As I Recall, Nobody Is Perfect

When I was growing up, I was probably viewed as some kind of a gearhead. I bought my first car at the tender age of fourteen. I spent a lot of my spare time tinkling under the hood or grinding away at the body. I always ran in social circles with the kind of guys who turned wrenches and found trouble by barking tires and practicing red-light launches, or “blatant displays of speed”, as the citation would always read.

I remember a tale I was told, back in the day, by a car-buddy of mine who drove a ’70 Nova SS. He said that you should never buy a car that was built on a Monday. His statement cleverly insinuated that the guys who worked the assembly line would show up for work on a Monday, still a bit hung over from the weekend, and, for that reason, would do a less-than-stellar job. I found it somewhat silly to make such a declaration when the process of finding out what exact week a car was built was as complex as advanced trigonometry, much less the exact day.

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My friend’s statement was founded nonetheless. His Nova, as nice as it was, held a sort-of factory defect itself. His father was the original owner of the car, having purchased it in November of ’69, before passing it on to his son; so its history was pretty well known. On a hot June afternoon, while installing some wiring for a stereo amplifier, the passenger side kick panel was removed to reveal an old Stroh’s beer can crushed flat and nestled inside the hidden cavity behind. The fact that the metal can was heavy and had the old pull tab style top made it seem original to the era. It wasn’t like we ever heard an unknown rattle nor did we smell the stale funk that would surely emanate from a discarded beer can on a hot day, had it not been some 17 years later. We always joked that the UAW workers were literally “lit” while assembling his X-bodied pride & joy. And we may have not been wrong.

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This old yarn was brought to mind recently when the new and highly-touted 2018-19 Jeep Wrangler JL was recalled for faulty welds on its track bar mounts. Nothing stirs up public speculation like a crack in the frame of a brand new vehicle. Is it even possible today that the guy behind the welding gun over at Jeep is all dizzied-up on malted hops? Surely today’s assembler would be sipping coconut water or a soy latte?

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After my recent tour of the Toledo Assembly Plant back in August, I can say definitively NO. In fact, a large majority, if not all, of the welding on the chassis is performed by robotic arms that work efficiently and with exacting precision. The actual temperature of the weld is a known quantity, as is every aspect of the welded union, generating a finished weld that simply can’t be duplicated by even the most skilled human with any degree of regularity. The entire process is monitored by sensors and carefully controlled by an advanced computer system that serves as the brain of the operation. And therein lies the only likely suspect for such a manufacturing flaw.

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So while the level of automation that is incorporated into the assembly of a car has all but eliminated the possibility for human error, the fact that humans are tasked with building the robotics and developing the programs that drive their systems leaves a wide window for such glitches to occur. If nothing else, such a recall should remind us that it’s usually best to wait for the second year of production on a new model before making a purchase; or develop a deeper comfort level with the possibility of such issues arising, knowing that solutions will be swift and exhaustive. That being said, I’m a long way from being comfortable with a computer driving my car for me…those things weld like they’re drunk! OlllllllO

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Legends of the Fall

I was fortunate enough to recently spend the better part of a week in the mountains of North Georgia with a group of journalists assembled from around the country. Our primary purpose was to get out and enjoy the backroads and wooded wilderness in a handful of Jeeps. And on this particular occasion the timing couldn’t have been better.

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Folks with an advanced level of knowledge can advise you on the virtues of the yearly procession of fall that they call the autumnal equinox. In the south, the event is usually marked by cooler temperatures and a welcomed reprieve from an endless cycle of grass-cutting and yard watering.

The “first day of fall”, as we call it, signifies what I would have to say is my favorite time of year. Besides the cooler weather, fall is a time for the spectacle of golden hues that adorn the trees just before they shed their foliage entirely for the winter. It’s a time for brewing up some homemade chili and for high school football on a Friday night. Best of all, it’s a time for Jeeps.

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This year, fall’s entrance has been marked by unusually warm temperatures. Certainly warmer than we are normally accustomed to in the south. But that doesn’t change the fact that fall is the perfect time to get out and enjoy your Jeep.

