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Thread: My Trike

  1. #151
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    That 3/4 stem is a bit odd.

    Most stuff is built with the harley parts which are 1 inch and readily available in many configurations.

    Back yard builds are usually whatever 2 wheeler that could be found laying around.

    I would not be scared to cut the neck off it and weld in a harley style and use a harley style front end.

    But then I do forget that everyone is not like me.

    What resources do you have?

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    I seem to remember somewhere in the distant past, that hydraulic forks don't work well at extreme rakes. This is because of the side loads on the tubes and lower fork assemblies. The forks tend to flex on the upper tubes rather than slide up and down. This generally leads to premature seal and internals failures due to these side loads.

    Look at Captain America's forks in Easy Rider. He did more bouncing down the road than riding.

    Springers have become the fork of choice for extremely raked choppers because they allow for correction of the large trail dimensions brought about by additional neck angles.

    Metric bikes generally use a 7/8" dia. neck and Harley uses a 1" dia. neck. AllBalls Racing has good info and conversion bearing kits available for metric bikes. https://www.allballsracing.com

    Another fork solution to consider is a leading link, or "Earles" fork. You can build one using a donor triple tree of your choice and fabricating the lower tubes and link/shock assembly to fit the trees. The leading link will allow for adjustments of trail and suspension stiffness. There was a build thread in the Homebuilt Trikes forum that covered a lot of the info. Probably easier to fabricate lower leg assemblies (smaller pieces) than a whole new front end. You can reuse your existing front wheel too!

    Good Luck!

  3. #153
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    I do not have all the right tools, but from what I can tell the 3/4" dia. stem is bent, even the main tubes have a little bend below the bottom trees, but this is what happens to forks on trikes when not the correct size for the ride. Wheelie slamming did not help the forks as it is not a lot of weight on the front end.

    I do like the weight of the solid metal tube construction.

    Heads up, I do agree that a Up grade on the neck is needed... Bearing cap and cups and all seem to be 7/8 for early Harley and now we have Harley using the 1" dia. stem.

    Paughco INC. is 40 minutes away, have been looking over his site and work, not sure I really like the springer style he does, but need to get a professional to look over the set of Springer forks I have.......trash, fix able, or "they are great, but they have seen their day".

    There is another custom chopper shop in Reno, but they did not act at all eager to chat with me or my business, just felt like they wanted big buck spenders, not a local penny pincher like me.

    So I have looked around, and it does look like the better choice is to upgrade the neck tube to modern larger size. This also does allow me to look around at used forks, maybe I get lucky and find what I need, or the orginal springer forks are good to go for revamping into something useable.

    The tope tree is good and flat and true, also looks like they used a set of top trees for these forks, as the lower tree has the holes drilled were the risers mount, makes for a week lower tree.

    Lower tree, and stem area not looking true, at least from what I can tell, and the stem is bent, not side to side, but from rear to front, again signs of stress from the stretch and wheelie's

    The trike only has a 2 1/4 inch outer dia. neck tube with now bearing cups, just feels like a little was taken out for the outer race to set in, home job, or it was how it was done back in the 70's.........upgrade time I say, but the Harley fitting fornt ends all look big and huge to me, not sure if the trike body has the room for them, and thus why the trees had a 1 11/16" offset to them, and with all that is bent when the forks are on the trike their rake angle was more than the neck's rake angle, and why it looked more than what I measured.

    I did look and had thought a lot about how to use what I had, fork wise, and wondered about the leading link and large tire.

    Why are all saying 21" is their desired rim size for the front end ??? I have like a 16.54" rim and with tire it has a 23" dia. so a 21" rim would be close to 27" dia with tire mounted ?

    Old fork length and new tire size works the lift I wanted, but springer fork section is custom made for this little rim, that would have to go and that leads to redesigning, and the leading link style is suppose to be stable for the trike, first things first.

  4. #154
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    The back bone is 2 3/8 dia. tubing, yet the neck tube is 2 1/4" dia.

    Now would be the smarter way of doing it ?

