Author Topic: 7" Half-width Front Spindle Question  (Read 249 times)

Offline Happyhenry

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7" Half-width Front Spindle Question
« on: 08.07. 2019 19:07 »
Hello all,

I'm new to this forum having just joined after buying a 1949 A7 long-stroke plunger. The bike is an oily-rag runner that looks as if has been maintained on a budget (it had a 'remould quality' front tyre and 'sub-standard' rear) but is original and correct. I am the fifth owner in 70 years, which tells a story.

I am not intending to restore the bike, but simply recommission it and ensure that it is mechanically and electrically reliable. So I'm currently going through it checking and servicing as necessary.

My question regards the front wheel spindle. The front wheel appears to be correct, I've re-greased the bearings, which are good and turned the top-hat spacer around so that the hat 'rim' is against the wheel and not outside the fork leg. The relationship of the brake plate to the drum appears correct, it has a half-nut on the outside and the stop locates neatly in the fork leg. I've checked the component parts against the parts book diagram and can see nothing amiss.

As a result of owning other period BSAs I have the correct left-hand tap to clean out the right-hand fork leg thread. However, both before and after I re-mounted the wheel the front spindle thread only engages about 1/2 to 2/3 through the right-hand fork bottom. Surely it should really screw right through the whole width of the threaded fork leg?

When the wheel is installed, the spindle screwed home and the forks are set (bounced) there is about 2mm of the top-hat spacer outside the left-hand fork-leg.

My B32 has an 8" half-width brake which has a different spindle and spacer arrangement, but it does screw right through the right-hand fork leg.

My A7 spindle looks to be original and the correct length. The threaded end has the original chamfer and threaded inner, so I don't think it has been shortened.

Any ideas? 
"Every time he put his key in the door he wondered what he was letting himself in for." - Spike Milligan - Puckoon.

Offline duTch

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Re: 7" Half-width Front Spindle Question
« Reply #1 on: 08.07. 2019 19:45 »

 Hiya Harry- I'm not familiar with those but does/can the spindle screw in without having the wheel in place , and if so how far and if not how does the length compare to the width?
Started building in about 1977/8 a on average '52 A10 -built from bits 'n pieces never resto intended -maybe 'personalised'
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Online Greybeard

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Re: 7" Half-width Front Spindle Question
« Reply #2 on: 08.07. 2019 21:18 »
Hi HH, welcome!

Will you go to Introductions and spill yer guts, else we'll ave to send da Boyz round!

Online Greybeard

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Re: 7" Half-width Front Spindle Question
« Reply #3 on: 08.07. 2019 21:20 »
I'd like to see some pictures of what you are describing.

Offline Happyhenry

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Re: 7" Half-width Front Spindle Question
« Reply #4 on: 09.07. 2019 21:46 »
Righty ho,

Here are a couple of pictures of the issue.

The first shows the right hand fork leg with the spindle coming 1/2 - 2/3 of the way through the leg when screwed fully home. The second shows the left hand fork leg with 2mm of the top-hat spacer exposed. The piece of masking tape is to remind me to tighten the pinch bolt before take-off.

The brake plate and right hand fork leg are seated properly and I can't see anything that is not as the exploded parts diagram.

My problem appears to be that the distance from the end of the 'top-hat' spacer on the left to the end of the brake plate centre spacer on the right is such that the spindle will not screw fully home in the right hand fork leg. Was like this (despite the 'top-hat' spacer being in the wrong way around) when I got the bike.

The only way that I can see to get the spindle to screw right through the fork leg is to shorten the top-hat spacer so that the 'head' of the spindle ends up just into the left hand fork leg.

What do others' spindles look like?

P.S. Does anyone know why the end of the spindle has a threaded hole in it?

HH
"Every time he put his key in the door he wondered what he was letting himself in for." - Spike Milligan - Puckoon.

Offline berger

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Re: 7" Half-width Front Spindle Question
« Reply #5 on: 09.07. 2019 22:00 »
 *welcome*happy henry, I have not been to the pub today-[good lad] I don't know plungies at all but my booky doesn't show a spindle with the slight shoulder on it that yours has . my original spindle- the one I stripped many years ago went further into the fork leg where the tommy bar hole is than yours does . is that lip on the spindle meant to be there? I know nothing but I don't think so. is it a home made spindle  *conf2* EDIT mmm very confused now ive read your posts again. my booky is 1954-7 shows what you call a spacer as the spindle sleeve that fits at the other end---- so is a 1949 different to a 1954

Offline Happyhenry

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Re: 7" Half-width Front Spindle Question
« Reply #6 on: 09.07. 2019 22:30 »
Hi berger,

Yes these spindles are different.

I have a 1949 B32 that has the 8" 'Gold Star' brake with the aluminium brake plate and brake arm that bolt to the fork leg. That spindle has a shoulder that goes all the way through the l/h fork leg to the wheel bearing - where the 'top-hat' space is on this one.

Part book diagram attached...
"Every time he put his key in the door he wondered what he was letting himself in for." - Spike Milligan - Puckoon.