While I am a firm believer that Jeeps were meant to be driven without doors, I’m not usually one to set out for a drive without some sort of overhead cover. At the very least, a bikini top or sunshade to keep the scorching rays off of my head is how I’m prone to roll. However, once fall has made its entry, I find that running with no top at all is the ideal remedy for whatever ails you. Besides, you don’t need anything between you and the pageantry of changing leaves; not to mention those clear, starlit nights. But take the time to breathe it in…because in a few short weeks, winter will be here and such deep breaths will be much less enjoyable. And those Jeeps will be weighted down with doors and tops and heaters on full-blast. It is then that you will yearn for this day.

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So get out there and enjoy your Jeep and all the beauty that autumn brings us. There is plenty to see and experience and the legendary Jeep is the perfect place for you to take it all in. OlllllllO

A red Jeep Wrangler drives toward Cottonwood Pass through bright fall aspen trees.

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My Retrospective Look at Toledo Trek 2018

It was many months back, early spring of 2018, that I forged the idea in my rat’s nest-of-a-brain to take my 25-year old Wrangler YJ and set a course northward. To drive to the land long-revered as the birthplace of the Jeep- Toledo, Ohio.

Looking back, I was a bit distressed that my old Jeep might not be up to the chore. She has been known to consume a little oil, which is not in any way uncommon for a Jeep. It’s not been assigned a quart of oil per gallon of gas ratio as of yet, so all is good. I will note also that, after years of dedicated efforts, I can proudly declare that the old 4-liter doesn’t leak oil, in any measurable quantity, at all.

All Photos Courtesy of Evan Coolidge

All Photos Courtesy of Evan Coolidge

So what was I really worried about? My antique Jeep, with its ostracizing rectangular headlights, seemed to make the 1,300 mile jaunt with no real struggles at all. So why would I be, in any way, surprised? She has been hauling my cumbersome structure to & from work faithfully every day for what seems like forever. So I can’t say that I am the least bit surprised. I do find myself cherishing a newfound sense of pride that I hadn’t held before…proud, but not surprised.

What I do find a bit surprising is how much I enjoyed my visit to Toledo. I had heard from more than a couple people how degraded and destitute the city had become. How the city streets were lined with shops that had been boarded-up long ago and either moved on or folded completely. While this perception is not untrue by any means, I can’t help but think that Toledo is a city in need of a second chance.

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To be fair, when you pack legions of Jeeps into one town, I’m probably gonna fall slightly head-over-heels for it. I can’t really help it. Toledo loves the Jeep and she wears her love for it right out on her sleeve for everyone to see. Having the city be completely overrun with Jeeps, if only for a weekend, seemed much like some kind of homecoming. Like all the kids who were born here, had grown up and moved on, all agreed to come back to Grammys house for a reunion. To share a meal, to play on the lawn and show how much they’ve achieved over the years.

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There is no discounting the notion that the Jeep and its loyal followers are more than just a community; they are indeed a family. But the attraction of the city of Toledo, at least for me, goes far beyond its relevance in the history of our beloved Jeep. It’s like the city, with its endless array of aging architecture, symbolizes a way of life that is seemingly nonexistent anymore. The city is romantic. It is historic and it is charming. The fact that time left Toledo behind was no fault of the city at all.

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The Toledo Jeep Fest was originated as a celebration of Jeep’s 75th anniversary, back in 2016, with the plan of it becoming a biennial event, or happening every other year. With such overwhelming success, rumors are adrift that the city of Toledo might try having the show every year. With such a swell of enthusiasm over the Jeep brand and the recurring boost to the local economy that an annual show would provide, I can’t help but dream of the possibility that the town that built Jeep might someday become the town that Jeep rebuilt. I, for one, will anxiously await the opportunity to relive my trek to Toledo once again. After all…my old Jeep can make it, no problem. OlllllllO

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Space-Age Polymers and Advanced Technology Makes for Instant Fun – Just Add Water!!!

I believe that it is written, somewhere deep within the yellowed pages of an old Jeep owner’s manual, that you have not officially achieved full-fledged Jeep ownership status until you have been baptized into the Jeep church. Don’t get me wrong…despite the name this isn’t a religious ceremony of any sort. It doesn’t require a priest and is not likely to be followed by a reception, complete with little finger sandwiches, fruit punch or a cake. This ‘baptism’ is one of deep water, of pouring rain and probably of mud. Sure, it tends to be a messy ordeal but it always washes off and things dry out long before the memory ever fades.

