How To Replace A Kingpin (without breaking your hand)

So I broke a kingpin the other day. Rarely happens, but my current set of trucks have been with me for at least 8 months, 2 bushing replacements, the truck worn down almost to axle.

But I still want to ride em. They are set up exactly how I like it. And since a kingpin costs 3 bucks and a truck costs 18, and If I replace one I’d need to replace two…

For those unfamiliar with skateboard trucks, the kingpin is a 3″ steel bolt which is press-fit into a 1″ sleeve cast into an aluminum block. The bottom inch of the steel bolt is ridge so as to cut into the sides of the alluminum sleeve, wedging the bolt permanently in the skateboard truck.

So at first I was able to wack out the stuck nub of the kingpin. But getting it back in was a real problem. I knocked the kingpin in almost all the way but couldnt get it past the last quarter inch. Then I wacked my finger.

As I nursed my throbbing digit, I consulted yon internet which yielded a much safer and easier method for this task. The technique is decscribed here:

The gist of it is – if you heat the aluminum block with a tea candle, in about 3 minutes the steel bolt will drop out or wedge in much more easily. Also, you can easily hold a small item like a bolt with a twisted rag and a pair of vice grips 🙂