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  1. #1
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    Default Need help with Frankenstein springer

    Hey guys Iíve been struggling with this springer I got off eBay for a while now. My question is how do I tighten the rockers without pinching them against the forks? Do I want bushings with a flange or just the sleeve type bushings?

    I donít have $2,000 laying around to get a new springer so I have to make this work.

    I rode it for a while but itís fucking sketchy. I bought it with no rockers and found a pair later on Instagram. I want to put new bushings in it and I found a website www.bronzebushings.com that sells oil impregnated bronze bushings.

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    You need bushings or bearings in the rockers, then you need shoulder bolts of some sort with a shoulder just a fuzz longer than your bushing/bearing, so you have some side play, but not much. Or shoulder nuts. Denver's used modified automotive lug nuts for rocker pivots with needle bearings in the rockers. Ness used a shouldered allen bolt and a bushing in the rocker.

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    What about some pics of your problem?????

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tattooo View Post
    What about some pics of your problem?????
    HAHA, this is a silly idea.....

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    Edit: that was a dickhead response, but I didn’t know what the problem was yet so I didn’t know what to take a picture of. That’s my bad.
    Last edited by scottiemcdoogle; 05-13-2019 at 9:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOTher View Post
    You need bushings or bearings in the rockers, then you need shoulder bolts of some sort with a shoulder just a fuzz longer than your bushing/bearing, so you have some side play, but not much. Or shoulder nuts. Denver's used modified automotive lug nuts for rocker pivots with needle bearings in the rockers. Ness used a shouldered allen bolt and a bushing in the rocker.
    Ok, it sounds like the shoulder bolts are my problem. I made the bolts myself and in a hurry so they aren’t all exactly the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scottiemcdoogle View Post
    What would you like me to take a picture of? Imagine a springer front end that doesn’t move.
    The part where your wanting to replace the bushings...

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    Go out an buy shoulder bolts the correct length, longer than sleeves for your bushings are wide. Then, machine new bronze bushings that are somewhere near 0.010" narrower than the shoulder on the shoulder bolt to fit the rocker sleeve. Easy peasy

    Heres a thread for some more info - http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showthread.php?t=50532

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyNZ View Post
    Go out an buy shoulder bolts the correct length, longer than sleeves for your bushings are wide. Then, machine new bronze bushings that are somewhere near 0.010" narrower than the shoulder on the shoulder bolt to fit the rocker sleeve. Easy peasy

    Heres a thread for some more info - http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showthread.php?t=50532
    I guess that’s what I was confused about, but what you and MOTher have said make sense. I had to make bolts because I don’t know who made the springer and I can’t find any that will make my rockers work with it. So my problem was that I made the shoulder of the bolt, and the bushing the same width as the rocker, about .460.

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Those in your pic are slighty too shallow. That's why they lock up the rockers. The wear marks on the rockers suggest a missing washer which may or may not have been stepped. Bronze would be a good material and wear instead of wearing the other parts.

    Fix as you mentioned is a longer bolt shoulder so the bolt can bottom out without pinching the rocker to the springer fork legs and a washer to prevent rocker and legs from directly contacting.

    Refresh this page because I made a few edits to this post.
    Last edited by farmall; 05-13-2019 at 9:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by farmall View Post
    Those in your pic are slighty too shallow. That's why they lock up the rockers. The wear marks on the rockers suggest a missing washer which may or may not have been stepped. Bronze would be a good material and wear instead of wearing the other parts.

    Fix as you mentioned is a longer bolt shoulder so the bolt can bottom out without pinching the rocker to the springer fork legs and a washer to prevent rocker and legs from directly contacting.

    Refresh this page because I made a few edits to this post.
    I think the damage your seeing is actually from the washer on the bolt head side of the bolt, I had just thrown them in from the other side to take a picture.

    My rockers and bushings are .460 wide, so if I have a 1/16” (.0625) washer on the bolt head side and a 1/16” washer between the rocker and the springer leg I’m looking at .585. SO logically I should make the shoulder of the bolts .595 and it would be able to torque down without pinching against the springer legs, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by scottiemcdoogle View Post
    Edit: that was a dickhead response, but I didn’t know what the problem was yet so I didn’t know what to take a picture of. That’s my bad.
    Pictures of:
    The lower part of the legs where the rocker studs (shoulder bolts) fit, pics of the rockers, dimensions of the holes, and a shot or two of the springs and trees which could help to identify the make of the springer so we can find images of hat the original assembly looked like so you can assemble it how it was meant to be, even if you have different rockers. Any numbers or stampings on the springer - maybe underneath the bottom tree or spring perch,perhaps a number on the very bottom of the leg - a few manufacturers included the overstock length number there. It could have been cut shorter and had different holes or flats ground or squished which could cause more difficulties.

    More info in this CC thread, including:
    "The ideal scenario when everything is properly installed is to have about .001 to .003-inches of clearance between the outside face of the rocker and the inside surface of the outer thrust washer."

    2018 Thread: springer
    "...no happy with the lack of action of the front end. The springs rattle a little bit( not sure on how much compresstion should be in the spring) Also there is very little action in the lower rockers."
    http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showthread.php?t=51537

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    I was out for a bit and now see your pics; those rockers are by A.E.E., fish-tail style:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	AEE choppers, springer fish-tail rockers.jpg 
Views:	3 
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ID:	93786

    Now what is the springer?

    look for the standard sizes of shouldered bolts here, then get washers/shims to provide about 0.003" clearance:
    https://www.mcmaster.com/shoulder-screws

    Info from CBH; Springbuild:

    "What is often puzzling to people is how to control the almost microscopic clearance needed between the bushing length and the bolt shaft length and this is where the power of shoulder bolts really comes into play.

