A knuckle failure during TTC would most definitely result in a DNF for at least one event, so we asked Dedenbear to provide us with what they say are the strongest Dana 60 knuckles on the market. Cast from high-strength ductile iron, these knuckles feature extra material in critical areas to prevent failures. The Dedenbear knuckles also feature a fifth bolt hole for high-steer arms. This was good because we plan to run a fully hydraulic steering system.
With the axle hung exactly where it was going to sit at ride height, Toby began the process of installing the Dedenbear inner Cs. To do this, he first heated each inner C to 450 degrees in an oven. This caused the material to expand, thus ensuring the tight-fitting Cs would slip easily onto the axletubes. Toby wore thick leather gloves to handle the hot inner Cs. Once set to the proper angle, the Dedenbear inner Cs were welded to the ProRock housing. This step required a powerful welder to get the proper penetration.
Once the Dedenbear knuckles were in place, we spray-painted them black. Next, we installed five ARP studs in each steering knuckle. These studs are the strongest available and provide cheap insurance against steering failures on the trail.
Toby hooked us up with a pair of his Triple X Traction billet steering arms that he says won't break even under extreme torture. This picture shows a third double-ended high-steer arm which Toby also offers for custom hydraulic steering applications. All Triple X Traction billet steering arms are nickel-plated to prevent rust.
Front axle breakage is probably the most common problem we've seen at TTC. This is why we decided to equipped our ProRock 60 with the very best axleshafts money can buy. Largely overlooked because of their price, the 35-spline 300M CV 60 axles from Longfield Super Axles are second to none. Built to suit, these axles are the ultimate solution to front axle breakage issues. Again, we warn you these aren't your typical axleshafts. Aside from their high price, they're unique because they don't rely on U-joints to transfer torque to the stub axle. Instead they use a 300M constant-velocity joint with six 7/8-inch ball bearings. Their design is similar to a typical Birfield found in a solid-axle Toyota pickup, except that these are much larger. We chose these axles because they eliminate annoying steering feedback and offer a very functional 45-degree range of steering movement. Not to mention Longfield warranties them against breakage for life. Additional features include a countersunk grease fitting and a hard nylon protective covering that prevents outside contamination. You can get these super axles set up for either Ford or GM applications, and each side includes a 300M stub shaft.
We chose to run axle slugs instead of hubs for two reasons. The first is because they offer unparalleled reliability. Second, they don't stick out like hubs do, so they are much less likely to get caught on rocks during events like the Mini Rubicon. We think this setup will work well with a selectable locker and the trick CV axleshafts mentioned above. These particular axle slugs are manufactured by Triple X Traction for Dana 60s. Notice the blue Spydertrax billet wheel spacers in this photo. We installed these because they too will help tuck the hub assembly deeper into the wheel.
We decided to use a triangulated three-link design to locate our ProRock 60 axle. The setup was built from scratch and was designed for maximum flex. This required heavy-duty rod ends capable of handling at least 25 degrees of deflection without issue. Weeks of research led us to Evolution Machining and Fabrication of Alberta, Canada. Evolution builds custom rod ends specifically for custom 4x4s. We like them because they are built by four-wheeling enthusiasts who push the envelope in their own rigs. We ordered six of these extreme joints with 3/4-inch bolt holes and 4-inch-long fine-thread shanks. Built from 4140 HTSR steel, these joints are virtually indestructible. They also come with weldable bungs that provide a high shoulder to ensure ample penetration.