Kentrol Brings New Products to SEMA

Viva Las Vegas!

Kentrol is making its way to the City of Lights to attend this year’s SEMA Show and exhibition at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Nov. 3–6.

We look forward to this show every year, and we’re very excited to remind friends we’ve made there why Kentrol offers the best in specialty Jeep parts and accessories, while introducing our products to a brand new audience.

We have plenty to show off that’s new, including black textured stainless, replacement rubber hood latches and ready-to-paint steel accessories for the JK, stainless steel mirrors and accessories for the CJ, YJ, TJ, and JK. We’re bringing many of these new items to the show, so visit us at booth #33031 to get your first look.

 

SEMA is the automotive industry’s premier gathering of manufacturers of specialty auto products. Businesses will introduce more than 1,600 new and featured products to more than 60,000 qualified buyers, 73% of whom are more likely to buy from a SEMA exhibitor.

See you in Vegas!

 

For the Love of Mud: 2015 4Wheel Drive Jamboree

Things got reeeaaally dirty at this year’s 4WD Jamboree, which means it was a total success!

 

Last month, 4,200 mudders showed up with Jeeps and other vehicles in tow to 4WD’s Columbiana headquarters for the 17th Annual 4WD Jamboree for some serious fun, including a rock crawl, mud pit, obstacle course, and the Kentrol-sponsored Show ‘N’ Shine event. We had 1,545 Jeeps climbing, crawling, and plowing through the mud. It was a blast! In case you missed it, here are some pictures from the event! Thanks to 4WD for supplying some great shots from their album.

Jeep & Greet...

The Jamboree kicked off on Friday, Sept. 25, with a Jeep & Greet at the Sandwich Factory parking area in Columbiana.

Because Mud...

So. Much. Fun. It was amazing to see what a Jeep can climb and crawl over, but things definitely got extremely bumpy for the passengers. You will get jostled around. 4WD grabbed some great action shots from the obstacle course and the mud pit!

Photo courtesy 4WD 

Friends and Family...

Kentrol had a Rubicon on display that was detailed half and half, so attendees could take a look at two different finishes. We also gave away two door prizes: black-textured hood kits for JK. There was also plenty to keep the kiddos occupied, including go karts and CJ, 4WD's mascot.

 

Show 'N' Shine...

We had 94 Jeeps entered into this year’s Show ‘N’ Shine event. There were some incredible entries and the judges had a real tough time picking the winners, who took home some really cool trophies that were custom-welded from gear install parts from 4Wheel Drive Hardware’s shop. Too cool!

 

  

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 levelJeep U-joint 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!

 

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!

 

 

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!

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. 

3.0L VM Motori V6 EcoDieselAccording to Motor Trend’s TruckTrend.com, 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.

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!