What’s all this “giving is better than receiving” mumbo jumbo? What have you bought yourself lately?! This holiday season, while you’re busy standing in long lines or with your eyes glazed over surfing the mail-order websites, remember to take care of number one with some cool gifts that you know the recipient will appreciate!
Got an older engine that you want a little more style on? Check out Airaid’s new Concept II universal air filter that fits most V-8 carburetors and throttle bodies in smog-exempt vehicles. It uses the SynthaMax no-oil filter media, so you know you’ll never have oil splash on the nice aluminum lid that can be powdercoated or polished for a shine. The Concept II also comes with a nice machined flush nut plate and billet tool to tighten the air filter on. You can get yours in a 3-, 4-, or 5-inch height depending on how much room you have under the hood.
Want to keep weight down on your off-road toy? Ditching heavy steel and iron pieces in favor of lightweight aluminum and composite pieces can net you a substantial amount of weight loss if you really set your mind (and wallet) to it. A good place to start ditching weight is outside the wheelbase of the vehicle (namely bumpers and bumper accessories). This weight (or loss of) will most affect the way your vehicle performs. Fourtreks has a graphite-impregnated composite Hawse fairlead that weighs less than a pound and guarantees smooth edges and no line grabbing of synthetic winch ropes.
Do you want a hook that a strap can slide off of, or would you rather have a billet ProLink end that accepts a 3/4-inch shackle pin to lock a strap on? Factor 55’s new ProLink is machined from 6061 aluminum and uses a 5/8-inch double-sheer cross pin that attaches the ProLink to the winch cable. The anodized cable end (available in five colors) isn’t just for good looks either—it can take up to a 9-ton pull and works with steel or synthetic ropes, and both Hawse and roller fairleads.
This is probably the most inexpensive thing on our list, but maybe the most needed. We can find wires running straight through sheetmetal on two out of three trucks at any off-road event. We have no doubt you know that wires can fray if not insulated from sharp edges. It’s time to do something about it! Daystar’s Firewall boots are around $12 and you only need to drill a 1.5-inch hole to use them.
How do you affix a flag to your truck in an OHV area that requires them? We’ve seen and tried it all—duct tape, closing the whip in the tailgate or door, or some permanent hard mounts that get hard to use when old. These StickyWhips suction cups work with 1/4-inch, 5/16-inch, or even 1/2-inch flag whips (depending what cup set) and stick to any clean surface on your vehicle. We ran around an entire weekend without either suction cup coming loose even once. Without a doubt, this will be the only way we secure our flag whips from now on.
If you don’t have some of this in your glovebox, then you’re doing yourself a disservice. In fact, this is one you might even want to share. It’s better than electrical tape on wires, can fix a burst radiator hose when you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere, and can even temporarily fix fuel lines and resist other harsh chemicals. Rescue Tape is made from silicone and actually isn’t sticky to the touch. It’s very flexible and once looped over itself sticks almost instantly in place with a chemical bond that has a 950-psi tensile strength! It even works on surfaces that are covered in oil and dirt.
Give yourself the gift of light! LED light, that is. If you’re thinking of upgrading your headlights for better performance, we’d suggest skipping straight over the HID retrofits and getting a complete LED replacement housing. The LEDs and housing are matched for optimum light output and you’ll get the most effective light pattern without a ton of light bleed (which ticks off oncoming drivers). JW Speaker has these high/low-beam 8900 models that fit in place of the old 5x7 rectangular headlights (old fullsize Jeeps, XJ, etc). The install was as easy as changing headlights, and the difference in LED light performance (over halogen bulbs) is impressive. On top of that, the service life and vibration resistance of an LED light is unrivaled.
Portable Nitrogen Tank
We wouldn’t use this to put nitrogen in your tires, but this N2 Inflator Kit from Power Tank is perfect for filling up shocks and bumpstops on your truck at home or out in the dirt. It’s portable, refillable (using a larger nitrogen tank), and has an inflator with a readout that goes up to 400 psi. If you’re into off-roading and running remote reservoir shocks, it’s a staple that you wouldn’t want to go without. The plastic suitcase comes with all the tools and adapters you’ll need to fill the nitrogen tank and subsequently fill the shocks.