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Old 09-18-2023, 11:09 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by nikitis View Post
I'm on a quest now to obtain a press or build one. I may head to a steel yard at lunch time to attempt to obtain metal to weld one and use my 20 ton jack, 1/2 inch steel C Channel, and 1/4x2in steel square tubing like in the Youtube video above. I think that setup will work well. He only used a 6 ton jack, so a 20 ton should be sufficient. Just gotta buy the metal and do it. Will update with pics as I obtain and build it.
Another possible option, use a 25% Harbor freight coupon, get a press already made, just got to cut it down to size ???

BTW, outstanding job so far!

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Old 09-18-2023, 05:45 PM   #22
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Update: Got steel from the local "U-Pick" salvage lot.


Going to attempt to make a king pin press out of this.
1x - 6ftx4inx4in I-Beam. 1/8 inch thick

1x - 8ft Angle Iron 1/4 inch Thick


Most of the press will be the I-Beam, since it has a lot of welding surface edges for strength.


At the top, the I-Beam will stop and be cut off over the king pin exit area, and I'll cut the Angle Iron up so it's flat iron, and connect the two I-Beams at the top, leaving room for the king pin to exit, and double up the flat iron for added strength. Pictures below of the used raw steel I'll use, and a picture of a diagram made in a Linux Paint app called Gimp.
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IMG_20230918_174513.jpg   IMG_20230918_174526.jpg   Hydrolic King Pin Press.jpg  
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Old 09-19-2023, 10:18 PM   #23
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Today's Update:


Cut the I-Beam up into the sections I need. I'm going to change the top part and use only the angle iron.


The plan is for the top piece is to cut the length across the top twice in the angle iron, and weld it together to make a 4x3 1/4 inch tube which will give it more strength, and is shaped better for the task to hold on top of the axle better.


I'll cut 2x 2in holes in the new 4x3 tube in the middle for the king pin to pass through, then weld it all together. I may even cut some triangles and weld them into the I-Beams to make it even stronger.


Updated Pic on progress of I-Beam cuts:
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Old 09-20-2023, 06:02 PM   #24
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Those draw keys are just rude. I believe max wear is 3/8. If I catch it just before I've advised customer of upcoming repair and show wear to spray penetrating oil. Some have sprayed once a week for months till return. Then I heat the axle up and take a flat bit on my air hammer and vibrate/hammer the axle close to those wedges. When I start seeing brown powdered dust coming from the wedge I switch bits to a cupped bit and run it on the wedge. Had them blow out like a bullet. It's a crap job but with a rosebud torch and a damn good heavy duty hammer they do come out. Easier when the driver lubes them for extended time.

Looking forward to see your press in action.
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Old 09-20-2023, 11:59 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Omnibot2000 View Post
Those draw keys are just rude. I believe max wear is 3/8. If I catch it just before I've advised customer of upcoming repair and show wear to spray penetrating oil. Some have sprayed once a week for months till return. Then I heat the axle up and take a flat bit on my air hammer and vibrate/hammer the axle close to those wedges. When I start seeing brown powdered dust coming from the wedge I switch bits to a cupped bit and run it on the wedge. Had them blow out like a bullet. It's a crap job but with a rosebud torch and a damn good heavy duty hammer they do come out. Easier when the driver lubes them for extended time.

Looking forward to see your press in action.

I practically did all of that except let it sit for weeks. only 2 days with penetrating oil. Also built a home made forge propane torch and got the axle red hot, still wouldn't come out with my air chisel. I cut a chisel bit that was about 3/8 round, and ground it flat so it would press easily against key. Still no go even while axle was red hot, it some how was welded to the axle. I couldn't tell you how.


Update on progress tonight: Cut the two angle irons to size, didn't weld it together yet, but laid it on to show it's final position. Still need to cut the 2 inch holes through the yellow iron for the king pin to exit through. See pics:
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Old 09-21-2023, 05:27 AM   #26
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https://www.amazon.ca/King-Pin-Press...05890866&psc=1

I've used this for king pin press. Never found one that could not remove.

https://www.amazon.ca/Astro-Pneumati...ws_feature_div

Any other air hammer other then this I consider it a noise maker. Lots of air hammers out there and 90% In my opinion are junk.
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Old 09-21-2023, 09:48 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Omnibot2000 View Post
https://www.amazon.ca/King-Pin-Press...05890866&psc=1

I've used this for king pin press. Never found one that could not remove.

https://www.amazon.ca/Astro-Pneumati...ws_feature_div

Any other air hammer other then this I consider it a noise maker. Lots of air hammers out there and 90% In my opinion are junk.

@Omnibot2000 That press though is $2,025. That's the problem. A tool for 2 plates and some large bolts shouldn't cost $2,025 period. The material costs are simply NOT that high, even if it's forged steel. I bought 3 times that amount of metal for $100 in the scrap yard (with plenty of leftover metal for later projects) for the one I'm building which should do the same thing, and mine will be hydrolic based for an extra $50. The whole automotive industry has become too greedy, and normal people like myself are now doing our own jobs, buying our own welding equipment and plasma cutting equipment, and building our own tools because they've priced us out of options. Over time that's going to hurt their business in the long run, or run the country into the ground out of necessity making us all poorer.


Also with the advent of Metal 3D printers coming into homes soon, we'll all be printing our own automotive parts saving even more for DIY'ers.



I mean think about it. $2025, I could literally buy a welder for $600, and a plasma cutter for $250 which equals $850, $100 for the scrap metal, so $950, and $50 for a 6 ton jack, so $1000, buy the king pin kit for $250, so $1250 total, do the job myself, save on Labor costs, and STILL be $775 ( $2025-1250 = $775 in savings) under what the price of that one tiger tool costs, and I now have welding equipment and plasma equipment plus a tool to do future jobs, and future king pin jobs for friends and projects/fixes, further taking away business opportunities from mechanics who over charge.



Kind of the point to this project is to also show it can be done by you, and cheaply, and it should, and if everyone started doing this, guess what? Prices will begin to fall for auto mechanic services as they'll stop having the demand(The Need people to have their cars/buses fixed) and supply(business opportunities coming to them). This of course won't happen for awhile, and they'll continue to rake in cash at the expense of red blooded Americans because the demand is still high, but eventually what is happening in the housing markets now will happen to the automotive industry, when people can no longer afford automotive services like they cannot afford housing now. I refuse to pay $2000 for two plates and bolts, forged or not. It's outrageous and there are alternative methods available to which I'll use, and you should as well when you come across such situations.


As for the Air hammer, I'll look into it. Thanks for the suggestions. My air hammer is medium grade, but doesn't quite punch what I need it to in some cases like these keys.


As for Mechanics reading this, I as a customer would love to use your services, it's something I'd rather not have to mess with, but that being said, I'm not going to pay the current prices for parts and services, and will encourage others to not as well and do the work themselves. I also get your points, You can charge more because you can, I get it, the demand is there right now, and if you can get paid to do easy jobs vs the hard ones why wouldn't you? But I would ask how those actions are affecting the country you live in, and is it making it a better place? That demand will not always be there. I assume you want to be a Mechanic as you love that type of work and the value you bring to your country with your services. You literally keep things running, and it's an important job, no doubt, but people are hurting today so consider that when negotiating pricing with customers. You'll be able to see it on their faces.



Or if you don't care and are just doing it because it's a job, then carry on I guess and let things fall where they may. I'm sure I'll get flak for these comments, but it's how I feel.
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Old 09-21-2023, 10:44 AM   #28
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It's ok to feel upset at how much things cost, but please stop misplacing the blame on mechanics. Have you ever met a rich mechanic? How about one that takes long vacations? Doesn't happen. Mechanics work their butts off trying to make a decent income just like you or me.

