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Monthly Archives: December 2016

  • Alpine Vendor Spotlight

    This week we're taking a look at Alpine, our number one choice for aftermarket headunits! When upgrading the sound system on a Jeep, many neglect one of the most important pieces, the headunit. The headunit can make or break the "high-end" feel of your vehicle. We use Alpine on all of our builds that are slated for a headunit upgrade, and for good reason. With Alpine, you get top notch quality and dependability coupled with the most advanced tech on the market for your Jeep. Furthermore, you'll gain access to a larger touch screen than OEM, along with nifty features like the ability to monitor engine codes, tire pressure, and more!

    custom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-rhino-painted-interior-trim-alpine-restyle-x009-wra

    Alpine: History

    Alpine started out in the late 1970's. The company supplies specialized and high quality electronic systems for vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler JK. Apline is a leading manufacturer in multimedia systems and is well known for car headunits, security systems, speakers, and more. Bringing decades of experience to the table, you get nothing but the best with Alpine. With 2017 on the immediate horizon, we're seeing more advanced tech hit the market. Just five years ago, a headunit that interfaced with your smart phone didn't exist. Now, your phone can control auxiliary ports, such as lights, the radio, and more! If you're into the latest and greatest for your Jeep, a headunit upgrade is in your future. To compare the OEM screen to Alpine, scroll down!

     AEV Rear Navigation System

    Navigation

    While not every off-road trail is going to be on a map or GPS, you've gotta get to the trail head first! With a larger screen for navigation than OEM (shown above), the Apline unit (shown below) is great for navigating through city streets or small town America, and provides many features over the OEM model, such as a 9" Anti-Glare Touchscreen, Siri integration, monitoring vehicle codes, and more.

    As you can see from these images, the Restyle Kit completely replaces the OEM headunit. This not only gives you the capabilities of Alpine, but also gives the dashboard on your Jeep a unique, refined look as well. The silver plastic trim pieces can be removed and paint matched along with other interior bezels, so if you've already got a color-matched interior, don't worry.

    Alpine Restyle X109 Holiday Jeep Gift Ideas

    Two Choices for Your Jeep

    If you've got a Wrangler JK, there are two choices for Alpine headunits. You've got the X009 and X109. The main differences are compatibility features. While the X009 features Bluetooth and Sirius Radio, the X109 is also accessory compatible. This means that in addition to Bluetooth and Sirius Radio, the X109 can run accessories like auxiliary lights. Both options feature a 9" Anti-Glare Touch Screen, auxiliary input, connectivity for a rearview camera, and more. For a complete list of specs, click on X009 and X109 links above.

    Other 4x4's

    If you've got a Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, or another ride other than a Jeep, chances are Alpine has something for you. Check out our full selection of Alpine products HERE!

    For road trips or finding that perfect off-road adventure, Alpine lets you make the most out of your Jeep. With the ability to monitor vehicle codes, a larger screen for navigation, and smartphone connectivity (just to name a few features), you'll be ready for the adventure of a lifetime. This is why we upgrade to Alpine headunits in all our high-end rebuilds. If you'd like to order one for your ride, don't hesitate to give us a call!

  • Axles, Gears, and Lockers

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    Gears

    When you add larger tires to your Jeep, it throws off the powerband, transmission shift points, and more. This also translates to lost off-road potential. In short, the Jeep won't pull itself through or over certain obstacles without the proper gearing. To counter this problem without a regear, many drivers usually apply more throttle or slipping of the clutch. This can cause damage on other components, such as premature clutch wear, snapping a driveshaft, axle shaft, etc. When you regear your Jeep, you reset the relationship between the powertrain and the wheels close to OEM spec. This means that the transmission will shift properly, the Jeep will "pull" in between gears as it should, and 4hi/low will work effectively on the trail.

