Any enthusiast who owns the same custom car for a significant length of time is bound to refine it as he goes along. He builds the car, drives it, determines its strengths and weaknesses, and, ideally, makes tweaks to improve it through the years.
The same can be said of aftermarket parts. After selling the same component for years on end, a company is bound to find ways to make it better. Sometimes the company makes minor design tweaks and changes that slowly alter the part over time. In other cases, it completely redesigns a component to give it more benefits and achieve the desired results.
Classic Performance Products has been building dropped spindles for Chevy cars and trucks for many years now. Not surprisingly, one of its more popular offerings has been a 2-inch dropped spindle for 1958-64 fullsize Chevy cars. The original spindle design worked fine and did what it was supposed to in lowering the car, maintaining proper suspension geometry, and allowing disc brakes. Yet recently the folks at CPP thought the spindle design could be better, so they went back to the drawing board to see what they could develop.
The result is an all-new design that is more versatile and covers a wider range of applications. Cast from ductile iron and fitted with CNC-machined, 4140 chrome-moly pins, the new spindle is designed to deliver the same 2-inch drop as its predecessor. However, the new version is designed to use your car's original steering arms, rather than having the arm cast into the spindle. This means the spindle will not only work on '58-64 cars, but will also fit '65-70 fullsize Chevys. Similarly, the bolt-on caliper bracket design allows for a wider range of disc brake options.
Speaking of brakes, if you have already upgraded to disc brakes using your car's stock spindles, the rotors and calipers will likely fit on these spindles. If you still need discs, the spindles employ aluminum hub assemblies that accept a variety of disc brake options, from factory-style 11-inch rotors and cast-iron calipers, to larger 12- and 13-inch rotors with big C-15, PBR-style calipers. Even better, the hubs allow for easy rotor swaps without having to mess with grease or bearings.
To give you a better look at this new spindle, we followed along as Jeff Wise at CPP installed a pair on a '62 Impala. Take a look and see what you think
Big Chevys look best when...
Big Chevys look best when they're close to the ground. One way to get 'em there is by using dropped spindles, like this new offering from Classic Performance Products.
The hardest thing about almost...
The hardest thing about almost any spindle or brake swap can be breaking loose the old parts, particularly the ball joints. The best method is usually swinging a hammer where the ball joint stud mounts to the spindle. Note that the castle nut is still in place to keep the suspension from springing apart; it's also smart to have a jack or other form of support under the lower control arm at this point.
Jeff felt confident allowing...
Jeff felt confident allowing the shock to hold the coil spring and lower control arm together. Again, we would have employed a spring compressor or some form of support under the control arm as extra security to keep the spring from popping free. Regardless, the original spindle and drum brake assembly came off easily after breaking the ball joints and tie-rod ends loose