style to your Jeep. The durable molded easy-grip handles provide extra stability for passengers both on and off the road and help to make getting in and out much easier. Specifications: Designed to fit over a 2-to-3-in. roll bar, the TrailFX soft-grab rail handle also has a storage pocket to help store smaller items you don’t want flying out while on the move. Application: 2007-2017 Jeep JK. Website:

UWS UTV Tool Box Description: The new UTV tool box from UWS fits a wide range of popular UTV models. It measures 59x12x11-in. and installs with vehicle-specific hardware for a custom fit. The tub is constructed from powder-coated aluminum and welded together to be a single-piece design. The lid is filled with rigid foam for extra strength, and it has a MicroSeal™ to keep out moisture. This new box is the perfect way to add secure storage to a UTV, a vehicle made specifically for outdoor work. Specifications: The box keeps items accessible but protected from the elements, and it fits a wide range of applications, using vehicle-specific brackets and hardware for a custom fit on each UTV model. Applications: Many popular UTVs Website:

WeatherTech Hood Stone and Bug Deflectors Description: WeatherTech’s Easy-On Stone and Bug Deflector for vehicle hoods is aerodynamically designed to provide excellent protection against stone chips and bug stains. It’s made from a virtually indestructible material which is extremely scratch resistant, while the deflector itself easily attaches to a wide array of vehicles using either a 3M-brand adhesive tape or fasteners that use existing holes in the vehicle’s hood. Specifications: Attaches using adhesive tape or fasteners. Applications: Available for 2017 Jeep Wrangler. Website:


Tread Lightly

Story by Stefanie Galeano-Zalutko


alk about poking the bear…the blatant disregard, or perhaps unsettling ignorance, of the human race has environmentalists up in arms about topics like climate change, emissions control, recycling, recreational disturbance, and habitat conservation—and rightfully so. Failure to obey proper trail etiquette (be respectful to everyone and everything you come across and remember to use marked trails, keep right, slow down when passing people or animals, yield to uphill traffic, etc.) and leave Mother Nature in a better state than what she was found, has these groups eying up the wheeling community.

The writing is on the wall for recreationalists: clean up your act, or we’ll clean it up for you. And it’ll come at the cost of closing off public lands to enthusiasts such as yourselves. After all, it’s not nature’s responsibility to dispose of the mess after we’re gone. As the Tread Lightly! foundation teaches us, every impression counts and a little consideration goes a long way. Take the Eastern Ontario Trail Blazers, for example, who pride themselves on being an environmentally-responsible club that adheres as much as possible to the Tread Lightly! philosophy. As for the pressure being applied from activists, “we’ve certainly felt that crunch locally, with some areas being closed-off to motorized vehicles, but we’ve taken steps to present a more positive outlook of the sport,” said club member Paul Dufresne. Taking Charge Over the years, groups like The Ontario Federation of 4 Wheel Drive (OF4WD) have formed “to represent the interests of the 4x4 community and ensure the long-term sustainability of four-wheel drive recreation in the province of Ontario. We work to achieve this through user education, advocacy work, and cooperative trail management and maintenance programs.” The provincial umbrella organization—comprised of nearly 30 4x4 clubs such as Lake Simcoe 4x4s and individual members—promotes safe and responsible wheeling, protects access to Crown Land under the free-use policy of the Public Lands Act (Ontario), and maintains an inventory of the 4x4/multi-use trails. “As a recognized public land use stakeholder, we actively participate in trails and land use consultations. An increasingly important area of activity for us is in the area of trail maintenance and use management. We have ongoing trail maintenance programs running with other trail organizations (including OFSC member clubs, Haliburton ATV Association, Kawartha ATV Association, and others). Trail and community




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Black bezel carbon fiber bezel


Checklist Properly equipping a vehicle and practicing responsible driving techniques are important to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, as well as protect the area(s) being explored Be mindful of natural habitats—avoid environmentally-sensitive areas such as wetlands and nesting grounds, and be sure to yield to any wildlife on the trail Never trespass private property to wheel, and when doing so on public lands, always ensure you’re on an approved marked trail Remain on the trail and away from areas that are easily damaged by churning wheels Travel at speeds appropriate for the terrain and always maintain visibility Constantly scan the path ahead of you to pick the safest route around large holes, ruts, bumps, guy wires, railway tracks, culverts, fences, posts, debris, and other obstacles or hazards Avoid dangerous terrain such as steep slopes, marshes, and swamps Drive over, not around, obstacles to avoid widening the trail

land clean-ups have been a mainstay activity of our organization,” says OF4WD. Name brands like Rugged Ridge are doing their part as well to preserve off-road trails for generations to come, and it starts with a message of respect—for the Great Outdoors and each other. The accompanying sidebar includes a comprehensive collection of suggestions from Tread Lightly!, OF4WD, Central Ontario Off Road Jeep Club, and Manitoba Public Insurance. Still, there is even more that can be done to ensure the sustainability of both Mother Nature and the four-wheeling community who adores her. Tread Trainer, an extension of the Tread Lightly! movement, is:

“A monumental step towards successfully increasing the public’s awareness and encouraging responsible recreation practices across the nation, even around the world. The Tread Trainer program provides training opportunities to a multitude of champions willing to spread the message of ethical and responsible recreation. The champions that will be empowered with the Tread Lightly! message include, but are not limited to, federal and state resource manag-

