If the question is what’s...
If the question is what’s cooler than a slammed Chevy pickup, the answer is not much. Drop spindles make it easy and safe to get a truck this low.
The custom classic truck movement has been around a long time and over the years a variety of trends have emerged. One of the most popular has been a lowered stance and it really took root in Central California with Fresno as the epicenter. By the mid ’70s, it seemed everyone in the Central Valley had a lowered Chevy truck, and many of them were closer to the ground thanks to old-time tricks like hacking a coil or two off the front springs or heating them with a torch. While it made for a cool-looking truck, the ride and handling suffered.
In 1981, Western Chassis was formed to address problems associated with lowering Tri-Five Chevys. They produced the first reproduction drop spindle for those cars and it didn’t take long for them to figure out the truck guys would want them, too. Western soon introduced a drop spindle for the C10 Chevy pickup and the rest, as they say, is history. Almost overnight, dropped Chevy pickups were everywhere. In fact, a few enterprising dealerships were selling new trucks equipped with drop spindles and lowered rear suspensions.
LMC offers these drawings...
LMC offers these drawings to show the impact lowering has on a truck’s street appeal. Factory stance. Lowered 1 inch in the front, 3 inches in the rear. 2½ inches front, 4 inches rear.
Today there are a variety of drop spindles available for trucks with stock suspensions, as well as for those that use a Mustang II-based IFS or an OEM clip. Regardless of the application, there are a number of questions to ask when selecting replacement spindles, stock or dropped. One of the most critical is the changes, if any, that are made to tread width, which could mean the wheels and tires you just bought won’t fit. Along the same lines, ask what bolt circles are available. Make sure the wheels you have, or the wheels you want, will bolt on. Other important issues are the brakes used. With some spindles, stock calipers and rotors can be retained; with others, aftermarket brakes may be required. The size of the brake calipers and the diameter of the rotors may impose limitations on the wheels that will fit.
To gather more information on the number of sources, find out what’s available, and get a few tips while we were at it, here’s the lowdown on drop spindles.
Brothers Truck Parts has a...
Brothers Truck Parts has a gigantic inventory of ’47-87 truck parts and accessories, including spindles and suspension kits. This is an example of a stock-height ’63-70 GM spindle for disc brakes.
Specializing in ’47-87 Chevy and GMC truck parts, Brothers has one of the biggest parts inventories in the business, including suspension components. We asked Brothers’ John Lawrence for a few comments on drop spindles and here’s what he had to say:
The standard aftermarket drop spindles that are used on ’60-87 Chevy trucks are loosely based on ’71-87 stock spindles. These drop spindles allow you to keep your stock coil, stock shock, steering geometry and get a 2½-inch drop without any other modifications. The only issue with these drop spindles is that on ’63-70 trucks it widens the track width ¾ inch per side.
Compare the stocker to this...
Compare the stocker to this drop spindle from Brothers. Note the spindle pin has been moved up to lower the truck and the caliper bracket has been reoriented for proper alignment.
In 1971, GM released trucks that came standard with disc brakes. In doing this they had to widen the track width ¾ inch per side (actually, late ’70 trucks came with a 1½-inch wider rearend in anticipation of the disc brakes). This becomes an issue if using custom wheels and/or tires. To counter this problem, Classic Performance Products released their modular spindles, which retain the stock track width or only minimally widen it depending on the specific ’60-70 application. These spindles can also be used to tuck the wheels in on ’71-87 trucks when using a custom wheel/tire combo. The modular spindles produce a 2-inch drop compared to the 2½-inch drop of standard drop spindles.
Classic Performance Products
Classic Performance Products’...
Classic Performance Products’ new modular spindles lower ’60-87 trucks 2 inches, while providing more room for wide wheels and tires.
CCP provides products for GM, Ford, and Chrysler cars, and ’47-72 Chevy and ’49-64 Ford trucks. To take advantage of their expertise we asked their own Jeff Norton the following questions:
Q. How much drop can I expect?
A. With just spindles 2 inches; up to 5 inches with special springs.
Q. Will there be a tread-width change?
A. Yes, they move the wheels in ¾ inch per side.
A. Stock 12- and 13-inch, CPP 14-inch, Wilwood, and many others.
Q. What springs are required?
A. Totally up to customer; we have 1-, 2-, and 3-inch drop front springs.
Q. Are different length shocks necessary?
CCP’s spindle and brake kits come in a variety of configurations, including 5- or 6-stud rotors with stock or aftermarket calipers.