The Buckstop Single Wheel Conversion is an engineered kit with each component integrated to acheive as close to OEM structure as possible while converting from dual rear wheels to four single tires. The purpose of the Conversion is for greater off-road traction and performance without compromising weight carrying capacity. At the core of the kit are 41″ tires with 6700 pound capacity each. Clearance for the big tires is achieved with a small suspension lift and large cut-out fender flares to keep the center of gravity as low as possible. The wheels are reversible and interchangeable front to rear for proper tire rotation. Track width is roughly 92″ at the outside and consistent front to rear. Fender Flares are an itegral part of the kit providing complete tire coverage from road spray and also replacing and covering parts of the body that are cut away for tire clearance.
41” tires and 10,000lb payload are the fundamental elements of the Single Wheel Conversion. At Buckstop, the chassis is fully loaded with 10,000 lbs and subjected to extreme articulation and turning conditions to determine suspension and body modifications required for tire clearance.
The Ram 3-1/2″ Suspension Lift Kit is engineered to maintain OE coil springs, shock absorbers, and steering geometry. While simple in nature, the key components of the Buckstop Suspension Kit are replacement 4-Link Control Arms coupled with 3-1/2″ Coil Spacers that move the front axle forward for greater tire clearance at the door. Buckstop exclusive Heavy Duty 3/8″ thick steel Track Bar mount keeps the axle in place under the extreme weight. Around the rest of the chassis are relocation brackets for front and rear sway bars, brake lines, and driveline. This innovative system provides the necessary clearance for the 41″ tires without breaking the bank and excessively lifting the truck too high. INCLUDED WITH BASE KIT.
Fender Flares and Body Modification Kit:
In order to neatly fit the monster 41” tires under the body, the internal frame, fender, and body require cutting and trimming. Buckstop’s uniquely designed 8” wide fender flares are a special part of the puzzle that cover the cut-out portions of the body and also completely cover the tire from road spray. The flare is a one-piece design including a return inner wheel liner that integrates with the OE liner. Fender Flares are shipped in raw un-finished fiberglass. Final coating/paint is required. INCLUDED WITH BASE KIT.
Ram 5500 rear axle capacities approach 14,000lbs requiring tire capacity up to 7,000lbs each. The 335/80R20 is the most well suited tire to the F550 load range and Brush Truck operational conditions. They include ALL of these features:
- Radial design for optimal handling and wear
- On-road/Off-road traction tread design
- Ideal tread-width footprint
- Ability to be aired down to match the load and/or operate at ultra-low air pressure for extreme traction
Alternatively, traditional 19.5” tires do not offer effective off-road performance. They require a stiff 70psi to 110psi regardless of load, are narrow tread-width, and are not available with a satisfactory off-road traction tread.
Buckstop recommends the Continental MPT81 tire. It is a “military” style radial tire with excellent handling characteristics under load and noise level comparable to a light truck mud tire. Max speed is rated at 68mph under maximum load (6780lbs) and air pressure.
Michelin X-Force ZL tires are offered as a heavier weight alternative to the Continental, however, the tread is 1” wider and requires changes in wheels and/or wheel spacers to prevent tire rubbing and loss of turning radius. Load rating of 7390lbs each. Maximum load speed rating 68mph.
5 CONTINTENTAL MPT81 TIRES ARE INCLUDED WITH THE BASE KIT
The front axle on a Dual Rear Wheel truck is roughly 12” wider than the rear axle. A proper Single Wheel Conversion requires that the tires track front to rear, therefore, the wheels or wheel mounts must compensate for the different axle widths.
There are two methods of making up the axle width difference: first, with wheel spacers, and second, with specialty wheels. Wheel spacers, are a large machined boss that is bolted to the wheel studs of the axle. The outside face of the spacer has a second set of studs and creates a new wheel mounting surface at a width equal to the front axle. The problem is not only the expense of the spacer, but adding more components, and more bolts, adds more potential for failure. The second method of making the front and rear tires track is to use a wheel designed with offsets such that the front can me mounted dished inwards and the same wheel can be mounted on the rear dished outwards.