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I can’t even recall the first time it happened to me, or begin to count the number of times that followed. What I can easily recall is that some of the best times I’ve had in my Jeep have been when things are NOT going the way they should. I could go as far as to say, with reasonable certainty that I’ve been set up. Jeep made plenty of allowances in their design to allow for the unexpected and undesirable to happen. The roof is configured to come off the vehicle entirely, as well as the doors, which both seem pretty suspect to me. There are even plugs in the floor that, when removed, allow for water to drain out of the cab, although the diameter of the drain holes are much too small to keep up with the water flow demand so your ankles will usually remain completely submerged in a heavy downpour. It’s like Jeep knew what kind of trouble Jeep owners were likely to get into and they wanted to make sure we were equipped to handle it and make a full recovery.

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My first ‘baptism’ was innocent enough. It was a sunny spring morning in Georgia and I opted to give my daily driver wheels the day off, choosing to enjoy a sun-soaked trek in to the office in the Jeep. The fresh aroma of budding trees triggered by winters end, accompanied by soft, cool breezes was just the right way in which to start your day and an even better way to end it. Mother nature, however, was hard at work in the background, enacting plans to make sure those blossoming trees had ample water- a plan she would put into full action about the time I began my homeward jaunt. As a steady stream of water trickled from my interior rearview mirror, as though a water faucet had been left on, it occurred to me that a bikini top was probably a well-chosen name for a product that basically guarantees that you are going to get wet. My thoughts then shifted to relative gravity of the situation that unfolded around me as my vehicles entire interior electrical system was being exposed to the one element of nature that it has the least in common with. All these years I spent avoiding the urge to use the hair dryer while lying in the bathtub were all for naught, as I was most certainly about to perish in a freak electrical fire.

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The most redeeming part of the Jeep baptism is probably the impression it makes on those around you that get to witness the event. The look of complete and total pity expressed on the faces of onlookers as they watch you brave the torrential floods must be seen to be believed. A look that could only be outdone by the shock and dismay that their faces would reveal, if they only knew that you were having a blast! I recall on one occasion a fellow in a black luxury sport sedan who pulled up next to me in one such monsoon, partially rolled down his window and made a verbal gesture of his compassion for my plight. “Bad day to own a Jeep! Ain’t it?” he said, to which I replied “No… Thursdays are as good as any day.”

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Of course, there is a flip-side to that coin. Every rose has its thorns; or at least that is the rumor I’ve heard relayed in a song. When it comes to having fun while in a Jeep, water is clearly the magical multiplier. Whether it’s a wide water crossing that runs up to your rocker panels, skirting a majestic waterfall on an isolated backwoods trail or adding equal sums of dirt and water together to make mud- the end result is always the same. Everything you do in a Jeep is “funner” when you add water, but be careful. When you are out wheeling and you add water, things can get really slick really fast! While I don’t mind an occasional struggle for traction, if your adventure has you on any sort of an incline, you will soon be unwillingly finding the shortest route down the mountain; bouncing off anything and everything that is in your path. While this still makes for vast amounts of fun, for those who value pretty painted sheet metal, this can be a real downer. For those Jeepers who are still sending the bank a monthly payment, it’s a downright unacceptable activity to use your Jeep to clear-cut forest land. For that reason, splashing through puddles is the recommended watersport until you have title in hand (with the top off, of course).

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So if you’re out in your topless Jeep and the dark clouds seem to conspire to rain on your parade, don’t despair. It’s just part of your baptism. Sit back, breathe in the air and enjoy it. Most importantly, try not to look too crazy. It’s a Jeep Thing! OlllllllO

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Weighing the Pros & Cons of Insanity

Over the years, I have come to realize that I do my best thinking at night. In that short period of time between lying down and actually falling asleep, I solve some of life’s largest quandaries. To be honest, what I consider to be “my best thinking” is probably substandard to most other people but, at least to me, it’s pure genius-level stuff.

