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#698192 - 06/11/17 11:36 pm 66' A65L lower fork leg removal  
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 7
greg mack Offline
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greg mack  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 7
seattle
I bought my 1966 Lightning in 77 or 78 as a basket case. One piston was holed and the lower fork yoke was tweaked with a bent fork tube. Split the case to do bearings, bushes, pistons/rings and gaskets. Pulled the front forks completely apart to replace the lower yoke and fork tube with new bushings and seals. This was way before the Internet and mail order and forums etc. I used that not very helpful Haynes manual and many trips to Dewey's.(in Seattle) Found the fork tube and yoke at Bent Bike in Lynnwood. (35 bucks for both) Back then they had tons of English stuff. Engine has run perfectly for 40 years now.
My question is: now that it's time for new fork seals, can I remove the lower fork legs without pulling the tubes out of the triple trees? For the life of me I can't remember the details from the first time. I still have that old Haynes manual and a real factory workshop manual (still not very clear on a few key points.)
I know how to do the seals/seal holder stuff......and I know I can figure this out once more but I thought I'd ask here on this forum for some knowledge and advice. I'm getting older and my head starts to hurt when I scratch it too hard.

Thanks for helping out,
Greg in Seattle.

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#698198 - 06/12/17 2:11 am Re: 66' A65L lower fork leg removal [Re: greg mack]  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,229
Mark Z Online content
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Mark Z  Online Content
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,229
Owego, NY, USA
Yes it is possible to remove the lower leg from the stanchion, by unscrewing the seal holder. This technique is less than ideal because you're fighting spring pressure, and even more difficult on reassembly, but it can be done. If the seal holder is not too "stuck tight", you should be able to unscrew it with your hands or with a strap wrench. Use the strap wrench only at the bottom of the fork seal; the top is hollow and will crush.

If you do happen to damage the fork seal, new ones are available (or at least they were the last time I needed one). Some suppliers sell the seal holder and seal as a unit. But source some before you start.

The seal holders on my bitsa were put on with red Loctite by the DPO. I had to drive a screwdriver through them and totally destroy them to get them off, and in so doing, slightly damaged the threads on the fork legs. At that time I had the good fortune to know an accomplished machinist who was able to adequately repair the threads.


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
#698211 - 06/12/17 11:00 am Re: 66' A65L lower fork leg removal [Re: greg mack]  
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 4,578
Allan Gill Online happy
Allan Gill  Online Happy


Joined: May 2013
Posts: 4,578
Rotherham - S. Yorkshire
If you have the triumph type forks I would say it is possible, however I struggle to see how you can sufficiently tighten the oil seal holder if it is the pre-69 type.

Pulling the stanchion through is quite easy, you need a long threaded rod and an old fork cap nut (grind the corners off) and a socket big enough to shroud the fork nut when it comes through, large washer and nut to suit the rod, then you have made you self a basic but simple puller.


beerchug
#698285 - 06/13/17 12:36 am Re: 66' A65L lower fork leg removal [Re: greg mack]  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,229
Mark Z Online content
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Mark Z  Online Content
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,229
Owego, NY, USA
Alan, they can be sufficiently tightened by hand or with a strap wrench. I've done this many times with my '66 and '67 A65s, even if it was just to loosen and refresh the twine seal (OMG, he still uses twine seals, you say?).

That being said, I agree that rebuilding the fork as a unit and then setting it in the yokes is the better way to go. I just said it COULD be done the other way. I know because I did it a couple of times before I knew any better. The hardest part is on reassembly, pushing the leg up against the spring and trying to get the seal holder started on without buggering the threads.


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
#698286 - 06/13/17 12:45 am Re: 66' A65L lower fork leg removal [Re: greg mack]  
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 3,230
leon bee Offline
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leon bee  Offline
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arkansas
I say go all the way and grease those 40 bouncing balls, too!

#698301 - 06/13/17 6:36 am Re: 66' A65L lower fork leg removal [Re: greg mack]  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 164
billy banger Offline
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billy banger  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 164
england uk.
Hello Greg, i have a mk2 spitfire and three mk4 spitfires and i am in the process of restoring them. the fork oil seal holders are the same as yours. the 68's are caps on the bottom of the legs but are still double damped forks and the same oil seal holders as the earlier fork legs with the left hand thread through spindle as yours is. these really are not easy to get off, the special tool that you can buy that has two pieces of metal protruding are crap. they are not hardened and they just round off on the corners and when you try to undo the fork-seal, they just ride out of inside of the fork-seal holder. if the fork seal holder is dead then its easy. i put the fork end in a vice and use a big pipe wrench to remove it. but if the holder is good as some of mine are, then to remove them you have to start getting creative. heat will be needed on the fork leg/oil-seal holder area. i did put a jubilee clip round the bottom of the holder, i tightened it up then hit it with a flat punch but it spun on the holder. i have a couple of other ideas but not tried them as yet. on the plus side LF Harris are currently making a batch and they will be supplied with the chrome circlip to hold the fork boot rubbers so at least they are available if everything else fails and its the last resort aka the pipe wrench. i will get back to you when i try some of my other ideas of oil seal holder removal. cheers. billy.

#698302 - 06/13/17 6:49 am Re: 66' A65L lower fork leg removal [Re: greg mack]  
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 7
greg mack Offline
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greg mack  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 7
seattle
Thanks for the come-backs everyone. Billy, I've had the forks apart a couple of times in the past......my seal holders aren't stuck and unscrew real sweet. And yes, I use that waxed red cotton thread from a leather store.
I'll let everyone know how this works out.

#698402 - 06/14/17 12:47 am Re: 66' A65L lower fork leg removal [Re: greg mack]  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,229
Mark Z Online content
BritBike Forum member
Mark Z  Online Content
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,229
Owego, NY, USA
So does this mean you plan to remove the lower legs without dismounting the stanchion tubes? Ok, here's one more detail you may or may not already know:

You will have to detach the damper rod from the fork cap so the damper and rod can be extracted along with the fork leg.


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
#698427 - 06/14/17 9:25 am Re: 66' A65L lower fork leg removal [Re: greg mack]  
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,957
kommando Online content
kommando  Online Content


Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,957
Scotland
And put the fork lower drain screw back in before unscrewing the allen key holding the damper, it has an extension that engages with a slot in the damper body to stop it from turning with the allen key.

#698514 - 06/15/17 2:27 am Re: 66' A65L lower fork leg removal [Re: kommando]  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,229
Mark Z Online content
BritBike Forum member
Mark Z  Online Content
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,229
Owego, NY, USA
Originally Posted by kommando
And put the fork lower drain screw back in before unscrewing the allen key holding the damper, it has an extension that engages with a slot in the damper body to stop it from turning with the allen key.


Yes, but I was talking about detaching the damper rod at the other end and dropping out the fork leg, damper, and damper rod all together. I would try to avoid removing the damper tube from the fork leg if possible - it's more work, and if it doesn't leak now (at the Allen screw)... well, you know.

But yeah, if you do remove the damper tube from the fork leg, the drain screw must be in place when loosening or tightening the Allen screw.


Mark Z

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

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