Thursday, 28 April 2011

Looking for that extra storage space in your Wrangler?

Introducing the Rugged Ridge® Overhead Storage Console for 1987-11 Jeep® Wrangler

Always looking for an extra storage place in your Wrangler to store your sunglasses, maps, gloves and other stuff that ends up on your floorboards, or worse yet lost?
The Rugged Ridge Overhead Storage Console is the storage solution you have been waiting for! It instantly turns the area underneath your top into usable storage space without any interference or modification to your vehicle. Fits all 1987-2011 Jeep® Wranglers! Works with soft tops, hardtops, the top up, or the top down. The Overhead Storage Console is a fully enclosed storage compartment that installs easily without any tools or drilling. It is constructed from durable blow moulded High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), so it is safer and lighter than steel. A non-skid pad is adhered to the inside of the console to help keep your gear from sliding around, and a mesh storage net helps keep it safely stowed yet easily accessible. The console measures 41.5”x2.5”x6.5” and offers more than 450 cubic inches of storage.

Available from FTE 4x4 Specialists Ltd

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Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Time for an upgrade?

The photo below shows a UJ from a Wrangler TJ front half shaft, which was only fitted 9 months ago! The corrosion is not due to lack of maintenance, as this particular UJ is classed as maintenance free or more commonly known as sealed for life ( in this case not a very long life). On a road going vehicle that does not see any real off-road use this type of UJ could last years, I know one guy with a Cherokee XJ that has never change the UJ’s and it is 16 years old and they are still in good condition!

The reason for the premature wear & corrosion is basically the ingress of water into the cups. How does this happen so quickly? You can see the seals look in good condition! When driving to the shops or work the UJ’s heat up expanding the grease and pushing any air trapped in the cups out. This is not normally a problem, as when you park up at your destination the UJ’s cool, the grease contracts and it pulls air back into the cups. When you arrive at the off-road site you drop into low box and trundle off hitting mud holes water splashes and such like. The UJ’s are cooled down by the water hitting them and the grease inside the cups cools and contracts pulling in whatever surrounds the UJ’s. Water, a water-sand mix, water-mud mix. So starts the rapid detrition of the UJ’s, and as these are sealed unless you strip the UJ out, which is not an easy job, there is no way in which to grease the UJ and push the dirt/grit out.
There were some UJ’s that were cross drilled with a grease nipple (red arrow) but this caused an inherent weakness and they often broke across the middle (in off-road use). There are a few heavy duty UJ’s available such as CTM, but these are not designed for long road use at high speed. So what is a good alterative to the stock Spicer UJ? Alloy-USA make a UJ that fits the bill, serviceable flush grease nipples at each cap allows you to flush grime and fill with grease. Made of cold forged steel composition made of chromium, molybdenum and nickel alloy, with a hardened case for excellent wear resistance. These UJ’s are not a lot more expensive than the stock Spicer units, but if maintained will last and give years of trouble free miles.

So the next time you are stripping down the front axle to pull the half shafts to change out the UJ’s why not upgrade to a serviceable unit. Its is a lot easier to pump a bit of grease into a UJ then replace it!
For more information and prices contact Steve at FTE 4x4 Specialists Ltd. on 01268 730131/07973 198483 or email 

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Replacement Bushings for Rubicon Express Control Arms

Daystar is now offering heavy-duty polyurethane bushings available to replace the rubber hourglass bushings used in the company's long-arm and short-arm kits. Specially formulated from a unique new blend of polyurethane, these bushings have much of the same elasticity as the original rubber bushings, yet are capable of surviving the most demanding off-road conditions.

Designed as direct replacements for the larger and smaller "hourglass" bushings used in upper and lower Rubicon Express control arms, no modifications to the arms themselves will be needed and even the original sleeves can be re-used.  They are packaged in sets of eight; four large and four small bushings in each kit.
Daystar Replacement Bushes for Rubicon Express Control Arms
As soon as these are available we shall be stocking these at FTE 4x4 Specialists Ltd. We are hoping to be able to supply the bushes individually, rather then as set of 8.