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King pin frustrations!
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GaryS
Posted 2014-07-20 10:08 PM (#449818)
Subject: King pin frustrations!



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Does anyone have a sure fire way to remove the king pin lock pins? When I removed the spindles several months ago I flooded the pins with first a solvent and then penetrating oil for days. Today I tried driving them out, but they barely moved with a punch and a heavy hammer, and the air hammer had no effect at all. I have yet to try a torch, but if that doesn't work, I guess I'll have to take them to a shop with a big press.

Disassembling the bushings was almost as difficult and severely tested the capability of my air wrench...there is no better adhesive than grease allowed to harden over a few decades!

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ttotired
Posted 2014-07-20 10:33 PM (#449822 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: Re: King pin frustrations!



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I dont really know how the king pins are done on the early girls, but wouldnt the king pin set come with new locking pins (I am thinking of pins like a bike crank cotter pins, tapered)?

If so, maybe the best way would be to drill them out?

I am thinking that if you have had to beat them a lot already, they are probably mushroomed and no good anyway?

Just thoughts

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DepsilonD
Posted 2014-07-21 12:09 PM (#449885 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: Re: King pin frustrations!



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When I did the king pins on my 56 Plymouth, I took a Dremel and removed/clearanced the "stakes" in the metal holding the locking pin. After that, a couple of good smacks with a hammer and punch did the job. To get the king pin out, I did the same thing with the king pin covers. Then I drilled a couple of small holes in one of the covers and was able to pry it off.

I am going to be doing the same thing with my 56 Dodge starting tonight. I will try to take pictures as I go.

Dave
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56RoyalLancer
Posted 2014-07-21 2:51 PM (#449907 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: Re: King pin frustrations!



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Dave, Yes, please show pictures as you do the work. I am considering doing the same to my 56 Dodge.
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GaryS
Posted 2014-07-21 3:25 PM (#449913 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: Re: King pin frustrations!



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Update...did some more clearancing with the Dremel, just to be sure I had removed enough material. Tried again to drive them out, but they wouldn't budge. Got out the propane torch and heated them until liquid goop was bubbling out from around the lock pins, then used the punch and hammer again, to no avail.

Years ago, I rebuilt several king pin equipped Mopar front ends and never had a problem removing any parts, but this car sat for more than twenty years and what that did to grease is unbelievable. Grease inside cups had dried to the point that no solvent would touch it. It had to be carved out with a knife and wire brushed from surfaces it adhered to.

I'm also concerned about trying to drill the pin out. The way the pin is bonded to the spindle, the bond might not release , and it would be very difficult to control a cut that critical, especially without good machine shop tools. Looks like I'll be paying to have it done.
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60 dart
Posted 2014-07-21 4:00 PM (#449920 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: Re: King pin frustrations!



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i can remember old timers tell me about how fenders had to be removed or even holes cut into the tops of fenders to drive out king pins . i removed then one time on i think an old rambler , if
i remember correctly but what ever the car was i do remember thinkin these king pins would be the last one i do --------------------------------------------later
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DepsilonD
Posted 2014-07-21 4:17 PM (#449927 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: Re: King pin frustrations!



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It is definitely a big old pain in the butt that is for sure. My Plymouth came apart nicely but I could not get the old bushings out. I had bought the right size reamer and everything but failed to get the bushings out and had to take them to the machine shop for that. I had hoped to never have to do them again and then the 56 Dodge came along. Needless to say a couple of load groans and several f' bombs flew out of my mouth when I realized it needed new king pins too! The good part is, once they are done, you will more than likely never have to do them again.

Dave
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BComtois
Posted 2014-07-22 7:45 AM (#450009 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: Re: King pin frustrations!


