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Discussion Starter #1
Would you be interested in parts and bracketry that ISN'T ridiculously big and heavy?

Rockwells aren't exactly common out here on the west coast, but I have been seeing a couple people using them lately, and the biggest thing I've noticed is that all the companies that make stuff for them, are making it out of crazy thick steel plate. I suppose the thought is that if you're using huge heavy axles you dont care about weight, so everything should be humongous.

Coming from a competition/racing background this is a huge turn off for me. I dont see a reason that a steering ram mount needs to be built out of 1/2" plate regardless of what axle you're using. It's still doing the same job, carrying the same loads, and even using the same ram as a D60 ram mount would be. I'm also noticing that a lot of people using rockwells are starting to build lighter vehicles that simply dont need link mount tabs made out of 3/8" plate, when a properly designed bracket made out of 1/4" or 3/16" would do the job.

I currently have an axle sitting in my shop that I'm building some brackets on for a customer. If I were to spend some extra time designing a few parts to fit this beast, would anyone want them? Tabs and brackets dont seem like much weight, but they add up quick and I'm betting I could save 10-20 lbs on this axle pretty easily without compromising strength.

The question is are there any people running rockwells that really care about saving a few pounds in their axles?
 

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I built all of my link bracket and steering ram brackets for my rockwells for the reasons you cite. I think there would be people interested. Heck, I know people building vehicles with tab and coilover brackets out of 1/2 plate let alone the steering ram tabs!
Let us see what you come up with.
 

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2 years ago before I made my own, hell yes, especially a set of laminated brackets similar to what artec posted here not to long ago. Unfortunately though, half my problem was that none of the available brackets at the time fit my needs as far as link positioning went.. That and not needing a 5/16" thick bracket pretty much forced me to make my own
 

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Discussion Starter #7
2 years ago before I made my own, hell yes, especially a set of laminated brackets similar to what artec posted here not to long ago. Unfortunately though, half my problem was that none of the available brackets at the time fit my needs as far as link positioning went.. That and not needing a 5/16" thick bracket pretty much forced me to make my own
What was it that you needed and wasn't available? Are you running an unusual setup, or is there just something missing from the marketplace?

I never plan to run rockwells, but I can never imagine running a tab over 1/4.
I agree, and that's why I'm asking. I personally dont even keep anything thicker than 1/4 in the shop, cause I so seldom have a use for it. Even 1/4 tends to sit for a long time.

I would certainly use them... ;)
You're pretty local aren't you? We should talk :flipoff2:
 

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I like my brackets thick and beefy. They work and I want ever have to worry about them. People often go to rockwells, because every other axle broke and they get tired of the replacing parts and not making a ride or trail. I wouldn't want to worry if my thinner brackets would twist, rip apart at the bolt hole, or plain bend. I've run 1/4" brackets on 1 tons and twisted, and bent them so bad my links didn't want to come out w/out a VBFH.
Later,
Bobby
 

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We've been talking about this all week at the shop. If you want to save weight the brackets aren't the place. Figure out away to affordably replace the knuckle/spindle/ hub assembly, but let me run the monster sized shafts.

What I would like to see is a replacent spindle/14b hub/drive flange for under $400. Like the one Madmc was working on. Then we could run lighter al. wheels and lessen the rotating mass.

When linking my rig we kicked the idea of lighter brackets and/or weld washer but decided against it. When you are throwing around 2300+ lbs of unsprung weight we were concerned that they wouldn't hold up.
 

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I think what he is saying is that you can under-design and cover your ass with thicker stuff, but he is looking at fabbing well designed brackets that can afford to be the correct weight in the first place. We've all done it, overbuilt for peace of mind. But what if you could weld on a bracket that was no heavier than needed. I think it will come down to the cost of a simple straight 3/8" part or an engineered 3/16" part.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Laser, you hit the nail on the head. A lot of the brackets that are available right now are actually very poorly designed, but will hold up fine because they are built out of thick heavy steel.

In contrast go over to JRs UFO thread and look at the amount of .90 and .120 plate used. There are a few places where parts are slightly thicker, or laminated, but most of the parts are fairly thin because they were designed well, and thicker material isn't necessary. Rockwells are big and heavy, but if you build everything on the car even bigger and heavier to match you end up with a big heavy beast of a vehicle. If you spend the time to actually look at what a part is doing and build it to handle the loads it needs to take instead of just throwing metal at it the overall build ends up hundreds of pounds lighter, which then lessens the load on everything. I'm talking about a few lbs in a few brackets right now, but continuing the same thought processes throughout a build saves HUGE amounts of weight.

I know that what I have in mind wont be for everybody, some guys can break an anvil with a rubber mallet, but I feel there are a good number of people that get it, and could use some stuff like this.
 

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If it gets to the point where 5 extra pounds of axle brackets keeps me from going up something I will sell my shit.I like the extra insurance and the extra weld penetration.never even tweaked a thick bracket yet!
 

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Coming from a competition/racing background this is a huge turn off for me. I dont see a reason that a steering ram mount needs to be built out of 1/2" plate regardless of what axle you're using. It's still doing the same job, carrying the same loads, and even using the same ram as a D60 ram mount would be.
I respectfully disagree here. Ask anyone that has gone from tons to rocks how their frames and bracketry hold up at that point. Rocks allow most to put a more intense beat down on a rig than a 1-ton can handle. It has always been a saying here in the south that going from tons to rocks moves your weak link from your axles to your frame. I know when I went from mogs to rocks I was replacing bracketry that held up fine with the Mogs from then on. Everything had to get beefed up significantly.

