Kentrol YJ Door Hinges

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.

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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.

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Winter Weather: Drive with Confidence

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!

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

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.

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Heater Maintenance: Stay Warm This Winter

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 thermostat

If 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.

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Renovation Open House Recap

Renovation Open House Recap


Check it out! We held an open house on Wednesday to show off our reorganized and renovated warehouse in North Lima. We’ve been working on this since April and we’re very excited with all the changes. It was so nice having everyone stop by to check out our new digs!

We have a brand new roommate! We’re sharing our 40,000-square-foot building with Discover Global LLC, a solutions provider for metal and plastic components for multiple industries. Part of the space that we share will be used for engineering, product development, and product photography. It’s a very cool setup!


The reorganized shipping and receiving department also allows for inspections in the same place. And the new receiving dock will make it easier for trucks coming in and going out.

It’s been a great time growing Kentrol for the last 27 years, and we’re looking forward to seeing where things take us in years to come!


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Chemical Flaw Brings Out the Worst in Factory Hinges

Chemical Flaw Brings Out the Worst in Factory Hinges

The only thing worse than corrosion is when you can’t do anything about it.

If you own a Jeep JK built in 2007 or later, be on the lookout for bubbling paint on the outside hinge of your door. At the start of the 2007 model year, Jeep started using aluminum hinges that carry a secret; a flaw in the way that the aluminum is anodized causes oxidation under the paint, even with the absence of air and water.

You will feel it before you see it. From the surface, the paint will feel bubbly to the touch. As it continues to corrode, the paint will bubble further until it eventually flakes and falls off. Our own Peter Taraborelli noticed his hinges were bubbling just one year after he bought a brand new Jeep JK in August 2012, and he investigated the issue.

“What you essentially have is a $25,000 vehicle with hinges that are subpar,” Taraborelli says. “There are still Jeeps out there today that are being manufactured with these hinges, as recent as last year’s models.”

Taraborelli, who hosts our installation tutorial videos, says that sandblasting and repainting the hinges or powder coating the hinges won’t matter. The corrosion will continue because these processes don’t change the actual metal itself. He recommends investing in ready-to-paint hinges and having a body shop do a factory-match paint job.

To meet this need, we rolled out a new line of ready-to-paint hinges that are sandblasted, so they can hold the paint better. We also make some very attractive polished stainless hinges, as well as hinges that are powder coated black with smooth and textured finishes.

The best part is that our hinges are made from stainless steel, so you won’t experience that bubbly, corroded mess.

In addition to looking nice, our hinges are designed and manufactured with brass bushings in the lower portion of the door hinge, whereas stock hinges have plastic bearings. Eventually, the plastic bearings deteriorate and break down, making doors very difficult to open. The brass bushings in our hinges provide smooth metal-on-metal movement, ensuring your doors operate better for longer.

For more information on our ready-to-paint hinges, contact our main office at (330) 549-2235.


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Get Your Jeep Ready for the Cold

Get Your Jeep Ready for the Cold

It’s the beginning of September, and while nobody wants to even think about cold weather, it is certainly on its way. When the weather changes, so will your Jeep experience, and it’s better to be prepared now than try to play catch-up later.

Jeeps are year-round vehicles with the right maintenance. Don’t miss out on any off-road adventures this fall and winter and follow these guidelines. 

  1. Switch to tall, skinny tires. They have a longer contact patch, giving you better traction on ice. Check your tire pressure too, as it drops when it gets cold.

  2. Run lower viscosity engine oil, like 5W-30. In extreme cold, you should switch to synthetic oil.

  3. Driving in snow can be tough on your cooling system. If your coolant liquid has been in there for more than a year, drain it and replace it. Do a coolant flush and use a 50/50 mix of coolant and distilled water.

    While you’re down there, check all of your coolant system hoses. Replace any that have bulges, cracks, etc. When in doubt, replace!

  4. Grease everything underneath! Be sure o lubricate all of your door and tailgate locks with a good graphite lock lubricant. Don’t use anything oil-based, like WD-40. The inside of the locks will attract dirt, which attracts moisture and results in freezing.

