All In One. Batteries Included. Aren't those the phrases we look for on our packaging? When it comes to shopping, one-stop shopping can't be beat. Even JC Penney has caught on and invested millions in ramming their "It's All Inside" jingle into our heads over and over again. But oftentimes in the custom classic truck market, projects call for shopping at a few different locations to get the job done. But if you could buy a package full of parts with those big red words on the box and only have to make one phone call or trip, wouldn't that entice you? Yeah, we thought it might, and so did No Limit Engineering.

As most of you know, No Limit Engineering is no stranger to the pages of CCT. When they're not selling massive amounts of product for classic trucks, they're building them. One of their more popular items is the Mustang II IFS unit. These weld-in kits are based on Ford-style Mustang II IFS setups and are one of the most popular installations owners make to bring their dated chassis into the new millennium with IFS, disc brakes, rack-and-pinion steering, and more. However, seeing that they are based on Ford's original design, the spindle rotor and hardware are Ford, which isn't a problem when one of these units is installed in a Ford truck. However, when it comes to GM trucks, there is some mixing and matching with oddball spacers, brackets, bearings, spindle nuts, etc. and more in order to install the GM rotors and calipers on a Ford spindle. In the long run, that means a lot more time spent getting the right parts, more complicated orders, and a bigger inventory. Adding all that up, No Limit owner Rob MacGregor thought there had to be an easier way.

So No Limit came up with their new Smart Spindle. They designed the spindle to incorporate one key element: it is universal for Ford and GM applications. No Limit accomplished this by replicating the original Ford Mustang II spindle design, but instead of using a Ford-style spindle shaft, the No Limit spindles protrude a GM-modeled chromoly spindle shaft. Because of this, any late-model GM rotor, bearing, caliper, bearing seals, and spindle nuts can be used with the spindle. That means no more mixing and matching to bolt up a GM rotor to a Ford spindle. Along with that, No Limit also designed the spindle with a 2-inch drop, all the while keeping the correct steering geometry. No Limit's new spindle also has one more key element. Aftermarket Mustang II spindles require a bolt-on caliper bracket, which does work. However, like anything that consists of two pieces merged together, it isn't as strong as one solid piece. The problem with bolting a caliper bracket to the spindle is that during braking the intense amount of force actually causes the caliper mounts to flex, and when the brackets flex, the inner and outer brake pads aren't wearing evenly on the rotor. Instead, the back of one pad and the front of the other pad do most of the stopping, which means the vehicle isn't using all of its braking potential. So No Limit designed the spindle with a forged-in caliper mount that eliminates the bolt-on caliper mount. Adding to the forged caliper mount is a caliper load arm the caliper mounts to. Between the forged mount and the support bracket, the new spindle offers a firmer caliper mounting style that helps reduce brake flex. The best part about the spindle is that it is designed to work with any Mustang II IFS, regardless of the brand. If it's Mustang II, then the Smart Spindle is compatible.

This setup sounds great if you have a GM truck, but what if you have a Ford? The Ford wheels aren't going to work with a GM rotor because they don't have the same bolt pattern or bearing design. Simple: Along with the Smart Spindle, No Limit also designed the Smart Rotor. The rotor is based on a late-model GM rotor, but it has one big advantage-it's manufactured with both GM and Ford bolt patterns, so by simply screwing the provided wheel studs into the rotor, the setup is compatible for both makes.

To get a hands-on approach to the new setup, we traveled to No Limit Engineering in San Bernardino, California, where a '46 Ford truck with a Mustang II IFS was about to undergo a new Smart Spindle and Smart Rotor swap. The install is just like any spindle and rotor install, which means it's about as basic as you're ever going to get. Before we turned any wrenches on the '46, we headed to a local parking lot, where we ran some very primitive 70-0 braking tests outlaw-style-that's code for "we're cool as long as Johnny Law don't show up!" After the swap, we went back out and shaved roughly 10 feet off the previous numbers. However, that was with Wilwood Engineering's high-performance brake pads, which No Limit offers as an upgrade.

In the end, the swap is a quick, easy, and straight-to-the-point install. You don't have to worry about the correct bearings, spacers, and so on-simply open up the box and it's all there, clear as day. This new setup is so smart.

No Limit Engineering
  • «
  • |
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
  • |
  • 5
  • |
  • View Full Article