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  1. #1

    Default 1980 FLH Fork Question

    Hey folks, hope everyone's doing well.

    I got a fork question: the holes for the four bolts that attach my front fender are striped and the fender's loose, rocking bck and forth. One of the bolts is holding, the other three are siliconed into place so they don't fall out and are only (wishfully) providing shear resistance. My plan is to pull the forks, install helicoils in the holes, reassemble and go.

    One problem I noticed is the boss on one of the holes is cracked. Any advice for this? JB Weld? Get it welded? Punt and order new forks from J&P? Ignore it? Thanks for your help.

    JohnClick image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    Get it welded up before doing the helicoil. When doing the helicoils, it's best to do it in a mill or drill press so the resulting threaded holes are straight like the originals. You may need a bottoming helicoil tap, as these holes aren't very deep.

    Jim

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    Yes I would say have it welded for sure that is if you can do it or know someone that can help you out maybe you can do all the prep work first but if your going to a random shop they might tell you it’s the minimum shop fee could be $100 or whatever there min hr rate is in which case I’m sure a used replacement would be better. Good luck!

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    The fender bolt was to long....

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    I'd suggest a time-sert over a helicoil. OR potentially try and find another set of lowers/trade for someone trying to shave theirs, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brooklynbomber View Post
    I'd suggest a time-sert over a helicoil. OR potentially try and find another set of lowers/trade for someone trying to shave theirs, etc.
    Very good point. This is chop cult shave them things!

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    Lowers are plentiful. If going back stock I'd replace and ride.

    Since the stock front brakes are pathetic this could be an opportunity to upgrade to later dual discs with four piston calipers.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by brooklynbomber View Post
    I'd suggest a time-sert over a helicoil. OR potentially try and find another set of lowers/trade for someone trying to shave theirs, etc.
    Exactly, screw helicoils.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdmboyd View Post
    Hey folks, hope everyone's doing well.

    I got a fork question: the holes for the four bolts that attach my front fender are striped and the fender's loose, rocking bck and forth. One of the bolts is holding, the other three are siliconed into place so they don't fall out and are only (wishfully) providing shear resistance. My plan is to pull the forks, install helicoils in the holes, reassemble and go.

    One problem I noticed is the boss on one of the holes is cracked. Any advice for this? JB Weld? Get it welded? Punt and order new forks from J&P? Ignore it? Thanks for your help.

    JohnClick image for larger version. 

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    Look into gthat stuff that welds aluminum with a plumbers torch, then a bottom tap. Think the stuff is called HTS2000, used it a few times, works great.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails bb (25).jpg  

  10. #10

    Default Pathetic Brakes

    Quote Originally Posted by farmall View Post
    Lowers are plentiful. If going back stock I'd replace and ride.

    Since the stock front brakes are pathetic this could be an opportunity to upgrade to later dual discs with four piston calipers.
    Farm,

    Interesting you mention brakes, the single here isn't too bad, but it's not throwing me over the handlebars (or thankfully hasn't yet). There is one weird thing I've never seen before: the caliper has no bleeder screw. I guess bubbles vent to the reservoir and that's it. Sounds crazy, but it works.Click image for larger version. 

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    If I did go with dual disks, what year(s) would work and still let me keep that headlight cover/top parts?

    Thanks.

  11. #11

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    Farm, all,

    Well I tried to delay getting the cracked front fender boss fixed until winter, but it broke off Sat, so now I'm rolling w/out the fender until I can find a replacement slider or pair. Couple questions:

    - If I replace the stock 45828-77A slider only, are new bushings all that's required to get the internal spring/hydraulics to work right or is this a matched set kind of deal to get the whole leg to work right.
    - You mentioned back in APR that dual front breaks would be a good upgrade. If I go that route, what years/brand of fork bottoms would fit this '80 FLH front end?

    Thanks for your help.

    John

  12. #12

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    Pics, too.

    Turns out the cracked boss already had a helicoil insert installed; unclear whether that and/or a too long bolt was responsible for the boss cracking.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Broken Front Fender Boss DSC00857.jpg   FLH Without Front Fender DSC00856.jpg   Helicoil Remains on Fender Bolt DSC00859.jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdmboyd View Post
    Pics, too.