J. J.
 

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What was it that you needed and wasn't available? Are you running an unusual setup, or is there just something missing from the marketplace?
My drivers side upper is simple, and off the top of the 3rd member , so its off the shelf tabs from BTF.


My passenger side link mount I couldnt find anywhere in the height I wanted, or with enough material at the bottom that I could angle it the way I wanted. I originally wanted to do laminated plate, using two pieces of .125", and dimple die the outer plate, and then use a weld washer at the bolt hole. Because I dont have a CNC plasma, I gave up on that idea and just cut some plates out of 1/4" and bent them myself in the press. They are not finished in this pic, as I still have to box it in.




For my lowers, I wanted double triangulated, but I also wanted my link bolt hole flush with the top of the axle tube. I ended up using a set of BTF D60 angled link tabs, putting a square on then and cutting the round cutout square, which ended up putting the link mount bolt hole exactly where I wanted. They are thick (5/16") and they dont have enough angle built into them for my heims to be centered in the misalignment spacers, but they do the job for now,



For the rear uppers I am making my own helmet. Its 3/16" plate for the link tabs, and 1/4" for the plate bolted to the 3rd member. Its not done hyet in this pic.
 

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I respectfully disagree here. Ask anyone that has gone from tons to rocks how their frames and bracketry hold up at that point. Rocks allow most to put a more intense beat down on a rig than a 1-ton can handle. It has always been a saying here in the south that going from tons to rocks moves your weak link from your axles to your frame. I know when I went from mogs to rocks I was replacing bracketry that held up fine with the Mogs from then on. Everything had to get beefed up significantly.

J. J.
I fully agree with this statement.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
seeing heim bolts get torn out of 1/4" tabs with 1 tons during rolls im gonna say no, 3/8" minimum imo.
My question here is why were those bolts getting torn out? Is it because the metal wasn't thick enough, or is it because the link geometry wasn't designed to properly hold up to hard side hits like you get in a roll. If you dont have enough triangulation, or a panhard, the loads on your tabs goes WAY up, especially when you take a hard side hit.

Almost all the tabs on the RedBull cars are 3/16, some have 1/8" weld washers. None of those cars are super lightweights, and none of them have been torn out in a roll that I can remember, and I think we can all remember how often Dustin used to roll his cars. Hell at KOH 2010 we rammed a maytag size rock at about 45mph directly with the passenger front tire. I got bruises from my belts, the F911 bolt bent, the heim cracked, but the 3/16" tabs were ok, and are still in use now.

Just because you can break something doesn't necessarily mean it's weak, it just means it's not properly designed for the application, or the application wasn't properly designed to begin with.
 

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My question here is why were those bolts getting torn out? Is it because the metal wasn't thick enough, or is it because the link geometry wasn't designed to properly hold up to hard side hits like you get in a roll. If you dont have enough triangulation, or a panhard, the loads on your tabs goes WAY up, especially when you take a hard side hit.

Almost all the tabs on the RedBull cars are 3/16, some have 1/8" weld washers. None of those cars are super lightweights, and none of them have been torn out in a roll that I can remember, and I think we can all remember how often Dustin used to roll his cars. Hell at KOH 2010 we rammed a maytag size rock at about 45mph directly with the passenger front tire. I got bruises from my belts, the F911 bolt bent, the heim cracked, but the 3/16" tabs were ok, and are still in use now.

Just because you can break something doesn't necessarily mean it's weak, it just means it's not properly designed for the application, or the application wasn't properly designed to begin with.
how many people ordering pre made brackets/tabs have the skill/knowledge to properly design a link setup to keep axles as heavy as rockwells in place during hard rolls, which happen at many different angles putting lots of different loads on the tabs?


you may be correct, but the people that would potentially be purchasing your product either dont know the thinner tab would hold up or simply dont care and would rather have piece of mind with an over built tab, hence them running rockwells instead of 1 ton's.
 

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I am building 5 tons and double triangled 4 link. I also am gonna use 3x4x.250 for my frame and 2"sch 80 with 1 1/2" sch 80 inside of it(Oh yeah, :flipoff2: poop pipe). I am worried my links will bend and my frame might not be enough beef. Running small tires (16.9r24) and small power(460 w/450hp maybee). My hat and all brackets will be of 1/2 or better. I am sick of bending and breaking stuff. If I am under 10,000 I will be suprised, wouldn't care if it was 12,000 and didn't break. 20 lbs per axle weight savings means less than nothing, especially if there is a small chance of breakage saving 20 pounds.
 

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I am building 5 tons and double triangled 4 link. I also am gonna use 3x4x.250 for my frame and 2"sch 80 with 1 1/2" sch 80 inside of it(Oh yeah, :flipoff2: poop pipe). I am worried my links will bend and my frame might not be enough beef. Running small tires (16.9r24) and small power(460 w/450hp maybee). My hat and all brackets will be of 1/2 or better. I am sick of bending and breaking stuff. If I am under 10,000 I will be suprised, wouldn't care if it was 12,000 and didn't break. 20 lbs per axle weight savings means less than nothing, especially if there is a small chance of breakage saving 20 pounds.
My buddy used 2in and 1.5 exactly like you are thinking about doing. They bent like warm butter. Spend a little on good material if you are going to have a truck that weighs 10,000lb.
 
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