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Technical kingpin install

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by DeltaBravo(DB), Mar 16, 2019.

  1. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 691


    The only people who don't make mistakes are the ones not doing anything, and that is the biggest mistake of all.
  2. Fordors
    Joined: Sep 22, 2016
    Posts: 2,163


    I have to agree poncho, I would not use plastic on a vehicle that sees road use. Those tugs are driven at relatively low speeds on airport tarmac and for sure they don’t encounter the bumps and potholes cars do.
    There might be a reason Moog offers a choice in bushing styles for some of their kits. If plastic was superior every kit would have them.
  3. mountainman2
    Joined: Sep 16, 2013
    Posts: 298


    And the power of the "Kool-Aid" is again confirmed. :(
    DeltaBravo(DB) likes this.
  4. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,994

    Rusty O'Toole

    Ford twin I beam trucks used plastic bushings for years. I don't like them either but it seems Ford and GM did. Would be interested in feedback from Ford mechanics about this.
    DeltaBravo(DB) likes this.
  5. Justin in PA
    Joined: Sep 27, 2017
    Posts: 72

    Justin in PA

    The nylon bushings were for the DIY'er because they didn't require reaming. They also were crap and didn't last very long. King pins are a funny animal. Getting the old ones out is the first step of the battle. The next is hoping that all of your parts are good including spindle and axle holes that aren't wallowed out so that they won't hold bushings or snugly hold the king pins.

    King pin replacements can go like a breeze or can make you want to walk away from your project for a very long time.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
    DeltaBravo(DB) and Boneyard51 like this.
  6. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 864

    from kansas

    After 40 years of front end and frame work here's what I've learned doing king pins, ( everything from auto to tractor trailer rigs).

    Manufacturers used plastic for one reason only, Cheap!!. Aftermarket offers plastic for 2 reasons, Cheap!! & diy install.

    Plastic(nylon), will last about a year average on a daily driven vehicle. The bi-metal bushings will last an average of 100,000 miles if greased regularly.

    The reason for honing is twofold, one some of the bushings are multi fit, as in the same bushing is used in different kits you just have to ream to a different size because of pin difference. Two, the snugger the pin bushing fit is the better it will wear BUT the must be just enough for grease.

    With proper fit the grease will fill the small void and lubricate it's movement but also prevent metal to metal contact and prevent the pins from beating the bushings to death.

    On the big trucks you can buy Kaiser pin sets that are already prefit and these work really nice ;) Kaiser also makes a spiral bushing for their kits that are pre fit, don't care for those, had them return yrs later with the bushings broken.

    There are always variables to the above but this gives you a basic understanding of pins and bushings.
  7. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 2,710


    The secret to long king pin life is lubercation. That doesn’t mean once a year and 20,000 miles. Also a quality grease is needed.
    While working at the Fire Dept, our manual steering 1956 Mack’s would receive complaints of “ hard steering”. I would jack the trucks up, to relieve pressure on the thrust bearing and grease the king pins, while someone turned the steering wheel back and forth. I would continue to grease until clean grease came out. It was messy, took some extra clean up. I used a special extra pressure grease. When the job was completed the trucks steered measurable easier. I did this in between the scheduled maintenance. Never had any king pin problems.
    Also ,I think it was the Ford pickups had the screw in caps that contained a grease fitting in them. These were better than grease fittings in the spindle, as it forced the grease around the bushings better.

  8. Thanks to everyone for the tips and advice. Second kingpin set arrived and although it took me two days(I live pretty far out in the sugar cane fields) to find a shop that had the tools and was willing to ream the bushings, it got done. Put it all together easy as can be by hand and installed on the lower control arms. Everything accepts grease and moves smoothly. Now just have to wait for my lever action shocks to come in to assemble the front suspension. I think I can check king pins off my bucket list.
    OFT, alanp561, 26 T Ford RPU and 2 others like this.
  9. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 5,868


    One more skill achieved. Feels great to master a problem, doesn't it ? ☺
  10. poncho catalina
    Joined: Sep 22, 2008
    Posts: 60

    poncho catalina
    from summit il

    Even with the cost of the 2nd kingpin set, and paying to ream the bushings, you still probably saved money. But more important you were able to overcome the unknown and get it done yourself. Next time a job like this comes up, you will be better prepared. And when another Hamber needs help you can step right in.
    DeltaBravo(DB) and 26 T Ford RPU like this.

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