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Request advice on fork tubes #748040 09/05/18 10:49 pm
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Tracey Spear Offline OP
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Greetings Forum: The other night I took the forks apart. The first was a challenge to figure out, but I persevered. Once stripped down I noticed this wear, are these tubes serviceable?

I also need advice on removing the Fork Seals from the nut. I pretty much destroyed the rubber, but I can't get the outer ring that presses into the nut to budge.

Thank You

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Re: Request advice on fork tubes [Re: Tracey Spear] #748050 09/05/18 11:41 pm
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Adam M. Offline
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What forks are we talking about ?
Those stanchions aren't looking serviceable to me specially if the seals work on destroyed area of them.

Re: Request advice on fork tubes [Re: Adam M.] #748061 09/06/18 1:18 am
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Tracey Spear Offline OP
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Oops, sorry. 69 Thunderbolt

Re: Request advice on fork tubes [Re: Tracey Spear] #748110 09/06/18 10:32 am
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According to the good book , drive out the seals with a suitable drift ( looks like a flat ended 1/4" round ), pic shows holder inverted and drift applied from above to knock the seals down.
Judging by the tide marks on the fork legs the seal holders will be united to the seal with rust. Assuming you have removed the seal holders from the sliders? seals wont come out any other way.

try soaking the whole lot in white vinegar for a day or so, do what you can to minimise rust.
me personally I would chuck it on the cathode in my electrolysis set up and leave it for a few days, brushing away magnetite daily, I have freed off very rusty bolts/ screws with this.This does least damage and is my goto first step for clean up before work.
maybe get a 1/4" sharp chisel and try to break the seal away from the holder in a few places, careful you risk damaging the seal holder, it should knock out once the rust grip is broken.
Alternatively get a dremel type gadget and grind through 2 or more parts of the seal 180 apart,. Depends on how good the seal holders are really, if they are still decent then chew away with the dremel till the seals are gone.

If your stanchions are still straight ( roll on flat surface to check), they can be replated and ground, this works out about the same or more as buying new stanchions, plus point , they should fit, negative point, make sure the taper isnt messed up at the top after the plating and grinding, mine came back with no taper. Repop stanchions are out there , make sure you replace with the exact year, these forks changed almost annually from 66 up to 1970.

Its hard to say from the pics , if the badly corroded bit is near the yoke/ triple tree , then other minor nicks/ pits can be cleaned up filled with epoxy and sanded back , so long as the swept area of the seal is smooth , this is a poor boy repair, but works fine, its hidden in service anyway.

Last edited by gavin eisler; 09/06/18 10:37 am.

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Re: Request advice on fork tubes [Re: Tracey Spear] #748124 09/06/18 1:34 pm
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KC in S.B. Offline
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I always admire the folks that will fix the part instead of tossing it and buying a replacement, BUT... Tubes are pretty cheap in comparison to the fix. I would warn that the pretty chrome EMGO tubes can be fine, or not so good. The last set used on my '67 damper Rod fork had a strange spiral center less grinding profile that would bind in the bushings! Had to chuck in a lathe and work them down with a Emery cloth. I would still advise replace yours. Also, be sure to lightly tap the circlips on the shuttles well Into the groove, and with the sharp edge facing down. That floating plastic sleeve is intended to stay at the top of the slider, not down near the shuttle where I think mine was. I rough up the OD of the sleeve so it has a light interference fit in the slider. My $.02,....just put mine together last night.

Attached Files IMG_2976_800x600.JPGIMG_2975_800x600.JPG
Last edited by KC in S.B.; 09/06/18 2:56 pm. Reason: photos

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Re: Request advice on fork tubes [Re: Tracey Spear] #748207 09/07/18 4:08 am
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Re: Request advice on fork tubes [Re: Tracey Spear] #748213 09/07/18 7:18 am
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BSA_WM20 Online Content
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TOSS THEM OUT
not only are they not servicable they are downright dangerous and could fracture almost without warning.



