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Old 11-06-2007, 12:44 AM
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B-body spindles for 70-72 A-body?

I've only recently become aware that there is currently a B-body spindle conversion kit available thru Hotchkis that will change the geometry and improve neg- camber on the Chevelle/El Camino A-bodys.
Has anyone heard of, or installed these spindles in their 1st gen. Monte?

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Old 11-06-2007, 08:51 AM
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b-body spindles

What do you want to know? I just (meaning last Sunday) finished that conversion.
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:26 AM
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I'll listen too.
May be interested in the same thing for the 66 Elky

Bryan
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:46 AM
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Wonderin' how the height changed, did it drop the ride at all? Raise it?
Did you use Hotchkis or find a B-body with parts that fit your A-body?
Any pics would be appreciated.
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Old 11-06-2007, 10:17 AM
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This says 1" lower
http://www.oldsmobility.com/discbrakes.htm

Also check out the Global West stuff
http://www.globalwest.net/1964-72%20A-BODIES.htm
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Old 11-06-2007, 11:32 AM
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The B-body spindle swap is very common for A/G bodies. They're taller spindles which dramatically improves instant center and roll center, and depending on which ones you get will take the 12" rotors. The spindle (and therefore ride) height is the same (or at least within an 1/8") but you will notice that they stick out more. Its not usually enough to cause rubbing problems, but it does look a little funny. Many guys combat that by using F-body wheels from Gen3 cars that had staggered offsets front and rear. I did it with the 16" basketweave wheels from a GTA.

Just the spindle swap alone (same springs and shocks) I noticed a remarkable improvement in handling from better geometry. Same ride quality, better handling, better foundation for performance handling.

I might suggest you consider the 12" rotor upgrade, but know its downsides first... The 12" rotor that comes on late model Bbodies like 9C1 cop cars, Impala SS, roadmaster, etc is the same rotor that has been used for years on HD B bodies. Its a 5x5 bolt pattern. It shares the same bearings as the F-body discs and are therefore interchangeable. The only 12" rotor with your 5x4.75 bolt pattern is the WS6 rotor and its very expensive. Its the exact same casting as the B body 12" rotor, just drilled with the different bolt pattern.

I did it once, but then refused to pay again for more WS6 rotors and switched to the 11". I didn't really need the extra braking. The other option is to use the B-body Impala rotor and then just use 5x5 wheels on the front of the car.

Last edited by curtis73; 11-06-2007 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 11-06-2007, 11:35 AM
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my experience with b-body conversion

I have a 1970 Buick Skylark. It's in the project section if you wish to see what I started with and where it is now.

The Global west site is a good site to give you the basics of the conversion, but whether you use Hotchkis, Global West, S&S, or ebay spindles there are several things to think of prior to the conversion. I really suggest you view this site as it gave me some excellent tips on doing the conversion. http://www.einstyn.com/

The reason I did the conversion. After I boxed the rear lower and upper control arms, my car badly understeered (as if there is a good understeer). So I had to do something, plus I actually got stopped by a cop for squealing my tires when turning out of a driveway due to the scrub of the tire (cop thought i was showing off).

Before you start, be certain what you wish to accomplish. I race my car fairly regularly and want the car to be a new corvette without the corvette price. You can do several increasingly expensive mods. They are. You can simply replace the bushings with poly urethane - that gets you 50% there to good handling. Second, I haven't done this but apparently if you use Dodge Volare ball joints you can get 75% of the handling (if done with polys). Dodge joints are 1" taller so they drop your car 1" and better the camber. I didn't use this method because it doesn't seem as strong and as I run this car pretty hard - I wanted the second best. There is a Best option. Several companies, make conversions which use C5 arms, the sealed bearings, and the Corvette Hub - this also gives you rack and pinion steering - expect to spend 2k to 5k for that conversion.

First, cost of what I did. I paid $100 for the spindles, 180 for new rotors (1LE from a 1990 Camaro), I reused the calipers off the 11" brakes that were stock on the Buick. I paid $68 for the tie rod ends, I paid $400 for the tubular upper control arms - it included in the price the lower ball joint that is turned down to fit the Buick lower control arm; and it also included the upper ball joint and the poly joints/offset cross shaft. Finally I paid $24 for the hoses. Right now, I can't remember what I paid for the new bearings and races.... cheapish at like 30 bucks total. You can use your stock upper control arms, but you will have at least 3/4" of shims to get it to align and possibly interfer with your exhaust.

