Fork Spring Advice

#1
Let me start off by saying thank you to everyone. This is a really cool place and I appreciate all of the advice I’ve received thus far.

Out of all the mini bikes I’ve worked on in the past, this Taco is definitely a challenging labor of love that I really want to do well but I’ve hit a snag that I’m not sure what the “right” solution is because I can’t find any pictures that I can zoom close enough into for ideas so I’m hoping I can pick your brains.

The fork springs were welded to the fork and one has snapped off which means I’ll need to replace it. But I don’t believe welding a new spring on is the right way to do this.

Is there a better solution that won’t mar the paint job that I will give the bike? Or some sort of clamp that was used to hold the spring in place?

Here are a couple pics that I hope will show what I’m seeing:

0BC2CE45-8BCF-41C4-89FB-70CDC6E1A47E.jpeg A554C18F-A9F6-42DB-8EEF-155D9ADA73DC.jpeg
 

SAT

Active Member
#2
They kind of look like they were wound onto the tubing. The coils could be separated with a flat blade screwdriver or two and wound on. The “weld” forms a point that anchors the spring from moving about.
Maybe edit your title and add Taco to it to attract those Taco owners that are here.
Cool bike
 
#3
If it were me I would weld 2 big “washers” onto the fork tubes at the correct height. That will keep the springs from sliding down the tubes without welding the springs to the actual tubes.
It’s prob not OEM but it would definitely work.
 
#5
I was wondering about that from the pics.
Seems like a weird way to do it imho

Edit- ok I see it now the bottoms are “threaded” but what about the tops?
 
Last edited:
#7
Helix, that’s prob the proper term. I said threaded but not exactly lol
So the upper helix is on the upper fork tubes, lower helix is on the lower tubes and has its own mount as an axle mount.
Seems like that might reduce the length of the spring that actually does any flexing? Or does the spring “rotate” on the helix portions? Both?
Seems like that arrangement might need regular lubrication but is def a different and cool way to do it.
 
#8
Helix, that’s prob the proper term. I said threaded but not exactly lol
So the upper helix is on the upper fork tubes, lower helix is on the lower tubes and has its own mount as an axle mount.
Seems like that might reduce the length of the spring that actually does any flexing? Or does the spring “rotate” on the helix portions? Both?
Seems like that arrangement might need regular lubrication but is def a different and cool way to do it.
I wasn't sure what to call it. Yes, some of the spring length would not be functional as a spring, just a couple of coils on each end. It shouldn't rotate much, there would be stops and both ends screwed together until the spring hit the stops, or as close as possible, depending on axle alignment. You can see what appears to be a stop (a blob of weld, maybe) at the top edge of the screenshot photo on the far tube. Unfortunately, the video is only 240p.
 
Last edited:
#9
Wow! Thanks guys.

Thankfully the fork legs are in good shape but I will definitely need new springs. I agree that they will need regular lubrication to work properly and I could see dirt gumming it up but assuming my fix is good, this will be an easy piece of maintenance.

The helix is a great term as the fork legs have these on them. The spring essentially threads around them to stay in place so logically I would assume the main fork would have originally come with them as well. But if I can’t find one, the washers are an EXCELLENT idea. I almost laughed out loud when I read Massacre’s suggestion because it was so simple yet brilliant. Thank you so much!
 
#10
You could make the helices (helixes) from thick washers; cut, bend, weld. Looks like they wrap around about 1.5 times (540 degrees). Cut a washer in one spot, bend it to get a 360 degree helix, cut another washer in half to get the additional 180 degrees, weld the half washer to the full one, tweak as needed to match the spring. It might be tempting to use split lock washers but they are tempered/hardened, you'd probably need to anneal them to make them workable (able to bend/reshape) or work them hot.

Everything needs to lock together by some method, wouldn't want the lower fork and wheel to drop out first time the front end gets light; faceplants suck.
 
#12
Quick shout out to Taco Minibikes.

I reached out about the fork spring coils and the issue I was having and Joe is sending me a pair!

He was super cool to work with.

Below is a pic of what it should look like:
6F92080C-A6EE-43FB-B3B3-27F49F26E863.jpeg
 
#13
Btw- I tried the washer idea and it worked great! Only problem was I couldn’t produce a consistent angle with the tools I had on hand.

I cut the washers and heated them with a torch and bent them with a mallet but the problem was when welded together, the angles were inconsistent and looked off balance, especially when I made two of them (consisting of four washers).

So I reached out to Taco on a whim.

Thank you for the suggestion! I think my fabrication skills need some work lol.
 

Top