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GaryS. Don't know what year you are doing but when I did my 1949 Desoto I had no real problem. The pin that goes through the spindle was a tapered pin. It can only be driven out in one direction. If I remember correctly the passenger side was driven out towards the front of the car. Drivers side was toward the rear of car. I had the combination king pin bushing reamer/driver tool which made removing,installing and reaming new bushings easy. So be sure to clean spindle so you can see for sure which way to drive out the tapered pin. When you look it will be obvious. But as I mentioned the bushings need to be reamed to size or you will never get the new pins in.
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DepsilonD
Posted 2014-07-23 1:04 PM (#450202 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: Re: King pin frustrations!



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How much of a write-up do you folks want? Just separating the upright from the spindle? Or do you want removal all the way to reinstallation? I took some pics when I was removing the upright/spindle assembly, and I have those soaking in the parts cleaner right now. I am going to get the pins pulled today so that I can get the spindles over to the machine shop (some of may not need this step, but even with a press, I was not able to get the old bushings and roller bearings out the last time I did them) tomorrow so that they can remove the old bushings, install the new ones, and ream them to size. I am heading out of vacation next week (Reno - Hot August Nights) so reassembly will not happen until early August.
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GaryS
Posted 2014-07-23 1:49 PM (#450207 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: Re: King pin frustrations!



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I'm always interested in seeing how-to stories with pictures. Even if I know something, it's fun to see other's methods, problems and successes.

BComtois...the lock pins have a groove cut in the side on one end, so I'm assuming it's to allow the pin to deform and compress slightly on installation, and to wedge it in place before dimpling with a punch. However, in the past I don't recall ever having an issue with removal, so FWIW I measured the diameter on both ends of the new pin and they are identical to the thousandth of an inch. That should mean they can be driven out either way, but with different difficulty.

However, after another session of heating and beating and cussing, I hauled my spindles and new king pin kit down to the best garage in town. They are really busy due to vacation season for the mechanics, so it will be 2-3 weeks before they can get to them, but with my car still in thousands of pieces, there's no rush and I can make far better use of my time.
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DepsilonD
Posted 2014-07-23 1:52 PM (#450208 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: Re: King pin frustrations!



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Gary, I agree which is why I am one of the dudes following your blog so I will write up as much as possible. I can tell you from experience the the original lock pins are tapered and will only come out one direction.
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DepsilonD
Posted 2014-07-23 6:58 PM (#450246 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: RE: King pin frustrations!



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Ok, for those of you with 1955-1956 (and earlier, but not later) Mopars, here are some of the steps I use in replacing the King Pins. The steps I will show you will be the removal of the uprights and spindles, and separating the same. I have never had any luck getting the bushings out myself so that part I leave to my machine shop, and I have them press in the new ones while they are at it. They also do the reaming for me, but I bought the right sized reamer on ebay a couple of years ago. (Keep in mind, you have to ream the brass bushings once the new ones are installed, if you have a 6 cylinder, both bushings are brass, if you have a v-8, then one is brass and the other is needle bearings).

This will serve as the "removal" half of the write-up. Reassembly will not occur until sometime in early August when I get back from vacation.

1. Determine if you even need to do this. With the car on jack stands, shake one of the front tires side to side and up and down. If you have movement, it will likely be one of two causes: A) King Pin Bushings or B) Wheel Bearings. So how do you know what the problem is? While you are shaking the tire, have a helper press the brake pedal. Did the movement stop? If yes, then stop reading and go change your wheel bearings. If No, then go order yourself the proper King Pin kit and get ready to roll up your sleeves.

2. So you have your King Pin kit now and are ready to get to work. I start by popping the hubcaps and loosening the lug nuts on both front wheels. Remember that you may have right and left lug nuts or bolts, so pay attention. Get the front of the car up on jack stands, and finish removing both front wheels.

3. Next, I will usually deal with the sway bar. You have to loosen it away from the lower control arms. I start by removing the bolts at the control arms and the sway bar keepers. Then I move to the bolts on the frame. You can remove all four nuts on the bolt and completely remove the sway bar. Or just remove the nuts closest to the motor all the way and loosen the ones closest to the bumper about half way and that will get the sway bar loose enough to pull it away from the lower control arms.

