I've installed and reamed new spindle bushings, and now need to cut the top slightly to fit the axle. I don't need to remove much; perhaps 1/32". Can I use a file, or must I purchase the $96 cutter?
Phil, check the top eye in the axle first. It often has a groove worn in it. That needs dressing. I use a file. By then you may not need to face the bushing.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
Thanks, Allan. I did notice the ridge in the top eye, and I filed it away. The bushings "almost" fit now, but still will need a little cutting.
Since the load will be on the top bushing, you can hand file the bottom bushing until it fits - then the fit that matters will be perfectly square to the king pin, the bottom face won't be used (but should turn out to be a quite nice fit anyway if you file carefully )
Appreciate that, Roger. I'll get out my good file.
It's been a long time since I've seen such good information in so few entries. You're on the right track!
Out of curiosity, what is the cutting tool used to face the bushings? The full assembly Lang's offers is shown below, but I mean just the cutter. I assume it's a milling machine tool?
That's the tool to use to face the ends of the bushings. Key is to work slowly and try the fit often. You do not want the fit to slop, you want it very close, but able to rotate.
That tool is fairly easy to use, gives a good controlled cut on the bushing face.
The tool slips into the bushing, cutter end faces off the bushing, the lower knob with tiny key fit to keep the cutter snug, you turn the knob to advance cut. Just go slow, ream off a bit at a time and test fit the spindle body in the axle yoke.
oh...the new bushings have to be in place in the spindle body, use a press or a bushing driver and mallet to seat the bushings. Align ream both the bushings at the same time with the long reamer for the kingpin first, then face off the bushings for test fit in the axle.
Good photos. I'm asking specifically about the cutter part of the above tool. Is it made specifically for this tool, or is it a standard type of cutter? See arrow in photo below.
i don't know about current production, but 14 years ago when I was putting new bushings in my spindles, I found the new bushings were made too large in the OD, enough so that pressing them in would crack spindles. I had to chuck them in my lathe and take off quite a bit to get a normal press fit (about .002).
So, do check your bushings' OD and your spindles' ID before installing!
The vendor supplied tool is made to mimic the original Steven's Speed Up tool for the purpose of reaming the replacement bushings in the spindle for Ford dealer repairs.
All of the Stevens tools are really engineered to work on Ford jobs. Unless you have the original, which cost $$ and may be worn out, its best to get the reproduction.
To make this yourself, if you have machine skills, and access to equipment, and can design and cut the correct angle on the tool blade to skim cut brass, then IMO it's a whale of a lot cheaper to by the new tool.
The cutting blade is milled into the upper bar for the turning handle. The shaft of the tool is pinned to the upper bar.
Just to finish the story, I ended up taking most of the material off the bushings with my Shopsmith disc sander (240 grit) using a jerry-built jig to keep it straight. I then used files to refine the fit. I was still not satisfied that I was getting it straight enough, so I ordered a facing cutter from Snyder's. This is not the Stevens-type tool (which is on long-term backorder at Lang's), but one you have to manually press against the bushing as you cut. Apparently, they sell two types: one with a handle for manual cutting, the other without a handle for use in a drill chuck. Its 1/2" shaft fit smoothly into the bushing, holding the cutter square to the top. I could immediately see my out-of-square file work being corrected. It was slow work, but I got a good fit with no slop.
I wound up using the one of the old bushings and glued some sandpaper on it . I then put the old bushing on the kingpin and drove it with a large o ring and a drill to face the top axle yoke
The cutter itself is called a Spot Face Cutter. You can buy just the cutter and make the rest but they're not cheep. I've seen them on Ebay occasionally in various sizes. You'll spend $75-$100 for the cutter alone so the tool Lang's sells is a pretty good deal. Unless you're capable of making it yourself, just buy or borrow the tool. Or take your axle and spindles to a machine shop.