Rugged Ridge adds new XHD Stinger Guard for XHD Bumper-Equipped 1976-2016 Jeep CJ/YJ/TJ and JK

New XHD Stinger Guard Gives the XHD Steel Front Bumper an Aggressive and Cutting Edge Look

Rugged Ridge, industry leading manufacturer of high-quality Jeep®, truck and off-road accessories, today announced the addition of the new XHD Stinger Guard as an addition to the popular XHD Steel Front Bumper series, which is currently available for 1976-2016 Jeep CJ/YJ/TJ and JK models.

Rugged Ridge's new XHD Stinger Guard combines aggressive off-road styling with an increased level of protection for the grill and radiator, whether on the trail or the highway. Photo Credit: Rugged Ridg

Rugged Ridge’s new XHD Stinger Guard combines aggressive off-road styling with an increased level of protection for the grill and radiator, whether on the trail or the highway.
Photo Credit: Rugged Ridg

The Rugged Ridge XHD Stinger Guard is a one-piece design constructed of a high-strength stamped steel plate that is contoured to match the dimensions of the XHD Stinger (11540.13) and then finished in a tough, trail-ready black textured powder coat for durability and rugged aesthetics. The center area if the XHD Stinger Guard is vented to provide better airflow to the grille and radiator while still providing increased protection hazards on and off-road.

Since the Rugged Ridge XHD Stinger Guard is designed specifically for the Rugged Ridge XHD Stinger, installation is simple with only minimal drilling required and all mounting hardware and instructions included. The XHD Stinger Guard will allow for full use of the XHD Stinger Winch Hook Holder when properly installed, preserving all of its functionality, but with a new and integrated look.

The Rugged Ridge XHD Stinger Guard is backed by Rugged Ridge’s five-year-limited warranty and is available online and through select Jeep® and off-road parts and accessories retailers nationwide with a starting MSRP of $95.99.

For more information about the XHD Stinger Guard, or Rugged Ridge’s complete line of high-quality Jeep and off-road products, or to find an authorized retailer, please contact Rugged Ridge at 770-614-6101 or visit the company’s website at www.RuggedRidge.com.

Part Number Desciption Price
11540.29 Stinger Guard, XHD $95.99

The Jeep Wrangler – Will It Ever Have Any Actual Competition

I recently read an article expounding on the virtues of the recently announced Ford Bronco, a vehicle that is currently scheduled to be released in the year 2020, which is eons of time in terms of automotive technology, and how it might possibly compare to and compete with the Jeep Wrangler. While I readily admit, the prototypes and artists renderings I have seen of the new Bronco look pretty impressive; so rarely does the actual production version of the vehicle even closely resemble the prototype in real life. You can reference those 1960’s images of glitter-covered winged spacecraft they predicted we would be driving, come the year 2000, and how little they resemble an actual Pontiac Aztek . It’s kind of like saying “This is what we’re shooting for and then this is what we’ve settled for”. Hopefully consumers will ‘buy-in’ to the concept and, with any luck, see enough of that original concept present in the final production car to warrant making a purchase. It’s a bit of a gamble to be overly-aggressive visually only to have significant compromises made to the design before it comes to market. With each redesign, styling advances in steps and technology in bounds to the point where we are literally at the cusp of having cars that will do the driving for us and look pretty incredible doing it.

Photo Credit: Bronco6G.com

Photo Credit: Bronco6G.com

So, how is it that we can even begin to determine if a new vehicle that is not even in production yet will have the street cred to compete with another vehicle, one that is complete with a storied past, that is likely to undergo vast changes in that same time frame. I think the basis for such a question is best answered by saying that the new Bronco is not likely to compete with a new Wrangler, or any Wrangler for that matter, if it is not able to compare to it.

The Jeep Wrangler is a relatively new nameplate, with its origins dating back a mere thirty years to a time when the first Jeep YJ, equipped (or, better yet, plagued) with square headlights, rolled off the Ontario assembly line in 1986. Gone was the age-old “CJ” moniker, short for ‘civilian jeep’, giving a strong suggestion to its military roots. The new ‘Wrangler’ name was deemed as a more relatable term, intended to appeal to a wider consumer audience as AMC strived to make the YJ a more comfortable option, lower slung and suitable for average drivers. The unmistakable boxy styling, off-road lineage and removable top remained intact as did the legendary four wheel drive capability and solid front axle that has always been at the core of every Jeep CJ and Wrangler model. The interior and exterior have surely become vastly more civilized over the decades but never at the expense of detracting from its legendary past, a history that dates back some 75 years.