4. Now the the sway bar is taken care of, remove both the front shocks.

5. Pick a side to start on. Remove the dust cover from the brake drum. Remove the cotter pin. Remove the nut. Remove the drum and wheel bearings. You may need to back off the brake adjusters slightly to get the drum off.

6. It may sound odd, but at this point, I will remove the nuts from the upper and lower nuts from the bolts that connect the uprights to the upper and lower control arms. I also back the bolts out a couple of turns to make it easier to get them off later. Just a couple of turns to get them loose. DO NOT TAKE THEM OUT OR THE FRONT SUSPENSION WILL EXPLODE ON YOU, there is still tension on the spring. I do this here because it is sometimes difficult to break them loose once some of the suspension is apart. I also do this here because it is easier without a giant brake assembly in your way.

7. Back to the brakes. Remove the cotter pins from the lower two bolts that hold the brake backing plate to the upright and steering arm. Remove those nuts as well as the one at the top. You can pull everything off as an assembly (sometimes it take a couple of love taps with a rubber mallet). I use wire to tie the assembly up around the upper control arm. Never leave them hanging.

8. So here is where things can get dangerous if you are not careful. This is one of those "do as I say and not as I do" sections. Use a spring compressor to take the tension off the spring. It is a giant pain in the butt to get the compressor in the spring as the shock whole is narrow and coil spacing is tight. But do it, especially if this is your first time. If you look at the pics, i got lazy and just used my floor jack to support the lower control arm (but I have done this several times, so I kind of know the danger zone). If the spring goes, it can KILL you, so be very very careful.

9. So, if you are absolutely positive that the tension removed from the spring with either a compressor or floor jack (again, for your safety, not recommended) remove the bolt at the lower control arm/upright. The upright will hang from the upper control arm, so you can gently let the lower control arm down while watching and maneuvering the spring out of the car.

10. To complete the removal of the upright/spindle, simply remove the the upper bolt (you don't need to mess with the upper bushing alignment nut at the top of the upright). The only trick here is dealing with the two seals. These are a giant pain on both removal and installation. I usually push the assembly towards the front or back of the car and use a blunt screwdriver to slide one seal out. Once one is out of the way the assembly is pretty easy to get out.

The next post will be for separating the spindle from the upright.




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DepsilonD
Posted 2014-07-23 7:22 PM (#450247 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: RE: King pin frustrations!



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Now the the assembly is out (and to Gary's original question), here is how you get them apart.

The only thing holding all of this together is a King Pin lock plug and the dust caps. A little scary if you think about it.

1. To get the lock plug (or whatever it is called) out, you need to examine it closely. The plug is staked in. So look for the marks where it looks like somebody hit it with a small flat head screwdriver right where the plug goes through the upright. It should only be on one side.

2. Once you find the marks, grab a dremel tool and a small grinding or boring bit. You need to grind around the circumference of the lock plug to remove the "stakings" or scoring. I try to just grind enough so that I the dremel will travel the circumference smoothly.

3. When you think you have removed enough of the metal, then flip the assembly over and grab a hammer and punch. Give the lock plug a couple of good smacks. If it doesn't want to come out, you may need to grind a little more. Basically, repeat steps two and three until it goes.

4. Once you have the lock plug out, you need to remove one of the dust seals from the end of the spindles. I got a little luck on this car as both of the lower dust seals were not fully seated and I was able to use an All and a hammer to pry them back. I was not so lucky on my last set. The trick I used to remove those was to drill a bunch of very small holes (basically perforations), get an all or screw driver in there and mangle the heck out of it until it falls off. A little neanderthal, but quite effective.

5. You only need to "remove" one of the dust seals. Once you have one off, just use your punch against the king pin to knock the pin out and the other cap off.

Everything should now be apart. This is where I head the the machine shop to have the old bearing and bushing removed and the new one's pressed in (and reamed).


I will post the re-assembly in about two weeks.



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BComtois
Posted 2014-07-24 8:23 PM (#450365 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: Re: King pin frustrations!


