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Old 09-15-2005, 11:28 AM
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Fabricating Dropped Spindles

Does anyone know of any good suspension books or other information that could help me in fabricating some custom dropped spindles? I feel confident with my welding skills, but I'm really not sure where to start. I don't know if I should take my stock spindles, design a new spindle off that and then move the wheel mounting up 2" (for dropping 2") or ?

These guys who design race cars know how to do it, but they had to learn from somewhere...

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Old 09-15-2005, 03:41 PM
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What car are these going on?
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Old 09-15-2005, 03:57 PM
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Thirdgen Trans Am... '82-92. I know I'll need something strong and braced so it doesn't break, but I'm not sure of the general guidelines and thicknesses of the metals that I'm supposed to use (tubular, solid plate, etc.)
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Old 09-15-2005, 08:36 PM
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That seems like a lot of work for a 2" drop. Are you sure there aren't aftermarket ones that'll work?
The spindle is a pretty important piece. Look at the stock ones, they're all pretty heavy construction. I don't think I'd trust a homebaked spindle. I don't like to discourage creative hotrodder thinking, but it seems like making a homemade drop spindle is asking for trouble.
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Old 09-16-2005, 04:25 AM
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Yes, I know the spindle is very important. I don't want to be driving down the road and have it break. I'd use dropped spindles but there aren't any in production, and I will not use drop springs.
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Old 09-16-2005, 06:58 AM
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I'm not sure something like this is doable at home, even with a decent array of skills and tools.

I could be wrong, but I'm assuming the spindles are forged. That kind of strength is really hard to replicate with welding, especially with the right-angle forces that have to be dealt with. You'd have to be 110% sure you did it right, both for yourself and other drivers on the road.

That said, I suspect there would be some possibility of swapping in a spindle from another make/model that has the height characteristics you're looking for, and then mixing and matching ball joints and bearings to make it work. There are tools to ream ball joint mating holes out there too.

You might also want to look at Speedway Motors, or a similar racing vendor. Perhaps something from the racing community could be made to work.

Personally, if it came to it, I'd rather weld up brackets and control arms to make a good quality spindle work, rather than trying to weld up a spindle to fit factory control arms.

Just MHO...
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Old 09-16-2005, 09:36 AM
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I think the problem is the location of the strut bolts on the knuckle. There just isn't room to move the spindle up 2" because the knuckle to strut bolts will be in the way. See this pic (ignore the $$$ brakes).



You could maybe get 1" out of it but I don't think that would be worth the time.

Last edited by Triaged; 09-16-2005 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 09-16-2005, 10:06 AM
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Have you checked with www.Fatmanfabrication.com ?
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Old 09-16-2005, 10:55 AM
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Triaged - There was a company (Belltech) that made 2" dropped spindles back in the day, so it can be done. The problem is that they are out of production, and you can't find a set anywhere.

Henry - http://www.fatmanfab.com/ - correct link. Fatman doesn't do spindles for our cars.

FST made a set for a customer's truck (here) so it can be done, I just am not sure of the method for designing them.
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Old 09-16-2005, 10:56 AM
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check ww.thirdgen.org i am pretty sure that no one makes them any longer, but someone there will have a set or know where you can get one. much easier and safer then homemade.
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Old 09-16-2005, 01:29 PM
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Well, I stand corrected. Looks like FST made a welded spindle.

I didn't think it could be done. Nice piece of work in the pic.
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Old 09-16-2005, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by super_kev
Triaged - There was a company (Belltech) that made 2" dropped spindles back in the day, so it can be done. The problem is that they are out of production, and you can't find a set anywhere.

Henry - http://www.fatmanfab.com/ - correct link. Fatman doesn't do spindles for our cars.

FST made a set for a customer's truck (here) so it can be done, I just am not sure of the method for designing them.
Kevin Blumer (the author of the off-road article) is a friend of mine. He does good work

The reason I said that "he" would not be able to make more than about an inch of drop is that I assumed that he would use the factory spindle pressed out of the factory knuckle and into his fabricated knuckle. Most people don't have a lathe and ability to heat treat something like a spindle at home.

Did the Belltech part use a 1-piece spindle/knuckle or did it have a press in spindle (like stock)? They might have used a 1-piece to get the spindle in the right place????
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Old 03-02-2006, 06:43 PM
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Super, did you ever get your dropped spindles made? I'd be very interested in a set for a 69 b-body.
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Old 03-03-2006, 12:47 PM
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Hey Longboard,
I haven't played around with the idea lately, mainly because I don't have time to look into the engineering and design aspect of it. I'll be doing it one day, but unfortunately there's no way I can do it now.
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Old 03-03-2006, 02:42 PM
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Super, if you have confidence in your welding skills, why not cut the arms and insert plates and gussets. It might not look as "cool," but it's a whole lot easier. Check out the picture in my gallery. In that case, I was simply adapting the tip of a Pinto arm to a Sprite arm, but I could just as easily have added an offset.
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