PDA

View Full Version : Earle Williams dropped spindles & upper control arms


MikeB
07-03-2013, 09:05 AM
Back around 2010, I removed my 55's McGaughy spindles and metric brakes. I then installed pair of stock spindles, new (and overly stiff) springs, and a Wilwood brake kit. Got to looking at some old pictures of my car when it was dropped in front, and decided I want to return to that look. For a while I considered dropping the front with shorter springs or coil-overs. However, going with dropped spindles and stock springs allows for plenty of suspension travel while maintaining factory geometry.

So, I'm now looking to buy a pair of dropped spindles from Williams Classic Chassis. These were originally designed by Williams, who later sold the design to TCI, but now Williams is making them again. I'd also buy their caliper brackets, which Nathan at Williams says will allow me to use my existing Wilwood calipers, rotors, and hubs. I may also pull the trigger on their modified Heidt's upper control arms to get some more caster.

These are not the lowest cost spindles and control arms, but everyone I know who has dealt with Williams says their product quality and service after the sale are second to none.

Any comments, technical or otherwise?

Old stance with McGaughy spindles:
http://pic40.picturetrail.com/VOL381/8947988/16498745/404474921.jpg

Current stance:
http://pic40.picturetrail.com/VOL381/8947988/16498745/385505573.jpg

MikeB
07-03-2013, 09:23 PM
Bump.

Rick_L
07-03-2013, 09:44 PM
Go for it. I've never heard anything bad. Plus they have the good design features you won't get with other products. They cost a bit more but you get more.

Bad37Coupe
07-03-2013, 09:49 PM
Funny I come across this today. I just received all of my parts from Earle Williams this last week. I can tell you I have dealt directly with Earle and all that you have heard is correct.
Earle uses Heidt's uppers and lowers and modifies them. Well, It has taken 3 months to get my lowers because of mistakes by Heidts. Earle has been in contact with me himself on a regular basis and is a constant professional. I can only say good things about the guy!
I got Earle's uppers/lowers polished stainless. Got a set of wilwood 6 piston which Earle and his team had to build a custom bracket for so the mounting holes would line up. Dropped spindles as well which I had powdercoated red.
I am so looking forward to this long weekend because I have a ton of parts to put my front end together which has bben a long time coming! I can tell you about quality later but everything looks to be top notch!

Had a few Tri 5's
07-03-2013, 10:09 PM
I have two sets of the spindles with the big brake Wilwood kits. They are very nice quality. The welds on the brackets are also top notch. I like them because they have nearly no offset so you don't loose the tire space. The sets I bought I believe he said are narrowed about 1/2 inch. The only mods you have to do is shorten the threaded end on the longer tie rod end. Nice thing too, he is only an hour away. When I visit, I get to see his project cars.

hutchenc
07-04-2013, 02:01 AM
I don't have any comments on their spindles and brake brackets, but I recently bought some steel lowering blocks and u bolts from Earle and initially they made a big whoops on my invoice by billing me for 16 u bolts instead of 4 (billed me for 4 sets of 4 instead of 1 set of 4 u bolts...easy mistake to make for anyone really). :( Not really a huge deal, but my eyes got kinda big when I saw the invoice total at first.

Called him the next business day and he fixed it right then and there. You'll pay more for his stuff, but I agree with the above posts. You can actually speak with him too about what you're looking for which is pretty rare these days unfortunately. He'll treat you right and you'll get quality stuff that you won't have to re-do after the initial install. That's worth a few extra bucks in my book, especially these days.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy from him again...especially if it was something that was a bit modified and/or made for specific components which is clearly the case here.

snaptwo
07-04-2013, 12:50 PM
I got rid of a set of Mcgauheys cast iron junk and went with Williams for spindles,brakes,motor mounts and rear crossmember. Quality craftsmanship, heli-arced not snotted together. Also a hell of a nice guy to talk to.

midnightrider
07-04-2013, 11:06 PM
I got Earle to sell me one of his last sets of 3" drop spindles which he was reluctant to let go...great help to me as I modified a C5 brake set-up to work with his spindles and MBM hubs. His spindles narrowed my track width, in my opinion he sells the best products on the market for tri-fives.

MikeB
07-05-2013, 09:07 AM
Thanks for the comments guys. Sounds like Williams sets the standard in product design and customer support. I've been working with Nathan via e-mail, and he has been very responsive. He's 100% familiar with my Wilwood brake kit, and just needed to know which hubs I have, because the kit has used two types over the years. I ask you, how many other Tri-five vendors would have known that? Uh, zero?

55
07-11-2013, 02:15 AM
You'll be quite happy with the Earle Williams products, and their service. I have Earle's drop spindles on my 55 with their modified Heidt's uppers and lowers, a set of QA-1's, and a Wilwood 12.19 brake kit that Earle custom made the mounts for (to get them to fit with 15" Centerlines). Very happy with the ride now that I've recently setup all the suspension and can't say enough good things about Williams!

