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4austin
06-07-2006, 05:04 PM
Looking for good advice on method for accessing condition of Front Axle and Steering Gear for Studebaker M5 1947 pick up. Front end is all original equipment as best I can tell. The service manual is effective for replace or repair but I think it assumes that the mechanic has adequate background and skill to assess components such as: King Pins, Pittman arm, tie rod, steering reach rod, steering gear box.... I may not be an experienced mechanic but I can follow directions. Knuckle forging is 100368.

garyash
06-07-2006, 06:41 PM
It sounds like you have the original front end parts based on the forging number. It's probably a safe assumption that you'll need to put in new king pins and bushings. There are no king pins available for these knuckles, though you can have exactly 1/4 inch ground from each end of the later style used in half-ton 2R trucks.

You might be better off in the long run to pull the whole front axle, find a set of the later knuckles 677604 and 677605 from a '49-'64 half-ton truck, and install a new king pin kit (678171) available for those trucks. Check the drag link for looseness and the ball stud on the right steering arm for flat spots [you can turn it 90 degrees if worn].

Gary Ash
Dartmouth, MA
'48 M5
'65 Wagonaire Commander
'63 Wagonaire Standard
www.studegarage.com

4austin
06-07-2006, 08:34 PM
Thanks for the advice. If the king pins or knuckle bushings are worn can I determine by vertical movement in the wheel tire assembly with the wheels off the floor?

4austin
06-07-2006, 08:49 PM
With a short pry pipe I can get vertical movement with tire and wheel off the ground. I can hear a "clunk" as I raise and lower of course this could also be the wheel bearings.
The ball stud on the drag link has free movement but nowhere near 90 degrees.

garyash
06-07-2006, 10:51 PM
As I remember, the king pin wear is checked by top/bottom tilt, not so much up and down. I'm not sure how you tell when there is too much. If you have visible movement, it's probably too much.

You have to take the drag link off the ball stud to inspect the ball. The spring-loaded cap in the end of the drag link unscrews, then the link will come off. There are two half-cups in the end of the drag link that engage the ball. They never get greased often enough and the ball surface wears (and probably the insides of the cups). One side of the ball will show the wear most. If there is a flat spot, loosen the nut under the ball, turn the ball 90 degrees, and retighten the nut. There are still a few NOS ball studs around. A good welding/machine shop can probably weld on some material and regrind the ball back to a sphere.

The other end of the drag link that goes in the Pitman arm on the steering box also wears but can't be replaced - it's welded on. You need to get an entire new drag link, but even these are still around.

If you still have slop in the steering wheel, the steering box probably also needs adjustment. The two pins that sit in the worm gear also develop flat spots. If they are very bad, it's possible to grind the welds out at the back of the pins, turn them 90 degrees and re-weld them. Auto machine shops know how to do this.
http://www.studegarage.com/images/ross_steering.jpg

Gary Ash
Dartmouth, MA
'48 M5
'65 Wagonaire Commander
'63 Wagonaire Standard
www.studegarage.com

4austin
06-08-2006, 06:53 AM
Thank you this is most helpful.