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TECH: Kingpin & bushing replacement- Ford spindles.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by SinisterCustom, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. SinisterCustom
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    SinisterCustom Member

    First off.....this is pretty basic stuff and probably been covered before, but since I just did a pair last weekend, thought I'd share.
    These are early round back spindles, but the procedure is basically the same for any I-beam axle, be it Ford or even a new Semi....

    Here's the tools.
    I use a pair of sockets, one just a hair smaller than the bushing, the other larger so that the bushing fits inside of it.
    Vise.
    Reamer. I found this one in a box with a bunch of valve grinding tools and it just happened to be the right size. It'll work on all Ford bushings up to and including F-1's.....
    You can also use a bearing/seal driver the correct size and a hammer to tap out the old bushings.

    [​IMG]

    (1) Remove old bushings. Use the sockets in a vise as a "press" and crank 'em out. (Or use a hammer and driver). They should come right out. But if ya get a stubborn one, I like to use a hack saw and cut into it. Once they are out, I debur the holes and clean the holes up with emory cloth. I also remove the grease zerks.

    (2) Install new bushings. Line up the hole in the bushing with the zerk hole and tap in the bushing. Then I put the spindle in the vise and "press" the bushing in, making sure the bushing goes in square.

    [​IMG]

    (3) Reaming bushings. Now that the bushings are in, they need reamed to size, as they have "crushed" when pressed in. I debur the edges of the bushings and tap in the reamer. If you don't have a reamer, you can use a small cylinder hone and "creep up" on the kingpin size....it just takes longer.
    If the reamer "pilot" won't go in with light taps, ya may need to file or sand some of the bushing by hand. Once the reamer is in, slowly "grind" through the bushing. Once finished, do the other bushing. The pilot of the reamer keeps the cut square. Once bushings are reamed, clean out the holes and test fit a kingpin. It should slide in with very little effort, but still be tight.

    [​IMG]

    Reamed bushing.

    [​IMG]

    (4) Install. Put spindle on axle, with the bearing on the bottom, face the bearing so that the groove is facing down (It won't fill up with water/dirt). Take the kingpin and install the cupped washer and felt. Lightly grease the pin.....then slide it into the spindle, keeping the notch lined up with the hole in the axle. Install the retainer pin and new gease zerks and yer done.:)

    [​IMG]

    Overall.....it only takes @ an hour to do both spindles if you have a reamer.
    Now you could always install the bushings and take 'em to a machine shop to have the pins fitted, but some folks live out in the toolies, or just prefer to do their own work. Plus, if ya have a reamer, you can charge all your buddies a case of beer to do theirs.....he he he.....:D
  2. 29Jay
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    29Jay Member

    It all sounds so simple... Where do you go about "finding" a reamer? I have '47 Ford spindles and a set of kingpins from Speedway.
    Jay
  3. SinisterCustom
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    SinisterCustom Member

  4. fiat128
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    fiat128 Member

    You should be able to find the reamers at MSC or McMaster Carr. MSC is an industrial tool supply house but they will sell to anyone. Call 1-800-645-7270 and ask for the book. They'll send you a 5" thick book full of tools etc. Or try mscdirect.com.
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  5. banjorear
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    banjorear Member


    Jay, they are out there. The size you need is .814" for old Ford spindles
  6. Mr48chev
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    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks for the simple but well done article.

    McMaster Carr is a great source for just about any hardware item you might be hunting for. The don't poke around about shipping either.
  7. 29Jay
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    29Jay Member

    Thanks guys. I like the idea of doing it myself and if somone else brings me some free beer for doing theirs, all the better. You made this sound so simple, i have to give it a go.
    Jay
  8. 29Jay
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    29Jay Member

    Quick question: I called a local machine shop... They want $80.00 to do the pair. They said they use a rod hone that is 18" long and do both at the same time. Is there any issue with getting diff angles by doing them one at a time?
    Jay
  9. Bruce Lancaster
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    Bruce Lancaster
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Note that that reamer happened to fit because it is a Ford spindle reamer...that is why it has the long shank beyond the blades, in order to align one bushing on the other ans so make the cuts on the same path. Using a standard reamer is potentially a problem as it will cut each bushing as a separate event, leaving a strong possibility of misalignment.
    Old ones are easy to find IF you know the size--they are cheap at fleamarkets simply because no one knows what they fit. Most will have that .814 stamped right on there.
    KD made a nice one that even had a piloted bushing driver with it on the same shaft...
    Good repro ones, made in Canada, are available from Bratton.
    http://www.brattons.com/prodtype.asp?cookiecheck=yes&PT_ID=66&strPageHistory=cat
  10. jazz
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    jazz Member

    what size is the polit on the reamer. I assume it is less than .814". I want to make one for my adjustable reamer.
  11. sodas38
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    sodas38 Member

    Atlas Spring here in Wichita charges me $36 to press out old bushing, press in new bushings and ream the bushings to fit the king pins. I thought that was a pretty fair deal.

