Builds Keeping it low with Rockwells (a.k.a. under the knife again)

Eskimo

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That's the goal...

I am picking up a pair of steer axles next week, but I'll be happy if my junk is on a July 4th trail ride.. I'll be narrowing them as well. With the wheels I've got coming, should be ~82" wide.

The rear axle is no big deal, there's nothing back there to get in the way once the frame rails are cut off.. For the front, I think it can work with a bit of a re-do on the radiator mounting / angle. Might require cutting out the front crossmember though.

Question - I won't be able to easily raise & lower the chassis during the build, so does it sound like an OK idea to set the chassis at the height that it would be with the suspension fully compressed, so I can better work around interference?

The plan is wheel brakes up front (locker), and a pinion brake in the rear (welded), using a dual-pedal setup with different sized MC's.

Why rock's? I could barely buy a front 60 and put 35 spline outers on it for what I paid for the pair of Rocks. If I was to try and do a 60F / 9"R setup like I had planned, it would take all of next year to get the parts required. Not having to ever worry about hitting my driveshafts again is a nice benefit, too.. ;)

Only pic I have right now..
 
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Question - I won't be able to easily raise & lower the chassis during the build, so does it sound like an OK idea to set the chassis at the height that it would be with the suspension fully compressed, so I can better work around interference?

my buggy is being built at full bump
now put some pics up!
 

Mace

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It won't be low...
 

Mace

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You started before me.

And, you are not dsealing with a cruiser frame..
 

Eskimo

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The frame won't be getting in the way, at least in the back.

If I'm not too far off, the Rockwell chunk sits 9" above the top of the tube... The way my junk sits now, I've got 13" until I'd hit something..

I don't mean low as in Wickedfab Ryan, I just mean not 8' tall...

If you can think of some specific reason or issues I'll have, let's hear 'em.. that's what the thread is for!
 

Mace

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It is not the frame in the back, it is the frame in the front.

Trust me, it is hard enough keeping a low pinion D60 out of harms way...

It will be big. Not huge, but it will be big..


I guess it depends on what you call big..

I am 22" to the bottom of the frame below the doors on 40's..
 
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I don't know of anyone with more experience in building Cruisers with Rockwells than Jeremiah Proffitt. Aside from being huge, the most striking feature of these rigs is how far back Jeremiah moves the engine in order to provide room for the front toploader. I agree with Mace that fitment in the front is the real challenge. If you want to keep it relatively low, I think you have to move the engine back. Is that in the plans?
 

Eskimo

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Not planning on moving the engine, but there isn't a heck of alot of room to move it back... but I have no problem pushing the axle further forward and dealing with the crossmember.

We'll see how things look one I'm able to roll the axles underneath it.. might be a bit as I've got to narrow them first, and that side of the garage is where the wifey parks...
 
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Rich what WB are you shooting for? Pinion or wheel brakes?I have mine at 120 with the front diff at the front crossmember and rear pinion flange at the rear of the frame. If moving the motor back isnt an option, you may need to remove the front crossmember and build a custom tube one to gain a couple inches of room.
Jacks right, Proffitt moves the motors way back and builds a door in the custom firewall to be able to adjust/get to the dist(on gmV-8's)very impressive if you have seen them up close. Great guy to talk to if you if you have any questions.

Also im using angled lowers and straight upper links(BTF brackets). This helps in the front alot as the diff is clear of brackets(eccept the pinion disc brake)...

Post up some shots when you get a chance, and have fun!
Mark aka "toploader"
 

Eskimo

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Hey Mark.. I'm thinking around 110".. the rear won't be quite as far back as yours, ~6" back from where it is now.. 4" further forward on the front. (I'm 101" now)

The tube crossmember is where I'm thinking of going, and then angling the bottom of the radiator & bib towards the front some, putting the lower mount for the bib/rad on the tube, to open up a "hole" for the chunk.

Wheel-mounted discs up front and a pinion in the rear is the plan, which should help with clearance as well..

