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Old 01-07-2014, 12:32 PM
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King Pins

My '56 is in need of king pins. I did them over 15 years ago, but they are due again. Is there anything I should be thinking about other than looking for other worn parts as I take it apart? I plan to remove the axle and bring it to a trusted shop for reaming etc. I was simply going to order parts from one or the other known vendors that I've seen on this site.

I want to replace the shocks too. The KYB's are also 15 years old, although they seem in pretty good shape, maybe there is a better option. Ride height is stock. The truck does get used a a truck on a regular basis.

Thanks for any insight.

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Old 01-07-2014, 03:09 PM
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My first question would be, how many miles and what kind of roads has the truck traveled during those 15 years? A follow up question would be, how often was it greased? It may or may not need kingpins and bushings. Measure king pin movement at the backing plate, so you're not seeing wheel bearing play. I would certainly look at spring shackle bolts and bushings while in there. This would be a great time to inspect wheel bearings, tie rod ends and a steering box adjustment While you are checking wheel bearings, you'll know how your brake lining is. Inspect wheel cylinders for leaking under the dust cover. Easy to replace them and brake hoses at this time.
Easy to get mission creep, isn't it?

Edit: Usually not necessary to carry the axle anywhere as the spindle is the part that needs reaming.
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Old 01-07-2014, 04:07 PM
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Good points. I did take the time to pry around in there to observe the loose king pins. I greased them every 12 months along with all other zerks, as the truck only travels about 3,000 mile per year. Most of those miles are on pavement.

I'll definitely be inspecting the drag link, tie rod ends and wheel bearings. And I found a MOOG king pin set on Ebay, so I guess I'll start in this weekend.
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Old 01-09-2014, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raytasch View Post
My first question would be, how many miles and what kind of roads has the truck traveled during those 15 years? A follow up question would be, how often was it greased? It may or may not need kingpins and bushings. Measure king pin movement at the backing plate, so you're not seeing wheel bearing play. I would certainly look at spring shackle bolts and bushings while in there. This would be a great time to inspect wheel bearings, tie rod ends and a steering box adjustment While you are checking wheel bearings, you'll know how your brake lining is. Inspect wheel cylinders for leaking under the dust cover. Easy to replace them and brake hoses at this time.
Easy to get mission creep, isn't it?

Edit: Usually not necessary to carry the axle anywhere as the spindle is the part that needs reaming.
I agree with Ray. I doubt that there is anything wrong with your kingpins based on your stated use. I would look at the other items Ray mentioned.

I replaced my KP bushing based upon the wear on other components (see pix) but I really probably didn't need to do so as they really didn't have much play despite the severe wear on the upper rear spring shackles and the pitman arm ball.

Is there a problem with the steering?
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Old 01-09-2014, 04:04 PM
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I too question that you need kingpins. used 300 miles a year on the highway with good maintenance/lubed they should last a lifetime. Are you sure you used the right procedure for checking the kingpins? What issue are you trying to fix, or are you just wanting to do preventive maintenance?
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:03 PM
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I also agree thats very low milage for kingpin replacement . Check over the whole steering and suspension system .
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Old 01-10-2014, 09:44 PM
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Check the locking bolt on the axle (that holds the pin in the axle). Mine came loose a bit after driving in the Land of Perpetual Pavement Cracks. Tapped them in with a hammer, tightened the nut, noticeable improvement is observed spindle shake.
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Old 01-11-2014, 09:00 AM
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I have a extra set of king pins that I bought by mistake when I did my 54 . $20 plus shipping cost . if you need them .
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Old 01-11-2014, 11:40 AM
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Mine came loose a bit after driving in the Land of Perpetual Pavement Cracks.
So, that's what "Enchantment" means...
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Old 01-11-2014, 05:29 PM
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OK I have it apart now and this is what I've found:
Drag ling cups and the ball on the spindle and pitman arm are in good shape. I replaced these about the time I did the king pins 15 years ago.

The spring shackles were replaced back then too, and I'm pretty good about greasing them. They seem tight, and the front end makes no real rattles like you'd expect if these were loose.

The wheel bearings and races are fine. I can re-pack them.

Tie rod ends are quite tight, and rather difficult to move back and forth.

The king pins themselves mike to 0.0859" as do the new "NOS" pins I bought off EBAY. I don't have an inside caliper to measure the busing inside diameter, but the pins have noticeable axial play when inserted in one bushing at a time. The axle is still in the truck- I just removed the spindles, so since I have the parts I think I'll follow through on the local machine shop installing and reaming the new bushings in the spindles.

The pins are a bit sloppy in the axle holes. Can this be tightened up/secured with the wedge pin? I realize it would be better to have a tight fit at that area.

I'm glad I did this work for another reason. I discovered that my driver side flex brake hose has a thin spot worn to the cords because the tire was rubbing on it at extreme steering angle.

Thanks everyone.
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Old 01-11-2014, 05:47 PM
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I'm glad I did this work for another reason. I discovered that my driver side flex brake hose has a thin spot worn to the cords because the tire was rubbing on it at extreme steering angle.

Thanks everyone.
So some (like me) would say there's a reason you went looking at those pins, even if they didn't need to be changed. You may have just saved a life...
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Old 01-11-2014, 05:59 PM
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A good front end shop, one that works on big trucks, can probably tighten the king pins in the axle. Tightening the wedge bolt is not going to fix the problem if the pin is actually loose in the axle. Worst case, you'll need over size pins.

Edit: Is that an old Alaskan slide up camper next to the '56?
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:07 AM
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Yes Raytasch it's a '63 eight footer. It's quite a solid, very nice camper. It's on a '90 F250 4WD right now. I used to carry it on the '56, and I once took a 6 month break and drove it around the country (37 States). It's great for 1 or 2 people. I met many people who thought I was crazy, but really the trip was mechanically pretty uneventful save for an axle bearing in Colorado and a generator in upper New York State.

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Old 01-12-2014, 01:23 PM
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When I had my kingpins done, the machine shop I took them to found that the axle bores were oblonged. He wasn't able to machine the axle for oversized pins. The local NAPA that he recommended wanted 3 hours labor ($75/hr) plus around $75 for oversized pins (I already had a set of new standard pins).

I ended up finding a used axle with good bores ($30) and had the original machinist press and hone the new bushings into the spindles for $35. Much better than $300.

If you are in a town that has some shops more used to working with the old straight axles, you may have better luck than I did for the cost.

FYI, I originally had around 3/4 - 1" movement when pushing the tire at top and bottom. Now I have none.
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:54 PM
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Well I got the spindles back from the machine shop, and they charged me $60 which I thought was fair considering he used a honing machine so they came out about as good as they get. I still have the hourglass shaped axle bosses to deal with. I read about heating the axle boss, then inserting an old but good pin in the hole then peening the upper and lower portions of the axle boss to effectively shrink it. Anybody done this?
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:54 PM
 
 
 
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