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Rock Rod - worth it?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by djohnsn, Mar 15, 2001.

  1. djohnsn

    djohnsn 1/2 ton status

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    It’s time to replace most of my steering components on my 78 (with 10 bolt). I am considering upgrading to a Rock Rod since the price is not much different from stock replacement parts, but this Blazer will only see fairly mild wheelin. Should I go with stock replacement parts or the Rock Rod? Are there any disadvantages to the Rock Rod?

    D. Johnson
    78 Blazer
     
  2. SuperUnknown

    SuperUnknown 1/2 ton status

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    It's worth it if you wheel where there are rocks. I don't wheel that hard but I have busted my tie rod and bent the replacement twice since I bought my truck in september. But that is mostly becase I'm not a very experianced off-roader and some how don't see alot of big rocks sneak under my truck.

    [​IMG]I spend more time under my truck then I do in it.[​IMG]
     
  3. ken

    ken 1/2 ton status

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    I've been thinking...has anyone considered that if you upgrade to an unbendable tie rod that you will instead be breaking steering knuckles?? I have seen broken steering knuckles on Dana 60s!! They are not indestructible. I think I'd rather bend a tie rod and be able to somewhat bend it back in line on the trail than break a steering knuckle. What do you guys think???

    ken
     
  4. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Interesting point, although the knuckles will take far more abuse than the stock rod hanging in the wind, it does change the weak point (or fuse if you perfer to use the latest jargon). Like you said, I'd much rather deal with a bent rod (got a spare jack handle?) than the knuckles (oh, just give me my gun!) when 30 miles from nowhere.

    What we really need is some cost effective way to move that puppy behind and above the axle. Ahhh, the never ending search for the perfect setup...

    Bad Dog

    85 K30 CUCV, 350 TBI, TH400, NP205, D60/C14, 4.56
    Coming soon: 4" lift, 40" tires, massive cutting, shorter wb and rear overhang.
     
  5. KING K5

    KING K5 1/2 ton status

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    Well I just ordered my "ROCK ROD" tonight so when I get it installed and on the trail I'll let you know how it does!!
    Jeff
     
  6. Shawn

    Shawn 1/2 ton status Premium Member Author

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    I would think the tie rod ends will break first. They're only 1/2 ton ends and are acutally weaker than the stock Dana 60 ends. Thats why I carry spare ends.

    Shawn
    87 K5
    few mods[​IMG]
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.off-road.com/chevy>http://www.off-road.com/chevy</A>
     
  7. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Hmm, I had not realized you were using 1/2 ton ends. Is that what the rock rod is designed to use or is that a choice you made. I could go read the article, I guess I missed that first time through. Anyway, I was thinking it would be the 1 ton ends or heim joints. I had the heims in my head for my project eventually but this sheds a new light on that. Yeah, the ends would be *far* better than breaking the hubs OR bending the rod.

    You know, I like these boards, it's nice to have others to work through these issues with. Others who can help you find things you've overlooked before you screw something up. Several times today I've had people here provoke me into rethinking things I thought I had figured out...


    Bad Dog

    85 K30 CUCV, 350 TBI, TH400, NP205, D60/C14, 4.56
    Coming soon: 4" lift, 40" tires, massive cutting, shorter wb and rear overhang.
     
  8. Shawn

    Shawn 1/2 ton status Premium Member Author

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    Yes, the rockrod is designed to use mid 80's 1/2 ton GM tie rod ends. Being that they're 7/8 at the treads, it's still a strong setup and is better than the 3/4" heim joints. If you tap the rod out for larger ends, you'll weaken the rod a little. One thing I like about the stock ends is they're available at any parts stores. I elected not to go to heim since the stock ends offer better projection against mud/dirt and will last longer.

    Shawn
    87 K5
    few mods[​IMG]
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.off-road.com/chevy>http://www.off-road.com/chevy</A>
     
  9. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Has anyone used that new aluminum tierod set up. It is claiming to be unbreakable because it bends and then bounces back after you pass whatever it is hanging on. I am not sure that is a good thing, though. I'd like to find out, but I don't want to be the guni pig (or however you spell that)

    Jim '80 GMC
    Freedom First!
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.bigjbear.coloradok5.com>http://www.bigjbear.coloradok5.com</A>
     
  10. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    Not sure about that claim on the aluminum setup (which I haven't seen)... In my personal experiences with aluminum as an aircraft mechanic, I've never seen a piece of aluminum that sprang back anywhere near it's original configuration. Yes it will spring back a bit, but it won't recover to where it was. Plus, depending on the design, it could end up being weaker in the bent area, which would SUCK on a critical piece like a tie rod.

    [​IMG] Semper Maintenance!
     

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