    The secret is the use of precision shoulder bolt shim washers. There are two types. One is used to make a bolt longer and the other is used to effectively make a bolt shorter. Both types are shown in figure 80(below). Lengthening shims are used on the threaded portion of the bolt and shortening shims are used on the smooth portion of the shaft next to the head of the bolt.

    If you were careful during fabrication you probably won't need to use any of these shims but it pays to know that they exist since apparently many people aren't aware of them as most tech articles seem to omit the fine points for some reason.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Springer_rocker precision shims CBH Springbuild.jpg 
Views:	5 
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ID:	93793
    These shim washers come in a huge range of sizes and thickness and used in various combinations you can adjust the dimensional length of a bolt up or down as fine as .001-inch increments.

    I think that in most cases the only time you'll really need to have some of these on hand is if you've made your rockers to wide or to narrow or you're trying to salvage some old worn down flange bushings or thrust washers.

    If this becomes the case keep in mind that all bushing need at least some load on them or the rockers will have far too much play. Ideally if the bushings are properly loaded the rocker should have a tendency to very slowly drop from a horizontal to vertical position if left unrestrained. If it just 'falls' down fast it means the connection is way to loose. If the rocker stays in one position or drops in a series of stops and starts it means the connection is a tad to tight or the bores are out of alignment...
    https://www.chopperhandbook.com/springbuild.htm

    Lengthening and shortening shoulder bolt shims available here:
    https://www.mcmaster.com/shims
    Last edited by TriNortchopz; 05-14-2019 at 12:37 AM. Reason: Added info from CBH, Springbuild + shims

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    I haven’t been able to find any kind of markings at all, but here’s some more pics.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	08858A43-738A-4FDF-A9E6-49F8230CC6E6.jpg 
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    Both holes are 3/8”
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The top clamp is from a DNA so disregard that.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is the closest thing I can find to what my springer looks like, from a company called Amen.

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    A few good close ups of an Amen twisted springer here; note shape of upper spring perch where headlight bracket is mounted, and rockers:

    RJ's 1966 Amen Shovelhead Chopper

    https://www.streetchopperweb.com/rjs...elhead-chopper

  17. #17

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    How did you make the bolt (rocker stud) in the first place? Looks like you just need to cut some more of the backside of the hex part to make the sleeve part longer/ Could make each one fit each individual spot if you had to

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TriNortchopz View Post
    I was out for a bit and now see your pics; those rockers are by A.E.E., fish-tail style:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	AEE choppers, springer fish-tail rockers.jpg 
Views:	3 
Size:	163.5 KB 
ID:	93786

    Now what is the springer?

    look for the standard sizes of shouldered bolts here, then get washers/shims to provide about 0.003" clearance:
    https://www.mcmaster.com/shoulder-screws

    Info from CBH; Springbuild:

    "What is often puzzling to people is how to control the almost microscopic clearance needed between the bushing length and the bolt shaft length and this is where the power of shoulder bolts really comes into play.

    The secret is the use of precision shoulder bolt shim washers. There are two types. One is used to make a bolt longer and the other is used to effectively make a bolt shorter. Both types are shown in figure 80(below). Lengthening shims are used on the threaded portion of the bolt and shortening shims are used on the smooth portion of the shaft next to the head of the bolt.

    If you were careful during fabrication you probably won't need to use any of these shims but it pays to know that they exist since apparently many people aren't aware of them as most tech articles seem to omit the fine points for some reason.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Springer_rocker precision shims CBH Springbuild.jpg 
Views:	5 
Size:	47.1 KB 
ID:	93793
    These shim washers come in a huge range of sizes and thickness and used in various combinations you can adjust the dimensional length of a bolt up or down as fine as .001-inch increments.

    I think that in most cases the only time you'll really need to have some of these on hand is if you've made your rockers to wide or to narrow or you're trying to salvage some old worn down flange bushings or thrust washers.

    If this becomes the case keep in mind that all bushing need at least some load on them or the rockers will have far too much play. Ideally if the bushings are properly loaded the rocker should have a tendency to very slowly drop from a horizontal to vertical position if left unrestrained. If it just 'falls' down fast it means the connection is way to loose. If the rocker stays in one position or drops in a series of stops and starts it means the connection is a tad to tight or the bores are out of alignment...
    https://www.chopperhandbook.com/springbuild.htm

    Lengthening and shortening shoulder bolt shims available here:
    https://www.mcmaster.com/shims
    DAMN GOOD information! I wish I knew about that website before I spent the time and money making these bolts. I wish they weren't $23.53 each, but I feel better about having stainless bolts over 1018 steel. I'm going to get new oil impregnated bronze bushings from them too while I'm at it.

    My next question was going to be how to properly adjust the springs, or if it really makes a difference in ride quality. I assume as long as the tension is the same you can do much about how it rides unless you got stiffer or softer springs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TriNortchopz View Post
    A few good close ups of an Amen twisted springer here; note shape of upper spring perch where headlight bracket is mounted, and rockers:

    RJ's 1966 Amen Shovelhead Chopper

    https://www.streetchopperweb.com/rjs...elhead-chopper
    Bad ass chopper. Where my headlight bracket is mounted goes straight across, but other than that it looks the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flatman View Post
    How did you make the bolt (rocker stud) in the first place? Looks like you just need to cut some more of the backside of the hex part to make the sleeve part longer/ Could make each one fit each individual spot if you had to
    Thats a good point, I probably could because I made these myself out of 1018 steel, but I feel better about ordering 304 stainless bolts with a more accurate width and shoulder length. I just didn't know about that website back when I made those bolts.

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