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Technical King pin front ends...

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by HipCat427w, Feb 27, 2017.

  1. HipCat427w
    Joined: Dec 13, 2016
    Posts: 92

    HipCat427w

    Hey guys, I am a rookie builder as far as 50's cars. I'm a late 60's and 70's owner. As some of you know, my wife dragged home a 52' chevy styleline and we are working on all areas. We have it running pretty good and she loves the car!
    So, it's front end time. I'm thinking since the car is 65 years old and still steers "ok", the king pin front end should be fine for a 6/tree car.
    Are you guys running the king pin front converted to disc???...
    Is the mustang 2 front really like night and day or what???...
    What do you guys recomend for a sleepy 6/tree ladies car??...
    Thanks, Paul.... 2017-01-18 08.47.25.jpg
     
    Bruce Fischer likes this.
  2. KoolKat-57
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,942

    KoolKat-57
    Member
    from Dublin, OH

    Nothing wrong with a king pin front end that is in good condition.
    Lots of disc brake conversions available.
    Mustang II front ends are not always the best way to go, nice for the street rod crowd!
    My '57 Pontiac is king pin and drives very well.
    KK
     
  3. Cosmo49
    Joined: Jan 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,141

    Cosmo49
    Member

    I've got 110,000 miles on a daily driver/only vehicle '49 Chevy 1/2 ton, king pin front end, Huck brakes. Those companies will sell you 'upgrades' that you do not need, they will take your money.
     
    bigblk1177 and kbgreen like this.
  4. HipCat427w
    Joined: Dec 13, 2016
    Posts: 92

    HipCat427w

    Thanks you guys. We are leaning toward the king pin rebuild and disc conversion....
     
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  5. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 1,620

    woodiewagon46
    Member
    from New York

    I agree with the stock front end rebuild. Kanter , www.kanter.com has the complete kits in several varieties from king pins only to a complete rebuild. They also have a disc brake conversion kit.
     
    golferforpar likes this.
  6. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 17,923

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    My corvette has the same king pin front as your Chevy. Mine drives great and stops fine with the stock drum brakes [​IMG][​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  7. Damn I love that Vette.
     
  8. That guy has all the cool stuff. He won't save any for anybody else :D
     
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  9. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,996

    RainierHooker
    Member
    from Tacoma, WA

    I never understood "upgrading" from an Independent Front Suspension designed for a two ton car to an IFS designed for a 1970s Pinto.

    Keep the original setup...
     
  10. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,112

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Friend of mine had the same car with a 305 and automatic in it. He was talking about cutting off the frame and welding on a Nova frame to get power steering because it steered so hard. I advised him to check the front end for wear, replace worn parts, and have an alignment done. He did this, the front end was in good shape and only needed an alignment. He was amazed at how nice it drove and how easy the steering was, with NO power steering. It took away all desire for power steering.

    Another thing you can do is add modern shock absorbers and fill the stock ones with jack oil. Also if you have radials pump them up to 32PSI.

    When they were new, women drove them all the time with no complaints. The only time steering is real hard is at a dead stop, the trick is to get the car barely moving and the steering is easy.
     
  11. it is True what Rusty O' Toole says
    My 50 Merc still have the Drum Brakes with out Power Steering
    and Radial Tires & it works Great.!
    and Suspension is all Stock the way it came from the Factory.!

    just my 3.5 cents

    Live Learn & Die a Fool
     
    biggeorge likes this.
  12. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,362

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    I agree with your last sentence.....especially for this application/owner's intended use.

    However, regarding the comment about "a 1970s Pinto".....a little clarification in the interest of accuracy may be in order. I understand there are many on the HAMB who do not like ANY suspension conversions. But as to weight capacity, the MMII is not the original Pinto design. When the MMII was designed for 1974 model introduction, it was engineered for the much greater front end weight of the MMII. The 1978 thru 1980 Pintos were fitted with the beefier MMII components.

    Firstly, the MMII has the engine just about centered over the front 'axle'. Further, the MMII was offered with the 302 V8 SBF and a full complement of options, including A/C regardless of engine fitted. The curb weight of MMII models ranged from about 2700 to around 3200 lbs. More importantly, the weight distribution (with the forward engine placement) was about 55%/45%. Even at a nominal weight of 3000 lbs, 55% put 1650 lbs on the front end, more than half that of a 3000 lb car with more even weight distribution. The spindles and wheels bearings are Galaxy sized and quite substantial.

