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Old 01-11-2012, 01:18 PM   #31
supershaft
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Perfectly machined aftermarket trees that will eliminate the aligning procedure? That cracks me up! There will always be an aligning procedure as long as the front end is clamped together and perfect machining doesn't eliminate that.

I forgot to mention and agree that sometimes spinning perfectly straight tubes to a different position helps. I know it shouldn't but it does.

Put a magnetic V block on a tube and watch the dial as you tighten down a pinch bolt. A perfectly straight tree will pull the tube this way or that by a lot. It makes since when you really think about how that tree is grabbing the tube from one side. Yes, the order of how you tighten it down is crucial. One way works one time and another order the next time. You never know until you try it.

The whole setup isn't that sensitive once you get it all tightened down. It twist all over while riding and then usually twists back. It's all rigid once it's all tight. It's the act of tightening down single sided clamps in the trees and pulling the sliders this way and that while tightening down fasteners is what it is sensitive to.

I agree that axle alignment is critical.

supershaft screwed with this post 01-11-2012 at 01:36 PM
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Old 01-11-2012, 01:42 PM   #32
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you going to this?
Southern Wisconsin Air Head Tech day / Barley therapy Feb 25
Renner, you got a link? I couldn't find anything with that name on here.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:29 PM   #33
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Renner, you got a link? I couldn't find anything with that name on here.
I'll send it to you in a pm
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:30 PM   #34
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Thanks dude.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:45 PM   #35
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When I did mine, I just started at the top, jounced the suspension a few times, and tightened things as I went down, jouncing it again in between tightenings. No stiction issues so far, plenty stable, and I've tested for wobble. I checked with some mirror glass, and it seemed pretty close to flat when I scooted down the gaiters.

Gotta love the Airhead Voodoo. Some bikes seem to have this problem even when we try to fix them, and others don't.

I do like the idea of a custom triple clamp. That European one seemed dead simple. It didn't even have any metal hogged out to save weight.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:47 PM   #36
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Great information here guys, I do feel better about it at least knowing I am not the only one who curses and has a hell of a time. I am also happy to hear of alternative methods. The one I was using wasn't working so I am going to try going at it another way, then another, then another....
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:28 AM   #37
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Guess what? I haven't fixed this yet.

I am back at it, I need this bike mobile and out of my way. I found yesterday when I tighten the top nuts into the plate everything is pretty straight. Everything goes to shit when I tighten the lower triple. No matter what I do messing with torque values etc and trying to "twist" everything back into place with the 2x4 and ratchet strap I can't get this straight. The forks are out of parallel .009+ from under the headlight to the bottoms of the legs.

At this point I may roll the dice and get another used lower triple. What do you guys think? The top plate was all bent to hell so my thought is this bike may have been crashed a long time ago, or just put back together wrong by someone. I know the previous owner didn't do it, so if it had been put together wrong it would have had almost 20 years to become permanently disfigured.

FWIW, the forks did stick pretty bad on this bike when I got it so this problem isn't a new one after I took it apart.

You guys have any thoughts? I need to try something different. What I have attempted 5x has made no difference so what's next?

Thanks.

Evan
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:07 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by 240sx4u View Post

You guys have any thoughts? I need to try something different. What I have attempted 5x has made no difference so what's next?

Thanks.

Evan
Refresh my memory. Are you using the stock upper plate? Forks tubes proved to be straight? The lower triple is usually good unless the bike had some serious front end damage. I would start by trashing the stock upper plate, then give Stephen at ToasterTan a call. I tried and tried to align my forks with the stock upper and another aftermarket upper. I installed the ToasterTan upper and my forks are perfectly aligned.
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:10 AM   #39
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Thanks Ray.

Brand spanking new top plate. The old one was U shaped.

Fork tubes are nice and straight.

The only reason I am tempted to try a different lower triple is because I can tighten the pinch bolts and actually measure/feel/see it pulling the forks out of alignment.

Evan
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:12 AM   #40
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You guys have any thoughts? I need to try something different. What I have attempted 5x has made no difference so what's next?

Thanks.

Evan
When I got to that point, the thing that made the difference was heat. Put the 2x4 bind on it then just use a propane torch with large not pencil tip and spend 10 minutes evenly heating the lower triple. Don't worry at all about too much heat. It is a huge heat sink. I monitored my with an IR temp guage and it never got over 175 degrees f.

Then confirm good bind and let it cool for 2 or 3 hours. Then recheck. Repeat as required. Mine would not move at all until the heat was applied, but that did the trick for me. My initial measures were 3mm out of line and twisted. My final measures for the fork tubes was 0.3mm and at that point is butter smooth. Don't need perfect, but somewheres close.
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:21 AM   #41
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Heat sounds promising. I did heat it up last night but I didn't really put the fire to it. It got more than warm but not past that. I had it pulled WAY past where I needed it to be and it didn't take. I even let it just sit for a week. Ill try putting some real heat on it tonight. I was worried about cooking the grease that I put on the stem bearings.

Evan
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:44 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by 240sx4u View Post
The only reason I am tempted to try a different lower triple is because I can tighten the pinch bolts and actually measure/feel/see it pulling the forks out of alignment.
Evan
When you are aligning the fork tubes (clamped into the lower triple only, upper plate removed) in the "x" and "y" planes, you should be able to get them "perfectly" parallel (my son is a mechanical engineer, I try to use correct terminology). I like DoktorT's idea of using heat, I used excessive force, ha! Now your fork tubes are perfectly aligned in the lower clamp. Then you put the upper on and it forces the tubes out of alignment. It is the UPPER that is the cause of the problem. Did I mention giving ToasterTan a call?
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craydds screwed with this post 06-11-2012 at 11:51 AM
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:59 AM   #43
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Ray, I have been wrestling with that lower clamp. I can't get everything "straight". Adding in the bits about the upper just complicates things I suspect. Sorry. I wish I had the money/motivation/ambition to buy the toastertan brace. I haven't had a road bike in 10 years, and I have had this thing partially done for 3. I need to get it together and ride it to see if I am even barking up the right tree!

Sounds like brute force + heat may be my savior here. Now, how far past the point of parallel-ness do you guys usually force the forks? I went nuts trying to get the twist out and pulled it .25" past where I wanted it with no changes. I don't want to go nuts and have it tweaked in the opposite direction!

Evan
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:12 PM   #44
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The forks are out of parallel .009+ from under the headlight to the bottoms of the legs.
Evan, this may be acceptable and possibly the best that can be achieved in your present situation. You might continue onward and reassemble the forks following the steps described by Randy Glass. You may get acceptable performance, but what some of are trying to achieve is the best alignment possible and hopefully the best performance possible. To answer your question about force when aligning the tubes, it is a bit of trial and error... try some force and check the tubes. The apply MORE force as necessary. Borrow DoktorT's torch, give it a try - I will try it on my next bike.
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:23 PM   #45
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Thanks fellas. I hope to try it tonight. I am not so much super worried about perfect performance, but mostly worried about ending up in a tank slapper because I was too lazy to do this right.
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