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Mailman’s XS2 a full on restoration

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Mailman, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi Bob,
    About the headrace bearing pockets; I'd advise opening them out a few thousandths with a flapper wheel in a Dremel tool
    so the bearing races are a loose fit and then fix them in with Loctite bearing retention compound.
    That way the races don't get forced out of round or tilted on install and you avoid the rush trip from the freezer.
    Young apprentice Fred helped develop that trick on failing bearings in aircraft landing gear back in the 1950s.
    Actually, we used ordinary Loctite, they developed the bearing retention compounds afterwards.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
    geedubya, kshansen and Mailman like this.
  2. kshansen

    kshansen XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    I never liked the idea of using a center punch to raise up a bur to make a bearing "feel tight" as that is all it does. The first time there is a load applied to the bearing those tiny burs flatten out and it is loose again.

    Now the Loctite method is a different story. Anyone who has tried to get something apart that was assembled nice and clean with Loctite can respect the holding abilities of that liquid!

    One thing about Loctite is if you are using the Blue Loctite thread lock with the proper primer on nice clean threads do not install bolts finger tight then decide to set the torque wrench you are using to tighten the bolts with, made that mistake once! Sure glad it was not the Red stuff!
    TwoManyXS1Bs and Mailman like this.
  3. cra-z1

    cra-z1 XS650 Junkie Top Contributor

    He has a point about using a punch to create a bur. Not a good idea. If the race is loose I would use Loctite 609
  4. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Thanks for all the input guys. I’ll take it all into consideration. I’ll see what kind of fit I’m looking at with the new races once I get my frame painted.
    The race that came out, it wasn’t all that loose. It still had to be knocked out with a punch.
    59Tebo and Jim like this.
  5. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Today I needed a break from sanding, it’s just so tedious. So I thought I’d tackle a job that needed doing.

    EVERYTHING WAS GOING SO WELL..........Until it wasn’t.

    I decided to tackle assembling my forks.

    I started with the left fork leg. The first thing I did was install the new seal, the seal washer and circlip in the lower leg.
    BE3368DD-1E5D-4641-BCAF-35671329786D.jpeg 1F6CE3A4-29D6-4C49-8D9D-6A7F2F3A1945.jpeg A778EF61-134D-4847-835F-55F7B975EE09.jpeg DB935416-9EB1-43EC-9DBF-B66AB1642793.jpeg

    Then I installed all the inner dampener pieces, which slide in as a unit, and then secure it with a circlip.
    I used fork oil to lube the inside of the tubes and all the moving parts prior to assembly.
    D50A8097-8E6B-4828-85DC-F2E7C0B072E2.jpeg 08971142-04FC-4938-BA1C-D0F904FCD681.jpeg 115EAE63-5143-48F8-8247-6CDA5C2E8725.jpeg

    Now the fork tube , with the damper assembly inside can be slid into the lower leg and secured with the Allen head bolts and red fiber washer from the bottom of the leg, using my specially made socket to hold the assembly from the inside of the leg.
    2FA74A64-ACF1-4761-B6E4-5CDC969BA5D4.jpeg C94B9991-90BE-42BE-8144-B1CEE21C79ED.jpeg CFC01E08-98E6-4C96-B26E-97F36E4FE4E3.jpeg

    Now I can slide the fork spring in, with the little collared washer on top and then the spacer tube.
    42B25DA0-9DF3-42F7-A553-EB8C858C5ECB.jpeg 7C7E77CD-48F1-42F1-871C-69C58A319D0C.jpeg

    Next up I install the dust seal and the dust seal cover.

    I am going to add the fork oil at a later point. So at this point I screwed the fork cap on and called this one done.
    Everything fits as it should and it went together super easy. This is fun!

    Then I moved to the right fork assembly and HERE IS WHERE THE PAIN BEGINS.
    Everything was all clean and polished and ready to go together, and then........ BIG PROBLEM.

    When the fork tube was slid into the lower leg, it gets about 3” from the end and it gets stuck......really stuck.
    I tried twisting and messing around with it, but no go. Now , when I first disassembled this, I checked the fork tubes for true. I rolled them across a flat surface to check for wobble and I sighted down them, but they looked straight to me.

    I took it back apart and checked it again for being true, and I can’t see it. There are some scoring marks on the lower leg, but I cant see any bend in the leg.

