I thought my front end shimmy was because of the worn pinion bushings. As it turns out, that is only part of the problem. On both sides of the front axle the top and bottom spindle bolt holes are enlarged and the threads in the bottom are gone. I know there is a tool made by Stevens to deal with this. I live in central California and would like to know if there is anyone out here that has the ability to do this fix? I can pretty much bring it anywhere in the state.
Why not replace the front axle? They are plentiful and reasonably priced. -John, Paso Robles
Dan Hatch has the bushings to repair your axle, but you need to find someone with the Stevens tool to use them.
I've got a couple damaged axles as well. I was thinking of several different solutions but havn't tried any. #1- Maybe a heli-coil #2 Weld the spindle bolt nut to the bottom of the axle. #3 Saw a nut in half or get a super thin nut and weld it to the bottom of the axle. Then screw in the bolt and put on the nut. If the cotter won't work then some loc-tite might work. These fixes could be done w/o removing the axle. Axles are cheap, but then you have to replace the perches which is a pain sometimes, plus you have to sand/ paint the replacement axle. The reason for welding the thin nut on is because if you only weld the actual nut on, the only thing stopping the bolt from turning would be the cotter pin. You could peen the bottom of the bolt but then to replace it you'd have to grind it. Just some ideas I've had.
Hey, John from Paso Robles. I'm new to this, where would I find one. I would really like to get my T back on the road for Christmas day.
For the bottom thread, I have been successful with a helicoil. You need threads in the axle so that the nut acts as a jamb nut and the spindle bolt won't turn in the axle. The top can be fixed with shimstock. As long as the bolt is tight, the shim won't go anywhere. If you find someone with a Stevens tool that would be the best fix. My problem was just one thread bad in one axle and one top hole too loose in another axle. With both top and bottom bad on the same axle, you should either use the Stevens tool or replace the axle.
On the top axle yoke, I ream out the top hole .550" in line with the bottom one leaving a little shoulder, then press in a sleeve and then ream to restore the .504"/.505" "blueprint" size. If there is a proper press fit, the sleeve will not turn when reamed even though the wall of the sleeve is only .025".
What about weld then drill and tap, made a bit with a guide and was careful with the set up but pretty easy. It had worn too big for a helicoil.
Hi Carl, send me a personal message and I'll tell you what I know.
John from Paso Robles
I repair the wear in top hole by using a cracker box stick welder. Just put a small blob of weld on the top inside and use a rat tail file to size it to the king pin. Since the load and wear is on inside top and the part does not move, problem solved. An aligned Heli coil or bushing solves the lower problem.
I had a machinist repair the threaded hole in 1 of my axles.He did a similar thing to Bob's repair above.He set it up in a Bridge port somehow,made the hole bigger,pressed in a sleeve,then threaded it.Dont know why he did it that way but it Worked very well.Axles are cheap now,but down the road they may not be.
Two things to add -
The spindles should be vertical in the axle. The holes wear on the inside at the top and the outside at the bottom. I filed out the opposite sides so that when I drilled to take sleeves, the drill bit followed the original centre.
Note also that the weight rest on the underside of the top lug - so this needs to be good and flat. I fitted a 'top hat' bush at the top of one bad axle to restore this.