Remove a Broken Kingpin Bolt
A truck's kingpin bolt is what holds the hanger/axle of the truck to the base plate, making it one unit. When stress is applied continuously through skateboarding a kingpin can eventually break. Kingpin bolts can be replaced, and new bolts can be purchased at a skateboard shop for about $2. By replacing a kingpin bolt you can save yourself the trouble of buying a completely new truck, which is significantly more expensive.
Some shops will not replace the kingpin for you. Surprisingly, a shop may not want to provide extra service to its customers, or they don't know exactly how to remove a kingpin bolt from a truck baseplate. The following should make removing a broken kingpin a simple job.
If you happen to have a hollow kingpin that is broken in the baseplate, and you live in the United States, please contact us. We may want to exchange your broken truck for a new replacement truck absolutely FREE.
- Deep socket (big enough for the new kingpin to fit into)
- File (if the broken end of the kingpin is outside the baseplate)
- Duct tape (optional)
Individual sockets can be purchased at an auto-parts store for about $3-6. Take a kingpin with you. You may want to get two sockets so you have something to hammer down the new kingpin with. The second socket should be about the same diameter as the kingpin head. See the image in step 5 for details.
- Kingpin (for longboard trucks be, sure to get the right length)
- Pivot cup bushing (if needed)
- Bushings (if needed)
- Kingpin washers (if needed)
All bushings, including the pivot cup bushing, and washers should all be inspected to see if they need to be replaced. Bushings can add stress to a kingpin and cause it to break. You could be applying the same stress to the new kingpin if the bushings are bad. Check for wear on the bushings. Replace the washers if they are dented or deformed.
It does require some muscle power to hammer out a broken kingpin bolt and hammer in a new one. If you're not an adult, or lack some muscle, you may need someone who has the strength to hit the kingpin hard enough.
Broke Kingpin Inside The Baseplate:
When a kingpin is broken inside the baseplate, it can be very difficult to get it out. This is especially true for hollow kingpins. The reason for its difficulty is that the broken edge of the kingpin has deformed and lodged itself into the baseplate. It will take extra force to get the kingpin out... a lot of force. Contact us we may want to replace your truck for FREE.
Broke Kingpin Sticking Outside The Baseplate:
If your kingpin broke outside of the base plate, then removing it should be fairly easy.
Steps for removing a broken kingpin bolt:
If your kingpin broke inside the baseplate skip step 1.
1. File around the broken edge of the kingpin bolt.
2. On hard ground, hammer the kingpin down until the head of the bolt is hitting the ground.
3. On grass or soft ground, hammer the kingpin out the rest of the way using your new kingpin on top of the broken one. The soft ground allows the kingpin to come out of the bottom of the baseplate.
4. Push the new kingpin into place. Line up the splines of the bolt and with the grooves in the baseplate. When you push the kingpin bolt in, slightly turn the bolt until it lines up with the splines. You should be able to feel them connect.
5. Put the socket over the kingpin bolt. It's important that the kingpin be able to go all the way inside the socket as the kingpin gets hammered into the baseplate. If the socket is not long enough, the bolt will not go in all the way.
6. You can use duct tape to hold parts in place.
7. On hard ground, place the socket end on the ground. Use another socket or kingpin and place it on the head of the kingpin. Start hammering on the socket to push the kingpin bolt inside the baseplate. This requires some very hard hammering to get the kingpin in all the way. Use a piece of duct tape the socket and the ground for some traction to help keep the socket from sliding.
How to remove bearing shields and seals
Before cleaning bearings, remove the seals or shields for best results.Follow the steps below for easy ways to remove and replace bearing seals and shields.
Each bearing accommodates 2 covers/closures that are one of three styles:
- Removable rubber seals
- Non-removable pressed in metal shields.
- Removable metal shields held in by a C-ring.
Tools For Removing Rubber Seals:
- Paper clip (a needle can damage rubber)
Tools For Removing Metal Shields:
- Push pin, needle, or razor blade
Remove rubber seals:
1. Poke the end of a paper clip inside the bearing between the inner ring and edge of the seal. Be careful not to touch the ball retainer inside the bearing.
