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Old 05-07-2017, 08:47 AM   #211
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
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I've been getting into the front end of the bus this spring. The first task was to research and purchase new tires. While I purchased the cheapest tires around, they are still far from cheap! $350 CAD each.. Yowsers. I'm hoping to get 10 years out of them, though. With good care and covers I expect that time frame to be reasonable.



I grabbed 6 Sailun tires from Kal-Tire. They were a pleasure to deal with. There is a Fountain Tire around here as well, but the people I spoke to on the commercial side of the business were shockingly inept. The folk at Kal-Tire knew exactly what was going on.



Removed the valve core and broke the bead of one of the tires with the sledge hammer. No problem. It only took a couple strikes of the sidewall. I was able to break the bead of the other front tire by simply jumping up and down around the sidewall. So far big tires are WAY easier to work on than small tires! Ever try to get a four-wheeler tire off? Brutal...




This job should be further along by now, but it's also shearing season. That eats up most of my time during May.

While the front tires were off I decided to tackle the kingpins. The right side has slop and the left side is tight, but kingpins come in a pack of two so I'm doing both.
I did the job in the same manner as this YouTube fellow:


The kingpins themselves weren't too bad to remove. A bit of heat and a sledge hammer did it. The difficulty lied in the draw key wedges. Those things were in there tight! There's no good way to grab and pull them out and the air hammer mushrooms the ends making them stick in even tighter. I was able to get 2 of them out with hammering. I had to drill 1 of them out almost entirely before the stresses were relieved enough that I could knock it out. Then there was 1 that I had to drill out AND melt with an oxy-acetylene torch! That single draw key kept me busy for most of the day!

Installing the kingpins was fairly straight forward. The kit comes with instructions. They recommend the use of a special tool to get the bushings installed properly. 0.130" countersunk - I'm happy with 0.125" (1/8"). I made my own tool out of some all-thread and a 1/8" washer that was ground down to fit the bushing outside diameter perfectly.




Here's how I ground down the washer:



Anyhow, the kingpins are finished and the brake calipers are back on! Now it's time to focus the attention on getting those tires swapped over!
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Old 05-07-2017, 09:22 AM   #212
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so how do you tell if the kingspins are in need of replacement?. what do you shake and manhandle to figure out whats loose?

-Christopher
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Old 05-07-2017, 09:31 AM   #213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
so how do you tell if the kingspins are in need of replacement?. what do you shake and manhandle to figure out whats loose?

-Christopher
The biggest indication that the kingpins are worn is a *thunk* when transitioning into a tight corner, especially at low speed. That noise is the kingpin flopping from one side of the worn bushings to the other side. The right side kingpin bushings were most worn on mine, so often when taking a sharp left corner I could here the clunk.

Tire wear on the inside edge of the tread is also an indicator.

A more quantifiable approach is to jack the axle up so the wheel is off the ground and - using a bar preferably - wobble the tire on the horizontal axis. I believe a quarter inch of play at the top or bottom of the tire is the absolute max you want.

EDIT: here's what Stemco has to say about it www.stemco.com/f/qbin/safety-inspection-sheet-measuring-movement.pdf. Turns out 1/2" of play is the limit for most of our tires.
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Old 05-07-2017, 06:22 PM   #214
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does doing kingpins require a lot of body-strength (human)? or is it something a little skinny guy can do?

-Christopher
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Old 05-08-2017, 08:59 AM   #215
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazty View Post
I did the job in the same manner as this YouTube fellow:

That looks like a huge PITA. I'm glad I've got no thunking sounds. I'll have to check my service records and see when they were done last.

You drove the pins in and out the same way he did? I'm thinking a hydraulic jack on just the pin from underneath would get them out easily. The horizontal pins look like a mother regardless.

Quote:
Here's how I ground down the washer:
Clever.
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Old 05-08-2017, 09:04 AM   #216
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
does doing kingpins require a lot of body-strength (human)? or is it something a little skinny guy can do?

-Christopher
I would say... very likely that anyone could do it with the right prep work.

I went about it the absolute heaviest way possible. I didn't undo the axle nut and remove the hub+rotor assembly. I didn't undo the steering linkages. This meant I was moving around lots of weight. The steering linkages made it quiet unwieldy.

A floor jack would have been amazing. That would undoubtedly make life easier.

All this being said, I have a friend who is a farmer/logger. He does all the work on his two logging trucks. He's not a big guy and only has one arm (not due to working on the trucks, btw.. farming accident). Anyone can do these jobs with the right level of ingenuity.

It's also worth noting that you might as well do the axle seals while you're in there. They're cheap and if it's apart anyway...
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Old 05-08-2017, 09:08 AM   #217
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewerbob View Post
You drove the pins in and out the same way he did? I'm thinking a hydraulic jack on just the pin from underneath would get them out easily.
Those were my thoughts exactly! However, those pins were in there too tight. The weight of the bus wasn't enough to get them to budge. They needed the ol' shock treatment (and some heat).

I considered putting the weight of the bus on the pins and hammering the axle itself downwards, but didn't like the idea of jamming so much force into the hydraulic jack.

If the sledge hammer and pin idea wasn't going to work my next step was to build a quick and dirty 20-ton press that fits over the axle. Thankfully I didn't need to put that much effort into the job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewerbob View Post
The horizontal pins look like a mother regardless.
Oh yes... the worst..
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Old 05-08-2017, 09:32 AM   #218
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Originally Posted by jazty View Post
If the sledge hammer and pin idea wasn't going to work my next step was to build a quick and dirty 20-ton press that fits over the axle. Thankfully I didn't need to put that much effort into the job.
That's what I had to do. 2"x2"x3/16 gauge steel pipe and a 10 ton porta power. Heating it cherry red and using a brass drift with a sledge hammer wouldn't get it to budge. They make presses for these but at 800 for a screw version and 1600 for the hydraulic I figured I could do it cheaper.

Still ended up having to heat it up cherry red with the full pressure of the press on it.

Now to find an adjustable reamer to size the bushings. What did you use?
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Old 05-08-2017, 09:40 AM   #219
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazty View Post
The weight of the bus wasn't enough to get them to budge. They needed the ol' shock treatment (and some heat).
Sweet jesus. I absolutely HATE having to press anything. Unpressing even more so. That does it; I'm buying a pneumatic hammer. It'll be a cheapy from Horrible Freight but still.

Quote:
I considered putting the weight of the bus on the pins and hammering the axle itself downwards, but didn't like the idea of jamming so much force into the hydraulic jack.
Screw that. I'd be more worried about the bus or the supports under the bus. I don't want to lift the bus and then have it drop when it suddenly breaks loose. Granted you only left until it's just clear of the support but still. If it's a stack of 6x6s or something...

Quote:
If the sledge hammer and pin idea wasn't going to work my next step was to build a quick and dirty 20-ton press that fits over the axle. Thankfully I didn't need to put that much effort into the job.
Also a Horrible Freight I think but I have a press stand that I think is 20 ton. Might only be 12. Hmm, I'll have to check. I hate that damn thing too.

Quote:
Oh yes... the worst..
So, how did you drill them? Mopre exactly , how did you keep the drill bit from walking? Even if you used a smaller bit and worked your way up, there's no way it was centered and stayed centered thru the length of the pin. Any little bit of angle and you're screwed.
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Old 05-08-2017, 09:42 AM   #220
Bus Crazy
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
Now to find an adjustable reamer to size the bushings. What did you use?
These were reamerless (??) bushings. It explicitly states on the box, "DO NOT REAM!"

I'd be surprised if there were any semi-modern kingpins that didn't have a reamerless bushing option these days..
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