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Old 03-27-2011, 07:28 PM   #1
240sx4u OP
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Any of you guys done the full alignment on airhead forks?

I know I haven't posted a thing since last year. I got the bike mostly done and lost motivation since it was getting cold and I didn't want to register it right before winter. The final step that was needed was for me to do a proper fork alignment. I am finally getting around to this now.

Have any of you guys used this; http://w6rec.com/duane/bmw/fork/chapter6.html

I have 1/16" glass and the tapping thing works, but I am finding that depending on how I hold the glass I can manipulate which corners "click". It is also possible my forks are darn near straight and all my worry is for no reason.

Thoughts? This is ultra tedious and don't want to do it twice. I am really hoping to be riding this bike this summer.

Thanks guys, happy to be back in action!

Evan
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:45 PM   #2
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Evan, Use plate glass it's flat! 1/16" thick stuff isn't and it will give alittle on top of it. I use 1/4" or 3/8" plate.
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:51 PM   #3
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Crap, I wish I had known there was a difference when I got this glass. I have two pieces of 1/16" glass for no reason now! lol


Hope all is well Jeff!

Evan
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:32 PM   #4
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I am guessing you mean a full alignment per that article? If that's what you mean, no. I have aligned a lot of forks and have never found the need to do half of what that article suggests but I don't straighten bent front end components, I replace them with new. It's hard enough to get them set up when everything is straight!
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:39 AM   #5
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Mine are straight as far as I can tell at least. I will be doing it per the article, I don't have the experience to know if it's good enough without going into a tank slapper at 60mph! lol

It is good to know that if I don't get it flawless per the article, odds are it will work fine.

Evan
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:11 AM   #6
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In a pinch I've used the bottom of one of my woodworking jack planes. I have some that I've lapped the bottom and they are very flat. They are also long and 3-4 inches wide so work perfectly.

I'm doing good Evan. PM me your phone number some time. I'm building a dirt bike out of a /5 and wanted to pick your brain on welding up exhausts. I remember that stainless one on your Nissan.

Most of the fork alignment stuff is commom sense, with the springs out and no tire on just see if the move easily up and down. You want very little resistance, smooth, no sticky spots etc. If they dont' move easily it's time to figure out if something is bent, or they are out of plane, or angle in or out from each other etc. It's almost always worth checking them and getting them aligned.
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:14 AM   #7
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The exhaust on my /5 is semi-custom. I used triumph mufflers but had to extend everything to fit and weld mounting tabs to them. PM on the way. I generally use mild steel, but can do stainless if I get the appropriate wire.

Thanks for the reminder to call the glass shop! lol

Evan
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:18 AM   #8
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Check habitat for humanities store on Cottage Grove rd. They had really inexpensive hunks of quarter inch glass last time I was in there. They'd need to be cut but were $2!!
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supershaft View Post
I am guessing you mean a full alignment per that article? If that's what you mean, no. I have aligned a lot of forks and have never found the need to do half of what that article suggests but I don't straighten bent front end components, I replace them with new. It's hard enough to get them set up when everything is straight!
240sx4u-

From what I've seen on the 'net, supershaft takes exception to Ausherman methodology.

In his "defense", that methodology does hail from the /2 and particularly the /5 era...apparently there were some manufacturing/engineering issues w/ early telescopic forks.

The truth probably lies in the middle.

Start w/ the "stiction" test; how do they slide?

Get yourself a smallish mirror to check fork plane, it's inexpensive & readily available.

I don't know the history of your bike, but unless you have known issues, a severe impact for example, the full Procedure may not be necessary at all.

Good luck.

Edit, I see as I was typing, JTWind made a similar suggestion; IMO his info is good!
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:33 AM   #10
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Great tip Jeff. Ill shoot over there on lunch today. Only problem is that I can't get out of there without going through the whole store!
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:34 AM   #11
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Oz, I had the entire front end of the bike apart for bearings and a fork rebuild. Interestingly enough, in hindsight there was definitely stiction. I thought the shocks were bad because I am used to dealing with gas shocks/struts.

I know the last owner, but beyond that who knows.

Evan
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:07 AM   #12
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It's funny, when I purchased my first airhead the front end was sacked. Having zero knowledge or experience and armed only w/ Clymer's, I dismantled the front end, looked at the schematic vs the parts in front of me, picked up the phone & placed an order. Three days later I reversed the procedure and went for a ride-no problems.

Afterward I found Duane's site.

With the purchase of the next airhead, I would say my attitude toward fork alignment bordered on Obsessive-Compulsive!

Now, if yours is apart that's a good opportunity to checks the tubes themselves for straight. Perhaps that's the cause of your stiction?
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:18 AM   #13
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You make a strong argument. I am going to pull them and check for straightness. Sounds dumb, but it never occurred to me that I was dealing with stiction before I actually posted that last reply.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:40 AM   #14
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Actually, that article isn't by Duane, it's by Randy.

There are parts of the article that make perfect sense and other parts that don't make much at all.

The "Alignment tool"? A magnetic V block is made for such things and works better plus you can use both hands while using it.

With straight components you can do everything they are doing without the block and tackle by turning and/or re-tightening components sometimes over and over. Time consuming yes but it is still a lot easier than the block and tackle. IMO, the block and tackle is almost laughable.

You have to get the set up just so so for it to work right but there are other, easier ways of going about it than that article suggests.
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:07 AM   #15
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I actually somewhat agree with Supershaft. I was able to make adjustments fast and easily by tweaking with a 2x4. I would have left them for a day to make sure they didn't creep back but I definitely didn't require block and tackle to twist everything back.

I have a magnetic Vblock and that was what I was going to use until I dropped my dial indicator on the floor last night. Thank god it was a cheapie!

Supershaft; you should consider putting up a diy for your method. Randy's article was so complex and detailed it actually made me put it off until now.

Thanks for your input guys. Ill check them for straightness first.

Evan
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