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bofusmosby

'37 Pontiac Bad King Pin Bushings

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wagary

First, I want to thank you for your service for our country. Its because of people like you, that I have my freedom to enjoy today. I'd say also that what you are doing is great therapy. Most of us at one time or another have had to face our own demons, and I applaud you for overcoming them.

You see, you are no stranger to this kind of work. With me, its ALL a learning experience. I already have the sets of king-pins, and when I was quoted the price I was given, well.....I work 6 days a week, so I doubt I could do in a few weeks what would take the garage 1 day to complete. I must admit though, that right now, money is really tight, and there always seems to be those darn "unexpected" bills popping up. I'm getting quite a long list of things I need to buy for my car, but right now, none are being checked off the list. LOL

You are correct though. Doing it yourself gives one great satisfaction, but I know that with my limited knowledge, I have many limitations. Thanks to this fine group here, I have accomplished some things that I never had attempted before. I wealth of knoweledge is here for the taking.

Keep us posted as to your progress. If you have a digital camera, try and post some photos. We'd all like to see them.

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Thanks for the great reply and mostly it was my pleasure to serve our country. I had some wild times all over the western hemisphere working in Airframes Shop on EA-6B Grumman Prowlers onboard the USS Nimitz. Went about half deaf launching those birds and swearing at them, but still good-times.

I found some adjustable reamers for around 15 to 40 dollars at Buy New Car | Mp3 Players | Shoes Online | Designer Clothing | Cell Phones at Buycheaper.com and some kingpins for 57-64 F-100's at Speedway Motors - Street Rod Parts, Race Parts, Ford Flathead Parts, Sprint and Midget Racing Parts, Pedal Car Parts for about 40 bucks(el-cheapos, no brand name).

I did read something disturbing at speedwaymotors.com someone there says to work from the bottom of axle and pound king-pin up through top of axle. I HOPE THE KING PIN WILL GO THROUGH AXLE EITHER WAY AND IS NOT TAPERED. i buggered mine up pretty bad on the bottom trying to rotate it to break it free. I can still fix it, even if I have to saw the sucker off at the bottom. What fun!

Yes this is great therapy and I really mean that, I do have a digital camera and will have to figure out how to post some pics.

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I did read something disturbing at speedwaymotors.com someone there says to work from the bottom of axle and pound king-pin up through top of axle.

According to the service manual on my 37 Pontiac, it says to install the king-pin from the bottom, so I guess that the king-pin should be removed by driving in down, and out the bottom, if I was reading it correctly.

As far as posting photos goes, when you are making a post, scroll down untill you see the button lables "manage attachments". Click this and this will bring up a pop-up window. On the top section, you will see many "browse" buttons, and you click first the top one, which will take you to your computer files. Locate the photo that you have stored on your computer and click it. After you are done with all the photos you are going to include with your post, then click the upload button. Then you are set.

One thing though, when the pop-up box appears on the screen, scroll down this box, and it will list the maximum photo size you can use for each type of photo (in pixels). You might have to resize your photos first, before you post them on this site. All this sounds a lot more difficult than it really is. If I can figure it out, then anyone should be able to do it.:D

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Thanks for the tip Rusty. I had been avoiding the kingpin job for so long because I didn't know if I could do it where I live. It's a townhome condo one car garage. I don't have enough room, or stuff to safely lift the entire front of the truck and work on it. Plus, I'm not sure how I'd get something as large as an axle to the machine shop, I used to use the truck for that type of thing. I currently don't have a car or a standard job with dependable income. I do have three old motorcycles that work and are street legal, but no side-hack or trailer.

Anyhow, I'm more about trying new things these days since getting sober about four years ago.

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Success today! I got the 1963 F-100 left side kingpin to move. I almost thought that'd be a showstopper, but I should be able to finish now that it's loose and ready to move. I did take pics and was wondering what thread or section within this website to post pics. Like the tech. stuff or meets, or here in this thread. I think I can figure out how to get them uploaded no problem, I just don't know about resizing them or where within the site to post them.

Thanks for all the encouragement thus far. Oh yeah, my Ford book says to drive the kingpins out with whatever special tool Ford supplies its dealers with, I'm using standard procedures.

The book says to remove axle and drive pins out from the top with a drift.