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Hi,Like I said I last did them on my 49 Desoto. They maybe the same diameter but they are tapered. The flat part of the lock pin wedges agaist the flat machined grove on the kingpin. So I don't see now it can come out in both directions. I did not remove the complete assembly like the nice photos aboce. I just got the brakes out of the way,drove the lock pin out,revomed upper welch plug them drove out the kingpin toward the ground. I do know for a fact that non power steering cars had bearing at top and bushing at bottom. Power steering cars had bushings upper and lower. By the way someone seemed to think that lockpin only holding the kingpin in was not sufficient or scary. I have nevr seen a kingping setup come apart by itself but have seen a few balljoint seperate so I personally trust them.
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DepsilonD
Posted 2014-07-25 2:11 PM (#450435 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: Re: King pin frustrations!



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BComtois,

You are correct in that the lock pin will only come out one direction, that is why i said to look for the stake marks, grind them out, and then flip the assembly and strike the lock from the other side. I do want to correct you or at least note one issue you raised. You are correct in the fact that some cars have bearings in the upper position and a brass bushing in the lower, while others have brass bushings in both locations. I only really know the 1955-1956 Dodge and Plymouths, so I limit my response accordingly, but for those, power steering is irrelevant. V-8's have the upper needle bearing (and a completely different steering arrangement), and the 6's are brass on both ends. It could very well be different on earlier years/models.
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di_ch_NY56
Posted 2014-08-16 8:39 AM (#453140 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: RE: King pin frustrations!



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Thank you very much for your explanation. As some wrote the upper bearing is the needle one (power steering, V8 engine) and the lower one the brass one. Did I understand it correct? To use the brass bearing first I have to ream it a little bit to fit it over the new king pin? Actually I couldn't slide the new brass bearing over the new king pin (Kanter kit).

That's one of the next issues to solve. First: rear end, then seal the PowerFlite, then repair the door lock, then clean the engine (tons of sludge in the oil pan), repair the sunvisor, exchange the windshield, let repair the color all around.... front axle

Happy Motoring!

Dieter
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GaryS
Posted 2014-08-16 12:37 PM (#453171 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: Re: King pin frustrations!



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I got my parts back from the machine shop and from all the tooling marks around the lock pin, they too had problems getting the old ones out.
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DepsilonD
Posted 2014-08-18 3:57 PM (#453434 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: Re: King pin frustrations!



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Dieter . . . yes, you MUST ream the brass bushing(s) for the pin to fit. Other cars you do not (chevy's of these years for example), but these Mopars must be reamed because the bushings "crushes" a little on installation. I bought the right size reamer off of Ebay a couple of years ago for $20-30. I don't know the size off hand. I will also try and get some pics up of the reassembly of the uprights and spindles. It is pretty self explanatory though.

Edited by DepsilonD 2014-08-18 6:32 PM
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DepsilonD
Posted 2014-08-18 5:46 PM (#453457 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: RE: King pin frustrations!



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Ok, so here are some pics of the reassembly of the uprights and spindles with the new pins and bushings. I don't have any pics of the bushing install since that was done at the machine shop, but I can tell you that this was the second set that they have done for me. Because of the troubles with removal and install of the bushings, they ended up making a tool to do the job easier. So if any of you are having trouble with finding someone local, my shop has the tools and the proper sized reamer (thanks to me).

So after a quick rattle can paint job on the upright and spindle, here is what I did:

1. I start by putting a light coat of grease on everything except the big bearing that goes between the upright and the spindle. That one I end up packing like a wheel bearing.

2. Grab the upright and the spindle and slide the big bearing in. Then check the play and insert however many shims you need. The kit is used this time had two thick shims and two thin ones. I only needed to use the thick shims.

3. Slide the new king pin through the assembly making sure that the flat spot aligns with the hole for the lock pin.

4. Slide the lock pin into its home. Then give it a couple of smacks with a hammer and punch. When it is fully seated, stake it. The old stakes marks in mine gave me an easy target.