    Turns out the cracked boss already had a helicoil insert installed; unclear whether that and/or a too long bolt was responsible for the boss cracking.
    That is why a Timesert or other solid thread insert is not a good idea for that location. The resulting wall thickness gets pretty thin. My guess is that the crack was there before the helicoil.
    And to all who say, fuck helicoils, I have used them for decades with great results. Most problems I see with helicoils installed by others are caused by improper installation or a general unfamiliarity with the product and the process. "A good carpenter doesn't blame his tools."

    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBinNC View Post
    My guess is that the crack was there before the helicoil.
    And to all who say, fuck helicoils, I have used them for decades with great results.
    Jim
    I like them, I've never had any problems at all with them..........

  15. #15

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    Folks, Happy New Year to all, hope everyone had a pleasant holiday.

    I've got a helicoil question: My new lower forks arrived yesterday. Before I install them does it make any sense to preinstall helicoils into the virgin Al threads and use a smaller diameter bolt? Whether or not, I'm going to make sure the bolts aren't too long and are torqued to a gentle level, maybe 50%-75% of allowable Gr. 5 steel levels. Does this make any sense?

    Thanks for your help.

    John

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    use it as you got them, unless they are old and already have dodgy threads,
    and use a torque wrench to the prescribed torque with the correct length bolt

  17. #17
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    No need to install a helicoil if the threads are in good shape.

    From the factory, the screws were retained with a sheet metal lock plate. I prefer a lock washer and blue loctite (belt and suspenders). I've never had any trouble with those fender screws. I have an '80 FLH as well.

    Jim

  18. #18
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    It scares me to use torque specs on any OLD aluminum......... Just get it snug and it will be just fine...........

  19. #19
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    Torque "feel" is very hard to teach and what us grizzled crusty wrenches (who wrung off our share of hardware learning by experience!) consider "snug" may mean something very different to someone new to motorcycle wrenching. (Amateur auto mechanics especially tend to grossly overtighten mosickle fasteners.) Since "snug" has no standard meaning if a thread is suspected weak one could reduce torque by say ten or fifteen percent on non-torque-critical fasteners. Everything mechanical is measurable. Give the new guys a formula so they can measure, learn feel then do non-critical parts by hand.

    The aircraft custom is torque to the LOWEST margin of the specified torque range on non-critical fasteners (critical would include head bolts and similar).

    And to all who say, fuck helicoils, I have used them for decades with great results. Most problems I see with helicoils installed by others are caused by improper installation or a general unfamiliarity with the product and the process. "A good carpenter doesn't blame his tools."
    Helical inserts certainly should not break anything. Superior inserts exist but when there's not enough surrounding metal choosing a "superior" insert design is the WRONG choice for the job. Helical inserts don't have load bearing issues, they have issues with retention sometimes because they rely on two points of the helix to retain the coil. Anti-seize works great for permitting bolt removal without the coil sticking to the bolt, and clean bolt threads (wire wheel on a bench grinder works wonders) are important anywhere.

    For those using lock washers the "star" type were tested and proven the most effective. Lock tabs ain't as pretty but are superior since they give positive retention but fender bolts don't lead a brutal life on the street so I don't bother. I also use Loctite and either star or split locks or flat washers (whatever box is nearby...) to spread the load (different from caring if they actually lock). I use all metal lock nuts for nearly every nut and tolerate nylocs on lightweight parts.
    Last edited by farmall; 01-08-2020 at 11:54 AM.

  20. #20
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    Torque "feel" is very hard to teach and what us grizzled crusty wrenches (who wrung off our share of hardware learning by experience!) consider "snug" may mean something very different to someone new to motorcycle wrenching. (Amateur auto mechanics especially tend to grossly overtighten mosickle fasteners.) Since "snug" has no standard meaning if a thread is suspected weak one could reduce torque by say ten or fifteen percent on non-torque-critical fasteners. Everything mechanical is measurable. Give the new guys a formula so they can measure, learn feel then do non-critical parts by hand.
    Yes sir you are correct,

    I've done my fair share of stripping threads and cracking the lip off of old metal trying to torque to specs........... The lip on Knuck and Pan cam covers is the worst........ Try torquing them to specs and see what you get!!!!!!!!!

    So do what's easiest for the individual....... I say LEARN how to torque by feel before you start tearing stuff up........... It's not that hard if your willing to learn a trade.............
    Last edited by Tattooo; 01-08-2020 at 12:13 PM.

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