Straddle ruts, gullies, and washouts even if they are wider than your vehicle Cross streams only at designated fording points, where the road crosses the stream When conditions are dry in areas where you’re riding, use caution because sparks from your offroad vehicle can ignite grass, branches, or other combustible material In soft terrain, go easy on the gas to avoid wheel spin, which can cause rutting and disturb the surrounding area Stop frequently to check areas around the engine and exhaust for debris, and carefully dispose of any debris found Practice minimum impact camping by using established sites and camping 200 feet from water resources and trails Carry out what you bring in—observe proper sanitary waste disposal or pack your waste out and bring a trash bag on your vehicle to pick up any litter (left by you or others) Protect the sound-scape by preventing unnecessary noise created by a poorly tuned vehicle or revving the engine Before and after a ride, wash your vehicle to reduce the spread of invasive species 22 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE DEC/JAN 2017

ers, club representatives, certified safety instructors of off-highway vehicles, and other conservation groups. These volunteers are empowered with useful techniques and skills in presenting Tread Lightly!’s principles, and information on how to incorporate Tread Lightly! into their own programs. All participants in the Tread Trainer program will have the ability to present Tread Lightly!’s message to groups of individuals at enthusiast and community events, schools, and other appropriate venues throughout the country.” The program was created on the premise of teaching 10 to pay it forward to 10 in order to reach 100. “Based on this theory, if 100 individuals are trained to be Tread Trainers every year for five years, then Tread Lightly! will make relevant contact with approximately one million people during that time,” continued Tread Trainer. Countless four-wheelers are engaged in the international debate about whether 4x4 activities should be allowed to continue or not, and they’re fighting with all they have to maintain those rights. Are you pulling your weight?

Be prepared for products that will change the way you and others look at your truck. Drawing from 30 years experience in the aftermarket and Original Equipment industry, we are able to bring you the highest quality parts available using state of the art technology combined with old fashioned hard work. Iron Cross prides itself as one of the only remaining 100% American made manufacturers of automotive accessories.


This is the first Bronco built and Carroll Shelby owned it.

Broncos Regular... & Rare Show up in Milwaukee Story by John Gunnell, photos by Christa Haley


n 1966, Ford dove into the fast growing off-road vehicle market with its all-new sports utility vehicle, the Bronco. The Bronco was a clean-sheet design and shared little with any other Ford product at the time. It was equally unique in the marketplace. With its trim proportions, advanced coil-spring front suspension and available Pickup, Wagon and Roadster body styles, plus a myriad of factory options, the Bronco was the first sports utility vehicle to truly offer sportiness, a fact not overlooked in Ford’s marketing of the day. With its 92-inch wheelbase and a scant 34-foot turning circle, the Gen 1 Bronco was an ideal off-road machine. Those same attributes also made it just as entertaining on a highway. It was exceptionally well-suited to either plowing snow or plowing through it to get to the ski resort. Early Broncos found great success in off-road racing events, conquering everything from the Mint 400 to the Baja 1000. More importantly, the early Broncos produced from 1966 to 1977 had soul. People loved them for their charm, their pluck, their ability to constantly punch above their weight and their ability to do these things in ways that made every minute behind the wheel a fun experience. For all these reasons and more, the 2017 Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance presented a special class for early Broncos. Some of the 24 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE DEC/JAN 2017

examples featured in the lakeside car show included special interest models and historically significant Broncos. Tim Hulick of Indianola, Iowa, brought a turquoise-coloured 1966 Bronco Roadster to the event. Referred to as the U13 model (the last three digits of the VIN number), Hulick’s Roadster features many first-year-only items such as unique hub caps and bumpers, a distinctive tailgate, silver upholstery, a gray painted dashboard and more. Tim Hulick’s 1966 Bronco Roadster has several first-year-only features.

The very early Bronco Roadsters used bodies made by Budd Body Company, and had unique touches like an “eyebrow” grille, transfer case shift levers topped with a patterned knob, front transaxle covers fitted with a square fill plug and forward facing rear shock absorbers. Only 4,090 Roadsters were produced by Ford for modelyear 1966. Tom Belsham of Glenville, Minnesota, showed up with a 1972 Bronco with modifications honouring off-road race car builder Bill Stroppe. This Baja Bronco model was first released on January 28, 1971 as a limited production copy of Stroppe’s team vehicles that had won both the Baja 500 and the Baja 1000. Based on Ford Motor Co. records, only 460 Stroppe Broncos were produced between 1971 and 1975. They featured the Stroppe colour scheme of a blue rooftop, white upper body and orange lower body. They are very desirable Broncos to have in a collection today.

Colin Comer’s 1969 Boss Bronco looks like this after 45 years of storage.

Adam and Rachel Kruse of Mequon, Wisconsin brought out a clean, mostly original 1977 Bronco with light blue finish and a white upper body. They are the third owners of the SUV, that came from the Southern part of the United States and survived in great condition. The Kruses know the complete history of the vehicle, too.

The ex-Carroll Shelby Bronco prototype had a bullet hole in the bed.

A fourth Bronco at the show was the 1974 Bronco Ranger that Jack Niederkorn brought up from Barrington, Illinois. The yellow SUV sports a 302-cid V-8 engine and automatic transmission. This Bronco has the upgraded Ranger interior package with colour-keyed full carpeting, colour-keyed door trim panels and wood-tone accents. The vinyl seats also have colour-keyed houndstooth inserts. On the outside, Niederkorn’s Bronco has the original tape stripes on the hood and lower body sides. Also featured is a swing-away spare tire carrier with a Ranger spare tire cover. Full wheel covers complete the truck’s upscale appearance. Colin Comer of River Hills, Wisconsin—a Mustang and Shelby expert and muscle car author—brought a very rare Bronco to the concours and also served as chairman of the Bronco class. His SUV is a 1969 “Boss” Bronco prototype with a 351-cid V8.

Chuck Wegner’s ’69 Bronco passes the reviewing stand to pick up its award. DEC/JAN 2017 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE 25

Adam and Rachel Kruse showed up with a very original 1977 Bronco.

