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Old 07-07-2007, 09:19 PM   #1
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hopefully someone out there has an answer for me !!!!!!

Hey all,

I have been visited by Prince Procrastination and am need of help !!!!

I have two weeks, which (crosses fingers) is plenty of time, to figure out why my front right wheel has a cupping wear pattern on it. A trucker at a truck stop on the way home from Alpine Valley to Des Moines said that it was caused by a worn king pin. I have snatched a good one and have the front wheel and hub off (and damn was that a son of a dog !! the lugs prolly hadnt been off for four foot breaker bar long.)

I put the breaker bar under the hub before removing it and if anything there was about a 1/16 or so of play. Could that cause the cupping ? My front wheels are the 5 star pattern and when spinning the hub the star ends are out just about a 1/16 on two off them and maybe half that on the other. Could that also be the culprit ?

Also am I correct in thinking that there is no camber adjustment on the solid axle front ( just toe in and out ).

Anyone replaced a king pin before and have some advice.... Do I just pretty much unbolt everything and yank it off and put on the 'new' one ?

Wheel bearings seem just peachy and am also pleased to see plenty of wear left on at least those brake pads.

Heck, with the amount of miles I put on the bus I should probably just put on a new/slighty used tire and call it good...


Thanks for any and all input !!!!

TonyC in Iowa
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Old 07-09-2007, 01:27 AM   #2
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Re: hopefully someone out there has an answer for me !!!!!!

hey Tony...

Howz the kingpin project coming?
I'm not sure if I can shed any light on this project for you or not. Most of the time, kingpins are pressed out at a machine shop... you can hammer them out, but I understand it's a real pitb. I don't know if you would have to remove the whole axel and take it to the machine shop or not. There is probably a hydralic tool you could rent that could press it out for you.
As far as alignment goes... they actually cold bend the axel with a phematic(?) press. I watched them do the alignment on my '68 F-250 Camper Special that way... it was pretty cool. There aren'y many places that even do that any more...

Good luck...
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Old 07-09-2007, 03:17 AM   #3
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Re: hopefully someone out there has an answer for me !!!!!!

I'd be interested in seeing that alignment being done. My understanding was that they were like any other solid front axle.

In my Toyota-

Caster was factory set by the kingpin alignment in relation to the spring perches (which are determined by leaf spring centering pin location, front and rear spring eye location, etc etc etc). I changed it after my swap using degree shims between the leaf springs and that's they way I thought you would ultimately have to do it if it differed from factory specs.

The camber is set by the king pin inclination. The king pins on my vehicles use bearings instead of bushings. There is no logical way to adjust camber as best as I can tell. My scrub radius is also stuck which hurts considering my brake and hub setup....

So...the toe and thrust angle are the only things I can adjust, much like on our buses. It was always my thought that if the caster or camber was out you had tweaked a front axle and you had bigger problems provided the king pins are still in good shape.

I have never changed my own tire on the bus. I consider myself to be reasonably mechanically inclined, but it's easier for me to pay the few dollars a year for towing insurance than to get new big heavy tools (although with a Harbor Freight open in town now that might change). I have, however, always watched when my tires have come off. The tech doing it always torqued all the bolts in the normal star pattern until they were just snug and then spun the wheel. He would check the runout with a similar method to the 2x4 method above. Basically, he had a large square that he put next to the tire so he could see how much it was running out. Tightening the nut on the high side a little would pull it back in....spin some more....tighten.....spin....tighten...etc until it was at torque specs and the run out was reasonable. The last one was within 1/8 of an inch.
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Old 07-11-2007, 12:13 AM   #4
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Re: hopefully someone out there has an answer for me !!!!!!

Not sure about a bus, but on a car, a bad shock will cause the cupping on tires. I don't see why a bus would be any different. Bad bushings will do it too, but if I remember right, my bus doesn't have bushings. It's leaf springs in the front. Check that shock though.
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Old 07-14-2007, 10:52 AM   #5
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Re: hopefully someone out there has an answer for me !!!!!!

