Kentrol TJ tailgate hinges!

Are the tailgate hinges on your 1997 to 2004 and 2006 TJ Wrangler, Rubicon or Unlimited rusty, popping, seized or drooping? Then it’s probably time to replace them with a set of Kentrol Stainless Steel Tailgate Hinges. A  Kentrol Employee found themselves in this same situation when they purchased a used 2004 TJ that spent time in the northeast salt belt. When the TJ was purchased it had seized tailgate hinges that made opening the tailgate difficult at best. Kentrol immediately pulled the Jeep in the shop and replaced the tailgate hinges with a set of Stainless Steel Tailgate Hinges to eliminate the problem and give the Jeep a new and fresh look. The factory hinges are an issue because when they were manufactured there was no concern with hanging larger tires and wheels on the rear tailgate which will cause the bushings and hinges to wear out prematurely. Mopar also didn’t prep the surface under the tailgate hinge which allows the paint to bubble around the hinge and onto the factory hinge surface. You’ll never experience this issue with a Kentrol Tailgate Hinge because they are made from 304 Grade Stainless Steel, even the Black Powder Coated pieces are made from 304 Grade Stainless Steel. If the tailgate hinges on your TJ are looking a little rough or are no longer functioning checkout the Kentrol Tailgate Hinges.

Polished Stainless Steelhttp://www.kentrolinc.com/products/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=208&idcategory=62

   

Black Powder Coated Stainless Steelhttp://www.kentrolinc.com/products/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=233&idcategory=62

  

Kentrol YJ Door Hinges

Kentrol Door Hinges are a great replacement to the factory door hinge. We have customers who order Kentrol 304 Grade Stainless Steel Door hinges and then have them custom painted to match their rig. John Brainerd runs them on his flawlessly built YJ “The Kentrol black stainless steel hinges were my product of choice. They are great quality and have fixed my old drooping door problem to make things work properly.” Kentrol employees have wheeled with John and his YJ and were amazed at how well built his Jeep is. The attention to detail is second to none and it was great to hear that he thought highly of Kentrol parts. Even hardcore Jeeps need to replace door hinges, windshield hinges or tailgate hinges. Kentrol offers solutions for all Jeepers from the pavement to the trail we can help you keep your Jeep looking great for years to come.

 

 

Kentrol at The Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival!

The Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival, one of the premier Jeep-only events in the nation, welcomes Jeep owners from all over the country to the birthplace of the Jeep in Butler, Pa. 

 

“The Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival is an event that every Jeep enthusiast can enjoy because you can see thousands of rare military models, modified off-road-ready vehicles and stock daily-driver Jeeps all in the same place at the same time,” said Patti Jo Lambert, Festival director.  “The variety of Jeep models and other Festival activities offer a fun weekend for Jeep enthusiasts of all ages.  We’ve heard the Festival described as “Jeep Heaven” and for many people who attend, it’s exactly that.”

 

Kentrol was proud to attend and display at the Bantam Jeep Festival this year and to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Jeep. The event overall was fantastic, we had great weather and got to speak with hundreds of customers about our high quality stainless steel accessories for the JK, TJ, YJ and CJ. For Kentrol it was a great opportunity to showcase new products as well as our newly built JKU Wrangler. We installed 37” tires with a 2.5” lift and Aries Fender Flares to allow the 37’s to fit with minimal lift. The Jeep turned out great and was the perfect selling tool for our new E-Z Detach Mirrors and Foot Pegs.

 

Kentrol is looking forward to attending and participating in the show again next year because it’s well organized. Bantam does a fantasic job organizing a Jeep Parade, obstacle course, off-road trails with Rausch Creek off-road park and a great vendor show layout. The show happens to honor the Bantam Jeep which eventually evolved into the Willys MB and the Ford GPW. It is the father of all Jeeps. Bantam produced a total of 2,675 Jeeps and never produced another vehicle after that. They then produced 'jeep' cargo trailers, torpedo motors and other items until they closed in 1956. The Bantam was built in Butler PA where the show is hosted each year.

