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1965 Impala SS Convertible
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330 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 65 impala with drum brakes,The inner wheel bearing went when i was going about 60 and it broke the castle nut holding the rotor on and it ripped apart all of my brakes and the castle nut like broke in half and welded itself to the spindle so i need parts from the backing plate forward.So my question is what year chevys can i take the disk brake setup out of?I now 73-77 monte carlos are swappable but i cant find any junkyards in my area with them.Money is a big issue so i am trying to do this as cheap as possible.Theres a junkyard by my house with and early 80's impala,and a ton of caprices,will they work?Any thing from the 80's?any help is appreciated
 

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Old(s) Fart
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6,015 Posts
Not sure what you mean by "bolt right up". If you're planning on swapping spindles, they DO NOT bolt up to your 65 ball joints. The ball joint studs have a different taper angle and will not seat properly in the spindles. Bolting a later spindle to the early ball joint is asking for the stud to break at some time in the future.

The 71-up full size, 73-up midsize, 75-79 X-body, and 70-up F-body all use the newer taper angle. Changing the upper ball joints is easy, since the newer uppers should simply bolt to your current upper A-arms. The lowers ball joints are the problem. When using the B-body spindles on 64-72 A-body cars you need to machine the housing of the later ball joints to fit in the lower control arm of the early cars. I'm guessing your 65 is the same. Of course, you can get aftermarket disc brake kits for 65-70 B-body cars now.
 

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Old(s) Fart
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EazyDuzIt102 said:
just reread what you wrote,i meant keep the caprice ball joints,except replace them,napa unbreakables
Yes, the later spindles will physically fit over the early ball joints and you can torque the nut. The problem is that with the parts assembled, you can't see the mismatch in the taper. The ball joint stud is supposed to fit the spindle taper over the full length of the taper. With the mismatch you're suggesting, the spindle only seats on one end of the ball joint stud. The rest of the stud us unsupported and prone to bending while you drive. Hit the right bump and it can break off. It's a BAAAAD idea. Just get the later ball joints. Problem solved. Oh, the outer tie rod end has the same issue. Use the later tie rod end.
 

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Old(s) Fart
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Yes to all. Just keep in mind that the new lower ball joints will need to have the outside diameter of the housing turned down to match the OD of your old lower ball joints. I think the dimension is 2.11", but as I get older my memory ain't what it used to be. Simply press out one of the old lowers, take it and the new lowers to a machine shop, and have them match the diameter.
 

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Old(s) Fart
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6,015 Posts
Yes. Again, the late model upper ball joints should bolt to your upper control arms. The late model lower ball joints are slightly larger in diameter than your current lowers. You need to have the new ball joints machined down to match the diameter of the old ones where they press into the lower control arms.
 

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1965 Impala SS Convertible
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330 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I wanted to get the unbreakable balljoints from napa,is it the same situation with these?I know i have to drill another hole for them,i have a part number and there supposed to be universal.
 

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Old(s) Fart
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EazyDuzIt102 said:
I wanted to get the unbreakable balljoints from napa,is it the same situation with these?I know i have to drill another hole for them,i have a part number and there supposed to be universal.
I just did a little research on these "unbreakable" ball joints. If you read the literature, the problem they're trying to solve is cracking of the housing that retains the ball. If the suspension of the car goes too far to the end of travel, the ball joint will exceed the available range of motion in the housing, causing it to crack and potentially releasing the ball from the housing. This is a completely different problem that what I've been describing. Even with these ball joints, you can still fail the ball stud if the taper angle in the spindle doesn't match the taper angle on the ball stud. In that case, you fracture the ball stud, not the housing.

I'm not sure how many times you want me to say this. Despite what marketing materials may say, there's no such thing as an "unbreakable" part. There's also no such thing as a "universal" ball joint. I'm also willing to bet that if you read the fine print on those NAPA ball joints, it will say that the studs need to fit properly in the spindle. Every replacement ball joint I've ever bought comes with a lawyer-approved piece of paper that details the proper fit and inspection of the tapered hole that the ball joint stud needs to fit into. The problem is that even in stock applications, the stud can get loose and egg out the tapered hole. What you propose is even worse because the tapers don't match to start with.

I think you need to do some more homework before you go swapping spindles. If you don't know what you're doing, it's easy to create a dangerous situation. Frankly, I don't care if you risk your own life, but if the ball joint fails and you hit an innocent bystander's car, that's a problem.
 

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1965 Impala SS Convertible
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330 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well my impala has hydraulics and these unbreakable ball joints are a big deal when it comes to lowriders.I have heard of lots of people doing this same conversion with the unbreakable ball joints.Everyone uses the same part number(the same balljoint)on there car weather its chevy or ford or whatever they have.
 

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Old(s) Fart
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EazyDuzIt102 said:
Well my impala has hydraulics and these unbreakable ball joints are a big deal when it comes to lowriders.I have heard of lots of people doing this same conversion with the unbreakable ball joints.Everyone uses the same part number(the same balljoint)on there car weather its chevy or ford or whatever they have.
Just because you can stick a screwdriver in an electrical outlet doesn't mean it's a smart thing to do. There are a whole lot of totally clueless people working on cars.

At this point, I give up. Do what you want.
 

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The Titanic was called unsinkable, and we know how that went down. :rolleyes:

I think the '65-'70 Chevy passenger cars used the same basic suspension stuff, so maybe you could locate one of those with discs and check it out.
 
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