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1967 A65L fork install on trees
#776182 06/12/19 1:31 am
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 24
jesslp Offline OP
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Hi everyone

I have a 67 lightning I’ve been restoring for some time. I’ve rebuilt the forks and I’m having a very difficult time getting the forks in the triple trees. I slide the fork into the tree, I’ve got the threaded rod through the top tree and the cap nut threaded on to the rod with a few turns but I can’t get the fork to seat up into the top tree so I can get some thread action onto the fork tube without the bottom leg collapsing. There is nothing to hold on to. The spring is there covering the fork tube. I know it fits up into the top tree cause I do it without the fork ear. It’s just that with the fork ears, the springs I can’t grab the fork tube to get it up into the top tree. What is the trick.

I truly appreciate everyone’s help.

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Re: 1967 A65L fork install on trees
jesslp #776184 06/12/19 2:12 am
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There is a BSA "special tool" for this, or many owners make their own. The tool does essentially what the cap would do if you could get a good enough purchase on the stanchion tube, but the tool has a longer reach. I'm sure there are others here who can describe the tool better. When I did mine, I installed the stanchion tubes first, so I was able to drive the tubes into place from the bottom. Then I assembled the fork legs onto the stanchion tubes (I.e., so I never had to make the tool).


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
Re: 1967 A65L fork install on trees
jesslp #776186 06/12/19 2:20 am
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Ok, I’m going to make that tool. Thank you Mark

Re: 1967 A65L fork install on trees
jesslp #776199 06/12/19 3:50 am
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The broomstick method should work. Another way is with visegrip welding clamps: compress the spring some while inserting the clamps thru spring about half way down- clamp on the tube. That usually gets you enough. I never had to make a tool until I had a bike with full length shrouds rather than rubber gaiters.

Re: 1967 A65L fork install on trees
jesslp #776200 06/12/19 4:07 am
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Leon, I tried thin vice grips, didn’t work. I thought about making a small spring compressor to compress the spring enough th get my hand on the fork tube to be able to push it up. Tell me about the broomstick method, otherwise I’ll take Marks advice and make a tool.

I appreciate everyone’s help.

Re: 1967 A65L fork install on trees
jesslp #776202 06/12/19 4:25 am
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The tool is easy enough if you have a fork cap rusty enough to sacrifice. The "broomstick" is even mentioned in some of the old books. I just took a scrap of 2x4, ripped it to roughly fork tube size and then tapered the end. Whittle on the end until you can insert into the tube and thread it in there a little ways then pull up gently.

Re: 1967 A65L fork install on trees
jesslp #776208 06/12/19 6:26 am
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I use an old cap with the corners ground off and a hole drilled through the centre. Then some threaded rod bolted into it so you have something to pull on.

You’ll want to spread the bottom clamp with a wedge of some sort. Also if the yokes have been freshly painted then you may want to scrape away some of the paint where the stanchion will run.


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

68’ A65 Lightning “clubman”
71’ A65 823 Thunderbolt (undergoing restoration)
67’ D10 sportsman (undergoing restoration)
68’ D14 trials (undergoing transformation)

Re: 1967 A65L fork install on trees
jesslp #776455 06/15/19 12:13 am
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I’m going to make the tool. I want to thank everyone for their advice and ideas. I’ve been trying to restore this BSA for 25 years and hopefully I’ll finish it and ride it. Thanks again

Re: 1967 A65L fork install on trees
jesslp #776457 06/15/19 1:50 am
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I thought I held the record for the longest rebuild/restore. Hope you had something to ride all this time!


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.

Moderated by  Allan G, Jon W. Whitley 

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