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  1. #1
    Road Warrior Bagger's Avatar

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    Springer Maintenance

    Found this on the net somewhere

    KEYWORDS AND KEY PHRASES
    front end - fall away - rocker - wobble - shimmy - adjustment - steering - squeaks - chirps
    front axle spacers - rebound springs

    Information
    Springer Maintenance

    APPLICABLE YEAR/MODEL
    1997-1999 Evo
    2000-2003 TwinCam


    1. TECHNICAL AREAS ADDRESSED

    1.1 - The Springer front end requires three adjustments to maintain stability and ride quality. Those three adjustments are steering fall away, rocker drag, and rebound spring tension. This is a supplement to the service manual procedures but some service manual procedures are repeated here for convenience.


    2. HOW TO - STEERING FALL AWAY ADJUSTMENT

    2.0 - Fabricate the fall away adjusting tool as described in Appendix A at the end of this document. If you do not want to make the tool, a similar tool may be purchased from various motorcycle accessory dealers.

    2.1 - Remove the windshield.

    2.2 - Remove any accessories that might interfere with front end movement or that add weight to either side of the front end or handlebars (GPS units, lowers attached to the fork, excessive fringe or get back whips, etc).

    2.3 - Disconnect both throttle cables. Tie them out of the way. Mark one of the cables and the control housing so you know which cable goes in which position. The front position is the throttle cable. The rear position is the idle cable. NOTE: Be sure to capture the two brass ferrules on the ends of the cables.

    2.4 - Disconnect the clutch cable. Suggest unbolting the handlebar mount leaving the cable attached to the lever. This eliminates the need to readjust the clutch cable. Tie the cable/lever out of the way.

    2.5 - Place the bike on a jack where it is level side to side and front to back. Raise the bike where the front wheel is clear of the floor.

    2.6 - Move the front end back and forth to verify the wiring harness on each side is not binding the movement of the front end.

    2.7 - Grease the steering neck bearings and work the front end back and forth several times to distribute the grease. Suggest wrapping a piece of rubber hose or bungee cord around the lower bearing area to help force grease into the upper bearing. Inject grease until a small amount comes out of the upper bearing area.

    NOTE: Check for damaged or worn steering head bearings by moving the front end slowly past the center point. If you feel a notch at the center of the front end movement, replacement of the steering head bearings is suggested.

    2.8 - Remove the chrome acorn nut and rubber washer in the center of the upper triple tree.

    2.9 - Loosen but do not remove the triple tree pinch bolt on the left side of the triple tree.

    2.10 - Place a piece of tape along the front edge of the front fender. Refer to Figure 1.

    2.11 - Find the center balance point of the front end. Tap the fender in each direction until you find where the front end balances.

    2.12 - Place a pointer of some sort at the center of the fender. Make a mark on the tape for the center balance point. Mark does not have to be in the exact center of the fender.

    2.13 - With the pointer in place, tap the fender in each direction and note where the front end just begins to fall away on it’s own. Make a mark on the tape at these positions. Marks do not have to be centered and may be unequal distances from the center mark. Refer to Figure 2.

    2.14 - Measure the distance between the two outer marks. If the distance is 1-2 inches the fall away is correct. If less than 1”, loosen the upper bearing retainer nut. If more than 2”, tighten the upper bearing retainer nut. Use the special tool to adjust the upper bearing retainer. Refer to Figure 3. NOTE: A very small adjustment will make a large difference in the fall away.

    2.15 - Tighten the triple tree pinch bolt according to the service manual and reinstall the rubber washer and acorn nut. The acorn nut should be tightened to 30-35 INCH-LBS (The Clymer manual has a misprint with FT-LBS).

    2.16 - Reinstall the clutch cable/lever, throttle cables, windshield and any other accessories that were removed.

    Section 3

    3. HOW TO - ROCKER DRAG ADJUSTMENT

    3.0 - Only major items are documented here. The service manual (clymer) covers the details pretty well. NOTE: It is helpful to spray WD40 on the rocker bearing jam nuts, rocker pivot bolts, and around the brake caliper mounting arm at the axle the day before you do the work.

    3.1 - Disconnect the fender tip light connector. This connector is under the gas tank on the left side. Remove or reposition the gas tank to gain access to the connector. Follow the steps in your service manual or methods you have used before. Cut all of the tie wraps on the fender tip lamp cable. NOTE: Refer to the tech tip article in ELECTRICAL for a solution to eliminate gas tank removal on future front end service.

    3.2 - Remove the front brake caliper. Tie it up out of the way (The passing lamp bar is a convenient place). NOTE: Use twine or wire to tie the caliper. Do NOT hang the caliper from the brake line. Tie the outboard pad holder to the caliper to keep it from falling off. Place a thin piece of wood or other material between the brake pads just in case someone pulls the front brake. This will keep the piston from being pushed out of place.

    3.3 - Remove the front wheel. Follow the steps in the service manual or methods you have used before. Use a rubber strap wrench to remove the front axle caps. The special HD tool is not needed.