    There are many charts and diagrams on what gears you should get for your Jeep. Regear factors range from engine and transmission type to tire size, and more. With the 2007-present Jeep Wrangler JK/Unlimited, you'll need a programmer for your new gear/tire setup. We recommend the AEV Procal. If you have an older TJ/YJ/CJ, you're good to go with the gears themselves! If you're unsure of what gears to choose for your application, don't hesitate to give us a call, we'll lay out your options and recommend a new gear ratio for you!

    Wrangler JK Gears

    Axles

    When tricking out your Jeep and venturing offroad, you should also look at your axles, and decide on an upgrade, or alternatively leaving them OEM. You may need to upgrade your axles if your tire size meets or exceeds 37" on all Jeep Wrangler JK/Unlimited models, excluding the Rubicon. On the Rubicon, the HD Dana-44 axles are fine for 37" tires, although we wouldn't recommend anything larger. If you're going larger than a 37, we recommend a set of '60 axles. MOPAR, Dynatrac, and TeraFlex come to mind if you're thinking of an axle swap. Shown below is a Jeep Wrangler TJ Brute Conversion with a set of aftermarket TeraFlex 60 axles.

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    On the Non-Rubicon JK models, we suggest an axle shaft upgrade or a truss/gusset set up on the OEM Dana-30. All Non-Rubicon 4WD Wrangler JK's come with a Dana-30 front end. This axle is great for the weekend trail 'rig running 35's, but throw on 37's and hit the rocks, and you could be in for trouble. It's better safe than sorry when it comes to your front end, so give us a call if you're looking at upgrading your Dana-30!

    Lockers

    The Rubicon Wrangler JK comes equipped with factory lockers. Most Non-Rubicon Jeeps will feature open differentials from the factory. The end result in an open differential 4WD system is more like 2WD off-road. If one of your front and one rear wheel is in the air (or in another, low traction substance, like mud), in an off-road scenario, power will go to those wheels. You'll sit there spinning tires and won't go anywhere.

    2008-Jeep-Commander-wheeling-in-the-mud

    Lockers, like the ones found on the Rubicon, fix this problem. With a locker, both axle shafts are locked together. This means that even with one wheel in the air, power will go to both sides, not just the one with the less resistance. The end result is that you'll have true 4x4, with all four wheels turning at once, as they should. And you'll be able to climb up, over, and through off-road obstacles more effectively!

    If you don't have lockers and would like to upgrade, there are many aftermarket types and brands, from ARB to OX, electric to air or cable actuated, and more! For most Jeep Wrangler JK owners, we recommend an air or electric actuated locker, such as ARB. ARB has a wide selection of air actuated lockers, which are powered by a small air compressor under the hood. With a flick of a switch, the compressor and lockers activate, giving you the extra capability to get off the beaten path! Turn the compressor and lockers off, and you've got open differentials again.

    Automatic or Lunchbox Lockers

    If you have a dedicated off-road 'rig or locking hubs, you may want to explore other options, such as automatic lockers, which are a cheaper, more basic locker - i.e., as long as power is sent to the axle, the locker is on. To note, this is not optimal in the rear axle, especially on a daily driver. However, an automatic locker may be an option for the front, depending on your build. Again, if you have locking hubs on the front end, or drive an older vehicle, this may be an option to consider. Give us a call if you're having trouble deciding which locker is right for you!

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    What You Get Off-Road

    The benefits of a Jeep with the proper gears, lockers and axles while off-road is miles beyond that of an OEM vehicle. With the right setup, your Jeep can take on the toughest trails around! While open differentials mean that you'll be backing up time and again to get momentum or find a new track, lockers and the proper gearing will allow you to approach these obstacles with confidence. Upgrading your axles lets you push your 'rig that extra bit, to get yourself or a friend out of trouble, without the fear of rendering your Jeep inoperable with a broken axle shaft or housing. From the mild to dedicated off-road 'rig, these upgrades will let you get the most out of your Jeep. 

    Got questions? Click on over to the Go4x4It! Forum and post them there to share and get advice from RubiTrux techs and other forum members. Or just give us a call.