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In stark comparison, I seldom if ever have a lucid thought when I first wake up. At the earliest hint of the first shrill tone from the alarm, my mind is prone to produce such mindless gibberish that I’m left wondering on what occasion I received a head injury. “Where’s the dog!?!!”…”Lefty Loosey” or even “Hello!”, as if answering a phone in my slumber, are some of the first things that come across my mind and therefore cross my lips in mornings earliest seconds. I’ve even been known to grasp desperately at a non-existent handrail, while still comatose, because my mind convinced me I was falling. Trust me…at night time, I am freaking brilliant!

I am currently deeply engaged in the planning of a cross country trek to Toledo, OH for the annual Toledo Jeep Fest in August. And this is not just any trek, but one taken in my 25 year old Jeep. As I laid in bed last night planning what mechanical tasks I needed to address this weekend in preparations for my voyage, it occurred to me that, amongst all the other pertinent planning, I needed to address how my Jeep was going to dress for the trip.

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If you have or have ever had a Jeep, you probably know what I mean. Anytime you take your Jeep out, you have to assess your itinerary and determine the best and most practical set-up for the occasion. If you have a hardtop, most of that decision making is pre-determined for you. Since my YJ is a soft top, I need to ask myself “Do I run the fastback soft top so I have my windows ready in waiting in case the weather goes south or do I roll the dice and don the more-risqué bikini top?” I decide that the fastback top would be the wisest choice and offer the most versatility. See! Nighttime-Me is ridiculously sharp. Isn’t he?

Then my mind progresses to the subject of doors. Do I mount up my half doors to the Jeep with a plan to then store the uppers in the rear cargo area when the weather permits or do I just leave home without any doors at all? I can even store the doors in the hotel room for short jaunts without doors. Or, do I drive half a dozen states away from my home with no means of protecting myself and my vehicles occupants from the elements during what might be one of the hottest Augusts in recent memory? Why, of course I do. Wait…what??

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I think if my wife was accompanying me on this trip, I would have to give the topic of going door-less for 1,300 miles some more intense thought. Bottom line is that I’m taking my teenage son and I love the open-air Jeep lifestyle as much or maybe more than anyone. Face it! I’m never gonna be able to tell my son about walking to school, ten miles each way, uphill in the snow. I need him to remember that time we drove across the country in a Jeep for no reason other than we could. And, worse yet, we wanted to! My exhausted and heavy-eyed self could not pose a single counterpoint as to why I would complete this trip in anything other than true Jeep fashion. Limited top and no doors!

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I hope, beg and pray that you will follow me along my journey beginning on August 8th, 2018 as we make our way to Toledo, the birthplace of Jeep. We’ll be posting pictures from the road and sharing the experience on our Rugged Ridge Facebook page and at YourJeepYourAdventure.com . We hope to see you then! OlllllllO

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How Old Is Your Jeep In Dog Years?

It’s pretty common knowledge that a dog ages quicker than people do. What is also commonly perceived is that one year for a dog is the equivalent to seven human years, which is a bit of a misconception. The very first year a canine is alive, it undergoes significant development and actually matures at a rate equivalent to 15 human years. The following second year of life, the dog ages around 12 years and declines a little each year thereafter. I guess the seven years is a bit of a mean average across a dogs suspected lifespan.

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I think that Jeeps, in general, have a somewhat similar aging pattern to that of a dog, but in reverse. The first year on the road for a new Jeep is equivalent to an actual year, taking for granted that the proper maintenance program is upheld and the mileage is kept to a civil rate. The new Jeep maintains its year-for-year rate of aging for the first few years of its life; until the day the Jeep owner’s curiosity for the unknown has them wandering away from the pavement and searching to discover a little more about their vehicles capabilities. On that day, the clock is quickened to double its original pace. Whether in the first year or the fifth, the Jeep begins to age at a rate of two years per year, once it has adopted the tendency for off-road driving habits.

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As the vehicle ages and compiles mileage, the wear and tear on the frame, chassis and mechanical components begins to compound. By the time the vehicle has reached 100,000 miles, or seven calendar years old, its rate of aging is around 3 years per year. That’s six years per if you’re busy climbing rock ledges or straddling crevasses on a regular basis. At this point, you’ll find yourself performing repairs at almost every turn. This aggressive schedule of addressing issues as they appear is the only thing that stabilizes your Jeeps rapid pattern of mechanical decline. Short of a complete overhaul and major rebuild, your Jeep will continue to age at a rate of 3 to 6 years for every New Year that passes, until that day when its fate is finally sealed.