Doing most or all your own maintenance/repair work is the only way that owning a bus makes sense financially. It sucks that your king pin job has fought you every step of the way, but you're fighting it right back and doing the right thing by making your press. You got this, and the knowledge you gain will make you better off in the long run.
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Old 09-21-2023, 04:16 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikitis View Post
@Omnibot2000 That press though is $2,025. That's the problem. A tool for 2 plates and some large bolts shouldn't cost $2,025 period. The material costs are simply NOT that high, even if it's forged steel. I bought 3 times that amount of metal for $100 in the scrap yard (with plenty of leftover metal for later projects) for the one I'm building which should do the same thing, and mine will be hydrolic based for an extra $50. The whole automotive industry has become too greedy, and normal people like myself are now doing our own jobs, buying our own welding equipment and plasma cutting equipment, and building our own tools because they've priced us out of options. Over time that's going to hurt their business in the long run, or run the country into the ground out of necessity making us all poorer.


Also with the advent of Metal 3D printers coming into homes soon, we'll all be printing our own automotive parts saving even more for DIY'ers.



I mean think about it. $2025, I could literally buy a welder for $600, and a plasma cutter for $250 which equals $850, $100 for the scrap metal, so $950, and $50 for a 6 ton jack, so $1000, buy the king pin kit for $250, so $1250 total, do the job myself, save on Labor costs, and STILL be $775 ( $2025-1250 = $775 in savings) under what the price of that one tiger tool costs, and I now have welding equipment and plasma equipment plus a tool to do future jobs, and future king pin jobs for friends and projects/fixes, further taking away business opportunities from mechanics who over charge.



Kind of the point to this project is to also show it can be done by you, and cheaply, and it should, and if everyone started doing this, guess what? Prices will begin to fall for auto mechanic services as they'll stop having the demand(The Need people to have their cars/buses fixed) and supply(business opportunities coming to them). This of course won't happen for awhile, and they'll continue to rake in cash at the expense of red blooded Americans because the demand is still high, but eventually what is happening in the housing markets now will happen to the automotive industry, when people can no longer afford automotive services like they cannot afford housing now. I refuse to pay $2000 for two plates and bolts, forged or not. It's outrageous and there are alternative methods available to which I'll use, and you should as well when you come across such situations.


As for the Air hammer, I'll look into it. Thanks for the suggestions. My air hammer is medium grade, but doesn't quite punch what I need it to in some cases like these keys.


As for Mechanics reading this, I as a customer would love to use your services, it's something I'd rather not have to mess with, but that being said, I'm not going to pay the current prices for parts and services, and will encourage others to not as well and do the work themselves. I also get your points, You can charge more because you can, I get it, the demand is there right now, and if you can get paid to do easy jobs vs the hard ones why wouldn't you? But I would ask how those actions are affecting the country you live in, and is it making it a better place? That demand will not always be there. I assume you want to be a Mechanic as you love that type of work and the value you bring to your country with your services. You literally keep things running, and it's an important job, no doubt, but people are hurting today so consider that when negotiating pricing with customers. You'll be able to see it on their faces.



Or if you don't care and are just doing it because it's a job, then carry on I guess and let things fall where they may. I'm sure I'll get flak for these comments, but it's how I feel.
Your kinda missing the point of my post. Another option to building a hyd. press is to build something similar that I use in the industry.

But off topic, I know this tool is expensive, it's built for continues use day in and day out and the quality of the tool is bar none the top 3 in the industry. The industry can't afford a cheap alternative homemade tool that will break on the 3rd use or using a cheap replica. Time is money in truck down time and the shop can't charge the customer countless hours fixing a home made tool.

I've got specialty tools that I've spent thousands of dollars on that are no good today as engines are not produced anymore and have worn themselves out into the scrap yard. This financial cost is factored into the shop labor rate. Tooling is getting more expensive each and every day.
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Old 09-21-2023, 05:21 PM   #30
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If I’ve learned one thing from this thread, there are future manufacturing moguls on this message board. Just ribbing you. I’m impressed with the work you’ve done. Not an easy job at all, but you’ll get it.
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Old 09-22-2023, 09:54 AM   #31
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Your kinda missing the point of my post. Another option to building a hyd. press is to build something similar that I use in the industry.

