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Technical Balljoint spacers question

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by halfsack, Jun 15, 2021.

  1. halfsack
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 110

    halfsack
    Member

    Hello all, I have a question that has me stumped. I have a pair of forged genuine suspension c style balljoint spacers. I like them because I can dial in the camber on my 63 impala. Here is where it gets weird. When I installed them( have since been removed) the nose of the car sat considerably lower. (Low enough to where the control arm was resting on a header tube. Not good) I would think it shouldn't change ride height at all being its on the upper balljoint. What would cause this?
     
  2. Don't have an answer but that's a lot of spacer for only wanting extra upward travel.
     
  3. Maybe I did answer the issue? Upper arms way over center.
     
  4. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 2,350

    Mike VV
    Member
    from SoCal

    What do you mean by the "c" style ?
    There's only one for early GM suspensions, and it's basically a triangular shape with three though holes.
    Hmm, I think I may know what you are talking about. Yeah, if you need more suspension movement, put the solid block style in.

    Did you put them in the UPPER control arm location?
    There is no way that installing the "correct" (block type, with three through holes) spacers in the upper, ball joint to control arm location should affect the ride height. The upper control arm just goes along for a ride, holding the spindle in location. It does nothing for altering the ride height.

    If you installed them in the lower control arm...REMOVE (you said that you did) them !

    Mike

    P.s. - You say that you installed the spacers to adjust the camber..?
    NO, DO NOT DO THIS.
    If you need more adjustment, fix the apparent problem that the car has. You should be able to achieve all of the adjustment that that car needs, with stock parts installed.
     
    loudbang likes this.

  5. ^^^^^ Mike these are the type.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    halfsack likes this.
  6. halfsack
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 110

    halfsack
    Member

    I have a little more common sense than to put them on the lower balljoint guys. But thank you for the cautionary comments. As of right now Johnny Gee knows exactly what im talking about using. And in the actual instructions for them it does indeed say to turn them certain ways to adjust camber when using them. And the reason I am using them is for extra height in the front of the car.
     
  7. halfsack
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 110

    halfsack
    Member

    I can understand what you're saying being they were resting on the header tubes. However, moving the upper arm shouldn't have any affect on ride height I would think. Maybe I'm wrong. That's why I'm asking in here.
     
  8. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,728

    RmK57
    Member

    I made 1" ball joint spacers awhile back and they didn't lower my car at all. Almost at the limit for camber adjustment and for the upper control arm hitting the frame at full droop. That is with the stock coils up front. A picture may be helpful. The only way you can gain extra height would be to install taller coil springs.
     
  9. halfsack
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 110

    halfsack
    Member

    EXACTLY with the ride height. The upper is just along for the ride. I have both styles of spacers. The aluminum block style and the c style as Johnny posted. It indeed shouldn't affect ride height. But it did with both. Which is where I'm stumped.
     
  10. So you are or are not running taller springs?
     
  11. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,070

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Ball joint spacer_LI.jpg You would gain several degrees of positive camber if th C was to the outside rather than the inside moving the top of the spindle out.
    Having The back of the C to the front at a 90 degree angle to the A Arm will reduce caster (cause negative caster) while gaining a bit of camber over the way it sits in the photo.
    Having the C at the back will increase positive caster.
    All of that due to the differences in the offset of the placement of the balljoint stud hole in the top and the stud in the bottom.
     
  12. halfsack
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 110

    halfsack
    Member

    Not yet. I have 409 9 passenger wagon with ac front springs for it
     
  13. halfsack
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 110

    halfsack
    Member

    NAILED IT!
     
  14. So your saying you put spacers in with stock height springs.
     
  15. halfsack
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 110

    halfsack
    Member

    Yes. still I would think ride height should not change
     
  16. Then this is what happened. Even though the upper arm does not hold the car up, it does have true horizontal force placed against it. Look at it like this. Remove upper arm and which way will spindle want to go? Now add in the fact that you've place upper ball joints pivot point way above center line of upper arm shafts has created an over center force causing upper arms to fold over further than normal.
     
  17. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,070

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'm not understanding why you want spacers with stock height springs.
    If you can't adjust the camber far enough because the car has too much negative camber and you are out of adjustment you will have to have the frame rolled rather than do some cobble up fix.
     
  18. I think OP was excited to try them before getting taller springs. He did say "not yet" in reply #12.
     
    halfsack likes this.
  19. Oldfart59
    Joined: Nov 8, 2019
    Posts: 124

    Oldfart59

    Most using for racing to get the front end up when you lunch
     
    loudbang and halfsack like this.
  20. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,070

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Ok, I may have miss read that bit. I've heard of guys running the ones between the ball joint and the A arm to allow more lift with stock springs on launch. Back when getting your 7 inch slicks to hook up took every trick you could dream up to accomplish.
     
  21. Ya but this style is much too tall to use at stock height.
     
  22. halfsack
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 110

    halfsack
    Member

    Thats also why I'm doing it
     
  23. halfsack
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 110

    halfsack
    Member

    Correct. I was testing things out to see how they worked beforehand. My dad talked about these all the time on his chevelle that sat real high. And came up higher when he launched. The ride height up front on my impala will be the spindle will be lower than the rocker panel. Picture was taken today on the cars maiden voyage when I drove it to work. It's a 409 4 speed impala.
     

    Attached Files:

  24. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,733

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    Did you change the shocks or the same ones?
     
    Johnny Gee likes this.
  25. primed34
    Joined: Feb 3, 2007
    Posts: 1,163

    primed34
    Member

    Those springs are going to cause a really rough ride. You will look cool though. They will raise the front a bunch. Took them out of my '55 about 40 years ago because the car rode so rough.
     
    Johnny Gee likes this.
  26. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,679

    squirrel
    Member

    If my mind still worked well for this stuff, I'd draw a free body diagram of the spindle without the spacers, and with the spacers. I expect it would explain what's going on.

    note that you did change the support for the spindle, the upper support pivot (ball joint) is now further up and outboard of where it was originally. This will affect the loads on the lower pivot (ball joint), assuming the load on the spindle at the wheel bearings is the same.

    Thanks for posting this puzzler, it makes folks think
     
    Johnny Gee and halfsack like this.
  27. Basically what I did with my X-09 1964 SS with a 396 I installed - with those station wagon springs and a different kind of spacer I used was just a barrel type ? - I have one around somewhere - the other one broke out on the old washboard road with my date one night.....
     
    loudbang likes this.
  28. halfsack
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 110

    halfsack
    Member

    Stock replacement shocks with shock extensions
     
  29. If posting my own drawings wasn't a puzzle to me I'd draw up what were both referring to.
     
    halfsack likes this.

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