Where's that dang little red thingamajig?
The third TT installment will begin a series to include
at least one homemade tool. While made for Norton Commandos, they often have application to other Brit
bikes. I don’t have a machine shop so other than an
oxyacetylene torch these are made with bench top
drill press, vice and grinder; files; Dremel, and
other standard fare shop tools.
Norton Roadholder forks are famous for superior handling in their
time but not the easiest to maintain regarding fork oil level. So you
sure don’t want to lose it because of a leaky bottom dampener washer
- the result of improper tightening of the outside bolt. This wrench
solves this by allowing you to grip the two flats on the recessed top
collar that's already screwed into the dampener
tube top while you tighten the bolt from underneath.
Begin by purchasing a cheap 1/2” wrench with at least one open end.
The bends must be done with oxyacetylene to create a concentrated “cherry” of the metal in the two areas to be bent. The bend at the open end is sharper and should start about 1/8th from the flat and to an angle of 90 degrees. The second bend is at least 1.5 inches up from the open wrench end center-to-center. This bend is more gradual and ends up at about 100 degrees. I prefer to let the tool cool down slowly versus quenching. I also use my smallest oxy welding tip and concentrate the heat only in the bend areas.
$10 Ace Hardware wrench and a little oxyacetylene make nice mix
Other than in Chip Foose’s cool design for WD-40 cans, those red plastic extension tubes are always falling out and getting lost. Yeah tape works okay but leaves sticky residue and rubber bands quickly deteriorate so good ole zip ties to the rescue...
1) Attach zip tie securely to can and cut off extra (or not)
2) Insert extension tube in “v” slot under tie head
3) Scoot tube over so tie holds it securely
washer and steel
not shown in
If you don’t have an oxyacytelene torch, your local welder can do this for you in short order. DIY total cost including donor wrench about 15 bucks.