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Old 09-20-2008, 03:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Shortening wheel base(fullsize truck)

Alright... I have a 98 dodge ram 1500, 1 tons on 39.5s... I mostly do tight trails and rocks.
Right now this thing sits at 140.5ish wheel base...(short bed extended cab) I would like to make it shorter.. maybe in the range of 125-128" It would be 5-8" longer than a single cab.

This has been the only thing I have ever wheeled.. and my typical wheeling partner has a has rubicon... I see situations where he wheels and my longer wheel base gives me such an advantage and his short one makes stuff real scary.



This situation along w/ being unstable decenting switch backs makes me want to go shorter... W/ a shorter wheel base, that picture would not happen since my rear would be closer to the obstacle and not allowing the front to go up so high prior to the rear being close.. right?? Or would a shorter wheel base make it worse? On the other hand.. climbing walls is real nice being as long as I am.. real stable, but high centering often becomes an issue.

If anyone has any advice.. or if anyone has gone from a fullsize to a jeep and can tell me wheather they like it or not that would be great.

MIke.
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Old 09-20-2008, 04:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Leave the wheelbase what it is, as long as you can make the turns on the trails you wheel on.

What you really need is what Willyswanter (RIP) called "Skid Buffets".
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Old 09-20-2008, 04:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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What do you want it to look like when you're done?

I say remove the bed, shorten it until the rear tires just clear the back of the cab, hack the bed apart and remove a distance at the front. Hack your frame off where the springs end, bob the bed, and install a fuel cell above the rear diff.

Eventaully, I intend on doing something similar to my truck, which started as a shortbed single cab. I want to move the rear axle forward about 6-7", link it, hack the frame off at the rear axle and have the fuel cell above the rear axle.

My method of hacking up your bed and shortening it significantly will only get you around...125" WB at the very least, probably more like 128-130, which is similar to a regular cab longbox. You'll need at least a 42-44" tire to even make that bearable.

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Old 09-20-2008, 09:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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mine was at 133" originally, climbed great, but the turning radius sucked.. The nice thing was, both front and rear DS's were the same length.

a few years back, I shortened it up until the rear took a stock ford DS, the end result was a 121" WB, and personally, I'm really with it. Plus with leaf springs its stupid easy to move the WB around.
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Old 09-21-2008, 02:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Turning radius does indeed suck... and most of the times.. turning radius is what screws me over and doesn't let me pick a good line becuase the trial is so tight... or the front will move and the rear will act as a pivot point, not moving along leaving it real high up on decents(espcially turned decents) which makes it real unstable... for those who have wheeled Hell's revenge.. the first switch back after you turn you climb the two large hills and make that sharp downward right... that next left becomes real iffy... where as my friend in a toyota and another in a jeep just simply turned and made it around it and down no problem...

As far as what I want to do w/ it.. make the frame off and flat bed it for now unless I do it all at once and just cage the bed along w/ moving the rear axle forward.

MIke.
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Old 09-21-2008, 02:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I dovetail the bed already.. 12" narrower in the back.. so bobbing it would be VERY difficult... If I'm goin to make the frame shorter I'm just going to ditch the bed... no use in keep it it as it just acts as a large skid plate on trees and w/e else is in the way.


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Old 09-21-2008, 02:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jrod-13 View Post
mine was at 133" originally, climbed great, but the turning radius sucked.. The nice thing was, both front and rear DS's were the same length.

a few years back, I shortened it up until the rear took a stock ford DS, the end result was a 121" WB, and personally, I'm really with it. Plus with leaf springs its stupid easy to move the WB around.
How was climbing w/ it and what size tires did you run? Also how were off camber situations and climbs similar to the one pictured? Better w/ the shorter wheel base or would you keep it longer?

MIke.
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Old 09-21-2008, 03:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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keep the wheelbase

install rear steering axle
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Old 09-21-2008, 05:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Twin Stick, Cutting brakes, Learn to drive. Keep the wheel base. Its that simple.
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Old 09-22-2008, 01:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Twin Stick, Cutting brakes, Learn to drive. Keep the wheel base. Its that simple.
That was kinda the other half of the project I'd also be doing... doubler w/ my 231 to a 205 and twin stick... I figured that between a slightly shorter wheel base and the twin stick tight corners will be much easier to cut...

I know this is kind of getting off topic... but w/ a detroit in the back and cutting brakes will it still pivot on one tire? I'm not by my truck and I don't recall how it turns but when the rear is in neutral will one tire turn if the other one is being held in place???

As far as rear steer axle... thats more than I would like to spend on the truck and I can't see how rear steer will work w/ leaf springs in addition to the fact I just did a 1 ton swap a few months ago and don't feel like changing stuff again.


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Old 09-22-2008, 04:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
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First, I'd put the money in 42s if that is something you are keen on...

Rear steer & skids would be sweet...nothing like stability from wheelbase...I'm at 101" with 42s and can't wait to grow it a bit ()
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Old 09-22-2008, 05:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I don't tow it to the trails yet.. still in college and 39s suck on the road now... might go 42s next time around maybe.

MIke.
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:37 PM   #13 (permalink)
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i have a reg cab long bed and i like the wheelbase. sometimes it sucks to turn but thats why there are trees to pivit off of
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:14 PM   #14 (permalink)
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hey man i just noticed your from chi-town. what part are you from? im in mokena if you know where that is. we have a couple of other fullsize guys around here too if you want to wheel sometime.
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Old 09-25-2008, 03:45 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mikeg1005 View Post
but w/ a detroit in the back and cutting brakes will it still pivot on one tire?
Yes.
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