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Old 04-29-2006, 02:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Rockwell Axle Build Up and Install

I have been building and wheeling for many years now and have NEVER done a buildup thread as I was never of the opinion that anything I was building was worth posting. But now, I guess I will give it a go. I am rebuilding and installing some Rockies into my rig. I work kind of slow, but plan to have them built and installed by the end of the summer. Here is the rig they are going into.

And here are my plans:
Rockwells
4 linked rear
4 linked front
Wheelbase about 110"
42" Tires

I'm going to start a build tally as I go along. A lot of people wonder what it costs to swap to Rockies. So here are my costs (not including grinding wheels, cutoff wheels, etc)

$350 => cost of both Rockwell axles complete
$500 => Qnty 2 of 14" travel Fox Air Shox (For the front. Gonna 4 link the front)
$5 => cost of material for shaving rear diff
$210 => Front and rear axle rebuild parts (boots, seals, bushings, etc)
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Old 04-29-2006, 03:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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These drums got yanked off along with the pads. I airhammered the rivets and they fell off like budder! They weight 82 pounds each (drum and brake backing plate with all brake hardware). Thats 164 pounds for brakes!!!!!! Gone!
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Old 04-29-2006, 03:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Here are the axles. They were pretty grimy when I got them. Someone had really treated the rear poorly. The rear of the lip of the center section was bent up badly and had a ton of silicon to try to seal it. They also had broken most of the studs in the housing all the way around. So rather than replace them, they WELDED the center section to the housing!!! But I was able to cut it pretty well, removed the center chunk, and cleaned things up. Now I need to locate some replacement studs.
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Old 04-29-2006, 03:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I pulled the diff and welded up the spiders. It reminded me of a 14 bolt diff, but BIGGER!!! Here is a picture of a D44 carrier sitting on the Rockwell bull gear and diff. HUGE difference in size.
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Old 04-29-2006, 03:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Here's a picture of my hand on the bull gear. This thing is MASSIVE!!!
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Old 04-29-2006, 03:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Looking forward to the build.Damn never thught anyone was redneck enough to weld the center section to the housing..
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Old 04-29-2006, 03:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I then moved to shaving the diff. Thanks to alot of guys on this board, I had some good examples to work from. I measured the clearance of my D44 and then measured the clearance of this shave job. Turns out.....they are the same!!!!

Please ignore the booger welds on the left and right hand side of the housing. Whoever had this before me did a REALLY bad weld job trying to fix or do something. I haven't figured it out yet!!!
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Old 04-29-2006, 03:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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That's it for now.

Airshoxs for the front are here, but no pics as yet. That will come when I start on the front suspension.
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Old 04-29-2006, 03:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRipper
Looking forward to the build.Damn never thught anyone was redneck enough to weld the center section to the housing..
Yeah.....no shit. That alone is why I got them so cheap! Guy who had them thought they were a lost cause.......we'll see.
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Old 04-29-2006, 04:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Did you build that cover or buy it?That is damn nice.The welds on the bottom might have been some kind of field repair.One of my axles had some weird spot's welded on it also.My dad told me about when they were in the milatary they hoist one up on a tree and rebuilt it.
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Old 04-29-2006, 05:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRipper
Did you build that cover or buy it?That is damn nice.The welds on the bottom might have been some kind of field repair.One of my axles had some weird spot's welded on it also.My dad told me about when they were in the milatary they hoist one up on a tree and rebuilt it.
I made that cover. I was tempted to buy one from a company, but for $5 in steel and some cutting and grinding, it was well worth it. I think I could have made the center a little more narrow, though. It is 4" wide in the middle. When I do the front I will use 3" for the middle. Thanks for the props. Must admit, though. I stole the idea from guys on this board. Well worth the $20 a year!!!!!
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Old 04-29-2006, 06:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Nice job on the diff cover.........keep the pics coming...
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Old 04-29-2006, 07:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
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just the kind of buildup I was looking for. keep up the good work and keep the posts flowing.I"ll be building mine up as well. any plans for painting the inside of the housing while it's apart?

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Old 04-29-2006, 09:20 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by HalfFastFord
just the kind of buildup I was looking for. keep up the good work and keep the posts flowing.I"ll be building mine up as well. any plans for painting the inside of the housing while it's apart?
Paint......the......inside????? I can barely get myself to paint the OUTSIDE. No........no plans to paint the inside.
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Old 04-30-2006, 01:12 AM   #15 (permalink)
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lookin good man - what? no rear steer?? You'll want it bad the first time you wheel. twin stcks & a line lock can go pretty far as a substitute.
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Old 04-30-2006, 12:00 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I fail to see the benefit of these huge axles in your jeep . If you had the original dana 30 and 20, you could fit on so much more sweet trails! Now you are just going to have a big heavy jeep that won't fit.
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Old 04-30-2006, 02:18 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockcandy
I fail to see the benefit of these huge axles in your jeep . If you had the original dana 30 and 20, you could fit on so much more sweet trails! Now you are just going to have a big heavy jeep that won't fit.
I never seemed to have trouble fitting in tight spots. Breaking parts, however - that's a different story... they're no wider than full width 1tons when you flip the hubs in.
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Old 04-30-2006, 04:02 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Im only 87" wide with rockwells and 42" TSL's. And if i cant fit i make it fit. Im not going to break no axle shaft that for sure. Hell im only 5000#pds and a stock 4 runner wight like 4700 or 4800. or close to that.
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Old 04-30-2006, 04:04 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Hey i little trick is to cut the centers out of the drums and you got rim centers. For cheap.
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Old 04-30-2006, 05:19 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I am 85" wide....
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Old 04-30-2006, 05:43 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramrock
Hey i little trick is to cut the centers out of the drums and you got rim centers. For cheap.
Uuuhhhhh.............I don't think this will work (at least not on the drums I have in my garage off of my Rockwells). The drums bolt to the back of the hub, while the wheels bolt to the front flange of the hub. So the patterns are not even close. Did you have some other idea in mind?
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Old 04-30-2006, 05:45 PM   #22 (permalink)
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lookin good man - what? no rear steer?? You'll want it bad the first time you wheel. twin stcks & a line lock can go pretty far as a substitute.
From what I have seen of all of the rear steer rigs on the trail, they seem to get more people INTO trouble than out of trouble (with the exception of competition rigs and drivers who have a LOT of seat time). I wanted to keep it simple and low $$ as possible. I'm of the KISS philosophy!!!
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Old 05-01-2006, 12:47 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Hell ya, another rockwell thread for me to keep tabs on before I start my own.

Nice cover, besides those boogers on the sides, just grind em down and re-weld them?
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Old 05-01-2006, 03:14 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by four_by_nut
Uuuhhhhh.............I don't think this will work (at least not on the drums I have in my garage off of my Rockwells). The drums bolt to the back of the hub, while the wheels bolt to the front flange of the hub. So the patterns are not even close. Did you have some other idea in mind?
He is talking about rear drums.You can cut the center out of them and put them inside a 15" rim or what ever you have to have a new center.
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Old 05-01-2006, 09:23 AM   #25 (permalink)
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He is talking about rear drums.You can cut the center out of them and put them inside a 15" rim or what ever you have to have a new center.
See....that's just it. You could do the same just by going and buying some 1/4" steel and cutting a circle out. The advantage WOULD be if the 6 on 8-3/4" bolt pattern was actually in the drum. But it isn't. Cutting out the center will just leave you with a 1/4" piece of steel with a small 8 bolt pattern inside of it. Yes, you get the hub center cut out already, but I'm missing the benefit.

I think I see what the intended benefit is supposed to be, but not sure if it really helps.
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