Photo Credit: Toledo Blade

Photo Credit: Toledo Blade

The Ford Broncos history, on the other hand, only dates back to the mid-60’s to a time when there was very little to compete with the venerable Jeep CJ, outside of the International Scout. The fact that the Bronco’s styling lends strongly to that of the popular Scout may be no coincidence, with its relatively flat sides and broad grille. Ford built the slight and nimble Bronco on an all new conventional ladder-style frame but chose to mount the front differential using trailing radius arms and a track bar so that coil springs could be used in the front suspension. This decision gave the Bronco considerable articulation and a pleasant road manner, unlike its leaf-sprung SUV counterparts. The Bronco was revamped in the late 1970’s where it essentially adopted the persona of its Ford truck sibling, sharing all of its front end trim and sheet metal- a trend that the Bronco maintained until its eventual demise in 1996, giving way to more family friendly platforms where the focus is on-road capacity rather than off-road capability. The Broncos legacy, in many people minds, is the ever-popular and much-publicized appearance made by a white ’93 model Bronco that was viewed by countless millions of spectators as former NFL running back O.J. Simpson, driven by his associate A.C. Cowlings, attempted to elude the LAPD in what might be the most televised and arguably the most boring car chase in history, even preempting the NBA playoffs primetime coverage. The car chase ended very anticlimactically without any fireworks or explosions, as did the reign of the Ford Bronco.

So, while the 2020 Ford Bronco may very well end up being a vision to behold, a thrill to drive and compete valiantly for the dollars of prospective off-road capable SUV buyers, it will never compare to the only true American icon- the one & only Jeep. I do hope Ford offers an O.J. Simpson Special Edition Bronco, maybe with some retro-themed graphics that say “Go, Juice, Go!” OIIIIIIIO

45

Assessing My Need for a Four-Wheel Drive Time Machine

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Is anyone else growing weary of today’s political circus? Not to say that politics today are any flakier than they have been in the past but we are certainly positioned as helpless victims by a media that is relentless in their delivery of the headlines, appropriately skewed to an angle that is in line with networks values. It is enough to make me want to go back in time; back to a time when we didn’t have an entire world of information at our fingertips. Can’t we just go back to the days when Chuck Norris was responsible for keeping the bad guys in-check? It wasn’t that long ago that our nation’s highest-ranking elected leader drove a Jeep CJ with a manual transmission and shared the ride with a trusted golden retriever named ‘Victory’. Those were the days…

We live in a truly incredible world today, one that seems to have advanced so rapidly by developing technology that I often wonder what we may have lost in the transition. We can go online and purchase an automobile, arrange financing without having to shake a banker’s hand and have it delivered without ever leaving the house. We even flock to purchase cars that are called “hybrids”, a term which used to have a less-than-desirable meaning not that long ago. We are literally raising a society of children that drive around carelessly in their cars in an attempt to capture imaginary cartoon characters that appear only on the high-definition displays of their expensive smartphones but have never had the experience of having to locate a desolate payphone late at night, scrape together coins from the gooey ashtray of a meager-excuse-for-a-first-car just so they can call their parents to tell them they are going to miss curfew. Heck, they probably can’t comprehend the need for this thing you call a… “Payphone”? So, what has changed??

Photo Credit: Four Wheeler Network

Photo Credit: Four Wheeler Network

When Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, he had already established himself as a political figure to be reckoned with. He had previously made two runs for the office of President, in ’68 and again in ’76. He was not familiar, in any way, with the word QUIT. I kind of like to think that the word ‘quit’ wasn’t even established in his vocabulary. Despite having failed to as much as make the Republican ticket in 1976, losing out to a soon-to-be ousted incumbent Gerald Ford, he went on to become, what was at that time, the oldest man to ever be elected to the office of President in 1980. At the spry 69 years of age, Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter to become the 40th President of the United States, an achievement not easily attained by those who spend their time frivolously.

