The Professional Choice

Spindles or Control Arms for my Silverado?

Submitted on 2011/12/12 at 9:30 am

I am wanting to drop my 2007 silverado ext cab 2wd 4/7. I have checked on prices through summit and it’s like $700. They suggested spindles w a flip kit n the rear and I read you sell the kit with control arms and yours is cheaper. If any, whats the difference in control arms VS. spindles?

Submitted on 2011/12/12 at 12:57 pm | In reply to kaleb.

Very excited to here your going to lower your Siverado 4/7. We built our Calmax Control Arms to give you a 4″ drop without losing any suspension travel (ride comfort) or compromise your alignment (tire wear + handling). The lower arms do the lowering while the upper arms correct the ball joint angle and the alignment. With a 4″ drop the upper arm is in a very different position and the ball joint angle is severe, one of the drawbacks to the spindle+spring combo you need to drop 4″. Plus when you use the spring you actually lose two inches of suspension travel in the front where you need it most!. The control arms bolt directly into the factory mounting points, no need to remove the spindle or the strut. Both methods give you the four inch drop and work good, we just think you get more value with the Calmax Control Arm kits. Good luck and let us know how you did!

DJM Tech

54 Responses to Spindles or Control Arms for my Silverado?

  1. I have a 97 2 door tahoe that i want to lower with a 4/6 my buddy is selling me his calmax 4″ lower arms but the ball joints are bad what ball joints can i replace them with? Will factory ball joints work on these arms?

    • Geradro,

      The lower control arms do use factory replacement parts, or you can buy moog part number 6293 at almost any auto parts store. Be careful in the rear though, the 4/6 kit for 88-98 1500 has a flip kit that will lower your Tahoe more than 6″, it is not recommended for the Tahoe. Click here to see rear kits for a 97 2 door Tahoe

  2. I have my 04 Silverado crew cab dropped 5/7. I have some camber an want to get some lowering control arms to fix that. Can I still have my drop spindles or do I need to get some stock spindles?

    • Cody,

      How did you lower the front? If you used coil springs that might be where your getting the negative camber! Let me know and we can see what to do!!


        • Cody,

          So you have a 4WD? You are getting the camber problem most likely from backing off the torsion bars too much. Of course if that’s true you can buy back some camber by lifting the front with the torsion adjustment, or maybe and I say maybe you might be able to get some camber back with upper control arms. Click here to see the CA2599U 99-06 Chevy upper control arms. I say these may help, I can’t be positive, but based on what you have said seems like a good idea! These control arms are for the 2WD that’s been lowered at least 4″ in the front. Let me know what you end up doing!


          • Thanks man. Yea I been talkin to a bunch of people on what I should do to fix it. Might just try those an go from there

          • Cody,

            The upper control arms will probably work on your 4WD, that is to say they will mount up (I think). Please know they were designed and built for the 2WD, I don’t know for sure if they would help your camber but I don’t think it would make it worse. They will correct your upper ball joint angles however! Let me know how things work.


  3. If i do a 3 inch drop using a control arm on my 95 1500 will i have to worry about the tires leaning in over time if i dont change the top control arm too? also when i do the drop i have a set of 15×8 wheels what is a good tire size to use?

    • Chad,

      Since you choose the control arms you don’t have worry about the “lean in” problem. That occurs with coil springs and is affectionately known as negative camber! This happens because the drop coils are shorter than the factory springs. Your Calmax arms are designed to work with the factory coil springs so you have no alignment worries! Sticking with the overall factory tire and wheel diameter and offset is your best choice when considering wheels and tires. There are many combinations to choose from, and your 15X8 wheels will work fine with any tire designed for that wheel and your truck! Good luck!!


  4. i have a 95 chevy 1500 i am wanting to put either a 2″ or 3″ drop on the front what is the best way to do this and keep my 15″ ralley wheels

    • Chad,

      You can use any of the popular methods of lowering your 95 and keep those nice 15″ Ralley wheels. The cheapest way is to use springs for a 2″ or 3″ drop, this of course isn’t the best way, you lose suspension travel and compromise your camber alignment. You could also use drop spindles for a 2″drop and a little more money without losing any suspension travel or have a camber problem! But you will have to trim your factory control arms just behind the lower ball joints so when you turn sharply (parking lot) your Ralley wheels don’t hit the lower control arms. And your maybe best choice is to use either a 2″ or 3″ Calmax control arm with the factory coil spring and have no alignment issues or wheel contact problems. So it really depends on your budget and how you think will work best for you! Good Luck.


  5. I was wondering if your control arms can support a vehicle on air suspension I currently have a 92 c1500 and have your 2″ drop spindles and maybe lowering coils but I plan on building the truck for air and I’m researching parts to use

    • Aaron,

      We don’t build any air suspension parts or do any testing with air suspension components. We know that alot of guys are using our arms with air bags with success but we just don’t have the first hand knowledge. I can tell you that using air with our arms can void the warranty. We have seen some very abused parts from poorly done air suspension. I would recommend checking out Air Ride Technologies here, they make very nice stuff and are experts in air suspension!