Online chaterlea25

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Re: 7" Half-width Front Spindle Question
« Reply #7 on: 09.07. 2019 22:41 »
Hi Henry,
There's nothing for it but to dismantle the wheel and its components and see whats up?
The spindle should definitely thread fully into the fork leg
A while ago I found an issue like yours where some thoughtful person had added a spacer/ washer thing into the RH fork leg boss preventing the spindle going fully home *pull hair out*

John
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Online morris

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Re: 7" Half-width Front Spindle Question
« Reply #8 on: 09.07. 2019 22:48 »
The way I see it there’s 3 possibilities
1) your spindle is too short. I can’t imagine a wheel spindle only screws in only a third of the available thread
2) the wheel “pack” (brake plate+bearings+spacers) is too wide. But then you would notice as you would  have to force the wheel in
3) there’s something bent (stanchions?) and your forks aren’t parallel which some PO then compensated by adding a wider spacer?
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Offline Swarfcut

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Re: 7" Half-width Front Spindle Question
« Reply #9 on: 09.07. 2019 22:50 »
Henry, your 1949 A7 has the earlier 7" brake, similar but very different in construction to the 8" brake on your B32.

 BSA Service Sheet 212A from May 1954 contains a cross sectional diagram, poor in detail.  Spindles  simply unscrew (LH thread) and the cross hole in the end is a plain drilling, to take a tommy bar to unscrew the spindle.

 As duTch suggests the spindle should screw in fully and protrude a couple of threads through the right leg without the wheel in place. My feeling is that  the spindle is not made to the original specification, either a close but incorrect substitute, or a modified original part. Knowing the rarity of this model, expect spurious parts fitted back in the day to keep it on the road. As morris indicates, this may all be part of a bigger problem, so looks as if a complete strip and measure is the way to proceed.

 The Draganfly Parts Diagram, as above,  for the 7" brake shows a small spacer collar under a hub retaining nut, then the larger top hat sleeve which is drawn towards the brake drum side by an increased diameter step at the tommy bar end of the spindle.  You indicated that the sleeve was originally the wrong way round, in which case it may be incorrect anyway.  The end of the spindle O.D. should match the smaller O.D. of the top hat sleeve.
   Ever helpful Draganfly have pictures of the parts, so you can see how your bits stack up. The original sleeve has a longitudinal slot to allow it to tighten around the spindle and grip it as the pinch bolt is tightened.
 There is also a good image of the correct spindle, showing it to be a plain round bar, threaded to match the right leg, and with a  change to a slightly larger O.D. at the tommy bar end. This contrasts with the later 8"hub spindle, which is plain for most of its length, then stepped to a reduced diameter to pass through the right side wheel bearing and hub sleeve.

 So any part outboard of the left hand bearing is suspect, namely the small collar, hub nut, top hat sleeve and spindle. Looks like the top hat sleeve passes through the  fork leg, and the picture should show a larger diameter at the end of the spindle pushing on the sleeve, rather than the decreased spindle diameter that appears.

 Swarfy.

Online ironhead

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Re: 7" Half-width Front Spindle Question
« Reply #10 on: 09.07. 2019 23:21 »
Righty ho,

Here are a couple of pictures of the issue.

The first shows the right hand fork leg with the spindle coming 1/2 - 2/3 of the way through the leg when screwed fully home. The second shows the left hand fork leg with 2mm of the top-hat spacer exposed. The piece of masking tape is to remind me to tighten the pinch bolt before take-off.

The brake plate and right hand fork leg are seated properly and I can't see anything that is not as the exploded parts diagram.

My problem appears to be that the distance from the end of the 'top-hat' spacer on the left to the end of the brake plate centre spacer on the right is such that the spindle will not screw fully home in the right hand fork leg. Was like this (despite the 'top-hat' spacer being in the wrong way around) when I got the bike.

The only way that I can see to get the spindle to screw right through the fork leg is to shorten the top-hat spacer so that the 'head' of the spindle ends up just into the left hand fork leg.

What do others' spindles look like?

P.S. Does anyone know why the end of the spindle has a threaded hole in it?

HH

G'day H/H,  That spindle looks wrong, maybe home made. A genuine spindle should be easy to come by as all the early ( pre-'54') 'B's & 'm's used this front wheel & 7"brake set up as well. None I've ever come across have a threaded hole in the centre of the axel either. If you are really stuck & can't find one I've probably got a spare buried in the shed somewhere you can have.
SA

Offline berger

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Re: 7" Half-width Front Spindle Question
« Reply #11 on: 10.07. 2019 01:16 »
see happy henry - I know nothing. apart from its pub friday *beer* plenty much black & tan to be got darn neck *beer* and the loss of more brain cells *countdown*

Offline Happyhenry

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Re: 7" Half-width Front Spindle Question
« Reply #12 on: 11.07. 2019 22:12 »
Problem solved - it was the spindle all along (or all too short!).

Draganfly are out of stock and I couldn't source one from elsewhere. So, although I know that stainless generally has no place on my bikes, it now has a shiny spindle from Barleycorn Engineering - at only a couple of quid more than stock steel and delivered pronto - thanks Simon!

Greased up and it screwed fully home *eek*

Thanks for the help and advice. Always gratefully received - Morris' option 1) and Ironhead were spot on, but then it could have been any number of things.

Pictures below:

Henry
"Every time he put his key in the door he wondered what he was letting himself in for." - Spike Milligan - Puckoon.

Online ironhead

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Re: 7" Half-width Front Spindle Question
« Reply #13 on: 11.07. 2019 23:07 »
Good to see the problem solved H/H. looking now at the comparison, the short spindle is more than likely off a C11g 1954 a one year only fitment.
SA

Offline Rocket Racer

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Re: 7" Half-width Front Spindle Question
« Reply #14 on: 12.07. 2019 01:13 »
the c12 also had a shorter spindle due to the C series having narrower triple clamps than the A & B series
A good rider periodically checks all nuts and bolts with a spanner to see that they are tight - Instruction Manual for BSA B series, p46, para 2.
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