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  1. #1
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    Default Cast neck from hell... Bearing od too large?

    Got this cast neck a while ago that seemed half finished. Backbone hole was close enough to 1.5"... A little over, but I needed some wiggle room for something. Downtube holes were drilled like a half inch in at 1" and very cadywompus, so I sent it to John at hard tail choppers and he did a killer job redrilling them . I was just looking for some neck cups and went to measure the neck, which seemed machined out, but it's at 1.315 up top And 1.320 at the bottom in the id, also just noticed it's about 3/32 too long. Just read id should be at 1.3125. maybe this thing wasn't machined at all in the first place...ugghhh, anyone have any words of wisdom??? Spent some good change on this thing so far, but what could I do about the steering neck itself.

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    Who sold it to you so I never buy one? Post clear pics too which may help others avoid rape.

    You can machine it to any bore or height you like then adapt the results. It's standard machine shop work so if John did ya right I'd get a quote and pay him to sort the rest of it. He might bore the casting and install a sleeve, or just bore it and machine a new cup.
    Last edited by farmall; 02-08-2020 at 8:23 PM.

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    Sounds like a bit more machining to do...one, to make it the correct length...typical should be 5.625".

    From Merch:
    "The steering neck is an important but simple part of frame construction. For the typical HD style custom frame, the neck needs to be 5-5/8” tall with a .800” deep counter bore 1.313” in diameter for press in chrome bearing cups.
    This makes a three-piece assembly (not including races, bearings and dust covers) measuring slightly over 7” tall.
    The steering axle is typically 1” diameter so the neck needs a 1-1/8 or 1-1/4 through bore...
    It is recommended that wall thickness of .188” is maintained in any cross section of the steering neck and seamless or billet material is used for construction."

    You could get the bores bored out then sleeved to get them to standard size so they will be a press fit for the cups...as long as you are able to maintain the wall thickness of more than the recommended 0.188"
    and not bastardized, which is another option...turn down the spigots on the cups and get sleeves on them to fit the bores of the neck ya got now..

    You already got the neck too? and the cups?
    I would make the neck right by correcting the length, and boring/sleeving the bores to standard 1.3125" size. That way, any parts swap in the future for you or the next owner will be standard items.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Probably a stupid question.. But could you use Green Loctite Sleeve Locker?

    It's just a steering head bearing cup.. And there's a lot of surface area there.


    ????

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    Your right, i should, I was freaking out for a second. Nobody really knows where it came from, a couple people have them. I think they are blem castings of some sort. Irish rich was thinking they are from some aftermarket company called Moon from a while back ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by confab View Post
    Probably a stupid question.. But could you use Green Loctite Sleeve Locker?
    It's just a steering head bearing cup.. And there's a lot of surface area there.
    Not stupid at all since necks aren't heavily loaded by machinery standards and even then anaerobics can do the job. If the Henkel site says it or something else is appropriate (they offer a nice variety) I'd be all about industrial solutions.
    Last edited by farmall; 02-08-2020 at 8:31 PM.

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    I'm fairly retarded, I've never heard of sleeve locker. Just looked it up. I have an oversized od on a spool hub, do you think that would be too much heat on that stuff?

    I'd be afraid to use it on the neck if it hasnt been machined, I mean what is really aligning everything?

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    Heat isn't a problem.. It is rated for heat. 350 on the stuff I use, I think?

    We use it here to hold servo bore bushings in place after reaming them. Buried in your transmission, covered with burning hot fluid and under hundreds of pounds of pressure, and it is fine.

    I would try it if it were me.. But - Disclaimer - I'm a noob and know f___ all about harleys.

    To align tapered timkens, wouldn't you just bolt the head on it?

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    To align tapered timkens, wouldn't you just bolt the head on it? .
    Yep. I seat neck Timkens like wheel bearings.

    Harleys and other common vintage frames are far from precise but the cup alignment to neck casting won't be an issue because the neck with cups installed should be aligned in your frame jig before welding since the plain neck bore would not perfectly match the axis of the installed steering stem due to bore error. IRL a few thou ain't shit but more accuracy is always better.
    Last edited by farmall; 02-08-2020 at 9:07 PM.

