Drop Spindle Install and Disc Brake Conversion on a 55 Chevy
Disc brake conversions are pretty common these days on hot rods and muscle cars that came equipped with drum brakes. When it came time to decide which direction to go with my '55 Sedan Delivery I knew I wanted brakes that I could count on, and at the same time didn’t want to spend a boat load of cash. On top of that I knew that I absolutely needed to lower it a couple of inches!
I decided on the Metric ('78-'88 G-body cars) brake conversion kit and 2” drop spindles for 1955-57 Chevy cars. There are other ways to lower the car however in my opinion drop spindles are the best. You aren’t changing the camber or control arm geometry like you would a lowering spring. Along with that I now have a metric pin on the spindle so my wheel bearings, rotors, calipers and pads are all easy to obtain from any local auto parts store!
This is a really straight forward swap and is really as simple as taking the ball joints/tie rods off of your old spindles and reassembling with your new parts. Speedway Motors does offer replacement ball joints, bushings and tie rod ends if your old ones are worn. One word of caution; when updating the brake system on a stock Tri-5 you should upgrade the master cylinder at the same time. These cars all came with single reservoir master cylinders and it is a major safety concern should your brake system develop a leak. I prefer to use the Corvette style master cylinder and non-adjustable proportioning valve, part numbers 910-31445 and 910-31351.
I was at a bit of an advantage, as you can see. I had several things going on all at the same time on the car, so I had full access to everything while installing the spindles and brake kit. You may face some difficulty, but it is usually nothing the liberal application of penetrating oil and/or heat won't fix. pretty soon you'll have a pile of parts as well, and a fresh chassis waiting for new shiny bits.
A little bit of paint in the right areas and the rolling portion is ready to go. This is a great upgrade to any '55-'57 Chevy and is well worth the weekend you will spend in the garage to get it done. It makes driving these old cars much more enjoyable!