Tear down part 4

I have a set of Gabriel shocks (#800694) which fit ’57 to ’66 models. I could use the old shock rubbers as they are not too bad, but I think I’ll try to get some new ones. I’ll reuse the rubber retainers, nuts and pal nuts. I’ve only seen pal nuts on connecting rod bolts so it was a surprise to find them on the top of the shocks. I imagine the shocks are as they came from the factory. The Commander only had 40k miles on the odometer when I got it.

I loosened the lower king pin nut till it was flush with the bottom of the king pin and then gave the bottom of the king pin a smack. It moved up out of the lower knuckle easily, but not all the way. Everything is floppy by this time, so not easy to drive the king pin up out of the knuckle. Looking for a puller I found that my pitman arm puller worked nicely to push the king pin free of the lower knuckle

After removal of the king pin and spindle I needed to lower the A arm to get the spring out. the A arm bolt tension on the bushings kept the arm from being pressed down. So I removed one bolt and when I broke the second blot free the arm dropped to the floor and the spring bounced across the floor. Fortunately the spring compressor held. If for some reason it didn’t the energy released by the spring could have done some real damage! I’ll be sure and support the A arm when I do the other side.

This photo will be used to position the compressor when I re-compress the spring for installation. Unfortunately my new vice isn’t deep enough to grab the spring in this position for removal of the compressor. I managed to get it done by mounting the spring on an angle. I’ll need to use a bigger vice to re-compress the springs.

The spring number is stamped on the edge of the flattened bottom and top coils. The number is 526122 which I was happy to find is a HD unit for the ’66 V8 Models. This likely explains why the heavier Studebaker motor with AC & PS didn’t lower the front significantly. The springs will be sand blasted and painted before installation. I will also use new spring pads on the bottom. The ’66 Commander doesn’t call for upper pads.

I’d be happy to hear any comments or suggestions. I can be reached at grhm53@gmail.com

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