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Posted By: Baker Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - July 21st 2021 2:48 am
Hello all,
I researched the forum and was unable to come up with a definitive answer on lowering my G20 shorty with drop spindles off a C20 truck. Bel Tech says that they don't make anything and Western Chassis says that they make a 2 inch drop spindle for a C20 but nothing for a G20. I saw it was mentioned that the ball joints are different on the two examples, so I decided to go ahead and order a set from Western Chassis and see if I could make them work.

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Posted By: Baker Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - July 21st 2021 2:58 am
Well when they did arrive they look about the same, but the stud holes are larger on the C20 spindles than the stock ball joints on the G20. The threaded part of the ball joint shaft is physically thicker than the G20 ball joint staff. This is both on the top control arm and the lower control arm.

I presumed that you could buy a set of C20 upper and lower ball joints and have them bolt into the G20 control arms - NOT SO. (sort of)

The C20 upper ball joints will bolt in when you remove the stock G20 ball joint rivets and bolt the C20s in. Part number on the upper ball joints are a Moog K6292

The lower ball joint - not so easy...

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Posted By: CatFish Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - July 21st 2021 12:33 pm
May need to look into a swap to G30 lower control arms. The C20 pickups and the G30 vans shared the same lower ball joint for a lot of years.
Posted By: Baker Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - July 21st 2021 3:37 pm
After a detailed investigation I realized that YES - there is NOT a "conversion" lower ball joint that could marry the two parts together. Aside from finding anoterh set of lower controls arms I had another idea. So where to go when nothing factory will work? To the race shop, of course!

I live in the middle of NASCAR country, so there are many race shops selling new and used race parts. I toke my problem to Heinze Racing, and the guy looked at it and said "I have just the solution! There is a "racing" lower ball joint that comes with a undersized ring that the ball joint presses into. On many applications this is welded into tubular lower control arms, so it is quite common and inexpensive.

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Posted By: Baker Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - July 21st 2021 5:42 pm
I took the lower control arm to a local fabricator for him to machine the hole to fit the ring and then tig weld it into the lower control arm.

Here are the part numbers and the prices for what I used. Also not I had the line going to the fuel tank mashed by the factory when they put the fuel tank in originally, and a replacement fuel line is "no longer available". The race shop was able to make a fresh new line with the proper O ring fitting with no problem.

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Posted By: kursed Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - July 21st 2021 6:32 pm
Glad you're getting her fixed up.
Posted By: CatFish Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - July 21st 2021 7:36 pm
Excellent!
Posted By: Baker Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - July 21st 2021 11:57 pm
On a side note - Remember what the shorty looked like when I bought it at the government auction? Well, I started buffing on that yellow paint and it is surprising what was just under the surface....

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Posted By: kursed Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - July 22nd 2021 2:58 am
WOW!
That's looking pretty good.
I hate you now.
lol
Posted By: Baker Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - July 22nd 2021 6:30 pm
Don't hate - relate!

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Posted By: kursed Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - July 22nd 2021 7:55 pm
Originally Posted by Baker
Don't hate - relate!

Please tell us that's really you in the photo! lol
Posted By: Baker Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - July 24th 2021 9:30 pm
LOL! No its not me - but it could have been!
Posted By: Baker Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - July 25th 2021 7:11 pm
I posted this thread on the readers ride section. I will post further details there. It is listed as the govdeals.com van
Posted By: Baker Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - August 02nd 2021 7:24 pm
Not finished yet with this how to. I am waiting on parts to trickle in. Stay tuned!
Posted By: Baker Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - August 11th 2021 5:06 pm
Well the lower control arms came in and look marvelous. It took me 4 tries to bolt them in however, as I did not realize that the U bolts that hold them into the cross member are one long, one short, and have a left right orientation. It took a minute to figure that out, so if you take them out please make them left-right-front-rear so you can get them bolted on with one try.

Cost on the cutting and welding of the lower control arms for the new ball joints was $200 from a local fabricator.

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Posted By: Baker Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - August 11th 2021 5:18 pm
Bolting the spindles in with the upper and lower control arms was a snap now that the correct ball joints were installed. But another problem raised its ugly head. This one is involving the tie rods that hook to the spindles. In the stock configuration the tie rods bolt in from the top of the steering arm on the spindle, but on these new spindles the hole is drilled upside down requiring the tie rod to be bolted from the bottom. This situation will cause a severe case of bump steer. (bump steer is when you hit a bump and the van wants to steer you left or right unexpectedly without any input from the steering wheel on your part)

This situation can be solved one of 3 ways
1. Drill the hole of the spindle out to accept bolts and use heim joints
2. Find tie rod end that dip down and lessen the angle
3. Drill out the spindle hole and use an insert "swedge tube" that will reverse the tie rod orientation.