    I've always wanted to get a king pin reamer though as it seems like a pretty simple deal if you have one. Great tech piece.
  12. Mart
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    Mart Member

    I did mine with a standard reamer, by leaving one old bush in place and using that as a guide to ream the first new one. Then fit the other new one and ream through the first new one into the second new one. Obviously you have to use judgement to compensate for the wear when doing the first one, but it seems to work ok for me, and is much better than trying to do two new ones in one go.
    Mart.
  13. banjorear
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    banjorear Member

    I can take picture of mine, but I'd advise creating a tapered pilot with the widest part being .814" and gets smaller in a cone-like fashion. This would force the pilot to seat itself in the old bushing.

    Just my two cents...
  14. Melrose
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    Melrose Member

    Hi Guys haven't been on in a while we pulled the Willys apart and changed the steering box and I wish I would have read this before as I bought the Royal king pin set from Speedway. I'll let you know how that works. It's got roller bearings instead of bushings. Thanks
  15. in the past i have used a brake hone with much sucess! like josh said "its just a slower process!" but now that i know josh has a reamer.....:D:D
  16. oldspert
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    oldspert Member

    I used a brake hone on mine and got one set oval shape so I quit and had a machine shop chuck them up and ream in one pass. A Sunnen hone works best if you know anyone with one.
  17. gary terhaar
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    gary terhaar Member

    I got one and the mandrel just sits,will hone for food,or a few bucks.
  18. jazz
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    jazz Member

    Yes I would like to see pics.
  19. revkev6
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    revkev6 Member

    luckily I work at a machine shop. we've got two honing guys and probably 6 sunnen hones.
  20. gary terhaar
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    gary terhaar Member

    Back to eating pasta and beans for another week.......
  21. Digger_Dave
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    Calgary AB Canada

    Digger_Dave Member

    Melrose, those "Roller Bearing" - actually "needle bearing" - sets are fairly new and many people haven't studied them enough to realize that they ...

    1. Reduce turning effort.

    2. DON'T need ANY reaming - the outside bearing races slide into the inside of the spindle boss and the outside race sits on the kingpins.
    (the kingpins have a machined "step" to allow the bearings to sit in position)

    I installed them on my '41 Ford Truck front end; and I LOVE them!!
  22. gas pumper
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    gas pumper Member

    Another thing about king pins. They ain't lubed for life!

    You should only have to do king pins once as long as you own the car. Give them a shot of grease every 1000 miles and they will last forever. Or sooner if ya like. Grease don't hurt them.

    Frank
  23. dustyrustee
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    dustyrustee Member

    TRY "KBC TOOLS.COM"

    OR "EMCO" in Chicago is a good source as well.....

    they all have a huge selection of reamers....what you want is an

    "ADJUSTABLE REAMER" in the correct size range....so you can remove minute amounts of material at a time to get just the right fit...
  24. desertjoe
    Joined:
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    New Mexico

    desertjoe Member

    Hey oldspert, Do you know where I can buy replacement bushings for the Ford kingpins? I messed one of mine up by trying to use an adjustable reamer and got the danged thing cocked somehow. don't want to have to buy a whole new kit. Speedway only sells kits. Can you help? Thanks joe r
  25. dustyrustee
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    dustyrustee Member

    I'm not oldspert but generally industrial bearing suppliers carry a wide variety of different types of bushing.....and I'm only guessing but you maybe got greedy in the depth of cut with the reamer....?????

    you gotta take tiny bits off at a time....
  26. Mart
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    Mart Member

    I'm pretty sure mac's sell just the bushings, or a kit less the pins.
    Mart.
  27. oldspert
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    oldspert Member

    I got my replacements from Antique Auto Supply in Arlington TX. Phone # 817-275-2381. I think Mac's sells individual bushings too.
  28. budssuperpro
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    Boonville Missouri

    budssuperpro Member

    I just received a king pin kit from speedway for 1955 F-100 and the pins are 0.855 what would be the right size reamer to use ? or would it be best to purchest an adjustable one.
  29. elba
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    Samson, ALabama

    elba Member

    I put new king pins in my Econoline and I didn't have a reamer. The pin was only about .002 larger than the bushings so I got out my brake cyl hone and the electric drill and honed them to size. It took a while but they sure fit good.
  30. ago
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    pgh. pa.

    ago Member

    Don't ream your bushings, Take them a machine shop that hones wrist pin bushings. Honing the bushings will make a better fit and the bushings will last longer. Reaming tears the metal and leaves high spots. when the ridges wear you get loose king pins.



    ago

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