But off topic, I know this tool is expensive, it's built for continues use day in and day out and the quality of the tool is bar none the top 3 in the industry. The industry can't afford a cheap alternative homemade tool that will break on the 3rd use or using a cheap replica. Time is money in truck down time and the shop can't charge the customer countless hours fixing a home made tool.

I've got specialty tools that I've spent thousands of dollars on that are no good today as engines are not produced anymore and have worn themselves out into the scrap yard. This financial cost is factored into the shop labor rate. Tooling is getting more expensive each and every day.

Ah yes, I was missing the point, but I do agree with it now that you clarified. And I understand the reasoning the price is so high except that it begs the question, where is the tool for the average guy who isn't in the business? Maybe if people want them I can sell these for that market or make them for people and run my own online store severily undercutting the tool manufacturers, and mechanics can buy them too for cheap. I'm sure something like this would work more than a few times. I wanted to say a lot more on this but I'm not so sure it's being well received by many so I'll refrain.



As for the project:

I'll be working on the tool more tonight after my day job as an I.T. guy, and tomorrow , so expect some updates then on this project maybe as early tonight.
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Old 09-22-2023, 09:35 PM   #32
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Ah yes, I was missing the point, but I do agree with it now that you clarified. And I understand the reasoning the price is so high except that it begs the question, where is the tool for the average guy who isn't in the business? Maybe if people want them I can sell these for that market or make them for people and run my own online store severily undercutting the tool manufacturers, and mechanics can buy them too for cheap. I'm sure something like this would work more than a few times. I wanted to say a lot more on this but I'm not so sure it's being well received by many so I'll refrain.



As for the project:

I'll be working on the tool more tonight after my day job as an I.T. guy, and tomorrow , so expect some updates then on this project maybe as early tonight.
Unfortunately manufactures IMO stopped competing with each other and are now in bed with each other.

Example, NVIDIA sells a graphics card for $1200, AMD now sells a competing card for $1150. Instead of AMD undercutting NVIDIA by $300 or more, they just price it near the top a couple dollars cheaper. They sell the product at an inflated price cause they make more money on the product. Instead of trying to steal market share companies are realizing that they only need to sell a few dollars less and still make more profit. if AMD builds a video card for $600, sells it for $800, total sales are 10 cards. They made $2000 profit. But if AMD sells the same card for $1100, only sell 8 cards, unable to steal the 2 card sales from NVIDIA. AMD made $4000 profit selling less cards.

I had to purchase some backing plates for a Western star. I purchased them for $35 each. 3 months later I had to purchase more backing plates. The same plates where then $65. I asked the lady at the parts counter why such a large jump? She said Daimler came down and set the prices. Everything jumped over night. With that said, I found the aftermarket equivalent jumped price only within $8 of the OEM plates. Issue is they are cheap and rust off in a few years. As a consumer what do you do then?

I believe it to be corperate greed. Share holders come first or they will simply invest their money into another company that will pay those dividends. Drive the prices through the roof for the product, the mom and pop shops still have to buy the product. There is a huge mechanic shortage where I live in Canada. Tools are expensive. cost has to get passed down. I know of some shops charge $170/hr. Pay the mechanics crazy sums, forcing again mom and pop shops having to pay more labor for mechanics. Competition is crazy. I actually heard an ad. on the radio the Government is willing to pay a company $20K to take on an apprentice. Issue is the kids today coming through the program has an incredibly high failure rate then it was 20 years ago. Work ethic is not there, no desire, constantly fighting to keep them off their phones, or realize its to hard and simply quit. Out of 10 apprentices we kept 3. Out of those 3, 2 of them were raised on the farm. 1 of them left after getting licensed to farm again when his father got sick.

The shop where I am, average mechanic age is 61, my store keeper is 65. I'm a Forman, I'm 43. Those 60 year old guys out work anyone I've seen. I don't look forward as to what the industry will be like in 20 years.
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Old 09-23-2023, 03:45 PM   #33
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It's ok to feel upset at how much things cost, but please stop misplacing the blame on mechanics. Have you ever met a rich mechanic? How about one that takes long vacations? Doesn't happen. Mechanics work their butts off trying to make a decent income just like you or me.