    Now, if you’ve been with me for a while, you might remember the original right fork leg had a broken fender mount hole, so I wound up sourcing a complete set of used forks on EBay, just to get that lower leg. The fork tubes on the replacement set were corroded and pitted and worthless.

    So as of right now, I’m stalled and frankly not sure how to proceed. The original forks had broken parts and missing components, so I ponied up for another set, took the best parts to make one good set, then cleaned everything up and polished the legs, AND I STILL DONT HAVE A GOOD SET OF FORKS!!!
    Why are these forks torturing me?
    If I had to guess, I think the fork tube must have a slight bend that I just can’t see. And given that one of the original fork legs had a broken mount, that might be a clue that maybe the PO ran into something? Who knows.
    Jim likes this.
  6. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Do you still have the original lower? If so, see if the tube still slides in easily. I'd suspect your new lower....
  7. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    I don’t think I have the original, but I do have another lower that came from the set of EBay forks I bought. It’ll have to be cleaned up first, but yeah, that would give me something to check with.
    Jim likes this.
  8. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    The lowers are cast aluminum. I've seen where people have clamped them too tight in a vice and "egg shaped" 'em. Probable not noticed when you took it apart...
    TwoManyXS1Bs likes this.
  9. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Bob, you likely have a slight dent in the lower. Clean the bottom of the fork tube and paint a 1/2" ring of magic marker around the bottom. Paint a straight line near the top of the fork tube, so you know how it's aligned. Now, put the fork tube into the lower, alignment line in a known orientation, perhaps to the front. Shove it down there, no twisting, and withdraw. Inspect the 1/2" ring, looking for a solitary wear zone. That should tell you if it's a dent, and where it is. Check the lower at that spot for any evidence of a dent.

    If it *is* a dent, it can be slowly worked out with a series of precise diameter mandrels. Fit a smaller mandrel in there, one that just barely fits, and body-hammer the zone around the dent, until that mandrel moves freely. Repeat with the next larger mandrel. Continue until reaching fork tube diameter. Mandrels in 0.002" (0.050mm) increments will work fine.

    Making mandrels is easy with a lathe.
    Got one of those?
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
    YamadudeXS650C and Jim like this.
  10. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    You guys bring up a distinct possibility. I have done a lot of sanding and polishing to the lower leg, but I recall seeing and running my thumb over a rather deep Knick in the lower leg. When I removed the old seals, I did not clamp the legs in a vise, I clamped a tire iron in the vise and pried the seal out with the tire iron.

    And no, I don’t have or have access to a lathe.
    Jim likes this.
  11. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Everything is pretty close tolerances, I get the feeling whatever the sticking point is, it’s probably not much.
  12. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Since you don't have a lathe, another option is to measure how far down the ding is and use a stick and rag to "paint" some valve lapping compound at that point and use one of the bad tubes to "lap" the ding out.
  13. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    It just occurred to me , to take my good assembly apart and try that tube and try to slide it into the problem leg.
    That will tell me if it’s the fork tube or the lower leg, eh? What say ye?
  14. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Sigh.......I pitched the bad tubes. I couldn’t see a use for them, so they didn’t survive the move to my new house.
    gggGary and Jim like this.
  15. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Yeah... sucks to undo all that work, but yeah, that would tell you. Might be less work to clean up one of the lowers to try on the suspect tube first?
    TwoManyXS1Bs and MaxPete like this.
  16. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Yeah, I’ll rummage around through my cabinets tomorrow and see exactly what I have. At least I have an idea now how to proceed.
    MaxPete and Jim like this.
  17. Machine

    Machine Race the wind Top Contributor

    This idea sure does interest me. Seems like a very reasonable home remedy. Surely another fork tube the same diameter can be found to be used as a lapping tool ?
    Another very interesting situation to watch and learn from Mailman. Thanks . Hang in there :)
    MaxPete, Mailman and Jim like this.
  18. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    It's a trick I've also used on Cessna nose landing gear struts. It can be a bit tedious... but it works. And Cessna struts run into the thousands of bucks... ;)
    MaxPete, Mailman and gggGary like this.
  19. jones5944

    jones5944 XS650 Enthusiast

    Might try a brake caliper honing tool on an extension.
    Jim likes this.
  20. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Hey! Look who’s checking in, I’m so happy to see you are still following along! You know that hone idea is definitely worth checking out.

    Looking last night on eBay , saw a NOS set of fork lowers! How do they keep unearthing stuff like that? Also found a used one if need be.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
    MaxPete and Jim like this.

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