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Kingpin Replacement

By Randy Baumann and Dave "Koolkar" Feltner

    You have to do it. And you have to do it right. Dave "Koolkar" Feltner gave us this Tech Tip a while ago and Randy Baumann expanded it to include technical drawings. You'll need to download the pdf file in order to get all the details. Please do it ... and make it easy on yourself!

Kingpin replacement made fun and easy?
Yeah, right.

    First off you guys have to remember the same technology used on todays semi tractors is basically the same as on pre '55 light trucks.

    The first thing to remove is the retaining bolts---and 2 inches of crud and 50 years of grease! I use a propane torch to heat the crud after I've scraped off all I can. Then wire brush the area until the metal is clean. Then using a penetrating oil called p.b. blaster, (some guys like k-w knocker loose, etc., but not me). I never use W-D 40 because it evaporates. Let the bolts soak overnight. The next day I put an impact on the bolt heads and TIGHTEN just alittle --- very little -- then loosen.

    Did I mention soaking the kingpins from the top and bottom too? I thought so.

    Anyhow, after the retaining bolts come out, comes the fun. Place the truck axle on jackstands. Place a bottle jack with a bolt smaller than the kingpin diameter on the top of the jack and jack up the truck just slightly off the jackstand -- about a quarter of an inch. Now comes the the good part ------ WHAM-WHAM--WHAM --- @#$$%*&^^^%& KINGPINS!!!! WHAM ----- tink -- a baby sledge right to the side of the axle -- away from the grease fittings.

    I have NEVER heated an axle. I let the weight of the truck help push the old kingpins out. So far, it has worked every time -- that's about 80 or so kingpins. For replacements I use stainless steel. I'm not sure I'm sold on Teflon bushings, so I still use brass.

    After the job, it's off to the alignment shop, and I insist they not heat the axle. By the way, do you guys know what kills the king pins? Not enough grease, and not greasing the axle properly. Always, jack the front axle off the ground when greasing it. This takes the stress off the bushings so grease can flow all the way around the kingpins. Some guys say you don't have to do this -- some guys pay out the backside to replace kingpings, too.

    Do the extra effort and keep yer money for more important things -- like them cute little bug deflectors with the airplane propellers on them!



Did we say drawings and instructions?

Randy did an awesome Tech Tip with step-by-step instructions, warnings and incredible details.



Spindle Assembly Cross Section View




Please download the pdf file
to get all the goodies!

Randy Baumann

v. January 2007

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