Then in 1981, just 69 days into his first term as president, Reagan fell victim to an assassination attempt outside of a Washington, D.C. hotel at the hands of one, John Hinckley Jr. – a guy whose infatuation with a movie star proved to be more than he could deal with. Nonetheless, a ricochet shot to the old noggin from a small caliber handgun was not enough to deter a man such as Reagan. You see, Ronald Wilson Reagan had a humble upbringing and it showed in the manner in which he approached life. While Presidents are often captured on film being chauffeured around in bullet-proof limos, Reagan looked most himself behind the wheel of one of his Jeeps navigating through a pasture on his farm in beautiful Rancho del Cielo, CA.

Photo Credit: Fox News

Photo Credit: Fox News

His favorite Jeep was an old, rickety ’62 CJ6 that his loving wife Nancy had given to him as a Christmas present back in 1963. Reagan was known to put the Jeep through its paces regularly in any number of projects around the farm. This was in no way a show truck but rather a bona fide workhorse that shared in its owner’s belief that there is invaluable greatness in simplicity. There’s no automatic transmission or power windows here, only a PTO-driven winch and rigid place to sit, but only long enough to catch your breath before you get back to work. To know that the former president often referred to his ranch home as “heaven” (or at least in the same zip code, he would joke), it’s clear that Jeeps were considered an essential component to his own perception of happiness; uncomplicated, imperfect, somewhat unsightly but absolutely essential.

Photo Credit: Jp Magazine

Photo Credit: Jp Magazine

Ronald Reagan’s ‘other’ Jeep was much more of a head-turner- a 1983 Jeep CJ8 Scrambler that he called “The Gipper”. Another gift from his wife Nancy, this sky blue Scrambler seemed much more suited for hauling the leader of the free world around than clearing trails on the back forty acres. Ironically, when Reagan hosted Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev at the ranch in 1992, Reagan wasted no time in dressing Gorbachev in an obligatory cowboy hat and wheeled him around the ranch. At the close of the Cold War when Reagan made his renowned declaration “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”, something tells me that Gorbachev knew deep down that if he didn’t tear it down, Reagan and his trusty CJ probably would have hooked up a winch line and done it themselves. That’s just how a Jeep owner thinks.

While I would like to proclaim that Jeep had a gigantic part in ending the Cold War, I can’t. The truth is more likely found in the simple premise that a genuine Jeep-loving American patriot, who held steadfastly to his ideals and convictions, played a much larger role. Heck, we didn’t even need to break out Chuck Norris to get it done after all!

Photo Credit: RaysJeeps.net

Photo Credit: RaysJeeps.net

5

The One That Your Mother Warned You About…

1You don’t have to be involved in the Jeep community for very long at all and you’ll hear about “it”. Much like the boogeyman, its shady reputation precedes it deep inside the inner circles of the Jeep world, secretly inciting as much fear and anxiety as any horror movie monster ever could. “It” is the dreaded “Death Wobble” and no other mechanical phenomenon is responsible for alienating more “enthusiasts” from their beloved hobby than this. I’ve even heard of people walking away from their almost-new JK, leaving it on the side of the road, too afraid to drive it again. Who can really blame them? Afterall, do YOU really want to drive around in a vehicle that is obviously possessed by the devil himself?? If you have ever experienced “Death Wobble”, you can relate. If you haven’t experienced it, say your prayers that you never do. On second thought, let’s put fear aside and try to put this infamous condition into some better light and maybe we can diminish some of the anxiety people may have

2What is “Death Wobble”? Well, I am by no means a rocket surgeon but it can be best described as an oscillating condition that occurs in the front drivetrain of any vehicle with a solid front axle and coil springs, usually one that relies on a track bar for the centering of the differential. By “oscillating”, I mean that the front end of the Jeep moves from side to side, on an less-than-stable axis, in such quick succession that it will feel like it is going to eject itself from under the vehicle in a very violent fashion. Loss of vehicle control is a side effect of the dreaded death wobble; however, restoring the integrity of your basic steering controls IS the key to eliminating death wobble. As your steering and suspension components age or are exposed to the harsh service conditions of off-roading, they are no longer as tight as they need to be, all of which are accentuated by larger tires. The cumulative total of all of the ‘play’ in these components could result in this condition or it could be a critical failure in just one or two components.

If you experience “Death Wobble” in your four wheel drive vehicle, first ask yourself if this happened out of nowhere or can it be associated with a recent event, like a recent off-roading adventure or the installation of a new lift kit. This will help you decide what components to check first. Contrary to popular opinion, steering stabilizers are not usually the cause of “death wobble”. The installation of a quality steering dampener can minimize the symptoms making you think it has been remedied but it will be back as the underlying problem still exists.

The fundamentals of your front suspension are the first things to check out and, to our satisfaction, don’t usually cost a thing. Are your tires properly inflated to the manufacturers specs? Do you notice any troubling wear patterns on your front tires or are they wearing evenly? Has the vehicle been treated to a proper front end alignment, especially after the installation of a lift kit or steering components? Make a thorough visual inspection of your front steering linkage and look for anything that is bent, damaged or loose.

My first investigative task in a such a case of ‘Whodunnit’ is to identify the most likely suspect based on my prior experiences- when it comes to death wobble, this seedy character is clearly the Track Bar. On a leaf sprung suspension like a Wrangler YJ or CJ, you can toss the front track bar in the scrap bin and drive down the road with no significant issues. The leaf springs linear design keeps the differential pretty well centered under the Jeep and perpendicular to the frame rails. On Jeeps with coil springs however, the track bar is absolutely vital to maintaining steering and vehicle stability. Any ’play’ in the bushings, sleeves or even loose attaching hardware can be cause for great concern and would need to be addressed. Often you will find that the bushing is wallowed out around the metal sleeve allowing it to move slightly. The same methodology can be used inspecting both upper and lower control arms, checking for any degraded bushings or loose hardware. Keep in mind, the lower control arms are used for setting the front end alignment so a trip to an alignment shop should be on your short list of things to do if the control arms are replaced. The steering linkage can then be examined for problems. While a helper slowly turns the steering wheel back and forth, you can observe the steering linkage, checking for any excessive wobble in any of the tie rod ends. You can also grasp the tie rod end by hand and try moving the outer tie rod end up and down looking for movement of the ball in the socket. Inner tie rods should be checked for forward and rearward movement and replaced if suspect, again, with a visit to the alignment shop after replacement.

3

Lastly, check the upper and lower ball joints for excessive play. This can be done by jacking up the front wheels and setting the axle tube on a jack stands with the tire a few inches off the ground. Have a helper place a section of 2 x 4 or a short piece of pipe directly under the tire and pry upward from the face of the wheel while you examine the ball joints for any movement, also listening for any clunking or clicking from the joints. Any excessive movement or noises calls for replacement ball joints which, due to the level of involvement this job requires, should be replaced as a complete set by a skilled, experienced professional.

While it is possible that there may be multiple root causes for your particular case of “Death Wobble”, it is crucial that each component be evaluated thoroughly and not bypassed based on any preconceived opinion. For example, “I just replaced that track bar a year ago, there’s no way it could possibly be faulty”…think again! As you identify issues with your steering and suspension and resolve them, short test drives can be taken to evaluate your progress. It’s possible that the speed at which the wobble occurs may change or it may develop into an occurrence that is only triggered by a bump in the road or dip of the suspension. Stay the course and remember to give attention to the details. Persistence will surely prevail and you can then return to enjoying your Jeep without fear.

45

Rugged Ridge introduces all new Armor Fenders for 2007-2016 Jeep Wrangler JK/JKU Models

Resists Damage from On and Off-Road Hazards


Rugged Ridge a leading manufacturer of high-quality Jeep, truck and off-road parts and accessories, today announced the release of its new line of Armor Fenders for 2007- 2016 Jeep Wrangler JK / JKU models.

Both front and rear fenders attach high on the body for increased tire clearance and feature beveled edges with hidden weld seams relaying a bulky, muscular image.

11615.01_installed1

The Rugged Ridge Armor Fenders for JK are constructed of a high-strength steel plate and finished with resilient black powder coat for a surface that resists damage from the hazards. The front fenders are notched to allow use of both OE and aftermarket hood latches and are stamped with a screened vent behind the wheel opening to help vent the engine heat. The rear fenders two-piece design utilizes a separate rear tail light guard for added protection.

The Rugged Ridge Armor Fenders are compatible with Rugged Ridge XHD bumper systems and the XHD modular snorkels and can be installed using the factory Jeep wheel liners, with slight modifications, or, for best results, can be installed with Rugged Ridge All Terrain Wheel Liner Kit.

