I need Disc Brake spindle help!!! - Chevelle Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions & more.

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 99, 2:23 PM Thread Starter
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I am "trying" to assemble the frame of my 66 SS396 project. I ordered the PST super front end kit. The previous owner of the car put a disc brake conversion kit on it. After pressing in the bushings & ball joints and installing all 4 control arms, I found out that the spindle is not compatable with these new parts. The taper on the ball joint studs (all 4 of them) are too fat for the spindle, I can't get the castle nuts on far enough to put in the cotter pins, also the angle of the taper is wrong, the studs are sloppy in the holes. Can anyone tell me what upper & lower ball joints, and outer tie rod ends to buy, to fit these spindles (part #'s 371676 RH & 371675 LH). I also noticed that the spindles change the suspension geometry quite a bit from the drum spindles (I have the original drum assemblies). If I measure the distance between where the upper & lower ball joints mount, I get 7-1/8 on the drums and 8-3/4 on the disc's. This raises the upper control arm. This I believe is why the previous owner bought offest upper shafts, put them in backwards to pull the arms in, and also has about 3/4" worth of shims to pull in the upper arms even more. Did the previous owner use newer model disc brake spindles? And is this bad? To change the suspension geometry like that? I drove the car all last summer and thought the steering was fine, the car sat good and everything. I really need an expert here. Please help! Can I just go to the local autoparts store and match up some ball joints, or should I go back to drum brakes???
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 99, 5:15 PM
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sounds like the wrong spindles, get a pair from a 69-72 chevelle, 69-74 nova, 70-72 monte carlo...I explain the whole disk brake with factory parts conversion elsewhere on this post, if you cant find it email me and ill go through it again..

70 chevelle ss396 conv
66 chevelle ss396 hdp/conv
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 99, 10:23 PM
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Sounds like you have the tall spindles commonly found on 2nd generation Camaros, 73-7 Montes, etc. That explains the extra shims on the upper control arm; Hotchkis and Global West make a tubular upper arm that's shorter and gives the correct geometry with the Camaro-type spindles. I'd get the correct spindles too, since you're going to have to get a set of Camaro lower ball joints and have the case turned down on a lathe to press into the Chevelle A-arm. I know; I just had it done last week! Get the original spindles and save some aggravation.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 99, 6:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys! I think I'm just going to have to spring for a front disc conversion kit, $$ouch! I really don't want to go back to drums on all 4 wheels. Where is the best place to get this kit? PST want's $849 for their's, however that includes the master & booster. I can't use a power booster cause my LS6 idles with 6-7" of vaccuum, so if I could find a kit with just the spindles, rotors etc. taht would be the way to go.

Thanks again!
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 99, 8:12 AM
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Why go for the complete kit? The brakes you have are bigger/better? Parts are still readily available and cheaper then early chevelle parts.
Why not just go for the upper control arms from a supplier? You may need a bit more than that, but someone here will know exactly what that is. I think the new setup will give better handling too!
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 99, 8:35 AM
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My guess is that the prior owner did a "tall spindle" conversion using the HO Racing set-up. (now marketed through Malibu Performance)

Go to the "technical reference" section of this site and read the article on tall spindle conversions.

I'd recommend that you go by a junk yard and ask them to verify the spindle part numbers as being those that would fit a 73 Chevelle. You could also pull out the disk brake pads and go by an autoparts store and see if they are the same as for a 73 Chevelle.

Once this is verified, your options (should you want to keep the spindles and brakes) are to get the ball joints from Malibu Performance or do the upper-arm trip from Global West or Hotchkiss. Both companies put out top quality parts and the cost is comparable. (I'm running the Global West arms)

The technical reference article goes into more detail and also some of my opinions.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 99, 4:07 PM Thread Starter
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All I know is that these tall spindles really change the geometry of the suspension. To compare, I put one of the tall spindles on, and one of the original drums. I measured from the ground to the centerline of each spindle, and the tall spindle is 2 1/2 inches lower to the ground. Also, the tall spindle is angled down towards the ground a few degrees, would'nt it be better to have neg camber for cornering? What I don't understand is that the car did not seem to sit high in the front. I know that the lower ball joints that were on this setup were machined on the dia. to fit. Are you saying they did this setup on purpose? What is the benefit? Can I get ball joints that will fit, or will I have to get them machined? Does Malibu Performace have a web site?
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 99, 5:27 PM
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Call Sundells. They are in Pa, and in NC. They advertise in the back of the Car mags specializing in 64-72 Chevelles.

I have a similiar prob with my "disc spindles". Sundells can get me correct 70 Spindles and caliper brackets for $175.

Figure I'd get rotors and calipers from local parts stores.

Springfield, Ohio
70 Chevelle Malibu


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 9th, 99, 9:09 AM
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I used Camaro 79 spindels on my '67 Elcamino. However, I used Global West's negitive-roll upper control arms. This is their area of specialty. Check out their web site at www.globalwest.net or email Doug Norrdin at gwsuspen@pacbell.net
Phone: 909-349-2090 Fax:909-349-2095 I am very impressed with their product. Nothing but quality!!!

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 9th, 99, 11:35 AM
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Yes, I think someone converted your car to the taller spindles on purpose.

This has a couple of advantages
1. By moving the upper control arm up with a longer spindle it improves the negative camber curve which improves handling.
2. the taller spindle allows you to install larger than stock disk brakes.

There is a problem, you have seen it!
1. the parts dont want to fit together without some help.

Wes V's post is a must read item for you!
PS. you have the beginings of a very nice front suspension setup
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 9th, 99, 11:11 PM
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I have the tall spindles on my 67. The upper control arms are Hotchkis. Makes a great front suspension. You can use 12" rotors.

Pat Kelley
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old Nov 28th, 03, 9:22 PM
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Another place to try is www.rightstuffdetailing.com out of Sunbury, Ohio. I talked to these guys at a meet and they are sharp. They sell complete kits with common aftermarket parts so down the road you'll still be able to get replacements even if they're not around.

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