question about springer install

Discussion in 'Bicycle Repair' started by cherrybombking, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. quick question for those of you who have installed a springer fork. I just got mine yesterday from spooky, installing on a greenline BC-06 frame (same frames that most of spooky's bikes use). i harvested the bottom bearing retainer (no idea what its really called, see pic) from the old fork and then installed on the springer. upon installing the new fork in the frame and screwing on the top bearing retainer, all seems perfect. the issue i am having is that there seems to be very little thread left for the top nut to grab onto after installing the spring plate. (see pics). installing and tightening the top nut seems to work fine, but the fact that it is latched onto so little thread concerns me. has anyone else run into this? is it normal? is there something i should do/be aware of?

    Thanks in advance!

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  2. turkeyssr

    turkeyssr Guest

    In the second picture you show the lower bearing and it seems as though it's not going alll the way down to the crown race. When it's installed is there a gap at the bottom of the fork? There shouldn't be any visible space or gap at the bottom when the fork is installed. You can use loose ball bearings versus those with a cage that you have. They're not fun when you have to service them, but they're actually better.

    On to the threads. Measure the total length of your old fork steerer (not the "legs") and measure the length of threads on the old fork. Do the same for the new fork. Do they match? If not, then which is less? The new fork? I can't tell from the picture, but the top nut should go all the way down with no gap at the top. If it does this and holds tightly, I wouldn't be concerned. However, if it doesn't go all the way down, and there are visible threads in the nut, then you have a problem. If not, I wouldn't be concerned about how many treads it's locking on to. Sure, if you have some threads from the fork showing that wouldn't be a problem, but I think most bikes don't have any.

    Can you use the old headset from the original fork? The new headset may have a different stack height. The stack height is how high the combined length of all of the nuts, when installed, is on the fork. They vary by make and brand. I assume both forks are true 1", so you can probably find a new headset relatively easily. Just measure the new fork with calipers to make certain it's a true 1" and not a BMX 7/8".
  3. KilroyCD

    KilroyCD Active Member

    You have the same type of springer that I have on my '46 Columbia motoredbike. I was looking at the bottom bearing sitting on the bearing race in the one photo. Try turning that bearing over, and see if it sits any lower on the race. I've had that happen to me before, where I put the bearing in upside down and suddenly everything is spaced incorrectly. Good luck!
  4. the image of the bearing and crown race (thank you for the correct terms) was taken with the bearings barely sitting on there just so that i could get the picture. the bearings, bottom and top, seat up just like the stock fork did, as the they were both pulled from it. which is a 1" just like the springer.

    is the "top nut" the round piece that threads onto steering neck (again, my not be the right term) and sits on the top bearing? (see pic) if so, what do you call the hex nut that threads on top of it? i may have the terms confused.

    upon measuring, the lengths (from bottom of crown race to top of steering neck) are identical. the addition of the spring plate into the stack is really what causes there to be so few threads left on top, which makes me wonder why the springer wouldnt have a slightly longer neck? but it does lock down nicely and moves smooth, just on less threads. i will try flipping the bearings, just to see what happens.

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  5. turkeyssr

    turkeyssr Guest

    The 'top nut' is what threads on top of the 'nut' that sits against the bearing. It holds this in place to adjust the bearing. You hold the knurled piece and tighten the top nut once you have the bearings adjusted so it doesn't go out of adjustment.

    I think you're correct that adding the springer may be causing the decrease in threads on top. I would like to see a picture of the top nut installed from the side and the top, with no handlebars/stem installed. A picture of the the bottom would be helpful to, in order to see that the bearing is installed correctly.
  6. roger that, will snap tonight. thanks for your help.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
  7. KilroyCD

