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  • Front Axle / Front Suspension: Wear-in period ?

    I'm installing new front springs and bushings in a 62' Lark. Should I wait a few 100 miles or so before alignment ? Also, 1 of my kingpin bearings spins freely on the shaft , one doesn't. Does this mean anything ? And again, one of the upper /outer pins will not accept grease. Any suggestions ?

  • #2
    Originally posted by jackb View Post
    I'm installing new front springs and bushings in a 62' Lark. Should I wait a few 100 miles or so before alignment ? Also, 1 of my kingpin bearings spins freely on the shaft , one doesn't. Does this mean anything ? And again, one of the upper /outer pins will not accept grease. Any suggestions ?
    My opinions follow, hopefully others will chime in with theirs.

    Alignment - personally I would not wait, depending on how far out of alignment the front end is, you could do a lot of damage (wear) to the front tires in a couple hundred miles.

    Kingpin bearings -- Which bearing are you talking about, each kingpin has two bearings and one bushing.

    Upper outer pin - Is the grease fitting clear? You can remove the grease fitting and make sure the grease is getting thru the ball check mechanism. Consider trying an compressed air powered grease gun, it will push grease thru where a normal hand powered grease gun may not.
    Last edited by r1lark; 05-01-2021, 02:32 PM.
    Paul
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

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    • #3
      Hmm, first time I've heard that comment...and I've been around...a while..!
      Align things...NOW. You don't want the particular items wearing in the wrong place or attitude.

      As soon as you start driving the car, all of your new parts and work, will start to...wear out..!
      Mechanical things don't get better with age like Whisky, this includes the engine. When it's running, ...drive it.

      Mike

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      • #4
        First off, I've driven this car a few 1000 miles since September on fairly good tires. I know the car was well maintained, but sat for 15+ years. Consider that time/miles to be my assessment time. The car is strictly a "salt lick" for winter driving. I am replacing the springs with the rear cargo type due to tire rub (205's) and thought best to re-bush the front end due worn bushings and a slight "pull" to the right. The tight bearing is on the right side too, but with the PS all handling is fine. Am I wrong in confirming 2 bushings and 1 bearing in the kingpin ? Anyway, I have done nothing to the front end since purchase last fall. All I've done to the car is oil, grease, snow tires, and after great winter driving (several 400+ trips up North), am at this point. I thought I read that sagging springs provide a "better" camber or caster in the cars ? Maybe I'm over thinking things.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by jackb View Post
          Am I wrong in confirming 2 bushings and 1 bearing in the kingpin ?
          Jack, picture below shows the Torrington type lower bearings, and the upper thrust bearings. (There are also bushings that are not pictured, one bushing per kingpin.)
          Click image for larger version  Name:	DSC07143.JPG Views:	0 Size:	127.6 KB ID:	1892578
          Last edited by r1lark; 05-01-2021, 02:33 PM.
          Paul
          Winston-Salem, NC
          Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

          Comment


          • #6
            OK: My kingpin has only 1 (upper) bearing (shown in parts' book as illust. # 1203-9. My kingpin stamped numbers are 531970 (1). Book says 531980(1). Anyone ? Kingpin #'s: 1551414(5). I'm guessing the grease is not going up to the bearing as the other side, which spins easily with weight off the suspension. Had this happen before with same symptoms: no grease travelling up, just down to nut. The free moving bearing oozes nicely with a hand held gun.

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            • #7
              Originally the lower king pin trunion had a cork grease seal at the bottom needle bearing on the spindle. That is supposed to force the grease up into the upper thrust bearing. If all you are getting is grease out the bottom nut, then the top is not getting greased. If you cant spin the top baring it is most likely you have too many shims, and it is putting too much pressure on the bearing. Off the top of my head you are supposed to have .006 clearance. On the lower seal, I usually press the bearing in slightly, and install a nitrile O-ring in place of the cork. Sometimes a little heat, and jack up the lower A-arm to take pressure off the upper thrust bearing, and keep pumping grease until it comes out the top is all you need to do.
              Same with zerk fittings that won't take grease. I have a flex hose on my grease gun, and if I unscrew the fitting that goes over the zerk, and thread it into the hole from a removed zerk fitting, I can apply as much pressure as I can pump without it popping off the zerk.
              Bez Auto Alchemy
              573-318-8948
              http://bezautoalchemy.com


              "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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              • #8
                The only "Wear-in" period on Front Suspension is, when replacing the Upper and Lower, Outer INNER "A" Arm Bushings, you leave the Center Bolts in the Cup Washers that secure the Shafts, only "Snug" until a few hard stops are made and the Suspension & Springs "Settles", and gets the full weight on them before Fully Torquing the Bolts down.
                Last edited by StudeRich; 05-02-2021, 11:28 AM. Reason: Corrected "Outer", should be "Inner" Buchings.
                StudeRich
                Second Generation Stude Driver,
                Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                • #9
                  I found (not the 1st time, loose inner lower A-arm nuts / bolts. Why no lock washers ??

