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knuckle spindle hub questions #1333554 Wed Nov 13 2019 01:37 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 64
J
jmlloar Offline OP
Wrench Fetcher
I'm in the middle of trying to figure out how to move forward on my 1955.2 GMC 150 (3/4 ton 8 lug)

I am having the same issue as a lot of people and cant find a good way to get rid of the outdated front wheel ball bearings

My questions are
1 is the knuckle and spindle cast as one piece or is the spindle pressed into the knuckle???

2 has anyone tried to have a billet hub or spindle/ knuckle made to fit a more common bearing?

3 or lastly a different knuckle that could be adapted to fit?

I want to keep my 8 lug wheels and swap to disk brakes.


1955 GMC 150, 1980 Chevy K10, 2011 Sierra 3500 HD SLT Duramax Dually Crewcab
Re: knuckle spindle hub questions [Re: jmlloar] #1333566 Wed Nov 13 2019 02:30 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 19,261
H
Hotrod Lincoln Offline
Boltergeist
Isn't the obsession with ball VS roller bearings actually a solution in search of a problem? I don't recall hubs falling off of trucks on a regular basis back when these rigs were used like trucks, instead of pampered Cowboy Cadillacs that might get a max load of an iced-down Yeti cooler on tailgate day. Properly lubed and torqued ball bearings were carrying maximum loads on a daily basis before a lot of the current owners of these trucks were even born. "If it ain't broke, why try to fix it?"
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: knuckle spindle hub questions [Re: jmlloar] #1333570 Wed Nov 13 2019 02:41 AM
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 58
O
Ott3r Offline
Wrench Fetcher
Should be possible with enough head scratching.

It wasn't on a truck like yours, but if it helps for ideas; check out these pictures of bearing/hub conversion for fitting toyota pickup hubs on napco axle:

I made some adapter sleeves to use toyota bearings that happen to have bigger ID:
Sleeves slide onto the original spindle with approx .002-.005 diameter clearance (best I could do)
The original seal surface of spindle was barely big enough to still use as a thrust surface against inner bearing race.
And i had to browse the timken seal catalog to find a seal that would work for the new diameter combination... seals are available for just about anything.
[img]https://i.imgur.com/KC85wUt.jpg[/img]


Then, for brakes i made a bracket to bolt on where the drum backing plate used to go:
Started with plywood for a test fit
[img]https://i.imgur.com/Upb19hR.jpg?1[/img]

Then got the steel yard guys to plasma cut it from 3/8 steel
[img]https://i.imgur.com/VC2Smbe.jpg?1[/img]

It's been working for ~6months & couple thousand miles with no issues yet
[img]https://i.imgur.com/3f98PgL.jpg?1[/img]

Last edited by Ott3r; Wed Nov 13 2019 02:44 AM.
Re: knuckle spindle hub questions [Re: jmlloar] #1333636 Wed Nov 13 2019 05:48 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,355
C
coilover Offline
Shop Shark
If you are looking for bolt on set up where all the holes line up and you can slip them on in a weekend then I can't help. If you have a lathe and a mill and know how to use them then I can give you a couple of possible approaches. Let me know.


Evan
Re: knuckle spindle hub questions [Re: jmlloar] #1333727 Thu Nov 14 2019 11:37 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 64
J
jmlloar Offline OP
Wrench Fetcher
Didn't think there was an easy approach. otherwise I would swap it out for newer independent front suspension.

As for mine it will be used as a truck and will be pulling camper, boat, hauling supplies ect… That's why I went with 3/4 ton and not planning on building a car that looks like a truck.

I would feel safer with more modern bearings since with my engine tranny and rear swap this thing will see regular speeds of 70+ miles per hour. So combining the speed and disk brakes with larger radial tires I don't like the idea of puny ball bearings.


1955 GMC 150, 1980 Chevy K10, 2011 Sierra 3500 HD SLT Duramax Dually Crewcab
Re: knuckle spindle hub questions [Re: jmlloar] #1333754 Thu Nov 14 2019 03:13 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,355
C
coilover Offline
Shop Shark
The early Dana 44 has bolt on spindles and was used by many companies for their 4wd trucks. The 4wd Jeep Wagoneers in the 80's had a regular truck type hollow spindle that was a bolt on unit. An eight bolt disc/hub/bearing set up will most likely require custom machining of sleeves, spacers, adapters but once you have all the measurements spend time on the Timken "bearings by dimension" site and see what comes up.