  10. #10

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    Could you knurl the neck cup for an interference fit then locktite them in?

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    No reason why not since the cups won't be hardened. A mandrel would be great for holding them. Of course if ya have a lathe to knurl them you could turn any cup you want. Stainless would be pretty cool on a scoot where it was visible since it would never pit.

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    I remember in the cbh reading to expect things like the axle plates to be off within a 1/4 inch when welding the rear upper legs on. How off were these older frames?

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    There is usually a reason something is cheap...........

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scoobydude View Post
    How off were these older frames?
    All the vintage frames I have dealt with that I have had a need to measure have been dead nuts...............

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    If you dont have a lathe you can knurl them at home. Centerpunch, or spring loaded centerpunch either will work. Just start making marks around the piece. Yea I know, but sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do......
    Last edited by flatman; 02-09-2020 at 1:13 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flatman View Post
    Yea I know, but sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do......

    Yep you are correct......... But that kind of mistake shouldn't happen....... Those things should have been checked before it was ever welded in............

    My question is how the hell did you line it up to the frame without the neck cups installed????????? My guess is the neck will be crocked once it's all together.............

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tattooo View Post
    Yep you are correct......... But that kind of mistake shouldn't happen....... Those things should have been checked before it was ever welded in............

    My question is how the hell did you line it up to the frame without the neck cups installed????????? My guess is the neck will be crocked once it's all together.............
    It's not welded to the frame. Why would the cups have to be installed to line it up IF the the cup bore was machined?

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    If you want maximum accuracy and the bore was machined sloppily (and there may be other errors we don't know about), the way to align is is by the installed cups because they are the "final assembly" you are installing the neck to align in the first place! Who knows if the neck casting bore AXIS is even correct with respect to the other holes?

    Just because something is machined (which is HOW it was cut, not HOW ACCURATELY WITH REFERENCE TO ANYTHING ELSE IT WAS CUT) in no way means anything was accurately aligned with any other feature. The goal of all the machining and welding is alignment of the steering stem axis square to the frame and at the desired rake.

    You have some mystery junk vaguely resembling a neck casting but even if it were correct you'd need a precise reference FOR YOUR FRAME JIG to align it to the frame. Your "most precise" components are the bearing races in the bearing cups. Your casually bored neck may also have alignment issues with the other drilled holes in the casting but even if perfect must still be precisely aligned by frame jig for most accurate results because the design is not self-aligning. It just looks that way.

    Everything else exists to hold the cups in place after they're aligned and welded, not to align them before welding which is your frame jig's job. Why would shapes with no inherent precision precisely align the part at the end of their stack? Your goal is an aligned pair of bearing cups.
    Work back from your goal and you'll see why starting with a precisely aligned cups-in-neck assembly in a jig is the accurate way to begin. The frame jig aligns the cups which align the neck casting with respect to the jig and the rest of the frame.

    If you need to, work it out the opposite way to see why that won't serve you. Your old frame is of unknown precision and many are subtly bent over the decades and isn't a reference for aligning the neck anyway. Your frame jig is the reference for aligning the neck to the frame. The neck is of unknown accuracy (how do you know the holes are correct with respect to each other in the casting?) so if you install it without a frame jig how do you know it would correctly aim your steering stem axis? Frames connect fittings (neck, engine mounts, the stuff in general you see bolted securely to frame jigs during assembly) whose alignment is controlled by the precise frame jig. The frame jig controls part placement. The welds secure the parts the jig aligns to the frame structure.

    Picture two wedding rings at the ends of a turd. Your goal is to align the rings precisely with each other, not the imprecise shit in the middle.
    Last edited by farmall; 02-09-2020 at 11:02 AM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scoobydude View Post
    It's not welded to the frame. Why would the cups have to be installed to line it up IF the the cup bore was machined?
    Well that's a damn good thing it's not welded yet, as that's one mistake you can avoid.........

    Plus if the frame holes were off why would you assume the neck holes are straight to the frame???????? You need to stop assuming things..............
    Last edited by Tattooo; 02-09-2020 at 9:41 AM.

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbPa3MGlVS8

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