Top clamps for I-beams,... Big Twins versus 45s, do they interchange?? - The Jockey Journal Board

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Old 07-29-2009, 12:37 PM   #1
1776J
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Question Top clamps for I-beams,... Big Twins versus 45s, do they interchange??

Do the top clamps interchange from the Big Twin I-Beam springer front ends with the 45s I-beam springer front ends?

They are all inline, and the only difference I've found is what I've both read and been told by some of the fellow on here....
they have different size necks, one is a little wider, and one is longer than the other,... the big twin being the larger one, etc. Other than that I don't know why a VL top clamp would not fit a 45 I-beam front end??

Reason is, I've got a VL top clamp here and set it on the top of the front end, and the center hole is off quite a bit?? (pics to follow)

Thanks guys.
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Old 07-29-2009, 02:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: Top clamps for I-beams,... Big Twins versus 45s, do they interchange??

A VL , DL , RL , And early WL, I beam fork use the same style top clamp. They all interchange. You can use a later inline springer top clamp (tubular style) on an i beam fork if your wanting to run dogbones. It will not work to put an I beam style top clamp on a later fork. This clamp was meant to clamp down on the rear leg of the I beam which has slits cut in it that lets the leg tighten down around the riser.

Yours may not fit because either the top of the fork leg or the clamp is tweaked. Pushing at least 70 years old it sometimes requires a hammer to get on and off.
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Old 07-29-2009, 05:28 PM   #3
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Question Re: Top clamps for I-beams,... Big Twins versus 45s, do they interchange??

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Originally Posted by yard man View Post
A VL , DL , RL , And early WL, I beam fork use the same style top clamp. They all interchange. You can use a later inline springer top clamp (tubular style) on an i beam fork if your wanting to run dogbones. It will not work to put an I beam style top clamp on a later fork. This clamp was meant to clamp down on the rear leg of the I beam which has slits cut in it that lets the leg tighten down around the riser.

Yours may not fit because either the top of the fork leg or the clamp is tweaked. Pushing at least 70 years old it sometimes requires a hammer to get on and off.
I was sure they did interchange,... just checking to make sure.

The problem is not that its hard to get on or off,... in fact its not bad to get on or off at all really.

The issue itself is that the "stem" of the front end is not centered in the fork clamp. In fact it favors the front,... (See attached photos).
There is no reason that I can think of that this should be happening, however it will end up pulling the stem and stressing it, something it should not do when everything is in place and the neck stem nut is installed.

Oh, and yes, I checked the neck stem for straightness, its as straight as an arrow, just as it should be... so its not that either.

That is the problem,... plus I got it of Ebay and the one I got is still a VL clamp, but not the one pictured.(pictured was worn chrome, one I got is black, most of the paint worn off and dirty) Its appearance means nothing to me, but its straightness does!
Now I'm wondering if I got one that was tweaked either from heavy use or that was in an accident, etc.??

It doesn't look right as if the top clamp bent?? What do you think guys? I need a little advice here....

(Top clamp as it sits installed all the way down on the forks)


(The clamp alone, resting on a table)


(The top clamp as pictured from ebay,... doesn't look the same at all to me.)
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Old 07-29-2009, 06:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: Top clamps for I-beams,... Big Twins versus 45s, do they interchange??

Looks to me like someone put a big ass screwdriver in it and spread it open. That gap should be even! just my 2 cents.
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Old 07-29-2009, 06:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: Top clamps for I-beams,... Big Twins versus 45s, do they interchange??

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Looks to me like someone put a big ass screwdriver in it and spread it open. That gap should be even! just my 2 cents.

That would be one hell of a BIG screwdriver to do that!...ha!

I mean the thing is forged steel, you guys know how strong they are... takes a LOT to do that to them. Even pulling that and getting it back to even, there would still be a problem,... it won't fix the stem being un-centered in the hole.... and I don't want to F-up the stem on a nice old i-beam ya know?

If I can't get the guy to take these back and send me the straight ones in the photo, I'll go the paypal, "you f'd me!" way and put in a dispute. Normally works,... we'll see where this goes. Hopefully the guy will be honest and set things straight... hopefully.
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Old 07-29-2009, 06:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Top clamps for I-beams,... Big Twins versus 45s, do they interchange??

put a straightedge along the front edge of the outside holes and do the same on the back edge and notice the ralationship to the front and rear edge of the center hole. it should be centered, (inline springer). it sure looks to me like the clamp is bent. but it wouldnt bother me in the least to run it as is. i have a couple brass and aluminum top clamps if youre interested in an upgrade.
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Old 07-29-2009, 07:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: Top clamps for I-beams,... Big Twins versus 45s, do they interchange??

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Originally Posted by foureasy View Post
put a straightedge along the front edge of the outside holes and do the same on the back edge and notice the ralationship to the front and rear edge of the center hole. it should be centered, (inline springer). it sure looks to me like the clamp is bent. but it wouldnt bother me in the least to run it as is. i have a couple brass and aluminum top clamps if youre interested in an upgrade.

Actually, I just got a response from the seller and he said to send it aback and he'd get me another one out "immediately!" So, I trust this fellow will be on the up and up and I'll get a good one in return!

Thanks for the input guys....
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Old 07-29-2009, 07:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: Top clamps for I-beams,... Big Twins versus 45s, do they interchange??

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Old 07-29-2009, 07:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: Top clamps for I-beams,... Big Twins versus 45s, do they interchange??

I was going to say , run the clamp bolts into it and snug it down to see what it looks like then . It seems that it could close up quite a bit once it's installed and tightened down some .
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: Top clamps for I-beams,... Big Twins versus 45s, do they interchange??

Here are some pics of my clamps.
1" to 1"

I'm not sure you should run a 1" clamp on a 7/8 stem, unless you have a nut that will pilot the clamp ID to take up the difference in diameter.

Maybe its OK, but it seems like you would put a lot of stress on
the fork cross member?

Maybe someone can post pics of a stock 7/8 set up?




Last edited by Rojo; 07-29-2009 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:52 PM   #11
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Default Re: Top clamps for I-beams,... Big Twins versus 45s, do they interchange??

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Originally Posted by Rojo View Post
Here are some pics of my clamps.
1" to 1"

I'm not sure you should run a 1" clamp on a 7/8 stem, unless you have a nut that will pilot the clamp ID to take up the difference in diameter.

Maybe its OK, but it seems like you would put a lot of stress on
the fork cross member?
Shouldn't a regular 45 fork stem nut fit in there fine? Don't know why it wouldn't?
....supposedly the VL and WL clamps were the same clamps.

Thank you for the photos....
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