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  1. #1

    Default Integrated steering stop bearing

    I found this compatible bearing set. Reviews for the bearings aren't that great but I could replace those with name brand if needed... take a look at the set. I have a couple questions. First I'm worried about the added thickness on the neck.

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    This is the bottom tree I have. It isn't flat at all. I was wondering if it would be safe to grind down the ridges? seems like they're there for added strength. Also not sure if the huge tabs on the back could be removed as well, since, I won't be needing them?

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  2. #2

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    Im also confused how I would drill the tree.. a drill press and a super long bit? Or could you just weld it in place instead?

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    I have only ever fitted them to custom slab yokes (trees) that were already drilled for them.
    never had a need to fit them on stock trees

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    how does the bolt circle diameter compare to the diameter of the bearing 'seat'?
    I would not grind down the ridges, but build up the area as needed.
    Can that neck be pressed out for drilling of the holes?

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    In "The Horse Backstreet Choppers" magazine, #157 for January 2016, there is a tech article by Irish Rich about installing this setup. It deals with the drilling and tapping. I would double check the size of the screws in your kit. Irish Rich's piece talks about #10-32 screws, but I have also seen kits with #8-32 screws. THBC may still have this magazine for sale as a back issue, or you might find a copy on Ebay or elsewhere.

    Later on this afternoon or tonight I will get back and edit this post with information (with pictures) of how to deal with the uneven surface on the lower triple tree.

  6. #6

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    What do you mean by bearing seat? The race? I do not have the product so can't take any measurements.

    The stem height is already a tight fit, so I don't think building the base up would be possible. That would leave even less stem to grab with the to nut.

    The stem is welded.

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    may I ask why you are wanting doing this,..is it just for invisiable stops or is there a reason they need to be changed....... are they not for a stock frame or something ?.... as said I have only used them or known them being used on custom slab trees (Yokes)narrow or wide... are they for the 35mm shovelhead or ironhead forks or later 39mm ?.... might be easier to get a set of slab trees, they are plentyfull depending on the year & fittment needs etc & not expensive.....

  8. #8

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    I have an amen frame, with the bottom tree type shown. The forks can go all the way until they hit the frame. I'm not worried about steering stops except for when parking, I don't want it to look stupid if I can help it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakec View Post
    I'm not worried about steering stops except for when parking,

    No kidding>?????????? That's the ONLY time they come into use..............

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    There are two types of these hidden fork stops. The set in the OP's pic is for bikes where the outer bearing race presses right into the neck tube, like on Softails and Evo Sportsters. On these, the lock tab is part of the bearing race. The other type is for the bikes where the outer bearing race presses into a cup, which presses into the neck forging, as found on a Shovelhead or Panhead. like pictured below. On these, the lock tab is on the cup. The internal parts are not interchangeable type to type, The cups pictured below are from different manufacturers, but the internal parts are the same. (They won't, however interchange with the internal parts from the type pictured by the OP.

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    Note that one of the sets locks to the frame with a bigger dowel and one with two smaller dowels. I got the one set with the bearing race already installed, so it would be very hard to get the hole in the frame in just the right spot. Not so sure about the small dowels either, so here's my preferred method of locking the cups in place. The pic was taken with a pair of 3 cups but the principle is the same.

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    As for trees, the tree on the right is what a 35 mm lower tree looks like without the lower bearing and shield. Judging by the fork stops, I think this one's for an FXR.

    In order to install the lock plate you need a flat surface that's absolutely perpendicular to the steering stem. The center tree was done in a mill, after the stem had been removed. These are actually 33.4 mm trees but the basic forging is the same. The stem was out to swap the 7/8 stem that was in it for a 1" stem.

    The one on the right is closer to being finished. The old fork stops have been removed and the stand offs for the lower triple tree cover are gone as well, with the holes filled in. A lot cleaner looking. I think. Once upon a time, this looked like the OP's lower tree. This one was done in a lathe. Start by chucking the steering stem in the chuck, then drill a center hole in the very bottom of the stem. The tool on the right of the tree is an extension so you can move the tree farther away from the chuck in a live center and have some room for the lathe's saddle. It's made from an old top nut (you were going to replace it with a new chrome one weren't you?) and a piece of round stock. I had envisioned using fatter round stock, but I was giving directions over the phone and must have miscommunicated. It works, though.

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    The pic at the bottom are the special tools I made to do the drilling and tapping. In Irish Rich's article he uses a longer drill bit and tap extensions. I'm cheap, and I tend to buy cigar boxes of taps, dies, drill bits, and end mills at yard sales and flea markets, so I have extras. In fact, when I went to do this I had 7 #8-32 taps. I made a set for #8-32 and #10-32 with the proper drill sizes. a center drill to make starting the holes a little easier. and a guide block to hold the deal straight and parallel to the steering stem. If I were going to do this a lot, I'd have made the guide block out of bearing bronze, but I didn't have any, so aluminum and a lot of oil will have to do.