Evan
Re: knuckle spindle hub questions [Re: jmlloar] #1333760 Thu Nov 14 2019 03:40 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 19,261
H
Hotrod Lincoln Offline
Boltergeist
Any of the circle track racers' supply outfits like JEGS, Racer's Wholesale, etc. will have bolt-on front spindles for the "wide 5" full-floating front hubs, which are clones of Ford 3/4 ton rear axle load tubes. Those have been in use since the late 1940's or so to provide heavy duty hubs and bearings on round track race cars. I'm sure there are also disc brake systems made by Wilwood and others instead of the big drum brakes we used on the right front back in the 1970's. That's several orders of magnitude of overkill, but there's no need to reinvent the wheel when properly-engineered brake and bearing upgrades are available over the counter.
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: knuckle spindle hub questions [Re: Hotrod Lincoln] #1334002 Sat Nov 16 2019 07:39 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 64
J
jmlloar Offline OP
Wrench Fetcher
Originally Posted by Hotrod Lincoln
Any of the circle track racers' supply outfits like JEGS, Racer's Wholesale, etc. will have bolt-on front spindles for the "wide 5" full-floating front hubs, which are clones of Ford 3/4 ton rear axle load tubes. Those have been in use since the late 1940's or so to provide heavy duty hubs and bearings on round track race cars. I'm sure there are also disc brake systems made by Wilwood and others instead of the big drum brakes we used on the right front back in the 1970's. That's several orders of magnitude of overkill, but there's no need to reinvent the wheel when properly-engineered brake and bearing upgrades are available over the counter.
Jerry


Just shooting off from this, but I seem to remember the 2x4 postal jeeps and vans using the same frame as a 4x4 and the same knuckles and attaching parts but just a solid tube with no pumpkin or lockouts.
Which should be pretty easy to take a set from a junk d44 chevy 3/4 ton and gaing ball joints, disk brakes, and much larger bearings in one shot. Only question is how much height will I gain with a straight axle vs the factory drop i beam axle?


1955 GMC 150, 1980 Chevy K10, 2011 Sierra 3500 HD SLT Duramax Dually Crewcab
Re: knuckle spindle hub questions [Re: jmlloar] #1334006 Sat Nov 16 2019 09:22 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 19,261
H
Hotrod Lincoln Offline
Boltergeist
Use the original axle and spindle, and bolt the dirt track load tube over the spindle, using the backing plate bolt holes. Cut the original spindle back a little if necessary. That's how we did it on the 55-57 Chevy spindles everybody ran back then. You might have to fabricate caliper mounts to fit whatever disc and caliper assembly you choose to use. All this is basic "Dirt Track 101" redneck engineering.

When I'm fabricating a brake system from scratch, I get the spindle and hub mated properly, decide on a disc to use, and then use air pressure to hold the caliper and pads clamped tightly onto the disc. Then it's simply a matter of fabricating suitable caliper brackets to attach to the spindle to hold the caliper in the correct relationship with the disc. Make a template of thin plywood or even layers of cardboard glued together to fine-tune the shape of the caliper brackets before you start whittling on steel!

Jerry



The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: knuckle spindle hub questions [Re: Hotrod Lincoln] #1334013 Sat Nov 16 2019 10:41 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 64
J
jmlloar Offline OP
Wrench Fetcher
Originally Posted by Hotrod Lincoln
Use the original axle and spindle, and bolt the dirt track load tube over the spindle, using the backing plate bolt holes. Cut the original spindle back a little if necessary. That's how we did it on the 55-57 Chevy spindles everybody ran back then. You might have to fabricate caliper mounts to fit whatever disc and caliper assembly you choose to use. All this is basic "Dirt Track 101" redneck engineering.

When I'm fabricating a brake system from scratch, I get the spindle and hub mated properly, decide on a disc to use, and then use air pressure to hold the caliper and pads clamped tightly onto the disc. Then it's simply a matter of fabricating suitable caliper brackets to attach to the spindle to hold the caliper in the correct relationship with the disc. Make a template of thin plywood or even layers of cardboard glued together to fine-tune the shape of the caliper brackets before you start whittling on steel!

Jerry



basically thats how the d44 spindles are. 6 bolts holding the spindle and caliper brackets on and haa a small lip that sets into a groove in the knuckles.

Sounds like a good idea to try.

Now I just need an original 3/4 ton knuckle to experiment with.


1955 GMC 150, 1980 Chevy K10, 2011 Sierra 3500 HD SLT Duramax Dually Crewcab
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