5 Steps to Keeping Your Cool When Things Get HOT

1Every year, about this time, our vehicles undergo a transition of tremendous proportions. After braving several consecutive months of frigid temperatures, we now find ourselves basking in the cool pleasantness that Spring always brings. While this seasonal shift seems to provide us with a much needed period of repose, it’s important that we shift our focus to the relentless summer heat that surely lies in our not-too-distant future. Taking the proper steps to insure that your Jeep is ready to deal with the inevitable onset of grueling temperatures is crucial to surviving the summer season unscathed. Choose to ignore the obvious threat on the horizon and your rig may just make this summer one you will occupy your every thought, but not in a good way like a beach vacation or a hammock under a shade tree. Here are an even handful of easy pointers to help you get prepared for some primetime Jeepin’ weather:

  1. The most important element to keeping your vehicle running cool is….the cooling system! While this seems to be a bit of a ‘no-brainer’ statement, it bares being restated largely because the cooling system is often forgotten about unless the temp gauge tells you something is wrong or, worse yet, your radiator decides to evacuate the entire systems contents into a cloud of steam on the highway. Taking the time to drain the radiator and thoroughly flush the vehicles cooling system is a practice that should be observed religiously every 40,000 to 60,000 miles. If your vehicle is used heavily in off-road conditions, erring on the side of caution is definitely recommended.

    While performing this maintenance, take the time to clean the radiator and A/C condenser cores with a garden hose and a soft scrub brush to remove any buildup of dirt, bug shrapnel and debris that may have formed inside the fins. Any improvement in the amount of air flow through the core will help with heat transfer later. It’s also important to note that any vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission will likely have an internal transmission cooler built into the radiator assembly.Properly maintaining the tranny with the proper ATF fluid levels and a clean filter will result in a cooler running transmission and will lessen the cooling burdens for your radiator.

    After your system has been flushed out, make sure radiator is refilled to the manufacturers recommended capacity with a proper 50/50 mixture of coolant and distilled water to insure the best cooling performance. Never use only antifreeze/coolant or only water when you refill the system as they lack the stability to perform independently of each other in such a wide temperature range. Using tap water in the mixture is not advised as it is filled with minerals and contaminants that will calcify inside your engine and will undoubtedly damage your cooling system over time, causing inefficient operation and premature failure.

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  2. Check the condition of your cooling system hoses for signs of wear and poor structural integrity. Be sure to check the entire length of the upper and lower radiator hose for cracks, abrasions or for noticeable swelling, as any of these could be a sign of a potential failure. It’s a good idea to squeeze the hose firmly in your hand while the engine is still warm. A hose that is in good physical condition will feel firm but never hard like a baseball bat. A hose that is in need of replacement will feel soft, spongy or like it is easily misshapen, particularly around bends in the hose. Any sign of these conditions should result in a replacement hose being installed before the need is escalated by a complete hose failure. Remember to perform the same sort of inspection on your vehicles heater hoses which are a smaller diameter and should enter the firewall in close proximity to each other on the passenger side of the engine.3
  3. Part of your cooling systems effectiveness can be determined by the condition of your engines drive belts. A V-groove or ribbed serpentine belt that has become worn or stretched due to age may not do a sufficient job of driving a mechanical fan which will reduce the amount of air that is pulled through the radiator. A visual inspection of the engines belts for signs of excessive wear, as well as an observation that the belt is under adequate tension, can aid in a properly operating cooling system Any drive belt that is in less than ideal condition should be replaced immediately and not expected to continue to perform miracles at 3,000 rotations per minute.4
  4. Mind your lubricants! Seeing as friction is as efficient at creating heat as it is at reducing efficiency, the task of reducing said friction can be a vital element to keeping a cool running engine. While utilizing a quality full synthetic oil will give you a more stable temperature range in the summer months, just making sure your engine is properly filled with good, clean motor oil that is properly filtered can make a noticeable difference in overall engine operating temperatures and can even help with your fuel economy. While you’re at it, a fresh air cleaner element can’t hurt and don’t forget to check the levels on transmissions, transfer cases and differentials, too! Less resistance makes your engines job of propelling you down the road a whole lot easier.5
  5. Lastly, check all your tires for proper air pressure levels as well as inspect the tread for any signs of improper tread wear. While a flat tire won’t make your engine overheat, changing a flat tire in July on the side of crowded highway is the farthest thing from keeping cool. Summer heat can push rubber tires to their limits so making sure that they are up to the task can keep you safe and out of harm’s way. Tire pressure should be checked, if at all possible, before your trip as tire pressures will increase as the tire heats up on even a short trip in warm weather. Therefore, an under-inflated tire that has been driven on for any period of time may appear to be properly inflated.

