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onemat 10-10-2007 11:15 AM

How Do You Restore A Speed King
HI Guys,

I have a couple older Speed Kings, both are very stiff. I figure whatever grease is left in the bearings/springs is good and hard. What is the step by step orocedute in bringing these pedals back to usable condition? I did a search on this and didn't see anything. If there already is a thread on this subject, please let me know.

O-Lugs 10-10-2007 11:38 AM

Re: How Do You Restore A Speed King
I took the "easy" route... I didn't pop off the caps that house the ball bearings. But, nevertheless, my old SpeedKing was FROZEN with gunk and this method worked pretty well...

Basically, there are two screws at the bottom of the pedal under each post that are used to adjust the tension. Unscrew those and take them out. Next, see if the springs andf rods will slide out of the housings (sometimes they stick). Remove them and place them in a pan of something like paint thinner to soak (Do it outside with plenty of fresh air). Take a can of WD40 and saturate the insides of the posts and then take a coat hanger with a bit of cloth wadded up at the end of it and scrub the insides of the post spring housings...repeat as necessary until the wads of cloth stop coming out looking dirty. Once the housings are cleaned, replace the parts in the same orientation as they came out, but before replacing the screws, add a little motor oil to the inside of the housing (30W works just fine) while holding the pedal upside down, replace the screws and then agitate the "axle" several times so that the oil can work itself into the ball bearing housing. Set the pedal on a stack of paper towels for awhile so that any excess leaking oil can escape. Come back every so often and re-agitate the axle and replace the paper towels with clean ones until you see that the oil has stopped leaking.

That's what I did.

-Some people prefer to remove the springs and rods and then soak the entire pedal in something overnight to dislodge any dried grease from the ball bearing housing, but I didn't have enough paint thinner to do that and that seemed like a big mess to me, anyway. I think the "key" to my method is to do it every so often. Eventually, with repeated cleanings, even the oldest caked-on grease should dissolve.

-Some people prefer to pop off the little chrome caps that cover the ball bearing housings and then re-pack them with grease, too. But, I'm afraid of damaging the caps.

WD40 fixes everything!Burger Kin

onemat 10-10-2007 11:51 AM

Re: How Do You Restore A Speed King
Thanks O-Lugs! I used to use Laquer Thinner while cleaning old jukebox's really bad for you. I also agree about not screwing up the caps. Thanks much for your post.

Webmaster 10-10-2007 12:41 PM

Re: How Do You Restore A Speed King
Click here to see the insides in action! Bottom of the page.


onemat 10-10-2007 01:36 PM

Re: How Do You Restore A Speed King

Originally Posted by Webmaster
Click here to see the insides in action! Bottom of the page.


Neato Keen!

O-Lugs 10-10-2007 03:00 PM

Re: How Do You Restore A Speed King

Originally Posted by Webmaster
Click here to see the insides in action! Bottom of the page.


That's VERY cool -and a big help when describing parts to people, too!Burger Kin

westvalleydrums 10-10-2007 06:57 PM

Re: How Do You Restore A Speed King
If its easier you could also use a rifle cleaning rod to clean out the gunk from the posts. Most cleaning rods have a attachment on the end that will hold the clothe in place while you run it and out of the posts. Hope this helps.

O-Lugs 10-10-2007 08:40 PM

Re: How Do You Restore A Speed King
great idea!

JohnTEARWAVESdrummer 10-31-2007 10:34 PM

Re: How Do You Restore A Speed King
Wow ! Thanks O-Lugs !!

Very cool interactive action on the Ludwig Speed King pedal - I have a few of those old girls too !

Will do your method to clean and get those babies a working !!

Thanks again,


checker758 06-13-2009 04:46 PM

Re: How Do You Restore A Speed King - removing caps
Hi All,
Thought I'd share this helpful hint about removing Speed King grease caps with fellow Speed King owners.

I recently picked up my first Speed King, and it needed a good going over. I searched here and elsewhere online for recommendations on the best way to remove the grease caps, which are pressed tightly into their holes and not easily removed. No one seemed to have "the" answer. Someone said drilling a tiny hole in the top of the housing so you can insert a skinny implement and push the cap out from the inside works (but then you're left with a hole that needs to be filled, something I didn't want to do.) Someone elsewhere said that after you take the springs and pushrods out from the bottom, you can use an air compressor with some sort of fitting on the end of the hose that will fit into the hole at the bottom of the base to force the cap out with air pressure - I actually tried this with no luck, because I couldn't get a seal around the hole, and the other end where the cap and bearings are is isn't airtight either, so I couldn't get enough pressure. Elsewhere in this thread it was recommended that forcing grease into the hole will build up enough pressure to push the cap off from the inside - it seems like a good plan, but I didn't try this one because I don't have an automtive grease gun handy.

One suggestion I read elsewhere seemed logical and promising: use heat from a propane or similar torch to heat up the housing the cap is pressed into, being careful to not heat the cap as well, so that the expansion of the housing would allow the cap to come loose. But then someone else pointed out that this would damage the paint or the finish of the metal, and could damage or warp the housing and/or bearings as well.

I was thinking about this problem later, and had a sudden brainstorm. What if instead of using heat to expand the housing the cap is fitted into, you used COLD to just shrink the cap?

So here's what I did: first I sprayed some WD40 around the edges of the cap and let it soak into whatever microscopic gap there was between the cap and the housing. Then I grabbed a can of air used to blow dust off of computer keyboards. If you simply spray this air as directed, the temperature of the air is cool, but if you invert the can and spray while it's upside down, the spray comes out as a super-frigid liquid (cold enough to cause instant frostbite on your skin, so be careful!) Using this method I squirted the center of the grease cap for a couple of seconds until it was obviously frosted over. Then I gave it another squirt of WD40 to lubricate what I hoped was now a slightly opened gap around the grease cap. Another very quick squirt of 'liquid air', and then I tapped the pedal housing sharply a couple of times against a piece of wood (the edge of my work bench) so as not to damage the housing, and the cap popped out. Voila!

The entire time from "brainstorm" to "grease cap in hand" was about 3 minutes.

I hope this helps someone out!


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