Doing most or all your own maintenance/repair work is the only way that owning a bus makes sense financially. It sucks that your king pin job has fought you every step of the way, but you're fighting it right back and doing the right thing by making your press. You got this, and the knowledge you gain will make you better off in the long run.

Back when I was an owner operator I did have a mechanic that was very well off but he earned it by working 90 hours or more a week for usually 18 months straight then he'd take 6 weeks off and lay on the beach in Baja. Best damn mechanic I ever had.
Prices are way higher than any of us are happy about but I still bitch about not being able to buy gas for 18 cents per gallon, it was nice to fill my bug for 2 bucks.🥸
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Old 09-24-2023, 09:07 AM   #34
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SUCCESS! They're OUT!

See 3 pics below: The 3rd pic shows the crushed key.

Yeah exactly my sentiments Omnibot2000 and shorthair. I believe all of this is by design by the corporations, they've told us their plans in how we'll own nothing. They'll just price the normal guy all out to where we cannot afford to fix vehicles much less buy new ones, and wait out the old vehicles demise to the point where you cannot even get parts for it so it becomes scrap. We're seeing it all happen in real time.


I refuse to lie down while it happens. Good news is, the tool I made worked like a charm. See picture attached. Came out very easily with it. I couldn't hammer it out by itself but once that bottle jack applied pressure she popped with in 10 seconds. Same for the other side. Came out far easier than the 4 keys did. I wish I'd have built a mini press for those keys now.



I was a bit worried about the driver side because I couldn't remove 100% of the 4th key, so it was going to give it resistance, but it was thin enough from drilling it out that it crushed it as I had hoped, now that the king pin is out I can use a 1/2in drill bit to fully clear the key hole out.


I'm starting to feel like I can do anything given enough time. I see so many areas where there are cheap solutions if you put your minds to it and are willing to give it effort. Nearly everything is repairable.



Status on the Steering knuckles. The driver side hub looks decent, only slightly worn bushings, still has the ping pong ball holes in the bushing. It'll be re-usable no problem.


The passenger side hub top bushing is pretty worn but not through the knuckle, but the bottom side looks like it worn all the way through the bushing, and there is a very very slight ovaling, enough to cause a problem, so I'm going to have to probably have that one bored out, sleeved, and then have new bushings pressed in. New knuckles are $1200, and used ones in good condition are $400. I have a guy who'll bore it out and sleeve it for me for $150, so that's the cheapest route, and the route I'll go.

So far the king pin job cost me $250 in materials. I already had a welder and plasma cutter from previous jobs to make the press. Another $150 would be $400.




I want to put this into perspective to all the mechanics out there to help you keep in touch with your customers expectations. This is not meant to be a jab at Mechanics, but I feel the need to make these points for educational purposes. Taking these prices into account, as a customer I'd expect that the mechanic would already have the $2000 tool to do this job, but let's say he adds $250 to begin paying for the $2000 king pin part, and $100 in drill bits. I'd provide the king pin set, but even if he had to buy the king pin set for $300, that's only $650 in parts, and if he charged half a days labor at $125 an hour, 125x4, = 500, so $650 in parts, and $500 in labor, $1150 is what I'd expect for a king pin job. Let's even give him 8 hours to do the job, $1650 then. Though I think they have the tools to get this job done in 1 hour. I've seen them completely take apart the wheels, brakes, backing plates etc, replace the king pin on one side and put it all back together in 30 mins, without removing the camera or clipping the video. But I'm giving them 4 - 8 hours to do both since sometimes like in my example the keys were little bastards in getting out. Which is Plenty of time to do the job.