 We’ll see you all next year at the Festival which will be on June 9-11 at Coopers Lake Campground in Slippery Rock, Pa!

2018 JEEP WRANGLER IS ALMOST HERE!

The newest announcement that came straight from the top of Jeep states that the 2018 Jeep Wrangler is on its way. The details of what the new Jeep Wrangler will look like are still being speculated. The next generation of the iconic off-roader will be the 2018 Jeep Wrangler “JL,” debuting in 2017 (for the 2018 model year), followed by a pickup.

They have made it clear from Jeep that they are going to do everything possible to get the Wrangler back on its feet and keep the legendary brand going. The plan is to stay innovative and make sure that the Jeep has a future.

We expect it to arrive for the 2018 model year and be aluminum-intensive for purposes of weight savings, which will improve fuel economy. The thing is, that if they are going to enhance the fuel economy, they need to get rid of all the excess weight that the Jeep has and make it a lot slimmer. This certainly justifies the use of new lighter materials in the making of the exterior of the car. Jeep did not mention any specifics about what their big secret is in making this possible but there have been some rumors that “it might be the fully independent suspension system which is going to be combined with extremely lightweight materials like aluminum and a great possibility of a diesel engine entering the mix as well.” From what Kentrol is hearing these are only rumors and the Jeep will still have a solid front axle. Whatever happens, we are looking forward to seeing a 2018 Jeep Wrangler that will not take too much of a toll on our wallets.

2018 Jeep Wrangler design news

The best information that concerns the design of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler is that they are going to keep it true to itself. It is going to use its own underpinnings and nothing borrowed from any sort of a crossover coming from Europe. They are keeping this one as American as it can get.

Aluminum body panels are certainly going to be used in order to reduce the weight of the vehicle. From what Kentrol has seen of the new Jeep it looks like the front windshield is sloped more to help with aerodynamics and fuel efficiency. 

 

Engine Specs and Performance

As of now, little is known about the possible engines that will drive the new Wrangler. All we have are rumors going around of a V-6 and a diesel engine. Some rumors are even suggesting that there will be a hybrid variant. 

Price and release date 

So far there is not much information to go on about the price and release date of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler. Some sources say that Production of the new Wrangler is expected to start at the current model’s plant in Toledo, Ohio in 2017, meaning the new off-roader should arrive as a 2018 model.

 

The new model seems to be evolutionary as mentioned. And, with the strong fan base on the market, there is nothing this model needs to fear. Even though production unit will be different, 2018 Jeep Wrangler has already won fans hearts to buy one.

 

We purchased a 3D printer - it's going to be disruptive!

Kentrol is excited to announce that we have purchased a 3D printer, which will enable us to develop new products for your Jeep faster. We now have the capability to prototype in a matter of hours, rather than days or weeks. This will speed up engineering development time drastically, allowing the production of high quality, dimensionally accurate parts in the shortest time possible. This means faster design to product release time!

The printer allows the capability to print a 12”x12”x18” build volume part, has dual extruders, enclosed build chamber with charcoal filtration, WiFi connectivity, a 5” touch screen interface, and a heated, self-compensating bed. Below are just a few of the major benefits of adding this technology to our capabilities…

Time-to-Market: 3D printing allows ideas to develop faster than ever. Being able to 3D print a concept the same day it was designed shrinks a development process from what might have been months to a matter of days, helping companies stay one step ahead of the competition. 

 

Feedback: With a prototype you can test the market by unveiling it at a trade-show, showing it to potential buyers. Getting buyers response to the product before it actually goes into production is a valuable way to verify the product has market potential.

 

Personalize It: With standard mass-production, all parts come off the assembly line or out of the mold the same. With 3D printing, one can personalize, customize and tweak a part to uniquely fit their needs, which allows for custom fits.

 

Build your Imagination: In the modern boom of digital art and design, the possibilities are not only accelerating but limitless. One can now 3D print almost anything they imagine after drawing it up virtually. In a relatively short time, an idea, concept, dream or invention can go from a simple thought to a produced part that you can hold.