at least part of your problem is the lose wheel bearing. When I was a kid in my 20's I worked on big trucks. To set wheel bearing tolerance, jack wheel up, places hands on top of tire, use feet as a wedge. Wiggle tires back forth.( I hope that you understand if you don't e-mail me back)
just hope my explanation is plain. It needs to just barely move, very little slop. too tight and the bearing binds too lose and the bearing will destroy itself. You can feel it binding if it is too tight, obviously you know what loose feels like. So tighen the bearing to the point of no slop, then tighten the nut 1/8 of turn more to seat the bearing, then back about the same to get the proper amount of play. check again with your feet and hands for the proper feel just the very minium amount of play, if it does not feel right do it again. as for toe-in the proper set up. after wheel bearings are set and you have good king pins is as follows. both wheels off of the ground, get a piece of chalk, spin tires rapidly, use chalk to mark center line in tire, in other words hold chalk against what looks to be the center of tire as it rotates to make a line all the way around the tire in same location, if its not it center it's ok, just need a measuring point all the way around the tire. Now that both tires are marked.
Measure front and rear of tire, and no you will not be able to measure 180 degrees from the other point because of obstructions ie, the motor. that ok just get as close as you can. the front should be 1/4 of an inch shorter than rear thus providing toe-in, if this make bus pull to the left or right take the adjustmen from other tie rod, but usually setting passenger side you won't have a problem. e-mail me if have any questions or need further explanation e-mail me
thanks dale
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Old 07-14-2007, 11:05 AM   #6
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Re: hopefully someone out there has an answer for me !!!!!!

oh buy the way to check king pins use a 2 foot long prybar with wheel off of ground between hub and axle at the top and bottom of the king pin slop should be no more than 1/8 to 1/4 movement. sounds like alot right, wrong if you don't have some slop you can't put greaase in them. Also put as much grease as you can pump into them before checking and if your gease seals are leaking from top or bottom replace them or you won't get proper tension on the king pins, sorry I forgot this in my last post, haven a grandpa moment. dale again -e-mail me if you need more help
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Old 07-14-2007, 11:12 AM   #7
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Re: hopefully someone out there has an answer for me !!!!!!

camber is set by putting the axle in a press an tweeking the angles. the only other setting is for road crown. Did you notice the shims between the u bolts and the axle passenger side should be about 1 1/4 inches higher than drivers side if not that will cause cupping, the road is higher in the center to allow water run off. this is the last one, hope it's been helpful. dale
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Old 07-16-2007, 06:26 AM   #8
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Re: hopefully someone out there has an answer for me !!!!!!

As far as replacing the kingpin, if that is anything like the upper and lower ball-joints on a regular truck then, yes, it can be a SOB to get in and out. From working on the bigger trucks you can sometimes whack it just right with a small sledge and it will just pop right out, we have also seen them so tight that we had to heat the whole assembly up to cherry red and then a good solid whack popped it right out.

Getting a new one in is pretty easy though (at least on the lower) since you just use the weight of the vehicle to press fit it in.

They do make a hydraulic press specifically for removing and replacing these things, but a very pricey and specific-use tool for the common garage monkey to keep around.
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Old 07-16-2007, 11:40 PM   #9
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Re: hopefully someone out there has an answer for me !!!!!!

if you are interested in making this tool I can instruct you how to make it with a bottle jack some all thread rod and some steel if you can weld and are used to metal fabrication, Also once you get the king pins out an inside diametor micrometor will tell how bad the whole in the axle is egg shaped. If it is egg shapped you you can have your local amchine shop bore a larger (round) whole and sleeve it a good machinist can make the sleeve out a brass rod heat the axle and press it in.
I also need to make a ammendment to my comments on setting toe-in.
lossen both drage links on steering tube and twist to set tow in. The comment about pull to the left or right was intended to explain that you remove the tie rod from the spindle and turn it individually to cure pull to the left or right. after reading it again I realized that my comments were vague. I assumed that everyone that read it knew that turning the steering tube either way gave tow-in or tow-out equally( depending on the direction turned).
I apologize for my vagueness. dale

If anyone is interested I can explain how to set the rear track on single axle or tandem just tlet me know
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Old 07-16-2007, 11:58 PM   #10
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Re: hopefully someone out there has an answer for me !!!!!!

also on most trucks I have a trick that we used to save time on r/r (removal/reinstalation) of the hub that most people miss.
leave your rim bolted to hub. remove bearing, remove brake lines, take impact remove the 4 bolts that hold the backing plate to the hub.
remove wheel with brakes backing plate bearing ect as one piece. do not let wheel fall on side real pain to pick twice as heavy. set to side.
all that is left is spindle and free acess to likg pin, also no brake adjustment latter at installation becaue nothing has been disturbed. to install again use two long pry bars on bottom of tire to aid in putting back bearings back on spindles. hope this helps.
this works on most trucks, because the nuts on the backing plate are welded on and the rear bearing stays in the hub. It will not work when the nuts are not welded to the backing plate because they will fall into the brake drum. If this is the case you may want to tack weld the nuts to the backing plate so it will work the next time.
hope this helps give me some feed back I have a few more tricks up my sleeve to save time if anyone is interested
Dale
oh by the way I are not n english majr please excuse my bad grammer, poor spelling, and lack of puncuation. there's a reason i are a mechan nut
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