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Thread: Knuckle differences?

  1. #1
    turbo addict
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    Knuckle differences?

    Ive been reading up the the "shadow knuckle swap" for my neon and I want to do it to run bigger axles. I read in the knowledge center that there is a difference between the -90 and 91+ knuckles. Is the diffrence ONLY in the caliper bracket? Can I use 89 van calipers on a 92 knuckle? Im going to have to make a JY run to get a set of knuckles, so I want to make sure I do it right.

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    Basic Vendor (MSD, Hawk, etc) Turbo Mopar Contributor rbryant's Avatar
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    Re: Knuckle differences?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowFromHell View Post
    Ive been reading up the the "shadow knuckle swap" for my neon and I want to do it to run bigger axles. I read in the knowledge center that there is a difference between the -90 and 91+ knuckles. Is the diffrence ONLY in the caliper bracket? Can I use 89 van calipers on a 92 knuckle? Im going to have to make a JY run to get a set of knuckles, so I want to make sure I do it right.
    The knuckles are completely different and so are the calipers.

    There are actually lots of different knuckles before '91.

    4 lug car (might be the same as 4 lug van),
    4 lug lbody,

    5 lug lbody
    5 lug 10" car/van before '91 (could be several versions of this)
    5 lug 11" car 89/90
    5 lug 11" car 91+
    5 lug van 91+ (same casting as car but with different tie rod connection point machined)

    Note on Calipers that are all different:

    91+ 10" cars (54mm),
    91+ 10" vans(60mm),
    91+ 11" car/van (60mm)

    The 10" 60mm calipers from caravans are not the same as the 11" 60mm calipers.

    -Rich

  3. #3
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    Re: Knuckle differences?

    Dimensionally are all the car 5 lug 10" brake non-lbody stuff the same? I guess I should have clarified that's what I was wanting to run. The reason I asked about the calipers is I put a set of van calipers on my shadow years ago and it was a good upgrade. Would be nice to have that option for my neon. I know between like 88-91 there was a few k-frame changes. I didnt know if they changed the knuckles to with the k-members.

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    Re: Knuckle differences?

    Note on Calipers that are all different:

    91+ 10" cars (54mm),
    91+ 10" vans(60mm),
    91+ 11" car/van (60mm)

    The 10" 60mm calipers from caravans are not the same as the 11" 60mm calipers.
    1991+ Dynasty is the same as Caravan with 10" brakes....regular size rotor with big piston in the caliper. the calipers have "60" and "14" cast into them. r/t calipers say "15" on them if i recall.

  5. #5
    Basic Vendor (MSD, Hawk, etc) Turbo Mopar Contributor rbryant's Avatar
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    Re: Knuckle differences?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowFromHell View Post
    Dimensionally are all the car 5 lug 10" brake non-lbody stuff the same? I guess I should have clarified that's what I was wanting to run. The reason I asked about the calipers is I put a set of van calipers on my shadow years ago and it was a good upgrade. Would be nice to have that option for my neon. I know between like 88-91 there was a few k-frame changes. I didnt know if they changed the knuckles to with the k-members.
    The only real change to the non lbody knuckle geometry was that the 91+ knuckles are taller from the hub to the ball joint.
    The taller knuckle pushes the control arm downward and helps the geometry when lowering (so it is a good thing).

    GJKHPA and 1G neon knuckles can be interchanged (except some of the Neons have a smaller outer axle spline). 2G Neon, PT, and SRT4 knuckles can be used but have a wider strut connection so if used with a different width strut the spindle has to be spaced or machined thinner.

    When mixing knuckles and control arms the steering stops usually don't line up so they are generally non functional. I don't think there are any cases where the knuckle has to be machined to avoid interference but I haven't tried all combinations. It basically means that the steering stop will be the tire hitting the transmission case so constantly cramping turns tightly and holding the tire against the tranny case through turns might not be a great idea. This actually occurs in stock form on lots of cars and was deemed acceptable by the factory (lots of our cars have shinny spots on their transmissions because of this).

    -Rich

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    Rhymes with tortoise. Turbo Mopar Staff cordes's Avatar
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    Re: Knuckle differences?

    Can anyone confirm that the later Dynasty/Big Lebaron cars use the same knuckle that the G/J/P body cars use? I know the control arms are specific to those cars and I think I've read the knuckles are different too. If they are the same as the G/J/P body cars then I'm in luck as a local JY is full of them. Otherwise I'll have to wait for a Lebaron to come in. I don't want to pay shipping on what is a $15 locally.

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    Re: Knuckle differences?

    I cant confirm this, its been a long time, but I remember pulling the entire k-frame (frame, arms, rack) off a later dynasty or bigger something (91 and up, could have been 93, its been over 8 years) and we installed it on my friends 87 Shelby lancer, but for some reason I remember the balljoints in the later arms not fitting the spindles correctly? cant remember if the through bolt for the ball joint was a different size, or the pin for the ball joint (part that goes into spindle from balljoint) didn't fit the spindle correctly (too small?)

    that's all I can remember?

    what are you trying to do?

