Author Topic: Making triple cflamps  (Read 1015 times)

fret not

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Making triple cflamps
« on: April 14, 2018, 02:27:38 AM »
Currently I am on the process of figuring out just how and what to do to put a set of forks from a '90 Yamaha FZR1000 on one of my XZ550s.  Ron McCoy has been very helpful with ideas and suggestions so far as he has done this for a couple of his Visions.  I am still in the figuring stage as I muddle my old brain through the mechanics of how all the pieces fit together.  It should be simple, right?  There are only a few parts involved, but I have a sneaky feeling that they need to fit accurately and go together well.  The offset for the triple clamps Ron provides is a difference of just about .100" ( one hundred thousandths) between the top and bottom clamp.  This is almost 1/8".  I made a side view drawing to see how things will go, and find that the angle of the bores in the clamps for the fork tubes is just a bit over one degree off 90 degrees to the surfaces of the plates as close as I can tell.  This may or may not be important in the real world, but I seem to live in a fantasy world where some things are MORE or LESS important than they might appear.  I think this may be one of those times when it does matter, so this will require some "fiddly" machining.
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Ron_McCoy

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Re: Making triple cflamps
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2018, 01:03:41 PM »
Mike, the way I did my triple clamps Iím running now was to lay everything out on paper after I had determined the offsets I wanted. This gave me the angle I needed for the stem. Then I just bored the clamp for the tubes and set the angle of the head on the mill tobore the hole for the stem. Since I wanted to use the Vision upper clamp to keep the instrument mounts, fork lock, and indicator lights and the fork tubes I was using were larger than the bolt centers on the tube clamps, I cut them off and made up new ones for the larger tubes. Then I pressed the steering stem into the new lower clamp and assembled the fork. This positioned the new clamps in place on the upper triple clamp. Tacked them in place, disassembled them, then welded them out. Done,
The first forks I put on had 38 mm tubes. I machined them the same way except that I angle bored the tube/handle bar holes in the top clamp since the bolt centers would still work. My original set of triple clamps that i used to experiment with offsets were fabbed from 3/16 x 3/4 steel flat bar and 1/8 plate. The tube clamps and stem clamps were flame cut and bored from one inch steel. Easy to work with and change, but a little heavy.
I started off with the idea that I should keep the wheelbase at the same length at sag height. My first tries ended up with more trail than stock. This gave good high speed stability, but gave more of the shopping cart with a bad wheel effect entering turns and when taking your hands off the bars. I worked the trail down to where I have it now and it seems ideal on my bike.
It would be much easier to make the offset the same on upper and lower clamps and would probably work just fine. Would have saved a lot of trouble, but I was kind of locked into the way I was doing it.

fret not

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Re: Making triple cflamps
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2018, 12:45:30 AM »
I think keeping control of the trail is worth the effort.  Thanks, Ron.
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Blake

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Re: Making triple cflamps
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2018, 09:05:51 PM »
What are you specifically looking for?   I had both a machined top triple made and modified a TLR1000 triple to bolt to the XZ550 neck (not that difficult with a bit of googling before hand)


The cliffnotes version for a front end swap:

find the ID/OD dimensions of the visions top and lower bearings
find a front end cheap that you want to use (complete is always cheaper).  Look up that particular model's bearing specs (I think I used allballs.  At least i used their bearings)
Cross reference the ID of the front end you want to use with the bearing chart to find an ID of the new triple tree stem and the OD of the vision.   If you can find it.  it's a match!
Now do as much googling as you can to find the rough length of the new triple stem.  Make some educated guess as to specific transitions spots (Where the bearings actually sit/the top nut clamps down).   If you think it's close enough- buy the front end and the bearings  Buy two of the lower bearings! (you'll see why)

Now here is the tricky part.  when you get the new front end, mount the new lower bearing on that fits the vision's neck.
mount the front end into the  neck
You'll see the neck doesn't exactly fit.
Put the new bearing onto the triple tree
take a dial caliper and as BEST AS YOU CAN- meausure the offset you need to make that neck fit perfectly.  measure 50 times, and make a detailed drawing!   Measure, remove, reinstall in an hour and come back and measure again until you are 100% satisfied it will be in the correct place.
NOTE: it is better to be slightly "long" than slightly short.  if the neck is too long you can compensate with washers.  if it's too short you're screwed.

Now have someone cut the neck in the middle and add (or subtract) the exact amount you need to make the neck the correct length.
Reweld the neck back together
install bearings.
Look cool with your new front end.


That's about it.  Look at my pictures from March to May 2016 here as I tried to document what i did:  https://stoddard.smugmug.com/XZ550   

Of course, this method is if you accept the slight difference in trail, etc of the new forks.  I have no clue where i wrote down the measurements for mine, but it really wasn't that much of a difference.  Can't tell you if it rides like crap yet as I have the forks installed but havent finished the bike due to moving (a few times).  Most of my parts are in storage bins in my dad's shed until i find some free time to put it all back together.


Blake
« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 09:17:39 PM by Blake »
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Blake

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Re: Making triple cflamps
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2018, 08:18:11 AM »
Or are you looking to just make a new upper triple?  In one of those albums I had one made and bought clipons that I never used.   
"At first it's like a new pair of underware... Frustrating and constrictive.  But then, it kind of grows on you..."

fret not

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Re: Making triple cflamps
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2018, 01:14:12 AM »
As Ron McCoy did, I intend to make top and bottom triple clamps.  I hadn't thought far enough ahead to think about using stock indicator lights and fork lock.  More decisions to make.
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Blake

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Re: Making triple cflamps
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2018, 06:52:13 PM »
Is there a particular reason you want to make the clamps, rather than adapt the steering stem and new triple trees?  I'm not kidding when i say if you have access to even just a metal bandsaw, belt sander, and a welder, you could easily crank it out in a weekend.  I pressed a piece of steel in the middle of my steering stem to act like an alignment pin, then welded it all up.  If you're swapping the forks, you're not going to achieve the exact same characteristics as the stock suspension..  doing some math to find the new rake and trail, it might not be bad, and actually might feel better to you.  I'm just excited other people are going forward with fork swaps on these bikes now.


As for building new clamps- it's not entirely hard to do either, but i would recommend you have a machine shop cut it out.   For my upper triple clamp, i measured it entirely using a harbor freight dial caliper and a tape measure.  Drew it out and sent it to a machinist friend who then cut it for me out of some 1" aluminum stock without every seeing the bike/stock clamp.  One of the fork holes is ever-so-slightly too tight though.  I think we forgot to cut slightly larger for a slip fit or i'm just a hair off between the centerlines.  Anyway, figure out your center to center distances between the forks, measure the actual OD (+.002 or more for a "slip fit), cut a slot to each hole to "clamp" it, and bolt holes on the side.    As long as your center-center-steering stem distances are all exactly the same (top half and bottom half) you should be fine.  The technical issues come if you want to angle the forks so they're not parallel with the steering neck.  Then you better be good on your math, as your lower clamps will need be further from the stem than the top.   
"At first it's like a new pair of underware... Frustrating and constrictive.  But then, it kind of grows on you..."

Ron_McCoy

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Re: Making triple cflamps
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2018, 08:44:15 PM »
Blake, Iíve done steering stems the way the way youíre describing and that works well, but the last couple that Iíve done on Visions  Iíve used the Vision stem. I grind the weld off the bottom of the lower clamp and press out the stem. Then, depending on the triple clamps youíre using, either bore the clamps to fit or make bushings if the holes are too large. Then press the stem in the lower clamp. This way you can use Vision steering head bearings. Of course you end up with a steel steering stem and not a nice aluminum one like your project.

If you want a diffent angle for the fork tubes from the steering stem, drawing what you want and taking the angle you need and hole centers from the drawing saves a lot of math and works very well.

Ron

fret not

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Re: Making triple cflamps
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2018, 03:37:33 AM »
The original forks and wheel use a front axle of 15mm diameter, and the 'new' forks use a 17mm axle.  I found bearings on eBay of the right size for a reasonable sum.  The spacer that goes between the wheel bearings has a 15mm hole and the new axle won't fit, so a friend made a new one for me.  It is very nice when stuff like that happens.  The speedo drive also has a 15mm hole, and is also a critical spacer, so I found a speedo gear from a YZF600r  for a reasonable sum that will fit.  I'm hoping the stock wheel with the appropriate tire will have much the same circumference as the fat tire 17" wheel of the YZF600.  Once the speedo drive arrives I can put the fork legs and wheel together to establish the spacing between the fork tubes.  Only then can the final drawing be made, and triple clamps be made.

Since my original speedo is missing a piece or two and is not functional I have been considering gauges from some other bike. 
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fret not

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Re: Making triple cflamps
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2018, 08:16:14 PM »
One point that has come up is the bolts that hold the disc rotors to the wheel are a bit tall and would hit the fork leg, so I am looking for ideas for some bolts with low profile heads.  I could grind the ones I have but since they are special hardened bolts I am leery of altering them.
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lexx790

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Re: Making triple cflamps
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2018, 03:37:52 PM »
Do a google search on low profile head bolts  :D

jefferson

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Re: Making triple cflamps
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2018, 05:09:54 PM »
There were allen headed low profile bolts used on the disc's on later Yamahas and they interchange. Might be what you need.

fret not

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Re: Making triple cflamps
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2018, 12:38:15 AM »
Thanks guys. Yeah, I have been checking out bolts.  There are some exotic items out there on the internet, like titanium bolts for your rotors.  I will be satisfied with some made from good steel.
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fret not

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Re: Making triple cflamps
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2018, 12:40:42 AM »
Disc bolts solved, now I need to figure gauges.  Several 600, 750, and 1000 Yamahas use the same speedo drive gear, so it stands to reason that maybe gauges from those models could be grafted to my soon to be new top triple clamp.  The speedo would work but I don't know about the tach.  It should PROBABLY work.  I see some for about $40 (YZF600r) with speedo, tach, and temp gauge. 
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fiat-doctor

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Re: Making triple cflamps
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2018, 10:20:30 AM »
Take a look at the wiring diagrams of the two bikes...   the vision tach picks up off of one coil and that coil fires once per revolution. (wastes a spark on the exhaust stroke).
Most 4 cylinder bikes use one coil for two cylinders and so they also fire once every revolution.
I think you are correct, it SHOULD work.

Walt_M.

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Re: Making triple cflamps
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2018, 06:39:58 PM »
The tach may work but make sure you get a look at the speedo drive. I got one from a FZR600 and the speedo drive goes in at 90 degrees from the Vision speedo input.
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fret not

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Re: Making triple cflamps
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2018, 12:48:27 AM »
Walt,
Do you mean up at the gauge?  Yeah, I see the vision gauge has the threaded part (that the cable attaches to) of the speedo hanging more or less straight down, and the FZR and YZF 600s stick out to the side a bit rather than straight down.  Needs a longer speedo cable I guess.
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Walt_M.

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Re: Making triple cflamps
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2018, 06:54:07 AM »
Yes, at the gauge. A longer cable and different routing. I got the gauges for my RZ but lost interest due to the cable plus my RZ has a mechanical tach. I can probably convert the tach but the speedo made it less appealing.
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fret not

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Re: Making triple cflamps
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2018, 01:47:33 AM »
Walt, I see mechanical tachs common up to the mid or even later 80s.  I looked at lots of gauges trying to find something to work, and had to dismiss the mechanical tach models as the XZ has no drive for a tach cable.  Also I want a gauge with a needle for the speedometer rather than a LCD screen, so I will continue looking and maybe even thinking of other possibilities. ;)

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fret not

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Re: Making triple cflamps
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2018, 02:16:42 AM »
My brother in law has a small mill with an R8 chuck, and yesterday we bored out one fork tube hole in the stacked plates.  He is very careful and makes small cuts so it takes a long time, but the resulting surface is very nice.  The preparation and set up took a couple hours, and the boring took another couple hours.  I think another couple days (as we can find the time) should get me some triple clamps.
 This process has taken me through some head scratching episodes and a bump or two but it is beginning to look like the end is near.  That causes me to recall the scene in The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy finally can see the Emerald City across the fields of poppies.  So close but still some way to go and issues to deal with.
Retired, on the downhill slide. . . . . . . . still feels like going uphill!