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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  
Old 6th April 2011
Dirty Carpet Dirty Carpet is offline
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Default Swingarm Thread Issues

I am trying to replace the swingarm bearings on my '74 XLCH. I have the swingarm out of the bike and have read threads (including the stickys) about the procedure. I understand the process but am having problems with the left side locknut threads. I bought a complete bearing, pivot bolt, spacers, locknuts, etc. kit from V Twin. For some reason, unknown to me, the new bearings are the same inside and outside diameter size but the depth is different (I double checked with multiple other sources). The V Twin kit came with locknuts and pivot bolt nut that are deeper than the originals to take up the space from the newer thinner bearings.

Long story to get to the point. The new leftside locknut needs to thread in farther than the original and the threads on the swingarm itself are rusty, dirty, small chips, etc. from the last 37 years. I tried to clean them using penetrant but the new locknut still has problems going in. Wish I could get ahold of a tap that would work but the size is too big for standard sized tap/die sets.

I believe that the locknut is self damaging (not sure on the term) so you don't have to stake it. It should go in hard but with only the holes for a spanner wrench this is difficult.

Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 6th April 2011
mikethebike61 mikethebike61 is offline
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Page 2-33 of the factory manual says to stake the left side bearing in THREE (3) places. The 'self damaging' term you used would refer to the GRADE of thread. If memory serves me a grade 3 thread is what you will see on the u-bolts for a leaf spring suspension. You need a wrench to turn them, they will not back out by themselves and they do not damage the threads. A class 5 thread is so tight you can turn a bolt into a female fitting, cut flush and it will appear to be one solid piece of metal. I think the all steel locking nuts that they use on the cases are called class 4. These are one (1) time use items.

I would advise using the Timken bearings and to buy a factory manual. The grief it will save is worth 100 times the price.
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Old 7th April 2011
Dirty Carpet Dirty Carpet is offline
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Thanks Mike.
I do have a factory manual. It says just thread in the locknut and, like you said, stake it in 3 places. I am planning on staking if I can get the locknut in. I am still trying to clean up the threads, currently using a 1/4" tap (what I had available) with the same #20 threads and just slowly working it around.

Trying to be careful so I don't make it worse.
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  #5  
Old 7th April 2011
Dirty Carpet Dirty Carpet is offline
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GA Ironhead,

Thanks, but I thought those were for external threads. I am having problems with the internal threads.
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  #6  
Old 7th April 2011
GA_Ironhead GA_Ironhead is offline
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Some do external only, some internal only, some both. They vary in shape, size and cost.

http://www.fastenal.com/web/search/p...Nj0rQjwqQzOnh4
http://www.jtsmach.com/jtswebshop/Taps_Dies/T224.asp
http://www.victornet.com/cgi-bin/vic...pair/1420.html
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  #7  
Old 8th April 2011
BuckIRyder BuckIRyder is offline
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A small rotary wire rush like a Dremel will clean and remove rust but will not restore crossed threads.
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  #8  
Old 8th April 2011
Dirty Carpet Dirty Carpet is offline
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Thanks.
Was able to clean it out with a 1/2" #20 tap and quite a bit of work.
Just had to get over the fear of making it worse.
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  #9  
Old 8th April 2011
GA_Ironhead GA_Ironhead is offline
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One more testimonial for not removing that nut, unless absolutely necessary.
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  #10  
Old 8th April 2011
Dirty Carpet Dirty Carpet is offline
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I agree for sure.

Trying to decide if red locktite will hold or if I have to stake the new one.
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