    Grind and cut and work current neck free and than clean up the back bone for the new neck ?

    Or, because I will be upgrading neck size, should one cut back on the back bone a bit and actually attach a new section of pipe that has the neck tube already attached along with the foot pedal mount bracket. Just wondering what would be the better method to do this.

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    My $.02.

    This trike is probably from the 1970's. that makes it 40+ years old. It has been loved and abused, ridden hard, ridden a lot,and wrecked at least once. This has been verified by story and parts wear. Through all that history there is no obvious weld damage on the frame or stress cracking on the neck. That says a lot of good about this trike to me.

    Trikes of this vintage were built by small shops looking to capitalize on the fame of Ed Roth and his customs. They didn't have the CNC driven machining, fancy plasma or laser cutters, or the computer designed frame jigs that are so prevalent today. I'm not surprised that it is a little off. I personally built one of these frames for myself in 1973 based on dimensions extrapolated from pictures and magazine articles about Roth's first trike.(Ask me how I know about sitting too low when riding to the right of a car or truck!) I build a jig to hold everything in alignment for welding, had it professionally welded, and after all the checking the main tube was slightly skewed at the bend so that the drop wasn't perpendicular to the ground! The neck was perpendicular, the wheels were dead nuts on for footprint and alignment, but the frame was skewed! Never affected the way it rode. From my experience I can see how a small shop could produce something of a lesser accuracy than the big manufacturers. It was 40 years ago!

    All that being said, if it was my trike, I'd find someone (welding shop, fabricator, body shop, hobby hot rod builder, etc.) who grasps the intricacies of tweaking the frame back into alignment and go for it. So if you pull the neck into alignment by tweaking the main tube and the foot pedal bracket goes out of alignment, heat the foot pedal bracket up and tweak it into alignment. All this is covered up by the body anyway.

    Cutting and re-welding the neck or main tube breaks the continuity of the main tube and can introduce a whole new set of inaccuracies. Same with the neck Too.

    I'd definitely take the springer to an expert (or 2) for inspection and listen to his opinion. There might be some work hardening issues there that could be dangerous.

    If the springer isn't usable, I'd look at an Earles leading link solution using a donor triple tree and custom built lower legs. Bearings can have different bores with the same outside diameter. If you take the bearing to your local bearing supply house they will probably be able to get you bearings with the same OD and a 7/8" ID to fit the metric bike triple trees. These trees can be pretty stout. The Goldwing trees that I have are 45mm downtubes. This way you can make the tubes any length to get the ride height you want.

    Sorry, I think I just rambled off somewhere.........Time to take my meds!

    Good luck in making this trike yours.

  6. #156
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    Default moving along

    Good morning to everyone, well did not get all the work time I wanted to spend on the trike this last week, but I did get to work on clean up of the neck and backbone area, and learned a few things, or have an idea about the tweak.

    oh, the forks will take a little time, the shop I choose is a little backed up with work, but they are suppose to be the one that can do the job, or tell me they are crap to sell me a new pair ? We will see when they call me.

    Now in this pic below this piece of angle iron was formed to the back bone 2 3/8" tube, giving it that center line look on the underside, this is what I was lining up the plum bob from, and so we see it could be off a little as it twist when bent to curvature of backbone. It also stops about 4.5" from the neck tube connection. Here we have brake master cylinder bracket attached to right side.

    20180521_152457.jpg

    I can not play with chemicals much, so a lot of work is down with wire wheel and than sand paper, but almost done, main thing was to see the welds and metal as clean as possible.

    Now in this pic we can see the chrome foot rest assy. was attached after trike was painted blue, no blue on the welds or the chrome at the weld point on the backbone.

    20180521_152410.jpg

    Now the weld was not applied to the center area of the bracket, was it hard to reach or bad area, evidence shows me they did not remove the chrome from the foot rest bracket before welding it into place. There was a exhaust U bolt used to hold it in place as it was welded.

    The next pick is the underside view.

