We love new 4x goodies. No matter if it's a camouflage dash mat or a state-of-the-art data logging tuner, if it looks cool, works well, and is within our budget, we want it! While in these challenging fiscal times we have to watch where we spend our dough, sometimes we simply have to cut loose and get a 4x upgrade for your wheeling machine. Though you may need to hold off on that Hemi conversion for now, an inexpensive air intake or basic Hi-Lift jack mount can be all you need to keep your needs satisfied and wants at bay.
Compiled here are some of the latest easy-to-use and -install items that are great for almost every wheeler's budget. So start cutting cost and grab a few extra cans of beanie weenies and hot dogs at the store, because you now have something new to save up for!
Overkill Engineering has added the McGrumpy Bumper for the Jeep CJ to its line of Grumpy Bumpers. Overkill also has a bumper line for the Jeep YJ, TJ, and JK, the Toyota FJ Cruiser, and Dodge, Ford and Chevy trucks.
The McGrumpy base bumper comes without hoops or a stinger so it's a great platform for a builder bumper. The bumper is constructed with 1/8-inch steel and has a fairlead mount, and D-ring mounts are available. Grumpy Bumpers start at $399.
Information: Overkill Eng., 877.225.0243, www.overkilleng.com
Hi-Lift jacks are one of the most versatile tools you can have in your 4x4. But jacking your rig off road can be a little sketchy with the Hi-Lift's narrow base and lift foot. To make your Hi-Lifting experience a little safer, WabFab Off-Road has created a wide base and tube slider adapter for all models of Hi-Lift. This extrawide replacement base bolts in place of the jack's existing one and uses heavy-duty claws to dig into the terra while you jack.
The tubing adapter simply slides over and bolts to your existing lift foot and is available in tubing diameters of either 13/4 inches and under or 13/4 and over.
Information: WabFab Off-Road, 205.799.5610, www.wabfab.org; $110 for recovery kit (slider adapter and base) or $60 each
Engines like to breathe to make power, and what they like the most is clean air, a lot of air, and dense cold air. Banks Power's new Ram-Air intake for diesel trucks promises all three by using an enclosed system that sucks cold air from outside the truck in through a high-flowing air filter.
Stock air intakes are good because they often have a snorkel pulling air from outside the engine compartment, but they leave room for improvement in airflow. Banks' competitors often pull large amounts of air from under the hood, where the air is warmed by the same engine it's trying to feed. That warmer air isn't as dense.
Banks designed a system similar to stock, but with fewer hurtles and turbulence for the air charge to jump over, around, and through. This type of system adds cost, as it must include a free -flowing air box and a filter that must be molded to fit in the engine bay around items like batteries, wiring, and so on, but in the end Banks claims a 60.8 percent improvement in airflow over stock, and a 3 percent improvement in air density over stock. While the competition may be able to match Banks with airflow, the fact that Banks is flowing colder, denser air means its design surpass the competition.
Information: Banks Power, 800.510.5046, www.bankspower.com
The Banks Power Ram Air Kit for Ford Super Duty 7.3L diesel engines ('99-'03) is not cheap at around $450, but it comes with more than just an intake tube and a filter. The fully molded air box replaces the factory air box and battery tray, plus the easily serviceable intake is California emissions compliant.
The Ram Air pulls fresh, dense air from behind the grille much the same way the factory air box does, but the Ram Air's high-flow filter and freer-flowing intake route can pack a big dense punch of high-octane air to the waiting turbodiesel.
Lokar Locking Flexible Dipstick
Who would have thought a dipstick could be drastically improved? The flexible locking engine dipsticks from Lokar are a really trick component and designed to keep oil in its rightful place even in a rollover. The billet aluminum handle locks similarly to that of an air chuck, and the sticks are easy to install. Their slim design also allows mounting them inside headers and makes them great for custom applications. Applications are available for GM, Ford, and Chrysler. Included is an E-Z Read flexible inner dipstick measuring cable for accurate measuring of engine oil. The dipsticks can be had for under $90.
Information: Lokar, 877.469.7440, www.lokar.com