Article and Photos By: Daniel Donley
Originally Published In The February 2017 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Paul has had visions of owning a hard tail bobber for quite some time. We have worked on Paul’s bike for the last couple tech articles, got it up and running in “Knockin’ The Dust Off”, and did a swingarm repair in “Feelin’ A Little Loose”. Well, we ran into a little trouble with Paul’s project. After repairing the swingarm bushings that were shot; a quick ride down the road told that there was something still wrong with this bike. It rode terrible and shook violently. So back to the shop I went to investigate. I found a fresh set of neck bearings in the neck and I thought it was based the way the bike was handling. So, after removing the front end for closer inspection, I soon found the problem. The bike had been in a major accident at some time in its life. The neck was bent along with the down tubes and the backbone of the frame. NOT GOOD, DEFINITELY NOT GOOD. Paul took the new-found information well and in the same breath he said, “Well, let’s build a hardtail bobber out of it then. I’ve been wanting one for a long time anyway. And its gotta have a springer front end on it.” With a tight budget and a good plan of attack for this new project, I called upon TC Bros for one of their Moto Iron springer front ends. It’s a wide glide style springer with beefy 1” diameter front springer legs and 1 pieced forged Rear legs They come with a zinc plated axle and 1” stem. You can run your front brake on right or left or both. The quality is nice and they are reasonably
For this month’s tech I am going to show you how to install a Moto Iron Springer front end on our new frame.
With this style of neck, it uses press in neck cups to hold the bearings. Not wanting to use any leftover parts from the 1968 Donor Bike, I ordered up some new neck cups, bearings and races.
When you are installing a new front end, it is always good practice to install fresh neck bearings and races. You might as well do it while you’re here and it is torn apart!
I lightly oiled the outside of the bearing race and then pressed it into the neck cup.
The neck cups are press fit into the neck of the frame. I use a piece of heavy threaded rod to press both cups into the frame neck at the same time.
Be sure to use a good quality grease to pack your new neck bearings, something that is water resistant is always good practice here. *****(I am not greasing the bearings right now because the project is in the mock up stages. I will grease them during final assembly)
Now it’s time to install the springer onto the frame, be sure to install the lower bearing dust shield and then the bearing on top of it. The lower bearing shield will help retain the grease in the bearing and shield the bearing from dust and debris.
Install the upper neck bearing into the neck cup along with the dust shield, now it’s time to get the springer slid on.
This is the bearing tensioning nut. You will want to tighten it down until you feel slight resistance while moving the front end from side to side. You do not want it loose and floppy or the bike will shake on a deceleration. If you have it too tight, the bike will respond sluggishly and feel tight.
Now, install the springer top clamp, I use blue lock tight on the pinch bolts and the top nut.
I figured while we are on a roll we might as well install the front wheel and make some new wheel spacers. The Moto Iron front end comes with wheel spacers for a wide glide style wheel. The wheel I am installing is a narrow glide style therefore I must make new spacers. Here you can see I am centering the wheel up in the front end.
With my measurements in hand I head off to the lathe to spin up some new wheel spacers
Whippin’ up some wheel spacers on the lathe.
New wheel spacers installed, I need to make some hub cap covers here, but we will do that later… If there is something that you would like to see me do a Tech article on please call me or email me with your idea! If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at the shop anytime 419-576-6812 Daniel Donley Pandemonium Custom Choppers firstname.lastname@example.org