In 1969, Ford was looking to create a regular production high-performance version of the Bronco. It quickly lifted the name “Boss Bronco” from a hot Mustang model and it was expected to become a part of the company’s new Boss brand. A company named Kar-Kraft that served as a “skunkworks” for Ford innovations was contracted to build this prototype. Bill Stroppe teamed with Kar-Kraft engineers to cram the fully blueprinted GT350-type 351 engine into the Bronco ahead of a C4 automatic transmission. Then, 4.11:1 ratio limited-slip axles were used front and rear. The Boss Bronco prototype also incorporates a roil bar and numerous other high-performance goodies. The Boss Bronco project came to a halt in September of 1969 when Ford President “Bunkie” Knudsen was fired. The prototype was actually built for him. At that point, the project was cancelled and the Boss Bronco prototype was inventoried by Kar-Kraft and put into storage. It was tagged “Non-Resalable” and plans were made to scrap the vehicle out. Somehow, the rare Bronco survived. It was discovered in 2016 by a Kar-Kraft historian. So, one of the most historically significant early Broncos returned after 45 years. Even more amazing is its condition, which is unrestored and as if it was kept in a time capsule.

The Bronco Hunter was assigned a Holman & Moody serial number that included the name “Bronco Hunter.” The truck featured a gaggle of non-production items and also had equipment that would not be seen on a factory-built Bronco until the Baja Bronco came out in 1971. The truck is totally a one-of-a-kind vehicle and a piece of Bronco history. Last, but certainly not least, in the Bronco class was a 1966 “Half-Cab” model owned by Seth Burgett and presented by his company Gateway Bronco. This timeworn, unrestored truck is the first Bronco built. It was constructed in Ford’s pre-production plant in Michigan. Burgett’s Bronco has been verified to be the one that Donald Frey used. It appears in Ford’s original literature for the Bronco and was the first Bronco to feature Sport trim. Carroll Shelby came to own the prototype Bronco and used it from 1967 to 1977. It was kept at his ranch in Texas. The first registration of the vehicle was in 1967 and it was registered to Hi-Performance Motors.

Cana Comer—the wife of Colin—also brought a neat Bronco to the Concours. This one is a 1977 and represents the final year of the early versions. It’s an “uncut” base level edition with orange finish and a white top. The truck features factory power steering, power brakes, and a 302-cid V8. Since it was used in Phoenix, Arizona most of its life, the Bronco has add-on air conditioning. Cana Comer purchased it five years ago and drove it 2,400 miles to its new home in Wisconsin. Much of the trip was over the famous Route 66. Chuck Wegner, also of River Hills, Wisconsin, showed a 1969 Holman & Moody “Bronco Hunter.” This is a specially-built truck that Ford gave to the factory-backed racing team that stock car builders Holman & Moody and off-road racer Bill Stroppe joined forces to form. The concept was to build a very special street Bronco. 26 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE DEC/JAN 2017

Cana Comer’s 1977 Bronco still wears Arizona license plates.


BUYERS’ GUIDE American Force Alpha SF8 Description: American Force’s Alpha SF8 was created for truck and Jeep owners who want to take their wheels to the next level of customization. It has an eight-spoke split design and is made with one-piece forged aluminum that provides great resistance against any damages. Specifications: Features 8-lug bolt pattern. Applications: Available in: 20x9, 20x10, 20x12, 20x14, 22x10, 22x11, 22x12, 22x14, 24x11, 24x12, 24x14, 26x14 sizes. Website:

American Racing AR901 Description: American Racing’s AR901 wheels feature a satin black painted finish and centre cap and are available in a number of different widths and offsets. They come in either 5-, 6-, or 8-lug bolt patterns and will instantly boost the look of your stock or lifted truck or Jeep. Specifications: Manufactured from cast aluminum. Applications: Available in 17-, 18-, and 20-in. diameters. Website:

Black Rock Series 909B Type D Description: Black Rock’s Series 909B Type D wheels are of a one-piece aluminum construction that is lightweight yet incredibly strong. They feature a conical seat lug with a cap included and will give your truck an aggressive off-road look. Specifications: Offered in a matte black finish. Applications: Available in 15- and 17-in. diameters with a number of different widths, offsets and bolt patterns. Website:

Dick Cepek Blackout Wheel Description: The DC Blackout Wheel features a tailored, centre-grooved, double-edged, six-spoke design, and is engineered for superior durability, impressive style and easy care. The wheel includes a sophisticated, two-stage, matte-black finish and laser-etched Dick Cepek signature logo for a one-of-a-kind, branded look. It carries a lifetime limited warranty against structural defects and a one-year finish warranty. Specifications: Available in two-stage matte black finish. Applications: Available in popular 15- to 20-in. sizes for today’s trucks, Jeeps and 4x4s. Website:

Enthuze Wheels Description: Add a stylish and aggressive look to your ride with new wheels by Enthuze. Whether you are pounding the pavement or on your next off-road adventure, the HK-5, COLT or WIDOW will have all eyes drawn on you! Assault and Voltage styles coming soon. Specifications: Designed to work with factory tire pressure monitor systems. Applications: Built in a range of diameters, bolt patterns and offset. Website:



Jeep Light Brackets

Jeep Grille Insert

Jeep Steps

Jeep Front Bumpers

Jeep Front Bumper (Mid-fender/Stage II)

Jeep Front Bumper (Stubby)

Jeep Grille Screen

Jeep Rear Bumper (with Slant tire Mount)

Jeep Rear Bumper (straight tire mount)

Jeep Rear Bumper (non-swing arm)

Jeep Light Brackets

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FAST HD F217 Tank Description: FAST HD’s F217 Tank wheels are available in 17- and 18-in. sizes and feature a matte-black finish with a machined lip. They have a load rating of 2,205 lb. and have a rugged off-road look that will enhance the look of just about any truck, SUV or Jeep. Specifications: Features a matte black finish with machined lip. Applications: Available in three different bolt patterns and -12 offset. Website:

ICON Alloys Rebound Wheel Description: ICON Alloys’ Rebound Wheel combines sharp lines, a concave spoke design, and ICON-optimized dimensions which will not only improve the looks of your truck, Jeep or SUV but the overall function of the vehicle as well. The wheels were made to maximize caliper clearance and optimize wheel position for un-hindered suspension travel and steering function. Specifications: Available in Satin Black, Bronze, Titanium finishes with colour-matched rock ring bolts. Applications: Made for trucks, Jeeps and SUVs. Website: LRG Squadron 116 Description: LRG’s Squadron 116 wheels are created from a blend of inspiration from art, fashion and culture with state-of-the-art engineering which has resulted in a unique wheel that will help your truck or Jeep stand out from a crowd. The beadlock-inspired wheels are offered in 17- or 20-in. sizes and are finished in a satin black. Specifications: Offered in 17x9 with a -6 offset or 20x10 with either a -12 or -24 offset. Applications: Made for modern trucks and Jeeps. Website:

Mickey Thompson SD-5 Wheels Description: Mickey Thompson’s new SD-5 wheel line is designed to offer the perfect combination of style and function for today’s trucks and Jeeps. The wheels feature a diamond-cut face with milled accents, a tough satin black finish and a corrosion-resistant centre cap. Specifications: Available sizes include: 15x8 (3.6-inch backspace, -22mm offset); 15x10 (3.6-inch backspace, -45mm offset); 17x9 (4.5-inch backspace, -12mm offset); 18x9 (5.8-inch backspace, 18mm offset); 20x9 (5.5-inch backspace, 12mm offset); and 20x9 (5-inch backspace, no offset) in 8x170 and 8x6.5 bolt circles. Applications: Made for modern Trucks and Jeeps. Website: Mickey Thompson SideBiter Lock Wheels Description: Mickey Thompson’s all-new SideBiter Lock wheels are made specifically for Jeep, Truck and 4x4 applications and are styled after one of the best-known innovations in off-road history; Mickey Thompson’s revolutionary “tread on the sidewall” tire design called SideBiters. The wheels feature an easy-to-clean satin black finish, machined accents, highrange load ratings and an embossed centre cap with the M/T logo. Specifications: Wheels are offered in a variety of sizes from 15x8 to 20x12 in various backspace and offset configurations. Applications: Made for Jeep, truck and 4x4 applications. Website: Pro Comp Vapor Pro 2 Beadlock Wheels Description: Pro Comp’s Vapor Pro 2 Beadlock wheels were created after two years of research and development including countless miles of Baja racing. The 17-in. wheels feature a 6061 aircraft-grade forged beadlock ring and a laser-engraved Pro Comp logo on one of the spokes. The rim wall has been reinforced for maximum strength and is able to withstand even the toughest of off-road situations. Specifications: Features grade 8 yellow zinc-plated hardware. Beadlock rim made of 6061 aircraft-grade steel. Applications: Available in 17-in. diameters and 5-, 6- or 8-lug bolt patterns. Website: 30 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE DEC/JAN 2017

Rugged Ridge Trail Runner Classic Steel Wheel Description: The hub-centric Trail Runner Classic Steel Wheels from Rugged Ridge are designed to be an upgrade from normal steel wheels. They feature a 5x5 bolt pattern, five retro-style kidney shaped holes and a durable gloss black finish. The hub-centric construction ensures the wheel is precisely centred on the axle which minimizes stress on wheel studs and helps eliminate road vibration. Specifications: Offered in 17x9-in. size with a 5x5 bolt pattern. Applications: Designed for 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler JK. Website: TrailFX FX308 Series Wheels Description: TrailFX FX308 Series wheels are available in a number of sizes to fit a number of different applications in a matte black or polished finish. They feature a one-piece cast aluminum construction which is strong, yet lightweight, so no performance is sacrificed. The wheels are compatible with the TPMS systems and offer a conical seat lug style. Specifications: Available in 15-, 16-, 17-in. sizes in a number of different offsets and bolt patterns. Applications: Made for trucks, Jeeps and off-road applications. Website:

Trail Ready HD15 Beadlocked Wheel Description: The Trail Ready HD15 15x9 Beadlocked Wheel comes with a rock-solid 3/8-in. thick 6061 T6 billet aluminum clamp ring and is now available in a standard slim ring design. The gold zinc-plated 5/16-in. grade 8 bolts are counter-bored in each hole so bolts won’t be snapped or rounded off. Specifications: Anodized, Powder Coated, or Polished finishes available. Applications: Available in multiple bolt patterns and backspaces. Website:

REAL WORLD TOUGH. Made by Eibach and individually dyno tested for quality and performance. The PRO-TRUCK, PRO-TRUCK Sport and PRO-TRUCK Sport Leveling Shocks pack a punch of on-road and off-road dominance in any situation. Stock or lifted, we have the right performance shocks for your truck or SUV. Call today and experience the Eibach Difference. Consumer Inquiries 800-227-2242

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BUYERS’ GUIDE Baja Designs 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Hi-Power Lower Grille Kit Description: Designed to be both functional and stylish, this lower grille kit is easily installed into your truck and allows you to tap your lights into the factory up-fitter switches. The kit mounts a 30-in. S8 light behind the grille, with brackets, hardware, and wiring harness included. Specifications: Brackets and hardware that were designed to bolt up to factory mounting locations without drilling or cutting. Applications: 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor pickups Website: Cloud Rider Stealth Black Aluminum Grille Inserts Description: Cloud Rider’s Stealth Black Aluminum Grille inserts are the perfect defence for your vehicle from bugs, rocks and other debris encountered in on- and off-road driving situations. The inserts protect your radiator and feature smooth, trimmed edges to enhance appearance. The mounting hardware has been specially designed for quality and easy installation. Specifications: Made from aluminum and available in five different styles. Applications: Available for Jeep Wrangler JK. Website:

DV8 Off-Road LED Jeep Grille Description: DV8 Off-Road’s LED Jeep Grille is made from thicker and more durable materials than the Wrangler’s factory grille, and comes with a seal for under the hood and all necessary installation hardware. It comes in a flat-black finish which allows it to easily integrate into any Jeep colour combination. Specifications: Made from ABS plastic. Light bar is not sold with the grille. Applications: Available for the Jeep Wrangler JK. Website:

Go Industries Big Tex Grille Guard Description: The Big Tex is the original grille guard on the market today with an entire frame made from 1.9-inch tubing. Its unique design, heavy outside welds and giant size result in a stylish grille guard that won’t bend, flex, or vibrate when in use. Specifications: Made from a single piece of massive, 14-gauge steel tubing just a shade less than 2 inches in diameter, the Big Tex Grille Guard dwarfs standard 1.25-inch guards and offers extra protection from road debris and off-road brush. All feature easy frame-mounted no-drill installation, bolt-on light tabs for auxiliary lighting, heavy-duty rubber pads, and optional headlight guards, and they retain your tow hooks on all applications. Applications: Big Tex Grille Guards are made to custom fit full-sized Chevrolet, GMC, Dodge and Ford trucks and SUVs. Website: Mopar Jeep Wrangler Grille Appliques Description: Mopar’s Jeep Wrangler Grille Appliques will immediately transform the look of your Wrangler by providing a customized look that will stand out in a crowd. The chrome appliques are easy to install and fit directly into your JK’s existing grille to provide a stylish bright look. Specifications: Appliques feature a chrome finish. Applications: Made specifically for the 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler JK. Website: 32 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE DEC/JAN 2017

N-Fab Wire Mesh Grille Description: N-Fab’s Wire Mesh Grille for the Toyota Tacoma is precision-built for a perfect fit on your specific application, and is made from 304 Marine grade stainless steel. It comes in a standard textured matte black and will provide your front end with an appearance upgrade that will help your vehicle stand out in a crowd. Specifications: Made with powder coated stainless steel. Applications: Available for 2005-2011 Toyota Tacoma. Website:

Putco Boss Grilles Description: Putco’s Boss Grilles have been cut-to-fit and are made to be an application-specific replacement for your truck or Jeep to provide a truly customized front end look. The grilles are available with or without LED light accents and come with all necessary installation hardware. Specifications: The grilles are made with ¼-in. CNC-machined aluminum and finished with a black powder coat. Applications: Available for a number of Trucks and SUVs including the Jeep Wrangler JK. Website:

Rampage Products Gloss Black Grille Insert Description: Rampage Products Gloss Black Grille Insert is a one-piece insert made exclusively for Jeeps. It features a heavy-duty construction to protect your engine and provides your Jeep with a more aggressive look. The insert features a no-drill installation and provides a custom look to your Jeep. Specifications: Manufactured with heavy-duty steel. Applications: Available for 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler JK. Website:

Rigid Industries E-Series Wrangler Grille Description: Rigid Industries’ E-Series Jeep JK Wrangler LED Grille boasts 100-percent stainless steel and a custom laser-cut mesh pattern to match the Jeep’s factory grille pattern. The grille requires the factory JEEP emblem to be removed and relocated after install, and fits one E-Series 20-in. LED light bar that is not included. Specifications: Manufactured from 100% stainless steel and boasts a custom laser-cut mesh pattern. Applications: Available for 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler JK. Website:

Rugged Ridge Jeep Wrangler JK Grille Inserts Description: Rugged Ridge’s Grille Inserts for the Jeep Wrangler JK are durable UV-treated inserts that come available in your choice of black or chrome with or without aluminum billet inserts. The inserts add great styling and provide a unique appearance that is different from most other Jeeps. Specifications: They install easily without drilling or tools. Applications: Available for 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler JK. Website:

UnderCover Nighthawk Jeep Grilles Description: UnderCover’s new Nighthawk Jeep grille offers four unique styles to choose from in order to find the look that suits your Jeep the best. They utilize the factory grille holes for a quick and easy install and are made to withstand even the roughest of off-road conditions. They are available in a black textured finish or painted to match your Jeep’s factory colour. Specifications: Four style offerings include Thrasher, Grenade, Carnage and Convict. Made from a high-density ABS material. Applications: Available for the Jeep Wrangler JK. Website: DEC/JAN 2017 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE 33



1. The base for any good suspension is beefy control arms, and these are thick material and bent to add as much clearance as possible with a rubber fixed joint to keep suspension noise and vibration to a minimum at one end, and a good articulating flex joint on the other end. These are the front four-link arms.

Story and photos by Albert Vandervelde


hen I was planning the build for my custom Jeep CJK8, I knew a few things that were going to take place. I was going to use a 4-door Jeep Unlimited frame. I wanted to use as many quality aftermarket parts as I could – the JK has been out for years, and there was no reason to reinvent the wheel. I was going to install a V8. I wanted it as low as possible, with a long-arm design for the suspension, but I wanted big tires, like 40s+. There were other things, but these steps truly dictated what I was going to do with the suspension, and if you’re into Jeep JKs, you know there are tons of options on the market. The V8 install limited a lot of the choices, as I was going to move the engine cross-members around, and a lot of JK long-arm suspensions use a new engine cross-member to hang the lower long-arm links from. A great choice, but just not a good one for me. I wanted to use a company that covered a lot of bases and had a great Jeep track record. It didn’t take long before Teraflex came right onto my radar. They have been building suspensions, sway bars, shocks, axles and way more stuff for Jeeps back to the invention of the TJ in 1998. I also like companies you can grow with, and expand on parts you have already bought. Teraflex offered a long-arm kit that takes a little more work to install, as the control arm brackets are all welded in – but it allowed me to change a bunch of things. Now, keep in mind this kit goes straight into a JK with the typical removal of stock control arm brackets and some welding; I, on the other hand, took a few things to the next level in this build.