My personal Jeep is a 1993 model which I bought in 2007. The first 14 years of its life, it was kept almost entirely stock and was fitted with highway tires that would turn utterly useless in the mud. It had compiled some 120,000 miles on the clock in its first dozen or so years. The 11 years that I have owned it, the old YJ has been plagued with massive tires, lift kits, heavy bumpers and tons of less-than-ideal driving conditions while enrolled in an extensive program of perpetual upgrade. By my calculations, my Jeep would be roughly 60 years old in dog years, and that’s if I grade on the curve. 60…That’s a pretty startling number when you stop and think about it; bottom line and best case scenario, it’s truly 25 years old on a regular Gregorian calendar making it an antique in the states opinion. Maybe sixty is not that outlandish…

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So for my YJ’s true 25th birthday, I am going to defy the odds, throw the proverbial caution to the wind and embark on a trek to the place it was born, Toledo, Ohio, and attend the Toledo Jeep Fest in August. In careful consideration for its propsed 60 years of age and the 1,400 grueling miles that lie ahead of it, I am undertaking massive amounts of maintenance on the old Wrangler in preparation for hours of driving at highway speeds. This includes touching virtually every suspension component to validate its integrity, replacing aging seals and bearings, renewing fluids and lubricants; maybe even a few cosmetic upgrades will be in order so my baby doesn’t necessarily look like an over-the-hill has-been. I’ve been around cars long enough to know that, even with the best of preparations in place, the likelihood of some level of catastrophe occurring is pretty favorable. With such impending doom, it’s understandable that I simply can’t wait…

To help document my voyage, we’ll be posting pictures from the road featuring sights and scenery from our travels and blogging a bit about the experience as we go. I am very hopeful that none of the coverage will feature dripping fluids, shredded tire carcasses or billowing plumes of smoke or steam. That seems about as likely as taking a trip to the zoo and hoping to not smell any unpleasantries…or you could say, pretty darn unlikely.

Our trip will begin on Wednesday, August 8th and we’ll share all the fun from the Toledo Jeep Fest when we arrive on Friday, August 10th and through the entire weekend. Make sure to follow the adventure on the Rugged Ridge Facebook page as well as at yourjeepyouradventure.com . We hope you can follow along! OlllllllO

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Rugged Ridge announces release of new Spartan line of Bumpers for 2007-2018 Wrangler JK/JKU

Tough, Trail-Ready Bumper Designs for Budget-Minded JK Enthusiasts

Suwanee, Ga. (April 17, 2018) – Rugged Ridge®, a leading manufacturer of high-quality Jeep®, truck and off-road parts and accessories, today announced the release of its new Spartan line of Front and Rear Bumpers for 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK / JKU models.

The new Spartan Front and Rear Bumpers were designed to give JK owners an affordable alternative to today’s typical off-road bumpers by offering attractive styling and high-quality components that won’t break the bank.

Rugged Ridge’s Spartan line of off-road bumpers offer a variety of styles to suit any taste and budget. Photo Credit: Rugged Ridge

Rugged Ridge’s Spartan line of off-road bumpers offer a variety of styles to suit any taste and budget.
Photo Credit: Rugged Ridge

Rugged Ridge Spartan Bumpers are assembled using high-strength steel plate featuring fold and weld construction, and are then finished with a rich black textured powder coat to protect from hazards regardless where the trail leads.

The Rugged Ridge Spartan bumpers are direct bolt-on replacements for stock JK bumpers, engineered to provide a uniform fitment and trouble-free installation. They also utilize the factory JK fog lights in the design to minimize the expense of a pricey lighting upgrade.

There are several Spartan front bumper variations available to suit a range of individual tastes, including models with standard ends or with a more muscular high-clearance end for an off-road oriented look. Each bumper can be fitted with an off-road winch using the included winch plate or can be accented with an optional over rider.

Each Rugged Ridge Spartan Bumper utilizes a pair of D-ring mounting plates and includes all necessary installation hardware as well as detailed instructions for the do-it-yourself enthusiasts.

