Sunday, 8 November 2009

SEMA Show over for another year.

Well the SEMA show is over for another year, not bad but there were a lot of missing vendors, BFG were not there nor was Goodyear, and many of the others had a lot smaller booths then other years, a sign of the time I guess.

But the standard of the vehicles there was just as high as other years, some great Jeeps, some with some very trick suspension.

In the not too distance future there will be some new products available, so watch this space. Daystar will have some progressive bump stops out soon they are not be nitrogen charged but work on inserts but will be a third of the cost of the nitrogen items and unless your are out and out racing they will work very well.



Friday, 6 November 2009

Rugged Ridge New Products

Rugged Ridge are showing 2 new products at the SEMA show for the Jeep Wrangler JK.

The first is a handy back seat organiser/cooler that fits into the rear cup holder on the back of the JK centre consol.

Next windshield mount light bar for the JK


These will be available from FTE 4x4 Specialist's Ltd.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Big Disc Conversion for the Wrangler JK

A new product at the SEMA show is the big disc brake conversion by Teraflex. 13.3” diameter discs with twin piston caliper, oem style bolt-on caliper mount bracket. They will require a 17” rim.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

SEMA is up and running

Well looks like SEMA show this year is going to be good, had a wonder around the parking lot today and took a few photo’s you can see them on my site FTE 4x4 Specialist's Ltd. follow the link to SEMA Show.

Everyday I will be posting photo’s to my main site. Also any new products I see I will post here.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

SEMA 2009 is fast approaching.

The SEMA show is fast approaching, this is one of the largest aftermarket parts show for cars in the world, it has all the latest ideas, not just for Jeeps but most types of cars. I will be posting pictures to my FTE site from the show every night starting from the 3rd November, look for the SEMA 2009 logo on the home page.

SEMA 2009 is fast approaching.

The SEMA show is fast approaching, this is one of the largest aftermarket parts show for cars in the world, it has all the latest ideas, not just for Jeeps but most types of cars. I will be posting pictures to my FTE site from the show every night starting from the 3rd November, look for the SEMA 2009 logo on the home page.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Spot The Difference

Not all AX15 gearboxes are the same, the other day I was helping a friend to change the gearbox out of his 1998 TJ Wrangler, the box we were fitting was supplied by a local breakers, as a Wrangler TJ gearbox. Everything went smoothly till it was time to fit the transmission belly pan, on bolting up the belly pan to the chassis rails the transmission mount bolts were not protruding through the belly pan they were short by 10mm. At first we thought that we had left a socket or something on the belly pan and the mount was sitting on that, but no not that simple. It was the transfer case that was sitting on the belly pan. The gearbox was an AX15 but from a Cherokee not a Wrangler and for some reason the Cherokee transfer case is clocked differently. So when getting parts from the breakers always double check.


Notice the way the housing are drilled the one on the left is the Wrangler.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Rugged Ridge New Series of Winches


Rugged Ride have just launched there new range of winches, below is the highest spec unit loaded with synthetic rope, check out my web site for the others in the range.

Performance 10500 Winch with Synthetic Rope


Lightweight. Durable. Tough. Affordable. The Performance 10500 LB Winch from Rugged Ridge is everything you could want in a competition winch. It is driven by a durable 6.6 HP Series Wound motor for long life and extra pulling power. A tough 3 Stage Planetary Gear box with a 218:1 gear ratio delivers power and reliability on each and every pull. The Performance 10500 LB Winch has more power and exclusive features than any other winch in its price range: Stainless Steel Hardware- All the exterior winch body screws and bolts are Stainless steel to prevent rust and provide a long life. All Rugged Ridge synthetic rope style Winches include hawse fairlead. Special Solenoid mounting brackets allow for multiple solenoid mounting points and the ability to “tilt” the Solenoid for ease of use. This “tilt” feature ensures that each Rugged Ridge winch can be used with almost all off road bumpers and over riders! Limited 2 year warranty against manufacturing defects (1 Year on electrical). Each winch has been independently tested to ensure they meet or exceed all specifications.

