Author Topic: Filing fork end to fit wider axle?  (Read 4814 times)

Filing fork end to fit wider axle?
« on: February 15, 2013, 09:33:55 pm »
I'm trying to fit a new front wheel to an old frame. The axe won't fit into the fork end, because it's too fat - a bit of web research suggests the thing to do is file the dropout to fit the axle. However, which side of the dropout should I file - the front edge or the back edge? (Or should I just try filing the axle instead?)

Re: Filing fork end to fit wider axle?
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2013, 09:39:09 pm »
How about the inside?

If you get a round file, you should be able to file both equally.

Re: Filing fork end to fit wider axle?
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2013, 09:41:30 pm »
I've had the same problem, and just used a round file.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

mcshroom

  • Mushroom
Re: Filing fork end to fit wider axle?
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2013, 09:42:04 pm »
I slowly worked out both sides to fit, but I ended up with a pretty square dropout (despite trying to keep a dome at the top) and I've also gained a bit of brake judder (which may be the new wheel rather than the fork but I haven't checked yet).

Before that I filed flats on the wheel axle, and having done both I think that is the better option. It is definitely significantly easier.
Climbs like a sprinter, sprints like a climber!

tiermat

  • According to Jane, I'm a Unisex SpaceAdmin
Re: Filing fork end to fit wider axle?
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2013, 10:05:43 pm »
The ones I have done have had a little bit of extra metal in the drop out, only a mil or so, and I have filed that out to make both sides parallel, which just happened to give me the right amount needed. Might be worth looking at the drop outs first to see if this is the case with you (easy to tell as the wheel will start to go in the drop out fine then jam against the extra metal).
I feel like Captain Kirk, on a brand new planet every day, a little like King Kong on top of the Empire State

Re: Filing fork end to fit wider axle?
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2013, 10:13:58 pm »
Before that I filed flats on the wheel axle, and having done both I think that is the better option. It is definitely significantly easier.
I concur

There is a good quality file here and a small vise you can borrow to hold the axle in place.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Filing fork end to fit wider axle?
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2013, 10:31:00 pm »
Filing just one side of the dropout might retain more accurate alignment.

Biggsy

  • A bodge too far
  • Twit @iceblinker
    • My stuff on eBay
Filing fork end to fit wider axle?
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2013, 11:02:30 pm »
I filed the dropouts of my old Raleigh Royal forks instead of the axle because I want it to quickly take any modern front wheel, and I might want to use the wheel in other forks as well.  Not all axles have flats, by the way.

Alignment is going to be ok however you do it as long as you don't remove more than the tiny amount of material necessary.

●●●  My eBay items  ●●●  Twitter  ●●●

Re: Filing fork end to fit wider axle?
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2013, 10:06:05 am »
Thanks all. Still not quite sure about whether to take the file to the axle or dropout, however I think I'll probably try the dropout for this reason:

I filed the dropouts of my old Raleigh Royal forks instead of the axle because I want it to quickly take any modern front wheel, and I might want to use the wheel in other forks as well. 

Biggsy, which side of the dropout did you file (if not both)? I'm reluctant to file both sides, because of the likelihood of ending up with a wonky wheel...

Biggsy

  • A bodge too far
  • Twit @iceblinker
    • My stuff on eBay
Re: Filing fork end to fit wider axle?
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2013, 10:23:26 am »
I filed both sides - though I'd expect one side to be ok, too.  Even if the wheel ended up wonky, it couldn't be more than an insignificant amount wonky because you're only making a tiny change.
●●●  My eBay items  ●●●  Twitter  ●●●

Re: Filing fork end to fit wider axle?
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2013, 11:23:13 pm »
The deed is (mostly) done: I went for filing the back bit of the dropout, because there was a bit more metal that side (mudguard eyes). Seems to have worked so far - haven't quite removed enough from the top end so the axle doesn't go quite all the way in yet. I'll finish it off tomorrow.


Re: Filing fork end to fit wider axle?
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2013, 09:10:09 pm »
Just file one side . ie not front and back, that way the axle can be positioned against the unfiled side. If you file both sides the alignment /tracking could be out when you fit the wheel. I used an angle grinder to remove the small amount from the front of an old Raleigh fork,it was ok.

Re: Filing fork end to fit wider axle?
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2013, 09:14:32 pm »
Just file one side . ie not front and back, that way the axle can be positioned against the unfiled side. If you file both sides the alignment /tracking could be out when you fit the wheel. I used an angle grinder to remove the small amount from the front of an old Raleigh fork,it was ok.

That's what I did in the end - left the front side intact and filed the rear. Alignment seems to be ok (test rode the bike today).

crowriver

  • Крис Б
Re: Filing fork end to fit wider axle?
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2013, 09:36:52 pm »
I've just tried fitting a solid axled hub dynamo wheel (NOS fleaBay purchase) into my late 1990s Dawes Audax forks and the beggar won't fit.

These are quite nice 531 forks and I'm reticent to file them at all. However the wheel is basically brand new (SRAM D3 hub) and the solid axle has no flats.

What to do? File the axle threads where the fork ends fit? File the fork ends? Or just save up for a QR axle hub dynamo?
Embrace your inner Fred.

Re: Filing fork end to fit wider axle?
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2013, 09:48:44 pm »
File the fork ends. She'll be right ...

Biggsy

  • A bodge too far
  • Twit @iceblinker
    • My stuff on eBay
Re: Filing fork end to fit wider axle?
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2013, 09:52:32 pm »
I filed my nice 1980s 531 forks to take a modern axle, but I would be reluctant to file your modern forks because they shouldn't need it and it may spoil the fitting of other hubs.  However, they might only need a minute amount of filing.  Are the the dropouts still coated in thick paint?  I'd try grease and more welly first, though.
●●●  My eBay items  ●●●  Twitter  ●●●

Re: Filing fork end to fit wider axle?
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2013, 09:56:34 pm »
Indeed. Measurement and examination should be first steps before my gung-ho approval of the file.

crowriver

  • Крис Б
Re: Filing fork end to fit wider axle?
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2013, 10:01:36 pm »
It could be the paint. The frame and forks have a great tough paint finish, quite thick (Dawes called it a 'damage protection system'). Even the original QR axles are a bit sticky in the slots.

I'll give the fork ends a really thorough clean tomorrow and see if grease does the trick....if not, maybe some of the paint needs to come off.
Embrace your inner Fred.

Biggsy

  • A bodge too far
  • Twit @iceblinker
    • My stuff on eBay
Re: Filing fork end to fit wider axle?
« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2013, 04:13:51 pm »
I bet it is the paint.  I remember having to push wheels pretty hard to get them into my Dawes Giro 500 to begin with.  (Green it was).  The paint flaked off the dropouts after a while anyway.  Corrosion was never a problem for mine.
●●●  My eBay items  ●●●  Twitter  ●●●

crowriver

  • Крис Б
Re: Filing fork end to fit wider axle?
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2013, 02:36:09 pm »
Thanks all.

It was the paint. After I cleaned the fork ends I noticed some paint build up inside the dropouts, such that it reduced the effective width to 8mm or so! I tried the 'grease and more welly' technique, and.....it worked. I had been worried beforehand that I might damage the forks or axle by forcing the issue, but the grease helped a lot.

New dynamo hub wheel now firmly seated in the fork ends and ready to roll.
Embrace your inner Fred.