I will be replacing the king pins and bushings tomorrow in my '24 Speedster. This car sees rough and gravel roads quite often, and we are setting out on a 2,000 mile adventure into the Pacific Northwest next week.
I noticed that Dirk Regter's 1912 Around-the-World Touring has been modified with zerks in the front hubs and spindles (also spring shackles and tie rod ends, which are not on my list for tomorrow) to facilitate frequent and effective lubrication. They are clearly visible in the photos below, but blend in nicely when covered by little rubber condom-caps.
Anyway, these seem like a clever idea for a rough-service car like my speedster, and I plan to do the same...
Any thoughts, concerns or suggestions before I take the plunge? Thanks!
The zerk in the mid position between bushings would work fine, I think. Oiling with chain saw oil from the top of the spindle bolt works too, but not a zerk in the top - the grease wouldn't reach the lower bushing (but oil does by gravity)
A modern seal in the hub - as it looks like Dirk has - makes it unnecessary to add much grease, it won't go away? That zerk seems like overkill to me? (You can add grease by using the hub cap as a grease cap if you like)
I see no reason for a fitting in the front hub. With a modern lip seal and properly packed and adjusted bearing it should be good for a very long time.
The fitting for the king pin needs to be located as shown, installing a fitting in the top of the king pin will not lubricate the bottom bushing.
To save time from removing the hub cap to grease the front bearings, just add that fitting to the cap
Here's a modification I saw last weekend.
In the bottom photo, the bottom bushing for the king pin looks like it has been starved for grease for a long time, see how dry it is.
I would suggest changing to zerk fittings then load a grease gun with heavy oil such as bar and chain oil or other heavy oil.
Most people over grease the front hubs, all that is needed is what you pack in the bearings. If a bearing runs hot enough to melt out the grease, you have a problem that no amount of extra grease is going to solve. KB
Thanks for all the comments — looks like Zerks in the spindles but no change to the hubs other than a repack and new seals.
Didn't feel like paying $300 for mae west shackles for my 15 so I bought the $30 spring shackles from Langs. Next I drilled the shackle pins and added zerk fittings.
Not original but now I can grease the front and rear spring shackles on a regular basis. I prefer grease over oil for front end lubrication.
Here's what how they look.
Why do people do all these silly modifications, when it could have been done correctly to begin with? If it were, there wouldn't be a problem.
Keith is right about over greasing the wheel bearings. The extra grease you put inside the hub will never reach the bearings. It is much better to pack the bearing itself more often than to think any additional grease around it will ever get to it.
_Auto Mechanics 101.
Steve's bottom picture shows they were worried about the king pin and the tie-rod but did not care much about the spring shackles. Totally worn out bushings on the springs shackle...
Mike, I caught that too, because I have to rebush my shackles too