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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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  #1  
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Default Swingarm has a slight twist

I bought a really nice used chrome swingarm.
The wheel end has a little twist to it. Not a lot, but enough to where it won't lay flat on a flat surface. No signs of damage, no breaks in chrome, or other issues. Centers in the frame beautifully. All measurements are dead on, as far as width goes, as shown in the fsm. Just has a little twist on wheel end.
This is a factory swing arm, with the correct castings for a 72 sportster. I know these bikes were built with a wide assembly tolerance. Would this be anything to worry about for riding in town?
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So it's twisted somewhat.
Is it to the point of effecting the tracking on the chain?
Technically, any twist would affect the wear on one side of the chain I'd think, maybe the sprocket also.
Can it be straightened?
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I don't think it's enough to cause a problem. To me, it really looks like the tubes weren't straight, but the axle slots are straight. I dont think it's enough to cause any noticeable chain wear, but right now all i have is the rear wheel in the swing arm. Engine isn't in the frame. Tire seems to sit straight on the ground. I don't know about straightening. That's why I cant see how it could have been twisted, with no other damage. That is one tough swingarm...i tried a couple different things to try and get the twist out, and it would take some force...like bolting it to something, and then using hydraulics to move it one way or the other
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Default

Maybe you can check the actual measurements...

Run a long bolt thru the pivot point
Run another long bolt (axle) thru the adjusting slots

Level the swing arm across the pivot point with the ground at a measured height
Level the swing arm lengthwise (on one side)
Check for level on the other side (measure the differential)
Measure the two ends of the (axle) bolt relative to the ground

The longer the better on the bolts to give you the most differential observation



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Eyeballing, when off the bike, it's about 1/8"
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It was hit very hard, and there's no simple way to tell where to apply pressure attempting to straighten. You may just bend it into a "Z" (the axle and swingarm bolt will be parallel, but the arms won't).
When it's assembled (unless your visual is wrong), you have a slight permanent camber to the tire (left vs right turns will be different), the bike will "crab"and try to steer slightly off, and the chain will wear the sprocket on one side.
There are only 2 ways: bent, or not.
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