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  1. #1
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    Default Old springer tech....

    Here we go , Hopefully with a thread title like that this can be a section for tech questions and answers on old springer front ends...
    I just unpacked an older ( probably 70s) springer front end that I intend to use on an XS650 my questions are ...

    1) The legs are clamped in with hex head bolts...should I have the legs welded to the trees instead?

    2) The inside of the upper and lower trees are just flat stock can I use the stock XS650 bearings etc if the neck stem is the correct size?

    3) Those crazy blade shaped rockers? any good or should I invest in real rockers and who makes em good?

    4)anything else I should be cafeful of ?

    BOING from the 70s

    inside

    shims?

    top to bottom

    looks like Dubai !?
    Last edited by SICKLEBOY; 09-22-2010 at 9:26 PM. Reason: PICTURES!

  2. #2
    Boston
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    Like most will probably say, ......Pics talk volumes!

    Then we can go from there.

    Boston

  3. #3
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    Default

    would definitely like to see some pics. this thing sounds interesting.

  4. #4
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    Default Now with pictures

    Click!

  5. #5
    Boston
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    Default Ummmmm?

    Sicko-boy....

    I'm no expert so take my comments as just opinion. AND, I'm definately no expert on Springers/girders...so check my work here!

    The neck stem should be welded from the underneath side of the lower flatstock (or, lower tree). Now....I have seen neck stems mounted by "sliding" them up from the underside of the lower tree but those that I've seen done this way have a larger base hilt, you see that done like that by Ceriani.

    Make sure the neck stem has thread BELOW the top tree. You may need that to run an adjustment nut UNDER the top plate (tree) to adjust play. You will build that needed height into the neck stem that you will be fabbing up. Look at how hydraulic units are built.

    What worries me with that top AND bottom plate are those vertical (front-to-rear) cut-away lines. Am I going crazy or is that top & bottom plate only as thick front-to-back by the UNCUT areas in the front portion of the plates? I'm not sure if I'm clear...if not, let me know...I'll try to say it in a different way!

    But welding anywhere? Not unless you want to weld those legs to the lower tree...and yes, weld the neck stem to the bottom plate as described above.

    MORE COMMENTS FROM OTHER MEMBERS NEEDED HERE!

    Boston
    Last edited by Boston; 09-22-2010 at 10:44 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default

    hmm thats a pretty crazy springer. never seen one like that. lets see the rockers your talkin about.

  7. #7
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    Default Springer rockers...

    This is what I got ...was toying with the idea of reshaping them but if I do use em' the blade look is classic no?

    Springer rocker

    rocker detail

    worth useing ?

  8. #8
    Boston
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    I like the look of the rockers but that "dotted" cutout line looks better if your chop is a mild style...just me! But if you're building a wild chop, the original rockers will do just fine!

    Whenever I mount some used piece, I replace as much of the "mechanical" stuff as I can...in this case... I'd rebush those rockers.

    Boston

  9. #9
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    i had some crazy rockers on my springer too. i personally like them. mine came with some roller needle bearings which seems like an over kill. i replaced them and it tightened up the entire front end. definitely replace those bushings. you should be able to find some new ones at a good bearing supply shop. i like funky old shit. i say you keep em like that. or at least put it all together and then see how the lines of it all work. if it catches your eye way too much and just doesn't flow then round em off or you can have some new ones cut out.
    here are my rockers. i think you should mock everything up and get a couple of test miles in before you start cutting and welding.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails P1020217.jpg  
    Last edited by EnglandStGarage; 09-23-2010 at 10:26 AM.

  10. #10
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    Coming from a motocross back ground I would say replace the hardware and the bushing on the leg clamps and run it. Front ends on dirt bikes and inverted forks use pinch bolts to secure the fork. Dirt bike forks take extreme abuse and dont slip. Also it allows you to raise and lower the legs.
    Bolt it up and push on the front end against a wall for a while. If the legs dont slip dont trip! If the stem doenst have a pinch bolt holding it you can weld it but if its pressed in there it might not be necessary. I do see a pinch bolt for the stem so welding it is over kill. I have seen many that just use a pinch bolt to secure their stem including my bike. I ride the day lights out of mine with no stem problems.
    If its worry some to you sell it and pass it on.
    ps those rockers are clean as they are. I wouldnt cut them as it will ruin the finish. Thats just me but the bushings ya replace them. Nothing like a sloppy front wheel.
    Last edited by atomrotten; 09-23-2010 at 10:50 AM.

  11. #11
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    Default Thanks !

