Before installing a first-gen spindle, always inspect it for physical defects and damage. Over the years, your spindles have been through a lot of abuse. Some have not fared well. They have seen their fair share of harsh events such as potholes, accidents, racing, and been the recipient of many hammer blows.
Check the bearing seat surfaces for damage and scoring (red arrows). The inner bearing surface is rough and the outer surface shows discoloration from overheating. When a wheel bearing fails, it will lock up and spin on the pin until it overheats and seizes onto the pin. A seized bearing has to be cut off the pin. It's easy to damage the pin when cutting a bearing loose. If the surface of the spindle pin is cut, badly scored, or overheated you should start shopping for a new one. The one shown here is questionable.
Check the ball joint stud taper holes. When mechanics remove spindles, they aren't always careful or use the proper tools for the job. It's typical for a mechanic to use ball joint fork-type tools, which are not always effective and can be destructive to the ball joint, its boot, and the spindle. When the fork-type tools fail to work, most mechanics resort to beating the heck out of the spindle around the ball joint stud. This area can sometimes become distorted. If your tapers are out of round, replace the spindle or have the tapers re-machined.
There are some cases when you need to separate the ball joint from the spindle and don't want to potentially damage the ball joint and its boot by using a fork-type separator. David Pozzi was nice enough to make me one of these awesome ball joint presses from some simple ½-inch hardware and some steel. He machined a small recess in the ends to keep them centered on the ball joint studs during removal. Simply loosen the ball joint nut a couple of threads and expand the press to break the ball joint loose.
I've had many questions regarding the differences between the first-generation Camaro disc brake spindle and the drum brake spindle. Every dimension of both spindles are the same with the exception of the bolt boss above the spindle pin. The bolt boss on the drum brake spindle (left arrow) protrudes out 0.610-inch farther than the one on the disc brake spindle (right arrow). The bolt boss on the drum brake spindle can be machined 0.610-inch and be used as a disc brake spindle.
Hammer and Dolly Time
Eastwood's Hammer and Dolly Set (PN 31198) retails for $79.99 and has everything needed to repair dents and dings on the body of your Camaro. For more information go to eastwood.com/cp414 or call 800.343.9353, don't forget to mention source code CP414.