I could have saved myself quite a bit of money had I stayed with the 11" rotors, but as I sold the entire original disk brake conversion for $700 I did not end up too badly in the red on the conversion.

The system basically bolts together, I do suggest that you put poly bushings on the lower control arm and box the lower control arm. The weakness in the lower control arm is the ball joint will pull out of the arm laterally - not a good thing - so bracing (I put some 5/16" rod around the outside and welded it solid to the lower control arm). www.einstyn.com actually put a plate on the bottom of the control arm - for simplicity and I believe better strength wrapping the outside with more metal does the same thing (and does not interfer with my 15/x7 wheels.

The only thing I did not see on the variety of other instructions was this. Most complain that you lose turning radius if you go with the B-spindle. That isn't true. You lose turning radius if you do not modify the steering stop on the spindle. When you modify the stop you get the added bonus of not creating wear on the lower control arm (look where the spindle hits the lower control arm at full turn for the wear spot). To modify. There is a 3/8"x3/8" square piece cast into the B-Body spindle. Where it contacts the control arm is a point. Cut that contact so that there is a flat spot (about 1/2 the thickness of the stop) where it contacts the lower control arm. By doing this your turning radius will remain as good as it was prior to doing the conversion.

I will post pictures on the Buick project page in the next few days.

Please feel free to ask me more questions - I realize that I'm trying to put a ton of information into a short space so I could easily have left some out.

Good luck.
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Old 11-06-2007, 11:44 AM
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A couple more things

I used Hotchkis springs in my conversion and the information I had prior to the conversion was it would lower the car 1" and the spindles 1". It didn't work that way for me because I have fiberglass bumpers on the car and aluminum heads on my SBC, moved the battery to the back, and took quite a bit of weight out when I put the fiberglass scoop on the hood.

As for wheels, the pictures of the car with the silver wheels is prior to the conversion. The pictures of the car with the black wheels is after the conversion. They are the same wheels just painted different colors. I didn't have a problem with rubbing. I also put disk brakes on the rear - and it moved the wheel out about 1/4 of an inch.... personally I think it looks better.
Whether it will rub in your application depends on the ride height.

One other thing I forgot to mention. Unless your car is an SS, GS, 442, a wagon, or an El Camino your frame is super soft - to the point that if you launch hard enough you'll break your front windshield and likely pop the rear window out..... The first step to making an A-Body handle better is to either box the frame from the front subsection of the frame to the boxed rear section of the frame, or put in a roll cage that ties directly to the frame (what I did).

Prior to putting in the roll cage if you jacked up one corner of the car you could not open the doors.

The spindles for the 12" B-body rotors and the 11" B-body rotors are the same height so whether or not you change rotors, you'll get the same handling benefits from the taller spindles...... The difference between the calipers from 12" and 11" are negligible - so don't let the same caliper throw you - make sure you get the largest brake surface PADs possible - there are several out there in a variety of shapes and sizes for the same caliper.

Last edited by stoneshrink; 11-06-2007 at 11:46 AM. Reason: forgot one more thing
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Old 11-06-2007, 11:45 AM
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Wow, thats great info. guys, I've just removed the engine/trans from my Monte, and figured now would be a good time look into suspension improvements. I'm currently running 15x8 corvette rallys that should fit with the 12" discs, but if not, I'm also thinking 16-17" rims down the road. I'm going to start looking at the different options right after I finish finding the right engine for this car. I've got the money, but only want to spend it once. I'll try to keep posting as I move.
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Old 11-06-2007, 12:42 PM
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Good luck. You should do a project journal on the Monte.
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Old 11-07-2007, 12:32 AM
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Don't they also have as setup that uses 2nd-gen F-body spindles for a similar effect on steering geometry?
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Old 11-07-2007, 07:52 AM
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I believe so, in fact I think the Global west site says that you can use certain F-Body Spindles. Not what I did because I wanted the 12" rotors.
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