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Ball joints...?? Thoughts about what I'm imagining

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by KomoG2, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. KomoG2
    Joined: Mar 10, 2009
    Posts: 163

    KomoG2
    Member
    from Utah

    So I work at an Oreillys now days and I've seen some universal bolt in type ball joints and was wondering if I could get some "replacement" A arms welded up to accept these "bolt ins"... A part I'm not too clear on would be replacing the uprights/king pins with modern spindles. I'd like to keep the ford bolt pattern so I think S-10 way is out.... Anyone have any ideas, advice, tips, tricks, horror stories? Any would be appreciated. Thanks a bunch!
     
  2. HamD
    Joined: Mar 3, 2011
    Posts: 298

    HamD
    Member

    Although I believe the 2WD S10 hubs could be redrilled, I'd aim for keeping the steering arm geoemetry within reason to avoid bumpsteer and other issues.

    What other ones have you looked into besides S10?
     
  3. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 14,100

    alchemy
    Member

    It's been done before. I think a couple places make a kit for shoebox Fords where they swap you A arms that have been modified to accept modern spindles.
     
  4. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,389

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'm not sure I'd want a "universal Ball joint" but I have wondered why there isn't more done in the area of bolt on A arms that take common later model spindles or simple kits to convert older A arms to ball style for later spindles.
     
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  5. llonning
    Joined: Nov 17, 2007
    Posts: 676

    llonning
    Member

    If I remember correctly, the early Mustangs and such had bolt on replacement ball joints. It has been about 20 some years since I was in auto parts though.
     
  6. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,140

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    Spindle height, Ackerman angle, inclination, etc. are all issues. It is fairly rare that one spindle can be swapped for another, without creating suspension geometry headaches.
     
  7. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 3,576

    indyjps
    Member

    So you work at oreilys, and have access to the magic computer data banks with all parts. Can you reference your cars spindle and a arm dimensions in either the computer or books? Might take a while but you could essentially get paid to figure out your own swap info and share it here
     
  8. Hemishovel
    Joined: Mar 18, 2013
    Posts: 614

    Hemishovel
    Member

    I wood not use the cheap ball joints if your going to.use ball joints.use Moog I work in alignment shop for over 12 years the cheap ones wear out faster most gm cars had bolt in ball joints and newer trucks been along time since I did ball joints if I remember there numbers that cross over to other cars
     
  9. KomoG2
    Joined: Mar 10, 2009
    Posts: 163

    KomoG2
    Member
    from Utah

    HamD- I haven't looking into too many options in depth but S-10 spindles are the ones I keep hearing about.

    Alchemy- Id like to see what you've seen as far as A arm swaps. May lead me to a better execution of this idea.

    Mr48chev- Im not looking for a true "universal" ball joint. Only a common bolt in-bolt off joint. Make it easy for maintenance if needed.

    Lloning- I can't say either way to the mustangs. Try to stay away from mustangs mostly, haha

    Gimpyshotrods-I'm sure there will be a bunch of work to get what I want to do. But I'm doing homework now to limit the amount of headaches promised.

    Indyjps- Ill do my best to find all the technical information I can find and share with all to enjoy on here

    Hemishovel- I try to only use moog parts for suspension work. Have seen issues with masterpro, parts plus and other cheapo parts. All share similar if not same part numbers.
     
  10. earlyv8
    Joined: Jan 13, 2007
    Posts: 194

    earlyv8
    Member
    from oklahoma

    As I recall, my 54 Crestline had lower ball joints that bolted into the lower control arm with 3 bolts.

    I tried to lower the front of that car by removing the ball joint and cutting three spacers to fill the space occupied by the ball joint and using longer bolts, placed the joints on the top of the a frame, resulting in about a 3" drop and a nightmare. That in addition to cut coils really made it low.

    Reversed the next day as I could see it was too low and dangerous.

    Hope that helps
     
  11. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,140

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    It can be done. My 1969 Malibu had 1976 Camaro spindles on it, altering the camber curve, intentionally, much like doing a Shelby Drop on a Ford product does. Radical change in handling.

