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1967 T120R Front Wheel Alignment Problem

2414 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Swan
Hi folks, in a bit of a pinch with my new front wheel. Long story short while the bike is a 67, I'm using 69 upper & lower trees, TLS front brake setup, new axle, new fork seals, new bearings and hardware, lower members and brand new fork tubes. I just had the front rim laced, balanced and trued so it *should* be good.

Anyway, when I mount up the new wheel to the members and center it between the forks, everything looks good but as soon as I tighten up the lower member axle retaining bolts on each side the whole wheel (as looked at from the front) tips to the right about 1/4" leaving about 1/8" clearance on the right and about 1/2" on the left.

Any ideas what could be going on here and how to fix it?
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Hi Tony, nope, it's a 69 axle.
I can confirm that the wheel is true (put it on an alignment stand and checked), the axle is the correct one and is true (spun up both ends in a lathe), and that the stanchions are all the way to the top of the upper tree. I have also measured the length of both forks from the top of the fork nut to the bottom of each member - lengths are exactly the same.

I am completely stumped.
If you have '69 lowers they may have an extra long brake lug, They made it stick out a little more (1/8") when they increased the width to 6 3/4". If your trees are 6 1/2" it may be bottomed in the slot in the brake plate, would make it tilt the way you describe. That"s my guess.

Just re read your posts and might not apply if you have the wider axle, but still need to check the width of your trees.
I definitely have the wider axle but you may be right about the brake plate slot. It looks tight and is not bottoming all the way down. Could be the powder coat on the brake plate. I thought I accounted for that by filing down the lug a bit before I started but it seems maybe I didn't take enough off. I'll go after that next. If things still aren't lining up after that I'll post some pics.

Thanks everyone for all your ideas so far.
So it's not being caused by the fork slider lug not mating to the brake plate stay properly. I rebuilt the bearings and shims in the front wheel readjusted all the stanchions through the trees and don't ask me why but the wheel no longer appears to spin out of true towards the top -BUT- the whole wheel is still aligned too far to the right so I'm thinking that the hub offset is wrong and needs to be adjusted to pull the rim over to the left. Doing that tomorrow with a spoke wrench, torque wrench, an indicator clamped to the lower member, and a whole bunch of patience.
what are the condition of the tubes? could they have an ever so slight bend ?
seen this before,,we "clocked" the tubes and the sliders aligned with the axle perfectly...couldnt even see the bend until the tubes were rolled on a flat surface.
{ the only thing that could`ve caused this, according to the owner, was once when loading the bike, he rode it up a ramp onto the back of a pick-up and hit the bulkhead pretty hard. not enough to drop the bike, but mebbe just enough to bend the tubes!]
The stanchions are brand new. Doesn't mean that they're not bent but they really should be fine.
I finally got the front wheel sorted out. Rebuilding the front hub and bearings showed that one of the dust caps was binding on the axle pretty good. So I chucked it up on a lathe and removed a little material from the ID, put everything back together and bolted it up to the forks. It seems that may have eliminated the slight top to bottom right side lean but the whole wheel was still offset too far to the right. I let the air out of the tire and went after the spoke offset. A quarter turn at a time I loosened each of the right side spokes, then tightened the left side spokes a quarter turn. Did this whole procedure about 5 times until I got the wheel centered between the forks, made sure everything was trued up and then re-torqued all the spokes. Worked out fine.

Here's a shot of what it looks like now with some photoshopped alignment marks - please keep in mind that the lens seems to distort things over distances. In real life, it's dead nuts on...

Here's my low budget wheel truing indicator (a wd-40 straw clamped to the fork member)...

And here's my visual reminder of which way to turn the spokes on the left and right. It's easy for a simpleton like me to get mixed up when dealing with spokes on each side of the wheel and trying to remember which side is which and which way to turn...

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