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Thread: Chief Leaf spring fork

  1. Chief Leaf spring fork

    I would like to have a tapper roller bearing at the top off my 1939 Chief leaf spring fork .
    All ready I have the lower tapper roller bearing .

    Any know how to modify the top cone nut to fit a tapper bearing ?

    Michael from Denmark

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Sarasota, Florida

    Re: Chief Leaf spring fork

    Michael, the only thing I can suggest is to find a bearing with a usable diameter, and a height that will not raise the cone nut, lock nut, and handlebars. I have a 1940 Chief and I recently went through the fork bearings. For the bottom of the fork, I had to adapt to a slightly smaller thrust bearing, but it was a sealed bearing that I knew was stronger than the original. I investigated different top bearings but I couldn't find anything that would not require a lot of machine work, and alteration of original parts. I settled on making a brass inner sleeve that would prevent the balls from falling down into the steering head, which did happen on my bike. If you do go to a tapered roller bearing, you will be forced to alter the top cone nut, and even then, I don't know if you will be able to find a T.R.B. that has a low enough height.

    However, if you have access to a lathe, you can make a new cone nut that could possibly conceal a standard T.R.B.

    Also, if the cone nut ball bearing path is damaged, you could dress the path with a 1/4" grinding stone in a die grinder as you turn the cone nut in a lathe. It's not super precise, but you can make a considerable improvement in the smooth operation of the bearings by a careful dressing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Esperance Western Australia - from New Zealand

    Re: Chief Leaf spring fork

    Would this work ok?

    - Which neatly brings us to... this nifty Stainless Top Cone with Taper Roller Bearing! P/N 42742SSX, EUR250.00 (EU), EUR200.00 (World) including bearing and new frame cup (see pic). While the ball bearing conversion above works well enough, a taper roller bearing is number one for this application. The stainless cone also looks fabulous - especially if paired with the stainless 17B3 top nut also available from IPE. Unplated (for painting - or not; for that fashionably rusty rat rod look, no?) and chrome plated 17B3 nuts are also available:
    P/N 17B3SS Top nut, stainless EUR50.00 (EU), EUR40.00 (World)
    P/N 17B3UP Top nut, unplated Sold out
    P/N 17B3CR Top nut, chrome EUR40.00 (EU), EUR32.00 (World)
    Stainless bearing cone on its own (no bearing etc, for ball bearing mod as per above) P/N 42742SS, EUR130.00 (EU), EUR104.00 (World).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Southern Maine

    Re: Chief Leaf spring fork

    I have seen a drawing by Jerry Greer that shows how to modify the top nut
    1950 Indian Chief
    1939 4cyl-mild custom
    1939 Chief w/Goulding Rocket "Marylin" project
    Bsaindinortri project "in the works"

  5. Re: Chief Leaf spring fork

    I can not find the drawing from Jerry greer .
    Can any help with this ?
    Do any have the outside dia. off the upper ball bearing cup (in the frame neck)

    Michael from Denmark

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