Monday, October 8, 2007

Swivel Axle

This summer I had the passenger's king pin replaced. I knew at the time that I needed to get the driver's side done but I decided to do it myself.
So what are we talking about here...?

31 is the king pin, and 21 is the swivel axle.
A picture of the new swivel axle is in this post...

My swivel axle was badly worn - here is a pic of the lowering bushing, you can see how it is no longer centered.

Replacing the king pin on its own is tricky because there are brass bushings that run up the length of it that have to reamed and rebuilt. Although a king pin set is cheaper, unless you have a reamer and some shop skills, this is a hard job. Alternatively you can buy an entire swivel axle (they are usually sold in pairs) and just replace the whole unit. This is just a bolt on exercise and is easy to do.

1. Jack up the car and remove the wheel.
2. Remove the dust cap on the end of the axle #67
3. Remove the split pin and nut #71.
4. The wheel hub #68 will slide off and make sure you have some clean newspaper to catch the bits. You'll find a notched washer, a bearing race, some shims (very thin easy to loose in the grease), a spacer, another bearing race and a collar. Put these aside. Heres a pic.

5. Remove the brake caliper assembly and support it - don't let it dangle by the brake line unless you plan on replacing them!!! I used cable ties to attach it to the shock absorber.
6. Remove the steering lever- note that if you just remove this you shouldn't have to worry about getting the car realigned. If you take apart any other part of the steering you could mess it up. It'll look like this...

7. Undo the top and bottom bolts #42 and #32.
8. Remove the swivel axle and put a new one in.
9. You'll need to put new bushings and grease seals etc at the top and bottom bolts of the swivel.
10. Reassemble and don't forget the grease the swivel axle at the three grease nipples.
11. Reassemble the hub. I could tell you how to do this, but a video is worth a thousand words, so I refer you to John Twist of University Motors on YouTube.

And thats it! You just swapped out your swivel axle.

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