Girder Shafts Neck, Wheel Spindle, and Link shafts

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Girder Shafts Neck, Wheel Spindle, and Link shafts

Post by Customize IT » Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:05 pm

This is a write up I was allowed to do under the banner of: The Chopper Builders Handbook Facebook page.

I took it as a great honor!

A girder is nothing without the shafts that hold it together. For some this may be the part that puts a stop to them building a Custom front end for themselves.

It is not a super complicated process and The Chopper Builders Handbook is here to help you engineer yours. All the specs for shaft materials and strengths needed are in the Book. Some of these parts you may have to have done at your local machine shop.

First of all when building a custom front end you need to know what wheel rim and tire you want to use. Everything rotates around this part! The size and width of the wheel, wheel spacers, and brakes dictates the width of the trees along with the leg length of front forks. The GREAT thing about building something Custom is you are open to using any wheel tire combo you can dream of. From using car rims and tires to large 23 in spoke rims off dirt bikes. Maybe look into dirt bike rims if you want a 21 in Harley wheel because you can get a dirt bike wheel 21 in with a mini drum new for about 150$ compared to a Harley 21 in wheel with mini brake for over 500$ Many will never know the difference?

Since the wheel is the most important we will start there and work back to the trees showing Shaft hardware constructions. The best part about a bike is the front wheel spindle shafts have pretty universal sizes across the manufacture spectrum. The only difference is that American manufactures use standard sizes while most other brands use Metric sizes. This means if you widen your front end or narrow it there is most likely a shaft made that length for another bike. It may be used in the rear of this bike but, if the outer diameter of shaft is the same and the length is right that is all you need.
[Figure 1]

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When building a front end the easy way is to design your overall width to reuse the stock wheel spindle and spacers. This eliminates the need to have one produced or to search for a proper length and diameter one.

Or a new front wheel shaft can be made with a Lathe.
[Figure 2]

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But, wheel spacers may have to be made also.
[Figure 3]

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On a girder you will also need to have 4 link bolts. These lengths will be determined by how your girder is built inside or outside links compared to the girder legs and also the overall width of your front end.
[Figure 4]

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The size of these shafts diameter is determined by the overall weight of your bike. A good rule of thumb here is a bike 300 lbs and under can use 3/8 in shafts, A bike 500 lbs and under 1/2 in shafts, and a bike 1000 lbs and under 5/8 in shafts, and up from there. But, the weight of the rider has to be accounted for also.

The most important part is that your shear point of where the threads stop on shaft is strong enough where you bolt it on and can handle the load forces of the bike and rider. In figure 3 we show some grade 8 bolts used as shafts because they meet the strengths listed in the Handbook for this bikes weight and being re threaded from longer size bolts so the shear point is in the right position.
[Figure 5]

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The neck shaft is where people will throw their hands up and admit defeat sometimes but, this does not have to be the case. Your donor bike came with a neck shaft that worked? You can reuse this shaft by cutting the lower tree off where it had been welded or die casted on. Either have turned down or turn down yourself with a Lathe until this lower tree is completely gone and a smooth diameter is left. Providing the shaft is thick enough. Something only 10s of thousandths thick is not or only a couple mm. It all depends on the weight of your bike your are building for this thickness.
[Figure 6]

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But if reusing a stock neck shaft a thru bolt NEEDS to be used to hold the trees together.
[Figure 7] and [ Figure 8]

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If your stock shaft is not a strong enough thickness or you just want to make a full new neck steering shaft then one will have to be produced in a Lathe.
[Figure 9]

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If you decide to thread the bottom tree instead of weld like these billet aluminum girder trees then a jam nut needs to be used to keep the tree from spinning off when turning.
[Figure 10]

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You can also make your own nuts to hide these shafts and have some Custom nuts made. These need to be locking either, nylon nut hidden , lock washer hidden, or pinned to the shaft.
[Figure 11]

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All of the info needed to build a girder every part is supplied by the Handbook.

http://www.chopperhandbook.com/forks.htm

There is also CDs you can purchase with drawings with real world distances. These have a wealth more knowledge in them and go into even more detail.

http://www.chopperhandbook.com/cd1.htm

If you need help with anything or would just like to share a project with us there is a forum where building info is also kept and shared.

http://choppercompendium.com/ccforum/
MAKE IT YOURS!!!

Altenative Energy Motorcycle
The owner is driven by:
BEER, BOURBON, WEED, & WOMEN

RIDE HARD, RIDE FAST,RIDE LOUD

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