 

Fail Fast, Fail Quick, Fail Cheap: Being able to test ideas quickly and discover what doesn’t work accelerates discovery leading to an ideal solution. 3D printing allows a product developer to make breakthroughs at early stages that are relatively inexpensive leading to better products and less expensive dead-ends.

 

 

We have a perfect solution to annoying hood flutter!

What is Hood Flutter?

 

An age-old problem for Jeep owners, factory hood latches degrade over time and fail causing hoods to rattle or even become unsecured while driving. If you own a Wrangler JK you might have experienced it while driving on a freeway. When you go over 60 MPH, you can’t help but notice the hood jumping up and down so you think it is going to fly up and hit the windshield. This can be kind of scary when it really gets going.

Why Does it Happen?

 

Basically this happens because the stock hood latches that hold the hood tight to the fender are made of very a weak and stretch-prone rubber that allows the hood to lift and flutter at speed. This allows the hood to move up and down as the rubber stretches. Hood latches get 'loose' over time causing the hood to be unreasonably loose causing the hood to shake or flutter under various operating speeds.

Can You Fix This Problem?

You can buy replacement hood wranglers which are the rubber pieces of the latch. Several companies make a heavy duty latch kit. The one we suggest is Kentrol JK/TJ Hood Latch. It latches tight and does not move at all. Kentrol replacement hood hold downs eliminate hood movement and are much more durable than the factory hold downs.  All necessary hardware and instructions are included. Installation is simple and maintains the factory look.

 

 

We have got two Jeep events you’ve been waiting for!

­­Time is closing fast, it’s almost here. Wow! We have got the Jeep events you’ve been waiting for! Two awesome ones are coming up…

April 16 and April 20-24 those are the dates to mark on your calendar. Where will you be? Right here with us!

First, come help us celebrate at the 25th Anniversary Morris Jeep Event

Join Us Saturday, April 16TH 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

There’s so much to do!

 

 

Giveaway Prizes.

Sale Specials, Jeep Tech Help & Food and Drink.

"Event Proceeds to benefit 4KIDS of South Florida"

 

4KIDS of South Florida committed to providing a home for every child in crisis.

 

After that we will be seeing you at JEEP BEACH in Daytona on April 20-24!

The beach event in Daytona seems to get bigger every year, Jeeps came from as far away as Alaska. Last year a total of 1,846 Jeeps took part in the parade, which happened on the racetrack at the Daytona International Speedway.It’s one of the most enormous Jeep Beach events!

Jeep Beach is an annual event of Jeep enthusiasts celebrating a passion for off-road vehicles. The event is held in Daytona Beach and is five days of family friendly fun for Jeep owners.

Some of the activities will include:

  • Obstacle courses for all levels of drivers
  • Meet face-to-face with leading industry vendors
  • Drive in a parade
  • Try your luck on winning prizes in our huge raffles
  • Clean up at the Jeep-shining show
  • Party with new and old Jeep friends

The Mid Florida Jeep Club is proud to present the 13th Anniversary of Jeep Beach. The event has become the largest JEEP ONLY five day event in the Southeast USA. This year’s event is shaping up to be the best year yet. They are expecting thousands of attendees, so make your plans now to attend and enjoy the many festivities, great friends and delicious food.

 

We are really excited to see you at both events! Make sure to stop by at our booth where we will be handing out freebies, showing off our new released products and answering all your questions! We will have a Rubicon on display that will be detailed with black textured finished accessories.

 

Follow us on Facebook for more updates and news!

Winter Weather: Drive with Confidence

 

It took its sweet time getting here, but winter weather has finally brought us snow. Whether you’re roaming the snow-covered trails or dealing with slippery road conditions, your Jeep is more than capable of handling any winter driving situation.

If your Wrangler has the standard Command-Trac® 4x4 system splits torque 50/50 between the front and rear axles, which comes in handy when you need more traction while off-roading. And Rubicon’s Rock-Trac® 4x4 system is surefooted on just about any surface.

Still, it doesn’t hurt to take precautions.