    3.4 - Temp reinstall the front axle to hold the front fender in position.

    3.5 - Remove the front fender. Place a towel over the fender around the fork area to prevent scratching the fender. Use masking tape to hold the towel on the fender.

    Remove the fender mounting bolt. Be sure to hold the fender as it will rotate to the rear when this bolt is removed.

    While supporting the fender, remove the front axle. Slowly lower the fender, then rotate the bottom (axle area) to the right side of the bike while lowering. Clearances are tight. Take your time.

    3.6 - Loosen the large rocker jam nuts on both sides. Temp reinstall the front wheel and front axle. The spacers can be omitted. Lower the bike where the front wheel is on the floor. Use your crowfoot wrench to break the jam nuts loose. NOTE: Be careful as the crowfoot can easily slip off the nut. Raise the bike on the jack and remove the front axle and front wheel. NOTE: Leave the front wheel slightly touching the floor and removal will be easier.

    3.7 - Remove the mounting bolt holding the caliper mounting arm to the brake reaction link. Rotate the mounting arm forward and work it free from the bushing on the left side rocker. This task be difficult if dirt has accumulated there for a long time. It may be easier to remove after step 3.10 with the parts on the work bench. The bushing in the arm is bronze. The bushing pressed into the rocker is chrome plated steel. Fine steel wool and WD40 can be used to clean both bushings. NOTE: The chrome steel bushing may pull out of the rocker or become unseated. If it does, it can be reseated with a press or hard rubber dead blow hammer while on the work bench. Refer to Figures 4, 5, and 6.

    This maintenance item is NOT described in the Clymer manual. Perform this step on the same schedule as the rocker drag adjustment.

    3.8 - Secure the springer fork to the rigid fork using tie wraps or other method. NOTE: If the springer fork is not secured, it may snap forward with severe force when the rockers are disconnected from the fork.

    3.9 - Disconnect the rockers from the springer fork as described in the service manual.

    3.10 - Disassemble the rocker and bearing assemblies for cleaning, inspection, and lubrication as described in the service manual. Clean up any corrosion on all parts.

    3.11 - Reassemble the rockers to the rigid fork as described in the service manual. Note the rockers are labeled “L” and “R” for left and right.

    3.12 - Adjust the rocker drag as described in the service manual except set the initial drag to about 20 in-lbs. Tighten the jam nut while holding the bearing retainer where it will not move. Tighten the jam nut to 95-105 ft-lbs. Check the rocker drag. It should be 25-35 in-lbs. It may take several attempts to get the drag within range. NOTE: A small adjustment makes a large difference in the drag.

    3.13 - Reassemble the rockers to the springer fork as described in the service manual. Remove the tie wraps put in place in step 3.8.

    3.12 - Put a small amount of wheel bearing grease on the caliper mounting arm bushings at the axle end of the arm. Reinstall the caliper mounting arm. Refer to Figure 6.

    This maintenance item is NOT described in the Clymer manual. Perform this step on the same schedule as the rocker drag adjustment.

    3.14 - Reinstall the front fender. Be sure your protective padding is still on the fender. Lift and rotate the fender into position from the right side of the bike. Insert the front axle to hold the fender in place. While holding the fender, reinstall the fender mounting bolt.

    3.15 - Reinstall the front wheel. NOTE: Temp install just the axle and wheel. Lower the bike where the front tire is just touching the floor. Remove the axle and reinstall with all of the spacers. Refer to Appendix B for the order of the spacers.

    3.16 - Reinstall the front brake caliper as described in the service manual.

    3.17 - Reconnect the fender tip lamp connector and install new tie wraps.

    3.18 - Reinstall or reposition the gas tank if it was removed in step 3.1.

    3.19 - Check that the wheel rotates freely and the front brake works correctly.

    Section 4

    4. HOW TO - REBOUND SPRING ADJUSTMENT

    4.0 - Only major items are documented here. The service manual (Clymer) covers the details pretty well.

    4.1 - Place the bike on a jack with front wheel on the floor. This is for ease of work only and does not affect the adjustment.

    4.2 - Remove the spring bridge as describe in the service manual.

    4.2 - Loosen or tighten the large retainer nuts on the rebound springs until the distance from the top of the nut to the top of the spring rod is .625 - .750 inches or 16-19mm. The distance must be the same on both springs. Refer to Figure 7.

    4.3 - Reinstall the spring bridge as described in the service manual.

