01 First, we needed to get the wheels off to access the brakes. Always use jack stands rated to handle the weight of a full-size truck. Never crawl under a truck that’s supported by a floor jack only. With the wheels off the ground and the truck safely on stands, we removed the current wheel-and-tire combo. One thing to keep in mind when selecting new brakes is that CPP’S Big Brake Kit will require a larger wheel diameter. In our case, minimum wheel size is 17 inches. 02 Here’s a look at our current suspension. We’ve already upgraded it. You can find more info on the job in a previous issue (May 2017, “Classic Drop,” pg. 90). 03 Since this brake kit comes complete with a new modular spindle, we began the disassembly by removing the steering tie rod. The tie rod is held in place by a castle nut, which has a cotter pin inserted through the joint. Once the pin is removed, the nut is loosened and removed. 04 We used a sledgehammer on the spindle to break the taper free and remove the tie rod.
05 With the tie rod removed, the spindle turned freely out of the way so that we could access the brake line on the frame rail. We removed the clip from inside of the frame rail, allowing us to pull the line through the frame. A pair of line wrenches made quick work of removing the rubber brake line from the hard line that runs along the frame rail.
06 Now we could remove the spindle, starting with the lower ball joint followed by the upper ball joint. These are assembled just like the tie rod ends, with a castle nut and cotter pin, so removing them is exactly the same. Notice we have supported the lower control arm with a floor jack; this will keep the coil spring from shooting out at us when the ball joints are freed.