I extended the wheelbase slightly in the front, as I could just slide the new Teraflex brackets ahead a bit up front and weld them in place (a little more took place here as well, but you get the idea why we made this move). This change became apparent after I noticed in Moab last year (Todd and I walked around town with a notebook and a tape measure) anyone with 40s on a JK were rubbing the frame, and I did not want to rub the frame. With Teraflex, I could build my cross-members wherever I needed, as the suspension was all frame-mounted. This also allows for the crossmembers to be removed without taking any of the suspension apart. I also like suspensions that use a rubber bushing on one end of the control arms. Teraflex uses flex joints on one end and a bushing on the other. The bushing makes the suspension quieter and keeps the control arms properly aligned. Teraflex also makes excellent forged track bars, several coil spring heights for the same lift configuration, and an array of sway bar options, and even now their all-new Falcon shocks – though I used Fox bypass shocks and Fox air bumps. This build received one-ton axles, so I turned to Currie for axle bracket kits, as they allowed more “tweaking” than other JK axle bracket kits on the market. When the build was done, with the custom body from Aqualu in place, I had piles of room with the 4-inch-lift coils for the 39-inch tall tires, and probably the 44-inch tall tires I plan to run in the snow look like they will fit as well. If not, I ordered a set of 6-inch coils just in case I need a little more room. Everything was very beefy and I’m excited to get the rig on the road this winter and getting its flex on with Teraflex!

2. A little different out back. The upper arms are shorter and curved to keep them away from the tires and other stock body obstacles. The lowers, though, are big and beefy like the front, and also bent to add ground clearance.

3. Ever experience JK death wobble? It typically starts from poorly-designed track bars, worn bushings or my suspension nemesis – Heim joints. There are NO Heim joints anywhere in this suspension and the track bars are solid forged steel – just plain tough and beefy.


4. A Jeep typically uses the shocks as the limiting strap to stop the coils from falling out – which really is hard on your shocks. Teraflex included limiting straps and as we were installing high-end Fox shocks, it just adds some great peace of mind.

6. The Teraflex Elite LCG suspension does bolt right to the factory axle brackets. As this Jeep is getting the 1-ton axle treatment, a full set of JK front and rear axle brackets...

5. The Elite-LCG long-arm kit uses the same base kit with several coil lengths. I actually ordered two sets of coils – these are the 4-inch lift coils. Easy as can be, detach the straps and lower shock bolts and pull the 4-inch coils out and swap in the 6-inch coils.

7. The front control arm brackets index off the factory cross-member frame bracket. Two bolts hold the bracket to the cross member bracket.

... were ordered from Currie Enterprises. Why Currie? The front upper mounts come with Johnny Joints for added flex, and multiple bolt holes to better position the shocks and control arms. They all had to be welded in place.

8. The frame is ground clean and the powder coat on the edges of the new bracket was also ground clean, and the brackets are welded in place. I mentioned we moved the suspension ahead. This came after this first step, a slight mistake on our part. We ordered fresh brackets from Teraflex, removed these, added a 2-inch spacer between the cross member brackets and welded the Teraflex brackets back in place 2-inches forward – so we could push the axle ahead 2-inches.

11. New isolator pads under the coil springs also keep things nice and quiet.

9. Out back, a small spacer is welded to the frame before the rear control arm brackets are welded in place.

10. The rear suspension set up with straps, Teraflex torsion bar sway bar, and Fox bump stops frenched into the frame, and brackets welded into the frame.


12. A little view of the rear track bar in place and the back side of the lower Currie bracket that provided a full row of mounting holes, so you can position the bottom of your shocks higher up if you can.

13. Up front, we slightly modified the axle-side track-bar bracket to raise it up as a one-piece welded bracket. The Teraflex kit comes with bolt-on (or weld-on if preferred) raised track bar brackets. 15. Straps were positioned both front and rear, so the vehicle weight would hang from the strap – not hang on the end of our Fox triple bypass shocks.

14. Bump stop extensions are provided both front and rear. We used a set of Fox bumps that went inside the coil in place of the stock bump stop – but both needed the extensions at the bottom.

16. And the front package all together. Up front we used a Teraflex torsion bar sway bar like we did in the rear. This also gives a good view of how the Fox air bump installs in the middle of the coil spring – it’s threaded and adjustable in height.

17. With everything still new and not worked in, we still have pretty good suspension travel. The suspension in these shots is at the maximum droop and hanging on the extension straps – but there is still plenty of up travel to go. It looks like room for the 44-inch tires with only a 4-inch lift – now that’s low centre of gravity.



Show Recap I

f you’ve followed any of our publications over the years, you are aware that we are very lucky in the fact that we get to attend the SEMA Show each and every year, as it truly is the mecca for anything automotive aftermarket, and a can’t-miss event. The show attracts more than 140,000 people each year with around 2,400 automotive aftermarket manufacturers separated into 12 categories to display their latest and greatest products specifically to people involved in the automotive industry. The show appears to be growing in size each and every year, covering over 1.2-million net square feet of exhibit space with an additional 1.5-million square feet of features and attractions throughout the convention centre and outside areas. It is the premier automotive speciality trade show event in the entire world and over the next few pages you’ll see some of top highlights from this year’s show. 2017 SEMA Awards Winners Announced The annual SEMA Awards, which are presented every year at the SEMA Show, recognize and reward the top trending vehicles on the market as chosen by the show’s manufacturing exhibitors. The Awards are open to all participating OEMs at the SEMA Show, and eligible vehicles must be current or next model year to be considered. A panel of aftermarket industry experts narrows the wide selection of vehicles down to a smaller group of nominees where the aftermarket community selects the ‘Hottest’ in each of five key categories; Coupe, Sedan, Hatch, 4x4/SUV and Truck. The 2017 winners saw the Chevrolet Camaro take home the Hottest Coupe honours, the Cadillac CTS-V being named the Hottest Sedan, the Ford Focus winning Hottest Hatch, the Jeep Wrangler winning Hottest SUV/4x4 and finally the Ford F-Series being named Hottest Truck. This marks the second year in a row that domestic manufacturers have swept the awards but this time with all the Big 3 being represented. DEC/JAN 2017 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE 39