    KilroyCD Active Member

    The "top nut" is known as an adjustable race, and the hex nut that threads on top is the lock nut. One thing that I have noticed with a number of my bike rebuilds, is that many times the bearings don't seat all the way until it's ridden. Once ridden, I've had to go back and tighten the adjustable race and lock nut again because the bearings seated a little better. This might allow for some more of the threaded part of the steering tube to stick up above the springer's attachment plate.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
  8. let me just say, you people are beyond helpful. if we ever meet up, i owe you drinks. or whatever your vice of choice is.
  9. My 2 cents to all this,the top nut holds what? The bearing nut holds the bearings together. That top nut basically just keeps the bearing nut and the springer shim from loosening.
    So the biggest job here is keeping that springer shim on line.
    That's really not a whole lot of stresses. Even if the top nut loosens off and the springer shim goes south,you still have full control of your bike.
    Steering is handled by your gooseneck.
    That should be enough threads.
  10. turkeyssr

    turkeyssr Guest

    It would probably be okay. However, IMO, it should go all the way on. Otherwise, it's half-way, and halfway, is, well, half-way. Ultimately it's up to the Cherrybombking, but if they designed it to go half-way, they would all be that way. Just my $.02.
  11. KilroyCD

    KilroyCD Active Member

    Large, in most cases you would be right. However, with the type of springer fork he has, the plate that mounts between the adjustable race and the lock nut is the plate that one end of the spring attaches to. It needs to be locked in place securely.

    Cherrybombking - if you can't get much more threading to extend above the plate than currently shown, an extra measure of caution would be to use blue Lock-tite on the lock nut. Don't overtighten and chance stripping the nut. Tighten firmly and let the Lock-tite do the rest.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
  12. more images, a per request.

    you can see that the steering tubes on both stock and new fork are about the same. seems like the springer would have been designed a bit taller, considering the spring plate?

    you can also see that both top and bottom races seem to seat on their bearings nicely. movement is smooth, for sure. i applied some pressure to the bottom bearings while they were just sitting on the crown race, i feel there is merit to the statement that these will seat up more as it is ridden. something i will watch.

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  13. ocscully

    ocscully Member

    If you installed the bearing on the bottom as shown in the second photo at the start of this thread ? Then the bearing is installed upside down, and needs to be flipped over. the balls need to contact both the crown race and the cup race. In the photo at the beginning of this thread the bearing retainer is what is making the contact with the crown race. When installed properly the retainer essentially floats in the middle of the two races and bears no load. I think you will find that when you flip this bearing over the bottom of the crown race will be flush with the bottom headset cup. This will give you an additional 2-3 mm of thread for the top nut.

  14. Torques

    Torques Guest

    I don't think I like the looks of that too much. It appears there might be too little thread screwed into the nut. On the other hand it might be ok. In picture five above, you might consider sanding down the top of that spring attach flange around one third of the way. The depth of the sand or grind down should be no more than about a quarter to a third and the grind diameter should be large enough to accommodate the nut diameter. That would give you more threading contact.
  15. am going to try flipping the bearings this weekend and see what happens, will update pics. i also have an email in to spookytooth, these are the same frames and forks that they use. i would be curious to know what their solution is, as it seems they would encounter it fairly regularly?

    had also thought about grinding the spring retainer shim down some, but didnt know if weakening it by removing material was the best idea, considering the spring tension. but i suppose that if i gain enough threads, the lock nut would support the thinner shim.

    sweet. i love grinding.
  16. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    That's odd- I have a springer that looks very similar, but the head tube was almost 9" long and I had to measure up and cut it off. I don't like the looks of that either. If that plate moves up should the nut come off, you won't lose the wheel and you can still steer, but the wheel would go forward and the bike would lower at the could very well make a problem.
  17. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

  18. sweet link, adding to favorites.

    i locked the spring retainer shim with the small allen bolt that runs though it, and then tightened up the lock nut. seems solid enough, was going to give it a test ride just to see how it would hold. but then wrapped my finger around a drill press. not pretty, but i still have the finger and the hand specialist said it will heal normally. anyway, pics of the bike as i left it.

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  19. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    Geez- glad to hear you'll heal up.

    Sounds like you found a pretty safe solution.