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Kingpin installation


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I am putting in new kingpins and bushings on my 1932 Pontiac. Does anybody have any tips on accomplishing this job. Since I don't have any of the special tools shown in the repair manual I have to improvise. Anybody have any experience and tips? What do you use to ream the bushing out and fit the kingpin? Happy for any help you can give.

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Jack the wheel up, put an axle jack under the axle at the spring. Remove the wheel, brgs and brake parts. Remove the backing plate, two smaller bolts at the top and two larger ones at the bottom. Back the nuts off on the bottom ones until the nut is even with the end of the bolt. Hit it sharply with a hammer to drive the bolt out through the steering arm and the spindle. The top one should come out with your fingers. You will find a pin with a nut on the rear of the axle (there should be an angled piece under the nut that stops the wheel from turning too sharply) about centered on the eye of the axle. Loosen this nut to the end of the pin so that you cand drive it out forwards. This is the pin that locks the kingpin into the axle.

Now you need to drive a small punch through the welch plug that covers the top end of the king pin. Pry this plug out. Now you need a 1/2" or 3/4" punch or drift place it on the top if the king pin and drive the pin down and out of the axle. Sometimes it almost falls out and sometimes you need to hit it quite hard. Take your spindle, new kingpin and bushings to you local machine shop. The can fit the bushings and ream them to fit. One assumes that you kept track of the order of bearing and shims that came out. Put your new king pin in the freezer over night, put the bearing under the axle, use enough shims so that the spindle is tight on the axle and gently push the kingpin down through the spindle (making sure that the notch in the kingpin lines up with the pin in the axle eye), axle and spindle again. You put a new welch plug in each end, reassemble and grease everything.

It is a real simple job. If you didn't have to go to a machine shop to have the bushings fitted the whole job shouldn't take more than an hour in total. It is possible for you to do it all yourself but seriously unless you have a bushing driver and a proper reamer you should let the machin shop fit the bushings. It probably won't cost more than an hours shop time.

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Or, take out the axle with spindles and take it to an auto machine shop. They will press out the king pins on a hydraulic press, remove the old bearings from the spindles, fit the new ones, and hone them for a perfect fit on their Sunnen hone. Then they will fit the spindles to the axle and hand it back to you good as new. The last time I had this done the cost was $85 but that was at least 10 years ago.

Grease your car every 1000 miles and they will last longer than you will.

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