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King Pin measurements

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  • Steering: King Pin measurements

    My 58 Silverhawk is in about a million pieces so I wanted to go ahead and replace front end components while I was in there. I've taken everything apart and am starting to look at what parts to order and I can't seem to find a specification for the king pins. I looked through my shop manual and didn't see any measurements. How do you determine to if you just need the "minor king pin rebuild kit" with bearings and bushings or if the king pins are actually worn enough to warrant replacement? I'm sure I will have more questions as the rebuilding continues, most answers I can find with the search tool on the forums but I tried without luck on this one. Thanks.

  • #2
    Before you disassemble it, check tire in/out movement; raise the tire off the ground; put one hand at top side and one at bottom side, and move the tire back and forth. If there's excess movement, check the adjustment of the wheel bearings; remove the cotter pin and tighten the castle nut lightly to remove all play, then check tire play again. At this point, any movement is due to the kingpins.

    Now disassemble, and look at king pin wear patterns in two locations: where it aligns with the upper bushing, and with the lower needle bearing. Odds are, the bushing area will show most wear, and it will be on the outboard side, which carries the load when going down the road. Wear on the bottom area will often include brindling, caused by the needle bearings.

    If you do not have new/refurbished king pins, a new set of bushings and bearings will help a lot. OTOH, new king pins, bushings and bearings will restore it to factory spec. Its OK if the king pins have a bit of wear, but hard to describe. Just need to get a feel for it.

    This week I plan to R&R the king pins on the 62GT, and they have over 300,000 miles on them. They have been getting looser and looser for the last 200,000 miles, but the looseness has not caused any problems, and may actually even make the car vibrate less at road speed. Its a judgement call, as much as anything.

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    • #3
      Just noticed yours is already torn down. So to answer your question, check the two king pin wear areas. Judgement call, how much wear is too much. But less than .030" wear should be ok.

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      • #4
        Do you know what the stock diameters are so I have a reference and I can mic mine?

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        • #5
          As Joe said they only wear in Two places, so you should SEE that difference between Full size and worn spots, just Mic to determine the difference.
          StudeRich
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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          • #6
            I miked mine off many years ago and believe they came in really close on 1.250" . Mine were very slightly oval so I had a mate in the Toolroom at work grind them round again. They came in at 1.248"and I ended up making my own bushes to fit. I've never bothered to repeat this exercise since!
            Steve

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            • #7
              Sounds like a plan. I hadn’t looked at the one I have apart in much detail. I’ll clean it up and check for wear. Thanks all.

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              • #8
                I dunno what I was thinking when I said .030" or less is OK. More like .015" max wear.

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                • #9
                  I cleaned up the king pin for the side that I have completely apart and took some measurements. It measured round and did not show in change in diameter along the length of the two bearing areas. However, there are some deep scratches in one area so I am thinking it is best to replace them while I have everything torn down. I'd like to change them out for the later model king pins with more caster. I am planning on calling some vendors today but I wasn't sure if I would have an issue since the seem to all require cores and my king pins are of course the earlier ones with less caster. Anyone have experience swapping these?

                  Last edited by silverhawk1958; 12-01-2017, 04:58 AM.

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                  • #10
                    I have swapped the later pins into a couple of 56Js, and there is no discernible difference. The minuscule caster increase simply does not make any measurable difference, at any speed, under any condition. My cars have always had power steering, so maybe it is discernible with standard steering, but I doubt it. Long as both side have same type of pin, its a wash.

                    With the pin above, I'd polish it, install new bearings and bushings, and ease on down the road for at least another 100,000 miles. But if you have extra money to spend, I guess new pins beats spending it on drugs. LOL

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JoeHall View Post
                      With the pin above, I'd polish it, install new bearings and bushings, and ease on down the road for at least another 100,000 miles. But if you have extra money to spend, I guess new pins beats spending it on drugs. LOL
                      My thoughts exactly! Just keep them greased, like any other.
                      Last edited by bensherb; 12-06-2017, 09:09 PM.
                      sigpic

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                      • #12
                        The kingpin measurement is 1.123" for the bearing and 1.248" for the bushing.
                        sigpic

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