I am going to talk to some folks that know a lot more than I do as to what to do. Will be back with the results.

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Posted By: frscke1 Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - August 11th 2021 8:20 pm
I had a "bump steer" on my 4X G30 and the fix for that was dual stabilizers...

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]
Posted By: Baker Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - August 12th 2021 2:20 am
I had a conversation with my machinist and he said that we can rebore the holes for the tie rod ends so that they point down rather than up. This will lend to a factory geometry so as to eliminate the possibility of bump steer.

Interesting enough, the tie rod holes are actually SMALLER than the van tie rod studs. Not sure why they made the ball joints larger but then went with much smaller tie rod ends. Seems counterproductive to me.
Posted By: Baker Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - August 12th 2021 2:20 am
Pictures to follow....
Posted By: Baker Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - August 12th 2021 2:21 am
Originally Posted by frscke1
I had a "bump steer" on my 4X G30 and the fix for that was dual stabilizers...

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

Do you have any pictures of the tie rods and the steering angles?
Posted By: frscke1 Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - August 12th 2021 2:37 am
My 2 wheel I put dual stabilizers on just for better handling ...

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]
Posted By: NEmery Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - August 12th 2021 3:19 pm
Originally Posted by frscke1
My 2 wheel I put dual stabilizers on just for better handling ...

are those a simple bolt in or some fabrication and welding is needed?
Posted By: Lionhead Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - August 12th 2021 3:53 pm
NAPA has one will bolt right up with no drilling or alterations for a Chev. I've had one since I bought the van new in1990. I just bought a new shock for it. They still have the stabilizer and replacement shock..
Posted By: frscke1 Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - August 12th 2021 4:10 pm
Originally Posted by NEmery
Originally Posted by frscke1
My 2 wheel I put dual stabilizers on just for better handling ...

are those a simple bolt in or some fabrication and welding is needed?

No it wasnt a bolt up ...a single Lionhead says yes but my dual was a fab job.
Posted By: NEmery Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - August 13th 2021 4:18 pm
lion head, you have a link? My van handles fine, for a van, but i kinda like the idea.
Posted By: jcd74 Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - August 13th 2021 7:33 pm
The trick is to use C10 spindles, Most important is wheel lug pattern and rotor thickness. Most sellers post a warning about the rotor thickness, it tells you which spindle you need. C10, G10,20 All share the same BJ's. It all comes down to the brakes. If you can send them back and get C10 it would save you alot of extra work.
Posted By: Lionhead Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - August 14th 2021 12:05 am
I'd just look it up on NAPA parts on line. That's how I got the replacement shock. Look under steering and suspension parts.
Posted By: Baker Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - August 21st 2021 11:53 pm
So further drama with the "easy bolt on" drop spindles. The spindles were sent to the machine shop to ream out the tie rod holes so that they would they would A) fit the larger tie rod ends on my G20 and B) go from the top down rather than the bottom up so the steering angles would not be severe.

Special bits were ordered to accomplish the task, and we also found that the holes were drilled at an angle so that, when drilled out, they would be thin on one side. After careful discussion and observation, we proceeded to do the cut and thankfully everything matched up.

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Posted By: Baker Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - August 22nd 2021 12:01 am
Next step was to simply bolt everything up and start driving - NOT.

When trying to put the rotors on I found two additional difficulties.
1. The spindle nut that came on my van DOES NOT FIT THE WESTERN CHASSIS SPINDLES. I am investigating what size the threads are actually cut at and will post the results. (They may be metric) I was foolish enough to call Western Chassis help line, but after a lengthy hold time I realized that you will be first in line for a specialist to pick up - FOREVER. They don't seem to ever pick up.

2. The rotors rub on the Western Chassis spindles and there must be extensive grinding to get enough clearance so that they will spin freely. This is using the factory G20 inner and outer bearings.

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Posted By: Baker Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - August 24th 2021 3:55 pm
On further investigation I went to NAPA to identify the D52 calipers that are supposed to bolt up to the WC spindles. Everyone looked at me like I was crazy and came up with a laundry list of potential calipers that the D52 are supposed to be. Nothing would "bolt up" as mentioned on the WC website.

