Get more Tips, Specs and Technical Data!

Did you know... this Forum is a service of the Studebaker Drivers Club? For more technical tips, specifications, history and tech data, visit the Tech Tips page at the SDC Homepage:
See more
See less

Steering knuckle bearings.

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Steering knuckle bearings.

    Well, I'm about ready to plunge into my front-end rebuild, and I've been reading the shop manual I'm figuring, since I'm in there, I should put new bearings in the steering knuckles. How does one do this without access to the factory removal and installer tools? Should any competent machine shop be able to handle this task?

    Also... where in the shop manual does it discuss removal and installation of front wheel bearings? I can't find it for the life of me [?]

    Thanks guys!


    Clark in San Diego
    '63 F2/Lark Standard

    Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" |

  • #2

    Any good automotive machine shop should be able to do the job. They will have universal arbors, etc. Having said that sometimes "special tools" are nothing fancier than a hammer, an old socket and a long punch. I walked into the shop doing the king pins on my 64 Commander years ago to find them using those exact "special tools"! You will need the tool used to spread the outer ends of the control arms when reinstalling the king pins. They are available from several Stude parts vendors.
    As to your question about the wheel bearings, not much to it. When you take the drum off the outer bearing will fall out of course. To remove the inner bearing you can use a long wide blade screwdriver through the hub to knock out the seal and the inner bearing will drop out. Use a brass drift through the hub to drive out the old bearing cups. Using the drift drive the new cups in until they hit the shoulder in the hub. Pack the wheel bearings with grease, drop the inner one into the cup and bump in the grease seal. Done.

    PS I checked my Lark service manual - it isn't in there!. It is in my 53-54 "Bible".


    • #3
      I think he's referring to the kingpin bushings. And I would only replace them if they really need it. Might want to replace the thrust bearing however, and there are no special tools required to do that.


      55 Commander Starlight
      55 Commander Starlight


      • #4
        Originally posted by N8N View Post
        I think he's referring to the kingpin bushings. And I would only replace them if they really need it. Might want to replace the thrust bearing however, and there are no special tools required to do that.


        55 Commander Starlight
        Old posy here but good point. I bought a total front emd rebuild kit as all bushings were worn and all greased areas were literally covered in an inch of crud from sitting and never being washed off. When disassembling the front end and kingpins, I discovered the spindle kingpin bearings are line new. No play or even dirt inside. No visivle wear and play.. And at that, where would one see wear typically? An uneaven pattern on the bronze bushing area or on the pin its self?


        • #5
          Perhaps I'm a bit of a caveman but the way I remove the inner front bearings has worked for years. After removing the outer bearing I put the nut back on the spindle, slide off the drum until you feel the inner bearing against the nut, then give it a hard yank. Removes both the inner bearing & the seal. If your replacing the bearing & race together, then a good long screwdriver works to bang out the race. Otherwise, if your just removing the bearing to repack it, leave the race (or cup as some call it) alone, but always inspect it for any wear marks or heat distortion regardless.
          59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
          60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
          61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
          62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
          62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
          62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
          63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
          63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
          64 Zip Van
          66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
          66 Cruiser V-8 auto


          • #6
            Kingpin bushings and bearings....

            I made my own tool to do those. If you look at the pictures in the shop manual it shows a "slug" with 2 flats on it. The slug is slightly smaller OD compared to the ID of the spindle the bearings and bushings are pressed into. The 2 flats allow it to be dropped down inside and then flipped into position so that the big rod/shaft/punch can then be used to push them out. I've not looked at the manual for a while but recall they show using a hammer with the rod and slug to tap out the bushings.

            Since I don't have a lathe to make a slug the "proper" way...

            What I did was take some 3/8" (or maybe it was 1/2".. ) threaded rod and using 2 nuts, trap a couple (2 or 3) of washers sandwiched together on the end. The washers must be larger OD than the ID of the spindle where the bushing are. Then, chuck the other end of the rod in a drill press and set the speed fairly fast. I then used a angle grinder held lightly up against the spinning washers to slowly grind them down to the diameter I wanted, what is slightly smaller than the spindle. Once that is done, un-chuck the rod and then grind a flat on each side of the washers (don't take them off the rod yet!) with the bench grinder (or angle grinder would work too).

            Now, you can take the nut off one end of the rod and removed the washers to flip and drop then into the spindle and rotate them flat and reassemble the rod/nuts. Then, put another nut on the end of the rod where you can either tap with your hammer (nut needed to not damage threads on the end) or you can fixture it in a large bench vice and push them out. I have a hydraulic press so I used that but they are not pressed in that hard so it was a little overkill. Make sure the flats on the washers are lined up so they reinforce each other. You don't want those washers to bend.

            When you grind the washers to size, its essential that they but JUST smaller than the spindle inside diameter and no smaller. They should be "snug" when flipped into position and are sitting on the edge of the bushing. Too small and they will get pushed into the bushing and then you will have real problems!. I used a calipers to check my progress but trial and error would work too just be careful. Resist the temptation when grinding them to deburr the edges too much for the same reason.

            When you put the new ones in, they are pressed in from each end and you can use the same tool to do it. Seems to me that the roller bearing get recessed into the spindle for the grease seal but its been a long time since I did this and not sure. Make notes when you take it apart. I used a rubber O-ring instead of the cork washers.

            Jeff in ND