5. Install the end caps. You need to make sure the old stake marks are clear so the caps install easily. You may need to give them a couple of love taps but don't hit them to hard or your risk collapsing them into the bearing/bushing area. The caps are only there to keep grease in and dirt out so keep that in mind. Then stake in the new caps.

6. Optional. I like to put a couple of dabs of JB Weld on my caps and on the lock pin. It is easy to remove if you ever have to do them again and adds a degree of insurance.

And when you go to put the assembly back in the car be prepared for the frustration of getting the upper control arm seals in place. They will go, it just takes the right twist with the help of a VERY blunt screw driver working the second seal into place.

Feel free to post here, pm, or email me if you have any questions.

Dave



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ttotired
Posted 2014-08-18 6:49 PM (#453471 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: Re: King pin frustrations!



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Very good work

Cant be a king pin setup though

Its not an inch thick with grease and dirt

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DepsilonD
Posted 2014-08-18 6:54 PM (#453473 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: Re: King pin frustrations!



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Ha ha ha ttotired!!!! So true! Check out those "before" pictures.
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Shep
Posted 2014-08-18 7:17 PM (#453476 - in reply to #453473)
Subject: Re: King pin frustrations!



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Great pics! Be prepared to run into issues when getting it aligned relative to caster camber, very tough to access the large nut end of the upper spindle bushing to set the caster/camber.
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DepsilonD
Posted 2014-08-18 7:28 PM (#453477 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: Re: King pin frustrations!



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Shep . . . totally agree. I am lucky to have a couple of "old school" alignment shops in my area, and neither of them had a problem. The car has already been aligned and a new set of white walls were installed too. I had installed new inner and outer tie rods, a new centerlink, and NORS idler arm bearings kit while I was doing the king pins. So an alignment was a must.
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GaryS
Posted 2014-08-18 10:21 PM (#453506 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: Re: King pin frustrations!



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Great pictures and detail! Almost makes me wish I hadn't given up in favor of the machine shop...no, that's a fib!

BTW, my original lock pin was shaped differently than the one you have. It had a small "V" notch visible, instead of a flat side that large. I would have liked to see it after it was removed.
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di_ch_NY56
Posted 2014-08-19 12:48 PM (#453565 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: RE: King pin frustrations!



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Thank you very much for the very good explanation. To ream the bushings, what size of reamer did you purchase? The king pins I got have a diameter of 0.7945 inch.

Happy Motoring!

Dieter
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DepsilonD
Posted 2014-08-19 12:52 PM (#453566 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: Re: King pin frustrations!



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Thanks all . . . I put my lovely assistant to work taking pics and she did a great job. And Gary, I am pretty sure that the king pins on this car had been done before based on the stake marks and the fact that the lower dust covers were being held on by grease. I will see if I kept the old king pin parts from my Plymouth and check out the lock pin to check for differences.

Dieter . . . I will see if I can find that information. If not, I will call my machine shop to see if they can tell me. The one that I had, was also slightly adjustable for fine tuning. There was a "screw" on one end that can be tightened or loosened to get it just right.
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DepsilonD
Posted 2014-08-19 12:56 PM (#453567 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: Re: King pin frustrations!



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So I just found the ebay description in my old email . . . here are the details but it makes me think that there may be a differences between the 55-56 plymouth/dodge and desoto/chrysler cars, yet the sizing looks about right.

"Dodge Plymouth Mopar 1934 1956 King Pin 51/64" Reamer"
"This is a NEW Keystone King Pin (Bolt) Reamer, 51/64" .796 X 15 3/8" long.
New Old Stock...No 1102-S..Spiral Flute.
Used for Reaming King Pins Bushings in Alignment...Years a makes listed below.
Plymouth...All Passenger Cars..1934-1956.
Dodge.......All Passenger Cars..1934-1956.
This reamer can be used on cars having same size parts."
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Shep
Posted 2014-08-19 7:05 PM (#453605 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: Re: King pin frustrations!