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wagary

Glad to hear you are making progress. I have learned over the years that there are a lot of things one can do, if they put their mind to it. THATS the biggest hurdle. As far as to where to post your photos....thats your choice. If you wish, you can post them here, or you might want to start your own thread on this one. Document your progress with photos, and even if you make a mistake, we can all learn from that as well. Maybe the technical section would be best. What ever you decide, it will always come up on the search function if someone wants to know about replacing their king-pins and bushings.

If you decide to start another thread, be sure and post that info here, so I can be sure and subscribe to your new thread. I wouldn't want to miss it. Keep up the good work!

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Here's my first attempt ever at removing kingpins, and I'm trying it without removing axle and doing it the "right" way with a press. I couldn't and didn't want to remove the axle from the truck where it's currently sitting. I want it to be mobile with short notice.

I could only work on one side at a time because of space and available tools.

I wanted a somewhat hands free way of hammering on the kingpin to get it to move, so I installed something I'm calling a "STRIKING-NUT". With that installed, I now had a good place to attach a C-clamp, and something I could destroy by hammering on it.

So far, so good. I heated the axle and then the pin, then the axle then the pin and then tried to tighten clamp further. I couldn't get the clamp any tighter, so I removed it then heated the pin some more around the top gap between spindle and axle, not on the top of pin by the "STRIKING-NUT". (There is a gap present on this side because the bearing on the bottom was destroyed from wear, so I removed what was left of it for more room if I needed it.)

The pin broke-free and moved more than .050 in. after striking that set-up. I used a short handled, five pound sledge for about ten blows. The nut was destroyed, but not the screw or spindle bolt. ( I did nick the pin and had to deburr it.) I liked that I didn't have to reach in there to hold a punch and was better able to concentrate the blows to the pin and create movement. Now that I know the pin is loose, I know I can get it out the rest of the way. It was looking like a show-stopper until I had a decent way to hammer on the pin(to get it loose).

With the available room and equipment, this is how I chose to do this job. I'm going to keep telling myself to invest in more heavy duty equipment someday(instead of actually doing it). Besides, I think it's fun to see what I can cheat on with what I have without buying more stuff. It causes jobs to take way, way longer and I do have to buy some things for safety, but I have learned so much over the years by doing it the cheap way, when I can use the right equipment, the jobs are easy by comparison.

What do I know though? I'm really more of an aircraft mechanic who rides and rebuilds motorcycles and planes. I only like cars and trucks if they are either: old, fast, unique, ugly, big or somehow necessary. So this seems to be a great website so far.

If I ever get serious about things, I'll buy an aircraft and a hangar at the local county airport and live there with all my toys. The money involved with that seems out of reach right now, but it's a dream.

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If the pin comes out easy it is a sign the axle hole is pounded out. If that is the case your king pin will always be loose and wobbly no matter how good the bushings fit, unless you correct the worn hole.

Usual cure is to heat the end of the axle red with a big oxyacetylene torch and pound the end of the axle with a big hammer. When it cools it shrinks tight around the pin.

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Here's a progress report on my 1963 F-100 kingpin repair. I got kind of wordy again, so I included pictures.

I'm not using a machine shop, nor am I removing the axle from the truck. My reasons are long and various, but mainly I don't have the space or equipment to remove the entire axle. I'm doing one side at a time.

(I have to fix one side, get the truck running, then back out of garage, turn truck around then back INTO garage to do the other side.) See signature picture, I'm restricted to working between supporting posts in one car garage.

From a previous post I said I installed a "STRIKING-NUT" into the top of old, worn-out kingpin so I could wail on it with a hammer, without having to hold a punch or damaging the top of the kingpin. That worked well, only minimal damage was done to pin which was quickly cleaned up with a grinder and hand file.

I heated that set-up until it was almost glowing dull-red with a MAPP gas torch. I had the clamp on it for the first two heatings then I removed it (I don't know if it was doing much, but what the heck- I tried). After I removed the clamp, I re-heated (focusing on the pin top and bottom) everything and started hammering on the "STRIKING-NUT". After ten blows with a five pound sledge, I cleaned-up the burrs and drove the pin half-way into top spindle arm, then removed mickey-mouse nut and switched to a three quarters or five-eighths home-made aluminum punch(pretty much just a piece of bar stock from behind the lathe) that fit inside of the spindle bore. I heated it up again and was able to drive the pin through with about ten more blows of hammer and punch.