 

Drive Cautious

No matter what you drive, ice is ice. Reduce your speeds when necessary and be sure to leave plenty of space between yourself and other drivers. Be especially careful while driving at night, driving through shallow snow, or driving over bridges.

If you hit ice, don’t lock those brakes no matter what. Pump your brake pedal and draw down your momentum before trying to come to a complete stop.

 

Secure Your Gear

When conditions are right, it’s time to ski! Whether you’re heading to the mountains or seeking out a secluded place for some cross-country skiing, make sure your skis, snowboards, and whatever else are secured safely to your rack.

What do you mean you don’t have a rack? Check these out to see which is best for your needs.

 

Off-road With Care

Tread snow like deep mud or sand. Feather the clutch and throttle for the smoothest launch possible to keep from digging down into the cold stuff. High-floatation tires are best for deep snow, on and off the road.

And four-wheel drive only truly helps at lower speeds. Not bad for off-roading, but while driving at higher speeds on-road, it’s best to just take it out of four-wheel drive.

 

Keep Emergency Gear Packed – No Excuses!

Pretty self-explanatory, but if you’re wandering off the beaten path you should always keep some emergency gear stashed for the worst-case scenario. Extra food and water, basic tools, fire extinguisher, flares, spare tire, jumper cables, and blankets are all standard. Here’s an incredibly comprehensive list to consider.

Above all…and we cannot stress this enough…do NOT wait until the last minute. The only thing that sucks more than being stuck in the snow, is being stuck in the snow and thinking about all the things you should have packed.

 

Learn How To Use Your Winch and Tow Rope

 

It seems so simple. You just take that thing, then pull it out of the thing, then…tie it around that thing…then…um.

Yeah. It’s a little more involved than that. Watch this video for a basic tutorial.

 

Know Your Terrain – Downhill is Easier Than Uphill

Remember how much fun sled riding was? Remember how much of a pain it was to walk back up to the top of the track?

Ok, now imagine going downhill for pretty much the entire length of a trail, then turning around and trying to get back out.

Before you get yourself into a situation you can’t get out of, research your intended off-roading area and know the terrain. Know where you want to go, and which places you want to avoid. Having a GPS is great, but knowing how to use and read a compass is indispensible.

 

Follow us on Facebook!

All that being said, be safe out there and have fun. And by all means, share your winter adventure pictures on our Facebook, and we’ll put together a photo album for our blog at the end of the winter!

Keep on Truckin’: Updates on What’s New for Jeep

Jeep Truck to be Built in Toledo

On Monday, Jan. 11, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) CEO, Sergio Marchionne, confirmed that the new Jeep truck model will be built at the company’s Toledo Assembly Complex. Production will begin shortly after the redesigned 2018 Jeep Wrangler model begins production.

Jeep has teased a pickup truck variant for years with the previous Gladiator and J-12 concepts, but never pushed the button. At this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mike Manley, president of FCA’s Jeep brand, confirmed that the Jeep pickup truck will be available prior to 2019.

No specific details were given, other than the vehicle will be assembled in Toledo. In September, FCA announced they would keep production of the JK Wrangler in Toledo while moving production of the Jeep Cherokee elsewhere.

 

Speaking of the JK Wrangler

Since the Jeep community got word that new regulations would force the automaker to redesign the revered off-roader, speculations on the 2017 model have been plentiful.

Starting with the 2017 Jeep Wrangler, the automaker needs to find new and inventive ways to reduce weight and fuel economy to meet stiff MPG regulations without weakening capability. All automakers are tasked with boosting fuel economy to meet the mandated corporate average of 54.5 MPG by 2025. By 2017, they must meet an interim standard of 37 MPG (New York Times).