ALUMINUM DOT Compliant Two-piece Beadlock
DOT COMPLIANT BEADLOCK – Buckstop is proud to offer the WORLD’S BEST two piece, beadlock aluminum wheel. These wheels are brand new, top quality and designed for military and armored vehicle applications around the globe. The internal bead-lock is an integral component of the wheel and tire safety ensuring that the tire will not dismount in the event of a puncture. This is a top-notch wheel choice – none better.
STEEL Single Piece
Buckstop manufactures a single piece steel wheel that requires no extra bolt flanges, no wheel spacers, and no additional bolts. It is a simple, effective option for the Single Wheel Conversion. The wheels can be installed dished in or dished out and “flip” from front to rear. Tires can easily be rotated front to rear for even wear without dismounting the tire from the rim. ZERO FAILURES – Not all wheels are built the same – Buckstop steel wheels have been in the field over 20 years with ZERO failures. Steel is the most common material for wheel construction and is standard issue on your Ford or Ram truck. Buckstop wheels are built on a custom rim hoop that is derived from an earthmover wheel rated at 14,000lb weight capacity. Proper construction design, weld technique, and material selection ensure wheel strength and longevity.
5 STEEL WHEELS AND TIRES ARE INCLUDED WITH BASE KIT.
Axel Gear Ratio:
Choice of axle gear ratio is a matter of vehicle application contingent on load weight and duty-cycle. Low gear ratios are used in vehicles to overcome a lack of torque from the engine and lack of strength in the transmission. A weaker drive train requires higher gear ratios. As today’s diesel engines produce more and more torque and transmissions improve, gear ratios are decreasing. A rear end ratio of 3.31:1 is now available for a diesel engine truck capable of a Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating (GCWR) of 25,700lbs. This includes the truck, payload, and trailer. A less tangible factor is the duty-cycle of the vehicle. An F250 that tows a travel trailer 500 miles a year is far different from a work-truck that operates 12 to 24 hours loaded to full capacity. Lower gear ratios reduce strain on the system and increase longevity in heavy use, high mile vehicles.
Engineers for Ram 5500 trucks have determined that a 4.88:1 gear ratio is ideal for the heaviest duty work trucks. They are designed to be busses, tow trucks, moving vans, utility trucks, dump trucks, heavy-haulers, etc. covering many miles a year hauling heavy loads. The Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating (GCWR) of a 2019 F550 is 40,000lbs all day, every day.
Considerations for selecting the best gear ratio: A Ram 5500 with 4.88:1 axle ratio on Single Wheel Conversion 41″ tires has an equivalent ratio of 3.94:1.
- A Brush Truck or Camper will weigh 19,500lbs at maximum load – half the GCWR of a fully laden F500 and 6,000lbs less than an F250 with 3.31:1 gears.
- A 3.94:1 ratio is between the common 3.73 and 4.10 ratios with 31,000lb and 32,000lb GCWR respectively.
Conclusion: Most Single Wheel Conversion Brush Trucks and Campers will operate at a very light weight relative to GCWR of comparable work-truck applications. They will also see a relatively light duty-cycle not being run 12 hours a day, 365 days a year heavy laden. All considered, most Single Wheel Conversion trucks will live an easy life. The factory 4.88:1 ratio is well within the operating parameters of this application.
Topping off the truck is an extra-wide bumper compensating the increase in front track width. The bumper extends past the fender flares to fend off fence posts, trees, and other obstacles jumping out along the way. At the heart of the bumper are the same features found on standard Buckstop bumpers including winch mount, tow hooks or mount points, trailer receiver, latching winch access door, built-in light mounts, and several options for built-in sirens, speakers, and monitor. INCLUDED WITH BASE KIT.
Running Board Steps:
The truck ends up 7-1/2” higher than stock considering suspension lift and larger tire diameter. This makes accessing the cab a challenge! Buckstop has designed a custom set of Running Board Steps for Conversion trucks that bring the rig back down to earth. The steps are both broader and lower than standard steps. After climbing in and out of the truck a few dozen times, drivers will appreciate the extra boost they get from lower steps. Steps are NFPA compliant using “Fire Tread Plate.”
Undercarriage protection is available with Radiator, Transfer Case, and Transmission Skid Pans designed to keep branches and debris from damaging the underside of the vehicle. These pieces are heavy-duty construction and fit tightly to the underside with minimal loss of ground clearance. These pieces are not included with the base kit.