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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's the senario. My son's S-10 pickup was T-boned at an intersection recently. Out of curiousity, I removed the spindle and rotor from the truck and tried to install it on my 71 Chevelle.(front drums) After carefully measuring and comparing, the spindle is nearly identical. All the tapered holes would have to be machined to accept the Chevelle ball joints and tie rod end but all the angles and ride height are the same. There is one glaring difference however. The arm that the tie rod end attaches to is one inch longer on the S-10 than on the Chevelle. Is there any reason why this wouldn't work? The angle on the inner tie rod end would be affected and the turning radius would change but that could be corrected with a set of steering stops similar to the ones on truck's lower control arm. Believe it or not, the S-10's spindle is beefier than the Chevelle's. Oh yes, there is one other minor difference. The dimension between the locations where the ball joints bolt in is little wider on the truck spindle, but this could be milled down when the holes are retapered. The only wild card in this equation is the arm for the tie rod end. Can anyone come up with any reasons why this setup won't work?

[This message has been edited by Randy Mosier (edited 01-25-99).]
 

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I've seen that swap advertised as a disc brake conversion for "A" bodies. Can't remember who the supplier was, though.

Obviously, it CAN be done. One problem with the kit, is that it uses the S-10 rotors, which are only 10" diameter. 11" is "normal" for and "A" body. I suspect they use the smaller rotor to eliminate wheel bearing and caliper mounting headaches.
 

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To my way of thinking the longer steering arm should speed up the steering, longer arm more leverage easier to steer as well if you don't have power with power might be hairy...FRED
 

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I think the longer arm would slow down the steering. The tierod moving back and forth 2" is going to turn the wheel less with the longer arm. The turning radius will be larger (it won't be making u-turns as tight as it was). Steering stops wouldn't be needed.
Also, I would think that somewhere there are tierod ends and perhaps balljoints that would make the swap possible without as much machine work. Machining a tapered hole can't be cheap.

[This message has been edited by Gene McGill (edited 01-26-99).]
 

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Randy;

Other than the fact that you have the parts already, WHY do you want to do this?

A longer steering arm will slow down the steering. (longer arc distance, per degrees turned)

The "kit" that uses S10 calipers and rotors (at least the one I know) does NOT use the stock S10 spindle!! It's a special casted "dropped" spindle. I'd guess that the steering arm matches the Chevelle configuration.

If I was looking at buying a car and the guy said that he did what you propose, I'd run!! That's not to say that it's unsound or you don't have the ability to do it. It's just that it's off the beaten path and there are several other "time proven" options.

Wes. Vann
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wes, the reason I tried this is to see if a more economical way could be found to convert the drum brakes to disk. The aftermarket kits such as those offered by Stainless are nearing the thousand dollar range and, according to some past posts on this sight, will not bolt right on without further modification. Plus, the supply of used spindles from junk yards is drying up. When they can be found, the price is almost as much as an aftermarket kit. For instance, at a classic car salvage yard near Denton, Texas, they quoted me 300.00 bucks for spindles alone. They wanted extra for the dust shields and the rest of the hardware. (The price began adding up) The aftermarket suppliers know that used parts are drying up, and as a result, they boost prices. I threw this out as an alternative to aftermarket kits or robbing a Ford Granada (All the local dirt track racers claim that Granada spindles bolt right on, haven't tried that one and don't really want to bolt Fomoco parts on my Chevy) My thinking is that there are tens of thousands of S-10s in the junkyards. I didn't say I wanted to or was going to do this. I haven't made a decision yet. I'm a little put off by the longer steering arm and the 10 inch rotors. I just want to know everyone's opinions. I've been cruising this sight for over a year now and value all of your opinions. We should never be afraid to experiment a little even if it does turn out to be a bad idea. For example, someone bolted a Monte Carlo instrument panel into a Chevelle dash a few years back. That person experimented and now we know you can use a Monte instrument panel in your Chevelle if that's all you can find. It turned out to be good idea. That's what I'm doing, just experimenting a little. We'll never sort out the good ideas from the bad if we do nothing.

[This message has been edited by Randy Mosier (edited 01-26-99).]

[This message has been edited by Randy Mosier (edited 01-26-99).]
 

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I agree with Randy, used parts are hard to find at a reasonable price. But don't rule out the dealer! The part number for left and right spindles are both still good and a search should turn some up. Dealer cost is around $88 each. I priced "loaded" calipers for my swap and found them a Delco jobber for $38 each plus a $25 core charge (loaded meas a caliper with pads) Not too bad.Backing plates from another type of car can be drilled to fit and won;t be seen one the rotor is on. GM has made many thins over the years that will interchange if you only know what they are. SSuper Dave
 

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Gang (and Randy);

Living in the L.A. area of California I tend to forget how bad the junk yard scene is in other parts of the country.

At $300 for spindles only, I think I'd start planing a trip to Disneyland for the family, while I run around to the yards out here.

What would scare me the most about the S10 spindles is having the taper for the ball joints re-machined. It's an easy thing for a machine shop to do IF they have the correct tapered bit.

I just keep seeing somebody doing it wrong (or not even doing it) and problems popping up. We are talking about keeping the front wheels attached!!

Heck, it would be possible to "V-cut" a section out of the steering arms, then re-weld them back together. I'm good with a welder, but I'd be thinking about it every time I hit a bump.

Wes.
 

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How about printing the part numbers for those knuckles/spindles for us, please. I'm sure my local dealer declared them dead and shame on him if that's not the case.Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
67-72 Chevelle steering knuckle (or spindle) the part number according to interchange manual is
3966151
 

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I don't know if you can have the car laid up for a short while, but I recall that MP Brakes can modify the existing Drum Spindles to match the normal Disc Spindles.
 

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Using S-10 brakes on a Chevelle might not work, but I have heard that a 1978-88 G-car spindle will fit 1964-72 A-cars. When I went to a wrecking yard, and compared an A-car spindle with a G-car spindle, they look fairly similar, but with a tape measure, the G-car spindle should fit like a glove.

The downside with the S-10 and G-car brakes is that a smaller rotor is used, which measures 10 inches. If I wanted to put Pee-Wee brakes up front, I'd do this with a Vega, or better yet, a rice burner/Oriental import.
 

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Thanks for the part number Randy. That's the part number that is in the GM parts book my dealer used. The part number shows invalid as if discontinued, but prices out at 87.60 dealer cost. I called the GM parts 800 number and got the same results. So my friends, my question is, have any of you actually had a dealer put these parts in your hands within the past few months? Or, do you just have a part number??? If you got them, please list the name of the dealer you purchased them from and please include their phone number. Thanks!
 
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