    The typical HAMB friendly car from the '30s thru the '50s has a bit more rearward engine placement and corresponding change in weight distribution. In the majority of MMII swaps I am aware of, it is necessary to use 4 cylinder MMII springs to get the correct spring rate for a V8 Hot Rod. meaning, the loads imposed are less than the stock MMII when equipped with either a V6 or V8.

    None of this is intended to persuade anyone to adopt MMII suspension. Rather, it is just intended to
    promote accurate information......something that most HAMBers expect from this forum.

    Ray
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2017
  13. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,112

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    One thing often overlooked on king pin front ends, they have MANY grease fittings and need to be greased regularly, they used to say every 1000 miles. If a car has not been serviced it might take 2 full lubrication jobs and some driving to free things up and make them work smoothly. Sometimes a fitting won't take grease and you have to replace it, or heat the components with a torch before they will take grease.
     
    lothiandon1940, dwollam and Hnstray like this.
  14. HipCat427w
    Joined: Dec 13, 2016
    Posts: 92

    HipCat427w

    Thank you guys for your advice. The car turns and steers fine with no real trouble. We had an alignment thrown on it just to help keep from having to bounce the wheel from side to side on a straight road. It helped a lot. The car pulls over to the pas side if you brake hard and you can feel a mild shudder (wheel bearings) deep in the front end when on the brakes kinda' hard. Of course we leave plenty of room for other cars but as soon as you leave a gap, some one jumps in it.
    I would also like to hang the pedals and put a column in it.
    She has found a nice kit
    from Kantor's that relocates the brake booster along with the king pin kit and disc conversion.
    We are sorting it out system by system.
    Next is a column swap to tilt.
    Thank you all very much for this help and advice!...
    Paul...
     
  15. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,037

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    New wheel cylinders and brake hose, brake job etc, will correct the pull.

    A manual steering system in good shape shouldn't be hard to steer, except when parallel parking, things like that. They are nice in the sense there's nothing to fail, no whining belts, no leaks.
     
    biggeorge and Bruce Fischer like this.
  16. Rusty, you are right. I counted 24 grease fitting on my 56 Chrysler Windsor and luckly they all took grease. Thanks Bruce. 001.JPG
     
  17. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,610

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    I drove cars with drum brakes most of my life, pulling to one side or the other is very common with drum brakes, as is fade under heady use, or loss of brakes after driving through deep puddles. I like sticking with the stock front suspension, but I'm a big fan of disc brakes.
     
  18. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,137

    deathrowdave
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from NKy

    I have fixed everything from a pregnant whore to a basketball game in my life . I have never seen anything worn out from being greased to much. If the pins and bushings are in good shape carry on and enjoy the ride . If they are in need of repair swap the Mustang 2 with GM brakes . I did one many years ago for a good friend , got power steering and better brakes in the swap and used stock Mustang crossmember on the top hat Chebby frame , it really is a day and night difference
     
  19. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,610

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    It's not really pertinent to this discussion on king pin front ends, but more non-friction bearings are destroyed by too much grease than those that are killed by too little grease. Excessive grease causes heat, which leads to failure, it can also blow out seals, leading to contamination issues, that lead to failure. Also many electric motors in industrial applications are damaged each year due to excessive greasing, which forces excess grease into the windings which leads to short circuit.

    For king pins (and ball joints for that matter) excessive grease leads to a mess that nobody likes.

    I'd suggest considering using a moly grease, which will leave behind the solid moly particles if/when the oil in the grease dissipates in between grease intervals, providing additional protection against metal to metal wear. 3% molly grease is pretty common, most every lube company makes one. Good stuff for suspensions, but not so good for u-joints IMO.
     
  20. got a 51 Plymouth, I'm in the process of throwing a rack an pinion an discs in the front but plan to leave the rest of the suspension alone , I'm only putting the rack in for a little more room installing a v8
     
  21. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,086

    dan c
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    does someone still make a bolt-in for the front suspensions on those chevvies and early vettes? as far as the king pins are concerned, though, when i replaced the king pins on my first shoebox ford, a lot of my gearhead buddies said, "ya know, you never have to worry about a king pin breaking!"
     
  22. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,362

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Good luck with that. There are other ways to gain some clearance without resorting to an often ill-suited rack geometry to a front end designed for something else. Moving the steering box to the left is one method (which I have done on a '53 Plymouth/Dodge hemi install years ago), or even easier, move the engine to the right an inch or two.

