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View Full Version : Binding caster adjuster????Update 12-11-09



jclary
11-13-2009, 09:07 AM
After installing a new set of 710 wide white walls on my '51 land cruiser...I drove about a mile and a half to a body shop that has a new Snap-On alignment machine. I knew the guy had never done a Studebaker so I came armed with the shop manual and my sleeves rolled up. I also explained that I knew some of the components need to be rebuilt but I mainly wanted to get the wheels pointed somewhat in the same direction. The problem was that even after loosening the pinch bolt on the passenger side...the adjusting screw wouldn't budge with out a lot of pressure on the Allen wrench on his part while I used a ball peen hammer to bang on the spindle assembly to get it to move. We first tried it with the wheel on. We jacked the car to take some pressure off. We took the wheel off and worked that way for the largest movement and finally put it back on for the final adjustment. I was afraid that if the mechanic's hand had slipped...he could break bones or severely lacerate himself slamming into the brake hose bracket. He did not have a socket type Allen wrench long enough to engage the adjuster. We had to rely on a standard "L" shaped Allen wrench. After fooling with it all morning, I stopped him before he injured himself. We did get the "toe" set properly. I plan to get a longer "socket" style Allen wrench and see if I can get the pin moving more freely before returning to finish getting the caster on that wheel set properly. For now, it is better than it was and will be good enough for a meet this weekend. I just wanted to see if others on the forum have had a similar problem and what you did to correct it.

John Clary
Greer, SC
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Life... is what happens as you are making plans.
SDC member since 1975

Jeff_H
11-13-2009, 09:20 AM
Upper/outer A arm pin for the caster/camber adj right?

Has it been apart recently or look like it was last touched in the 50s? My guess would be the OD of the pin is rusty where it fits into the "loop" at the top of the kingpin. Those are 2 machined surfaces and a tight fit so any rust would sieze them together. Try some penetrating oil. It may also help to remove the pinchbolt and tap a wedge in the gap a little bit to spread open the loop enough to allow the pin to turn easier. The end of a chisel or small prybar may work. Careful not to overdue it or you will damage the kingpin. Only think else it could be preventing it from turning is the "threads" on the ends are binding in the A arm bushings. If the front end was rebuilt improperly at some point, the bushings could bind, but that would affect the ride I would think.

Jeff in ND
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'53 Champion Hardtop

jclary
11-13-2009, 09:39 AM
Your are right Jeff, it is upper pin. I think I have a couple of assemblies in my parts stash. I think I will study one of them for a better understanding and then tackle the one on the car. I adjusted the one on my Lark years ago and didn't have near as much trouble as this one. I doubt that the '51 has ever been adjusted.

r1lark
11-13-2009, 12:48 PM
John, another item to think about is whether the two metal bushings (one on each side of the control arm) that the end of the pin goes into are lubricated. If in the past the greasing of the suspension was neglected the pin-to-bushing fit can get pretty tight. The last time you greased the car, did the bushings take grease properly (ie, did you see the grease come out the ends of the bushings)? If not, you may want to grease the bushings really well before you take it back. I have had some bushings on newly-purchased Studes that would not take grease from a hand gun, so out came the air-powered grease gun. After a while, the pumping of grease and bouncing the car up and down gets the pin/bushing lubricated.

Another possibility is, if the upper bushings were replaced without using the proper spreader tool, there may be significant binding between the pin and the bushing. Hopefully this is not the case.......

Paul
Winston-Salem, NC
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jclary
12-11-2009, 11:03 AM
Finally got together with the guy near me who has the front end equipment. It is nearly a month ago that I first posted this topic. We attempted to adjust the caster and couldn't get enough movement to make the adjustment. So, I took the car back home and worked on it myself. I bought a good set of long shank socket Allen wrenches and worked on it until I could get the adjuster to move throughout its entire adjustment range. Today I took the car back and we placed it on the rack, put the alignment devices on the wheels, and the driver's side still showed it was in proper parameters. The passenger side was still off. While studying the overall mechanism and looking back from the driver side to the passenger side...the owner of the shop and I both simultaneously realized something didn't look right.:( The darned upright portion of the spindle arm (not sure of the correct technical term) is bent![:0] It is something I had never considered. When I got the car in 1988 it had been sitting for years. When I decided to put it back on the road...I recall having to do a little body work on a slight crease on the front and rear passenger fenders. I also remember having a warped rim. It could be that the car was in some kind of fender bender or off road (culvert?) excursion in its past serious enough to bend this thing. Needless to say...until I find another spindle...no amount of adjusting is going to bring it to long term roadworthy specs. Back to the "Man Cave" with the land cruiser for now.[V]

John Clary
Greer, SC
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Life... is what happens as you are making plans.
SDC member since 1975

Studeman
12-11-2009, 11:50 AM
quote:Originally posted by jclary

While studying the overall mechanism and looking back from the driver side to the passenger side...the owner of the shop and I both simultaneously realized something didn't look right.:( The darned upright portion of the spindle arm (not sure of the correct technical term) is bent![:0] It is something I had never considered.


John,
I think there are (3) different styles of Kingpins. I know the earliest ones had the spindle in a different location. I haven't had them laid out on a table together to see exactly what the differences are. It appears your's may have been changed out for a later one. They do "look" bent.. in original form. I don't have any "early" kingpins to compare to.

Got any pictures?

IF they swapped kingpins- they evidently didn't use the special "spreader-tool" to reinstall the upper outer bushings. Without that tool, the upper pin binds on the threads of the bushings. The pin is meant to "float" in the threads. If it's binding, there's a good chance you will rip the threads out of the bushings.
Until we find out exactly what parts they used on your car... we really can't give you a path to follow to fix it.

**Also: Check your upper-inner control-arm SHAFT. The holes in the shaft are NOT symetrical. They are offset from the centerline of the shaft a little bit. That offset needs to be installed so the control arm is offset to the OUTSIDE of the car. If the shaft is flipped over, you'll never have enough adjustment.

Ray

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jclary
12-11-2009, 09:24 PM
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Been away from the computer and just now found this reply...somewhere in my stuff I think I have a couple of spindles from a parts car (62 hawk) that has long departed. I thought that all the spindles were the same from '51 until the end of production. I have heard that often and until now had no reason to doubt it. I will have to try to dig them up to compare. Tomorrow is our chapter's Christmas party so the project will have to wait. I will try to get some pictures made. Thanks for the input. This just goes to show that you can spend a lifetime fooling with these things and still have much to learn.

John Clary
Greer, SC
http://i518.photobucket.com/albums/u346/jconln/HPIM0372-2.jpg
Life... is what happens as you are making plans.
SDC member since 1975