    20180521_152445.jpg

    I having trouble getting up in there for a good cleaning, but it looks a little rusty, old master cylinder leakage. So the foot rest is not centered to the line on the floor, looks to be centered to foot pedals mostly, and that foot pedal bracket looks to be perpendicular to the neck and main tube, so now I wonder about this next pic.

    20180521_152532.jpg

    This area is cleaned, yet you can see a line where the U bolt set, no not a rusted eaten groove by the U bolt, front edge has a higher lip than the back edge near that up right piece, a grounding post is what it is. So looking at this I feel one over heated the metal in the backbone tube trying to weld the foot rest into place, if forks were on the trike the weight could have caused the bend as all cooled, or the foot rest bracket was off and so one heated more and gave a push to one side causing the neck to go off perpendicular.

    20180521_152511.jpg

    I could remove the welds and drop the foot rest bracket, now reattaching it one could cut a slot in the center and slide it onto the pedal bracket and weld it, but alignment to pedal location becomes off.

    I say there is a bit of a upward swing in the backbone. A straight edge shows that there is some .

    20180521_152404.jpg

    All welds look solid, a bit ugly, but solid, so as I study this I do wonder if the neck tube was welded off center on the back bone because it was off a 1/16th, but when one welded in the foot rest bracket things got tweaked at the tube as it bent upward increasing rake a few degrees maybe, but if one moved foot rest trying to align it while still hot, could have put the twist in the neck tube.

    Cut line for a new neck tube assy. I have looked at some options, of course all have to be tailored to this trike, but if I cut just be hind the current neck weld on the backbone tube, clean all up, and find inner dia. of BB tube so I can find the stock needed for the insert. IF not exactly a tight fit, mill down the material to slide into the existing tube, it would be nice to get 6 inch's deep, but if tube has a bend in it, going to hard to do unless all is milled down to allow it.

    Once the insert piece is good, we take and attach the new neck at the desired rake to the insert tube.

    Now we slide the insert tube down inside the trikes backbone tube, align neck tube perpendicular with center line and tack weld in place, than finish weld.

    This would also mean a new pedal bracket if I can not remove the old one and reuse it.

    Now when we talk about heating up the back bone and tweaking it back into alignment, well I do not think it will work with the Angle iron welded on the tube giving it strength. The weak area is, I think, at the end of the angle iron just past the master cylinder bracket, a half inch more forward is the foot rest bracket, here is where and when I think things got bent/tweaked.

    I know that ideally we want all to be on center and line up, but we can adjust the rear tires a little to align, forward or backward, and this is what was done in the past to compensate for things, and part of why tire wear is so off from each other.

    If the forks are off and they are unable to align them, damage just to much or wrong area, which means new forks than I say cut the neck and do it up that way.

    If the forks have gotten aligned and good to use, well than I think just heating and tweaking the neck back into place should work, but we have a weak area we made weaker maybe, so I say a U strap going over the front of the neck and down the side of the backbone tube welded into position would give the extra strength needed, but that means taking off the M/C mounting flange so that the leg of the U straps can go down the backbone far enough past the weak point, at least a inch or two down over the angle iron.

    any input, thoughts, or questions are all welcomed. I still have a few shops to go talk to, but so far not any takers for the work, might have to be a home job, " can we do it " ?
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    Last edited by grandpanystrom61; Yesterday at 09:06 AM. Reason: trying to remove extra pictures

  7. #157
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    2-3/8 od huh.....

    That probably means that it is 2 inch pipe instead of dom or other structural tubing.

    Hopefully at least schedule 80 pipe.

    Maybe not though with that extra angle run down it.

    I would think that a bit light weight but it has been good for many years already.

    So what would I do?

    I would cut it off and start over like you described. Put a plug in it and weld on a new chunk of pipe. Remake the mounting brackets, neck. Ect....

    But I have that kinda resource at my disposal every day.

    So in the end you will have to go with what resources you have available.

    I does look like it was welded by more than one person. Might have been a partially welded kit to begin with.

    Ya have any welder friends with a weld truck that you could bribe into spending a couple evenings with you?

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