  • Aftermarket Lighting Upgrades: Wrangler JK

    When you delve into the list of aftermarket lighting upgrades for the Wrangler JK, it can seem a bit confusing. There’s low, mid and high range budget LEDs, DOT approval, and more. We’ll start with the basics. For starters, we don’t recommend any of the low-budget LEDs you may encounter on the market. More often than not, the housings and lenses on these imported products are subpar. Furthermore, the warranties are usually nonexistent. As such, we only recommend and sell mid to high range LED products. For example, if you’re looking into JW Speaker fog lights (high end), but you’re on a budget, we recommend Morimoto fogs (mid-budget), which provide a high quality fog light for a fraction of the price with a solid warranty.

    Aftermarket Lighting

    Speaking of brands, we carry JW Speaker, Morimoto, Recon, Baja Design, Rigid Industries and more! We use many of these products on our Jeep builds, and these companies stand behind their products 100%. If you’re looking to upgrade OEM lighting or add aftermarket lightbars, fogs or reverse lights, these companies have lighting for you! Read down for some build suggestions below, but check out our lighting section for a complete list of OEM replacement and aftermarket lighting products!

    OEM Upgrades

    Until 2017, all Jeep Wrangler vehicles came with the classic, industry standard headlight. While these lights are reliable and can be replaced at around $10 at local auto parts stores, many owners found that performance was lacking and wished to upgrade, especially for the Wrangler JK models. For headlight upgrades, we recommend JW Speaker. JW Speaker provides a brighter and improved beam pattern over other leading competitors, and is always a go to choice on our builds! When upgrading headlights it is important to aim them, as the bright LEDs can easily blind motorists in the oncoming lanes. Pictured below are a set of JW Speaker Evolution J 8700 LED Headlights.

    JW speaker aftermarket lighting upgrade

    Auxiliary Lighting

    Auxiliary Lighting is popular on Jeep Wranglers, from bumper mounted fog lights to windshield mounted spotlights. When choosing lights, it is important to decide what application is right for you. For example, fog lights should be mounted on the bumper, illuminating the area directly in front of your Jeep. On the other hand, spotlights are great for long range, and benefit from being mounted at or above windshield level. Pictured below is the Baja Designs 50" Lightbar. Spot style beams are perfect for illuminating the area far out in front of the Jeep. Baja Designs and Rigid Industries are just two manufacturers who make great light bars for your Jeep!

    aftermarket lighting wrangler jk brute

    For aftermarket fog lights, we recommend JW Speaker or Morimoto. Pictured below is the Morimoto kit, containing everything you need to mount these fogs inside a 10A/Hard Rock bumper!

    Turn Signals/Fender Lenses

    If you'd like to upgrade your OEM turn signals and fender lenses, we recommend Recon! A direct plug-n-play, these LED lenses are a great upgrade to your Wrangler JK. These turn signals/fender lenses will give your Jeep either a blacked out or subtle aftermarket look, depending on which ones you choose! Available in smoked and clear. Fender Lenses shown below.

     

    DOT Approval

    In some states, DOT (Department of Transportation) approval is important when it comes to lights. In these states, equipping your Jeep with non-DOT approved lights could result in failing your inspection or a costly ticket! As far as our fog lights go, Baja Designs are not DOT approved, so check your local laws before ordering. State laws also vary in regards to running auxiliary lighting on the street, and some LED bars are marketed for off-road use only - again, check your local rules and regulations, it may save you a ticket!

    So if you like classic 7" round lamps for your TJ or the newest LED technology for that 2017 JKU, RubiTrux carries aftermarket lighting solutions for you. Our support staff is more than happy to answer your questions and recommend products for your build, so don't hesitate to give us a call, today!

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  • Choose Warn Protection And Recovery Gear

    From winches to rocksliders, Warn has some top notch gear for your Wrangler! Their winches are the go-to choice for off-road enthusiasts -- and have been for over 50 years! Since the late 1950's Warn has been the name in off-road ready and reliable winch systems for Jeep vehicles. The company made a name for itself by equipping surplus World War II Jeeps for civilian use, with things like locking hubs and you guessed it -- winches! Be sure to check out the current cash rebate for $200, valid through December 31, 2016!

