One advantage to building a rod or custom from a late-'40s or early '50s vehicle is that most American automakers had developed and fitted their cars with independent front suspensions by this time. The downside is that many of those early IFS arrangements were somewhat rudimentary by today's standards, with handling and steering characteristics that often leave much to be desired. Heck, most still employed at least one significant holdover from the beam-axle days: kingpins.

While some enthusiasts are inclined to simply rip out such technology and start fresh with something newer, there are plenty of folks who simply can't afford an aftermarket IFS and don't have the welding savvy and chassis-building skills to perform a subframe swap. Fortunately, a growing number of aftermarket components are available to help upgrade early IFS setups. Parts like disc brakes, dropped spindles, custom springs, modern steering setups, and new shocks can vastly improve the safety, performance, and stance of many mid-century rides.

Amidst all those products, though, the kingpins are often overlooked, which is why we'd like to let you in on a little-known offering from Stainless Steel Brakes Corporation: the Royal King Pin Kit. These kits offer several improvements over OEM kingpins. First, they replace the brass kingpin bushings with precision needle bearings, which provide improved lubrication, longevity, and steering response (we've heard enthusiasts refer to the kit as "poor man's power steering"). Additionally, the kingpins are made from heat-treated stainless steel for durability and long life. In fact, virtually everything in the kit is either stainless or chrome plated for quality and appearance.

The SSBC kingpin kits are designed to fit stock spindles and come complete with an installation tool that makes the job a straightforward affair. Currently, kits are available for '39-56 Oldsmobile, '49-51 Mercury, and '50-53 Ford independent suspensions, as well as beam-axle applications for '37-48 Fords and Mercs, '37-52 Ford trucks, and '41-54 Chevy trucks. The installation shown here is on a '50 Olds 88, and was ably handled by Jason Scudellari at the Primedia Tech Center. All in all, it was a pretty simple way to get improved handling and steering response from an old Olds suspension.

SOURCE
Stainless Steel Brakes Corporation
11470 Main Rd.
Clarence
NY  14031
8-00/-448-7722