The Rugged Ridge Spartan line of bumpers is backed by an industry leading five-year limited warranty and is available online and through select Jeep® and off-road parts and accessories retailers nationwide with an MSRP starting at 399.99.

For more information about the new Spartan line of front and rear bumpers, 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 770-614-6101 or visit www.RuggedRidge.com.

Part Number Description MSRP
11548.01 Spartan Front Bumper, HCE, W/Overrider, 07-18 JK $533.99
11548.02 Spartan Front Bumper, SE, W/Overrider, 07-18 JK $466.99
11548.03 Spartan Front Bumper, SE, W/O Overrider, 07-18 JK $399.99
11548.04 Spartan Front Bumper, Overrider, 07-18 JK $106.99

Rugged Ridge releases new Adjustable Rear Track Bar and Relocation Bracket for 2007-2018 Wrangler JK

Two Options Offered to Maintain Differential Alignment in Lifted Jeeps

Suwanee, Ga. (February 6, 2018) – Rugged Ridge®, a leading manufacturer of high-quality Jeep®, truck and off-road parts and accessories, today announced the release of both a new Adjustable Rear Track Bar as well as a Rear Track Bar Relocation Bracket for 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK / JKU models.

Engineered to effectively address issues with differential alignment in vehicles with suspension lifts installed, the Rugged Ridge Adjustable Rear Track Bar gives JK enthusiasts the ability to adjust the rear track bar length to compensate for suspension lifts ranging from two and a half to five inches.

Constructed of high strength forged steel to stand up to the rigors of off-road use, each Adjustable Track Bar features a durable black powder coated finish and urethane bushings for improved control and stability on the road with an extremely robust adjustment sleeve for greater versatility.

Rugged Ridge Rear Track Bar Relocation Bracket restores proper track bar positioning on lifted JK Wranglers. Photo Credit: Rugged Ridge

Rugged Ridge Rear Track Bar Relocation Bracket restores proper track bar positioning on lifted JK Wranglers.
Photo Credit: Rugged Ridge

Additionally, Rugged Ridge has released a Rear Track Bar Relocation Bracket designed to accurately reposition the factory JK rear track bar to help restore proper wheel tracking on lifted JK Wranglers. Built from four-millimeter-thick plate steel and beautifully powdercoated to resist corrosion, each bracket is precision formed for ease of install on the 2007-2018 Wrangler JK with two positions for a tailored fitment.

The Rugged Ridge Adjustable Rear Track Bar and Rear Track Bar Relocation Bracket are backed by Rugged Ridge’s industry-leading five-year limited warranty and are available online and through select Jeep and off-road parts and accessories retailers.

For more information about Rugged Ridge Adjustable Track Bar and Bracket, or its complete line of high-quality Jeep and off-road products, or to find an approved retailer, please contact Rugged Ridge at 770-614-6101 or visit www.RuggedRidge.com.

Part Number Description MSRP
18303.81 Rear Track Bar Relocation Bracket, 07-18 Wrangler JK $106.99
18305.06 Rear, Track Bar, Adjustable, 07-18 JK/JKU $249.99

Rugged Ridge announces new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL exterior accessories

Stylish Aluminum Wheels and Spartacus Bumper Top the List of Newly Available Accents for the 2018 Jeep Wrangler

Suwanee, Ga. (February XX, 2018) – Rugged Ridge®, a leading manufacturer of high-quality Jeep®, truck and off-road parts and accessories, today announced the release of several new products for fitment on the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL models.

The Rugged Ridge® SpartacusTM Front Bumper patented design offers the most advanced styling on the market. Utilizing a state-of-the-art steel stamping process creates a bumper that is lighter than most aftermarket steel bumpers. The bumper also allows the owner to retain the factory fog lights and tow hooks for a clean look and seamless installation.

Rugged Ridge Spartacus Front Bumper, XHD Aluminum Hood Catches and massive 20 x 9” Drakon Wheels give the new ’18 Wrangler JL an updated appearance. Photo Credit: Rugged Ridge

Rugged Ridge Spartacus Front Bumper, XHD Aluminum Hood Catches and massive 20 x 9” Drakon Wheels give the new ’18 Wrangler JL an updated appearance.
Photo Credit: Rugged Ridge

The XHD Aluminum Hood Catches are one of the simplest upgrades available for the new Wrangler JL. Constructed from high-quality cast aluminum and engineered with an adjustable torsion rod for an exact fit on every Jeep. The latches add muscular accents and provide a functional upgrade over the factory latches. They are now available in Black, Silver or Textured Black powder coat finishes.