Mopar Teases New Jeep Performance Parts and Accessories for All-New 2018 Wrangler at SEMA Show Mopar revealed a few of the more than 200 new Jeep Performance Parts and accessories for the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler during a press conference at the 2017 SEMA Show. Mopar’s new lineup was created with more than 100,000 hours of development, validation and testing, and will be available at the vehicle launch in dealerships. Among the new Mopar products are beadlock-capable wheels, offroad capable bumpers, LED lights, rock rails, roof racks, tailgate table, vehicle graphics, fuel doors and more. Mopar’s Wrangler product offerings are so extensive, a total of 98 percent of Jeep Wrangler vehicles are typically outfitted with at least one Mopar product. Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar) FCA was quoted as saying, “Virtually every Mopar product for the allnew Wrangler is new, redeveloped or redesigned. Our large, new product lineup for this legendary vehicle showcases how the Mopar brand has evolved over 80 years to support our owners in customizing their vehicles to fit any lifestyle.” The entire line of Mopar Jeep Performance Parts and accessories will be available for purchase when the Wrangler arrives in showrooms across North America.

Hennessey VelociRaptor 6x6 Unveiled at 2017 SEMA Show The SEMA Show was the setting for a number of vehicle unveilings, and at the top of the list in terms of trucks has to be the Hennessey VelociRaptor 6x6 which is unleashed at the Shell Pioneering Performance Experience at the show. The VelociRaptor is based on the 2018 Ford Raptor truck which Hennessey then takes and transforms into a six-wheel-drive off-road vehicle with more than 600 horsepower. Founder and CEO of Hennessey Performance, John Hennessey, stated that they will build just 50 VelociRaptor 6x6s, which allows it to be one of the most exclusive vehicles on the market. The truck costs a whopping $349,000 and includes the base 2018 Raptor four-door truck, and adds 6x6 locking rear axles, a twin-turbo engine upgrade, upgraded suspension, upgraded 20-in. wheels and Toyo off-road tires. Additional upgrades include front and rear bumpers, roll bar and LED lights, with an optional Brembo brake system upgrade being available for an additional $22,000. SEMA Announces New Product Award Winners SEMA’s annual New Product Awards are given each year to the

Hennessey VelociRaptor 6x6


1971 Jeepster Commando, recepient of the “Life is Better Off-Road” award. an elite panel of off-road industry experts. The award goes to the best presented, truly off-road capable truck, Jeep or SUV on display at the show, and the winner of this year’s award was Synergy Manufacturing’s 1971 Jeepster Commando which is built on a 2017 Jeep JK Unlimited chassis. The ceremony was held at the Pro Comp/ Transamerican Auto Parts outdoor booth and was hosted by famous KROQ DJ Jay “Lightning” Tilles alongside the esteemed panel of judges. Transamerican Auto Parts President and CEO Greg Adler said “Synergy’s Jeepster Commando captures the essence of the Life is Better Off-Road Award with its on- and off-road capabilities and the perfect blend of modern 4x4 technology and vintage, attention grabbing style.” Dace Schlossberg of Synergy Manufacturing said that his team wanted to create a stock-looking Jeep that remained 100 percent functional as an off-road vehicle, while bringing the look of Jeeps of the past. In order to mate the 1971 Jeepster Commando to the brand new Jeep JKU chassis, Schlossberg had to completely modify the frame and suspension. For more information or a list of semi-finalists, please visit most innovative and cutting-edge automotive aftermarket products that will be on the market the following year. For 2017, nearly 3,000 products were entered into the 16 different award categories, with winners being selected based on a large number of factors including innovation, technical achievement, quality and workmanship. Each of the categories has one winner and two runners up. The Off-Road/4Wheel-Drive Product category saw Austin International Mfg Inc. take home top prize with its two-ton big wheel jack, while TITAN’s Trailer Trekker Transfer Tank and Savior’s Odyssey 34 battery case were named runners up. In the Powersports Product category, Holley/ MSD was crowned champion with its MSD Black Solid State Relay. Runners-up in that category featured PowerBass with its XL-1200 Soundbar and Advanced Accessory Concepts with its Trigger “Volt” Bluetooth voltage monitor. Other winners included Westin Automotive in the Exterior Accessory Product Category with its HDX LED Grille, and Elongator Tailgates with its Integrated Tailgate and Ramp System in the Van/Pickup/Sport-Utility Product. For a complete list of winners visit Transamerican Auto Parts Names Life is Better Off-Road Award Winner Transamerican Auto Parts named the winner of its third annual Life is Better Off-Road Award at the show this year as chosen by DEC/JAN 2017 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE 41


GEARING UP Mickey Thompson Unveils All-New SD-5 Black Wheel Line Mickey Thompson Tires & Wheels has added a new wheel line to its product offering called the SD-5 Black, which boasts contemporary styling and a sleek satin black finish. The wheel features an openlug cap design with dimensional milled spokes and a spot faced outer lip. It is available in sizes from 15x8 to 20x9 with appropriate bolt circles and back spacing in order to fit into a wide variety of applications including both trucks and Jeeps. For more information please go to

