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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I have the axle out of my Studebaker in my shop tore down for inspection and upgrades. What I have is a 46-47 ford 1/2 ton truck axle. So, digging for info and finding a bolt on disc brake conversion is available here's where my lack of knowledge shines.

I can/will use my axle. I need the stock spindles but the bearing race surfaces are full of punch marks. Like someone did that to keep the inner races from spinning. So, I searched around and think I found a set of stock spindles. Not sure I want to buy someone else "used" spindles. So, speedway has brand new spindles listed I can use ,they don't have the steering arms attached. I looked up the steering arms and the look like they are built out of flat bar. Have any of you guys used these flat steering arms ? Another issue I don't understand is the tie rod ends needed with these flat steering arms because they are not a tapered shaft going through the steering arm the are just heim joint and a bolt . Is that safe to use banging around the streets ?

And the king pins, speedway lists a deluxe king pin kit that uses needle bearings instead of bushings. What's the pros and cons associated with the needle bearings over the bushings ?
 

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I've used the flat plate steering arms on many cars, and both my Austin and my Falcon are using them now. They work great on the street or track. Very sturdy, and I never worry about them. I even cut the mounting tabs off the plate on my Falcon, as nobody makes any in the narrow Econoline 2.5" spacing. Moved them both in and welded them back on to match my bolt pattern.
The flat plate arms use Heim ends, and I've had great service with heims in all sorts of steering situations. I buy my heims and weld bungs from QS Components. They are very reasonable price, and free priority shipping on parts. Great people to deal with.
I haven't used needle bearing inserts on kingpins. The original bushings will never wear out in our lifetime, if we replace them. I've never dome a kingpin bushing more than once on any axle, and bushings have been around forever. I'd guess needle bearings would turn effortlessly, but a lubed bushing does too.
 

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I'm using flat plate steering arms, too, on my '36 Ford pickup. I just turned 18,000 mi. with no issues. The base heims that Speedway sells in their kits are metal to metal and I can tell they are getting looser. I'm planning on replacing them in the spring before I drive it much. No experience with king pin needle bearings, either, but I don't see any reason to not use bushings. I can one hand steer my truck at almost any speed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info guys. Just wanted to hear some feedback on some parts in question. Gonna go blow some dough !!
 

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I'm thinking the needle bearing may be the one on the bottom between the spindle and the axle, not the bushing, but I could be wrong..... :) ill take pictures of the one we're using.
I've seen those needle bearing thrust washers Steve. Don't they require some relief work between the axle and spindle to allow them to fit in where the thrust washers were?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok Vall I took your advice. I just tore a 46-47 axle apart and the bushing weren't wore out. So, I bought new spindles with bushings and kingpins already fit. Trying to save Steve and my wallet some work. Everything will be here sat. Yuuuuuuup gasser et front skinnyeeeez and whitewall pie crust cheaters on the ass end. This vision is coming clearer !!! Gassing for life !!
 

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...... This vision is coming clearer !!!..... [/QUOTE]

Way to go Jason!!!!!

Making up your mind.... getting the parts to do it ..... finding what you need to it ..... and doing it ..... is ALWAYS a good feeling & also very motivating!!!!!

Sometimes just KNOWING what you PLAN to do is as good as having it done.

Some people don't realize how LONG & at times how difficult it is to have certain "need to do's" defined and a "plan" made.

I know I have gone thru a LOT of changes since I got the Opel.... still do NOT have ALL of the "what to do's" figured out.

Part of the FUN we go thru building a car instead of buying "turn-key"

 

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Thanks for the info guys. Just wanted to hear some feedback on some parts in question. Gonna go blow some dough !!
Just to be extra sure about the heim joints I went to a 3/4 thread and 5/8 hole to steering arms and a Morrison 1" tierod that won't flex. Joints are nice and big. And yet an old timer at the races told me to flat washer the top side of the heim case the joint lets go you won't loose your steering. Good advice from a racer back in the day.
Mario
 

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Just to be extra sure about the heim joints I went to a 3/4 thread and 5/8 hole to steering arms and a Morrison 1" tierod that won't flex. Joints are nice and big. And yet an old timer at the races told me to flat washer the top side of the heim case the joint lets go you won't loose your steering. Good advice from a racer back in the day.
Mario
McMaster Carr has heim joint safety washers in their online catalog. I plan to get some for my Henry J and my '36 Ford pickup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Steve , that pic with the thrust washer/bearingthingymajigg is exactly what was in the axle when I tore it down. So I guess it'll work alright.
 

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Very cool Jason, Looks great. Love those rims.
Mario
 

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Looks very nice Jason! I sure love the looks of a dropped I beam axle. Just needs some lightening holes in the beam to really pop!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So I'm back at work now with plenty of time to think. I can see that the spindle stop nuts are what prevents oneself from over steering this specific axle assembly. At what point or should I say at what angle from 90* is plenty of degrees to make the car turn nicely ? How do you check to make sure you have enough or to much ?
 
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