While these tips are far from being a comprehensive maintenance regiment, they represent a concise and simple plan that you can implement to help guard your Jeep from the hazards that a long, hot summer can pose. Whether it be a new radiator, radiator hoses or just a new bikini top to keep the sun off your head, Omix-ADA / Rugged Ridge has the replacement parts and must-have accessories you need to keep your Jeep dream alive. Check us out at www.omix-ada.com and www.ruggedridge,com and we hope to see you out there rolling down the road and not parked on the side of it! OlllllllO65

April 2017 Monthly Update

LED Brake Light Ring

Add a unique flare to your Jeep with our LED Brake Light Ring. It enhances visibility while your on the road while adding a cool factor with the torch-red LED’s. Designed to work with various rim diameters from 15 to 20-inches on Jeep CJ / YJ / TJ and JK models having either a 5 lug bolt patterns with 4.5, 5 or 5.5” spacing. Made with waterproof connectors to withstand the elements for consistent all-weather performance.

Part Number Description Price
11585.04 Accessory Brake Light LED Ring $93.99

Trek5 Aluminum Hub-Centric Wheel

Switch up the look of your 2014-2017 Jeep Renegade with our Trek5 Wheels. Made with aluminum alloy to be light weight and a one piece construction merge for a flawless design. The rims hub-centric design delivers a factory- quality tment that meets or exceeds all SAE J2530 standards for safety. (Includes center cap)

Part Number Description Price
15307.01 5 Spoke, Black, Aluminum Wheel, 14-17 Jeep Renegade BU $213.99

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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL-An Exercise in Patience

Like children tucked away in their beds on Christmas Eve awaiting Santa’s arrival, the collective Jeep community waits with sparse patience for the long-awaited arrival of the new Jeep Wrangler JL. We have been teased, tempted and taunted with spy photos, artist’s renderings and our own biased suspicions of what the future holds for our beloved Jeep, and yet we still find ourselves indefinitely awaiting the day when the present is finally under the tree, ready to be opened. Until then, all we can do is speculate as to what the future holds for the Wrangler platform.

Certainly not everything you read on the internet can be taken as truth; I’m pretty sure that there is photographic evidence proving, not only, the existence of Bigfoot but that he had considerable hand in rigging our nation’s recent elections. For that reason, we have to take the evidence that we see and hear from various media sources online with ‘a grain of salt’. Essentially, just because one off-road forum stated that the new Wrangler JL will feature full-time AWD does not make it so. jlOne thing that we do know, with a great deal of certainty, is that the engineers at Jeep have labored tirelessly to make the new JL more fuel efficient than it has ever been before. That, alone, is a great cause for celebration. With current JK owners experiencing lackluster fuel economy on even bone stock models, a trend towards better fuel consumption balanced with performance would be welcomed. What that means in terms of design is that we are likely going to see an increase in the ‘rake’ of the windshield allowing it to carve through the wind rather than slam into it. This reduction in wind resistance will ultimately result in better MPG numbers at the pump but will most likely come at the expense of the iconic folding windshield. While this seems like Jeep is callously parting ways with a long-standing styling tradition, I feel it is a fair trade-off in that the benefits gained far outweigh the under-appreciated ability to fold the windscreen forward and flat to the hood, if the mood were to strike you- a feature that I would dare to say goes vastly unused in today’s society.

The area of discussions about Jeeps design of the new JL that is arguably the most heated is in regards to the top, whether it will be a soft or hard top and if it will preserve the Jeeps heritage of providing its owner with a true open-air driving experience. While I am a firm believer in the rule that real Jeeps don’t have tops (or doors for that matter), the Jeep Wrangler JK has changed the establishments thinking on this premise. With many JK owners opting for a more expensive hardtop, the target demographic has seemingly chosen the year-round convenience and security of a fixed roof and removable doors as an acceptable compromise to noisy soft tops and the cumbersome hardware they entail. With this in mind, much of the buzz around the new JL eludes to a modular fixed roof structure with a three removable sections- one over the front seats, one over the rear seat jldiagramand one over the cargo area for greater versatility. This concept means that the roof rails that run horizontally from a-pillar to d-pillar would stay in place, thus doing away with the need for a separate sport bar. This would allow the JL to meet strict Federal Safety standards that have always plagued the Wrangler in rollover testing. What this means in regards to the plausibility of an upcoming soft top is unclear. Significant evidence exists in the US Patent office that German company responsible for the open roof system utilized in the Jeep Renegade have filed patent requests for a power-retracting soft top, similar to those used on the Fiat 500, built on an SUV platform with stationary roof rails unlike any previous Wranglers roof structure. Outside of such a retracting roof skin, I do think it is safe to say that any new soft top that might be offered would bear little resemblance to anything we’ve seen on prior Jeep models. With changes come new possibilities.

