How to Replace Skateboard Bushings

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Get Ready

How To Replace Skateboard Bushings - Get Ready
How To Replace Skateboard Bushings - Get Ready.

Jamie O'Clock

Before you replace your skateboard bushings, I recommend removing your skateboard's trucks. This isn't necessary, but it will make things a lot easier.

Now that you are ready, check and make sure that you have the right tools, and understand what parts we're working with...

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Tools, and What's the Kingpin?

Tools, and What's the Kingpin? - Replacing Skateboard Bushings
Tools, and What's the Kingpin? - Replacing Skateboard Bushings.

Jamie O'Clock

When you are ready to remove your skateboard bushings, you will need tools. I recommend using a skate tool. If you don't have a skate tool, you can always use a regular socket wrench. Find one that matches the head of the kingpin in your trucks (for example, most Gringking trucks use a hex-head kingpin).

Not sure what the kingpin is? The kingpin is the large bolt that runs through the center of your skateboard trucks (the red line in the photo shows the location of the kingpin inside your trucks). You are going to want a skate tool that fits on the nut on the end of your kingpin. Some trucks use a different style, and you need to look and see what kind of tool you will need. Most skateboard trucks are similar, but some need different tools, for example Grindking trucks. Grind King trucks use a hex hex wrench, and Grindking makes their own skate tool for working on their trucks. However, Grindking kingpins still work the same way, so these instructions will still work for you.

By far, most skateboard trucks work the same way, and have a regular bolt for their kingpin, and you can use the same skate tool on all of them. Throughout these instructions I'm using a Project skate too.

So now you have your trucks ready, you have your tool ready, and you know where the kingpin is. Great, let's get to ripping these trucks apart...

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Disassembling your Skateboard Trucks

Disassembling your Skateboard Trucks
Disassembling your Skateboard Trucks.

Jamie O'Clock

Now to get to how to disassemble your skateboard trucks. The first step in disassembling your skateboard trucks is removing the nut on the end of the kingpin. I've heard this nut called the "Jesus Nut", but I think that was borrowed from aviation. Either way, it's the nut that holds everything together.

Once you have the nut off, keep disassembling your skateboard trucks and take off the washer underneath. Make sure that you keep all of these parts - you don't want to lose any of them.

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Taking Apart the Skateboard Trucks

Taking apart the Skateboard Trucks
Taking apart the Skateboard Trucks.

Jamie O'Clock

Continue taking apart your skateboard trucks. There isn't really any trick to taking off parts when learning how to take apart your skateboard trucks - just pull each part out, and make sure that you don't lose any.

You should eventually come to the hangar - that's the large metal part that holds the skateboard truck axle. This part might be a little tricky to take off - mostly because it might be stuck. Simply pull it out of its socket, and then slide it up and off the kingpin. Continue taking apart your skateboard trucks piece by piece, being careful not to pull too hard and bend or break anything.

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Cleaning and Replacing Parts from your Skateboard Trucks and Bushings

Cleaning and Replacing Parts from your Skateboard Trucks and Bushings.

Jamie O'Clock

Once you have your skateboard trucks completely apart, your collection of bearings and pieces should look something similar to the photo above (some of your parts will be different, but in general, you should have a good collection of parts).

Now, take a look at the bushings, and see what they look like. Whether you are replacing your bushings or not, you should take each part and clean it up. You can even take the kingpin out of the baseplate and clean it as well. Feel free to replace any parts that you would like to. If you are installing new bushings, of course you can throw the old bushings away.

Now, it's time to reassemble your skateboard trucks!

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Assembling Skateboard Trucks

Assembling Skateboard Trucks.

Jamie O'Clock

Assembling your skateboard trucks is easy - simply put all the parts back on the kingpin. Don't remember the order they were supposed to be in? Set the kingpin up through the baseplate, and then the order goes:

  1. Baseplate
  2. Large washer
  3. Large bushing
  4. Hanger
  5. Small bushing
  6. Small washer

Be careful not to push to hard and bend of break anything when assembling your skateboard trucks. However, you shouldn't have to worry too much about this - skateboard trucks are built to put up with a lot of punishment. Mainly, you don't want to bend the washers.

If you find that your bushings aren't that worn out, you can always get more mileage out of the larger washer by flipping it over. This is a little trick to getting more bang for your buck with bushings.

And now, you're almost done! One step left!

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Tightening Your Skateboard Trucks

Tightening your Skateboard Trucks
Tightening your Skateboard Trucks.

Jamie O'Clock

Once all the parts are set back onto the kingpin, put the top nut back on again, using your fingers. Once it's tight, use your skate tool.

However tightly you set this nut will determine how loose your skateboard trucks ride. Some people like stiff trucks, so that they don't turn unless you really put some effort into them. This is good for lots of tricks, because your trucks won't flex too much when you land a trick. On the other hand, some skaters like loose trucks, so that they can carve better. It's all up to you. You can tighten and loosen your trucks any time you want.

If you are performing maintenance on your skateboard, you might want to also consider cleaning your skateboard bearings, or applying new grip tape.