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Old 03-11-2012, 01:47 AM
stu454bb stu454bb is offline
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I have found that Aussie Ford Falcon has very similar front spindles to Tbird, but ball joint stud size is smaller. So if I can find someone with tapered reams I might go down that track. I don't know if it will drop the car. Maybe a little. I can not find anyone yet with S10 Calipers, so maybe Scarebirds kit is not for me. Shipping is the killer. Stu
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:23 AM
Jimz Bird Jimz Bird is offline
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Here is something I ran across a while ago when I was at first considering the Granada Shuffle.

Mustang Steve has tapered adapters. I don't know if they will work or not if you can't get a machine shop to taper yours.

He also has stuff on using those spindles on Mustangs. Again, don't know if it works with your stuff down there.

I'm sure that Dave D ( simplyconnected ) or Bob C ( redstangbob ) will see this and comment to give you some good ideas along with Eric.
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Old 03-11-2012, 04:08 PM
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simplyconnected simplyconnected is offline
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Eric Taylor down there in sunny North Carolina has good reason for erring on the side of caution. He was one of the 'pioneers' who sacrificed his Squarebird to find out what would work. We owe a lot to these folks for laying the foundation for our more modern methods.

Eric says to read the 'Disk Brake Conversion' thread. I agree. Since that thread, has opened up to include the original Thunderbirds (or ClassicBirds), BulletBirds, etc.

There is no magic pill but some setups work nicely. BTW, when I hear that someone cannot find S-10 parts, I am floored. GM produced so many millions of S-10 and S-15, Cadillac, Pontiac, Olds, and Buick vehicles that all used the same brakes; there isn't a more common brake in existence. I don't know how many suppliers made these brakes, but it must be dozens, to keep up with 'aftermarket demand'. As I stated, my local parts store has FIVE different pads, from cheap to ceramic. has seven pads; from 1977 Buick Electra to 1992 Pontiac Firebird and all the cars in between.

Ok, let's examine Ford spindles from the 'horse's mouth' Ford Cat:

Notice, from '54 thru '56, Ford shared the exact same spindles with Thunderbird. Why not a RH + LH? Because the same spindle was used for both but the SPINDLE ARM came in RH & LH, and the Arm bolted onto either spindles. Thunderbird carried this over through '57 (consistant with ClassicBirds).

In '57 - '59 Ford Cars, there is a change that Thunderbird follows in '58 - '60 (consistant with Squarebirds). What is this change? Spindle Arms are now integrated into the spindle forging and we have a LH & RH spindles. Both, Ford Cars and Thunderbirds, share the exact same part numbers.

Because Ford Cars and Thunderbird used the exact same spindles, the Scarebird bracket fits both. Scarebird has one for the ClassicBird and another for the Squarebird. The newer spindles have a new hole in the upper spindle arm.

What is the difference between Granada spindles and Squarebird spindles? Mainly the lower ball joint hole. It is smaller than the Thunderbird's, but may be reamed to spec. There may also be a slight difference in the spindle arm length or angle, but not enough to notice. I am using both setups with great success, and no issues with wheel alignment.

The real problem is finding Squarebird firewall brackets for the booster/master combination. Remember, original boosters were made for shoe systems. If used on disk brakes, they will feel like manual brakes (at best). If you are doing proper Power Disk Brakes, use a booster capable of producing 1,000-psi like a two-stage 8" vacuum booster. Then, you will have power brakes. - Dave
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:16 PM
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DKheld DKheld is offline
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The Falcon spindle sounds similar to the Granada which had to have the lower ball joint hole machined at a new taper to fit the Tbird ball joint. Think I found later that I could have used the Granada ball joint and not had to have the spindle machined - might want to check on the Falcon ball joint and see if it will fit your Tbird A-Arm.

I didn't know the full sized Fords and Tbird used the same spindle which explains a lot to me. My guess is the companies offering the conversions just look at the spindle number and assume that their conversion will also work on the Tbird since the spindles are the same. I believe the full size Fords have more adjustment options or distances than the Tbird which is why the later Tbird spindles work on the big cars and not the Tbird??? I appreciate the compliments.......

And - maybe this will help. If someone with a standard Tbird could take these same measurements we could get an idea of how much the Granada spindles lower the car.

21 3/8 to the top of the level which is "leveled" and under the top of the front bumper.

54 inches from the floor to the top of the car (bottom of the level which again is "leveled"). Can't see it but there is a piece of aluminum angle metal that the level is resting on. It spans the whole top of the car directily above the dome light. The ruler (at a 90 deg angle to the level) is touching the side of the car as it goes down to the floor (to give you an idea of where I was measuring from).

Somewhere I know I have the factory specs for height of the standard car - need to keep digging or maybe someone else has is handy. Just realized my tire size will probably make a slight difference - oh well - at least we will have a starting place.

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Old 03-11-2012, 11:56 PM
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It is true that Granada spindles have smaller lower ball joint holes, but that's no biggie. Keep your Thunderbird ball joints and you can open the spindle hole. Reamers are available at many places. I have one of my own. The taper is the same, but the hole needs to be opened slightly. This can be done in a regular drill press with no special vise. The spindle is soft steel and the reamer goes in easily. There is no such thing as, 'the hole isn't perfectly straight' because the ball joint swivels.

Lincoln Versailles spindles are perfect for our ball joints. They already come with the correct size lower ball joint holes.

If you need a tapered reamer for Ford ball joints, here's one offered by Speedway Motors, using 1-1/2" per foot (standard Ford taper). It starts at 1/2" so it may be used on Ford tie rod holes:

I bought mine through Travers Tool Co. It was on sale at the time and made in the USA.

Both of these reamers may be used in a standard 1/2" chuck. - Dave

Edit: After installing the Granada spindles, I was also told to expect a 2-1/2" drop. Mine may have dropped 1/2" at the most. I attributed the new coil springs for the lack of drop, but now I see that Eric's didn't drop, either.
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Last edited by simplyconnected : 03-11-2012 at 11:59 PM.
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