The JL stands to receive its motivation from a 3.6 Pentastar V6 engine with talk of a new 2.0 liter Hurricane Turbo 4 engine that produces in excess of 300 horsepower being introduced as an option- truly a drivetrain I would like to take on some rock ledges. Rumors of the distinct possibility that a diesel power plant will be offered are still being touted, if not shouted from Jeepers rooftops, with the existing 3.0 EcoDiesel used in the Ram 1500 trucks being the likely subject, a twist which could make a 30 MPG Wrangler a reality. An 8-speed ZF Automatic transmission will likely do the gear selection with the three additional gears improving the JL’s credentials in the quest for better fuel economy. A 6-speed manual gearbox may likely find its way between the hydro-formed steel frame rails to put the purists at ease, still sending the power to solid axles, front and rear, the way God intended. The likelihood of the JL being presented in an electric or Hybrid form is certainly possible but would appear to be fairly far out on the horizon due to numerous weight and space considerations.

With a considerable amount of uncertainty looming around the JL, it does seem as though the new flagship for the Jeep brand will maintain its overall “boxy” appearance and the legendary seven slot grille will remain in place, although it has been given a contour where it will slope rearward slightly towards the top of the vertical slats to match the longer fenders as they project forward of the grille. The JL will receive a treatment of trendy LED lighting from the factory as well as a few aluminum body components in the interest of weight reduction. Jeep promises to make the new JL a satisfying Go Anywhere / Do Anything vehicle that Jeep enthusiasts have grown to expect and love. Rest assured that we won’t rest easy until it’s here.

As for the JT (the new Wrangler in pickup form)…were saving that dream for next Christmas!

xmasjl

January 2017 Monthly Update

Steel Armor Fenders

Protect your Jeep’s body while adding a aggressive look with Rugged Ridge Steel Armor Fenders. Constructed of heavy-gauge 3 mm thick steel plate utilizing fold-and-weld techniques for integrity without compromise. Add strength and functionality to your Jeep with these fenders.

Part Number Description Price
11615.01 XHD Front Armor, Fenders, Pair, 07-17 Jeep Wrangler JK/JK Unlimited $933.99
11615.02 XHD Rear Armor Fenders, Pair, 4 Dr., 07-17 Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited $933.99

Elite Product Line

Add style to your Jeep with Rugged Ridge ELITE Series of exterior accessories. We’ve developed a full line of exterior accessories engineered and tested to set your JK apart. Each of our patented Elite designs ensure that you receive the top quality you demand from a genuine Rugged Ridge product at a reasonable price. Constructed of high-quality materials featuring a variety of exclusive premium finishes and machined accents, The ELITE line possesses a style unlike anything on the market today. Choose the best- choose the ELITE from: Tail Light Guard, Headlight Euro Guards, and Fuel Door Covers.

Part Number Description Price
11226.05 Elite Tail Light Guards, Pair, Black, 07-17 Jeep Wrangler JK $159.99
11226.04 Elite Tail Light Guards, Pair, Black and Brushed Aluminum, 07-17 Jeep Wrangler JK $173.99
11226.06 Elite Tail Light Guards, Pair, Red, 07-17 Jeep Wrangler JK $159.99
11226.07 Elite Tail Light Guards, Pair, Raw, 07-17 Jeep Wrangler JK $133.99
11230.12 Elite Headlight Euro Guards, Pair, Textured Black, 07-17 Jeep Wrangler JK/JK Unlimited $66.99
11230.15 Elite Headlight Euro Guards, Pair, Red, 07-17 Jeep Wrangler JK/JK Unlimited $66.99
11230.16 Elite Headlight Euro Guards, Pair, Raw, 07-17 Jeep Wrangler JK/JK Umlimited $69.99
11425.12 Elite Fuel Door, Non-Lock, Black, 07-17 Jeep Wrangler JK $113.99
11425.10 Elite Fuel Door $126.99

Recovery Kit With Mesh Bag

Be prepared and ready to go in case of any emergency while your off-road on the trails with Rugged Ridge Recovery Kit with Mesh Bag. Our kit includes a 30-foot kinetic recovery rope with a 7500 pound load limit that makes quick work of even the stickiest of situations, a 20,000 pound snatch block pulley, a 3-inch tree strap, a pair of 7/16-inch soft rope shackles, a high-visibility winch line dampener and a pair of rugged leather work gloves- all packed in a lightweight mesh recovery gear bag.

Part Number Description Price
15104.29 Premium Recovery Kit with Mesh Bag $293.99
15104.39 Recovery Gear Bag, Premium Mesh $47.99