Sunday, July 5, 2009

36 EL cha cha changes

Here is my bike after a two day marathon of inspection. I put some flanders bars on it and put a set of bigger 37 basket weave saddlebags on it. Michael Paquette made them, and they are awesome. Good job Michael. I am going test riding as soon as I am done with this post.

Front 3/4, I changed the front end springs to a different set up. Mike Wilson told me about how he used to set them up back in the 50s, so I figured I would give it a try. Check out the pics below to see what I changed.

Here is the correct 36 to 38 set up. Curved inner springs on the bottom, and 36 to 38 straight top springs. As per Mike Wilson's advice, the top springs get removed, this was the most painful part of the switch over for me. I spent 700 dollars on reproducing these early inner springs when I was 19, and now I don't have them in my bike lol.

Here you can see the parts that are going back into it. The new lower springs are sidecar springs and much longer than the solo version.

I also inspected both wheel hubs to see how everything was wearing in or out. These hubs were re surfaced by Lee Armitage. He spray welds them and regrinds them back to standard size. On one of the forums somebody was talking about how this was such a bad fix, and that the spray welding will come loose. I had to check my wheels out just for piece of mind, after 4,000 miles they are as beautiful and smooth as when I first got them back from Lee.


  1. When I worked as a student in the local papermill machine shop they spray welded all kinds of high speed parts for paper machines. It was a great fix.

  2. Mat, what is the purpose of going to sidecar intner springs? Reason I ask is that the NOS '48 front end that I am putting on the '47 had them and we have replaced them with the "correct" inners. Your logic? Thanks,

  3. The forks rocker angle changed when I changed the springs, You can see the difference in the gap between the tire and the fender. I it was supposed to give you more rocker travel, but it really only made the bike ride harder. I am going to switch it back to the stock, this is not a good a good set up.