One potential issue I might be seeing is narrowing the axles, and where that puts the front driveshaft just slightly right of centerline. I've got a 2-piece in there already which may take care of the angles, but it's another reason to push the front out some more.

How do you like the suspension performance with the links like that (and what's your vertical separation at the frame?) My rear links may be exactly the same as well because of pinion brake clearance. (I want to run the brake on the front side of the rear axle)

I told Nicole (my wife) that I was gonna get a tat like yours on your forearm.. she shot me the "Hope you like your rig, you'll be living in it" look. :D
 
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I havent gotten that far yet! I am planning on around 6" vert separation @ frame. My front axle mount is 2 inches shorter than the rear to help clearance. I will cycle it out and see what works best.

Ditto on your front X member plan, Im looking at doing the same as im running a front pinion brake that eats up some room. I may end up running the rad in the rear....not sure.

I told Nicole (my wife) that I was gonna get a tat like yours on your forearm.. she shot me the "Hope you like your rig, you'll be living in it" look.

Haha... yeah be careful, maybe get one where its not so visable. I cant hide my identity anymore unless im wearing long sleeves.:D
 

Eskimo

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Did some more looking under the rig last night. The front axle will be going a few inches forward for sure, but with a differently shaped radiator (more of a standard Chevy style, 16x28 or so), I shouldn't have to mess with angling the bib or the rad at all, since they (will) both sit above the frame rails. Just need to make a few new mounts for the tranny cooler... no biggie.

Cutting out the front x-member will free up a good 4" of much-needed space for the chunk. Lower links look like they'll be ~32-36" long, and the uppers are going to require some exhaust re-routing.

Might cut the frame rail off just in front of the engine mounts, and run a double-tube version of what was originally done to Gunmetalcruz's rig before he went full-tube chassis- should help a bit with clearance if needed.

Gonna have to lose the 8274 in favor of a low-pro winch though.. :(

With a crapton of air in the tires (help reduce flat spots), I was 23" under the frame rail at the front of the door opening. At trail pressure, it's more like 21". 25" or less with 42's at trail pressure is my goal. Guess it's not "low" by any means, but will work well for our trails here, and will be much lower than most of the Rockwell rigs around here..
GMCfrontend.jpg
 

Mace

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With a crapton of air in the tires (help reduce flat spots), I was 23" under the frame rail at the front of the door opening. At trail pressure, it's more like 21". 25" or less with 42's at trail pressure is my goal. Guess it's not "low" by any means, but will work well for our trails here, and will be much lower than most of the Rockwell rigs around here..

On 42's and rockwells, that will be very low..
 
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you could put the radaitor in the back which i have never been a fan of, but if you aren't willing to move the motor then? It could be interesting to see if you could have 6 inch's of uptravel with the chunk were the rad normally is having it cycle between the crank pulley and the grill. I would rather have uptravel and have lost room in the back then not have uptravel. Going from leafs to 7 inch's of up in the front/8 in the rear. I could never go back. Makes such a diffrance when you get up to ramming speed.
 

Eskimo

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It looks like switching to a wider, shorter radiator that's above the frame rails will free up a TON of room for the chunk, and still allow a front mounted rad.

Freeing up more space than that won't really matter because the driveshaft will be getting VERY friendly with the engine after that, anyway.. :p
 
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Eskimo

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The axles are gonna be on my trailer until the end of the month, unfortunately.. $$ to build 'em, and the most important thing, the wifey's car goes outside when they come in.. trying to keep the peace.. so i won't be getting to work on them until Feb.

I will be on 42's, and still haven't decided if the bottom will just get a flat plate, or if I'm gonna do the whole mohawk thing.

Did get the front calipers in today.. these suckers are big!

frontcalipers.jpg

axlesinyard.jpg
frontcalipers.jpg
axlesinyard.jpg
 

Mace

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dual steer axles??

cool..

I can't remember, you have anything left of a tub in the rear?
 

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