BOLT Announces Products for Upcoming 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL BOLT debuted select ‘One Key Lock Technology’ lock products from its line for the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL and Jeep Renegade at the 2017 SEMA Show. The durable locks are made specifically for these Jeep models and work with Jeep’s centre-cut keys to offer convenient security. Upon launch, BOLT will offer its Receiver Locks, Coupler Pin Locks, Padlocks, Cable Lock and Off-Vehicle Coupler Locks that can be used to secure trailers and other gear. Additionally, the BOLT Locks are made with a proprietary design that resists picking and bumping, and utilize rugged materials to ensure strength. For more information please go to

Rigid Industries ADAPT LED Light Bars

G2 Axle & Gear Offering Brute Differential Covers for Dana 30 and 44 Axles

Rigid Industries ADAPT LED Light Bars are one of the first off-road lighting products that adjust instantly to your current driving conditions. The light bars offer eight selectable beam patterns that range from broad short-distance lighting to highly focused long-distance lighting, all in a single fixture. Beam patterns can be selected through the Rigid Dash Controller or the bar can be placed in an Adaptive Mode which engages its Active View technology to adjust light output specifically to your current driving situation.

G2 Axle and Gear have expanded their Brute Differential Cover line to include the Dana 30 and Dana 44 axles. The covers are made from heattreated A356.0-T6 cast aluminum that is then shot-peened to further increase the strength against direct hits. The covers are also powdercoated in a premium ultraviolet-resistant Satin Black finish and have been ball-milled to create cooling fins that dissipate heat. Each cover comes with a fill plug and a dipstick that make adding fluid easy.

For more information please go to

For more information please go to


Iron Cross Automotive’s New Sidearm Step

GEN 3 TrailDoors for Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited from Body Armor

Iron Cross Automotive’s New Sidearm Step offers a unique new design that will complement your vehicle, whether it be in its stock form or with a completely custom look. The step adds both form and function for your vehicle, as it gives a rugged off-road look while also providing a safe, sturdy step in and out of your vehicle. Available for a wide range of applications including the Jeep Wrangler JK, the steps come with a standard tuxedo matte black powder coat finish.

Body Armor’s GEN 3 Traildoors are the latest version of the iconic TrailDoor and now feature additional adjustability that has not been available for previous generations, as they include a redesigned door pin that allows for the use of the factory door sex-bolts. This reduces unnecessary vibration and prevents theft. The door frames are now robotically welded to ensure exact precision, while the new latch design with a new release and internal mechanisms make the operation much smoother and eliminates virtually all of the annoying rattle.

For more information please go to

For more information please go to

ARB Releases Elements Weatherproof Fridge Freezer

Fab Fours Vengeance Front Bumper for Jeep JK Fab Fours’ Vengeance Front Bumpers for the Jeep Wrangler JK feature light-weight construction and offer a sleek and stylish finish to complement the rugged look of the front of your Jeep. The premium steel sensor bumpers feature integrated 20-in. LED light bar housing and mounting option on each side for two 2-in. LEDs, to give you maximum LED light coverage. The bumper features a high and tight fit that comes with lower cutout to provide increased airflow while also giving you that aggressive look.

ARB’s new Elements Weatherproof portable Fridge Freezer features a stainless steel construction with strong ASA protective corner moldings and an electronic locking system that make it ideal for Overlanders or campers looking to properly store food or drinks. A unique gas strut is used that will hold the lid open in any position, while the concealed front and rear carry handles make transporting easy. The inside of the Fridge Freezer features a reversible basket with a removable divider and the new slimline LED rear-facing interior light provides ample lighting in the dark.

For more information please go to

For more information please go to DEC/JAN 2017 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE 43


Bestop Adds Two New Versions of Trektop NX Soft Top Bestop has announced that it will be adding two new versions of the popular Trektop NX Jeep soft top - the fully convertible Trektop NX Glide and the innovative Trektop NX Plus. Firstly, the Trektop NX Glide is the first-ever fastback-style soft top with the ability to fold completely back for total open-air driving. It features a sleek folding-frame design and allows users to cruise in either bikini mode, convertible mode or with the top fully closed. The Trektop NX Plus builds on the standard version and adds new features that make installation, removal and operation easier than ever. Additionally, the hybrid zipper/zipperless window design utilizes a patented technology that allows for easy panel removal. For more information please go to

Westin Automotive’s Off-Road Series Waterproof Winches Westin Automotive’s Off-Road Series Waterproof Winches come available in four different models, including the 12.5, 12.5S, 9.5 and 9.5S, with the non-S models featuring single-rated steel lines and the ‘S’ models featuring synthetic pull lines. The 12.5 offerings offer a rated line pull of 12,500 lbs. while the 9.5 models offer 9,500 lbs with all four products utilizing a 6.6-horsepower, 12V series-wound motor that is controlled by a corded controller. The winches are eIP67 waterproof-rated and feature a black finish. For more information please go to

afe Power Stainless Down-Pipe with Loop Relocation Pipe

aFe Power has recently introduced an all-new twisted steel downpipe with loop relocation pipe for the 2012-2017 Jeep Wrangler JK. The product was made to accommodate most long-arm lift kits without having to compromise performance. It is constructed of mandrel-bent, 2-1/2-in. to 2-in. 409 stainless steel tubing, while each of the exhaust loop relocation pipes provide maximum airflow and increased performance by adding up to 10 horsepower and 11 lb-ft of torque. For more information please go to 44 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE DEC/JAN 2017

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That’s a lot of weight for that Jeep to pull out.

The guy on the right doesn’t seem to be too worried about his Jeep. This could get a lot worse really fast.

There’s getting stuck, and then there’s this guy. We’re willing to bet that nobody expected that mud to be THAT deep.

Bet that truck is thankful he was with a Cherokee with tracks on. 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 and if we use your photos we’ll send you a cool RPM Media hat! 46 OFF-ROAD Plus MAGAZINE DEC/JAN 2017

Off-Road Plus December/January 2017  
Off-Road Plus December/January 2017