    Warn Winches

    Warn Winch Zeon 10s

    Pictured Above and offered in 8K, 10K, and 12K ranges, the Zeon platforms are top of the line. Featuring black powdercoating, an aluminum fairlead, a winch controller, and more, this is a must have for any serious off-roader. Furthermore, the Zeon line features a quiet and fast motor, so you can get your Wrangler unstuck in a hurry! If you want to go the extra mile you can check out the Zeon Platinum Wireless. It features 2 auxiliary ports, and is safe under water too!

    Warn Winch VR10

    For those looking for an entry level winch with legendary Warn dependability, the new VR series comes to mind. These winches just hit the market and are available in 8K, 10K, and 12K. Choose a synthetic or traditional steel wire rope. The controller, fairlead, winch hook, and more are included. With a new redesigned look, the Warn VR Series features a convertible control pack for upright or low-profile mounting configurations. For true (as advertised) pulling power, choose the VR Series!

    Skid Plates and Rock Sliders

    Warn makes many different skid plates and rock sliders, for Jeeps to Toyotas! We'll just touch on the Jeep products here. But if you have a Ford, Chevy, or Toyota, check out our Warn section for bumpers, skid plates, and more! Warn's Rock Sliders for CJ and Wrangler vehicles will protect the vulnerable rocker panel while offroad. Many times you'll see a Jeep with the rocker panels bashed in by a rock. With the Warn Rock Sliders, this won't happen! The sliders, pictured below, take the beating so your Jeep doesn't have to!

    They also offer several skid plates, from steering box skids to gas tank skids. The gas tank skid, pictured below, replaces the thin OEM unit, so your gas tank doesn't get punctured on the trail! All their skid plate, rock slider, and bumper products come with a great looking black powdercoat that will last for years to come. This gives your Jeep that offroad look with the protection you need. Again, with the vast amount of armor and protection products that Warn offers, be sure to double check for proper fitment to your vehicle year and model before ordering!

    Warn Gas Tank Skid

    Bumpers

    Warn Bumper

    Warn bumpers provide some of the best protection in the industry. In this article, we'll showcase the Wrangler JK/Unlimited versions. If you're looking for a front and rear bumper combo that provides the classic swing-out tire carrier, Warn is a great choice. The rear bumper and tire carrier are pictured above. The bumper features a hitch, tabs for D-rings, and mount for the swing out tire carrier itself. Please note that the tire carrier and rear bumper are sold separately.

    The Elite Series front bumper, pictured below, comes with room for mounting fogs, a winch mounting surface, the stinger hoop, and D-ring tabs! This bumper mounts all Warn mid-frame winches. Furthermore, most Warn bumpers typically will mount a stinger/hoop of sorts, but may not always include this accessory. Check your specific product for more info.

    Warn Winch

    Recovery Kits and Accessories

    From Air Accessory kits to the go-to Winch Accessory Kit, Warn has a product for your protection and recovery. The Air Accessory kit, pictured below, contains 25' of coiled air hose, 4 tire deflators, couplings and an air pressure gauge. It includes everything you need for an easily-accessible on-board inflation/deflation system. The kit stores safely and securely in the pictured Warn tote bag (included)!

    Warn Air Accessory Kit

    The Medium Duty Winching Accessory Kit is a must have for any Jeep with a winch. Pictured below, this kit includes 2 D-rings, a tree trunk protector, a recovery strap, gloves, and more! Rated for 20,000 pounds, this kit is perfect for any Wrangler or off-road truck equipped with a winch. The handy Warn tool bag stores all of the gear together for when you need it the most.

    Warn Winch Accessory Kit

    From winches to bumpers and accessory kits, Warn has a protection and recovery solution for you. If you know RubiTrux Jeeps, you know we believe in Warn. It's a time-tested and proven brand that we know our customers can always rely on.

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