I don't want to debate whether or not it'd be easier for a machine shop to do this job, this is aimed at helping someone like myself that doesn't want to, or can't remove an entire axle at one time.

So far this has been an easy job, aside from fighting forty-seven years of rust.

I found some kingpins without a box or any labeling or packaging in the bed of the truck. Years ago I bought new brake shoes, tie rod ends, kingpins and shocks, but parked the truck and really focused on my drinking until it almost killed me. I've been sober now over four years and started feeling up to working on the truck again.

The parts I found rolling in the filth in the back of the truck will probably not be salvaged, but they offered some clues.

I asked lots of questions about the sizes of everything involved and now I have some answers. My bushings wore almost through in places, but the spindle bores were un-damaged in my opinion. Here are some helpful specs:

My spindle bores: .985- .991 in. I.D.

Found parts are as follows-

Bushings= .990 in. O.D. and .855 I.D. .070 wall thickness and 1.299 inches long (or tall) These sizes are approximate to .005 in.

Kingpin(spindle-bolt) is about .8596 but is too rusty to be sure.

I ordered a set of new standard sized kingpins from rockauto. They're supposed to fit 1957 -1964 F-100's. Just eyeballin' it, and fiddling around, I cleaned up the found bushings to explore further, like a dry run test before I receive the new parts. I can get them started by hand (barely) into the spindle bores, but would need to use a vise and block of wood or hammer to get them in all the way.(Again, I don't have a press and I'm staying away from the machine shop to see if this can be done at home with minimal tools and experience.) It looks like the bushings are a standard press-fit (about .010 to .020 in.). When I have the new bushings and spindle-bolts in hand, I'll be able to accurately determine what size reamer I'll need.

Edited by wagary
I didn't get the pics uploaded (see edit history)

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Here's the first three of eight pics of 1963 F-100 kingpins job in my small, ill-equipped garage.

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Here's the next three of eight pics showing old, worn king pin and bushings and what was left of the bearing on the driver's side.

The king pin on the bottom of the picture was found in the bed of the truck. I've ordered a new standard sized kit from rockauto for about $48.00 with shipping.

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Here're the last two pics of eight of 1963 F-100 kingpins repair job. If you see the pics, you might understand why I didn't remove the entire axle. I don't think there's enough room.

The Ford manual shows the guy with the axle in a vise removing the spindle bolt with the appropriate special Ford tool. I used what I had and could come up with- basically, a c-clamp and some round stock.

The same manual shows the guy installing the new bushings with another Ford tool and then reaming the bushings by hand. I'll do the same when I receive the new kingpin set. Except my axle is still in the truck.

The last picture is of the bed of the truck and my 1974 XL 1000 that I bought as a basket-case and built in much of the same manner that I'm using on the truck- as low tech as possible. "Keep it simple stupid" applies to me, but I wonder how well I listen?

I'll try to keep you posted and include pics.

Edited by wagary
no picture upload, maybe in the next post (see edit history)

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Looking good wagary! Looks like the last 2 photos didn't come though. I see what you mean about working with limited space. I appreciate the photos, as I'm sure the others do as well. It looks like you've got a handle on this one, and hopefully, it'l go back together with no problems. I look forward to seeing and hearing about the instillation. I'm sure that the other side will be much easier that this one. You know, the experience.

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Here are the last two of eight pics on 1963 F-100 kingpins job. More pics later when I receive the new kingpins.

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Hello, I've been working on my 1963 F-100, with the worn out spindle bolts and bushings (kingpins). For more reasons than I care to write about here, I decided to try and do this entire job without removing the axle OR using any special tools or a machine-shop. So far, I haven't wrecked anything, got stuck or got hurt. Those are the three important things. As a bonus, I learned that this job can be done this way. I'm not done yet, but almost!

I received the kingpin bushing kit from rockauto auto parts Thursday and put them in the spindle arm I'm working on (the kit was short two bushings).More on that some other time.

1)To remove the old bushings I read the Ford manual and used a small punch and screwdriver.

2) I cleaned out the spindle bore with a cordless drill and flap-brush. I measured it to an average I.D. of .903". (If I remember correctly.)

