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Author Topic: "THE" kingpin thread...  (Read 1369 times)

restoguy

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"THE" kingpin thread...
« on: January 05, 2017, 11:08:24 PM »
Ok boys and girls.  Several people have asked about kingpins, but no one ever seems to have a good answer.  I did mine last weekend and took some pics to show everyone what's involved.  It has been called 'a bitch' by some people and I think that's a great way to describe it!  It's not for the lightly equipped or the novice mechanic.

This is the first time I've ever done kingpins so I got some help from a friend who used to work in a Peterbilt shop.  He'd done quite a few, but they are a little different.  If someone who knows what they are talking about sees an error in what I did, feel free to chime in.  BTW, the factory GM service manuals say nothing about replacing kingpin bushings.

Here we go... Q&A at the end!
1993 GMC Typhoon #1440 not stock! 113k
1995 GMC C3500HD 454/4L80E 60"CtA Versalift TEL29 180k
1997 GMC K1500 XCSB Z71 5.7/auto all original 295k
1999 GMC K3500 CCLB 4x4 6.5/auto original engine 330k

restoguy

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  • Location: W-KS, DenCO
Re: "THE" kingpin thread...
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2017, 11:14:08 PM »
Pretty standard stuff to start.   I put the front axle on jack stands and removed the wheels.  Next the calipers were removed because I was replacing them.  Tie rod ends, hubs and rotors followed.





1993 GMC Typhoon #1440 not stock! 113k
1995 GMC C3500HD 454/4L80E 60"CtA Versalift TEL29 180k
1997 GMC K1500 XCSB Z71 5.7/auto all original 295k
1999 GMC K3500 CCLB 4x4 6.5/auto original engine 330k

restoguy

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Re: "THE" kingpin thread...
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2017, 11:19:31 PM »
Once you're down to the spindle remove the rock shield and the ABS sensor. While you are here, take off the steering arm. It's nothing but in the way at this point.  The top and bottom caps were pretty caked up on mine so it took a little digging with a screw driver to find the bolt heads!





« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 01:16:37 AM by restoguy »
1993 GMC Typhoon #1440 not stock! 113k
1995 GMC C3500HD 454/4L80E 60"CtA Versalift TEL29 180k
1997 GMC K1500 XCSB Z71 5.7/auto all original 295k
1999 GMC K3500 CCLB 4x4 6.5/auto original engine 330k

restoguy

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  • Posts: 14
  • Location: W-KS, DenCO
Re: "THE" kingpin thread...
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2017, 11:24:54 PM »
Next I recommend removing the inner seal from the spindle. It's probably going to get hot and you don't want to melt it!



Now the fun begins.  If you know any 'colorful' words you might want to have them handy..  Remove the nut from the retaining bolt and drive it out.



1993 GMC Typhoon #1440 not stock! 113k
1995 GMC C3500HD 454/4L80E 60"CtA Versalift TEL29 180k
1997 GMC K1500 XCSB Z71 5.7/auto all original 295k
1999 GMC K3500 CCLB 4x4 6.5/auto original engine 330k

restoguy

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  • Posts: 14
  • Location: W-KS, DenCO
Re: "THE" kingpin thread...
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2017, 11:33:58 PM »
The retaining bolt will probably be frozen into the axle.  They are fairly soft and deform pretty rapidly.  I mushroomed both of them and then cut them off with a cutoff wheel.  I used a sizeable air hammer for a lot of the work.  Doing it by hand would take an eternity!  On the driver's side I ended up drilling the bolt out.  Luckily I got centered in the hole really well because there was almost nothing left of the bolt when it finally gave up.  I was using a fair bit of heat and penetrating oil as well.

Once the bolts are removed, it's time to drive out the kingpin itself.  If you think the bolts are bad, you'd best just quit now...  My kingpins were so frozen into the axle we had to heat the axle red hot and give them hell with the air hammer.  Working them back and forth with oil until they finally came out.



That pic is just for show, because the hammer and drift did little.
1993 GMC Typhoon #1440 not stock! 113k
1995 GMC C3500HD 454/4L80E 60"CtA Versalift TEL29 180k
1997 GMC K1500 XCSB Z71 5.7/auto all original 295k
1999 GMC K3500 CCLB 4x4 6.5/auto original engine 330k

restoguy

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  • Posts: 14
  • Location: W-KS, DenCO
Re: "THE" kingpin thread...
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2017, 11:43:08 PM »




If you've made it this far, you can now remove the old bushings with a punch.  And begin cleaning up your parts for reassembly.  My friend suggested that I cut off a piece of an old kingpin and weld a washer to it, to make a driver tool.  However, these are "ream to fit" bushings and the kingpin is too big to fit inside them when they are in the spindle so I had to reduce the shaft size with a flap disc on a grinder.  Not the best method but it worked.  To do it again, I'd have a piece of bar stock turned down and get a thicker washer for the top.  A piece of 1" bar might do the job.  The kingpin size is 1.1792 if memory serves, so the bushing is probably about an inch when it's first installed.  It was a long process to get my driver made where it worked and I wish I had measured the final size.





