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Type 2 Drop Spindle Install
Last Updated: 08/27/2013

Split Bus ('55-'67) Dropped Spindle Installation Installation is basically the reverse of the removal process as described in the Bentley manual. There are some key differences that do need to be addressed. The main difference is that the king pins will now be installed 180degrees from stock. The king pin retaining bolt will now be towards the inside for the vehicle. On a stock application the king pin bolt is towards the outside shims (eight shims for each link pin) and the link pin needle bearings/races which are already in the spindles. Before you install the spindles you need to measure the off set of your trailing arms to determine the proper shim stack for factory camber. The lower trailing arm end is longer than the top arm. Lay a straight edge across the bottom arm end and measure the offset as pictured in the picture below. You can see that the offset is 7.5mm. Each side needs to be measured as quite often they have different offsets. Now that you know the offset... check the chart. Each link pin takes eight shims. The chart shows where these shims need to be placed for proper camber. Assemble your link pins with the proper shims being sure to lubricate the shims and the needle bearings. Do not use any of the stock washers o-rings or seals.... just link pins needle bearings and shims nothing else is needed. When you have the spindle “loaded” with link pins it's time to install them on the trailing arms. A small dead blow or soft face hammer comes in handy to drive the link pins “home”. Once on the trailing arm put a 17mm wrench on the end of the link pin and spin it around a few times this helps to distribute the lube on the shims and get everything settled. Next install the link pin retaining bolts tighten the link pin down as tight as you can by hand. Then loosen the link pin 1/16th of a turn. This is a very important step as it allows for some clearance so the shims which are basically thrust washers have room to spin and do their job correctly. If you do not loosen the link pin the shims will wear out prematurely and throw off the camber setting causing tire wear and eventually wear to the entire link pin assembly. I've even scene severe wear to the king pins themselves. Due to improperly torquing the link pins. Now that the spindles are installed take note of the lower link pin bolt in relation to the tie rod arm of the spindle. Depending on your final ride height there may be a clearance issue in this area. The solution is simple... You may need to slightly grind down the head of the retaining bolt or purchase a bolt with a “Button Head” which will allow for more clearance. If you are unsure of how much room you need to have simply drive your Bus around for a while and if the bolt head is hitting the spindle it will wear off the paint on the spindle arm. If you can see some wear then you need to make some more room.This usually is NOT an issue but does come up for some customers. Basically due to differences in spindle castings and owners personal preference on ride height. >Now for the tie rods... The tie rod hole has been reamed on dropped spindles so that the tie rod will mount to the spindle from the bottom. (Stock tie rods mount from the top.) By mounting the tie rod from the bottom this allows more clearance between the tie rod and the frame rail. In order to mount the tie rods from the bottom the tie rod hole has been reamed out to the size of Bay tie rods... which are larger. So what does all this mean to you... In order to use dropped spindles you will need to have two adjustable tie rods. Each tie rod having a Split end and a Bay end. Note that Split and Bay adjustable tie rods are very close in length. Knowing that info... the best way to obtain the proper tie rod arrangement is to purchase one adjustable Split tie rod and one adjustable Bay tie rod. Then all you need to do is swap the ends. This will allow you to have a Split tie rod end to attach to the swing lever and a Bay end to attach from the bottom on the spindle. When you install your backing plates rotate them 180deg from stock. The brake line will now be at the bottom of the backing plate. This will allow for better routing of your flexible brake line and speedometer cable. Make certain that they are routed in a manner that will allow for full movement of the steering components.


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