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd418/DBL_NKL/1955%20Chevrolet%20Build/020Wilwood.jpg

carcass
08-12-2013, 01:32 AM
sorry for bringing up an old thread,
but I've searched a dozen ways from Tuesday to find a thread on the best control arms and spindles for tri fives. this had some decent info regarding quality spindles and a arms.
But in what way does Williams "modify" Heidts control arms?
and are Williams spindles Heidts brand as well??
And if their spindles are not Heidts, where are Williams getting them cast?

snaptwo
08-12-2013, 03:00 AM
To answer Carcasses question in part , Earle's spindles are his own design and he had agreements with TCI . Whether he bought the rights back or some legal hitch with TCI I do not know. I would imagine that Heidt's are not much different in design , however Earle's can be fitted with many caliper brackets , again his own designs. He told me who casts his in steel but my memory has failed me . They also use a pressed in 4340 spindle pin. The mods he does to others control arms (Heidt's ,CPP ) has to do with the upper rubber bumper mounts . I have his spindles , CPP's uppers and lowers plus a 500 box on my "Waggy" , it went together well and handles like dream . Thanks Earle aka "nice guy"

Muncieman
09-21-2013, 06:51 PM
Thanks for the comments guys. Sounds like Williams sets the standard in product design and customer support. I've been working with Nathan via e-mail, and he has been very responsive. He's 100% familiar with my Wilwood brake kit, and just needed to know which hubs I have, because the kit has used two types over the years. I ask you, how many other Tri-five vendors would have known that? Uh, zero?

The caliper brackets that I got from Earl were machined incorrectly to the point that I was unable to get the calipers on. I called him and he hooked me up with his engineer who brought up a print of the caliper. It revealed that they both needed to be machined another fifty thousands of an inch. So I took them over to a friends machine shop and we milled both of them and fixed the problem.
Earl offered to fix them but I was not going to wait for them tio go to California and back. Earl is one of the nice guys to do business with.
gary

Rick_L
09-21-2013, 07:13 PM
To answer Carcasses question in part , Earle's spindles are his own design and he had agreements with TCI . Whether he bought the rights back or some legal hitch with TCI I do not know. I would imagine that Heidt's are not much different in design , however Earle's can be fitted with many caliper brackets , again his own designs. He told me who casts his in steel but my memory has failed me . They also use a pressed in 4340 spindle pin. The mods he does to others control arms (Heidt's ,CPP ) has to do with the upper rubber bumper mounts .

The Earle Williams spindles are his design and manufacture, the first ones on the market. Earle then sold the design to TCI but he still sold them. Apparently last year TCI was going to take them off the market so EW bought the product line back from them.

All the dropped spindles on the market are cast steel with an alloy spindle pin. No difference there for any. Williams' are the only ones that don't move the wheel outboard (actually moves it in slightly). All the others do at least slightly. The Wiliams standard brake package is an 11" rotor and Chevelle calipers. He also has pieces to put the big Wilwood calipers and rotors on them. The Heidts standard brake package is metric rotors and calipers. They move the wheel out 5/16". You can get brackets to mount Wilwood and Baer on Heidts spindles. Beware of the Baer/Heidts package, it moves the wheel out an additional 1/2". But it can be fixed (at some expense).

The Williams mod to the Heidts spindle adds a piece of metal for the rubber bumper to touch on. Otherwise the bumper won't work right and will get chewed up.

carcass
09-21-2013, 10:36 PM
The Earle Williams spindles are his design and manufacture, the first ones on the market. Earle then sold the design to TCI but he still sold them. Apparently last year TCI was going to take them off the market so EW bought the product line back from them.

All the dropped spindles on the market are cast steel with an alloy spindle pin. No difference there for any. Williams' are the only ones that don't move the wheel outboard (actually moves it in slightly). All the others do at least slightly. The Wiliams standard brake package is an 11" rotor and Chevelle calipers. He also has pieces to put the big Wilwood calipers and rotors on them. The Heidts standard brake package is metric rotors and calipers. They move the wheel out 5/16". You can get brackets to mount Wilwood and Baer on Heidts spindles. Beware of the Baer/Heidts package, it moves the wheel out an additional 1/2". But it can be fixed (at some expense).

The Williams mod to the Heidts spindle adds a piece of metal for the rubber bumper to touch on. Otherwise the bumper won't work right and will get chewed up.

Wait, are you talking about spindles or control arms?
Williams modifies Heidts spindles?

carcass
09-21-2013, 10:39 PM
It's interesting that Williams had the spindles, then sold the rights but still carried the spindles, then bought the rights back and still carries the spindles.
So where's Waldo anyways?
These spindles must be cast and machined somewhere. Obviously not by Williams or TCI.

Rick_L
09-22-2013, 09:12 AM
No, but in order to have them available for sale, somebody has to keep track of inventory, place orders with the foundry and machine shop, assemble the pins into the castings, etc. And most important, tie up their money in inventory. It may not seem like a big deal for a company whose primary business is things like that, but neither Williams or TCI are - both are primarily fabricators.