    When drilling and tapping, use plenty of cutting oil (I use Tap Magic.) Go slow. When taping maybe 1/2 turn in, back it out 1/4 turn to break the chip, and every couple threads pull the tap out and clear all the chips. You have enough strength in your wrist to easily break a #8 tap.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSC04510 (2).jpg  
    Last edited by MOTher; 10-16-2020 at 11:16 AM. Reason: trouble with pics

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    Not being familiar with this type of stop on when used on a Softail, it looks to me that with a hard enough jolt against the stop, the bearing race would move within the neck. Is that possible? Once installed, is there anything holding the bearing race in place other than the friction fit of most neck bearings?

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    04Nighttrain.......usually there is a hole in the bearing cup so after it is installed to the frame in the correct position you drill a hole upwards into the edge of the frame neck,
    pin it then fit the bearings outer race that covers it so it will not drop out if you didn't drill an interferance hole, when assembled you cannot move the cup around by a hard slam either left or right...
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    Last edited by tzienlee; 10-16-2020 at 10:35 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 04Nighttrain View Post
    Not being familiar with this type of stop on when used on a Softail, it looks to me that with a hard enough jolt against the stop, the bearing race would move within the neck. Is that possible? Once installed, is there anything holding the bearing race in place other than the friction fit of most neck bearings?
    Yup, on the Softail style it's just the friction that holds it in place. It is a press fit, and you could use some Loctite Stud & Bearing mount to help, but if you're one of those guys who constantly let the fork slam against the stop when you park, it may eventually move on you.

  14. #14

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    In the photo posted with 3 trees, is the one at the far left modified? Because that looks basically what mine would be like if I did the modifications I thought I needed to do. The little support fins running diagonally look like they've been ground down.

    Yes, my neck is the press fit bearing type.. I assume if you parked it too hard and spun the race, you could just slam it back the other way.

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    I have a Moto-Iron stock springer on my 04 softail. At the moment I have no fork stops other than the springer and frame. I'm thinking of drilling/tapping the neck buttons and screwing in something like these nylon screws.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakec View Post
    In the photo posted with 3 trees, is the one at the far left modified? Because that looks basically what mine would be like if I did the modifications I thought I needed to do. The little support fins running diagonally look like they've been ground down.

    Yes, my neck is the press fit bearing type.. I assume if you parked it too hard and spun the race, you could just slam it back the other way.
    The tree on the far left is not modified. It was the only 35 mm tree I had that didn't have a bearing on it. The forgings are pretty much the same in the area where the lock plate needs to go, and just grinding down the fins won't be enough. You need a flat even surface that's absolutely perpendicular to the steering stem. It would be almost impossible to achieve that with just grinding.

    The other two used to have the fork stop ears that stick out like on the tree you have pictured. BTW The tree you have pictured looks like a Sportster tree with a ball bearing race at the bottom, in which case the stem is 7/8" and won't work in the neck of the frame you have. The necks that just use the bearing race and no cups are all for 1" stems.

    It might be easier to steer you in the right direction if you'd let us know what it is you have. Amen frame set up for a Harley (albeit 1") fork stem? Do you have the complete front end or just the trees? Please be as specific as possible.

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    One more thing I should mention for anyone thinking about modifying a 35 mm tree as featured in my above post #10. If the 35 mm lower tree was originally for a bike, like 78 or later, that had dual disc forks, there will be a threaded hole lust behind the fork stem that goes all the way through the tree. It's for the brake line "T" fitting. You'll need to have this welded shut, as this is where one of the screws goes. (or take your chances and attach the plate with only 3 screws.) Use, or tell your welder to use, a filler rod that won't be so hard that you can't drill and tap it, then of course let it cool naturally rather than quenching it.
    Last edited by MOTher; 4 Weeks Ago at 12:22 PM.

  18. #18

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    Thanks for the response. I have an amen frame set up for 1" HD stem. Pic attached. I have 355 ironhead trees, and from memory I think I do have a hole behind the stem.

    Sounds like it is possible to remove the fork stop ears? And also possible to weld the fork stop plate? But not possible to grind the tree flat? In which case it would be a no-go altogether?

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  19. #19
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    It shouldn't cost a fortune to get a narrow slab lower tree made,
    they ain't hard to do, I made a set in college 30+ years ago,
    do you know anyone who has a Mill who could make ya one, then you could use the hidden stops,
    even a shop shouldn't charge a fortune, you can get full sets of wide trees for a couple hundred bucks

  20. #20

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    Well I practically got this front end for free ($10) and I've done some polishing and stuff and would like to keep it cheap if possible...

    how would I get the area flattened like in the middle tree in the photo above? I could probably have that machined for cheaper than a new set of trees.

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