You will notice the flat side on the washer.  This is necessary to clear the spindle on the bottom hole.  Put the bushings on the driver and drive them in.  Top from the top, bottom from the bottom.  If you're not careful you will mushroom them and screw the whole thing up.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 01:52:40 AM by restoguy »
1993 GMC Typhoon #1440 not stock! 113k
1995 GMC C3500HD 454/4L80E 60"CtA Versalift TEL29 180k
1997 GMC K1500 XCSB Z71 5.7/auto all original 295k
1999 GMC K3500 CCLB 4x4 6.5/auto original engine 330k

restoguy

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  • Posts: 14
  • Location: W-KS, DenCO
Re: "THE" kingpin thread...
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2017, 11:49:51 PM »
Once the bushings are in the spindle correctly you have to ream them to fit the pins.  It's my understanding that a lot of the newer heavy trucks don't need reamed, but HD's do.  As luck would have it there had been a box of reamers under the bench at the farm for about 60 years and I put one of them to use!  I didn't have the pilot that would have kept the reamer perfectly in line with the other bushing, but I was careful and made it work.  The correct reamer and pilot can be purchased online if you REALLY want to do this yourself.  I used a size J but the next smaller was probably the better choice.  My "J" was in better shape.





You just take a little out of the bushings and then check the pin fit.  Increasing the diameter a touch each time.  When the pin fits, your done!  I saw it suggested on the web to take the spindle to a machine shop and have them hone the bushings to size with a Sunnen rod hone machine.  I think that's a great idea!  And I would have done it but the reamer was handy and the machine shop, not so much.  It was claimed that the bushings last longer when done that way.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 11:56:29 PM by restoguy »
1993 GMC Typhoon #1440 not stock! 113k
1995 GMC C3500HD 454/4L80E 60"CtA Versalift TEL29 180k
1997 GMC K1500 XCSB Z71 5.7/auto all original 295k
1999 GMC K3500 CCLB 4x4 6.5/auto original engine 330k

restoguy

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  • Posts: 14
  • Location: W-KS, DenCO
Re: "THE" kingpin thread...
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2017, 12:08:58 AM »
Once the bushings are in and reamed, use the driver to install the seals.  I would have put them in backwards if not for my friend's advice.  The lip goes towards the axle so the grease can get out, but water can't get in.



This side towards the axle (on top) or the bearing (on bottom)



This side towards the bushing.



Use the driver tool because these seals are pretty delicate and easy to destroy. Just drive them in flush.

1993 GMC Typhoon #1440 not stock! 113k
1995 GMC C3500HD 454/4L80E 60"CtA Versalift TEL29 180k
1997 GMC K1500 XCSB Z71 5.7/auto all original 295k
1999 GMC K3500 CCLB 4x4 6.5/auto original engine 330k

restoguy

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  • Posts: 14
  • Location: W-KS, DenCO
Re: "THE" kingpin thread...
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2017, 12:26:51 AM »
My axle holes were so galled up that I had to hit them with a brake hone to get the pins to fit.  I would have preferred a ball style hone, but I had the other style already.



Grease up the bushings and, for gawd sake, anti-sieze the pin hole!





Then start putting it all back together.



I was advised that the bearing goes in with the outer cup facing down so as to keep water out.  I didn't pay close attention to how my old ones came out but it makes sense to me.  So I packed them with grease and slipped them in as the pin went through.



Top of bearing



Bottom of bearing



1993 GMC Typhoon #1440 not stock! 113k
1995 GMC C3500HD 454/4L80E 60"CtA Versalift TEL29 180k
1997 GMC K1500 XCSB Z71 5.7/auto all original 295k
1999 GMC K3500 CCLB 4x4 6.5/auto original engine 330k

restoguy

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  • Posts: 14
  • Location: W-KS, DenCO
Re: "THE" kingpin thread...
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2017, 12:41:25 AM »
Next, anti-sieze the crap out of the retaining bolt and put it in place.  It should be obvious but there is a flat on the kingpin that lines up with the bolt hole and a flat on the bolt that keeps the pin in place.  I didn't get pics of that.





