Go Back   Chevrolet Chevelle Forums > Chevrolet Chevelle Garage > Chevelle Suspension & Chassis

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-18-2010, 04:55 PM
Derek69SS's Avatar
Derek69SS Derek69SS is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Mantorville, MN
Posts: 773
Default Tall Spindles / Tall Balljoints explained

If you want to improve the handling of your Chevelle, you must first understand what is wrong with the original geometry. From the factory, these cars were designed to understeer. To make them do this, they used a very short spindle with the upper A-arm at a steep downward angle, which results in a backward camber curve making the tires lean out of a turn, using only the edges of the tire. Not only is this bad for mechanical grip, it's also why every stock Chevelle wears the outside edges of the front tires.

Below is a diagram of the stock geometry at rest, and then in a hard turn.

*click here if picture does not show up:

Notice the severe angle of the tires. All of the cornering forces are placed on a very small area of the tire

To deal with this problem, there are several things that will help. Simply lowering the car will help to some extent, but not nearly enough to correct the whole problem. Bigger sway-bars will reduce the amount of bad camber gain, but again, it's not enough... it's like a band-aid on a gunshot wound.

To fix the bad geometry, you need a taller effective spindle height. The "effective height" of a spindle is from the pivot center of the upper balljoint to the pivot center of the lower balljoint. Tall spindles with stock balljoints, or stock spindles with extended balljoint studs will both achieve this goal.

Below is a diagram of the same car equipped with a taller effective spindle height.

*click here if picture does not show up:

Notice that the tires remain near vertical using the entire tread evenly across its contact patch. This is key to getting the most grip, and life out of your tires.
Derek Kiefer, member of Minnesota's Northstar Chevelle Club
69 Malibu Pro-Touring - 69 SS396 3spd - 23 Model T roadster pickup

Last edited by Derek69SS; 02-20-2010 at 06:32 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2010, 06:23 PM
Hank70SS's Avatar
Hank70SS Hank70SS is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Brighton, MI
Posts: 4,530

Thanks Derek, simple enough for us layman to grasp. I know you have more planned so please keep them coming.

70 Chevelle SS396(454), M20, 3.73
My Chevelle
Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2010, 05:39 PM
Highway Star's Avatar
Highway Star Highway Star is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Baton Rouge
Posts: 1,120

Excellent post Derek. Thanks for taking the time to do that.
1972 Malibu Sport Coupe - ~9.8:1 355"
Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2010, 01:56 PM
grumpy's Avatar
grumpy grumpy is offline
Administrator Bowtie Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Royal Oak, Mich
Posts: 1,230

I am still not sure whats going on with linked pics. My suggestion is to upload them to the posts in question for now.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	user12_pic131_1266515851.jpg
Views:	507
Size:	21.6 KB
ID:	271   Click image for larger version

Name:	user12_pic132_1266515851.jpg
Views:	517
Size:	22.1 KB
ID:	272  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2010, 08:19 AM
jacen33606 jacen33606 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 5

worked great for me and finally got an easy explanation about Geometry.

So who offers the taller ball joints? By using the taller ball joints, will this lower my car a significant amount since I am raising the Spindle higher? Is it worth researching taller spindles, taller ball joints or just replacing the upper and lower control arms. More questions as I think of them.


Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:07 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.