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Author Topic:   bent spindles?
posted May 06, 2003 11:13 AM
How can you tell if you have a bent spindle shaft with it on the car? Will the wheel rotate out of round?

posted May 06, 2003 11:37 AM
the shaft or "pin" is rarely the part that bends.

If the wheel rotates out of round .... you have a bent wheel.

Normally when a spindle bends, it is the upright (casting that the ball joints bolt to) and/or the steering arm.

Its hard to tell what is bent when the spindle is installed.

you can look at the steering arm. Flat on side should be parrellel to tire center line in top view .... at least on a camaro spindle.

If you had a hard hit, you need to check the balljoints first. A great clue that you have a bent ball joint is that it's nut is no longer tight (indicates a stretched balljoint stud). Subtle bends can be detected by braking the BJ's connection to the spindle, then jacking up the lower A until the connection to the spindle is unloaded, re-seat the BJ in the spindle then stick a small screwdrive (or scratch-awl) into the cotter pin hole and observe the spindle as you turn the balljoint stud in the spindle. If the Balljoint is bent, the spindle will move in and out.

To check for a bent spindle upright..... remove the spindle and sight through the upper hole to the lower, center the upper hole's minor diameter in it's major diameter .... hole for other balljoint should be centered in this view.
repeat for other hole.

you can check for a bent "pin" by putting a rod through both ball joint holes and compare this angle to that of the pin.

the difference (when 90 degrees is factored out) should be the published "king-pin inclination" for that spindle. (metrics are like 7 7/8 degrees, Camaros around 10 degrees).