Loose King Pin
'28 Rod with 4 inch drop tube axle; 49-54 GM spindles.
Was about to drive the rod today when I noticed the passenger side king pin sticking up over an inch above the spindle. Yikes!! How did that happen?!
Inspected both king pins. I have had very little experience with kings pins so I'm not sure what is missing here. They both have thin metal caps on top of the spindle covering the king pins. These are easily removed. On the driver's side bottom, there appears to be some kind of metal cover inside the spindle holding the king pin in place. The passenger side spindle is missing this.
I can tap the passenger side king pin up or down, but can't figure out what kind of snap ring or other device fits top or bottom that prevents the king pin from moving. Obviously the passenger side is missing something as it does not have that fitted metal cap on the bottom of the spindle. When I tried to tap the driver's side spindle up, won't move because of the fitted cap.
Help. I need a quick lesson in king pins and what keeps them in place because the passenger side wants to leave the spindle!
Kingpin lock pin
Since I am a ford guy not sure on the chev spindles..on the fords the little top and bottom caps just hold a grease fitting and don't do squat about holding the kingpin in place..
There is a kingpin retaining pin that goes in the center of the axle which lines up with a slot milled in the kingpin..sounds like yours is missing..
Thsi is a special tapered "bolt" that is held in with a nut..look at the other side to see if this is true on yours..
One thing to check is to remove the spindle and see if the axle end is egged..check that before reinstallation..
Sorry about the oops but good you caught it..
king pin info
Luckily I am swapping out from 6lug to 5 lug and the king pin issue is sorta fresh in my mind.
The two "cups" on top and bottom are king pin bushings. These are supposed to be pressed in. If one has fallen out that is bad, maybe a symptom of another problem. As mentioned by another poster, the retaining bolt secures the king pin in place. Without that you could have a failure since the king pin can come out.
Safest bet is to dissassemble that steering knuckle and replace the crush bearing, bushings and lock pin. A bit of locktite on the end of the threads of the lock pin bolt will keep it from vibrating loose.
The same lock pin design is used on the front of the rear spring shackles of my 59 chevy.
Be mindful that your bushings have to line up with the grease fittings if they are of that nature. Usually you have to puncture the bushings and pry them out. Having them loose is not good. I would definitely check to see if any damage happened to the joint that the king pin is part of... hopefully you got lucky and caught it early.
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