You are probably wondering how did I come up with K50 for a project name?
Well I own a K5 it s½ ton K10 is ¾ ton and so on. K50 was perfect.
Choosing Rockwell Axles was purely by accident. I was looking for a Dana 60 for my front when I saw a link for a Dana 60. When I went to this link it was a thread beating up a Dana 60 for its wimpiness compared to this behemoth pictured above it. I started checking and this was a Rockwell Axle. For you not familiar with Rockwells. Rockwells were the axle of choice for most military trucks. 6x6's were a very common truck to see. Rockwells were also used in Heavy duty delivery vehicles and still can be seen today on the large Ups trucks running around. Currently Rockwell and ZF have teamed up to build an ultimate axle but its is a 5ton style. 5tons are strictly 60" or bigger monster truck axles. Keep in mind the average monster truck tries weight nearly 900lb a piece. That's 3600lbs in rolling friggin weight for tires alone. Now add the weight of 5ton axles which are like 1000lb a piece oh yeah remember the truck. You can easily tip the scales over 10k. NO SPARE onboard unless you want to mount a small crane on the back!. 5tons are for sure out of my league but what about those 2.5 ton Rockwells. Well after doing some digging. I found out they only weight about 100-150lbs more than a Dana 60 or 14ff. Hmmm sounding better all the time at 550lbs approx.. But then your hopes and dreams hit reality. Good lord how much could these cost? After some serious searching I found out it will cost me less to buy the axles, weld the back and put a locker in the front than buying a Dana 60/14ff getting the gears for them, then lockers and steering components. I met someone on the net that gave me a killer deal for a set of axles. They will cost me for a SET half the price of a Dana 60 used. Hell yeah sign me up. But being someone who has been building on Knight for 15 years I do not just jump without research. After some exhausting digging on the web I found some photos and threads (not articles) on Rockwells and the trials of installing them. One thing you need to remember when looking for these axles is get the 60's n later style with the u-joint. Some of the older ones have a birfield joint. Also make sure they are not the airbrake models. Most Rockwells have a pinion brake system. This is a large rotating drum with a caliper in the center of the vehicle. These are though not street legal. So you have to convert them to disc brakes. Pinion brakes although due have some serious stopping power since the brake actually works prior to the gearing. BTW Rockwells have 6.72 gears. Talk about flying through the windshield with no seat belt. I think someone said this set up has like 5 times the stopping power of normal brakes. Can you say soft foot on the brake pedal? Anyhow Rockwells also can have air lockers and Detroit makes lockers for them to. Yes these are the axles you see on those extreme hybrid rock crawlers. You know the ones that tumble down a hill five or six times, land on there side and the driver gets puts it on its wheels and starts it back up and away they go. No harm no foul. They articulate well, have massive drivelines and can work with a variety of transfer cases. The downside to Rockwells is serious fender cutting or mods to clear the crossbar under your engine due to the top loader design(see photos below). Minimum lift on full size to clear these monsters is like 14" or 12"with serious mods. I'm at 17" so no biggy there. With a 6.72 gear ratio the bare minimum you would want to run is 44's for a decent kind of freeway speed. Most guys are running 44’s and bigger up the largest street legal tire which are Firestone 47's . I have no problem rolling on 47's. I also though since I will be building a BULLETPROOF Blazer why not make the ultimate step. Yes I plan to send in my nomination for Knight to be in the Top Truck Challenge either 2004 or 2005. This info will be updated as new steps arise. First thing for me is to get my daily driver legal again and then park Knight and take out his existing axles and sell them. Being the Pres of a 4 wheel drive club. Lots of members want to help with this project. More help the better.
As you can see these are Massive. Pictured are a front 2.5 ton Rockwell and a rear Rockwell 2.5 ton. Front one of course has steering.
Dont laugh pcitured above foreground fiorst is a Dana 44. Just after that is a Dan60. Yes Dana 60 look wimpy it is compared to a Rockwell.
This is a Rockwell locking hub. HUGE!!!
Above: Are photos of an exploded view of a Rockwell. these came out of a Haynes manula on the web
More Haynes manual photos.