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  1. #1

    Default 83XLX Wheel Spacers

    I've rebuilt the front end on an 1983 XLX, new neck and stem bearings, rebuilt forks. I'm installing a new wheel/tire/rotors.

    I have two issues.

    1) I'm trying to eliminate the speedometer. The XLX did not come with a tach. The speedometer drive is a unit attached at the axle and clocks from the wheel on the right side. I have all that taken apart and the new wheel ready to go on but... the speedometer drive unit acts as a spacer which is between 7/16" to 1/2". When I have searched for spacers what seems to turn up are spacers for the inside of the wheel made from aluminum. Seems like steel is necessary?

    Has anyone done this before?

    issue number 2) The original wheel was a 19x2.15. I bought a wheel from DK they said would fit which is 19x2.5. It fits in there but the right side disk just barely clears the right side fork. When looking at the wheel it does not looked centered between the forks.

    Can I change the spacers to push the wheel left or right?

    thanks

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    1,916

    Default

    On all of the H-D disc brake forks, with the axle nut on the left side, the left spacer or spacers set the location of the wheel in the fork. The right side spacer or spacers set the location of the axle in the fork.

    The location of the wheel should be set first, with the wheel being centered in the front fork, directly below the axis of the steering head being the ideal. (Even some of the factory bikes, like my '80 FLH, come with the front wheel offset slightly, I believe through stack-up tolerances in manufacture.) Since the rotor is attached to the hub, a little fudging of the centering is sometimes necessary when mixing wheels from different models, in order to locate the rotor so the brake will work properly.

    After you have the wheel centered to your liking, then you can select right side spacer(s) to put the axle in its proper place. On the newer H-D forks, the manual says the hole in the axle should be just at the outside edge of the right fork leg.

    If it's a Timken bearing wheel and the spacer runs inside the seal, then steel is best for wear. On the ball bearing wheels, aluminum is acceptable, but all the factory spacers are steel.

    Jim

  3. #3

    Default

    thanks Jim, I learned a lot from that. Will look into spacers.

  4. #4

    Default

    Hey Jim, is it kosher to use multiple outer spacers to build tolerance for this?

    Thanks

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by HypoLuxa View Post
    Hey Jim, is it kosher to use multiple outer spacers to build tolerance for this?

    Thanks
    Just makes it a pain to change the wheel.

    Jim

  6. #6
    Senior Member

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    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    9,296

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    Easy way is buy spacer stock and a cheap Horror Fright digital caliper (which are especially useful because they convert to fractional sizes) then cut to length and smooth the cut end. It's easy to file an end square with a mill bastard cut file (files can move an impressive amount of metal).

    Measure speedo drive, cut spacer oversize, file or neatly grind to finished length.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Great info around here for our incoming XLX project!

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by farmall View Post
    Easy way is buy spacer stock and a cheap Horror Fright digital caliper (which are especially useful because they convert to fractional sizes) then cut to length and smooth the cut end. It's easy to file an end square with a mill bastard cut file (files can move an impressive amount of metal).

    Measure speedo drive, cut spacer oversize, file or neatly grind to finished length.
    I ordered a new speedo drive so I could measure it. I destroyed the OG one thinking I could reuse some of it as a spacer. Bought a caliper. Bought some steel spacers from Vulconworks.

    I'm pretty close at the moment but will be exact when I get the new speedo-drive unit and can measure it. I'll post measurements when I get this squared.

    My next question would be this. I have the parts book for "All XL 79-83". It lists two front wheels. It lists two front wheels with exact same front end for 83. Either came with a 2.15 mag or 2.5 spoke wheel. My bike came with a mag dual disk 2.15 front wheel. I bought a new spoke 2.5 dual disk wheel. When I get the wheel on the axle the brake calipers/pads fit tight on the disks with zero play and touch the disks with zero lever pull. I have no brake fluid in the MC at the moment. Not sure if that would affect anything.

    I would think the 2.5 wheel should fit right up? I'm I wrong about that?

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    1,916

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    A measurement of the width of each hub, from roror flange to rotor flange, will answer your question. A steel rule will give a close enough measurement. I think you will find both hubs are the same. If the new wheel is aftermarket, all bets are off.

    The calipers, if stock, are single piston, and so must float on their mounting pins/bolts. You should push the caliper pistons back in their bores so that when you are doing your fit-up, you can determine the amount and direction of caliper float. Remember to account for pad wear. When you are done, you will have a better sense of how the system works.

    Jim

  10. #10

    Default

    For future inquiry. Vulcan Works makes speedomerter drive eliminator spacers in many sizes. If you know the OEM part number you can locate the correct size spacer on their website. If you do not have a parts catalog you can use Ronnies OEM parts finder.

    https://secure.vulcanworks.net/store...do-harley.html

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