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stupid trunnions (Read 4544 times)
AMXRalf
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stupid trunnions
02/12/10 at 19:57:13
 
Excuse, me brilliant design.  I now have 4 trunnion cars, only one has been re-done, so I figured it was time to learn how to do them myself.  With the loan of the proper tool (thanks Mike  Smiley ) and a few weeks labor, no big deal.  Well I bought a urethane kit, and it didn't include the bushings for the vertical, only the horizontal trunnion bushings.  I ordered reman trunnion, there was only one in stock.  Not a big deal, since one of mine really wasn't too bad.  Anybody know where I can get just the dang vertical trunnion urethane bushing?  I can make one, but gee whiz.  Its got a 6156 number on the end of it.  
 
Next question, there is no steel in the vertical bushing.  I googled a bit, and apparently that is typical, but that doesn't sound right.  What gives?
 
arrgghhh!
ralfy
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AMXRalf
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Re: stupid trunnions
Reply #1 - 02/13/10 at 15:46:24
 
This looks a lot like the part in my new re-man trunnion.  Prothane lists it funny, as a pivot bushing, but Summit carries it.  Prothane 1-210.
Ralfy
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Rebel Machine
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Re: stupid trunnions
Reply #2 - 02/13/10 at 15:46:40
 
I used the Prothane kit on my '69 AMX trunnion rebuild, haven't seen any metal steering knuckle bushings.
 
-Steve-
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AMXRalf
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Re: stupid trunnions
Reply #3 - 02/13/10 at 20:22:01
 
Thanks, Rebel Machine.  I was surprised, because the "complete kit" has bushings for upper and lower control arms, and every one of them, including the horizontal for the trunnions have a steel sleeve.  I assume you have put some miles on your car, so mine should be fine since it really only goes down the track.  
ralfy
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Re: stupid trunnions
Reply #4 - 02/14/10 at 00:28:35
 
No, it's still on jackstands. It's getting a complete makeover.
 
-Steve-
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Re: stupid trunnions
Reply #5 - 03/18/10 at 00:05:07
 
I wonder how tough it would be to replace the shock tower sheet metal with a newer donor suspension like from a gremlin or hornet onto an American? They look kinda close.
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Re: stupid trunnions
Reply #6 - 03/18/10 at 12:56:51
 
AMXRALF, the  steel in the vertical bushing you were looking for may be stuck to the vertical  shaft ,thats what happened to me. The new trunnion wouldn't go on till I removed it. Does the new one have a steel in the vertigal bushing?
Blaine
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AMXRalf
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Re: stupid trunnions
Reply #7 - 03/18/10 at 20:50:07
 
LOL, I read up on trunnions, and was looking for the steel sleeve to be stuck.  First one, it basically just slid off.  Second one, the one that was in the worst shape, the steel sleeve is going to need a torch to loosen it up.  My concern was the replacement bushing doesn't have a steel sleeve, and it won't come close to going on unless what is left of the stock sleeve comes off, so the apparent design intent is just urethane.  I bought a reman trunnion, assuming that the bad one would be badly worn, and it comes with the vertical bushing just like the others, no steel sleeve, the id fits the spindle once you get the old sleeve off, so not worried, just surprised.
After all the agonizing over it for 30 years, the trunnions are no big deal, IF you have the "garryjav" tool.  (Thanks Mikey!)  I am now in the process of cleaning all the grubby stuff up, but like I said, no big deal.
ralfy
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Re: stupid trunnions
Reply #8 - 03/18/10 at 21:49:20
 
Ralfy, Huge Kudos have to go to Gary Jave for his tool.
If you ever did trunnions with the factory tool, you would never want to do another pair.. Gary's tool makes it a Breeze!
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Re: stupid trunnions
Reply #9 - 03/26/10 at 01:59:30
 
I don't know if they have changed the parts since if they have please disregard.  
 
 I have tried to rebuild mine a wile back but on the prothane parts at that time you had to leave the nuts loose and use lock nuts so they did not back out for the steering to return properly, obviously a safety hazard.   We had a mechanical engineer in the KCAMC club send them an engineering drawing of the proper operation and a proper design to witch they stated it would cost them double to produce and that they would not change there design.  There design at the time operated as a standard bushing that just took up space and was set up to allow the spindle to turn in the ID witch is far from how the originals work.  the originals where chrome plated on the trunnion around the ID with the bushings having divots on the OD that where filed with grease and is designed in such a way that the trunnions rotate around the bushings that are in a firm fixed position on the spindle. the inside has the steel pin to allow you to tighten the spindle down properly and hold the bushing in place.  it is done this way to spreed the force over the larger face of the bushing instead of forcing the bushing into the small spindle and wolering out the hole. We tried to mod the few sets we had to work but they where too wrong. I had some rebuilt by the one guy at the time that did them right (I think his name was Pat for some reason) but this was before rare parts started remaning them and theirs are done properly.
 
