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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
Just picked up a 1992 Olds Custom Cruiser that needs some help in regards to the suspension. End goal for the car is street/strip car. I'm not looking to run 10 second 1/4 miles and set records on the autocross track but rather have a fun car to drive and not be embarrassed at the stop light. Currently on 235/60R17 rubber but needing to change soon as they are unsafe due to age and wear(open to new size tires as well). As it sits I have no idea what has been done but the front spindles say Belltech on them(maybe they are drop spindles?), one rear shock is completely broken off the axle end, neither rear shocks are attached to the air compressor that doesn't work anyways. This car sits way too low for me and bottoms out on everything. Going to order all new control arms with bushings and ball joints and steering up front as well as new bushings for the rear control arms. After reading through this site and seeing this post (Moog 7268 (f) and CC625 (r) - Finished pic) I am thinking about getting some Moog 7268 for the front and Moog CC625 for rears as well as Bilsteins Front: 24-011044 Rear: 20-009294.

Problem I am running into is finding the Moog CC625's, Moog shows them on their page but can't seem to find them in stock/for sale anywhere.
Guess I am looking for a little guidance on getting the Wagon back to a safe drive-able state that is also fun. Figure I should get suspension and brakes figured out before I build a 383 that I have in the corner of the shop :)
 

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The drop spindles have the brake caliper mounted at 90 deg. and the stock ones are at 45 deg from the top. You can swap spindles from almost any B body except for some later 9C1s and some FWs with larger lower BJs. The yellow connectors for the anti-lock brakes are usually deteriorated to the consistency of powder, and if you touch them they will probably disintegrate. You can put tape around the wires so they do not touch. I have not found out if they are polarity sensitive.

If you need bushings everywhere, you can put urethane inserts in them as long as you remove the rubber part. After removing the nuts, is easiest to remove the studs for the upper front arms than trying to get the arm out any other way. If they are not overly rusty you can use them over again. If rusty, you will probably be visiting the local junk yard (in the south). To remove and replace the bushings on the rear axle is, at best, difficult to do, and near impossible with the axle on the car.

If you have a 3.23 axle you are in pretty good shape. If not, you should consider 3.42s or 3.73s. You will need a reluctor for the gear change, and a 45 tooth VSS driven gear. If you have a 2.73, and you change ratios to 3.23, or 3.42, you will also need a VSS that accepts the 40+ tooth gears. You can get smaller drive gears as well if you need a driven gear larger than 45 teeth to correct the speedometer.

You can easily run 255 tires on the rear. I have heard of people putting 275 tires on them, but the rim is a little narrow for that tire. Depending on the diameter of the tire, it can change the effective gear ratio. I run 235-75-15s on my 92 with 2.73s, and the speedo is fairly accurate. An inch in tire diameter makes about a 3 mph difference on the speedo. One tooth on the VSS driven gear makes about the same difference. The 235-75-15s are 28.9" in diameter. 235-60-17 is 30 inches in diameter. Stock is 225-75-15 and are 28.3" in diameter. I run 255-50-17s in the rear of my 91 OCC, and they are 27" in diameter. You can get some sticky compound tires (they do not last long) in that size. A smaller tire will act like a shorter gear ratio, and make your speedo think you are going faster.

A 383 will need a larger TBI, and a new custom chip. You can get a larger TBI from a same era 454 but it still may not supply the air your 383 needs. The other option is for a Holley Sniper or equivalent TBI. Some of the new TBIs need specific ignition systems. They also have internal computers, and your stock one would be eliminated. There are some wiring changes to go with that. Eliminating your original computer may affect the output from the VSS module, so be prepared to hack that system. The trans will also require wiring to allow for lockup, and temp override to cool the trans fluid. I used relays. The red and black wire is always "hot in bulb test, start and run". Your vapor purge system will not work with the aftermarket computers.

I guess that is enough for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
wow thank you for all of the information, this is awesome. A lot of information to unpack. I come from the offroad world building Jeeps so this is a new adventure for me. I just went and checked I have drop spindles due to the 90 degree brake calipers. I guess its time to fully tear the front end apart and see how worn out things are. Thanks again Fred
 

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The drop spindles push your front wheels out 1/2 inch on each side, and can cause the tires to hit the wheelhouse. If you can get a set of rims that have a +18 offset it will correct the issue. The rim will be really close to the tierod end, so be careful with the rim width. 8.5" wide 17 " rims are the limit with the +18 offset. Mine clear by about 1/16". If you use a taller rim, make sure it clears the tierod end. The rears will take a +18 offset, but you will be limited on tire width, because the tire will be 1/2 inch closer to the frame. You can put long studs in the axle, and a 1/2 inch spacer to put them back in their correct position. You may find that the rear is slightly off center as most of them are. The body can be shifted on the frame, if you want them evenly spaced.
 

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"This car sits way too low for me and bottoms out on everything"

If you are raising the car may I suggest you first loose the drop spindles THEN figure out the front spring needed.

IF I read correctly, you were planning to raise the car while keeping the belltechs ?

Raising a B car with springs to counter the spindles drop , if that is what you are planing , results in a camber curve worse than stock.
The upper arms end up pointing down at ride height and you really dont want that.

These cars with stock to a moderate spring drop and stock spindles still could use more neg camber gain , not less.
 

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From what I have heard, the only stock spindles that are available are used ones. Since you have drop spindles, you probably have stock springs. Measure from the top of the wheel arch to the center of the wheel, and I can compare the distance to my stock 92. It should be about 2 inches difference if the springs are stock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
"This car sits way too low for me and bottoms out on everything"

If you are raising the car may I suggest you first loose the drop spindles THEN figure out the front spring needed.