    First , Thanks for the input!
    Being a novice at springer front ends I just didn't want to take construction for granted and find out the hard way that this was designed by someone trippin' on LSD lol Good to hear that there is no major visable flaw with it's design.
    Second I figure I'll leave the rockers alone and EnglandStGarage your rockers are KILLER!
    and they have helped me decide.
    I will it seems have to have those holes made larger to accomodate an XS axel.

  12. #12
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    Default

    i'm not an expert either but a few things that caught my eye

    1. look at the second pic. see how you've got those shims around the rear legs in the lower tree?are you missing half of the shim on the left leg?

    2. like was mentioned earlier, jap bike forks used pinch bolts liek that all the time and they were fine but they had a spacer that went around the bolt in the split that would limit the amount that you could tighten the bolt. this would prevent you from overtightening and cracking the tree. granted, i think most of those jap forks are aluminum and easier to crack, but something to think about. look in the 4th pic. it looks like the right leg has one of those spacers on the pinch bolt but i don't see one any anywhere else.

    3. my springer has a stem that's a press fit into the top of the bottom tree and then uses a pinch bolt like yours. there is a hole about 1/4" deep in the side of the bottom of the stem where it sits down in the tree for the bolt to go into. it's not threaded, it's just something to catch the end of the bolt.

    4. how are the front legs attached to the crossbar?

    5. the design is probably fine just replace the hardware like everyone said and rebush the rockers.

  13. #13
    cooter
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    you have good eyes

  14. #14
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    Default new bits

    Ok, so I'm gonna make a list ...
    -new shims
    -new bolts
    -new bushings in the rockers
    -batten down the hatches
    -bounce it off a wall and see what rattles loose ( then tighten that )


    Should I be useing loctite on all the bolts?,
    And the stem does have a threaded hole to it that sinks a hex head set screw into the side of the neck bolt (?) this prevents it from falling out and or twisting , would it be over kill to tack that hex in place? (or just loctite?)

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    Harley anything = Locktite. Use red

    Quote Originally Posted by SICKLEBOY View Post
    Ok, so I'm gonna make a list ...
    -new shims
    -new bolts
    -new bushings in the rockers
    -batten down the hatches
    -bounce it off a wall and see what rattles loose ( then tighten that )


    Should I be useing loctite on all the bolts?,
    And the stem does have a threaded hole to it that sinks a hex head set screw into the side of the neck bolt (?) this prevents it from falling out and or twisting , would it be over kill to tack that hex in place? (or just loctite?)

  16. #16
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by atomrotten View Post
    Harley anything = Locktite. Use red
    +1

  17. #17
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    Temporary piece of all thread just to hold the wheel straight but other than that its a bad ass springer that I built myself with high quality materials and mad fab skills. It helps that I have been a professional fabricator and welder for over a decade.... I personally just dont like the idea of paying an insane amount of money for a mediocre springer. like most that are out there. If I had the money I would likely buy a sugar bear springer but even then I am just paying for a name. Research what you have to bro and do what you feel is right for YOU!! I personally dont like the idea that the rear legs are just clamped in, but if it works it works!! Anyways, Im a bit buzzed so if I offended anyone than get over it.....lol keep you knees in the wind brothas!!

  18. #18
    Jetblack
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    I don't know if it was mentioned; but it looks like the original legs were replaced... and modified it to work like fork trees? Looks like the trees were cut after the fact, it's nice fab work... but yeah; I'd have welded that shit too.

  19. #19
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    Thats a Columbus Springer FYI........

    They were mass produced. I've never come across any stories of them falling apart and killing anyone like the old Invaders. I ran one for afew years and put about 1000 miles on it with no issues. I did make some rockers for it though, I'm wasn't into the balde style look, and the springer was a tad too long, so I made some rockers to drop the front-end down abit.

    Only thing I see wrong/questionable is the shim around the leg.

    Sixball

  20. #20
    Jetblack
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    Quote Originally Posted by sixball View Post
    Thats a Columbus Springer FYI........

    They were mass produced. I've never come across any stories of them falling apart and killing anyone like the old Invaders. I ran one for afew years and put about 1000 miles on it with no issues. I did make some rockers for it though, I'm wasn't into the balde style look, and the springer was a tad too long, so I made some rockers to drop the front-end down abit.

    Only thing I see wrong/questionable is the shim around the leg.

    Sixball
    Makes for an interesting design; they were on top of their game then, if one bent or some shit needed replacing... It seemed a little odd to be cutting through the riser mounts to have been manufactured that way on purpose, which is not something i'd have done... too much torsional stress in that area, because the bars become a fulcrum against the pressure holding the legs in.

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