  5. While on level ground, take your Jeep out of gear and chock the wheels. Check your driveshaft for any play. Check your U-joints for any up and down or side-to-side movement. If there is any play, replace them.

    Also, rust is normal, but any lubrication fluid coming from the joints is a possible indicator of joint wear.

  6. Replace any accessory drive belts that are cracked or glazed. Don’t throw them away! Save them as spares just in case.

  7. Get a block heater with a timer to start heating the engine an hour or two before use.

  8. Stock up on the winter wiper fluid and replace old wiper blades.
  9. Check the battery to make sure it’s good and make sure you have a set of jumper cables just in case. A portable power source could be the best $35 you ever spend.

  10. Be prepared for emergencies. Keep a stock of candles, blanket, flashlight, extra clothes, flares, energy bars, matches/lighter, etc. Be sure to have stuff on-hand for getting out of a sticky situation, like a towrope or straps, military collapsible shovel, and a bag or two of sand for when you need extra traction. Those sandbags are good for having some extra weight in the back to help with traction.


Above all else, keep your top up and your doors on!

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Kentrol Rolls Out New Website and Logo

Kentrol Rolls Out New Website and Logo

After 35 years, sometimes you just need to update your style. Otherwise, we’d all still be sporting the acid-washed jeans and velour tracksuits that were hip when we started.

That’s why we got together with our friends at PALO Creative to give us a fresh new look for the 21st century! Our website just pops with some cool, bold colors and graphics. We love the mountain range in the background – it kinda makes us want to just hop in a Jeep and go.

Right out of the gate, you have immediate access to everything you could possibly need on our website, from brochures and warranty information to tech support and how to find a dealer. We also have a great selection of featured products at the bottom of the page.

The Dealer Search is one of our favorite parts. Once you’ve browsed our products and found what you are looking for, there is a link right there to find where you can buy it…conveniently called “Where To Buy.” Click that link, and then enter your zip code and how far you’re willing to search. You’ll get a list of any dealerships that match your criteria. It couldn’t be easier.

You can keep up with on social media too! We’re already building a great community of Jeep enthusiasts on our Facebook page, and we’ll soon be uploading videos to our YouTube Channel. You’ve already found our blog, so be sure to bookmark and check back often for the latest Kentrol news, as well as information and articles out of the Jeep industry.

It’s been our pleasure to be a part of the Jeep community since 1980, and we look forward to serving you for years to come!

Happy trails!

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We Love Going Topless

We Love Going Topless

For our money, there’s no better feeling on a warm summer day than getting topless and taking a trip to the beach, our favorite camping spot, or just around town. We love feeling the heat from the sun and letting the breeze blow through our hair…

What? We meant taking the top off our Jeep. What did you think we meant?

There’s an indescribable feeling of freedom when you’re cruising down the street with nothing but a blue sky above you. At the very least, it’s worth it for all the looks of envy coming from the other drivers. But if you only have a hardtop, you may never know this unbridled joy.

Before you buy, take a look through these options to see which summertime top is best for you.

Soft tops:

There are two types of soft tops that you can consider, and each has its own unique advantages. The full-frame soft tops are probably the most familiar with the rectangular back, but there’s also a frameless soft top. The difference is that the frameless soft top uses your Jeep’s rolls bars to support the top’s fabric rather than a metal bow system.

Four-door Wranglers will end up losing some headroom with the frameless soft top, but it’s not as noticeable on two-door models. The frameless soft top will not be able to fold all the way back, as the full-frame soft top does.

Both are 100% waterproof and can be removed in minutes. However, if you don’t want to be hindered by side and back windows, you can always try the…

Bikini tops:

Also referred to as summer tops and safari tops, this type of Wrangler top practically comes in the mail with samples of laundry detergent. They are a Jeep standard and are the closest thing to driving topless while keeping your noggin from getting all toasty.