I patiently sat on hold with Western Chassis and actually got to talk to someone about the brake issue. The solution is not what I expected. WC makes a proprietary brake kit that does not use OEM parts. They have custom parts that only they produce to prevent competitors copying their design. They sell the complete kit with spindles, calipers, brake hoses, ball joints, rotors, spacers and nuts and bolts for around $700. You have to use their rotors and spacers or the calipers will not bolt up. If you buy just the spindles like I did, don't expect to see any of this explained on the WC website, as it is not.

The part number for the Western Chassis brake kit is SWBK-8D6370D

They will, thankfully, put together a custom kit for you. They sent me the kit less the spindles and ball joints for $485. At least I found out that I am not crazy and what I was told is not what really is.

Moral of the story - when you are out in left field expect to kit rocks (hopefully with shoes on) and not barefoot like me.
Posted By: jcd74 Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - August 24th 2021 7:13 pm
Nice to see you getting it together. When you go back to napa tell them D153! The G20 is a grey area with GM light trucks, The G20 is 3/4 light 5 Lug and the C20 is 3/4 heavy 8 lug. Nice to see someone doing all the same tricks I have considered for a lift spindle on my G30.
Posted By: Baker Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - August 25th 2021 7:09 pm
Yes you are correct - Napa had problems believing that my G20 was a 5 lug. They swore it was an 8 lug.

By the way, the part number for the spindle nut is Dorman 05110

Summit will sell you one for $15 but if you search you can find it for $6. It is a 27/32 x 20 thread. Not the most common.
Posted By: Deathorvictory Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - August 26th 2021 9:13 pm
Why not use lowered springs? I have two friends with chevy's that dropped them in, in a day and have had no problems.
Posted By: Baker Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - September 06th 2021 7:37 pm
I have always used drop spindles in my projects in order to preserve ride quality. In this case, your suggestion would have been the better route. I have already started down this path, so I am financially committed to see it through. Thanks for the tip.
Posted By: Deathorvictory Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - September 06th 2021 7:40 pm
I have a friend who used dropped spindles in his van. He had to go to G30 springs to keep it from hitting the bump stops when he’d hit a dip or big bump. Basically the stock spring rate may not hold up to a lowered position.
Posted By: frscke1 Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - September 06th 2021 7:56 pm
Just not the G30 HD coils ... will be too stiff of a ride
Posted By: Baker Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - September 20th 2021 9:04 pm
Here is where I am as of today:

The Western Chassis spindles will not work for this application. The problem is two fold, as the c20 WC spindles utilize the larger ball joint studs, and use the larger calipers. Because you must use the larger calipers off the GMC 2500 it requires the 8 lug rotors. This opens up a whole new pinch point as I already have wheels to fit the 5 on 5 bolt circle.

I had a long talk with Western Chassis, and they said that I was on my own as they had never tried to put these spindle on a G20 van.

I then talked to summit and had them ship the CCP drop spindles for a C10 pickup. They are about $40 more over the price of the C20 spindles that Western Chassis sells, but they have three advantages:

1. They use the smaller ball joints found on the stock G20 van
2. They use the larger tie rod joints on the G20 steering AND the go in from the top like the stock spindles - Not up from the bottom like the WC spindles
3. They offer a 2.5 inch drop rather than the 2 inch drop from WC

Bottom line is that they fit our vans with no modifications. The part number from Summit racing is CLP-CP4S4 and the cost was $280.

Now I have to find some lower control arms out of the junkyard as I have modified my originals to fit the WC spindles.
Posted By: Baker Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - September 20th 2021 9:05 pm
The pioneers are the guys with all the arrows in their back.
Posted By: Rusty Pancelode Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - September 20th 2021 9:54 pm
There seems to be a lot of confusion around that whole 3/4 ton van with 1/2 ton parts thing.
Posted By: frscke1 Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - September 20th 2021 10:50 pm
C10 parts are not designed to carry the G20 weight ... unless you are going to trailer your van.

Yep parts fit .. looks cool but ...
Posted By: jcd74 Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - September 21st 2021 12:17 am
I was waiting for you to say they sent you a 8 or 6 lug brake kit. If you want to do drop spindle on 5 lug, use the c10 spindle, they come in both flavors 5 on 5 and 5 on 4.75 wheel pattern. The brake rotor thickness is the other giveaway, should be 1.25" rotor I don't think they used the car pad on the vans but I could be wrong. When you search drop spindles for C10 you will see these 2 choices, stick to 73-87 truck. In the early 70's GM made a change in the vans to offer more tire choices, they went to the 5 lug. Remember cars of the 70's where built with the 5 on 5 lug pattern (Impala). GM did not work so hard creating new suspensions, Surprise early 2WD S10 is G body! The G body guys love using the C10, G10-20 upper BJ for a improvement. If you have a hard time finding a set of lowers, I pass thru to the other SO CO and could meet you near the I95.
Posted By: CatFish Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - September 21st 2021 1:48 am
The GVWR for a '95 SWB G10 is 3166 pounds front......for a G20 it's 3400 pounds front..... that's only 234 pounds.