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Re: Request advice on fork tubes [Re: BSA_WM20] #749070 09/13/18 10:22 pm
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Tracey Spear Offline OP
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OK Forum. The consensus seems to be to relegate the tubes to scrap, pepper stakes in the garden, or some such.

I've emailed Frank's for a quote.

Originally Posted by BSA_WM20
TOSS THEM OUT
not only are they not servicable they are downright dangerous and could fracture almost without warning.




BSA_WM20: What do you see that I don't that qualifies these tubes as downright dangerous? The bike shows <6K miles and has been stored indoors. However, there was water contamination in one of the tubes.


Relative to the forks, are there other things besides tubes, seals, boots, and oil I should consider replacing?

Re: Request advice on fork tubes [Re: Tracey Spear] #749075 09/13/18 11:13 pm
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Well, the corrosion marks are deep enough to cause serious stress raisers for a start. When it comes to metallurgical matters, Trevor is a bloke I pay attention to !

Re: Request advice on fork tubes [Re: BSA_WM20] #749090 09/14/18 12:22 am
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Originally Posted by BSA_WM20
TOSS THEM OUT
not only are they not servicable they are downright dangerous and could fracture almost without warning.



completely agree ....there is a crack just waiting to happen


"There's the way it ought to be and there's the way it is" (Sgt Barnes)
Re: Request advice on fork tubes [Re: Tracey Spear] #749102 09/14/18 2:47 am
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Quote
BSA_WM20: What do you see that I don't that qualifies these tubes as downright dangerous? The bike shows <6K miles and has been stored indoors. However, there was water contamination in one of the tubes.


Firstly I can be just as wrong as the next person and everything you read on a post should be independently verified.
I could be whoI say I am or a 9 year old with good cut & paste skills.

.
Now what I see.
In photo 1
I see a surface crack running around the circumference at the right side of the image.
Forks flex front back as you hit bumps, brakes etc.
That crack is the perfect place to magnify these forces and continue both around & through the thickness of the metal.
At some point in time when the crack exceeds the fracture toughness of the material it will just snap in a brittle fracture mode.
The crack will also hold water so accelerate chemical corrosion .
While I hate to use the term fatigue stress corrosion cracking, that is a perfect place for it to happen.

Photo 3
just to the left of the major corrosion pits, which would be reason enough to toss them due to the depth there is a smaller pit.
Top & bottom of that pit are longitudal cracks.
These cracks are in the rolling / extrusion direction and are intergranular.
These are the most dangerous cracks of the lot .
They will extend almost completely through the tube but you will need a 1000x microscope to see them.
Once this type of crack starts there is no stopping it.
Usually you expect to see it at the left or right extremities of the leg when fitted and again as the forks flex it allows the metal in the front & behind the crack to move with respect to each other.
Now I am not talking 1's" or even 0.001's" the movement is microscopic but the effects are devastating . And cracks in that direction can progress very fast.

Now it could go for another 100 years before failure or it could fall apart the next time you rode the bike it all comes down to the ability of the actual grade of steel to tolerate these situations , the quality of the steel as recieved from the mill , we call this fracture toughness and the study of it is basically a specalist field of engineering unto itself.

I would equate riding on those the equivalent to closing your eyes putting a revolver in your mouth & pulling the trigger.
And this is regardless of weather you had them "repaired" ( which they can not be ) or not.

The price of a new set of fork tubes is about the same as 2 hours in intensive care, less than he cost of the amublance to get you there.
Add to that a collapsed front fork at any speed over walking pace will be a total write off accident


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Re: Request advice on fork tubes [Re: Tracey Spear] #749107 09/14/18 3:43 am
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Not worth saving

