4X4 Australia was at SEMA as part of the Global Media Awards program, where media representatives from around the globe are asked to choose 10 products from the New Products Showcase that would do well in their respective markets. The showcase contained more than 2500 new products, so it was an all-day job to go through them and choose our favourites. Here’s what we picked:
BUBBA ROPE ROCK-N-ROLL RECOVERY KIT
JUST like your usual recovery kit, but instead of a snatch strap it includes Bubba Rope’s kinetic energy recovery rope, and in lieu of metal shackles it has a pair of the Gator Jaw synthetic soft shackles. This kit isn’t cheap at US$419, but it’s full of US-made products that are innovative and of high quality.
Website: Bubba Rope
THE GRABBER FROM BUBBA ROPE
ONE of those clever little inventions that make you wonder why didn’t you think of it. The Grabber simply holds the last few rolls of winch rope to the winch drum to ensure you never roll it all the way out. Folks have probably been making their own similar items, but Bubba Rope has brought it to the market.
Website: Bubba Rope
PROLINK EXPERT FROM FACTOR 55
THE latest winch thimble from Factor 55, the ProLink Expert features a bigger opening in the head to allow either the shackle pin or the bow to be fitted through. Like other Factor 55 ProLinks, the Expert is made from hard anodised Aerospace billet aluminium and features convenient titanium shear pin installation and rubber guard to protect the front of the fairlead.
Website: Factor 55
TOW-PRO ELITE FROM REDARC ELECTRONICS
THIS is a great example of an Australian product taking on the global market. Aussies are familiar with Redarc’s electric brake controllers, but here is the brand’s premier product that is suitable for vehicles towing trailers fitted with electric brakes. The compact, remote head of the Tow Pro Elite ensures it can be fitted to all manner of vehicles, no matter what side the steering wheel is on.
Website: Redarc Electronics
FAST FID FROM FACTOR 55
ANOTHER clever but simple product that comes from something folks have been cobbling together themselves for years but is now a commercial product. No more stealing nanna’s knitting needles with the Fast Fid ready to help you with your synth rope with splicing and repairs.
Website: Factor 55
DYNATRAC DYNALOC 40-SPLINE LOCKING HUB
DYNATRAC is well-known for its heavy duty axle upgrades, including its ProRock 44, 60 and 80 replacement axle assemblies. Those upgrading to the heavier duty assemblies often select 40-spline axle shafts, and now Dynatrac has introduced its DynaLoc 40-spline hubs for the front end. These American-made hubs claim to be up to three times stronger than any others on the market and work with Dynatrac’s 40-spline chrome-moly axles and exclusive 40-spline ARB Air Lockers to deliver the ultimate in strength.
BILSTEIN USA had a number of great offerings at SEMA, including its new adjustable coil-over suspensions for the Toyota Tacoma and Chevy Colorado, both of which should transfer to the Australian-equivalent utes without too much trouble. Bilstein did an epic off-road R&D trip to Las Vegas and displayed its vehicles covered in mud at the show. With Bilstein Australia looking to expand its off-road offerings, we will be keen to see what they come up with for our popular 4x4s.
Website: Bilstein US
CARRICHS ACCESSORIES TABLET DASH KIT
SOMETHING a bit different but certainly a valuable accessory, the Tablet Dash Kit from Carrichs is a moulded pod to mount your iPad or other tablet device to the dash of your vehicle. No more windscreen mounts, the Carrichs pod puts your tablet up high where it’s easy to read for navigation or whatever other apps you use in your 4x4. Set to be available early in 2017 and initially for the JK Wrangler, more models are expected throughout the year.
Website: Carrichs Automotive Accessories
LS V12 ENGINE
OKAY, so this one is a bit self-indulgent and may not be the first engine swap a 4x4er goes for. But it’s the work of a couple of Aussie mad professors who chopped up a pair of General Motors LS V8 engines and melded them together to create a V12. They’ve now cast a bespoke engine block and heads for the creation, and turn-key engines are available for around $40,000. We’d love to see one nestled in the nose of an FJ55 sleeper.
AMERICAN TRAIL PRODUCTS’ JEEP JK WRANGLER BILLET GRAB HANDLES
ADD some bling to your Jeep with these beautifully made billet grab handles. They don’t just look good but mount solidly to give you something to hang on to when climbing aboard or bouncing along the tracks.
Check out the product vid from SEMA here.