The offers I got from 3 different mechanics were the lowest $1600 for labor, and another $2000 for parts, and only went up from there. So expectations from a consumer who knows what it takes to do the job is $1650, but getting charged at least $3600, I walked away from all 3, even NEEDING to get this job done. And I get it, customers do pay you those prices so many do charge that. I don't think it makes it right though. And feel free to let me know where I'm miscalculating on prices if I'm doing so, but having done the job and priced things out, I don't think I am far off unless you are charging far more than $125 an hour. So I get that there are easier jobs to do, but as a mechanic from the customers point of view you shouldn't get to choose only the easy jobs, and inflate the price of the harder jobs. You still have to charge fairly even for the harder jobs. Customers do not accept that because you can get away with charging more because of demand or only too many easy jobs to fill your hours you don't do the harder jobs or charge more to do them isn't right either. Mechanics do get away with this because of the lack of knowledge from the customer or they know that the customer is unwilling to fix their own issue, but this will change as time goes on because people cannot afford not to go it alone. Instead they are going to go it on their own more and more as I have, and while you may be busy making money in the mean time, others are becoming more educated on the facts and it gives the profession a bad name and over time a new Detroit Michigan will be born. You'll lose potential customers along with newly created competition, and will be wondering where all the business went one day soon. This potential customer gave $0 for this job to mechanics and I wonder how many more people are doing it themselves and how much potential business that could of been had was missed?


I'm just one example who is willing to vocalize it on a forum and I do so for the benefit of all, end customers, mechanics and part manufacturers. Together we need to fix this country and we all gotta do our parts. If there are economic problems, customers need to take matters into their hands and speak with their wallets, mechanics gotta stick it to the part manufacturers and build their own tools to get them to lower the pricing, and speak with their wallets, and part manufacturers need to go to the raw materials guys and tell them we can't pay that much for the materials as we're no longer making that kind of profit off of our customers the mechanics and the end customers. Eventually all the way up the chain will feel it, it will hit the corporate oligarchs and prices will come down because not selling their goods is not an option, selling at lower prices is better than not selling at all in their eyes. Don't give them control. All of us can be successful as I have been. We create the demand at the lower end.
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Old 09-24-2023, 12:51 PM   #35
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I agree that getting good work done is expensive but a couple of things you forgot about is few mechanics do only one thing most have a broad range of skills plus not many work outside all the time most need a building to work in and store an incredible variety of both general hand tools plus all those expensive and seldom needed specialty tools that might only be needed a couple times a year.
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Old 09-24-2023, 03:02 PM   #36
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Most shops aren’t geared to help the person driving a skoolie. Most are geared to help those who use these vehicles professionally, meaning the expense is both tax deductible and built into the cost of the fees they charge their customers.
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Old 09-24-2023, 05:22 PM   #37
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Most shops arent geared to help the person driving a skoolie. Most are geared to help those who use these vehicles professionally, meaning the expense is both tax deductible and built into the cost of the fees they charge their customers.
Yet another reason why I really dislike our tax system.
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Old Today, 03:46 AM   #38
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Rated Cap: 29
Just a small update for those following this thread. Painted my king pin press with primer. Decided to make the tool look official since it did an admiral job.

The bushings were pressed in. The steering knuckles were okay, just barely. Upon deep inspection the old bushings were worn almost completely through but also the king pins on the bottom were severely worn thinner as well which it looks like was causing more of the play issues.

To do list remaining:
Reinstall everything.

Before I can do that however, I had to also order new brake chambers for the air brakes one was completely shot, the other failing, I got OEM New old stock and these are so old, but look and feel new, they require cutting the long bolt which I've not done before. I assume just match the length to the existing length of the old ones. Then swap the linkage part from the old one.

Additionally the driver side with the shot brake also had a broken spring. That was tough to find, but found two and decided to order both sides to add fresh springs. The pads themselves have a ton of life left and look new.

Additionally the grease seals for the hubs and bearings were a bit shot as well and looked like original seals. I ordered two of those as well and waiting on their arrival this week.

Its all here and ordered, I just need to prep the air service chambers, and waiting on the arrival of the seals, then I can begin to press the new king pins in and reinstall it all. This was the hold up for putting in the new King Pins.

At the end of this Ill have a new steering system practically, and new front brakes. It'll probably be 10 years + before Ill have to think about these again. Can't wait!
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