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Hydra glide fork question

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jlaley
Posts: 79
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1954 FL
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Hydra glide fork question

#1

Post by jlaley » Sun Jan 23, 2011 4:51 pm

I have my '54 forks off because there is no comfort at all to riding this bike. Front end feels like a solid bar. I had these apart earlier because I had to replace the sliders last year. They were terrible before this too. When I had them apart, I cleaned everything and noticed that the little weak valve springs looked like part of them was broken off but there were no pieces so it went back together and there was no difference in ride at all. I tried oils from 5w to 30w and still like a truck. So off they came since it's winter. This time, before I took them apart I put my weight on each of them to feel what they were doing. Right side pushed down about 4 inches and stayed there. Came back EXTREMELY slowly. The left side went down and came back up about the same speed as pushing down. Not much resistance. Spring pressure down and right back up with spring pressure against it. I figured the right one was bad. I bought new AM dampers and cleaned everything up including the new parts because they had some burrs on them. Everything fit great with no play with the snap ring in. Put in 7oz. of 20w Belray oil. Could hear air gurgling when working it. Went down and came up like the left one. I figured great. Went down awhile later and tried it again and it's like it was before. Goes down and very slow back. Must be the air got out of it. So, after this long post, my question is, which fork is the way it's supposed to be? I thought the right was bad but maybe that's the way it should be? I'm confused. Thanks for any info, Jim



1950Panhead
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Re: Hydra glide fork question

#2

Post by 1950Panhead » Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:29 pm

Jim,
Here are three possibilities:
Remove the springs (use caution) and leave the oil in.
Push down and pull up the tube, you should feel resistance and hear the fluid rushing through the two holes in the tube.
If there are no holes in the tube that's your problem (see photo)
If you can't move the tubes that's your problem.
If the springs shoot out at 800 mph that's your problem.
It takes 40 or 50 pounds to compress the springs to put the cap on.
Panhead forks are not as good as modern forks but they should still work.

Jerry
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jlaley
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 12:18 am
Bikes: 2004 FLHRSI
1954 FL
Location: Rochester NY

Re: Hydra glide fork question

#3

Post by jlaley » Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:43 pm

Thanks Jerry. I have the holes in the tubes. I had the cap off and I slide the fork tube down and it's all I can do to pull it up. It's like I'm trying to pull gear oil through a 1/8" hole. Takes awhile and a lot of pull. I haven't pulled the left one apart yet as I thought the right one was the "bad" leg and I wanted to see what it was doing. I realize that the wheel adds a lot of weight to help pull it down on the road but this is stiff. Jim

jlaley
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 12:18 am
Bikes: 2004 FLHRSI
1954 FL
Location: Rochester NY

Re: Hydra glide fork question

#4

Post by jlaley » Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:13 pm

After I posted the last post, I decided to time it. When I depressed it, with the spring in and cap on, it took about 6 seconds to push itself back up. I drained the Belray 20w out and I had 6oz of Harley type E oil that I put in. It seems much quicker now but might still be slow. 3-4 seconds for the same test. Does that seem about right? I haven't done this "test" on any other forks I've had off. I don't know how resistant it should be.

1950Panhead
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Re: Hydra glide fork question

#5

Post by 1950Panhead » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:33 am

Jim,
The tubes should push down and pull up in about 4 seconds with about 3 pounds of force.
"it's all I can do to pull it up", this is bad.
Try the same test switching the tubes between fork legs.
You can roll the tubes on glass to check for straightness.
Bent tubes can sometimes be straightened in a press, or replaced.

Jerry

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Re: Hydra glide fork question

#6

Post by Panshovevo » Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:39 am

Jim, try turning the fork tube 180 degrees in the lower leg, and see if it makes any difference.
Regards,
John

PS Do you have any way of checking the inside diameter of the bushings?

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