New front fork?

Discussion in 'Wheels' started by Jaguar F822, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. Jaguar F822

    Jaguar F822 Member

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    Bought my 03 (63 K miles) Ultra this past May, and have known since then that I had to have some brake work done.

    Rear brake had this pulsating feel to it which ended up being a warped rotor which has since been replaced and now works like a charm.

    Front brakes feel "spongy", and I had to pull it to the grip for it to actually brake...

    Spent $ 400 + last week to have the MC rebuilt and the original brake lines replaced with new braided ones.
    Front braking has improved somewhat since, but the lever still travels halfway before starting to do something, and the spongy feel is not entirely gone.
    The repair shop owner tells me that the pads are worn at an angle, and therefore my front fork is not straight, indicating the bike was probably in an accident....something the previous owner obviously didn't tell me.
    The pads and rotor are therefore not parallel to each other, resulting in the spongy feel. According to the shop owner, I'll really be in trouble the next time I have to replace the pads, as they won't be "worn in" to this bad situation, resulting in having practically no front brakes at all.

    Is there such a thing as straightening a bend front fork? How do I go about buying a new one? Will spending $ 2K (ballpark figure) be the end of the brake problems for my Glide? Is it worth the money, or should I give up on my dream of riding a anniversary edition Ultra.

    Too many questions.....I hope somebody has answers!
     
  2. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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    Before you replace the forks have them do a run out check on the front rotors. Too much run out and worn pins and hardware will cause the pads to wear like that. Harley Davidson Community
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  3. Jaguar F822

    Jaguar F822 Member

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    With a delayed thanks to Jack, I have to say that even my dealer agreed to the issue of having my front fork(s) replaced.

    We are still stuck at around 2 g's,s so I think I can do it myself cheaper,.....
    I'll have to start with a lift and am thinking about Harbor Freight's 1500 lb lift,
    and than I have to decide about an after market online OEM HD parts supplier. Would love to learn your thoughts.
     
  4. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    If you are going to replace your front fork, consider "up-grading" and eliminating the cartridge on the left side. This is a questionable design, and makes changing the fluid in the forks an unnecessarily complicated chore. See here:

    Harley Davidson Community

    TQ
     
  5. Jaguar F822

    Jaguar F822 Member

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    Hm..... yesterday (before posting) I was about ready to order the complete left fork assembly @ $ 430.99 and the complete right fork assembly @ $ 266.99 from Ronnie's HD.

    TQuentin1's post and subsequent link tot the cartridge elimination thread mentions:

    On line these parts now range from $ 257.70 each (Zanotti's) to $ 391.00 (Bike bandit).

    Also, Ronnie's doesn't use the part #'s as mentioned before, so I don't even know if I can compare them.

    Does "Fork kit' mean: slider, slider tube, damper tube, spring and all related and necessary spacers, seals, bushings retaining rings, bolts etc.?
     
  6. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

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    Just my opinion here, but I think you should do more checking before you start replacing expensive fork parts. There's a few ways the forks can be out of parallel. The tubes can be tweeked between the top and bottom triple trees, or between the trees and the axle assembly. Do the handlebars appear to be on center when going straight down the road, or does it seem like you're slightly turning left or right? Just a tip over can tweek the forks, and they can easily be put back in alignment. It's not hard to determine if they are really bent. I also don't agree/understand the shop saying you will not be able to put new pads in the calipers. The pistons can be retracted quite a bit, even with thick new pads. I'm just trying to keep you from spending money on just on a shops "say so".
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2011
  7. speedyron

    speedyron Active Member

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    I would think that if your forks are that badly bent to affect your wear on pads then you would have other very noticable problems with steering and such.
     
  8. Jaguar F822

    Jaguar F822 Member

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    Thanks guys.

    The bike runs straight when I let go of the handlebars. They also appear to be on center when going straight.

    I just shot some pics with my phone from the right side outer and inner brake pads. Maybe those pictures together with my "sketch" show better what I am trying to say.

    The axle might not be straight either. So I'll start by getting a lift and disassemble brakes to maybe get a better idea of whats going on.
    There are no noticable problems with steering. It's just the fact that I have very spongy front brakes with the lever nearly going to the grips (even after spending $ 400 for new braided lines and rebuild mastercilinder) Now its also noticeably pulling to the right, and its getting a little scary.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

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    For about 350 you can buy the new Progressive Monotube system for you front end. Add HD chrome lowers and you still won't have more than 700-800 in the whole front end. Don't know that I buy the bent front forks story. The brake calipers and rotors are attached to the lower portion of the forks. The rotors by way of the wheel axel assy. and the calipers attach to the same lower forks as the axel. If the upper forks are bent they would be bent where they join (slide into)the lower portion. If they are bent there you would have some serious handling issues and probably leaking fork seals.
     
  10. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    Yep, you are right. The prices have escalated that much. Oh well.

    TQ