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Location: Chestertown, NY ( near Lake George)
Try and find a long reamer that engages both bushings to avoid misalignment.
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di_ch_NY56
Posted 2014-08-21 1:12 PM (#453803 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: RE: King pin frustrations!



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The longest new 51/64" reamer I found on Internet is about 10" (OAL) long.... to find a longer is almost impossible here - where I live...

As I understand. First press in the bushings into the support and then ream to assure that the king pin would slide in?

Happy Motoring!

Dieter

Edited by di_ch_NY56 2014-08-21 1:19 PM
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DepsilonD
Posted 2014-08-21 2:52 PM (#453812 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: Re: King pin frustrations!



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yes Dieter. install both bushings first and then ream them at the same time passing through one and then continuing to feed the reamer through the second bushings. You need to make sure that it is a perfectly strait line through both bushings. And the reamer only needs to be long enough so that the first bushing guides the reamer through the second bushing.
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Shep
Posted 2014-08-21 6:20 PM (#453829 - in reply to #453812)
Subject: Re: King pin frustrations!



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DepsilonD - 2014-08-21 2:52 PM

yes Dieter. install both bushings first and then ream them at the same time passing through one and then continuing to feed the reamer through the second bushings. You need to make sure that it is a perfectly strait line through both bushings. And the reamer only needs to be long enough so that the first bushing guides the reamer through the second bushing.
Correct.
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di_ch_NY56
Posted 2014-08-22 2:44 PM (#453926 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: RE: King pin frustrations!



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I just measured the length of the king pin. The king pins I got are about 5.5" long. So I assume a reamer with an overall length of about 9 to 10 inch should be long enough.
I just ordered a 535 reamer at Discount Tools.

Happy Motoring

Dieter
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Shep
Posted 2014-08-22 3:36 PM (#453928 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: Re: King pin frustrations!



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Location: Chestertown, NY ( near Lake George)
Just hs to be long enough to engage ghe lower bushing by about an inch
for alignment purposes.
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di_ch_NY56
Posted 2014-08-23 1:05 PM (#454003 - in reply to #453829)
Subject: Re: King pin frustrations!



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Shep - 2014-08-21 12:20 AM

DepsilonD - 2014-08-21 2:52 PM

yes Dieter. install both bushings first and then ream them at the same time passing through one and then continuing to feed the reamer through the second bushings. You need to make sure that it is a perfectly strait line through both bushings. And the reamer only needs to be long enough so that the first bushing guides the reamer through the second bushing.
Correct.


I just discussed with two elder mechanical engineers. Both agree that the reamer searches it's way (the easiest way) through the bushing on it's own. So I assume the bores of the support should be straight line as well. When the new bushings are pressed in they should be more or less perfect straight line just prior reaming.
The flute length of the reamer I ordered is 2.5", that's shorter than the distance of both bushings. With this reamer it's not possible to use the first bushing as a guide for the second one - even not on a boring and milling machine.

Happy Motoring!

Dieter
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di_ch_NY56
Posted 2014-08-24 2:55 PM (#454095 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: RE: King pin frustrations!



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At Youtube I found an interresting way to fit the king pin into the bushings with a hone machine - e.g. in Costa Mesa, CA.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iw0-vPhRuCo

 

Happy Motoring!

 

Dieter

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di_ch_NY56
Posted 2014-11-18 2:22 PM (#462210 - in reply to #449818)
Subject: RE: King pin frustrations!



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Location: ZH, Switzerland

Okay Sir (all of you)

The same procedure is up for my Chrysler soon as well. The king pin (lash) at the RH side is in fair condition. The king pin at the LH side is much worse.

 

Happy Motoring!

 

Dieter

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56D500boy
Posted 2018-10-08 3:05 PM (#571334 - in reply to #453812)
Subject: Re: King pin frustrations!



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Great post Dave. I have much more understanding and confidence than I had before. Other than the reaming, I think I can handle this one now.

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