Fiero Projects

Purpose and Reason for the Drop Spindles

    1) Functionality

I hope to get back the suspension travel that is lost with the use of lowering springs.

This also a first step to much bigger front brakes.

    2) Looks cool

Oh yeah.

What I have done

I contacted Dave at HMS and discussed how I wanted to buy the drop spinldes. I wanted to save some money so I asked if I could use bearings that I had and weld them shut my self. He said I could save $80 by doing that.

I also wanted the drop spindles with the stock brakes now and possiblly bigger brakes in the future. He sold me a custom pair with both the stock bracket now and a sparer where the bigger brake bracket will go when I buy them in the future.

The parts arrived faster than he promised and they look great. Here are the parts as they arrived. The two rings on the right will be replaced in the future with mounts for larger calipers. Right now they are just spacers. I eventually got two more of these spacers, the next two were 1/16 inch thinner to aid in some fitment problems.

As they arrived close up of one

I have made the needed modifications to the stock caliper brackets, and mounted them to the spindles. This involed about 45 minutes with a grinder and then painting them (red of course, anything red stops faster). I welded the provided bolt to the spare rear bearings that I had. I reused the old bracket mounting bolts and got six (three for each side) new 2"x1/2" grade 8 bolts to hold the spare rear bearings to the spindle.

brackets after modification and painting ready to install

I weighted the all the parts

From the above weights I know that I gained ( without the caliper weights ) 0.778 lbs from the GA brakes to the Held drop spindle with GA brakes. I also gained 4.339 lbs per wheel from all stock ( without the caliper weights ). I think that when I take off the stock brake bracket and use a custom bracket I will save 1-2 lbs. Then when I use wilwood calipers I should save another 3-4 lbs. I might be back down to the stock weight with bigger brakes. This is speculation ;-). We will see when I get the parts.

Test fitting all the parts on the car showed some clearence problems. I was able to grind away most of the interference to make things fit.Some of the upper a-arm needed to be removed. As well as more material from the stock brake bracket.

upper aarm clearence upper aarm cleared

The bump stops on the caliper brackets no longer hit the lower a-arm to stop me from turning too far. The first interference, that stops turning too far, is when the spindle hits the sway-bar endlinks. This is only after turning the wheels further than stock. I will just be careful when I turn very sharply. My test drives have not had a problem. If it is a problem I will weld on to make the lower a-arm stop higher.

bumpstop missing lower a-arm

The springs I took out were shorter than the stock springs that Dave sent. This is obvious since they were being used to lower the car. They are pictured below next to a stock height set of 88 springs.

88 stock, 86 drop, and 86 stock springs


$420.00 drop spindles from HMS
$25.00 shipping
$16.00 stock front springs from HMS
$0.00 one pair rear fiero bearings (had spares)

After thoughts

I need to align the front, but the first test drive was sweet. sweet. (gotta say it twice). I hit the same bumps that used to cause the front to bottom out and jar the driver. Now it was smooth, no jarring. sweet. And the ride height did not change.

After aligningthe car and driving it for a couple months now I have noticed the car will not turn as sharp as before. I traced this down to an interference between the new drop spindle and the sway bar endlinks. I can not get an answer from HMS as to weather this is a known problem. I am not very happy about this, but it only is a problem in tight parking lots. I think I can fix it by taking the spindles off and grinding off a little an then welding in more support.

In retrospect I would have bought the bearings from HMS. Even thought they were easy to weld together, and I saved $80, I caused my self problems by using used bearings. Because I used old bearings the distance 3 in the pictures below was different on the two bearings. This caused me to have to machine about 1/16 off the brake bracket where the 4s are in the below pictures.

Also because I ordered the spindles with the extra spacers the areas marked with 1s below were a very close fit.