fork question

hi all

1978 and 1980 puch is what i have

when the peds are on the kickstand the front fork assembelies have some for and aft play.

how much is too much?

it looks like the adjustment is below the top plate under the top bolt?

little help

thanks mike

Re: fork question

mike,

Any perceptible play is too much play. Once play develops, and the fork / headset can start clunking around, the bearings & races are subject to serious damage and eventual failure.

You are correct that the adjustment is the large nut / ring near the top plate (usually beneath it). But considering the age of the bikes, making a simple adjustment is not the way to handle it. Assuming that the adjustment hasn't slipped, the only reason that there is play is due to accumulated wear.

The steering bearings should be disassembled, and inspected for damage (galling, denting, excessive wear). Any damaged races should be replaced, along with the balls. The assembly should then be repacked with fresh grease, reassembled and adjusted.

Sometimes, just replacing the balls and repacking will be enough - but since it's only slightly more trouble to replace the races at the same time, it's generally considered a good idea to do it.

Re: fork question

thanks legendre

i will have to take apart and check. 1980 maxi has about 170 miles and the 1978 mkii has 270 miles.

maybe they were never really tight to begin with way back when.

both bikes are near mint condition.

but i should dig in there and check out, hopefully they just need grease and some snugging up.

thanks for the response

regards

mike

Re: fork question

mike,

Ah.. they are low mileage units.. nice. One of two things is going on - either they were not set up correctly from the factory, or they never got their '300 mile' service. Most of the adjustable bearings on a new machine need touch-up adjustment after only a few miles, as it's almost impossible to get everything bedded in on the assembly line.

With some luck, the parts should all be in fine condition. Just a repack and careful adjustment will bring them around, in that case.

By the way, if these models use captive (held in a ring) balls in the steering, it's a good idea to just go ahead and replace them with loose balls. Captive balls are much easier to deal with on the assembly line, but loose balls make for a stronger and more precise bearing. A complete set for both top & bottom should cost less than three dollars.

When installing a set of loose balls, fill the entire race with them so that the balls are edge-to-edge, then remove one. After that, treat it just like a normal set of steering bearings.

Re: fork question

thanks again.

i done some work on bmx bikes when my son was racing and went with the loose bearing setup.

i guess its like new wheel bearings on a car that must be tightened up after a hundred miles or so.

funny i never thought of that.

regards

mike

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