    It took weeks of junkyard, pencil and calculator work (it was the 80's, so no Internets).

    Measure, measure, measure....
     
  12. tikiwagon13
    Joined: Feb 23, 2011
    Posts: 371

    tikiwagon13
    Member

    I'm going to be doing that exact thing with my daughter for her '50 GMC truck. bolt in ball joints, newer spindles, custom fabricated arms. In the design phase at the momet to make sure all the suspension geometry is good.
     
  13. Man, where do you think all the tubular A arms come from?
    Folks putting the bushings and ends they want with the ball joints they want where they want them and then connecting the points.
     
  14. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,389

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER


    True that would have to be taken into consideration when one started planning a swap like this but it could be factored in.

    I'm still thinking that rather than cut the front crossmember off cars like shoe box Fords and 49/51 Mercs there should be the option of unbolting the stock A arms and spindles and bolting on custom fabricated a arms that work with ball joint style spindles and go. Use something like 71/72 Chevelle/ Monte Carlo spindles with bolt on steering arms and you can fab steering arms to fit different steering applications.
     
  15. 54fierro
    Joined: Jul 6, 2006
    Posts: 493

    54fierro
    Member
    from san diego

    This is going to be your biggest challenge. You can cobble up parts that will fit and "work" but if the geometry isnt right its not going to be fun driving it.
     
  16. hottweelz
    Joined: Oct 5, 2007
    Posts: 157

    hottweelz
    Member
    from So. Cal

  17. krooser
    Joined: Jul 25, 2004
    Posts: 4,585

    krooser
    Member

  18. Bigcheese327
    Joined: Sep 16, 2001
    Posts: 6,644

    Bigcheese327
    Member

    I keep hoping someone will do this for the '52-'55 Lincolns. I hate seeing those cars get left to rot or subjected to MII grafts because they have such unobtainable ball joints.
     
  19. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,320

    Barn Find
    Member
    from Missouri

    Since you work at O'Reilly, please tell then that the loyal customers out here want high quality replacement parts. I used to work at O'reilly, too. I've spent way more money at their stores than I ever made working there. I can't hardly buy from them anymore, because the quality of parts is so poor and unreliable. Tell then that we are willing to pay for quality, but we expect good quality and will accept nothing less.
     
  20. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,320

    Barn Find
    Member
    from Missouri

    And it is not just O'Reilly. Quality parts are hard to find anywhere. O'Reilly may be better than many of the other chains stores.
     
  21. bobby_Socks
    Joined: Apr 12, 2006
    Posts: 938

    bobby_Socks
    Member
    from ǑǃƕǑ

    In the past I have used the Mustang spindles with Chrysler ball joints to modify old cars to get it lowered and disc brakes. If a person is somewhat
    familar with suspension and steering it can be done.
     
  22. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,600

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Interesting thread.
     
  23. I have been doing this to Shoebox A-arms for decades mostly on bagged cars. I chose to use the 1st gen camaro spindle as it was a rear steer same as the 49-51 ford and it is stronger and better built than the common pinto / M11 spindle that is a front steer. Also the camaro use's stronger ball joint and dollar for dollar it will be hard to find a cheaper set up. If interested i can upgrade your A-arms with new camaro ball joint for $750.00. I also have the spindles with 11" dia disk brakes with 5 x 4.75 bp avail for $380.00 with 5 x 4.5 bp $410.00

    Rick Erickson / Extreme Kustoms 951 678-3520
     

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  24. bobby_Socks
    Joined: Apr 12, 2006
    Posts: 938

    bobby_Socks
    Member
    from ǑǃƕǑ

    Nice looking work and never thought about the Camaro^^^ Spindles

    got a couple of questions are those screw in ball joints and if so do you make or have the female piece made for you ? Second on the Camaro spindles it would not make a difference if you had front or rear steer would it? I mean there is no reason that you could not swap sides with the spindles is there ?
     

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