All you need is a windshield channel to attach the top to the windshield area of the Jeep. Use the straps to attach the rest of the top to your roll bars. They are available in mesh or solid fabrics and will cover either the front two seats or the entire overhead area.

Clearly, the bikini top isn’t waterproof. Consider that before playing in the mud. But, if this type of top just isn’t scanty enough…

Shade tops:

This mesh top attaches to your Wrangler’s roll bars with Spiderballs – bungee and ball cords that are fed through the grommet holes on top. If you don’t have windshield channels, this is the option for you, as they aren’t needed to affix the top to your Jeep.

The shade top provides adequate overhead protection while cutting down on wind noise. It can be used with other soft, hard, and bikini tops, so this is a great accessory to have on-hand. 

Whatever your summertime top option, make sure you invest in some proper cleaning and protectant products, as well as storage devices. Otherwise, you could find yourself replacing your soft top more often than you’d like.

Happy trails!

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Get Ready for Spring!

Get Ready for Spring!

With temperatures finally warming up, the snow is melting, the driveways are clear, and spring is here! For Jeep owners, this is an especially exciting time of year, because it means we get to finally take our toys out of hibernation and get them ready to play.

Everybody has their post-winterization rituals, but there are a few initial spring cleaning tasks that everybody needs to put at the top of their to-do list. So, pull off the tarp and let’s get to it:

  1. Replace your wiper blades:

    We know. Everybody hates spending money on these things, and we always put off replacing them until we absolutely need them (like driving through a thunderstorm).

    If you didn't replace your blades during the fall, or if you drove your Jeep through the winter, no doubt they've fallen victim to the wear and tear of use.

    Check your owner's manual to figure out your needed size, and you can easily replace your wipers yourself.

  2. Clean your headlamps:

    Another chore that we don't always do until we absolutely need to, but you figure it out pretty quick when you're driving down the street at night and can barely see in front of you.

    Winter driving has no doubt left plenty of salt and road grime all over your headlamps, which can hinder the full beam from illuminating your path. If you winterized and stored your vehicle, it never hurts to make sure there's no leftover mud caked on there from last year. Be sure to give them a good scrub!
  3. Wash your underbody:

    Even if you winterized and stored your Jeep, it's important to note that the roads are still covered with salt and grime well into spring. A lot of that stuff gets kicked up while you're driving.

    As you wash off your Jeep, be sure to give the underbody some attention. Neglecting that buildup of gunk could lead to corrosion and promote rust.

  4. Get out there, already!

    If there's one thing you can guarantee, it's that melting snow makes for some excellent muddy conditions. If you're not too shy about getting out in the slop, now is a great time to do so. Just make sure you're prepared for when you get stuck!

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Unconfirmed Rumor: 2017 Jeep Wrangler Will Have Diesel Option

Unconfirmed Rumor: 2017 Jeep Wrangler Will Have Diesel Option

There have been many rumors swirling about the forthcoming 2017 Jeep Wrangler JK. While few things have been confirmed (we don’t even have any pictures), the latest unconfirmed announcement is that there could be a diesel option. 

According to Motor Trend’s, one of the powertrain options for Jeep’s next-gen flagship will be the 3.0L VM Motori V6 EcoDiesel mated to the ZF eight-speed automatic. What does this mean? Developed by Fiat-owned supplier VM Motori in Italy, the EcoDiesel engine will give the Wrangler some excellent fuel economy – in the neighborhood of high 20s to 30s on the freeway – while still providing plenty of that signature Jeep torque. 

In 2014, the U.S. saw a grand influx of diesel-powered vehicles, including the Grand Cherokee. The EcoDiesel engine gave the Cherokee up to 30 mpg on the highway, up to 730 miles on one tank of fuel, and towing capacity of up to 7,400 pounds. The EcoDiesel also earned the No. 3 spot in Forbes 10 Best New-Car Engines for 2014, powering Chrysler’s Ram 1500 and giving it 24 mpg or better in combined city/highway driving. 

Other confirmed features of the 2017 Wrangler include front and rear solid axles, and body-on-frame construction.

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