The 2016 Jeep Wrangler 4WD, which runs a 6 cyl, 3.6 L, Automatic (5-spd) or Manual (6-spd) gets about 17 MPG city and 21 highway using regular gasoline, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

If FCA has any definitive information on the 2017 Jeep Wrangler, they’re keeping it close to the vest. As of press time any information on release date or changes are purely speculative, but seem to be pretty consistent across the blogosphere. Here’s what we’ve seen:

  • Specifics on the 2017 Jeep Wrangler will likely be made public sometime in mid 2016; the vehicle should be ready for sale in early 2017.
  • According to FCA’s Manley, the redesigned Wrangler will have its own platform, and will not be developed on a Fiat platform.
  • Most of the changes seem to be its exterior, including a body-on-frame construction with an aluminum body, making the vehicle lighter. This would improve fuel consumption and increase performance.
  • The old engine will be discontinued and replaced with two models: a base 3.0 L twin-turbocharged Pentastar V6 with up to 300 horsepower and more than 350 lb-ft of torque, and a 3.0 L twin-turbo V6 diesel with up to 240 horsepower and more than 400 lb-ft of torque. (We talked a bit about the diesel engine in March 2015.)
  • There will also likely be some interior changes, though there has been very little speculation in that regard.

The Toledo Blade reported Wednesday that FCA’s Manley wouldn’t divulge production numbers, but that the next generation Jeep would build an increased customer demand. Last year, Jeep sold a record 255,000 Wranglers globally, but

“We have to make sure that the hard-core guys, the weekend warriors, the people that are out on the trails all the time, feel we’ve been true to the Wrangler almost as a sub-brand,” Manley said. “That’s why I stress I’m absolutely more than comfortable they’re going to be very pleased with what they see.”

The Jeep Wrangler is currently built at the Toledo Assembly Complex.

Heater Maintenance: Stay Warm This Winter

Don't let a bad heater freeze you out of winter fun!

It’s not quite a northeast Ohio winter right now, but it’s getting there. After you’ve switched to your hard top, stocked any emergency supplies (because we know you can’t resist playing in the snow), and checked your tire pressure, give your heater a test run. If it’s not blowing hot air, this will be a long winter.

If your heater is producing heat when it isn’t cold outside, but blows lukewarm air when you need heat most, you might be dealing with a stuck thermostat or a heater core that needs flushed.

Stuck Thermostat

Stuck thermostatIf your top radiator hose or heater hoses aren’t getting hot, you may have a failed thermostat. For some thermostats, the failsafe is ‘open’, so when it fails it will stick open, and that’s not good. Continual cold weather also helps keep the engine cool, so that could also be a reason why your temperature gauge reads in the ‘normal’ range. 

Make sure your thermostat reads 195°F and is working properly. You can do this by turning your heater all the way up and letting it run at full blast for a few minutes. Slide the stem of an instant read thermometer into your heater vent to get the temperature.

If you need to purchase and install a new one, some thermostats have a weep/bleed hole drilled in, which helps bleed air out of the coolant system. This allows for a tiny amount of coolant flow in case of a stuck thermostat.

Plugged Heater Core

Over time, your heater hoses can build up with gunk (yes, that’s a technical term) that prevents heat from coming through. If your heater is blowing lukewarm air and your thermostat is working fine, you heater core may need reverse flushed.

We found a great step-by-step DIY guide to flushing out your heater core. It’s easy enough that you can do it right in your driveway with minimal equipment. Pay special note to Step 5, which uses a cleaning agent to get any remaining debris. It is imperative that you only use a cleaning agent that is safe for aluminum. The heater core and hoses are all made from aluminum, and any leftover cleaning agent that isn’t safe for aluminum will eat away at your equipment. Not a good thing.

Check and Test Coolant

When you flush, check to see if any coolant coming out has a rust color. That’s a good indicator that your coolant likely needs changed. This video shows other great ways to test your coolant/antifreeze, and this follow-up video will show you how to flush and change your coolant.

 

 

One Last Trick

In a pinch, one good way to heat up your engine faster without over heating it is to put a piece of cardboard or corrugated ‘plastic cardboard’ in front of your radiator so it covers about half to three-quarters of where the air flows through the radiator. This will help the heater heat faster and maintain better.

Having a good working heater in the winter is critical for the health of your engine, as well as the health of the driver and your passengers. If you’re the adventurous type and plan to go off-road this winter, a properly working heater becomes a safety factor in the event you get stuck and have to wait for help. Take good care of your heater, and it will take care of you.