    Ray
     
    Moriarity likes this.
  23. I ordered butches sbc kit an I still wasn't happy with how engine sat even moved to the passenger side, a lot of folks on here seemed to like the rack an pinion in there cars. I am trying to do the car safe an "the right way" but seem to get different feed back every time I make a move lol. this is my first go at an old girl like this. I'm a young buck (25) hopefully in a few years I wont question every move I make
     
  24. HipCat427w
    Joined: Dec 13, 2016
    Posts: 92

    HipCat427w

    Thanks to everyone for lending their advice!
    So, I am hearing that the king pin front end will be fine for years around town.
    Thank you all for that!
    One last question, The price of a mustang 2 front will cover the price of a steering column, hanging the pedals and moving booster. So if you guys with experience think the king pin front will work then I will replace every part up front and keep the king pins.
    Last question(s): How does the king pin front do over the road at 70mph ? Is the king pin front ok for OTR at 75mph with a modern drive line. We have a 73' 292, 700R4 and we are looking for an S10 rear...
    Thank you guys for your help and advice !!...
    Paul...
     
  25. RMONTY
    Joined: Jan 7, 2016
    Posts: 1,674

    RMONTY
    Member

    The front end in your car is the same as was in Corvettes up until 62 I think as was previously mentioned. The kingpin is only the hinge point for the spindles if you will, as opposed to ball joints. I can see no reason why the car won't be fine at 70 mph or better as long as everything is in good repair.
     
  26. HipCat427w
    Joined: Dec 13, 2016
    Posts: 92

    HipCat427w

    Good, thank you... I feel confident It will be ok and I will not be making a mistake and wasting the time/money...
    Thanks you guys!!...
    Paul...
     
  27. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,362

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    My comments were about adapting an R&P unit to your Plymouth is based on the too frequent addition of R&P to an older suspension design without giving due to the geometry factors involved. Bluntly stated, the HAMB, and other forums, are rife with posts saying "I did that and it has worked great for me" about myriad subjects. In many cases, I submit, the user doesn't have enough knowledge or experience to make a good judgment about how 'well' the mod really performs. As long as the problems aren't scaring the bejesus out of him, and the car will go in a straight line, it's all good. If that is the standard, well, I guess it is 'good'. If you want better performance in all phases of operation, maybe it isn't.

    But there are others who freely admit they have installed an R&P and lose turning radius, have bump steer issues and scrub radius problems. Some vendors do their homework and provide a combination of R&P and suitable mounts and maybe changed length of steering arms to achieve a decent result. Some home made engineers are capable of that too. My main point was/is, the original steering gear works pretty well and is already in place. The problem you have with steering box/column clearance can be easily addressed without increasing problems.

    In any case, Best Wishes with your project.....

    Ray
     
  28. Gr8laker
    Joined: Sep 15, 2011
    Posts: 58

    Gr8laker
    Member
    from Michigan

    Reliable. Keep it safe for your wife.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    HipCat427w likes this.
  29. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,662

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    it has been a while since I have heard anyone mention Pintos when speaking of the MII. as stated the weight on the suspension in the pinto /mustang has the motor over the suspension, in most old cars it is behind the suspension. on 49-52 Chevrolets with an SBC 4 cylinder springs are used with the MII. the MII ball joints are the same as full size Fords and bigger than the Camaro which people seem to think is better. not to mention most times the only original Ford parts are the rack & pinion and the spindles.

    sure, the original suspension will "work just fine", but when you sink a bunch of money into it I refer to it as polishing a turd. an MII could be had for the price of a disc brake conversion and a rebuild provided you can install it yourself. if you want the car lower there is another bonus. cut coils and dropped uprights will not ride as nice as an MII. plus you have to spend another bucket of cash for the uprights.

    as for doing 70+ with the original stuff, that is no problem provided everything is in good shape. I had a V8 49 for a couple years. the cut coils caused the suspension to bottom out on bumps. out on the road it moved along just fine, but parking in a lot built for Hondas was a chore. I am going MII on the one I have now.
     
  30. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,112

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    For speeds of 70 - 75 I would like to have a set of modern tubular gas shocks all around in addition to the stock lever shocks. And possibly a sway bar. At least fill the shocks with jack oil and take it out and test it. It may be fine, I don't know. I do know that with the stock splash lubricated engine, 55 was about the limit of sustained speed if you wanted the engine to last.
     

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