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Thread: Heip with my BOUNCEY springer front end !!!

  1. #1

    Default Heip with my BOUNCEY springer front end !!!

    I'm learning more and more about my '39 everyday and loving it. Please, bear with me.

    Help !!!
    I've never owned a springer bike before. My '39WLD has no ride control. On a smooth flat road, as I increase speed heading for road speed, the springer will start to bounce something awful untill I slow down enough to be safe. Then, I'm going way below road speed and it still bounces somewhat. I've got to do something so I can ride it safely at highway speed (45-55mph).

    I've seen upper+lower inner springs for sale called buffer springs. What would they do for me without a ride control? Would they eliminate the bounce or just be stiffer with maybe less bounce? I know a ride control is the way to go. However...

    I've recently learned that a '39WLD has a one year only springer front end and ride control. It uses a VL rear leg and a knuckle front leg thats drilled for the ride control. The '38 and earlier front legs look to be the same with the same ride coltrol lugs, just not drilled. My front leg is a pre '39 leg and would need to be drilled to use the '39 only set up. Or... I could use '38 and earlier setup without dilling anything.

    Here's the catch... Try to find either for sale. Can any one help?

    I'd really like to find a pair of the '39, one year only, upper brackets for sale for the ride control. The PN's are 13450-39 for right and left is 13151-39. The sideplates and the slots are shorter on the '39 setup. If any one could make and send me a tracing on paper of the correct plate with the hole and slot I could make a pair from s/s. I could canabalize a '40+ ride control for the other parts.

    Any help,info and advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks...Joel

    Joel Clark
    2689 Tanner Rd
    Weedsport, NY 13166
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009


    Just for the heck of it try Rat at Harbor Vintage. Ya never know, he might have something. 46EL

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Rocky Top TN.


    First of all I Know NOTHING about early springers. Having said that, could the front wheel be way out of balance?

  4. #4


    Thanks for your responses.Yes, it does bounce on smooth, flat road and I'm running about 18lbs.+/- of air in the front tire. The wheel was static balanced when built. Please, can anyone tell me about PJ1 Balance Plus. Has anyone used it and how did you like it? How long is it good for, the life of the tire? Is it a liquid? Does it stay a liquid? Does it thicken over time? How is it affected by cold weather and over winter (inside) storage? Or is it beads? Does it take a 12oz or 8oz can for a 5.00x16 tire? Has anyone had any experience with the inner "buffer springs" I mentioned? Thanks...Joel

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Sarasota, Florida


    This may be an alternative to finding the correct ride control. I saw this on ebay a few years ago. Someone was making a copy of an original Lakes Shock.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Beautiful Northern New Mexico


    The inner buffer springs are not designed to prevent bounce. They are considerably shorter than the outer springs and their job is to control coil bind and slow down the action at its extreme end of its travel. Most of the time the merely sit there and do nothing. The main outer springs are the ones that control the ride. Are yours the correct ones or are they some sort of aftermarket replacement? Some of the replacements are wound from a smaller diameter wire and are very "Springy" allowing excess bounce. The ride control would definitely help with the bounce as it is a simple friction damper. Those dampers Eric shows are cool but I don't believe they are being made for 45 rockers, although they could be. However they do not work with a front fender!
    Side car inner springs are full length and will slow down bounce to a certain extent, however they will make the ride much stiffer!
    Robbie Knight Amca #2736

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010


    I still have one set left for sale 319-648-2046 The side brackets are not flat ,they have a tube attached to contain the rubber bushing ,look at parts book . also the adjusting rod is unique to '39 45"

  8. #8


    If your front end is bouncing on flat pavement you have a problem other than a ride control. I road race a 39 WLDR and have NO ride control, and the front end doesn't bounce.

    I'd be taking a closer look at your wheel.....and tire, some tires are out of round.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006


    does your bounce go away as speed changes? Does your bike sit on the rear stand for weeks at a time? You maybe getting a flat spot on the front tire. pump them up with air after you ride it. Then let it out before you ride it. This air trick work on my 45.when you put your springer back on the bike did you but the self centering cone below the bottom race? It looks like a smaller race. when i did mine I didn't put it in.Just by chance an older guy stop by that day.he saw the bike in the drive way.For half an hour we talked about old bikes.It made his day and mine.On his way out he saw the centering cone.points to it and says " you need to put that in" my reply was no friggin tedd sent me some junk smaller race. well 20 mins. later i was holding up the bike while he slide the springer out. anyway he still peeps and smiles as he drives by.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Bothell, Wa


    When you remove your wheel assembly to balance it, be sure to check the wheel is at least as true as the stock spec. +or- 1/32" if I remember correctly, be sure your spokes are all tightened evenly and leave the brake drum on and torqued, also be sure the tire is properly seated on the rim and runs true. Air it up to about 40psi or so and closely balance every thing as a unit, then mark your tire, wheel, and brake drum so they can be reassembled in the same relationship to one another. OOPS! Sorry, your brake drum is part of your wheel so disreguard that part. When you reassemble be sure you check your wheel bearing adjustment as if they are too loose it will cause all kinds of handling probs. and drop the air pressure down to where you run it. You might want to take your rear wheel assembly with you and balance it also, trust me it does make a difference. If all else fails, disassemble your wheel and tire assembly and make sure you have the correct size tube. Too large of a tube will "wad up" and can cause strange balance probs and eventually a flat tire.
    My 32vl rides as smooth as silk with no ride control or shock. I do have as was mentioned oem/nos correct upper and lower springs and the long lower inner springs and no inner upper springs.
    Good luck. Ron
    Last edited by ronald; 11-16-2011 at 07:49 PM. Reason: spelling

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