Rugged Ridge Heavy Duty 10,500 LB Winch Features/Specifications
• Durable 6.6 HP Series Wound motor for long life and extra pulling power
• Tough 3 Stage Planetary Gear box with a 218:1 gear ratio
• Includes 94’ of 3/8” diameter synthetic rope and latched hook
• Constructed with Dyneema SK-75 from the Netherlands.
• 12-strand braid rope with a breaking force of 19,310lbs is lighter and stronger than steel
• Automatic load holding brake system (in the drum brake system)
• Includes hawse fairlead.
• Tough stainless hardware on the body of the winch to eliminate rust
• Each winch includes a durable 12’ all weather cable remote.


Available from FTE 4x4 Specialist’s Ltd.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Keeping it Cool

One question I get asked quite often do you sell the low temperature thermostats for the Wrangler TJ, well the answer is yes, but normally the Wrangler will run fine even on the hottest day without over heating. My first question to them is are you sure your radiator is clean, and the answer is of course it is! Well below are a couple of photo’s of a radiator I took out of a Wrangler when the owner gave me the answer “Of course the rad is clean but it is still running hot” I wonder why?

I had to lay the radiator down and soak it for an hour to soften the mud before I could wash it out with a hose.

When cleaning out the radiator be careful if you are using a high pressure jet wash as this can damage the fins on the radiator. It is best to wash out the radiator while the mud is still soft and use a hose.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Where to mount your Hi-Lift on your Wrangler JK

The Hi-Lift jack can be a very versatile bit of kit, but it is a little cumbersome to carry inside the vehicle, well Rugged Ridge have the answer if your have the new Wrangler JK.


The Off-Road jack mount allows you to carry your Off-Road jack on the outside of your vehicle, saving precious cargo space. Fast and easy bolt-on installation. Compatible with stock and most aftermarket rear bumpers (without tyre carriers) as well as the Rugged Ridge XHD rear bumper with or without tyre carrier. Bracket is sturdy and secures the jack in two locations to eliminate any vibration noise during vehicle operation. Durable textured finish looks great. Fits most Off-Road style jacks including Hi-Lift.

Available from FTE 4x4 Specialist's Ltd.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Rugged Ridge New HID Lights

Rugged Ridge HID Off Road Lights take off road lighting to the next level! 

The brilliance of High Intensity Discharge bulbs with the rugged construction of traditional halogen off road lights. The result is a more efficient and powerful beam better capable of illuminating the trail. HID lights are 2-1/2 times more powerful than halogen lights and draw 60% less current than a standard 100W driving light. The 6” and 5” HID Lights (Black & Stainless 6”, as well as Stainless 5”, coming soon) are constructed with heavy-duty stamped steel housings, and are available in corrosion resistant black or stainless steel finish. Rugged Ridge lights feature waterproof connections, internal ballast, and a reinforced multi-directional mounting base. The lights are available individually or in kits containing pre-terminated wiring harness, relay, impact resistant stone guards and illuminated dash switch. Studies have demonstrated drivers react faster and more accurately to obstacles with HID lighting rather than halogen ones. So, upgrade your lighting today!
• Internal ballast & Waterproof Connections.
• Draws 60% less current than a standard 100W driving light
• Reinforced multi-directional mounting base.
• 12V 35W 4200K HID Bulb has double the lifespan of a 100W halogen bulb.
• Kit includes pre-terminated wiring harness with relay & illuminated dash switch.


Above also a 7” HID from Rugged Ridge.

