Ok guys newbie here, I need some help with spindle bolts. I ordered some new ones from Lang's to install in my 23 Roadster. They came with what looks like 4 brass bushings. My question is when I went to install these the bolts will not fit through the bushings and the bushings will not fit in the spindles....What am I missing? Do I have to grind these? Do I just pound the bolts through the bushing? How do I remove the old brass bushing if it still has them? Please help...really confused.
First do not pound anything.....remove the old brass bushings from your spindles and press the new ones in and surface them so the spindles will fit in the axle. Next take a reamer and ream the bushings to fit thru the spindles then assemble in the axle.
While you have these out make sure the holes in the axle are not egg shaped.
Not everybody has a reamer. An experienced T guy or a local machine shop should be able to help you out there. While you're working on this and have the spindles out, check the bottom holes in the axle and be sure the threads aren't "wallered out".
Rob, the spindle bolts should slip through the busing and rotate freely but have no slop in the bushings. In order to install new bushings you need these tools-
1.Spindle bolt reamer
2.Spindle bolt reamer alignment tool
3.Split end spindle bushing driver
4.Spindle body bushing facing cutter
First remove both bushings with the split driver. Then press in one new bushing. Place the alignment tool in the other end of the spindle to guide the reamer as you ream the first bushing. Press in the second bushing. Pass the reamer through the bushing you just reamed and ream the second one. Now use the face cutter to remove just enough material from one of the bushing faces so that the spindle will fit in the end of the axle. Clean every thing up and install in the axle.
While every thing is apart make certain that the threads in the bottom holes of the are good and that the top holes are not wallowed out.
Here's a link for you. Shows the proper tools as well.
Before you do any work on the spindles, put a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket sweat shirt on that pretty lady of yours and then a Ramblin' Wreck sticker on the windshield! That will make the task exponentially easier! Ken Swan...an old North Avenue Trade School boy!!!
Ok, I see this is a little more complicated than I first thought. Seems having the correct tools to complete this is essential. I have a local machine shop that I think can help with this. Something as critical as steering I don't want to be screwing around with...Thanks for the tips!
While you are at it, check the knuckles on the front axle too. The upper one on each side of the axle gets the most wear, and should be square to the spindle bolts. I agree with the post above, that the spindle bolt bushings should be finished with a Sunnen hone to be perfect.
When I did mine 4months ago I was advised by an Ol' sage that before you put in second bushing mount spindle in place lip of bushing on spindle and measure gap btwn top of axle and bushing and add shim under bushing as necessary. I had to put in several .
Rob -- Just to expand a bit on what Larry said, the tops of the axle openings where the spindles rub will wear more on the outside than the inside, making them be at an angle to the ends of the new bushings. Those faces must be milled or filed to get them perpendicular to the spindle bolt again. Otherwise, if you fit the bushing to the angled axle face, the bushing will wear out again very quickly.
I'm going to be doing this job soon on my 1923 touring/pickup conversion, I have the driver, reamer, and spot facing tools.
My question is, can the spot facing tool be used to spot face the axle opening surfaces, or is it only meant to spot face the softer bronze spindle bushings? Will I damage the spot facer if I try to use it on the harder axle surfaces?
Here's another suggestion about front axle repairs.
When I repaired the front spindles on my 1919 Runabout I now wish I had removed the whole axle assembly like I did when I restored the chassis on my 1921 Touring.
The front axle assembly is not that hard to remove in one piece.
While its out you can replace all the bushings and what ever else when its on the bench.
You will be surprised at the wear in the bushings when you really have a good luck at it.
Just a thought to save you some time and get you front end nice and tight.
I've just done this job. I found it easy to remove the old bushings by cutting them from their bores with a hacksaw. Stop just before you reach iron! Also cut across the head. Then squeeze the head in a vice to collapse the bush and close the saw-cut. Then the bush comes out easily with a drift.
You need a good vice or press to push in the new bushes.
You need a 1/2" reamer. Three ways to get good alignment:
1. Special tool
2. Do one bush at a time, and ream from the other bush end, so the other bush guides the reamer.
3. Use a lathe. Have the reamer in the chuck.
Fit a taper centre in the tailstock. Hold one bush head of the spindle firmly against the tailstock taper, then wind the tailstock and spindle onto the slowly rotating reamer. Then turn the spindle round and do the other.
Not done yet. You have to grind or file down the bush heads so they are FLAT and there is a slightly tight fit in the axle. Friction here is a good cure for steering instability (wheel wobble).
The axle advice above is good. As the top hole wears on the inside and the bottom thread on the outside, you have to file the unworn sides to get their centres back before boring out for inserts. The bottom insert has to be threaded. I tapped 5/8 UNF from the bottom - but not quite through. I drilled and tapped a 5/8 bolt to take the 1/2"UNF spindle bolt, then screwed the bolt up into the axle until tight, and cut it off at the bottom.
I've done all this, but I will admit to running for some years with a thin steel 'filler' in the oval top hole.
I haven't seen any of the current flip top oiler spindle bolts lately, but I remember long ago, there were some on the market that were threaded too far up. They are only supposed to be threaded far enough to make contact with the threads in the axle. The rest of the bolt serves as a pilot for the spindle bolt, so it won't wobble around in the threads. As of now, R.V. sells an excellent spindle bolt for the early cars, but I haven't done any checking on any late ones, because I have enough original Ford script bolts to last me. And while I'm at it, the Ford script bolts measure .501", not .500".
I "cheat" and take mine to my local engine shop, of whom I'm lucky is also a long time friend. $20 later it's all ready to install, perfect tolerance. Pin rotates, no slop. That's my advice, take it to a good machine shop.