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Thread: Fatboy 2007 lower fork pinch bolt snapped

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Fatboy 2007 lower fork pinch bolt snapped

    Enjoying a nice ride with fellow Region 19 guys with just a few clouds in the sky and I seem to be getting spots of what I thought was rain in the face. The A31 is not the best surface to run on and I guess the front suspention was working fairly hard, anyway the next bit of bumpy 'repair' surface I have a huge explosion of oil. Pulled over and I was drenched in fork oil all down the right side. On the Fatboy you can't see any of the fork stanchion or seal caps as it's concealed by the tin ware so the assumption was an oil seal had blown. With this assumption I decided that the front suspension would be somewhat degraded but I'd be OK to continue, we're heading for the Wheels Day, Rushmore Arena Aldershot. A great day at the show and normally we'd take the scenic route via a hostelry on the way back but I said to PP (my wife Pauline) I think we'll make our own way home (there's no way the rest of the guys will do 35-40 miles an hour all through the back lanes of Hampshire!)

    So I get the bike back home and to be honest I wasn't convinced that much oil would get past the seal, anyway removing the tin ware I find this:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The oil seal was in fact OK but the lower yoke pinch bolt has snapped and the stanchion had 'unwound' itself from the top nut.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Obviously the bolt snapped some time previously and the stanchion had unwound over a period of time but I'd not noticed as the it's all covered in the tin ware. The front suspension hasn't been touched since new as the fork oil change isn't due for another 10k miles. As you can see the upper yoke arrangement is not the normal pinch bolt type so the stanchion is clamped only by the lower yoke. On any other bike without the tin ware this failure would be obvious, so if you have a Fatboy it may be worth adding these bolts to the critical fasteners check list.
    A.K.A. Spankey
    Region 19 Representative.
    FLSTF 2007

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    Re: Fatboy 2007 lower fork pinch bolt snapped

    A truly shocking failure, and a lucky escape from what could easily have been catastrophic Steve. Glad to hear that you n Pauline made it home safely.
    I applaude you for posting this mate. It'll get others taking a look at their ride and could potentially save someones life.
    Hodgie.

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  3. #3
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    Re: Fatboy 2007 lower fork pinch bolt snapped

    Scary shit. Worst thing was though we had to put up with him smelling like an oil slick for the day.

    Sent from my SM-G903F using Tapatalk
    Patrick



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    Re: Fatboy 2007 lower fork pinch bolt snapped

    I'm surprised a bolt that size failed. My experience of Harleys is they are well over engineered, at least shovels and flatheads's. In fact when compared to Jap equivalents they are almost industrial. Maybe it was an assembly issue? Either way, glad you got back ok.

    Rod

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    Re: Fatboy 2007 lower fork pinch bolt snapped

    Is it true Steve that you are now offering this system as a franchise opportunity for waterproofing jeans? ������
    Darren Thomas
    Member No:010141


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    Re: Fatboy 2007 lower fork pinch bolt snapped

    Quote Originally Posted by Dazzlin View Post
    Is it true Steve that you are now offering this system as a franchise opportunity for waterproofing jeans? ������
    Yes mate, with a special 'eau de oilette'
    A.K.A. Spankey
    Region 19 Representative.
    FLSTF 2007

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    Re: Fatboy 2007 lower fork pinch bolt snapped

    While on a ride out in Yorkshire over the August bank holiday I too had suspension problems very similar to the original post.. luckily I was in my camper and could get my Softail back to the Midlands. Ordered oil seal kit from Mark at Barnaby Wild,and the tool from Andy tool sec. On starting the job I found the top plug un wound on the left side! The right side pinch bolt was sheered and the left one was loose....I suggest all owners check the condition of the forks onSoftail models as soon as possible!

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    Re: Fatboy 2007 lower fork pinch bolt snapped

    Nasty! Two very similar incidents with potentially dangerous consequences. Should this be reported to VOSA Vehicle Safety Branch, Croydon St, Bristol, BS5 0DA?

    This may be useful. Bolt Science don't recommend spring washers nowadays as they aid loosening and bolt failure.
    http://www.boltscience.com/pages/vibloose.htm
    Conventional spring lock washers are no longer specified, because it has been shown that they actually aid self loosening rather than prevent it.
    And.
    Often fatigue failure is a result of the bolt self-loosening which reduces the clamp force acting on the joint. Joint slip then occurs which leads the
    bolt being subjected to bending loads and subsequently failing by fatigue.

    Best use plain washers and loctite.

    Hope that helps.



    Last edited by Four Speed; 07-09-2017 at 12:36 PM.

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    Re: Fatboy 2007 lower fork pinch bolt snapped

    Quote Originally Posted by Four Speed View Post
    Nasty! Two very similar incidents with potentially dangerous consequences. Should this be reported to VOSA Vehicle Safety Branch, Croydon St, Bristol, BS5 0DA?

    This may be useful. Bolt Science don't recommend spring washers nowadays as they aid loosening and bolt failure.
    http://www.boltscience.com/pages/vibloose.htm
    Conventional spring lock washers are no longer specified, because it has been shown that they actually aid self loosening rather than prevent it.
    And.
    Often fatigue failure is a result of the bolt self-loosening which reduces the clamp force acting on the joint. Joint slip then occurs which leads the
    bolt being subjected to bending loads and subsequently failing by fatigue.

    Best use plain washers and loctite.

    Hope that helps.



    Depends on the application. Its an oversimplified analysis of a complex science. Internet science at its best.

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  10. #10
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    Re: Fatboy 2007 lower fork pinch bolt snapped

    As a retired engineer I always fitted spring or lock washers ( they are different beasts) on mainly railway equipment and I have never known a bolt to sheer because of them. And believe me a Euro star vibrates more than a Softail!

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