All available from FTE 4x4 Specialist's Ltd.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Some more power for the TJ, YJ, XJ, ZJ, JK


Want more horsepower, better throttle response, and improved acceleration? A
Rugged Ridge Air Intake System can boost your performance, while helping you keep extra cash in your wallet. Our polished aluminium mandrel bent intake tube replaces the restrictive factory air box to help improve fuel economy and performance. A black powder coated heat shield separates the filter from engine heat, dirt and debris, as cold air is drawn through a high-flow conical air filter. Unlike other reusable air filters, our dry panel design never needs oiling, which keeps your MAF from being damaged by excess oil! The simple bolt on installation gives you power you can feel, adding up to 10HP and 12ft lbs or torque, depending on application.
• Polished mandrel bent 6063 aluminium air intake tube.
• Simple no-drill installation bolts on using basic hand tools.
• Intake kit includes black powder coated heat shield.
• 97-06 4.0L TJ models include throttle body spacer.
• Improves fuel economy up to 10%.
• Adds up to 10HP and 12ft lbs or torque.**
• Includes a high-flow conical dry panel filter that never needs oiling.

** Depending on kit.


Thursday, 4 June 2009

How do you bend a set of Stock upper control arms

The stock front upper control arms on a TJ Wrangler are not one of the strongest components, but to bend a pair like this does take some doing.

Here is how, start by loading 4 people into your Wrangler and follow the directions below.

Thanks Adrian for the link to the video clip, 

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

How to improve steering damper clearance

Sorry for the long break in posting but work here at FTE has gone a little crazy and finding time in the last few months has been hard.

The steering damper on the Wrangler JK sits a little on the low side leaving it vulnerable to damage. A simple bracket supplied by Rubicon Express over comes this problem, and can be fitted in next to no time.


As you can see from the picture above the steering damper sits below the steering linkage.

With the new bracket fitted the steering damper now sits high out of harms way.

The bracket supplied by Rubicon Express is for LHD only, but FTE 4x4 Specialist's Ltd. will soon have these bracket available for RHD applications.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

When was the last time??

You checked your diff oils?

Simple task that can save you a lot of money, and warn you if any problems are starting to occur. The photo’s below show what can happen if you don’t, the problem was the axle seal was leaking but rather then checking under the vehicle after any off-road excursions to see if any damage had happened. (Not just axle seals) The guy kept on using the vehicle so every time it was driven into any water it was being forced into the diff housing, along with the grit & mud that was in the water, and over a period of time this is the end result.


As the diff cover was removed.

After washing out.

The end result was new bearing kit, and ring & pinion. The ARB was stripped & cleaned and was used again. A lot of money for the sake of an oil change!

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

TJ Rear Shocks Do They Clear

One item that is over looked when lifting and fitting a short shaft conversion on a Wrangler TJ is the clearance between the rear shock and the spring pad. As tilting the axle upwards to gain correct driveline angle rotates the shock closer to the spring pads. This may not affect the vehicle on the road but once off-road and the TJ starts to articulate you may end up with a bent rear shock.

This can be simply corrected by the use of Rubicon Express rear shock re-location brackets, a simple fit. Below are some pictures showing how they fit and the difference they can make. (The TJ they are being fitted too has a 4.5” lift with short shaft conversion fitted.)


Shock boot touching spring pad.

The Rubicon Express rear shock re-location brackets (fitting hardware included but not shown)

Re-location bracket bolted into place. (Second fixing on the rear not visible in picture)


Shock is moved away from the spring pad.

The brackets are available from FTE 4x4 Specialist's Ltd.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Know what you are buying!!!

Recently I have had a guy bring a Wrangler to me to see if I could sort out a few problems he has with it. He had driven 4x4’s before but not Wranglers so did not know that much about them, and bought this particular vehicle on recommendation. It is a shame that he did not take someone with him that had knowledge of this particular make of vehicle, as he might have got it at a cheaper price or even walked away from it.

From first look as it was taken of the flat bed that delivered to me, I could see the front axle was out of alignment by at least 3”, the back was out by a couple of inches. On starting it and driving it onto the ramp I could hear all sorts of mechanical noises from the driveline.

These are problems that should have been easily spotted, by someone that had a little knowledge about this brand of vehicle. As it is, it’s now going to cost a fair amount of money to put these problems plus a few more I have found right.

So if you are not sure then ask someone to go with you and get them to cast there eye over it, it could save you a lot of money.