Congratulations! You have replaced the kingpins and busings.  Now reassemble everything else.





Caps, top and bottom, along with the brake line bracket, ABS wire/bracket, steering arm, tie rod, etc.



I squirted a little grease through the zerk before putting the cap on to be sure it was all clean because mine had some super nasty grease/rust in them when I took them apart.

To put the ABS sensor back on correctly you need to set the air gap right.  It's supposed to be .060 so I used calipers to find the right number of pages in a notebook and used that as my spacer.  It's curved and the GM manual specifically says not to use a feeler gauge.  Also, you have to take the rotor off the hub to do this. I was replacing rotors anyway, so no big deal.



« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 01:21:31 AM by restoguy »
1993 GMC Typhoon #1440 not stock! 113k
1995 GMC C3500HD 454/4L80E 60"CtA Versalift TEL29 180k
1997 GMC K1500 XCSB Z71 5.7/auto all original 295k
1999 GMC K3500 CCLB 4x4 6.5/auto original engine 330k

restoguy

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  • Posts: 14
  • Location: W-KS, DenCO
Re: "THE" kingpin thread...
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2017, 12:53:58 AM »
I repacked the wheel bearings and torqued the nut to the specified 12ft/lbs, then backed it off one flat and pinned it.  That's the orders from the General!  Pump grease into the caps, and all the steering while you're there.  Put the calipers and wheels back on and you're done.

I put on rebuilt calipers, new brake hoses, new pads, and new rotors while I had it all apart. I filed the slots where the pads ride in the knuckle and cleaned up the area where the caliper sits because I had been fighting uneven pad wear and a bad squeak in the front end. You can see how much wear the spindle had in the brake pad area.  Don't know if it hurts anything or not.





I packed a little grease in the channel of the caliper to keep water out. We will see how long that lasts.  I will say that my brakes are quite a lot better now.  I also replaced a leaking hyroboost (accumulator leak) and put on a new master cylinder for good measure.  It was only $50 or something. Seemed dumb to leave it when everything else was getting replaced!

I'm glad that I have fresh kingpins in my bucket truck.  But even more, I'm glad that I'll never have to do it again!  I worked at it several days in between letting paint dry, and looking for/making tools, etc.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 01:05:10 AM by restoguy »
1993 GMC Typhoon #1440 not stock! 113k
1995 GMC C3500HD 454/4L80E 60"CtA Versalift TEL29 180k
1997 GMC K1500 XCSB Z71 5.7/auto all original 295k
1999 GMC K3500 CCLB 4x4 6.5/auto original engine 330k

restoguy

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  • Posts: 14
  • Location: W-KS, DenCO
Re: "THE" kingpin thread...
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2017, 01:14:45 AM »
One last pic, just for fun. A friend of mine has these lifts that are hella sweet! I wanted to change the rear diff fluid and figured, they are already paid for, so it wasn't going to cost us anything to use them!





1993 GMC Typhoon #1440 not stock! 113k
1995 GMC C3500HD 454/4L80E 60"CtA Versalift TEL29 180k
1997 GMC K1500 XCSB Z71 5.7/auto all original 295k
1999 GMC K3500 CCLB 4x4 6.5/auto original engine 330k

RPF207

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Re: "THE" kingpin thread...
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2017, 07:54:21 AM »
Nice! Good info, good pics
1999 chevy HD 4x4 135.5" 6.5 nv4500 bw4470 Dana 70 HP 10 lug front

Due to recent budget cuts the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off

ED-NY

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Re: "THE" kingpin thread...
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2017, 08:03:23 AM »
Outstanding post!

Questions:  The king pin kit comes with shims..if needed where would you place them?

                  How close was the front end alignment after the R&R?

Thanks

restoguy

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  • Posts: 14
  • Location: W-KS, DenCO
Re: "THE" kingpin thread...
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2017, 11:43:43 PM »
Shims. Thats a good question! My friend didnt say and mine were tight enough without them. Ill ask what he knows next time I see him.

I haven't taken it in for an alignment in all the years I'ved owned it. But its going in now! I knew they would just tell me that the kingpins were worn and they couldn't do it unless I paid them stupid money to fix it first. I do wear the outside shoulder off my tires something awful.
1993 GMC Typhoon #1440 not stock! 113k
1995 GMC C3500HD 454/4L80E 60"CtA Versalift TEL29 180k
1997 GMC K1500 XCSB Z71 5.7/auto all original 295k
1999 GMC K3500 CCLB 4x4 6.5/auto original engine 330k

 


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