    Section 5

    5. HOW TO - REMOVE SQUEAKS AND CHIRPS FROM FRONT SUSPENSION

    5.1 - There is a metal bushing that rides on the spring rod at the upper spring perch (between the rebound springs and lower spring assemblies). This bushing is inside the rubber bumpers on the springs. Shoot a small amount of WD40 onto the spring rod above the bumpers inside the rebound springs. The WD40 will run down to the metal bushing.
    Click here to enlarge
    Click here to enlarge
    08 streetglide, 96 springer softail

  2. #2
    Road Warrior fisherman124's Avatar

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    glad i just have a road king

  3. #3
    New Member Liaison ultrat's Avatar

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    wow thats a lot of work ......;';'
    From a WW1 RAF Flight Manual ...
    "If a crash at the home airfield is inevitable, try to hit something soft and, preferably, inexpensive"

    What a bliss to fight your inner conflicts and wake up with a chaos filled mind. And above all else the streak of sarcasm that wouldn't leave your side
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m6ly...e_gdata_player
    To our Soldiers, past an present, Thank You an God bless you....... Click here to enlarge...LORD I live by your Will. I shall die when you desire; Save me because you can..." "Never was fount so clear,
    undimmed and bright;
    From it alone, I know proceeds all light
    although 'tis night. .St John of the CROSS.."
    Let me get through today, and I shall not fear tomorrow." ST. Philip Neri.!! **
    May I be "the least in the household of God."...

  4. #4
    Site Adminstrator RumRunner's Avatar
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ultrat Click here to enlarge
    wow thats a lot of work ......;';'
    I was thinking the same thing T, nice step by step instructions though, but glad I don't have to do it.
    ~RumRunner

    2010 Ultra - Vivid Black; Stage III 103"; SE259e Cams; SERT; Dresser Duals; 4" Rineharts Click here to enlarge Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge

  5. #5

  6. #6
    CHARTER MEMBER Jaystronghawk's Avatar

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    Having 2nd thoughts about putting a Springer on my Sporty now ... Click here to enlarge Although my Buddy with his 01 sporty Trike Loves it ...


    Click here to enlarge
    Click here to enlarge 2012 Victory Cross Country

  7. #7
    I built this City RichardS's Avatar

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Doc Click here to enlarge
    What are the benefits with the springer compared to a "normal" front fork suspension? They look cool!!
    Doc, I think you answered your own question! Click here to enlarge

    Seriously!

    Anybody disagree?


    In fact, although I think springer fronts are the coolest thing since sliced bread when modding a bike, (I mean, look at that trike and consider how much higher the "cool factor" is because of it's front end!), springers are actually NOT as stable in terms of bike geometry, IE, handling characteristics, as the typical Harley front suspension. There's a reason they evolved AWAY from springer front ends 1/2 century ago!

    I could be wrong about this of course, in consideration of the reality that today's springers are certainly not actually the same design as the originals they imitate, but I do think most riders would agree that they are far different than what we have grown accustomed to on today's modern machinery, especially bikes with adjustable air suspension, etc.

    I look forward to Bagger's response to my opinion on this, (he is the guy running The Garage, after all, AND has first hand knowledge of Springer ownership! His original post here is, as usual, FANTASTIC in it's factual thoroughness, but now I'd like to hear his personal experiences relative to his maintenance and riding experiences with these bikes.), and of course the rest of our members, especially those of you who have owned a Springer or have even ridden one enough to give a first hand review of the perceived differences.
    Click here to enlarge
    LIVE FOR THE RIDE!

  8. #8
    New Member Liaison ultrat's Avatar

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    Well A friend, teck at dealership when they came out called them whacka whackas. he said small bumps better than tubes bigger bumps no. same design as when disc, years ago. they are cool though;';';';
    From a WW1 RAF Flight Manual ...
    "If a crash at the home airfield is inevitable, try to hit something soft and, preferably, inexpensive"

    What a bliss to fight your inner conflicts and wake up with a chaos filled mind. And above all else the streak of sarcasm that wouldn't leave your side
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m6ly...e_gdata_player
    To our Soldiers, past an present, Thank You an God bless you....... Click here to enlarge...LORD I live by your Will. I shall die when you desire; Save me because you can..." "Never was fount so clear,
    undimmed and bright;
    From it alone, I know proceeds all light
    although 'tis night. .St John of the CROSS.."
    Let me get through today, and I shall not fear tomorrow." ST. Philip Neri.!! **
    May I be "the least in the household of God."...

  9. #9
    Road Warrior fisherman124's Avatar

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    friend has a 05 heritage and rides like a maniac at all speeds 90 aint nothing but cruising to him

  10. #10
    Road Warrior Bagger's Avatar

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Doc Click here to enlarge
    What are the benefits with the springer compared to a "normal" front fork suspension? They look cool!!
    Doc, there realy are no benefits.One bonus is you never need to change fork oil.I remember my 1st tire swap as being an adventure.There are a lot of moving parts compaired to a conventional front end.Truthfully, the maintanance realy is not nearly as bad as the info would make it appear.

    Rocker bearings on mine at around 20k.Thats about it so far.I do wd 40 the springs from time to time to keep them from rusting. There are also some nylon washers that need replacing periodicaly.Bar selection is also very limited with springers.

    I've heard a lot of comments about how poorly they ride.I can only guess those comments come from people who have never driven 1.In the end, there's nothing like pulling up to an event and having the only springer out of a hundred scoots.
    Click here to enlarge
    08 streetglide, 96 springer softail

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