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
                    The only "Wear-in" period on Front Suspension is, when replacing the Upper and Lower, Outer "A" Arm Bushings, you leave the Center Bolts in the Cup Washers that secure the Shafts, only "Snug" until a few hard stops are made and the Suspension & Springs "Settles", and gets the full weight on them before Fully Torquing the Bolts down.
                    Thanks, Rich. I was thinking this, but you inputted it.
                    Gary L.
                    Wappinger, NY

                    SDC member since 1968
                    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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                    • #11
                      The lower inner shaft to frame nuts are supposed to be self locking type. Notice that the sides of the flats are indented, and they should not screw on more than a turn or so before they start feeling tight. If they do, then they should be replaced.
                      Bez Auto Alchemy
                      573-318-8948
                      http://bezautoalchemy.com


                      "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jackb View Post
                        OK: My kingpin has only 1 (upper) bearing (shown in parts' book as illust. # 1203-9. My kingpin stamped numbers are 531970 (1). Book says 531980(1). Anyone ? Kingpin #'s: 1551414(5).
                        Not sure what you are asking here.
                        A '62 Lark SHOULD have PART #1551414 & 415 King Pins, the alignment can be set at Less Negative Caster with them.
                        The Earlier, 531762/3 King Pins will work fine with a little More Negative Caster.

                        The Numbers are not "Stamped" but Cast/Forged in the Pins.
                        The King Pin PART Numbers are 533762 & 763, I thought the Forging Numbers on King Pins were the same, but if different ignore them. It is the 531xxx vs 1551xxx that MATTERS!

                        The 531980 & 981 are the "Knuckles" (Spindles) these are supposed to be used with the Early King Pins 531970 & 971 on Pre-1961 Larks and Pre-1962 Hawks.

                        The Late Knuckles are PART NUMBER: 1550586 & 587.
                        StudeRich
                        Second Generation Stude Driver,
                        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          So it looks like this 125K mile car has had spindles/kingpins swapped at some time from the above(or maybe a partial flow oil filter early 62' carryover)...... In any case they are at the shop right now for bushing replacement..... While I'm at it, I also had a pair of Moog (O'reilly) rear , variable rate ,GM coils to install. The ends of the GM style coils are round as if a straight cut on the coil, whereas the Stude original spring has a flattened or ground end for fitment in the A-frames / frame pocket. Would it be beneficial to grind the coil ends flat as original, or leave alone. Also, the coils come with silencers (?!) on the 2nd & 3rd coils. Which goes up / down with install. I don't have the springs here now to confirm if the silencers are at the tighter wound coils or wider. ???

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                          • #14
                            I am pretty sure the Plastic "Wrap" is on the Close Coils so they do not touch, and they Go UP, people HAVE installed them without grinding the End Coils Flat. They would HAVE to fit better if they were Ground though.

                            It also would matter if you install New Full Circle Rubber Coil Cushions that belong Upper and Lower on the Coils of about Pre-1962 Cars, OR NOT.

                            Several people here that have also done this, and will post more help, probably to disagree with me, so hold on.
                            StudeRich
                            Second Generation Stude Driver,
                            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bezhawk View Post
                              If all you are getting is grease out the bottom nut, then the top is not getting greased. If you cant spin the top baring it is most likely you have too many shims, and it is putting too much pressure on the bearing. Off the top of my head you are supposed to have .006 clearance. On the lower seal, I usually press the bearing in slightly, and install a nitrile O-ring in place of the cork. Sometimes a little heat, and jack up the lower A-arm to take pressure off the upper thrust bearing, and keep pumping grease until it comes out the top is all you need to do.
                              Our car hasn't allowed any grease out the thrust bearings in at least 60 years. Dad used to complain about it.

                              This post finally inspired me to get the grease running. On our '51 with 9" drums, the only way to get a good bite with a C-clamp requires removal of the brake backing plate. A proper C-Clamp and sufficient time heating the knuckle above the zerk to force the old grease to flow out like a 10w motor oil loosened everything up. Then, finally, fresh grease into the zerk was able to make it over the top. And indeed, now the top of the bearing spins rather freely. It could not be turned before.


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