  6. I have a 2002 Chevy Silverado. It’s a regular can short bed. I am doing a 4/6 on it. The front I am going to use the 4 inch drop control arms and then a flip kit for the back. But would it be ok to use just the Calmax lower control arms and not the top? At least just for a short time till I buy the uppers. What would be the drawbacks to not replacing both at the same time?

    • Colten,

      You could probably never have to use the upper arms if you can get a good alignment. Even if your a little negative with the camber you can run with that for a while and be ok!


  7. I’m running a 95 1500 with 22’s on a 4-6 drop, spindles, lowered coils, flip kit, and shackles. Is there any way to go lower and still have a smooth ride since the 22’s make it sit higher and gives less travel? I plan on putting different well wells to accommodate the front and slightly tubing the rear but after that I’m lost. Thanx.

    • Lavell,

      To go lower than a 4/6 on your 95 C1500 will cause your ride quality to diminish quickly. You could put a 3″ coil spring in the front to net out a 5″ drop and install a 2″ lowering shackle on the back end of your leaf spring to get a total of 8″ in the rear. You would have to drive in a much more careful way to keep from smashing your exhaust cross over flat! And you will be on the bump stops faster than ever. It is drivable but you need to be careful!!


  8. I have a 2003 Silverado z71 ec b that I’d like to give a 4/6 drop to and try to keep the best ride possible.
    I removed the rear factory block so far sobits almost leveled. I’m thinking about using a flip kit for the rear, but not sure on decision for the front.
    Could I use lower control arms in conjunction with drop spindles for the front or would best bet be drop spindles or control arms with drop keys?
    It is a 4×4, torsion suspension.

    • Phoung,

      As a general thing it is not a good idea to combine a drop spindle and a drop control arm. It best to use one or the other and if you need more drop to add a coil spring with whatever you have chosen. Of course you cannot add a coil to a torsion bar front end but you may back off your bars if you need to with a spindle or use control arms for a 3″ drop out of the box and still you could drop a little more with your torsion bars. Spindles and keys will get you 2″ of drop, control arms 3″ and you can make up the difference as I mentioned by adjusting your factory torsion bars. Of all these options the best I think is to use the arms, the less you need to adjust the factory torsion settings the better for alignment and ride quality, tire wear, etc. Click here to get more info!

      Let me know what you decide!


      • Would i run into any alignment or camber problems changing out just the lower control arms without some aftermarket upper control arms?
        I thought I read something like that before, maybe on the djm website. Unless if they meant on certain vehicles like avalanches, tahoes, etc.

        • Phoung,

          If you want to use only the lower control arms you an get a 3″ drop without any alignment issues. You could also back your torsion bars off a little bit to get 1″ more without causing any alignment problems. Your thinking is correct, this is the best option for what you want to do!


  9. hello I have a 95 gmc c1500 and i want it to lay frame. i have a good idea what im doing for the back( 4 link cantaliever system with air bags, and a C notched frame)
    My question is regarding the front suspension setup. Do I need to Z the front frame? Can I just put 2″ drop spindle and a drop control arm on the front with airbags( do you sell drop control arms meant for airbags?) I have 20″ rims and no problem making new inner fenders. please help with a reply or a website where i can get more info.

    thank you


    • Brennan,

      Sorry to get back to you so late! Your doing a drop that is beyond my expertise. We make lower arms that guys have modified for bags but nothing off the shelf designed for a bag bolt in. If you try to combine with spindles you will probably have a few issues to work thru, that’s where we don’t have the experience. I would talk to the magazine guys, they talk to more of the radical drop guys than anyone I can think of! Good Luck!!


  10. Hello, im completely rebuilding a 97 chevy silverado short box reg cab and would like to do the 4/6 drop, problem is i already have the 2” drop spindles and have the rear already solved for, i would like to use the factory 15 chrome sport wheels, any ideas or suggestions??

    • Jesse,

      If you already have spindles them just get a set of 2″ drop coils and your good to go, and you have a flip kit for the back I’m guessing so you should have what you need to get a 4/6 drop. Don’t forget the right lenght shock though!!


  11. I have a1993 GMC extended cab I would like to go with a 6/9 drop any ideas on what to use my idea was using a 4in lower calmax control arm with a 2in lowering spring would that work

    • Luis,

      You should not combine spindles and control arms. Doing so causes scrub line, wheel clearance, and probably other issues that are very hard to get rid of. If you really want to go the maximum with off “the shelf parts” I would recommend a 2″ spindle with a 3″ spring in the front, a 6″ flip kit and a 2″ shackle for the rear (5/8). Now, if you do this you may not get the front to factory alignment (but you should get close), the cross over exhaust tube will be the lowest part of the front and you WILL hit the ground and flatten it enough to cause unwanted back-pressure in your engine (causing poor performance). You will also be on your bump stops a-lot! The rear will suffer from lack of suspension travel as well, so don’t expect a great ride. You can do a drop like this your just pushing the envelope pretty hard!