Rugged Ridge Armor Fenders are back by an industry-leading-five-year warranty and are available online and through select Jeep and off-road parts and accessories retailers nationwide with an MSRP starting at $933.99

For more information about the new Armor Fenders or any Rugged Ridge’s complete list of high-quality Jeep and off-road products, or to find an approved retailer, please contact Rugged Ridge (770) 614-6101 or visit www.RuggedRidge.com

Part Number Description Price
11615.01 Armor Fenders, Front Pair; 07-16 JK / JKU $933.99
11615.02 Armor Fenders, Rear Pair, 4DR; 07-16 JKU $933.99
11615.03 Armor Fenders, Rear Pair, 2DR, 07-16 JK $933.99

So…..What Are You In For???

It’s a phrase that instantly sparks uncomfortable images of an awkward, blundering conversation between two prison inmates where one answers “Tax evasion, How ’bout you?”. That is, thankfully, not the nature of this particular question. Many of us are serving a ‘life sentence’, of sorts, for something we’ve done. At what point in your life did you first see a Jeep and tell yourself “Geez…that is cool! I gotta have one of those!”?

1For some, it may have been watching afternoon episodes of “The Dukes of Hazard” and seeing the bodacious Daisy Duke wheeling around in her classic ’80 CJ-7 Golden Eagle. I can definitely see the attraction this likely presented for some but I was slightly more preoccupied, as a 12 year old boy, with that ridiculous ’69 Charger to even notice Daisy Duke (that didn’t keep me from having a poster on my wall with her laying across the CJ’s hood a few years later) but that orange jump-happy hotrod with an air horn that plays the opening notes to “I Wish I Was in Dixie” was what totally had me captivated…not enough to seek to own a ‘General Lee’ car myself but enough to think it was pretty darn cool. Decades later, it still is just as cool. Did you ever wonder why the horn didn’t play “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”? Probably not.

2For some younger Jeepers, it may have been seeing the two-tone YJ Wranglers that adorned the big screen in the 90’s blockbuster Jurassic Park. I remember thinking that the gaudy red 5-star alloy wheels were perfectly suited for transporting tourists around an amusement park while it was also clear to me that the Renegade lower body cladding was certainly going to become a casualty the first time the vehicle tries to drive over an immobilized raptor. There was absolutely something captivating about that sand beige and red paint scheme and Sahara interior that led to a surge in popularity for the otherwise less-than-lovable Wrangler YJ. Truth is I was hooked on Jeeps well before Jurassic Park movie directors even started shooting.

3For me, I was hooked on the concept of driving a Jeep and eventually owning one when I was exposed, as a kid, to a late 60’s television action-drama entitled “The Rat Patrol” {In Color} (That was a pretty cool little disclaimer thing that was common to a specific time period where a majority of the programs viewers didn’t necessarily have color TV sets so you knew right up front that you were missing out on something and your parents were gonna hear about it). This program was the stuff of my boyhood dreams! Four allied soldiers, who cruised around the desert in highly modified Jeeps complete with rear-mounted belt-fed machine guns, fighting German troops who were much better-equipped for combat, having armored vehicles and tanks at their disposal. It didn’t matter. The Rat Patrol has two, count them, TWO Jeeps and they drove them like they stole them, often launching them over the crest of sand dunes at full speed, causing the man who had the unenviable task of manning the machine gun in the back to become airborne and likely knock his canine teeth through his forehead on his return to the ground. Every one of the four primary characters wore really cool and distinctive hats to match their personality and, did I mention, they had Jeeps? That did it for me!

Regardless of what may have inspired you to long for a little piece of the Jeep lifestyle, or whether it’s a longing you have yet to fulfill, one thing is certain. The impression that Jeep has made on many of our lives is unmistakable and only gets bolder with time.

45

Rugged Ridge expands line of Off-Road Recovery Gear with new Soft Rope Shackles

New Rope Shackles Constructed With High Modulus Polyethylene Fiber To Offer Increased Flexibility

Rugged Ridge®, a industry leading manufacturer of high quality Jeep®, truck and off-road accessories, today announced the expansion of its line of off-road recovery gear with the addition of new Soft Rope Shackles for various on and off-road applications.

Rugged Ridge has taken the same developments in synthetic rope technology over the past decade and applied them to a simple, easy-to–use recovery shackle. The new Soft Rope Recovery Shackles are 7/16- inch diameter section of high-quality High Modulus Polyethylene Fiber (HMPE) rope, which is woven into a “noose” that is stronger than a comparable steel D-ring shackle while gaining infinite flexibility over its rigid steel counterparts. With a 7,500 pound working load limit, they are significantly stronger than a in comparison to a steel shackle of the same
diameter.

