Home > The Rock Bug > Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009

Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009

January 5th2009
 By Thom Kingston on 2009-01-05T17:47:00-06:00 | The Rock Bug |

Hope you had a great New Year and a well deserved R&R.  It has been 2 weeks here since our last post and there is plenty more to get done for the 2009 King of the Hammers.  So, without wasting any time, lets get right too it!

We spent the past weekend assembling our prototype Lightweight Performance Spindle & Hubs as well as fabricating custom steering arms for the Spidertrax Ultimate 60 Knuckles.  We have already designed and machined the performance spindle & hubs prior to the start of this blog back in November of 2008, but this is the first time we’re showing them off here.  Since there is a lot to discuss with this new prototype, we’ll take it a piece at a time starting with a quick teaser video of the current progress.

For those that have been following the Spider 9 product line since the beginning, you already know we’re big fans of unit bearings.  Their compact, lightweight, and easy to install design provides a great platform for both rock crawling and rock racing.  There is no question Spidertrax Upgraded 1 Ton Unit Bearings are strong enough for the Rock Bug, having already proven themselves with solid performance back at last years 2008 King of the Hammers.  The purpose of the Rock Bug, however, is to test new grounds for product innovation.  So we took a step back, looked at all of the advantages and disadvantages of unit bearings and spindles & hubs, and designed the all new Spidertrax Lightweight Performance Spindle & Hub as shown below.

Layout of Prototype Spidertrax Lightweight Performance Spindles

The assembly is made up of a 3” diameter 4140 chromoly heat treated spindle, a 6061T6 aluminum hub, a one piece 4140 chromoly heat treated drive plate, 6 custom 4130 heat treaded 5/8” hollow studs, two large diameter Timken roller taper bearings, and a 6061T6 aluminum flange cover.  In summary, the overall goal here was to design a much stronger & compact spindle (compare our 3” diameter spindle with an off the shelf or aftermarket Dana 60 spindle) with a significant reduction in weight (8.19 lbs lighter then our 1 ton unit bearing).


Weight Comparison Between a 1 Ton Unit Bearing and Lightweight Performance Spindle & Hub

The Spidertrax 14” Diameter Lightweight Cross Drilled Steel Rotor shown above is the exact one we sell on our web store.  The lightweight aluminum hubs were designed to allow these rotors to bolt right on.  With an impressive weight of only 7 lbs, there was no need to reinvent the wheel so these rotors were used.


Close up of 3” Diameter 4140 Chromoly Spindle and 6061T6 Aluminum Hub


Close up of 4140 Chromoly Drive Plate and Custom Spindle Nut & Install Tool


Installation of Aluminum Hub, Spindle, and Rotor

We also spent time working on custom steering arms.  Nice part about Spidertrax Ultimate 60 Knuckles is that you can weld on them unlike typical cast knuckles.  Notice how we are distributing the load from the arms onto the outer knuckle cylinder.


Welded Steering Arms for Ultimate 60 Knuckle

More photos are available on Flickr and can be easily viewed by clicking on the thumbnails below.  Hope you enjoyed this blog post and what we have created here for a performance lightweight spindle & hub.  See you next time!

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Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009
Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009
Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009
Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009
Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009
Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009 Rock Bug Weekday Update for January 5, 2009