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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I didn't know that my '55 front suspension was not normal for a Tri-Five until I got my '57 and replaced a lower control arm and all of the bushings and ball joints on it. The '55 has king pins on the control arms according to a mechanic friend of mine. I asked him since I didn't know why both cars weren't the same. I have never heard or seen any discussion that would explain this. He thought that maybe it is an early build and that the factory must have changed their design.

Soooo, if I decide to rebuild my front end on the '55, what will I be getting into with the current setup that I have? Will there be any special parts needed or different procedure than a normal Tri-Five front end? I am not exactly sure what the purpose of the king pin is. Anybody??
 

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The 1955 model car was the first Chevy to have ball joints instead of king pins. If your front end has king pins, it's not stock.

The king pin is the pin that holds the spindle to the axle on a solid axle setup. There is a similar pin on the Chevy IFS that was used on 30s-54 models.

If you're in doubt, a photo would let us help identify what you have.
 

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Trifive Automotive Electrical Wiring Expert
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A kingpin was used on 54 and earlier Chevys on the steering knuckle and took the place of the upper and lower ball joint that was used on 55 and later models. ...Link to King pin steering.....http://chevy.oldcarmanualproject.com/shop/1949_53/03front/3_15.HTM
I would like to see some pictures of your 55, if it does have the earlier suspension, it may be a rarity, if someone didn't put a different front suspension on it, possibly after a colision or something???
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
It has ball joints, I grease them. He never saw these and told me that is what they are. They stand vertically between the control arms inside of the spindle. I haven't looked at them lately but I believe that they are adjustable with threads on them. No picture right now but I could take some, the car is stored for the winter. Any other ideas? Thanks Rick.

Don, thanks for the link. They aren't king pins then because that isn't at all what it looks like. The control arms are normal but these (things?) sit inside of the spindle and are probably 3/8" in diameter and I think threaded. I don't think there was any way that it didn't come originally like this unless this is an accessory. I pulled the car from a grove in 1976 and it had 1965 plates on it and was intact without an engine. Nothing leads me to believe that it wasn't stock. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nope, I looked at a Pontiac in their Shop Manual and they don't look like that. I will try to remember to take a picture tomorrow and post it. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Here is a photo. I hope somebody has seen this before because I am stumped. It doesn't look like any other Tri-Five front suspension that I have seen.


 

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Trifive Automotive Electrical Wiring Expert
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That looks like a homemade spindle stiffener, possibly for doing hard landings after a wheelstand. :rolleyes: It's not anything GM put on there.
How do you greese the lower ball joint?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I can't grease it and now that I am driving the car I am thinking of trying to rebuild the front suspension with ball joints and bushings. You can see why I am a little confused. Whatever this setup is, it was either stock or it was added before the car was parked in 1965. The car was in it's original state when I bought it and was not modified in any way. I think that the shocks are even original but it rides good so I haven't changed them.
 

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Here is a photo. I hope somebody has seen this before because I am stumped. It doesn't look like any other Tri-Five front suspension that I have seen.


That is an aftermarket contraption that was sold at many auto parts stores as a "ball joint adjuster".:rolleyes: If you look at the way it is positioned it keeps tension on the lower ball joint, Just like the weight of the car does.:sign0020: I would just take them off and toss them in the trash. If the ball joint is worn then it needs to be replaced. :anim_25:

-Bruce
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok, thanks Bruce. Now we are making some progress! It seemed to me that there was no real pupose to them but it has been one of those "out of sight, out of mind" things with me until recently when I got the car back in July and started driving it with regularity. By the sound of it, I assume that these were not made for long and are no longer available. I suppose I could part with mine then for the right price!:happy0023:
 

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Ok, thanks Bruce. Now we are making some progress! It seemed to me that there was no real pupose to them but it has been one of those "out of sight, out of mind" things with me until recently when I got the car back in July and started driving it with regularity. By the sound of it, I assume that these were not made for long and are no longer available. I suppose I could part with mine then for the right price!:happy0023:
They are in fact no longer made but do pop up on Ebay once in a while for sale. I have never seen a set that actually sold on Ebay but like everything else, There is an A*$ for every seat.

-Bruce
 
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