The total GVWR for the G10 SWB is 6000 pounds and the G20 SWB is 6600 pounds. The "regular" WB show the same numbers. According to the 1995 model selection summary. I just looked at the '95 year model.

Not a lot of difference there.....


Incidentally the regular WB G30 showed 3400 pounds front as well unless the HD option package was picked....

https://www.gmheritagecenter.com/do...tion-kits/G-Van/1995-Chevrolet-G-Van.pdf
Posted By: frscke1 Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - September 21st 2021 2:28 am
Originally Posted by CatFish
The GVWR for a '95 SWB G10 is 3166 pounds front......for a G20 it's 3400 pounds front..... that's only 234 pounds.

Untill you hit the brakes and all that #8860 comes forward and snaps those little twiggs ...
Posted By: CatFish Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - September 21st 2021 2:49 am
Originally Posted by frscke1
Originally Posted by CatFish
The GVWR for a '95 SWB G10 is 3166 pounds front......for a G20 it's 3400 pounds front..... that's only 234 pounds.

Untill you hit the brakes and all that #8860 comes forward and snaps those little twiggs ...

The G20 Sport Vans with a V8 and "regular" WB were rated heavier at a total GVWR of 6875 pounds. But that was the highest rating for a G20 and on those the rear axle was still rated at 3500 pounds max.

According to Chevy.....
Posted By: jcd74 Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - September 21st 2021 11:56 pm
The sad truth? IE C10, G10*20. 84 as the sample (I believe 70's may show that the 10 was 4.75 wheel lug pattern and 154 pad, Remember they made early G20 6 lug much like the trucks!) Lower BJ 6117, upper 6136 all models, you will also see they use the same A3, A5 wheel bearing. The brakes will also work on many 70's to 80's cars, so yes if you see 71-76 impala you can use the rotors and calipers. Want to be weird try using mid 70's caddy rear caliper and add front parking brakes. Want just a 1 inch drop on the front end? use same 70+76 impala lower BJ and see what rubs. My brother just brought home a 66 C10 from the looks of it he could take my whole 89 G30 front end and go 8 lug! Some tweeks may be needed for the steering and sway bar? Only when you get to the 30 things start getting Heavy Chevy. My 89 is weird the frame rails are straight from the front door back, the front leaf spring mounts are bolted on. My 84 G20 the pass. side frame rail combined the side door rail and the front perch was welded in You can mix and match all day..
Posted By: Baker Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - October 11th 2021 5:11 pm
Ok Guys - Thanks for the input.

Here is where we are at this point:

The CCP drop spindles I mentioned above are a direct bolt on for a G20 van. They offer a 2.5 inch drop which, with factory springs, make the van sit just right - if you cut your factory springs the tire clearances on a 235/60R15 get sketchy. The factory calipers and rotors are a direct fit. The ball joints and tie rod ends are identical. The steering tie rods ends go in to the spindle from the top, just like factory, so no weird bump steer.

As far as weight carrying capacity - The CCP spindles look considerably heavier than my factory units, and I am not planning on towing anything or carrying any excessive weight. I think that they will work without compromise.

Bottom line for me - Using the CCP drop spindles are definitely the way to go. You remember all that modification I did on the lower control arms? They ended up going to the scrap metal pile. I had to get another set of lowers from the junk yard and use the factory ball joints, which by the way, are quite expensive. I cried to Western Chassis about returning the $450 "kit" what they sent me and after a lot of red tape they issued a RMA to send them back. (customer service is not their forte) It cost me $240 to send those heavy rotors and calipers all the way back to California, (I am in NC) and I have yet to see the credit issued, so I disputed the charge on my credit card.

Hopefully this information will help some of you avoid all the expensive mistakes that I have made.

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Posted By: jcd74 Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - October 11th 2021 7:22 pm
I am using CCP 73-87 tubular upper arm on my G30, just had to change the ball joint. It scared me at first, now I don't even think about it People need to give more feedback to the aftermarket so they can start listing what works on the vans.
Posted By: Baker Re: Western Chassis drop spindles VS G20 Shorty - October 15th 2021 3:37 am
Absolutely agree to that. I think that as demand grows we can garner more attention.
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