How to Replace Spindles on a Chevy Truckby Russell Wood
The front spindles on a Chevrolet truck are the suspension component that holds the brakes, and sits between the upper and lower control arms. One popular modification to do to your Chevrolet truck is to raise or lower the suspension. One option is to buy lowering or raising spindles, which can raise or lower the truck by up to 3 inches. Doing so involves replacing the original spindle with a new one, which can be done in an hour or so.
Park the truck and put on the parking brake. Lift the front of the truck with the jack, then set jack stands under the frame of the truck. Take off the front wheels using a tire iron.
Unbolt the front brake caliper from the spindle with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket, then pull the caliper away from the suspension and hang it from the frame with the J-hook. Remove the dust cap on the rotor with the flathead screwdriver and the hammer. Take the cotter pin out of the spindle with the needle-nose pliers, then unbolt the spindle nut with the 1/2-inch ratchet and socket. Slide the rotor off the spindle, making sure to keep the bearings in the center of the rotor.
Put the jack under the front lower control arm. Remove the cotter pins holding the upper and lower ball joints in place using the needle-nose pliers, then unbolt the ball joints from the spindle with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Strike the side of the spindle with the hammer to break free the ball joints holding the ball joints to the spindle, then remove the spindle from the truck.
Install the replacement spindle into the front suspension. Bolt the ball joints to the spindle with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket, then install the replacement cotter pins using the needle-nose pliers. Slide the rotor onto the spindle and tighten down the spindle nut with the 1/2-inch ratchet and socket. Back the bolt off 1/4 rotation so that the rotor still spins on the spindle, then install the cotter pin with the needle-nose pliers. Tap the dust cap onto the rotor.
Reinstall the brake calipers on the brake rotor with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Reinstall the front wheels with the tire iron and then lower the truck carefully off the jack stands with the jack.
- "Chilton General Motors Full-Size Trucks 1988-98 Repair Manual"; Thomas A Mellon; 1996
- If you need to do your brakes or change out the wheel bearings on your truck, it's best to do it at this point because everything is apart anyways.
Things You'll Need
- Jack stands
- Tire iron
- Needle-nose pliers
- 1/2-inch ratchet and socket set
- 3/8-inch ratchet and socket set
- Replacement spindle
- Flathead screwdriver
- Replacement cotter pins
Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.