View Full Version : Suspension threaded bushing torque

Pat Knappert
10-13-2005, 11:39 PM
I am in the process of reassembling the front suspension on my '66 Cruiser after a total disassembly. Replaced the upper and lower inner bushings and rebuilt the kingpins with kingpin kits (just like new now). Bought a spreader for reassembling the outer pins and threaded bushings. So far everything is going back together OK per the manual. I have been torquing everything to manual specs, but I am questioning the torque spec for the threaded bushings. Is it really 170 foot pounds?? Minimum??

When I was disassembling the threaded bushings it took a three foot extension on my breaker bar to break them loose. The pins look like new after 40 years of service. Lots of old grease around them.
After assembling the lower outer pin and bushings with the lower kingpin support to the point the threaded bushings are tight, the freedom of movement is tight even before I think about torquing them. Yes, I greased everything and the spreader is still in position. Does it make sense that this would be a tight assembly because I installed new grease seals?

The upper pin moves freely with the threaded bushings tight.

Any comments and insight on this would be appreciated.

Pat Knappert
Editor Stude Road Dust
North Puget Sound Chapter

10-17-2005, 11:12 AM
Yes 170 FT.LBS is right. The assembly should be free once the spreader is removed. If there is any binding it will cause a stiff ride. These threaded bushing are tricky for us amateurs. I am sure Studebaker had an elaborate system in the factory to assemble these systems. We have a simple tool and trial and error. Everyone in the 40ís and early 50ís used the same system; the reason they switched to ball joints and rubber bushings is COST, not because they are better. Don't give up, since one you get it right you'll never need to replace them again as long as you keep them greased.[8D]

Restore it, don't replace it.Keep the Studebaker reproduction industry going

10-21-2005, 05:27 PM
I had the same problem with my 54 coupe except I was installing new pins and bushings. The upper outers would turn easy but the lowers were stiff but not really binding too tight. After several tries including a very robust homemade spreader at the top and a Chuck Collins spreader at the bottom, they were still the same. I finally decided that they were tight when they were assembled originally and the bushings were simply following the existing threads in the control arm. The only way that they would be any different is if the bushings cut new threads in the control arms which would probably strip out the holes in the control arm. Forcing the control arm ears apart by .090 would let the bushings start threading one turn sooner but then they would be tight the other way.

I guess it depends on how tight yours are after torqueing them. I figured mine would be OK once the pins wore in a little bit.

10-21-2005, 09:57 PM
I put new pins and bushings in my '53. The threads between the pins and bushings on the new parts seemed to bind up some and I could not screw them together by hand before I put them in. I had to dust off some dings and damage to the pin threads with a file before I put the parts in. I think the bushings DO cut new threads in the arms too. Good point about possibly stripping out the arms. At least on my car they tightened up OK.


'53 Champion Hardtop