....but, client's bikes and projects come first before blog entries and my stuff, and there's been a bunch of them. Plus we're working on Part-timer Steve's bike redo for BF III, and my BF III Builder's bike in between it all. It's been some long days, and some late nights, believe me. I figured it was time to get my front end built, so......
You'll remember from a few months back, Fat Bob and Slippery Pete scrounged up these parts for me. Not too pretty, but definitely what I needed. After a good solvent and pressure washing to remove the 65-odd years of grunge, I sent the rear crown out to mill the bottom flat, and to have the old extension reinforcement slugs somebody had done years ago bored out.
It took a while for Bob to get the work done, but as with all his work, they were spot on. When I got them home, I worked the stem to take a WCC hidden fork stop plate, and converted it to modern tapered roller neck bearings. I also punched out the old spring rods from the front horseshoe, because one was tweaked, and the other was mushroomed at the top, and the threads were buggered up.
So, here's the collection of components I'm going to use for an old-timey springer extending - the rear crown, the front horseshoe, '29-'31 Ford rear radius rods, some 3/4" DOM tubing for the front legs, and a pair of BT rockers that Dennis Goodson had hanging on the wall of his shop. The length of the springer when it's finished will be right at 8 3/4" over stock. Why the odd extension length? Well, that's due to the 17 x 2.5 Centerline Front Runner I'm using for a front wheel.
I think I found the last set of good Ford radius rods in the Metro Denver area, and it took a while to dig those up. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find a set of seamless '46-'48 rods, but beggers can't be choosers, right? They were straight, has some minor dings on one rod, so they fit the bill. After I found them, I cut off the axle brackets, and turned them over to pour out about a cupfull of rust dust and flakes out of each rod. So, a trip to A-1 Metal Striping for a chemical strip was in order. After I got the rods back, I heated the ends and bent the tabs straight.
Not pictured are all the rest of the parts that go into assembling a springer, but I have them all after scrounging various sources over the last few months.
Because I'm starting out with '29-'31 rear wishbones, I had to start the tedium of welding up their seams. I clamped them in my mill vise, and ran 1" long beads, skipping seam segments as I went to minimize the warpage. When I finished, I sighted down the legs, and saw zero warp from side to side, but.......
Looking down the lengths, and OH BABY!....both legs looked like I rear-ended some car! I expected so much, and a walk over to the 20 ton press, a few well-placed pressings, and they were quickly back to straight again. After that I worked the seams down with a vixen file, then a DA with 80 grit, then 120 grit discs. As you'll see in the photo below, they came out pretty damn nice, and have a great taper/shape to them.
I'm happy with the way the fork parts are mating up so far. Next comes drilling the rear leg bottom holes out to 5/8", to weld in a thin-wall steel bushing to take my 1/2" rocker bolt studs, and cutting and fitting the angled sleeves for the upper rear legs, to duplicate the stock configuration, and fabricating a stock-looking brake stay for the left leg.
Stay tuned, I promise to post the progress........