Rugged Ridge Soft Rope Shackles are engineered with high-quality High Modulus Polyethylene Fiber and offer a 7,500 pound working load limit. Photo Credit: Rugged Ridge

Rugged Ridge Soft Rope Shackles are engineered with high-quality High Modulus Polyethylene Fiber and offer a 7,500 pound working load limit. Photo Credit: Rugged Ridge

The Soft Rope Shackles’ one-piece construction eliminates the chance of losing shackle pins, and allows the pins to be manipulated easily even while wearing gloves. The light weight of the equipment allows the pins to float, making them perfect for use in marine applications. Soft Rope Shackles are so lightweight that, if dropped they will sit on top of mud rather than sinking to the bottom.

Rugged Ridge’s Soft Rope Shackles allow for limitless recovery scenarios as their flexibility permits securing to a wider array of recovery points. The synthetic rope fiber does not absorb water, has low-friction characteristics and resists abrasions. The rope shackle can be washed with water, air dried, and will not rust. Soft Rope Shackles can even be wrapped around a roll bar, when not in use, making a convenient grab handle.

The Rugged Ridge Soft Rope Shackles are backed by an industry-leading five-year limited warranty and are available through select Jeep and off-road parts & accessories retailers nationwide with retail pricing starting at $46.99.

For more information about the new Soft Rope Shackles, or any of Rugged Ridge’s complete line of high-quality Jeep and off-road products, or to find an authorized retailer, please contact Rugged Ridge at 770- 614-6201 or visit www.RuggedRidge.com

Part Number Description Price
11235.50 Soft Rope Shackle, 7/16-inch, 7500 LBS WILL $46.99
11235.52 Soft Rope Shackle, 7/16-inch, 7500 LBS WILL, Pair $93.99

Rugged Ridge introduces new Elite Line of Exterior Accessories for 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler JK/JKU Models

Rugged Ridge®, a leading manufacturer of high-quality Jeep®, truck and off-road parts and accessories, today announced the expansion of its Elite line of exterior styling accessories with the addition of its Elite Headlight Guards, Elite Tail Light Guards, Elite Fuel Doors and Elite Door Handle Inserts for 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler JK models.

Rugged Ridge’s Elite line of exterior accessories features patented designs intended to provide an attractive and desirable option for JK owners that incorporates Rugged Ridge exclusive Elite styling, high- quality materials and a choice of premium finishes — all elements selected to separate the products from others currently found in the JK aftermarket.

Rugged Ridge Elite Headlight Guards are cast from rugged aluminum alloy and are designed to provide superior protection for headlights while adding a unique geometric design. Three premium finishes are available: textured black powder coat, vibrant red powder coat or raw aluminum.

Rugged Ridge Elite Tail Light Guards feature a patented, innovative design that fully encapsulates the tail light for unsurpassed protection. Constructed from sturdy cast aluminum and built to withstand serious off-road assaults, the Elite Tail Light Guards can protect Jeeps on the toughest adventures. The Elite Tail Light Guards are offered in a variety of finishes: textured black powder coat, red powder coat, raw aluminum or a textured black powder coat with machined aluminum slats.

Also introduced as part of the Elite Line is the Rugged Ridge Elite Fuel
Door Cover. The cover incorporates a smooth-operating internal hinge mechanism and a positive retention latch that opens and closes with a simple press of the lid, and is constructed from heavy cast aluminum.

The final installment to the Elite line are Rugged Ridge’s Elite Door Handle Inserts. Each inserts is made from durable cast aluminum and feature an off-road inspired tire tread inlay, available in a choice of three finishes: black tread, brushed aluminum tread or brushed aluminum with contrasting black tread. Sets are available for both two and four-door models.

The Rugged Ridge® Elite line of exterior accessories for Wrangler JK are backed by an industry-leading five-year limited warranty and are available online and through select Jeep and off-road accessories retailers nationwide.