3) I measured the O.D. of the bushings I already had and the new ones. Both sets were about .020"- .030" over the spindle bore size. That's a standard "press fit".

4) I deburred all edges (for ease of mind) and lightly tapped bushings into spindle to get started. I was going to try and squeeze them in with a large C-clamp, but that didn't work. I didn't think I had much of a chance, but I tried anyway.

5) I put the spindle in my medium sized vise (6"?) and protected the bushing from contact with the vise jaw (if you're a fan of beburring, you might skip this, but I don't recommend that).

6) I started cranking on the vise handle and then had to start hammering on it. I also used a home-made breaker bar to avoid wrecking my vise anymore than I already was- this job was about the max working load for that vise.

7) By now, I was feeling pretty smug! I started looking for a way to ream the bushings to accept the new spindle-bolts (kingpins). Ford used to make a tool and I actually found one on ebay for $69.99 plus. I found some adjustable reamers too for about $60.00 - $125.00., also I saw a brake caliper honing tool for about $30.00 at Fleet farm a while back. I don't know if that would have even fit into the I.D. of the newly fit bushing.

8) I measured the I.D. of the bushings several times and found them to be an average of .843".

9) I measured the O.D. of the new spindle-bolt and it was still .8585" by my micrometer.

10) I figured I had to remove about .015" for a "slip fit", so I started with a piece of rolled up 36 grit paper and started honing it by hand. That was taking too long for me (about .003 per hour and not very accurate and not exactly inline with the other end).

11)I rolled up another strip and pushed it into the bore of the bushing and made my flap brush fit in there to spin it. I got the 3/8 cordless chucked-up and started spinning that around and checking with the caliper. I figured I could have those bushing scrapped in about five minutes using 36 grit paper.

12) I was careful (NOT LUCKY) and kept checking with the caliper and then switched to 180 grit when I had about .005" left to remove.

13) I kept working at it (dry) and started checking with the pin now, to see when it would start to fit.

14) In about five minutes, I was done with the lower spindle bore, greased up the pin and bushing and slid it through to check the alignment. Not bad, only about .005 off. Still feeling smug, I went to work on the upper bushing and had it done in about twenty minutes.

15) Now the new spindle-bolt fit all the way through both bushings as it should- a "slip-fit" with about .001" - .005" (max.) clearance. Mine's probably a bit sloppy in the lower bushing, but I couldn't detect any freeplay. We'll see what happens

once it has the wheel and all that hanging on the end of it- maybe then I'll need some of that luck, but I think it'll be fine.

So, maybe the bushings will wear out quicker. It's not like it was, and I should still be able to align the wheels close enough. I think I have a 1/16" to screw around with there and that's enough tolerance to build a house. Plus the one tire is shot (almost) and the other one was looking tired (ha, ha) too, so new tires are in my future.

Here's some pics I hope-

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So the pics didn't work- neither did the spindle- yet.

I tried it while the pics should have been loading and the bushings are too tight. I'll run the stuff through there again while this is posting and see what happens.

I guess it's better that they were too tight with the first try, rather than too loose.

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O.K., I spent another twenty minutes with the contraption and I'm try it in the truck again. Here's how I squeezed the bushings in-

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Good job wagary!! Looks like things are coming along just fine. I agree, its better to have them too tight. They can brought down to the correct fit, but if they were too loose....well, more bushings would be needed. I must admit, seeing this gives me the idea of trying this myself...well, it did for a moment. :D

Glad to see the photos come out. Looking good!

Usually, its our own doubts that hold us back. Its amazing what a person can do if they really try. I'm sure that the other one will be a lot easier. I remember the first time I replaced he wheel cylinders. The first one was a pain, because I didn't have any confidence. However, the next 3 were a piece of cake.

Thank you for the great detail in which you described the work you are doing. Thats what is really great about this forum. It gives others the confidence to do things that would otherwise wouldn't be done by anyone but a garage.

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For those who do not have reamers and machine shop equipment there are plastic bushings available. In fact, for many years plastic bushings were original equipment on Ford trucks. When you bought new pins and bushings the plastic ones were the default choice, if you wanted bronze bushings you had to ask for them.

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Your right about the plastic bushings Rusty, just don't forget about them later and get a torch around this area. Ouch! been there back when the plastic was introduced. Experience is such a good teacher! --Bob

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