My usual parts order (4 sets of BSA forks this month for some odd reason)
UK made Tubes (foreign tubes are smaller and will have slop in the bushings) $140 ish
JRC Bushing and seal kit $50 ish
Lower bushing retaining nut and washers - 2 of each $20ish
New seal holders instead of chroming old units $60 is for a set
30w fork oi (good luck)
Seal rings for the drain screws
Neck bearing kit - tapered if you must $30 ish
Wheel bearings 30ish
UK brake shoes or local brake shop reline original units $50-300 depending on yours and their attitude
100 grip paper to line the drum and arc the shoes, spray glue or rubber cement
The best brake cable money can buy...this make a massive difference - today's road test turned the 66 A65 from a terrible brake'r to a dangerous front tire skidder with a new K70 tire

All that and you will have your front end wrapped up. You wont have to touch it again for many miles and it will work quite well. The 69 bike will require a few more pieces specific to the damper rod and the bushings on the 70 are different all together as are the fork lowers and uppers for the shuttle valve units. Regardless none of them work...just get the pieces you need using the parts book.

Hope this helps!! You can contact me directly if need be. I have been sorting forks so often lately I have part numbers almost memorized.

Denis J





Full time classic motorcycle mechanic and enthusiast to a fault
Re: Request advice on fork tubes [Re: Tracey Spear] #749132 09/14/18 12:09 pm
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Tracey, "cheap ways out" of a problem usually cause DISASTEROUS problems further along the line.

Anybody else out there remember the "cheap" way to lengthen forks by using FORK SLUGS?
For you young guys, the chopper crowd back in the '60's and '70's would buy those items to screw into
the tops of stock forks to make them longer.

Problem was: the threaded area joining the two was now BELOW the bottom of the lower fork clamp.
No support surrounding the joint, thus causing flexing, fracturing, splitting, breakage and fork failure.

You can BET that the failure did NOT occur in the parking space in front of the chopper bar, but at
70 MPH on the way home!

Re: Request advice on fork tubes [Re: Tracey Spear] #749137 09/14/18 1:48 pm
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Don't throw one of the old stanchions away.
I use an old one from a Bonneville to give extra leverage on my socket handle.
HTH

Re: Request advice on fork tubes [Re: Tracey Spear] #749168 09/14/18 5:13 pm
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They also make great defense clubs, and store easily under the bench seat of the truck.

Re: Request advice on fork tubes [Re: Tracey Spear] #749175 09/14/18 6:26 pm
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The best form of defence- is attack!


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Re: Request advice on fork tubes [Re: Mitch] #754573 10/30/18 3:01 pm
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Tracey Spear Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Mitch


Regarding replacement stanchions. Mitch recommended Franks Forks. Two request for quote have gone unanswered. I get an automatic reply that my request has been received, but there has been NO follow up. Very poor service as far as I'm concerned.

Re: Request advice on fork tubes [Re: Tracey Spear] #754579 10/30/18 5:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Tracey Spear
Originally Posted by Mitch
Regarding replacement stanchions. Mitch recommended Franks Forks. Two request for quote have gone unanswered. I get an automatic reply that my request has been received, but there has been NO follow up. Very poor service as far as I'm concerned.

If it wuz me, I'd give them a phone call before writing them off and bad-mouthing them on the Internet. 2c


Kurt

-- Don't believe everything you think.
Re: Request advice on fork tubes [Re: Tracey Spear] #754597 10/30/18 7:41 pm
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I've previously bought new stanchions for BSA's and my Commando from various suppliers including eBay. These were pattern parts probably made by Wassel, EMGO or one of the other far eastern suppliers.

I have no complaints about the quality, all appear to be well made and dimensionally correct.

The only thing I would note is that its probably worth buying the fork bushes and seals together with the stanchions from the same supplier. I once had a set of bushes which were slightly too tight and needed honing internally to fit.


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Re: Request advice on fork tubes [Re: gunner] #754835 11/02/18 9:50 am
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Originally Posted by gunner
The only thing I would note is that its probably worth buying the fork bushes and seals together with the stanchions from the same supplier. I once had a set of bushes which were slightly too tight and needed honing internally to fit.


I would agree with this, especially in regard to the bushes. Always worth checking with the seller/dealer if they source the stanchions and the bushes from the same supplier!


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