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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been asked a bunch of times how to modify drop spindles to retain the factory turning radius so I figured I'd make a thread with details showing how it can be done. Posts are always made that you lose turning radius with drop spindles. This doesn't have to be the case if some time is taken to properly clearance what is limiting the steering. All that is needed is a grinder and some patience. You will have factory turning radius again if you follow this procedure. I've seen it called the Dezert1500 spindle mod so here it is and hope it helps.

This was done on Mcgaughy's 16"+ 2" drop spindles for NBS trucks. This procedure should be similar for all years and spindles. Every truck will require material removed from different areas depending on the drop and setup. The more drop or the higher the wheel in the suspension cycle the more material that needs to be removed. This is all done while the truck is on jack stands and the front wheels removed.

I bolt the suspension all together without the coil springs and set the suspension at ride height to determine what I need to clearance. Turn the steering wheel lock to lock and see what material needs to be removed. Mark the areas with a sharpie, pull the spindle off and grind the areas needed. Repeat the procedure until satisfied. For the NBS trucks approximately 1 ¾” turns of the steering wheel in each direction would be factory specs.

Standard drop spindle before any modification

Spindle.gif


Spindle modified in relation to steering stops and ball joint bolts. Make sure to radius all sharp edges and only remove what is needed.

Spindle2.gif


For this particular application the bolt heads were trimmed down. This was done because less material needs to be taken away from the spindle when done this way. You can also see where I modified the steering stops on the lower control arm.

Spindle3.gif


Additional pics

truck32.gif

truck33.gif

truck34.gif



I'm not liable if you destroy your spindle or your spindle fails because you did not do this properly.
 

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Good write up. Hopefully nobody gets pissed if their wheel falls off :crazy:
The reduced turning radius sure was annoying tho.
 

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nice tip i had good turning radius on stock spindles now i got these never knew they took away turning radius, so i wondered why i had less now.. But i really don't feel like grinding all that long these days lol
 

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From what i read the 17+ spindles take even more turning radius away.
 

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Under Construction
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heres another pic from when I did this, if you'd rather me no post them please say so and I'll edit it

HPIM0456.jpg


Notice I put the balljoint in and only grinded up to where the boot sat, this way it would seat nice and tight and not spew out grease as easy.
 

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The early stache
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Awesome job with this mod. Makes sense, especially with the 16+ spindles. I never thought about this because I usually drive so low that I'm thinking about fenders before I need that much turn radius. I'm down for a 3 point turn, with style. JK. How much do you lose with that spindle?
 

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Mile High
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Nice writeup :cheers: I didn't notice much difference when I did my belltech spindles, checked the steering and it cleared...at least up in the air it did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks. This is an issue with all drop spindles. I have found each spindle is limited in different but similar ways. I may work on getting other spindles listed on here and for different years.

This modification needs to be done with the vehicle at ride height. If the truck is jacked up in the air with the suspension dropped out you won't be able to tell. This particular truck I just dropped 5/8 with this spindle, has full turning radius when in the air and half when it is on the ground. I was able to retain the trucks full turning radius with the truck at a 5/8 drop.
 

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That makes sense, I don't feel that I lost much at all but I'll chalk my tie rods to see where they are hitting. Tires rub at lock so that could explain me not noticing the loss.
 

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GMFS Senior Member
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Great info here, I plan on doing this on mine!

The reduced turning radius really screws us ec/cc guys!! Give me 40 acres and I'll turn this rig around! :rofl2:
 

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Officially Tucking Tire
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matt, how far are you from chino hills?
 

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TROLL REVOLT of 2012
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wont it weaken the spindle?

I feel like doing this, im tired of not being able to do U-turns.
 

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Puttin 4 Bird
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mcgaughys spindles and djm arms didn't lose any turning radius
 

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my understanding was that there was 3 degrees of steering engineered out of the McGaughys spindle to keep wide wheels from hitting the frame. I could be wrong but I thought that was what I was told.
 
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