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    Rhymes with tortoise. Turbo Mopar Staff cordes's Avatar
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    Re: Knuckle differences?

    The later knuckles used a larger ball joint bolt. I'm wanting to install big brakes on my Neon. I know that there is a difference between the control arms in the Dynastys and IIRC you need the matching K frame to make them work. The only thing I'm really concerned with is throwing off my turning radius, but I don't see why they would have altered that just for those knuckles.

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    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor supercrackerbox's Avatar
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    Re: Knuckle differences?

    I know old thread, but I just want to be clear: I'm working on an '89 ES with the 10" front/non-vented rear setup, and it badly needs front brakes. I can rob parts off a '91 GTC with the bigger fronts/vented rear setup- So to do the conversion, I'll need the calipers, caliper brackets, AND the spindles off the '91, and with the spindles I'll also need the cast control arms? What about the master cylinder?

  10. #10
    Basic Vendor (MSD, Hawk, etc) Turbo Mopar Contributor rbryant's Avatar
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    Re: Knuckle differences?

    Yes the knnuckles, calipers and caliper brackets all have to match. If you do the rear baraks then you may also want the prop valve. They are often specific to the car AND brakes though. I wrote something a long time ago in the Knowledge Center about prop valve options. I can't remember all of the details.

    Cast control arms aren't required. The wheel will move slightly forward with cast arms but the difference isn't in the knuckle.

    There is some advantage of getting the extra caster from the cast control arms and they also tend to have less bump steer though.

    -Rich

  11. #11
    Rhymes with tortoise. Turbo Mopar Staff cordes's Avatar
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    Re: Knuckle differences?

    Quote Originally Posted by rbryant View Post
    Yes the knnuckles, calipers and caliper brackets all have to match. If you do the rear baraks then you may also want the prop valve. They are often specific to the car AND brakes though. I wrote something a long time ago in the Knowledge Center about prop valve options. I can't remember all of the details.

    Cast control arms aren't required. The wheel will move slightly forward with cast arms but the difference isn't in the knuckle.

    There is some advantage of getting the extra caster from the cast control arms and they also tend to have less bump steer though.

    -Rich
    IMO the stamped arms are the way to go due to the weight. The latter knuckles are the way to go for the fact that they push the ball joint down and give you greater ability to lower the car.

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    Re: Knuckle differences?

    Regards,
    Miles

    DD '87 Sundance T1, 12PSI, SLH with rear disks
    '87 CSX #432

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    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor supercrackerbox's Avatar
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    Re: Knuckle differences?

    Quote Originally Posted by rbryant View Post
    Yes the knnuckles, calipers and caliper brackets all have to match. If you do the rear baraks then you may also want the prop valve. They are often specific to the car AND brakes though. I wrote something a long time ago in the Knowledge Center about prop valve options. I can't remember all of the details.

    Cast control arms aren't required. The wheel will move slightly forward with cast arms but the difference isn't in the knuckle.

    There is some advantage of getting the extra caster from the cast control arms and they also tend to have less bump steer though.

    -Rich
    I planned on doing the rear brakes and the prob valve, just wasn't sure if the master cylinder was different too. I'll compare casting numbers to be sure. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by cordes View Post
    IMO the stamped arms are the way to go due to the weight. The latter knuckles are the way to go for the fact that they push the ball joint down and give you greater ability to lower the car.
    There's also the advantage of the bolt in bearing hubs, but I don't know what year they made that change. Focus on this car is for safety more than performance as it will be my kid's car.

  14. #14
    Rhymes with tortoise. Turbo Mopar Staff cordes's Avatar
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    Re: Knuckle differences?

    91 is the later knuckles which take the the bolt in bearing (excluding the early big brake cars).

  15. #15
    Basic Vendor (MSD, Hawk, etc) Turbo Mopar Contributor rbryant's Avatar
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    Re: Knuckle differences?

    Quote Originally Posted by cordes View Post
    IMO the stamped arms are the way to go due to the weight. The latter knuckles are the way to go for the fact that they push the ball joint down and give you greater ability to lower the car.
    Yes the stamped arms are lighter but have less caster which also has some advantages.

    The stamped arms were really for the heavier cars that needed less flex on the arms and larger bushings.

    -Rich

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    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor Dr. Johny Dodge's Avatar
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    Re: Knuckle differences?

    [QUOTE=supercrackerbox;1145817]I planned on doing the rear brakes and the prob valve, just wasn't sure if the master cylinder was different too. I'll compare casting numbers to be sure. Thanks!

    M/C and the reservoir on top are 4 wheel disc specific

    resi says 4 wheel disc molded right into the side of it

    rear brake backing plates differ with vented vs non vented rotors , like the calipers must too

  17. #17
    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor supercrackerbox's Avatar
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    Re: Knuckle differences?

    I figured as much. The '89 ES we're converting does have 4-wheel discs, but they're the smaller ones with the non-vented rotors. Oddly enough, there's no casting numbers on the '89 MC, so it's getting the '91 MC along with everything else.

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