Parts Accessories

Superlift Now Offering Lift Kits for the 2015 - 2016 Ford F-150

Superlift Now Offering Lift Kits for the 2015 - 2016 Ford F-150

Lift kit gives new height to your current-gen F-150

Big trucks will tall lift kits and huge wheel and tire combinations are extremely popular these days. Not only does a lift kit give a truck a unique look, it brings more off-road capability thanks to improved approach, break-over, and departure angles; improved water fording depth; and greater protection from trail debris. Now Superlift has introduced its new suspension lift for the current-generation Ford F-150.

The lift kit comes in two height options: a 4.5-inch lift and a 6.0-inch lift. Both are said to accommodate wheels 18 inches and larger and tires 36 inches and larger. Superlift gives its customers the choice between two rear shock absorbers, the Superlift Superride or the Superlift Superride SS from Bilstein. The both lift kits heights are said to maintain the factory ride quality and not make front-wheel alignments difficult. Driveshaft alignment is also taken care of with an optional bearing carrier drop kit for F-150s with a two-piece rear driveshaft.

Superlift designed the kits using 3D CAD software with

Ford

supplied software models to ensure proper fitments of the parts. The lifts are also American made and come backed by a lifetime warranty, a 60-day satisfaction guarantee, and Superlift’s Factory Warranty Assurance Policy. The lift kits come packaged with all the parts needed to complete the project and can generally be finished in seven to nine hours.

The lift kit is designed to fit all 2015 and 2015 Ford F-150s with 4WD. Prices for the lift kit start at $999.95. Impressively, Superlift’s website lists both the 4.5- and 6.0-inch lift kit at that price. Order either kit with the optional Bilstein rear shocks and the price bumps to $1,114.75. Of course, Superlift also offers other lift kits and accessories for most modern F-150 model years as well.

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Tesla Launches Updated Autopilot System

Tesla Launches Updated Autopilot System

The radar system will now be the primary control sensor going forward

Tesla has been hard at work refining its AutoPilot system after a number of AutoPilot-related accidents brought the automaker under fire. In August, we told you about AutoPilot 2.0 that would include new hardware and new software programming to the Model S, Model X, and Model 3. Then a couple of weeks later, Tesla announced an update that brought new safety restrictions to the system to help prevent drivers from becoming distracted while AutoPilot was engaged. Now, Tesla has announced yet another software update that focused around how the system sees the world using the built in Radar system found in each Tesla vehicle.

Every Tesla vehicle built since 2014 has had a radar system as standard equipment, but until now, that system has been secondary to the primary camera and image processing system. See, radar has limitations as it sees some things differently than we do. For instance, anything that is metallic – like a chrome bumper – can throw the system off. Something like the bottom of a beer can lying in the road can look much larger to a radar system. This obviously poses problems with the radar system being used as a primary system, but Tesla has found a workaround.

This newest update, dubbed Software 8.0, will use the radar system to take snapshots 10 times per second to create a 3D picture. By comparing these shots with one another, along with the car’s velocity and expected path, the system can determine whether or not something is a real obstacle and the probability of a collision. Furthermore, fleet learning comes into play as well. When a Tesla approaches an overpass with road signs, the system often sees this as something in the road. To tackle this, the system will take note of the potential obstacle and the driver’s reaction. This information is then sent to the cloud where it is compiled and analyzed. After so many passes, a certain area can be whitelisted as safe so that every Tesla vehicle driving through the area with AutoPilot engaged knows that the overpass is an overpass and not a truck in the road or some other obstacle. It should be noted that this part of the system will function whether AutoPilot is engaged or not.

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Ford Launches FordPass App

Ford Launches FordPass App

You can now reserve and pay for parking ahead of time... if you own a Ford

Earlier this month I brought you a story about Lexus drivers getting their own parking spots at Edmonton’s International Airport. The idea was conceived by a local dealer who wanted to extend its customer service base, and as such, rented out a number of spaces that are dedicated to use by people who drive Lexus vehicles. Some people are upset over the whole matter, but it looks like the idea is catching on. Well, kind of catching on, anyway. This time, it’s Ford with a new app. It’s called FordPass.

While it’s not quite as arrogant as the whole Lexus parking spot thing, it does offer new solutions for finding and paying for parking spots. In more than 160 cities, Ford owners can now use the app to reserve garage parking and even pay for it in advance. Apparently, parking availability is updated in real time, and certain parking spots can even be “bookmarked” so they are easy to find in the app next time.

Elena Ford, the Vice President of Global Dealer and Consumer Experience for Ford, said, “Finding and paying for parking is one of the biggest pain points for drivers. This new feature is just one of many ways we are delivering better, smarter, more efficient mobility solutions for consumers with FordPass.”

The updated FordPass app is available for download from all of the major app stores now.

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Former Toledo Jeep Plant Site Now Home to Instrument Cluster Supplier

Former Toledo Jeep Plant Site Now Home to Instrument Cluster Supplier

Next-generation Jeep Wrangler to get gauges built at historic site

Detroit Manufacturing Systems LLC broke ground August 24 on a 102,000-square foot facility dedicated to making instrument clusters for various automakers and models, including the next-generation, 2017 Jeep Wrangler.

The plant will be located atop the same spot where every Jeep made between 1940 and 2001 was produced. Originally home to the Willys-Overland Company, the land housed the factory that built the Willys MB during WWII and later housed AMC and Chrysler’s Jeep operations. Many Jeep enthusiasts consider this “hallowed ground” and the birthplace of the brand. Today, the only remnant is a smokestack left for posterity. The red brick structure still reads “OVERLAND,” spelled out in black bricks.

The DMS facility will neighbor another factory in Overland Industrial Park, Dana Inc.’s new advanced axle factory. Dana will also be providing axles and other parts to FCA’s Toledo Assembly Complex some three miles down the street. The 2017 Wrangler will likely be riding on these Dana axles. Both companies are building around the smokestack, leaving it to stand for decades to come.

DMS expects to be fully operational by the summer of 2017 and initially employ at least 140 people. The growth of another 100 workers is projected by 2020. And interestingly enough, DMS CEO Andra Rush says she remembers making “midnight deliveries” to the old Jeep assembly plant before its decommissioning in 2001 and demolition in 2010. Rush, a former truck driver, launched her own trucking company in 1984, Rush Trucking Corp., of which she is still CEO.

DMS currently supplies dashboards, gauge clusters, door panels, and center consoles to several Ford products, including the F-Series trucks, Expedition, Explorer, Focus, Mustang, and Taurus.

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Honda Filed Patent For 11-Speed, Triple-Clutch Transmission

Honda Filed Patent For 11-Speed, Triple-Clutch Transmission

A new, innovative gearbox could hit the market soon

While two decades ago seven-speed transmissions for passenger cars were unheard of, they are quite common today. Actually, automatic transmissions have been receiving additional cogs on a regular basis, with several vehicles using eight- and nine-speed automatics. More recently, Ford and GM have announced plans to introduce a jointly-developed 10-cog unit, but a patent that Honda filed with the Japanese Patent Office suggests that in the future we might use transmissions with even more gears.

According to AutoGuide, the Japanese manufacturer filed a patent for a new 11-speed gearbox that will use three clutches (instead of just two). The patent describes a transmission that shifts quicker and delivers better fuel economy. The third clutch is also supposed to reduce the drop in torque that occurs during up shifts on a regular dual-clutch gearbox, but there’s no information as to how the unit actually works.

Also, there’s no mention of what type of vehicle this transmission would eventually be offered in, but it sounds like it could find a home in small, fuel economy-oriented cars. It could also be used on the company’s future sports cars, as well as in larger vehicles in need of better fuel economy. On the other hand, it might not make it on the market at all, as patents don’t always spawn mass-produced parts.

The patent was published on May 27, 2016, and is no longer available on the Japanese patent office’s website. Stick around for updates, we’ll be back as soon as we get fresh info.

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3M Trizact Kit Proves Stuff Does Buff Out

3M Trizact Kit Proves Stuff Does Buff Out

We try 3M’s Precision Scratch Kit

You know the old saying, “That’ll buff out.” It’s usually found in the comment section, said in jest when talking about caved in body panels or the smoldering shell of a crispy Italian exotic. Well the idiom can return to its roots of honest paint repair thanks to an easy, do-it-yourself kit found at most automotive parts shops and big-box retailers. It’s the Trizact Precision Scratch Kit from 3M.

It involves a three-step process that uses a household power drill and water to remove light scratches and paint imperfections. It’s designed to be simple enough to use for everyday people with little to no experience of paint repair.

Like most folks, my daily driver’s paint has seen better days. Small scuffs and scratches can be found on several body panels, making my 2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer look like, well, a 12-year-old SUV. So you can imagine my excitement when 3M reached out about trying the new Trizact kit. I gladly let them send me a few samples. Here’s my experience using 3M’s newest system.

Continue reading for the full 3M Trizact review.

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Valentino Balboni Launches Aftermarket Company For Lamborghini Parts

Valentino Balboni Launches Aftermarket Company For Lamborghini Parts

VB will cater exclusively to Lamborghini supercars, beginning with the Aventador SuperVeloce

Valentino Balboni earned his status in life for being Lamborghini’s go-to test driver for the better part of 40 years. The legendary test driver has since retired from his day job, but it’s evident that his love for all things raging bull has yet to subside. That was made clear time and again, and it’s being reinforced today with the launch of his new tuning company, which will simply be called “VB.”

Like some of the world’s most famous aftermarket firms, VB will cater exclusively to tuning parts for Lamborghini, and while details are still unclear on what kind of projects VB will undertake in the future, it is kicking off its birth with its first creation: a super exclusive, ultra lightweight titanium exhaust that was created specifically for the Lamborghini Aventador SuperVeloce.

If a picture paints a thousand words, the image of the new exhausts flanking Valentino Balboni looks downright amazing. Each exhaust is hand-made, weighs just 13.8 pounds, and promises “a new dimension in sound.” It’s also made from Grade 2 titanium and the whole process of creating the whole thing takes up to 350 hours, underscoring the kind of attention-to-detail that Balboni was famous for in his time as Lamborghini’s test driver.

The only downside to the product is that VB will only make 30 units of the exhaust with all units available only to the 600-unit Aventador SuperVeloce, a car that not surprisingly sold out a long time ago. Details on the price are still unknown at this point, but expect more information about the new company to come out when VB officially launches the ultra-light titanium exhaust at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on August 20, 2016.

In the meantime, we can start imagining the possibilities of what VB is capable of when it begins doing complete tuning programs for Lamborghini supercars. Considering the wealth of knowledge Valentino Balboni has of the things that go on in Sant’Agata Bolognese, VB could turn into the preeminent tuner of all things Lamborghini.

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You Won't Believe What Ford Wants To Make Car Parts From

You Won’t Believe What Ford Wants To Make Car Parts From

Remember when Ford started stuffing soy into the headrests of the F-150, Taurus, and Fusion back in 2011? Well, the automaker is always striving to make its productions processes more eco-friendly. Right now all those nifty plastic pieces inside Ford vehicles – you know, the center console, door trim panels, and the like – are all derived from petroleum and natural gas, both of which are far from “green.” All that could change, however, if a new collaboration between Ford and Jose Cuervo actually pans out.

Don’t worry, you didn’t misread that. Ford is teaming up with Jose in hopes of using a leftover byproduct of the company’s distillation process to make more eco-friendly plastic components for its entire lineup of vehicles. See, Jose Cuervo uses agave plant to make that tasty tequila that you either love or hate. Once the plant is harvested, it is roasted, pressed, fermented, and distilled to make tequila. The leftover agave fibers are currently being used as compost by Jose Cuervo, but Ford has the brilliant idea to collect the leftover fibers and use them to create interior and exterior car parts.

Believe it or not, the plan is highly feasible. Jose Cuervo harvests upward or 200 to 300 tons of agave per day, which computes to, well, a hell of a lot of leftover fibers. Ford’s initial testing shows that the eco-friendly plastic made from agave looks good enough and is strong enough to be used for things like coin dishes, wiring harnesses, storage bins, and even things like cup holders, fuse boxes, and HVAC units.

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Lamborghini's Ad Personam Program Is Getting Its Own Studio

Lamborghini’s Ad Personam Program Is Getting Its Own Studio

Italian supercar brand is leveling up on giving its customers what they want out of their new Lambos

Lamborghini’s Ad Personam personalization program is getting its very own space inside the Italian automaker’s headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese. The new studio will be dedicated strictly to Lambo’s Ad Personam program and will exclusively cater to the company’s customer base. Prospective owners will be given the unique experience of getting a guided tour of the facility before they get to the business of calling the shots on how they want their Lamborghinis to be customized.

This isn’t something overly different from what Lamborghini has been doing since it kicked off the Ad Personam program back in 2006. It’s just now the program will have its own dedicated space where customers can choose from a wide range of personalized options available for both the Huracán and the Aventador. The new studio features displays on all the options available, including the body color, the choice of leather, seat, and trim options – and of course Lamborghini’s very own forged composite carbon fiber material that the automaker is offering exclusive on the Aventador.

Considering that more than half of cars it sold in 2016 passed through the Ad Personam customization program, the opening of this new studio will serve prospective Lamborghini owners well as they try to put personalized touches on their new supercars.

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Cool Device Could Turn Your Truck Or SUV Into A Mobile Gas Station

Cool Device Could Turn Your Truck Or SUV Into A Mobile Gas Station

How do you feel about being able to pump gas from your own vehicle? Is it cool, dangerous, or asking to have your gas stolen?

So you’re getting ready to cut your grass or maybe even take the quad out for a fun ride. There’s one problem, however. You go to grab your gas can, just to find that all three you own are bone dry. Now you’ve got to spend the next half hour getting to the gas station filling up and getting back home before you can proceed with your plans for the day. Well maybe not, if you have the Fuel Tool installed on your truck or SUV.

With the Fuel Tool, the need of going to the gas station to fill a gas can could be a thing of the past. It would make filling up the lawn mower, quad, tossing your kid a little gas, or fueling up your generator as simple as starting your truck and pumping a little bit of gas right there on the spot. What’s more, the guys behind Fuel Tool have showcased this new system to three major automakers in Detroit, MI.

According to Mike McAvey from Fuel Tool, Alan Mulally, the former President and CEO of Ford has admitted that the system is great, and the Ford should introduce it to the world. Of course, that only holds so much weight, but if the guys behind Fuel Tool have their way, the new Ford Ranger could very well come equipped with a Fuel Tool.

With that said, a few questions come to mind about this Fuel Tool system. First, is it safe? Second, how does it work? Third, will people be able to steal my gas if I have a fuel tool? Well, Let’s take a look at a couple of videos from Fuel Tool and talk a little about it.

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Aston Martin Starts Production Of New 5.2-Liter Twin-Turbo V-12 Engine

Aston Martin Starts Production Of New 5.2-Liter Twin-Turbo V-12 Engine

New powertrain will be used on the Aston Martin DB11 and Vantage models among others

Production of Aston Martin’s new 600-horsepower, 5.2-liter, twin-turbocharged, V-12 engine has begun with the first unit having already been built in the company’s engine plant in Cologne, Germany. The new engine is internally known as the AE31 and has an official output of 600 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. It is also expected to take the reins from the 6.0-liter V-12, known as the AE28, as the company’s new flagship powertrain. The AE28 engine has been around since 2003 when Aston Martin relaunched under Ford ownership and debuted the DB9.

13 years later, the British automaker is once again preparing to turn a new chapter in its history and it’s doing so by not only reinventing its lineup, but by offering a new V-12 engine that will be used in a handful of its new models, most notably the DB11. In fact, the first production DB11 is expected to receive the first 5.2-liter V-12 engine that’s signed by Aston Martin. There are no plans to sell that model at the moment, although those plans could change in the future in the event the company decides to allocate it to a loyal customer.

Other than the DB11, the new 5.2-liter V-12 engine is also expected to be used on the company’s new V12-powered Vantage models and the Lagonda SUV. More importantly, Aston Martin is developing the AE31 to be just as durable and long-lasting as its predecessor. Unless something unforeseen happens, the AE31 engine will have a similar, if not longer, life span than the AE28 engine.

The automaker is at least seeing to it that production of the AE31 engine is up to company standards. One engine takes a total of eight hours to build with one engine assembly technician responsible for building each engine following the process through from beginning to end. As soon as the engine is completed, it is subjected to hot and cold testing from inside the same facility in Cologne. Once it passes all of its tests, the engines will be shipped to Aston Martin headquarters in Gaydon, UK.

Meanwhile, production of the 6.0-liter V-12 engine and the 4.7-liter V-8 engine will continue in the same facility, which has a production capacity of 8,000 engines a year.

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Bugatti Chiron Comes With Insanely Expensive Options

Bugatti Chiron Comes With Insanely Expensive Options

Prepare to spend a lot more than the supercar’s $2.66 million price tag

The Bugatti Chiron costs $2.66 million, or roughly the equivalent of 11 Lamborghini Huracans. That’s how expensive the Chiron is, even though the price feels a little justified considering that Bugatti doesn’t operate on the same playing field as 95 percent of the auto industry. The Chiron’s price tag isn’t really that shocking, but once you dive into the plethora of optional extras that Bugatti is offering for the supercar, that’s where things get a little crazy.

This video from YouTube channel Let’s Talk About Cars, Yo!” gives us a good idea on what to expect from the added options that Bugatti is offering for future owners of its new, multi-million supercar. Best be warned, though. These figures are not for the weak-of-heart, or in this case, the weak-of-wallet. Take for instance the option to get a paint scheme with exposed carbon fiber on the body. Bugatti has priced that at an incredible €180,000, or close to $203,000. By comparison, that amount is already enough to buy a McLaren 570S and still have change of about $20,000. Even more outrageous is the full exposed carbon fiber body on the Chiron. That kind of option, awesome as it sounds, will set a customer back an insane €255,000, or close to $290,000. That’s enough to buy a Lamborghini Huracan in addition to saving around $50,000. Even seemingly mundane items like carbon mirror caps and a horseshoe paint on the body costs €8,000 and €6,000, or about $9,100 and $6,800, respectively.

These are just on the exterior. The interior of the Chiron also gets it share of notable options, chief among them being the interior carbon pack monotone that’s priced at €50,000, or about $57,000 based on current exchange rates. A sport seat also costs €15,000 ($17,000) while a comfort seat will set you back €25,000 (a little over $28,000).

These modifications aren’t so much a test in finances, as they are an exercise in money management. It’s hard to blame Bugatti though since the company prides itself on being the standard bearer in both luxury and performance. Still, that’s how expensive the Bugatti Chrion is or can be depending on the options that are checked off. Kind of makes it seem like the Huracan is a massive bargain, right?

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