  12. im looking to get the front of my 96 std cab silverado down 4 inches should i go with a spindle/spring combo or spring/lower control arm setup? it is lowered with flip kit in rear

    • Shawn,

      If your running wheels that are bigger than the factory 15″ there is very little difference between the spindle/spring and the control arm/spring combos. If you are still using 15″ wheels then the control arms /spring combination is the way to go because you don’t have any wheel clearance issues. Using the spindle with 15″ wheels creates a rubbing problem with the wheel. If it’s time for new bushings or ball joints then choose the control arms (new ones installed on the arms). Hope this helps you choose!


  13. I have a 1995 Chevy C1500 Ext. Cab and wanted to do a 4/6. what would be the best setup to do? i was looking at the 4in calmax control arm or the 2in control arm and 2in drop spring. and im not sure what would be best. because i already have a 2/4 with the 2in drop spindle and saw that you cant use them with the 2in control arm, i wanted to know exactly why you couldnt use the two?and also would there be any major rubbing with my 275/45/20 tires?

    • Tyler,

      Our 4″ control arms for your 95 C1500 are actually 2″ arms that are specifically designed to work with our 2″ coil spring, resulting in a 4″ total drop. The 2″ arm is designed to work with the factory coil spring, for a total of 2″. Now, if you already have a 2″ spindle why not just buy the 2″ coil for the 4″ total front drop? Combining a spindle drop with a control arm drop causes geometry problems which you cannot adjust away. On the rear you will need to remove the 4″ kit and install factory hangers and shackles when you install your flip kit! Your 275/45/20’s should work fine if the offset is correct. Good luck!


  14. i wanna use drop spindles and lower arm controls on my tahoe 1996 to get to the lowest drop possible is it ok to use a setup like that

    • Omar,

      You can use either drop spindles or Calmax control arms but not the two together. The spindles give you a 2″ drop and you can add 2″ coil springs for a 4″ drop or you can use 2″ or 3″ Calmax control arms with your factory coil for the best ride!

      DJM Tech

  15. I am about to purchase the 4/7 kit with shocks and I have two questions. 1. will I need any kind of alignment kit or shims? because when i put dream beams on my 97 mazda summit failed to tell me that I needed caster/camber bushings! 2. what is the contact number of a sales rep I can talk to to order and verify that I am ordering everything I need.
    thankyou for your help I am excited to get started.

  16. hey i have a 1990 GMC Sierra with a 350 twinturbo setup. I just wanted to know if the a-arm DJM sale can handle up to 800hp?

    • Juan,

      We design our parts to be as strong or stronger than the original equipment part we are replacing. Frankly we have never had the opportunity to test our arms on a 800hp vehicle and we don’t know what could happen in your circumstance. As a rule your horsepower would cause problems in the rear before you could have any problems in the front unless you have radically increased the weight of the front end. If you decide to give us a try please let us know how things work and send some photo’s of your 800hp ride!!

      DJM Tech

  17. I have a 1968 Ford F100 Short Bed pickup and I want to lower the front end at least 2″. I have the rear lowering solved. I want spindels, springs or I-Beam system it doesn’t matter. I have searched high and wide. HELP!!

    • Ron,

      No one makes spindles, no matter how tempting it may be (if you find them) don’t use springs (very serious alignment issues) instead use our 3″Dream Beams for your 68 F100. they replace your factory parts in the factory mounts and give you a 3″ drop, no muss no fuss! Check them out here at the

      DJM Tech

  18. I had a mazda with a 4/5 using your dream beams previously to this new truck and was very satisfied with them, but eventually wanted to be lower. So my question is are the silverado control arms set up for bags as well? Assuming ill eventually wanna go lower.

    • Kaleb,
      We designed our control arms to work with coil springs that have a specific length. For example we have two different 2″ control arms for a 88-98 C1500. One to work with the factory coil spring, and one to work with a designed 2″ lowered coil spring. We do this because ( as will happen with your bags) the alignment and ball joint angles change a-lot with different coil spring (or air bag) length. Our arms have been used with bags by many guy’s who are running air suspension. You may have to modify the arm or bag or both to have a good mounting point and consider you ride height at the time you drive so you can get a proper alignment, and good ball joint angles. Let us know what your doing and send pictures if you can!

      DJM Tech

      • Thank you for all your help. customer service is very important to me. standing by and supporting your prouduct after the sell says a lot about a company. I will send pics when I am finished.

        • Kaleb,

          Thanks for the thumbs up, we try to help you guys enjoy your rides as much as we can. Without you we don’t have much!

          DJM Tech

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