Rugged Ridge’s 17” x 9” Jesse Spade Wheels hub-centric design delivers performance-oriented styling with a factory fitment. The wheels features a hub-centric design and an exclusive valve stem pocket that protects from potential off-road damage. Available in Black Satin and Gun Metal Satin finishes to ensure these wheels work with any color scheme.

The Rugged Ridge 20” x 9” Drakon Wheel is crafted for those who desire the improved appearance and performance benefits achieved by using plus-size wheel packages. Built from lightweight cast aluminum alloy and designed with a unique beveled spoke face with oval recesses gives the Drakon wheel a stunning visual appeal. Also available in Black Satin and Gun Metal Satin finishes.

Last but not least, the Elite Antenna Base allows JL owners to modernize the appearance of one of the most overlooked parts of their Jeep. Featuring high-quality cast aluminum construction and a distinctive gear-like design for a truly rugged look. Available in either black or red powder coat finishes, or a raw aluminum paintable finish.

Rugged Ridge’s exterior accessories for Wrangler JL 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 line of accessories for the Wrangler JL or any of Rugged Ridge’s complete line of high-quality Jeep and off-road parts, or to find and authorized retailer, please contact Rugged Ridge at 770-614-6101 or visit www.RuggedRidge.com.

Part Number Description MSRP
11544.21 Spartacus Front Bumper, Black, 2018 Wranlger JL $933.99
11210.21 Hood Catches, Black, 2018 Wrangler JL $133.99
11210.27 Hood Catches, Textured Black, 2018 Wrangler JL $133.99
11116.21 Hood Catches, Silver, 2018 Wrangler JL $133.99
15303.90 Jesse Spade Wheel, 17×9, Black Satin, JK/JL $399.99
15303.92 Jesse Spade Wheel, 17×9, Satin Gun Metal, JK/JL $399.99
15304.01 Drakon Wheel, 20×9, Black Satin, 07-18 Wrangler JK/JL $586.99
15304.30 Drakon Wheel, 20×9, Gun Metal, 07-18 Wrangler JK/JL $586.99
17212.13 Elite Antenna Base, Black, 07/18 Wrangler JK/JL $26.99
17212.14 Elite Antenna Base, Red, 07/18 Wrangler JK/JL $26.99
17212.15 Elite Antenna Base, Raw, 07/18 Wrangler JK/JL $26.99

Rugged Ridge announces the addition of new Elite Ballistic Heated Seat Covers for 2007-2018 Wrangler JK

Durable Tactical-Styled Seat Covers Equipped for Cold Weather Comfort

Suwanee, Ga. ( January 23, 2018 ) – Rugged Ridge®, a leading manufacturer of high-quality Jeep®, truck and off-road accessories, today announced the addition of new Elite Ballistic Heated Seat Covers for 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK / JKU models.

Constructed of a resilient 1,200 denier polyester material in a tough ballistic weave, the Rugged Ridge Elite Ballistic Heated Seat Covers are fitted internally with dual-zone heating elements located in the seat bottom and backrest to provide welcome warmth on chilly winter mornings.

Each Elite Ballistic Heated Seat Cover is engineered to deliver unparalleled longevity and protection. Designed specifically for 2007-2018 Wrangler JK, the seat covers install easily and fit securely over the factory seats. A simple two-wire installation is made possible by three position control switches built into the seat covers, so cutting or mounting switches onto the dashboard is not required.

Rugged Ridge’s Elite Ballistic Heated Seat Covers are backed by an industry-leading five-year limited warranty and are available online from select Jeep and off-road parts and accessories retailers nationwide with an MSRP of $439.99.
For more information about the Elite Ballistic Heated Seat Covers and 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 www.RuggedRidge.com.

Part Number Description MSRP
Elite Ballistic Heated Seat Covers, Front, 07-10 JK $439.99
Elite Ballistic Heated Seat Covers, Front, 11-17 JK $439.99