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Rockwells...A few thoughts.

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by RustBuket, Dec 15, 2004.

  1. RustBuket

    RustBuket 1/2 ton status

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    I was just looking into rockwell axles. The 2.5 ton ones look pretty sweet. I was just wondering about a few mods that you would have to do to your vehicle. If anyone else is wondering anything else, post up your questions as well. Here are a few of mine, if you can answer them thats awesome.

    1) I heard you need to have an 8" lift to clear the top loader pinion from the oil pan? Is this true? Smaller/larger lift?

    2) What do you have to do for steering? Do you have to go full hydro? Can you run a x-over system? Any other thoughts are appreciated.

    3) What about brakes? Do you need to go to a larger master cylinder? Hydro boost?

    4) D-shafts...I know the driveshafts would need to be extended if you need a big lift but what about the ujoints? Is there a conversion u-joint or.....

    And yes I know they add *alot* of weight (1500lb or more) and you have to run 20" rims I think. I just think they are awesome and would love to have them under my rig. Thanks for all you thoughts/help.
     
  2. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Rockies look good till you start adding up all the "other" stuff.

    1) I think 8" lift is about minimum.

    2) Cross over can be done much like a D60. There are some commercial arms, but don't recall who. Check PBB.

    3) Usually pinion brakes for Rocks. Major heat dissipation issues but gear reduction makes the brutally strong. Most go with a weaker manual brakes system. Power brakes are often more like on/off switches. Wheel brakes are far superior and IMO the only way for the street, but WAY $$$$.

    4) Drive shafts are usually a bit shorter due to the high pinion, with is the reason for needing the tall lift. Most just graft the lower end of a Rockwell shaft onto a shaft with the correct upper for the application. No conversions AFAIK.

    You can run smaller than 20" rims, but they need custom centers to fit the axles.

    Honestly, IMO, you are probably going to be better off money, time and aggravation wise to find some 1 tons and go the more traditional route. Honestly, the OEM Rockwell 2.5 axle shafts are very little stronger (some say no stronger) than a 35 spline D60. Old metallurgy in parts fatigued by many years of use and hard to find "on the road" compared to new(er) D60 stuff that you can get parts for anywhere. It can be done successfully, but there are an awful lot of Rockwell conversions that never get finished, or that fail miserably for the desired use. Then again, if you have the money, time, and resignation to do the job right (including $$$$ new shafts), they can make some hella beefy axles and look way cool. But for that effort, I would be running Mogs (like 406s or 1300s) which will cost very little more after the paying for alloy axles in the Rocks, and nets you more clearance with tighter turning radius, but still has the parts problem. Lots to think about and research before going down this path...
     
  3. RustBuket

    RustBuket 1/2 ton status

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    Well you have some very useful knowledge in this area. Thanks for the heads up on some of the difficulties. I'll probably just have to go one ton. I just thought that if I could go rockwells for however much more than one tons then I would just skip a step and save some money in the future. But sounds like it'll be awhile before I can afford anyything like the rockeis anyways. But still, thanks for your time.
     

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