The craziness continues

More progress today. Installed a 12 volt, 6ah sealed battery under my seat where it's protected from the elements and is out of the way of knocks and bumps. It's job is to even out voltage to the lights and horn while powering a 12 volt accessory panel with a 12 volt outlet and USB port. My headlight looks like a shooting star with this little battery driving it. A rubber strap with hooks made from picture hooks holds the the battery tightly in the frame. I pounded the picture hangars around a mandrel to form a hook that fits the frame perfectly. Unfortunately, the rectifier/regulator I purchased from Amazon at the same time was defective, so I have to find another universal 12 volt unit.

Spent the rest of the day fabricating push fork spring shafts from 7/16" bolts topped with chrome crown nuts. The picture of the entire unit shows that the fork tubes are clearly too long. Soon as I figure the correct length, I can hack out a top mounting point for the spring shafts. Excuse my crummy welds. After all of these years, I still can't lay a uniform bead. Fortunately, paint will hide most of the imperfections. You will note I kept the fender mounting points on the Raleigh fork including the threaded holes at the bottom for mounting the fender braces. Next comes the brake caliper mounting plate which will be welded directly to the right push fork. Now that she has springs, she actually looks like a springer.
 

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Sometimes these projects tend to take on a life of their own, requiring adjustments mid-stream. On this one, a major miscalculation on the length of the push fork was caught before anything was totally screwed up or a bunch of time wasted. Here is a photo of the correction. Still need to finish welding some of the joints, connecting the caliper mount, and extending the rockers for the bayonet mounts, among other things.
 

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Considered making a girder fork, a cantilever single spring fork, a leaf spring fork, or some other vintage design, but I'm glad I went with a traditional Harley-type fork. It's now complete except for the disc brake caliper mount and the headlight mount. As the pictures show, I went with solid brass spring cups to contrast with the chrome springs. The upper spring retainer was made from parts left over from a TV wall mount, and is held in place by the bolts through the top tree to the main fork tubes. It can be swapped out to accommodate stiffer springs if the ride is too soft with these springs that are rated at 160 lbs. The action is buttery smooth when you hold the forks and press the axle mounts against the pavement to simulate the wheel going over a bump. Based on a few trials, I think the pre-load will be about 20-25% which will keep the bike in the cushy zone.

The chrome 7/16 x 20 bolts I ordered on Ebay to hold the rockers in place turned out to be 12 mm, so I need to reorder before final assembly. Once I check fitment, I'll finish the tack welds on the fork tubes and the push fork. The bike is white with black trim, black tank, and black fenders. Any ideas on painting ideas would be helpful since I have never been accused of being artistic. The spring cups will stand out once I hit them with Brasso, so any paint scheme should complement them.
 

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After several spits and starts, I managed some progress in the shop today. Thought about swapping the stock wheel for a double walled Mavic with 12 gauge spokes, but realize I have my hands full with the springer. Did decide to change the front wheel's bayonet mount to a high strength solid axle, and while I was at it, I cleaned and re-lubed the bearings, installed new cones, and swapped the 160 rotor for a 185 Shimano. Don't have one on hand, but can go to a 203 mm later on by simply changing the caliper adapter. Countersunk axle holes in rockers for aluminum axle keepers and cut slots to simplify wheel removal and installation. Fabricated 3/8" aluminum spacers to perfectly center the wheel. Tomorrow will make a caliper mount and weld to left side rocker and upgrade stock caliper with an Avid BB7 from the parts bin. Once new front end is installed, will change the dual hand brake lever for individual MC levers with integrated brake switches. Photos look strange because the unit is held upside down in the vice.
 

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