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Old 09-09-2015, 09:43 PM   #1
SdRoots
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Default 1949 Panhead Fork Oil

How much fork oil is the proper amount for a set of 1949 Panhead forks? The the tubes are 4+ over, and the lowers are stock with stock springs. OEM HD.
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Old 09-09-2015, 09:46 PM   #2
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Default Re: 1949 Panhead Fork Oil

If fresh its like 7 oz per. If just changing it, 6.5 if memory serves.
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Old 09-09-2015, 10:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1949 Panhead Fork Oil

Cool thank you!
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: 1949 Panhead Fork Oil

the inefficiency with the original fork assembly has lent it self to wanting regular 30W lawn mower engine oil - not what the MOCO has in the book been using that for as long as i can remember
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Old 09-10-2015, 09:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: 1949 Panhead Fork Oil

+2 on the 30wt. works great. fyi, when a fork has longer tubes installed it doesn't change the amount of fork oil required. it still just needs enough to keep the damper covered.
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Old 09-10-2015, 10:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: 1949 Panhead Fork Oil

I measure the height with the fork collapsed and springs removed. The captured air above the oil adds a little to bottoming resistance on the last third of the stroke. So if ya use 100MM/4 inches and it bottoms harsh add 5mm/1/4 inch at a time until it gently bottoms or stops under normal circumstances. If you go from a stock length fork to a +4" fork measure before swapping and use the same measurement-which requires more oil by volume for the longer tubes.

Oh and definitely use the 30 weight on the older forks. They need the viscosity.
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Old 09-11-2015, 03:19 AM   #7
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Default Re: 1949 Panhead Fork Oil

Ok.....I'm not that familiar with hydraulic frontends. Springers mostly.

So 'splain why the 30wt. What is the difference between that and the OE fork oil? Seriously, I want to know.
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Old 09-11-2015, 09:40 AM   #8
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Default Re: 1949 Panhead Fork Oil

The damping assembly for the 48-71 (oops 49-77) fork was designed prior to dedicated fork oil existed so works best with what it was designed for. Which is straight 30 wt motor oil.
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Old 09-11-2015, 12:02 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1949 Panhead Fork Oil

Thicker oil slows has a harder time moving through the damping orifice, leading to firmer front end feel.
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Old 09-11-2015, 12:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1949 Panhead Fork Oil

Early ('49-'77) damper assembly.



Late ('78+) assembly.

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Old 09-11-2015, 03:13 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1949 Panhead Fork Oil

i think it rides much smoother with the 30w than any fork oil - it becomes like a slow moving shock not like HD shocks that bounces
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