Monday, 2 March 2009

JK Wrangler Lower Control Arm Skid Plates

These easy to install skid plates will protect your control arms. Constructed of durable 3/16” black powder coated steel, these skid plates will help prevent getting get hung up on rocks and other trail obstacles. Simply unbolt your control arm at the axle and slide this skid plate in place. Sold as a pair.

Installation Instructions pdf(3.7mb)

Available from FTE 4x4 Specialist’s Ltd

Friday, 27 February 2009

Dunlop Rover M/T Maxx Traction

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. New Dunlop Rover M/T Maxx Traction on/off-road tyre for light truck and SUV applications.

"Initially available in 17 popular sizes from a 305/70R16 to a 37x13.50R22, the Rover M/T Maxx Traction features centre traction lugs for excellent start-up and braking traction in sand, dirt, wet and winter conditions, along with self-cleaning channels that help expel mud and debris," say Goodyear officials.

Off-road traction is helped by the presence of an interlocking centreline and zig-zag stripes. The tyre also contains a rim flange protector and sidewall edge elements "to create a strong off-road appearance while enhancing both off-road traction and on-road ride."


So is this the long awaited replacement for the old BFG Trac-Edge, lets hope so.

The Rover M/T Maxx Traction is expected to be available in February 2009.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Just for the lack of grease

Lately I have had a few Jeeps come in with some rather server drive line problems all for the lack of grease! It is one of the simplest forms of maintance and probably one of the cheapest. Factory propshafts do not have grease nipples, but most aftermarket items do, and when replacing worn out UJ’s if fitting Spicer items then these will be greaseable.


A lot of the UJ’s fitted on short shaft conversions on the rear of Wrangler’s and Cherokee’s have a double UJ joint near the transfer box and these are fitted with flush fitting grease nipples. To grease these you will require a needle adapter.

So for the cost of a grease gun, grease and a needle adapter, you can save a lot of money.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

A UJ that should last the test of time ...USA Alloy X-Joint

Cold Forged-Serviceable

  • Serviceable grease nipples at each cap allows you to flush grime and fill with grease to ensure that your X-Joint will last for when you need them.
  • Dependable cold forged steel composition made of Chromium, Molybdenum, and nickel alloy.
  • Hardened case for excellent wear resistance.
  • Full circle clips as well as half clips included.

Available from FTE 4x4 Specialist's

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

A Switch Mount for Wrangler TJ Owners

Daystar Switch Panels make adding switches for electrical accessories easier than ever before! A direct replacement for factory dash components, installation is a simple remove-and-replace operation. There is simply no cleaner or easier way to add switches to the dash than Daystar Switch Panels.


  • Easy Installation

  • Replaces either HVAC vent on the centre of the dash

  • Allows airflow and a mounting point for one or two switches for electrical accessories

Available from FTE 4x4 Specialist's

Monday, 2 February 2009

Rugged Ridge New TJ Bumper & Rocker Panels

Rugged Ridge have just launched a new front bumper for the TJ Wrangler.

Shown above is the base unit, bolt-on ends are available to make it a full width unit.

Also available are the heavy-duty rocker panels which are designed to provide maximum protection for your vehicle’s most vulnerable points. Manufactured from 3/16” thick steel plate with a tough black textured finish, these heavy duty rockers can take a beating. Each features cutouts for use with offroad jack and a 2” step for easy access. To protect your vehicle’s finish rubber gaskets are utilized to seal and protect the paint and body. For use with most aftermarket fender flares.

All available from FTE 4x4 Specialist's Ltd

JK Articles in 4x4 Magazine

4x4 Magazine have asked me to write some articles on the work I have carried out on there Silver JK Wrangler. The first article is in the February 2009 issue, covering the fitting of a Rugged Ridge XHD front winch bumper, lower skid & Warn 9.5ti winch.

More articles are to follow covering the fitting of steel diff covers, AEV Snorkel, and Rugged Ridge rear bumper.