again disregard if the parts prothane makes have changed but I kind of doubt they have.      
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Re: stupid trunnions
Reply #10 - 03/28/10 at 03:40:44
 
The bushings I purchased are as you describe, a simple bushing that just fills the space.  The reman trunnion I bought, and the Prothane kits I purchased from Summit to do the reman myself are the same bushing.  
Ralfy
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Re: stupid trunnions
Reply #11 - 03/30/10 at 02:42:40
 
you are talking the center bushing correct?
 
the ones I have seen from rare parts are a translucent orange and have square dimples filled with grease the same as the NOS sets I have seen.  when I did mine there where two people rebuilding the trunnions I got screwed as well as another in my group by one guy that had no idea what he was doing he was vulcanizing rubber inside the trunnion and would not refund the cash when the went bad heck the other guys went bad as soon as he turned his wheels with a load on them then I bought the rebuild kit from prothane and we tried that the steering would not return with everything tightened down properly and we talked to some other people that had the same result.  some went with nos ones and some backed off the nut to where it would return and put lock nuts on witch I think is a safety issue since it is loose.  We tried to modify the bushings to work correctly and could not so we gave that set, a new set and and an NOS trunnion set to the KCAMC club guy who is a mechanical engineer and he said there was no way he could modify the prothane bushings to work correctly and he drew up some that would work and they said the would cost double the currents to produce and they would not change them.  that is when I went with the finale guy witch because of health issues took a little over a year to build the ones I currently have.  He custom built them to fit the trunnion and spindle I was using with grease fittings and built the center bushing out of either nylon or either brass or bronze (I don't remember witch).  for you to see what I am saying I would need a good trunnion here I could take apart witch I don't have at the moment but the bushing color should be the same as these trunnions on eBay  http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/American-Motors-American-AMX-Upper-Trunnion-69-68 -64-67_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trkparmsZalgoQ3dLVIQ26ituQ3dUCIQ26otnQ3d3Q26poQ3dLVIQ26psQ3d63Q26clkidQ3d8849271803368536735QQ_trksidZp3286Q2em7QQcategoryZ33580QQihZ017QQitemZ270547651305 I will see if I can get a pic of the bushings or PM mad max he has both NOS and correctly rebuilt trunnions and could probably get you pics of what I am talking about.          
 
just remembered the guy that rebuilt mine His name is Walt Garson I have no clue if he is on any of the forums though I have no clue if this is still accurate info but this was his info and as contact info http://www.skidmore.edu/~pdwyer/amc/trunnion.htm#safety
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AMXRalf
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Re: stupid trunnions
Reply #12 - 03/31/10 at 02:25:38
 
It took me a while to absorb what you were telling me, if I got it right the textured greased outer surface slides on the chromed bore of the trunnion.  I have as of today disassembled everything and pressed all the new bushings in the control arms.    I don't see any way to get the urethane to slide on the chromed surface.  If you tighten up the nut, it pretty much clamps the bushing in place and it is going to slide on the upright.  The chrome on mine is crudded up, and the reman I bought from a vendor was not chrome, just maybe honed.   I would cut the flange off the end so it was freed up, but since this will be a drag only car, just going to use the prothane stuff as is and take my chances.  
Thanks for explaining how it works, I appreciate it.  Now I know to use a jam nut or locking nut so it doesn't bind, too.
ralfy
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Re: stupid trunnions
Reply #13 - 04/09/10 at 05:02:14
 
sorry, I have not been on recently, but yes you are understanding what I was trying to say and why the kits are wrong.  using them is your call but I personally think the way you have to use them leaves you open to part failure and binding issues.  If you get loose or have to correct at the big end and the steering doesn't return its self properly like you are expecting to (hand full at 25-35mph potential disaster at 125-130mph) then you might find your self thinking differently all it took was one trip around the block for me to think it wasn't worth it.
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Re: stupid trunnions
Reply #14 - 04/09/10 at 11:16:54
 
Well, it gets worse.  The reman that I bought, the bushing sticks out the bottom.  This allows the trunnion to clunk up and down on the bushing.  I trimmed it, maybe a little too much, and not really square.  The reman actually slides pretty good on the bushing that came with it, may have been honed or fitted to the bore, maybe just lucky.  But it was too tight on the spindle.  I was afraid that if I forced it on, the whole thing would get tight, a symptom I am not yet willing to accept.  So I have accumulated new kits that I bought from summit.  They are also long enough they stick out the bottom, they are so tight on both the spindle and the trunnion the car would be hard to drive as you describe.  So now I am going to spend the weekend making the fixturing to trim the length and ID and OD of a new bushing so that the front suspension is tight without binding.
I suspect that with a little driving and the special grease the bushings loosen up over time, might not be an issue.  But I don't plan on driving this untitled trailer queen enough to loosen it up.  I appreciate your concern, but this pig is not likely to get out of shape.  I also appreciate your advice, and I will not risk driving it with steering that doesn't self center.
Ralfy
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