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Technical Ball joint spacers

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by JimboSlice423, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. JimboSlice423
    Joined: Sep 8, 2013
    Posts: 44

    from Ohio

    My father-in-law and I saw a '63 fairlane at good guys with 4" ball joint spacers. My father-in-law has a '63 fairlane and we can not find anything about them online. Any one know where you can buy them? Thanks.
  2. You don't want to find any... those were banned due to being very dangerous.
    302GMC, WDobos and Hnstray like this.
  3. Joliet Jake
    Joined: Dec 6, 2007
    Posts: 516

    Joliet Jake
    from Jax, FL

    No, sorry I don't, I can't recall where I got mine but they did not work on my 62 Chevy II. I ended up putting a straight axle in it.
    WDobos likes this.
  4. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 12,307

    from Quincy, IL

    X 2 .....

    WDobos likes this.

  5. fridaynitedrags
    Joined: Apr 17, 2009
    Posts: 402


    A sophomore fabricator could make some spacers that would bolt to the control arm and accept a stock ball joint.
  6. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 28,794

    Jalopy Joker

    not much available for your ride without spending big bucks - maybe have a custom set of front springs made to raise it some
  7. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,563

    low budget
    from Central Ky

    Are you wanting to raise the front end? Not sure why it would have had 4??? you should only need one ball joint spacer at the top on each side if you went that route.........."spring spacers" or bigger springs alone would give you some lift especially on a setup like that where the spring sits on top of the upper control arm.
  8. Smart Patrol
    Joined: Apr 19, 2014
    Posts: 2

    Smart Patrol
    from Ohio

    I have a new set for sale, check your pm's
  9. JimboSlice423
    Joined: Sep 8, 2013
    Posts: 44

    from Ohio

    Not 4 spacers lol 4 inch spacers.
  10. 62hotcat
    Joined: Jan 7, 2007
    Posts: 201


    My son used to run balljoint spacers on his 62 pontiac catalina. Upper control arm bent from them.
  11. chevydave1965
    Joined: May 2, 2010
    Posts: 370

    from Iowa

    Not a fan of spacers
  12. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 1,393


    i cannot understand why you would think them unsafe. all it does is make the spindle longer, right?? I can see the balljoint is 4" away from the upper control arm now, but it is still a solid "shaft". please explain this to me LOL
  13. glrbird
    Joined: Dec 20, 2010
    Posts: 578


    Are we talking about the ones the Super stock racers used to get more travel out of the suspension?
    halfsack likes this.
  14. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 3,303


    Approx 1968-70 there were ball joint spacers that were not made right. . If I remember correctly they were cast aluminum and broke on quite a few cars. As a result all were banned by NHRA. I remember that it happened quite suddenly. I had a friend that was a division points racer, Friday night they were ok, Sunday morning you couldn't run the car with them. Quite a few guys were in a pinch that day.
  15. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,838

    Atwater Mike

    Geometry compromisal...
    302GMC likes this.
  16. Better springs GOOD. Spacers on ball joints BAD!
  17. Yep ^^^^
    you don't buy them you make them if you must risk you neck.
  18. town sedan
    Joined: Aug 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,290

    town sedan

    Why not several of the twist in coil spring expanders in each spring? Not saying it would be safer, but might be more traditional...., that's a joke, son.
  19. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,563

    low budget
    from Central Ky

    oops, my bad, I see that now that I look back:D
    Ive ran aluminum ones on a 55 chevy I had......still got one odd one of the old c type.
  20. There actually was a time that they were used quite regularly. Where the problem lies is that they make an extra joint where one is not necessary. With every extra joint you have one extra place for a failure, compound that with improper maintenance, installation or manufacture and you are asking for a problem.

    Think of it this way how often do you check your lug nuts? A loose lug nut won't make nearly as much difference as a missing nut on a ball joint spacer and the ball joint spacers are not as easy to check as your lug nuts.
  21. IIRC, there were several issues with these. First, the aluminum versions truly were dangerous; a break there at speed was a disaster. Second, the Ford ball joints of the era only had enough articulation for the stock suspension travel. Alter the geometry too much and ball joint breakage could and sometimes did result, even if the spacer didn't break. I believe that there were some lower ball joint failures with these, that was a second reason they were banned. This was even an issue with the 'Shelby Drop' for lowering; at one time there were angled spacers available for the top ball joint if doing this with stock control arms to prevent failure. I know that Global West changed the ball joint mount angle to address this on their aftermarket control arms.
  22. 302GMC
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 7,206

    from Idaho

    Those upper loaded ball joint front suspensions weren't worth a damn. Mustangs, Falcons, Chevy IIs, Fairlanes ate a pair of upper joints a year. All you had to do to break them was back up fast & hit the brakes.
  23. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,740

    Larry T

    Ball joint spacers did not raise the front end. They did let the car rise more on launch before the upper A-arm topped out against the frame rail.
    halfsack likes this.
  24. On a car with the spring above the upper control arm (like OPs early Fairlane), they would raise the car.
    Larry T likes this.
  25. wheelguy
    Joined: Feb 19, 2011
    Posts: 352


    I ran the old cast jobs on a 55 Nomad back in 1966 > YEP> BROKE ONE with heavy springs and used ball joints> Safety wasn't much of a priority in those days> I saw guys wire in wooden blocks between the upper and lower a frames = AKA "DEATH WISH"
    Later ran some in a 62 Bel Air 409 without problems using all new ball joints.
    Some guys got into problems when they "trimmed" the outer edge of upper A arms for wheel clearance.
    I later had a set of METAL ones someone made up > NO PROBLEMS.
    I THINK the BILLET style available these days are PROBABLY fairly safe if ball joints are new and don't go way overboard on coil spring pressure.
    If you use the correct weight & length spring with risers you can achieve the raised look (if that's what you are after) and still have a good ride with travel in the suspension.
  26. JimboSlice423
    Joined: Sep 8, 2013
    Posts: 44

    from Ohio

    Thanks everyone! So much information! Hahaha

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