For more information about the Elite line of products or any of Rugged Ridge’s complete line of high- quality Jeep and off-road parts, or to find an authorized retailer, please contact Rugged Ridge at 770-614-6101 or visit www.RuggedRidge.com

Part No. Description MSRP
11230.12 Elite Headlight Euro Guards, Textured Black, 07-17 JK/JKU $66.99
11230.15 Elite Headlight Euro Guards, Red; 07-17 JK/JKU $66.99
11230.16 Elite Headlight Euro Guards, Raw Aluminum, 07-17 JK/JKU $66.99
11226.04 Elite Tail Light Guards, Brushed Black; 07-17 JK $173.99
11226.05 Elite Tail Light Guards, Black; 07-17 Wrangler JK $159.99
11226.06 Elite Tail Light Guards, Red; 07-17 Wrangler JK $159.99
11226.07 Elite Tail Light Guards, Raw; 07-17 Wrangler JK $133.99
11425.10 Elite Fuel Door, Non-Lock, Brushed Alum; 07-17 JK $126.99
11425.12 Elite Fuel Door, Non-Lock, Black, 07-17 JK $113.99
13311.48 Door Handle Inserts, Black Tread, 2 Door; 07-16 JK $52.99
13311.49 Door Handle Inserts, Black Tread, 4 Door; 07-16 JKU $79.99
13311.50 Door Handle Inserts, Brushed Tread, 2 Door; 07-16 JK $52.99
13311.51 Door Handle Insets, Brushed Tread, 4 Door; 07-16 JKU $79.99
13311.52 Door Handle Inserts, Contrast Tread, 2 Door; 07-16 JK $52.99
13311.53 Door Handle Inserts, Contrast Tread, 4 Door; 07-16 JKU $79.99

February 2017 Monthly Update

Elite Fast Track Accessory Bar

Rugged Ridge designed the new Elite Fast Track Accessory BarTM (patents pending) to be the most versatile component you’ll likely ever bolt to your JK, allowing you to adapt your light bar configuration for your changing tastes or to better suit your needs. The innovative design of the Elite Fast Track Accessory Bar incorporates a revolutionary series of channels that run the length of the a-pillars and crossover section so that any variety or combination of lights, cameras, trail mirrors or accessories can be assembled and reconfigured in countless combinations. Constructed of high-quality 6061 T6 aluminum, the Elite Fast Track Accessory Bar is extremely lightweight but impressively strong, able to withstand the grueling conditions Jeeps are prone to endure. The light bar works with most LED light bars, regardless of length and incorporates an aerodynamic design and integrated end caps that alleviate air ow turbulence that often result in soft top buffeting and annoying whistling. The A-pillar sections unique channel design conceals the wiring, keeping it out of sight and well-protected. A durable sleek black powder coat finish gives great protections from the elements while sturdy steel brackets with Grade 5 mounting hardware insures years of dependable service that is backed by our 5-year limited warranty.

Part Number Description Price
11232.50 Elite Fast Track Accessory Bar, 07-17 Jeep Wranlger $333.99
11232.55 Fast Track Kit, 1 Bar, 8 Rounds, Mirrors; 07-17 Jeep Wrangler $1333.99
11232.56 Fast Track Kit, 2 Bars, 9 Rounds, Mirrors; 07-17 Jeep Wrangler $1666.99
11232.57 Fast Track Kit, 3 Bars, 8 Rounds, Covers; 07-17 Jeep Wrangler $1999.99

Total Eclipse Shade

Rugged Ridge Total Eclipse Shade revolutionary design offers superior protection from the intensity of the sun’s rays without the need for a separate windshield header. The Total Eclipse Shade 1-piece design utilizes the same attaching method as our Eclipse Sunshade, securing to the windshield frame and sport bar with integrated bungee straps, so there is no cumbersome buckles or straps to lose, but provides a greater level of sun protection with durable Black Diamond soft top fabric. Installs in minutes and can be left in place with the top on or off. Includes a handy storage bag.

Part Number Description Price
13579.15 Total Eclipse Shade, Soft Top, 07-17 Jeep Wrangler $93.99
13579.45 Total Eclipse Shade, Hard Top, 07-17 Jeep Wrangler $93.99

Dual Soft Rope Shackle and Grab Handle

Bring your recovery gear into the 21st century with Rugged Ridge Soft Rope Shackles. Constructed of an ultra- strong HMPE rope material, these shackles are considerably stronger than steel with a 18,150 lb. breaking strength and, unlike nylon, they actually repel water, resist abrasions and have very low elasticity making them the obvious choice for off-road recovery. Unlike rigid steel shackles, Rugged Ridge Soft Rope Shackles are always pliable so they can be manipulated easily in tight spaces, even wearing gloves, allowing for painless attachment to tow hooks or recovery points. When not in use, Soft Rope Shackles make a great Grab Handle; just store them conveniently around your roll bar at either door – you’ll nd yourself using them, even when you’re NOT using them! Better yet, Rugged Ridge Soft Rope Shackles won’t ever rust, nor will they open under load however, they can be opened easily once a load is removed, making them an ideal addition to your off-road recovery gear.

