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Thread: roadsmith vw trike pulls hard

  1. #1
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    Default roadsmith vw trike pulls hard

    Hope someone has the answer. I bought a 1973 Roadsmith vw trike this winter,without driving it. Now I find it pulls terribly to the right. It has a springer front end and I was told the bushings could be worn.

    There was a little play in the 1 side rocker, so I swapped sides, but no difference .

    No drag on rear brakes, tires identical, drive on the left or right of crowned road, no difference .

    When pointed straight ahead the wheel is leaning to the right I think. It's hard to measure but putting a level standing up, you have to steer left to make it plumb.

    I'm tempted to make a new rocker for the right side with the axle hole higher so the wheel would be vertical, but am unsure how that would affect cornering .

    Where the fork attached to the frame looks pristine, and I have to think it was right when made.

    Any ideas? 2 8 foot bars and try to bend it? Thanks for any input.

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    Default

    one thing I would do is snap a chalk line on the floor , then do the 3/4/5 triangle bit to make a line perpendicular to the center line that you just snapped. roll the trike on the lines to check for the rear axle to front wheel alignment...the other concern is that your fork tubes may have some twist, causing the front tire to be out of plumb....many forks have their rockers tied together with a bail of some sort. Get those loose rocker bushing sorted out for sure..my .02 good luck

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    Default alignment

    I missed way to check rear to front alignment . If rear tires are on the cross line, the front on the mid line I'll get different measurements depending on where the front wheel is pointed, and no way to judge straight. Even with laser pointers across rear tires to show their track and find the center, turning the fork will alter where it intersects ,right? I've seen things "dog track" and still not fight the wheel when it's plumb and pointed in the direction you want to go.

    I am going to get the bushings Monday. I don't understand what function the shims do, other than seat between the rockers and bushings . Adjust overall width? Don't see how that would affect anything .

    The front fork could be offset an inch and should only affect turning radius , right? Not going straight. I the rear wheels were misaligned, trying to go right, I would have to steer left to compensate, but would it try to pull my bars to the right? I still think my fork is bent, leaning the wheel right. I drove a road grader once that was steered by hydraulically leaning the front tires.

    BUT HEY thanks for the advice , and I'll think on the chalk line..A diagram would help me understand . I'm probably missing something. Please bear with me.

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    Default

    You could try switching the rear tires left to right. I had an instance on a heavy pull on a Corvette, and it had a shifted belt in a rear tire. If it has a lot of trail it could feel like a pull due to road crown. You can't measure the lean of a front wheel that moves. But what you can do is have someone sit on the trike, and slowly turn left and right. Stand back a considerable distance. At some point you'll probably notice that it is in fact leaning.if it is , well you found your problem. Sometimes a picture from dead straight on will help identify misalignment. I wouldn't try to compensate by changing front end parts. Fix what's bent by repair or replacement.

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    I think in ND the state wanted the front wheel within 1 in of the rearend c/l. I asume an error to 1or 2 in. would not be a problem. Think you should check the neck for being plumb, check for bent stem with respect to forks. then check for twisted forks. maybe was in some minor accident..keep on looking, you will get if figured out!

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    Default

    They do not have to be all that centered to work (think side car).

    But the chassis does have to be square/plumb.

    The most common thing that creates pull is a rear tire problem.

    But it does sound like yours was probably backed into in the garage.

    Check the alignment of the neck and straighten/replace your forks.

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    Default

    I'm way late to the discussion here, but I bought a used sandrail once with a similar issue: while wheeelieing, it basically turned left. With the front tires on the ground, I had to slightly steer right to go forward.

    Issue was the swing arms in the spring plates: the right side bolts were slammed forward in the spring slots, the left side bolts were slammed back as far as they could be. Result was the car was always pushing left. I loosened the left side bolts and slammed the tube forward, tightened all 3 bolts and viola: it tracked straight.

    It doesn't seem like 3/8" or so would make all that much difference, and pushing it around, it didn't, but under power it did. Who knew?
    Do you want to exist forever or do you want to live until you die?

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