2. Use the paper clip to pry the seal off.
3. To replace the bearing seal, lay the seal on the bearing and press it gently into place.
Remove metal shields:
1. A C-ring is a narrow skinny washer in the shape of a 'C'. Place the tip of your push-pin, needle, or razor blade corner under the open end of the ‘C’ and pry it out.
2. When the c-ring is out, tap the bearing on a hard surface to get the shield out.
3. To replace the shield, lay the shield back on the bearing and slide the c-ring back into place. It can be a bit tricky.
Non-Removeable metal shields:
Pressed in non-removeable metal shields are commonly found on less expensive bearings, but still allow proper bearing functionality. To reduce bearing production costs, and accidental damage from improper bearing maintenance, non-removeable pressed in metal shields are used as bearing closures. Pressed in shields can make bearing cleaning more difficult and time consuming because there is no direct access to the balls and raceways. Because of these factors, extra care is needed to thoroughly dry the bearings after cleaning.
How To Make A Bearing Cleaning Kit
You can buy a bearing cleaning kit at a skate shop or online for about $10-15, or you can make one yourself for around $5-7.
Cleaning kits usually don't come with bearing cleaner and recommend using dangerous solvents like acetone or turpentine. We recommend citrus cleaner because it is safe to handle and does a great job at cleaning bearings.
Kits work much more effectively than shaking a bottle with cleaner and bearings lose inside.
Some people have their own cleaning methods. In our experience these are the tools, methods and products that we believe work best.
Parts for a bearing cleaning kit:
- Small (12-16oz) wide mouth drink bottle. Big enough for a bearing to fit inside.
- 1/4" x 6" rod coarse thread (or whatever fits the length of the bottle inside).
- 1/16" OD x 1/4" ID x 3/32 O-Ring (this is the black gasket/ring. Basically 1/4" ring as thick as a toothpick)
- 1/4" Washer
- 1/4" Nut, coarse thread
- 1/4" Spacers cut from a ball-point pen
- 1/4" Wing-nut, coarse threads
Total Cost: About $5-8
Steps to assemble a bearing cleaning kit:
1. To assemble the bearing kit start by cutting a small hole in the lid/cap of the bottle. The hole needs to be just big enough for the 6 inch rod to go through. The rod is 1/4 inch in diameter but usually is squared bellow the head.
2. Put the gasket/black ring on the rod.
3. Put the rod through the lid/cap of the bottle.
4. Put the washer on.
5. Tighten the nut down to the bottom of the lid/cap.
6. Cut 1/4" pieces of a ball point pen sleeve for spacers.
7. Place bearings on the rod with 1 bearing spacer between each bearing. (Remove seals or shields first).
8. Hand tighten the wing-nut until the bearings are tight on the rod.
9. Fill the bottle 1/3 with citrus cleaner.
10. Place the bearings in the bottle and tighten the lid.
Directions for cleaning with a kit:
1. Remove bearings shields/seals first. See how here (link).
2. Wipe off dirt on the bearings and shields/ seals.
3. Assemble kit.
4. Fill the container about 1/3rd of the way with cleaner.
5. Insert bearings.
5. Shake the kit for a couple minutes.
6. Takes the bearings out (leave on the rod).
7. Tap the bearings on a hard surface to remove contaminants.
8. Repeat shaking for couple minutes (repeat steps 5,6,7 if needed).
9. Rinse bearings off in very hot water (keep them on the rod. This removes the cleaner. IT IS PERFECTLY OK.)
10. Immediately blow-dry your bearings to remove all the water. Spin the bearings while blow drying if possible. Use cooking tongs if bearings are too hot to hold in your hand.
11. Lubricate each bearing with about 1-2 drops of thin lubricant. We like electronic oils and sewing machine oils.
You can reuse citrus cleaner by pooring it through a coffee filter.
How to clean skateboard bearings: (Street and Longboard)
Where to buy citrus cleaners:
You can buy citrus cleaner at most grocery stores, drug stores, and hardware stores for $3-5.
Available bearing cleaning kits: