I was one of the early adopters of the “bedlined grille” look. My OEM paint was chipping from winter road debris, and I just thought it made sense to have a durable, easy to repaint grille coating on the front of the Jeep. However, when it came to repaint it this Summer I got the great idea to use a new, polyurethane liner and totally messed it up.
One of the biggest concerns I have had with the JK platform was under hood heat. The engine bays (in both the 3.8 and 3.6 variants) are super cramped, and we push our Jeeps when offroading, especially in hot and dusty places like Moab or the Rubicon.
I was really excited when Rugged Ridge sent me one of their performance vented hoods to try. This would be the perfect chance to see just what kind of a difference would be seen with a vented hood.
Before the Rugged Ridge hood, I considered a bunch of options. Starting with the cheaper end, I looked at hood louvers from companies like Gen Right and Poison Spider. The biggest benefit to these, is that you do not need to paint your hood.
**UPDATED 9/2015** I have had these wheels and rings for a while now and the wheels are still in perfect condition, save a trip down the Rubicon, A week in Moab, and even a run on Crushers here at home. While the rock rings are really torn up (that’s their job!) I will be replacing them soon. They have kept the wheels in flawless shape.
I have had quite a few wheels on my Jeeps over the years. My TJ had factory, my first JK had American Racing, and my 2012 Rubicon had MTBs. All of these rims had one fatal flaw in my opinion – although they looked good, they were scratch and damage magnets when on the trail.
I started looking at beadlocks, because I really wanted a replaceable rock ring (and of course other benefits). The biggest downside to beadlocks for me was price and legality (many beadlocks are not approved for on road use).
So when I first saw Rugged Ridge’s XHD wheels at Jeep Beach, I was really excited. These wheels feature an optional, replaceable rock ring that does an awesome job protecting the rim. And the price is a lot cheaper than beadlocks.
I installed the Rugged Ridge low mount snorkel kit on my 2010 JK (3.8L) way back when, and remembered that while a tedious install, the benefits of this kit were well worth the effort. The same can be said about this kit for the 3.6 Pentastar.
I wanted to share some tips and tricks for the install, as well as some mods I have to make so it would accommodate my bolt on coilover kit, and Bushwacker fender flares. It is impossible for any manufacturer to consider all possible customizations, so I hope this can help a lot of people.
Please heed my advice and, before you tear your Jeep apart, run to the store and buy: