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2 1/2 ton axles

james t

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I helped a friend of mine build his early bronco with rocks and radius arms/coils front and rear. I know an EB isnt exactly the same thing as an Explorer but its pretty damn similar. Here are a few of my opinions (i was at one time thinking about rocks under my rig)-

Ride height- this was the main reason why i didnt do it. I did not like the fact that the rig has to be really tall. I wanted to keep it low and go with 39.5's or 42's. It still would have been too tall for my tastes. You have to run alot of "lift" so the driveshaft will clear the oil pan. Even then, we had to limit up travel a bit on my buddys rig.

Pinion brakes- we did pinion brakes and they work awesome offroad. Too good in fact. He wound up bleeding air into the system on purpose so the pedal wouldnt be so sensative. Remember, that tiny pinion brake is multiplied by the gear ratio, so two little bitty brakes can lock up all four real easy. This also means NO STREET DRIVING. Since the brakes are on the pinion, they are running whatever speed you're running times 6.72. At 40 mph, the brakes are turning about 270 mph. Ever see what happens to a Honda Civic rotor/caliper when you stand on the brakes at 270 mph? It aint pretty. :D And thats at 40 mph.

Parking it- this was another big issue to me but not a big deal to others if you have a shop. See, i have a garage. There is no way i could get the thing under an 8ft. garage door. That means it would have to be worked on in the driveway, and parked in the back yard. I used to have to work on stuff in the driveway... im not going back to that. Even with suck-down winches and airing all four tires down to flats it wasnt going to fit.

Trailer queen- once again, not that big of a deal to some... but i want to have something that i can at least sneak to work every once in a while. Obviously i could have went with wheel discs, but at the time they were very expensive and negated that fact that rockwells were dirt cheap. It would have been cheaper to just go one ton.
 


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Burns

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I helped a friend of mine build his early bronco with rocks and radius arms/coils front and rear. I know an EB isnt exactly the same thing as an Explorer but its pretty damn similar. Here are a few of my opinions (i was at one time thinking about rocks under my rig)-

Ride height- this was the main reason why i didnt do it. I did not like the fact that the rig has to be really tall. I wanted to keep it low and go with 39.5's or 42's. It still would have been too tall for my tastes. You have to run alot of "lift" so the driveshaft will clear the oil pan. Even then, we had to limit up travel a bit on my buddys rig.

Pinion brakes- we did pinion brakes and they work awesome offroad. Too good in fact. He wound up bleeding air into the system on purpose so the pedal wouldnt be so sensative. Remember, that tiny pinion brake is multiplied by the gear ratio, so two little bitty brakes can lock up all four real easy. This also means NO STREET DRIVING. Since the brakes are on the pinion, they are running whatever speed you're running times 6.72. At 40 mph, the brakes are turning about 270 mph. Ever see what happens to a Honda Civic rotor/caliper when you stand on the brakes at 270 mph? It aint pretty. :D And thats at 40 mph.

Parking it- this was another big issue to me but not a big deal to others if you have a shop. See, i have a garage. There is no way i could get the thing under an 8ft. garage door. That means it would have to be worked on in the driveway, and parked in the back yard. I used to have to work on stuff in the driveway... im not going back to that. Even with suck-down winches and airing all four tires down to flats it wasnt going to fit.

Trailer queen- once again, not that big of a deal to some... but i want to have something that i can at least sneak to work every once in a while. Obviously i could have went with wheel discs, but at the time they were very expensive and negated that fact that rockwells were dirt cheap. It would have been cheaper to just go one ton.

Your right they are truly the same. just a little different in size.

Ride height will be rather large but hey i plan on making it flex as well as being big. Hopefully it wont be to tipsy.

Pinion brakes. I know that they are strong and thats great. it will only see off road driving if i do this and thats ok with me.

Parking is not and issue to me....We have a nice sized fenced in area and i see no reason that wont do

The biggest thing that is getting me is not being able to drive it. I love driving it not and i plan on getting a f150 to haul it around. But i really dont need to be driving it on the road now as it is...It is street legal now in every way in TN but it is big and i have had one accident when it was on the 5.5inch lift so if i have one now i couldn't imagine how that would turn out..
 




'97 V8

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Have you looked into the front loader rockwells?
 




Burns

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Have you looked into the front loader rockwells?

I have just a little bit but the axles from usa6x6 and chucks trucks have fully been gone throught and everything has been worked over. Seals bearing repaceked or replaced depends on there conditions. This will not only save me time but some money for me to do this myself. I want this to be a really good if i do it so im not gonna spare anything in the axle dept..

This is just the start...I do now want to go over board in the money dept.....So after a few years it will be street legal
 




sn0border88

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you dont want to spend alot of money on the project, but you want it to flex well. So now your talking coils f/r which is definatly the way to go, but to get flex (unlike most mud trucks that run rocks) your talkin a link system 3/4/wishbone/whatever but have you considered the cost and skill required to build a link system to support those massive axles and tires. If youve got the money to spend then go for it but its definatly something that requires ALOT of research first.

Hey, im all for it. I just dont want to see it done wrong. :thumbsup:
 




Burns

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Thats the thing this will not necessarily be a mud truck...It will see it but i want this thing to mainly to be a flexing beast.

I don't want to see it done wrong either because it would be a costly mistake...I plan to take a while to figure out all this link system....This is why i want to get the axle ready to go....Don't want to fool with that now....There will be enough to do without having to rebuild those babies...
 




slravene

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Yeah with mine i think it would be nice but i dont want to put so much money in it this year......I think i can do it all on 4thousand.....So that will have to come next year.....

I emailed the guys a usa6x6 asking for all the info they could give me on the axles...Just waiting to hear what they say to really decied what is going to happen....It also depends a lot on my money.....


Rocks are a BIIIIG step to make.

Two things about this post. A buddy and I are putting 2.5s under his TJ at the moment, and you will NEVER get away with 4K. Not even close. I dont mean to blow holes in your project, im more trying to prepare you than shoot down your idea ;). You have over 2K in tires and wheels alone. Not to mention the Axles, The narrowing (if you are doing that), the pinion set ups, driveshafts, Links (which alone will be over 1K), steering, and so on. There are lots of things in that list that are going to cost well into the upper 100s if not break 1K. You will barely get to slide the rocks under your rig for 4K. Sorry...but that number isnt close to right.

Secondly, DO NOT deal with USA6x6. The guy who runs that place is a ****** rocket. Your junk will take months to come in and you will pay out of the ass for it. If you need some rocks let me know, i can find them farily easily.

Other than that...go for it. They are a great platform to build on and damn near indestructible. You will probably want to upgrade to a better motor/tranny/tcase too since you will most likely get into some more extreme wheeling....but thats another project :p:
 




bmxking5

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This sounds like a badass project. It would be one of a kind, and definitely be sick in the end. :thumbsup: However, 4K definitely seems WAY too low. Unless you have some huge hookup on tons of free parts, I don't think you could do it for anywhere near under 4k (esp. with the axles already rebuilt). Between the axles, custom 4 link front and rear, gas tank relocation, etc etc etc. Also, I wouldn't even consider running the 4.0, M5OD and 1354 combo with this. Those won't last long at all with 46s. The shop I work at has a few hookups for some used rockwells, so PM me if you're interested in getting some from somewhere else. Also, one of my buddies has some 46s (look like 53s to me, but he swears they are 46s) that he's trying to get rid of. PM me if you're interested in them.

I hope you go through with the project, and are able to invest the amount of money needed to make it awesome.
 




'97 V8

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btf makes a great link kit for the rockwell. It has erverything you need for the fron t and rear and will be under 500 bucks. Im getting the stuff for my front link from them. If i have the extra time i may link the rear too.
 




Burns

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I feel that that was a good estimate at the time.....I could easily get away pretty close to that ammount

Front Axle - Rebuilt 1400 usa6x6 Chucks trucks 1450
Rear Axle - Rebuilt 800 Usa6x6 Chucks trucks 900

usa6x6 says on there website about the axles: Delivery time is 4 weeks or your money back Guaranteed!

Brakes - Offroad: Driveline / Pinion brake. Complete with new rotor, 4 piston
caliper and hardware kit-bolts on in minutes 275 per axle x2 550

Hydraulic Steering Ram 275
Hydraulic Steering Valve 375
Hydraulic lines cane be custom made at a local shop......

4 Link Axle Helmet 150 2x 300

Tires

Michelin XML 395 85 R 20 - 46 inches tall - USED 70% Lower price BUY 4 and get a FREE Spare 125 per tire

total 4200 ok so close to 4000

but i still need all the bars for the link suspension and some square tube drive shafts(homemade)

there is still shipping....i plan on picking it up myself so i can save there also

97 does that place have a website
 




slravene

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come on man...there is alot more to it than you are thinking. Trust me on this. Your links ALONE will be over 1K (unless you cheap out and buy some shitty joints). What about wheels? What about heims for steering? What about Fabrication materials (gonna need to stretch your wheelbase likely causing you to need to rework some frame, etc, etc).

Like I said...im all about building something like what you are talking about...but you are only thinking about one level of the cost. Rocks arent a 44/9 swap...

I just dont like seeing people jump into a project and not realizing what all its gonna take to get it done. Some SERIOUS fabrication is going to need to take place in order to get it so its not booty fab as hell.

And about USA6x6...use them if you like, ive just heard LOTS of bad things about them. Go search around on Pirate for a while about them.
 




'97 V8

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http://www.bluetorchfab.com/home.htm

download the catolog and go to the 2 1/2 ton rockwell parts. There pinion disc brake kit costs 95 bucks. you use a toyota caliper and a mazda rotor.
 




Burns

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Im not gonna spend a grand on links....Im not gonna contract any of the work out.....Im gonna do this project if I do it...Why do you think im am trying to show all the info i have for now....I want sugestions and feedback....Its the only way i can learn something.....I have already talked to Usa6x6 and so far they have been the only ones who have been able to answer my question.....I want to spend at least 4 months just looking into all the materials needed.....

For the frame im not gonna extend it at all.....I will support the ends and box in certin areas.....I want the coils to be a the very end of the frame.....That way i will have a extended wheel base that will allow for a impressive approach angel.....

Steering heims will be pointless I plan on a full on hydro steering at first....If i feel after that to make it street legal that will be a prob but as for now it will be built for no street driving at all....I am no longer going to stretch myself to limit my rig to street legal laws....Im dealing with this now...

My dad is a smart man and we have talked about it several times here lately... he has worked with cars his whole life....I know that does not mean anything to anyone else but he knows more than anyone around here that i know......

When i do this it will be done right and done right on the first try....If you think im just gonna sit back and blow a few grand your wrong....What i do to my rig is paid for by me....My parents support me but will not support me and my truck...So i front the bills for my projects

thanks 97 ill be giving this a look

Hey do you have to have a password to download that....It wont let me
 




IZwack

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Hey sounds like you're on the right track!

I'm sure you've gone over this in you're head over and over already, but IMO don't stretch the wheel-base too far out (for better approach angle as you stated) cauz then you're break-over angle starts decreasing. Just push them out just enough to fit the tire size you're running :D Crashing the front or rear frame rail on a rock due to inadequate approach angle is a lot easier to deal with than crashing the precious under-belly (with all the goodies like the transmission, transfer case, and driveshafts) ;) Also, turning radius starts decreasing with longer wheel bases :D And I'm sure with those uber tires you plan on running, approach angle wont be an issue.
 




Burns

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Good point and the thought on 46 instead of 44 is to allow me just a little more room on having the axle back therefore having less under body space...The final placment of the axle will be done when i have it and with the tires on...That is something i wish i had done when i did my current sas....some things will just have to be done/final placement decided with the parts here.
 




slravene

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Im not gonna spend a grand on links....Im not gonna contract any of the work out.....Im gonna do this project if I do it...Why do you think im am trying to show all the info i have for now....I want sugestions and feedback....Its the only way i can learn something.....I have already talked to Usa6x6 and so far they have been the only ones who have been able to answer my question.....I want to spend at least 4 months just looking into all the materials needed.....

What do you plan on using in terms of Joints? Tube? All that hardware adds up too. (Jam nuts, Misalignments, bolts, nuts, etc) Have you looked into this yet?

For the frame im not gonna extend it at all.....I will support the ends and box in certin areas.....I want the coils to be a the very end of the frame.....That way i will have a extended wheel base that will allow for a impressive approach angel.....

This is good. However, there will still need to be some fabrication here. It will be necessary to box the frame if you plan to run rocks and tires that size. Not a huge issue, but will take some time and money. You will probably need to add some crossmembers in there somewhere.

Steering heims will be pointless I plan on a full on hydro steering at first....If i feel after that to make it street legal that will be a prob but as for now it will be built for no street driving at all....I am no longer going to stretch myself to limit my rig to street legal laws....Im dealing with this now...

You still need joints in the steering. You gonna just weld the ram to the knuckle? :confused:
standard


My dad is a smart man and we have talked about it several times here lately... he has worked with cars his whole life....I know that does not mean anything to anyone else but he knows more than anyone around here that i know......

Its good that you have someone to help you. I said it before and Ill say it again. Rocks arent your typical 44/9 swap. The level of fabrication is rediculous to get something that big underneath a rig safely. Im sure his mechanical knowledge will help, but unless he has put rocks under a rig before he will be in uncharted waters so to speak. Still good to have though, thats for sure.

When i do this it will be done right and done right on the first try....If you think im just gonna sit back and blow a few grand your wrong....What i do to my rig is paid for by me....My parents support me but will not support me and my truck...So i front the bills for my projects

Not sure what that has to do with much.


There is ALOT of "nickel and dime" stuff that will add up QUICK. I dont think ou answered it yet, but what about wheels? Recentered Hummers are probably your best bet.
 




slravene

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but IMO don't stretch the wheel-base too far out (for better approach angle as you stated) cauz then you're break-over angle starts decreasing. Just push them out just enough to fit the tire size you're running :D Crashing the front or rear frame rail on a rock due to inadequate approach angle is a lot easier to deal with than crashing the precious under-belly (with all the goodies like the transmission, transfer case, and driveshafts) ;) Also, turning radius starts decreasing with longer wheel bases :D And I'm sure with those uber tires you plan on running, approach angle wont be an issue.

Tis true. Youve got to go pretty high in order to clear the chunks, so you will want to stretch a little, but not tons. Gotta find that happy medium.
 




Burns

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What do you plan on using in terms of Joints? Tube?

The only real thing that im not sure of and the rims.....Im not gonna go to the top of the line for the joint.....there are good products out there....I need to be able to access that link 97v8 posted to check that out.....seems interesting.....

(Jam nuts, Misalignments, bolts, nuts, etc) Have you looked into this yet?

got a good handle on that not worried at all.....

You still need joints in the steering. You gonna just weld the ram to the knuckle?

Yes you need a joint but i dont need a over the top joint like i would need to make it work if it was not full hydro....

runs i have a call with usa6x6 to talk about the possibilities and prices....I just need a regular rim that will fit the tire...no custom high dollar rim...
 




slravene

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runs i have a call with usa6x6 to talk about the possibilities and prices....I just need a regular rim that will fit the tire...no custom high dollar rim...

Thats the thing. There arent any "regular rims" to fit rocks. You will either have to reuse the stock wheels (not the best choice), recenter some hummers (which means you will now need some new tires since those wont work), or get you some custom ones. ($$$)

I understand you havent completely researched this before, and you will im sure. But im just trying to let you know that your 4K figure is going to go out the window VERY fast if you build this right. You talk about doing it right the first time and not having to ever mess with it again, but then you talk about not using top end joints, etc. Rocks are HEAVY. They will tear a cheap joint apart if its wheeled hard. You need a BEEF ass joint to handle rocks and 46s. Its your project, and im pretty sure you will build it like you want to. If you can do it for under 4K thats awesome. I just dont see if happening if you do it right and not booty fab the thing.
 


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Burns

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if 97 is right 500 bucks is great...I know that it will prob be more money than i am planning for but hey lol you never know....It wont be a crap job....I have a few friends that have worked with rocks and i have to talk to them also.....

I just confirmed for them to call me Wednesday about axles, rims, tires, and prices so i will have a better grasp on Wednesday....
 




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