IF I read correctly, you were planning to raise the car while keeping the belltechs ?

Raising a B car with springs to counter the spindles drop , if that is what you are planing , results in a camber curve worse than stock.
The upper arms end up pointing down at ride height and you really dont want that.

These cars with stock to a moderate spring drop and stock spindles still could use more neg camber gain , not less.
Now that I know these are drop spindles I will replace them for sure and then look into springs and shocks. I don’t mind it sitting a little low but this is too low for me. I will google and research but does anyone know where a good place to get stock spindles?Either OEM or aftermarket?

good news is this wagon is a toy so if it stays in the shop for a few months this winter getting built that is fine with me.
Thanks for all the help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
From what I have heard, the only stock spindles that are available are used ones. Since you have drop spindles, you probably have stock springs. Measure from the top of the wheel arch to the center of the wheel, and I can compare the distance to my stock 92. It should be about 2 inches difference if the springs are stock.
So the car is up on jackstands at the moment but I was able to put a front tire back on and put a jack under and try to get a measurement. From the wheel arch to the center of the wheel measures at 14". Does this sound like 2" drop spindles?
 

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Mine measures at right around 16", so you likely have stock springs with the 2" drop spindles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Mine measures at right around 16", so you likely have stock springs with the 2" drop spindles.
Interesting, I guess now I need to figure out what I want to do with this thing. Seems a bit odd to take off what appear to be brand new spindles. Guess its time to do some more research. I wonder what the previous owner did to get the back end that low...
 

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Hey that car looks identical to mine!

I have aftermarket spindles that are stock height. They have a slightly faster (7%) steering rate than stock spindles, which is typically about half of a steering ratio change. They're readily available from PTFB. Available for both standard and big lower ball joint. They're stiffer than stock, but weigh slightly less. They accept standard brake calipers with stock-diameter rotors. However they have no provision for the ABS sensor. They're technically designed for 2nd gen F-body as a brake rotor upgrade (those cars came with 11" rotors), but they fit right on our cars, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey that car looks identical to mine!

I have aftermarket spindles that are stock height. They have a slightly faster (7%) steering rate than stock spindles, which is typically about half of a steering ratio change. They're readily available from PTFB. Available for both standard and big lower ball joint. They're stiffer than stock, but weigh slightly less. They accept standard brake calipers with stock-diameter rotors. However they have no provision for the ABS sensor. They're technically designed for 2nd gen F-body as a brake rotor upgrade (those cars came with 11" rotors), but they fit right on our cars, too.
Are these the ones that you are talking about? Comp Spindles

Hopefully I am allowed to post links on this forum, I know some places dont like that. If not please let me know and I will take it down.
 

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Dave at PTFB also sells OEM-looking stamped lower control arms which are stronger than stock. They have Delrin bushings with grease fittings, an adjustable steering stop to prevent wide tires from rubbing the swaybar at full steering lock, and you can get them with the standard or big lower ball joint pre-installed (he uses Pro Forged). They're much nicer than OEM reproductions from Moog and others. Though if your originals are in good shape, new ones are totally optional.

The Super Street upper control arms also bolt right in, and they really help modernize the suspension geometry. Tall ball joints for greater camber gain, offset cross shafts so you can achieve the correct camber with a lot fewer shims, built-in +5 degrees of caster, and you can easily achieve +8 degrees of caster or more since there's more room for shims on the rear control arm stud (I highly recommend the big lower ball joints when going beyond +8 caster).

Combine those with stock springs, Bilstein shocks, and an Impala SS front swaybar with polyurethane bushings at all mounting points.

With all of that, you end up with a stock-ish ride height, very similar tire life to OEM, much better steering feel (car tracks very straight), much better handling (outside tire stays perpendicular to the road) , and only slightly more harshness over bumps (owing to the Delrin bushings).

The only other thing I'd highly recommend is a front swaybar brace (also available from PTFB). That part really ties the front frame rails together and helps reduce flex in the front end. The problem is, it attaches to the front swaybar holes in the frame, and those holes are... flimsy. They're literally just drilled and tapped right in the frame. A lot of times, when you take the original bolts out, you end up with no threads left. If you don't fear a little fabrication, I welded these plates on mine to fix the issue:

There's other similar products out there, some that install from inside the frame rails, or you could install rivnuts. But trying to reach into the frame rails is difficult, and rivnuts aren't much stronger than the original tapped holes. Those plates above worked perfectly for me. And they add a little distance between the mounting holes so you can fit a thicker swaybar if you want to.
 

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I've got stock spindles if you need them.
 

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Interesting, I guess now I need to figure out what I want to do with this thing. Seems a bit odd to take off what appear to be brand new spindles. Guess its time to do some more research. I wonder what the previous owner did to get the back end that low...
The rear springs are probably 2 inch drop springs.
 

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If the two offers above don't pan out,
Car-part.com
If I read your plate correctly there are a ton of spindles in wreckers around Colorado.

The common wear point is where the inner bearing thrusts agains the cast knuckle.
The common damage points are the 3 tapers.
If you do go wrecker find a car that was not in a front end collision and the wrecker shows both L+R availble from the same car.
Not always an option but good to try.

In the wrecker listings just stay away from categories with Police Public service etc.
There were only a few 95-96 Caprice cars that had the 5/8 joints but the listings are quite mixed up so it is easier just stay away from those.
 
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