A Rockwell Recipe For Every Budget
If ever there were a perfect axle for the massive rigs found at Top Truck Challenge, it would probably be the Rockwell 2.5-ton. Few others can handle the high horsepower and torque loads required by the behemoth tire sizes found at TTC. Where even the toughest Dana 60 can snap like a twig, the massive Rockwell 2.5-ton runs strong. These assemblies are gigantic and not for everyone. But if 46- to 54-inch-tall tires are your goal, and competition is your game, the stout deuce-and-a-half axle may be the next swap you should consider.
One key factor that makes the Rockwell axle desirable for TTC truck builders is the top-loading third member design. Well beyond that of a high-pinion Dana axle, the Rockwell features an input shaft that is mounted a full seven and a half inches above the center line of the axle housing. above the axle housing, allowing for super-flat driveshaft angles. Thanks to very healthy support from the automotive aftermarket, a Rockwell axle can be as easy to build as a Dana 60, as long as you have a forklift to move it. Is it the ultimate axle solution? No, but depending on how you build one, a 2.5-ton Rockwell could be the last axle you'll ever need.
Ultimate strength comes at a price, and in the case of uber high-end Rockwell axle parts, the price is justifiability higher than that of an equally high-end Dana 60. The same can be said about the weight. For example, where a complete front Dana 60 axle might weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 pounds, a Rockwell frontend tips the scales at just over 1,000 pounds. In the battlefield of TTC, smart drivers with big tires, big power, and even bigger axles always seem to eclipse the competition. As such, we have assembled a buyer's guide that caters especially to those would-be Rockwell axle builders.
Build Strategy 1 - Unlimited Budget
A TTC Proof 2.5-ton
If a TTC-taming Rockwell axle is what you need, and you have an unlimited budget, the place to start is Ouverson Engineering and Machine. Ouverson has been building custom Rockwell upgrade parts for over five years now. Today, you would be hard-pressed to find a Rockwell axle at TTC without at least one part from Ouverson. Owner Randy Ouverson started his business out of necessity after breaking everything else on the market. His dedication and innovation throughout the years have transformed the readily available 2.5-ton Rockwell axle from a heavy military surplus part into a high-end, virtually unbreakable solution for seriously competitive enthusiasts. Today, even some of the working pros on the monster truck circuits run Ouverson parts. In the last year and a half, Ouverson's product portfolio has expanded threefold. With so much new product available, it is hard to keep up. We therefore decided to dedicate the first part of this story to Ouverson's latest and greatest Rockwell offerings.
Info: Ouverson Engineering and Machine, 320/983-3030, www.oemaxle.com
What is it: Ouverson's Billet Steering Knuckles
Why it is cool: A high-end housing like the one shown above begs for a pair of high-end billet steel steering knuckles. Ouverson offers these knuckles as an ultimate high-strength upgrade for those who want the best at any cost. With these knuckles, you can run stock Rockwell spindles and hubs, or you can upgrade to Ouverson's awesome Super 8 hub setup and convert over to the popular 8-on-6.5 or 8-on-170 mm lug patterns. These knuckles also allow use of Ouverson's 47-spline axleshafts.
What is it: Ouverson's Fabricated Rockwell Housing
Why it is cool: The heaviest part of the Rockwell axle is the housing itself. With this new fabricated plate housing, significant weight savings are attainable. It also allows for unlimited options in terms of fabricated link mounts and steering arrangements. The standard version comes in mild steel for front or rear applications and is fully welded and ready to assemble. Another version of this housing is available in lightweight chrome-moly for the ultimate in strength-to-weight ratio. Every axlehousing is built to suit, and they're available in custom widths for use with off-the-shelf knuckles and third members.