11235.51 Rope Shackle and Grab Handle, 5/16-Inch $29.99
11235.53 Rope Shackle and Grab Handle, 5/16-Inch, Pair $59.99

Lower Switch Panel

The Rugged Ridge Lower Switch Panel allows for practical & convenient installation of electrical switches in 2011-2017 Jeep Wrangler models, regardless of transmission type (Manual or Automatic). This switch panel replaces the lower center dash panel with an injection-molded panel made of an impact-resistant thermoplastic, matching the color and grain of the factory dash for a nished look. Each Lower Switch Panel Kit includes FOUR 2-position rocker switches (Amber, Green, Red and Blue) and a nifty Dual USB Charging Port to maintain those essential electronic devices. Switches are ergonomically positioned for easy access and effortless operation in your JK, while maintaining the factory correct appearance.

17235.54 Lower Console Switch Panel, 11-17 Jeep® Wrangler JK and JK Unlimited $20.99
17235.84 Lower Console Switch Panel Kit, 11-17 Jeep Wrangler JK and JK Unlimited $93.99

The Importance of Being Prepared (or at least looking the part)

One of the most interesting facets of our automotive culture is the fact that society attaches personality traits to drivers based on their choice of transportation. Guys cruising around in a flashy Corvette are often labelled as being waist-deep in a mid-life crisis, even when this could likely be the farthest thing from the truth. Gigantic SUV’s adorned with plus-sized chrome rims and TV monitors mounted in every headrest are quickly assessed as being well-to-do soccer moms who seem fixated on making an impressive display when they drop the kids off at lacrosse practice, with a total lack of concern for fuel economy. I think Jeep drivers are labelled in a similar fashion, as well.

Photo Credit: Chrysler Group LLC

Photo Credit: Chrysler Group LLC

Jeep has always been marketed to the purchasing public in a very utilitarian way; in fact, if the Boy Scouts had not already called dibs on the moniker ‘Be Prepared’, Jeep could have gobbled it up and put it to good marketing use. Jeeps have always been heralded for their legendary off-road capability using slogans like “Go Anywhere, Do Anything” and “Only in a Jeep”. It’s quite clear that Jeep owners place a considerable value in the concept of being prepared and equipped for anything. One particular print ad released by Jeep actually portrayed a Jeep in a remote desert location with the catch phrase “To survive out here, you’ll need a needle, thread and a Jeep Wrangler”. While I would probably have added in a couple of gallons of clean drinking water to that list just for good measure, I do agree with the premise. Another advertisement used by Jeep back in the early 2000’s was a large photo of a Swiss Army knife where one of the folding blades was an actual Jeep ignition key. What a novel idea! That should have been a dealer promotional item at some point. I’m all for it! Replacing the small tweezers that are usually rendered useless after a few uses seems like a logical step to making this become a reality.

One of my favorite advertisements that typifies the personality and lifestyle of a typical Jeeper was not even an ad for Jeep or Willys directly. It was an advertisement taken out by Campbell Soup Company in the early 1940’s, during the height of the second World War. The ads lengthy dialog speaks to the ingenuity of the American soldier who would place a can of soup under the hood of his Jeep so, as he ran his maneuvers and mealtime eventually rolled around, his meal would be prepared, hot & ready to eat. No reference has to be made or implied to the soldier’s ability to open the tin soup can. It’s understood that he is well-equipped and prepared for anything. As wholesome an image as this depicts, with four guys assembled together to enjoy a piping hot can of Chicken with Wild Rice that tastes vaguely like a fuel-soaked ashtray, it is an moderately accurate representation of the type of people who typically choose to drive a Jeep. They are the kind of people certainly equipped with a multi-tool, complete with a can opener, and the technical wherewithal to use it. On a side note, soup packaging has also advanced tremendously over the past 75 years to the point where soup cans now come with a pull-tab and don’t even require a can opener. I’m somewhat sure a Jeep guy helped develop that technology as well.

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