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  #1  
Old 10th August 2012
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Default 1961 XLH - Suspension woes!

Hey guys!

Been lurking on the forum a lot over the last few months - life got in the way and I kinda left off on my rebuild of my trusty steed! Background can be found on the following thread:

http://xlforum.net/forums/s...d.php?t=925529

The point of this post is that I was working on the front end since it is noisy when the suspension is worked and sometimes sticks when compressed - pulled both drain plugs and found the forks do not have any oil whatsoever in them. While the right side seems normal with the shock stud being secured by its retaining nut, the left side is another story altogether -





I asked my brother who had ridden the bike for a few years before it was "put out to pasture" whether he had worked on the forks at any time; he said no, but he did recall the bike having a helluva wobble over 50 mph!! Ya think?

I cannot find a sticky on teardown of these old 33.4mm forks here or anywhere else to date.

(An aside: Ya know I miked them and they come out at 1.312" - why did we capitulate to the ISO crowd with that 33.4mm crap - they are 1-5/16" if ya ask me!!)

Anyway, looking at the exploded diagram in the FSM, it would appear the shock absorber is either missing or currently residing up inside the fork leg, but I cannot figure out how!!

Before I start teardown which is undoubtedly necessary, has anyone seen this before? If it turns out the shock is missing, does anyone know of any vendor who still carries these parts? I have checked with J&P and VTwin so far and no dice - if anyone has a set gathering dust or a clue as to who might still carry same, please let me know - it is appreciated!!

Have a good one!
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Old 10th August 2012
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Default Get em apart--

I have one damper assembly compleat and one side needing the spring, a new set is $180 from Legends, pricey but very well made and an exact replica. Take a pic of what you have I'll post a pic of what I have.

Steve
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Old 10th August 2012
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Default

A bit strange since on these forks, the spring pushes the damper down... Could be the spring is missing...

Take the wheel and fender out and slide the assembly down to inspect...

Patrick
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Default

Thanks for the replies so far - I was wondering if the spring would normally act to push the shock to the bottom of the fork leg - you are right, if that IS the case then either the spring or the shock should be missing -

Sure wish I could find some pictures of what I might expect on teardown - I'm thinking I'll have to fab something to get the piston rod retainer out - they ARE present as I saw them in there after I had pulled the fork caps.

I will be tearing it down tonite after work and will post up what I find -
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Default

Can't remember cause I've never tried the swap, but the late 60s damper is hollow, held by an allen screw, maybe the earlier damper has been changed on yours...

If you haven't the tool to get the top nut out, and if it's not too tight, long nose pliers can do the job...

Patrick
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Default here is what I have



These have the bolt that holds them down in the slider, not the stud and nut of the early ones.
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Default

my 1960 xlch,has the stud with nut.if that helps',any
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Old 11th August 2012
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Default Disassembly so far ........

OK - here we go -

Tore the bike down and disassembled the forks - turns out the shock IS in the left side - the stud itself is missing - the screwdriver I used in the first pic of the thread was passing THROUGH the end of the shock since the stud was gone !

Left side shock



Right side shock - you can see how much water got in there from sitting out for 6 years before I got the bike!



Comparison - left to right shock - the top one is the right side, which appears to have a stud that is threaded in during manufacture; the bottom one is the left side which has absolutely NO detectable threads in the end. Also, there appears to be a roll pin that may have prevented the shock from rotating when the nut was tightened - it is somewhat missing from the left side as well:



As can be seen these are old school tubes from Frank:



When I took the piston rod retainers out (thanks to thefrenchowl for the tip on using a long-nose pliers) this is what I found:



Since they are 4" over fork tubes (they measure 26-7/8" OAL) I guess this is how extensions were made using the other stock parts - anybody got any insight on this - I'd like to know!

Lastly, when I look into the end of the left side shock, there are no loose parts and I can see the piston rod nut.

Tell me if I'm wrong, but it seems that the nut was inadvertently left loose on the left side - over time and impact loads, the stud may have basically stripped out and fell to the ground with its retaining nut - plausible?

I am of a mind to tap the end of the shock to an appropriate size and use a socket head cap screw to secure it for the time being - any opinions are encouraged and appreciated!

Have a great evening!
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Default

if this were mine,i,wouldn't have a,problem with replacing the broken stud with a,bolt. can't help but notice the brazed repair,the end cap doesn't look centered on the rod.
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Old 11th August 2012
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Default


When we extended the tubes and didnt want the new length springs we uses a section of gas pipe cut to size, thats what those extentions look like.
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