Front Wheel Alignment

8 replies to this topic
  • joehonee

Posted April 01, 2010 - 03:35 AM


After recently replacing the fork seals on my 01 YZ426 I noticed that my front wheel is crooked. The fork tube lengths are identical in the clamps but it seems like the wheel is angled from top to bottom. The wheel is true so I loosened the axle clamps and compressed the forks a couple of times thinking it would square itself but that didn't fix it. It almost seems that the fork lengths are different causing the axle not to be level which throws the wheel out of plumb?? Even if the forks were at a slightly different length I would imagine that the wheel would straighten out when the forks are compressed. It does not.

Any Ideas??

  • YamaLink

Posted April 01, 2010 - 04:17 AM


I found this from an older TT reply. Hopefully it is applicable and helps:

Now, follow this axle and front wheel insertion quick guide.
1. put wheel back on - just nib up the main axle bolt at this time, no others
2. with the front wheel off the ground spin it and clamp the front brake- do this several times to help centre the axle.
3. place wheel back on the ground and pull/push down on fork while holding the front brake, once again to set wheel central.
4. check for correct wheel alignment.
5. If not, then something is bent...
6. if good, tighten the pinch bolts opposite the wheel nut (opposite the disc? to spec).
7. Torque the main wheel nut to spec
8. tighten the pinch bolts on the same side as the axle nut.
9. recheck after a short ride...

  • CaptainKnobby

Posted April 01, 2010 - 04:19 AM


I doubt the forks are different lengths. Just make sure you have your spacers in and the axle pushed all the way in.

Tighten the axle nut to torque spec and then tighten the axle bolt holders on the caliper side first but spin the front wheel and hit the front brakes abruptly. Do this a couple of times to square up the fork in the clamps.

Do the other fork the same way. Spin the wheel and hit the brake,do this a few times also. Tighten the axle holder bolts to spec and then you are done and the forks should be aligned.

  • grayracer513

Posted April 01, 2010 - 07:20 AM


It doesn't really matter if the forks are different lengths. As long as the axle and lugs aren't bent, the wheel should square up with the forks when you tighten the axle.

Remove the fork guard from the brake side, and level out the bike until a level on the fork tube shows it plum, then put the level against the brake rotor. If they don't agree, rotate the axle 90-180 degrees and see if that changes.

It could simply be that your rim is off center on the hub. Does the brake disc line up with the caliper?

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  • joehonee

Posted April 01, 2010 - 08:17 AM


Gray, the brake rotor does line up fine. I tried the level idea last night and it showed the entire wheel (including rotor) was out when the fork tube was plumb. I hear you on the wheel being out from the hub but I would think it would walk back and forth when spun. It does not. When viewing from the front the top of the wheel is left of center and the bottom of the wheel is right of center. This does not change if the wheel is spun.

  • grayracer513

Posted April 01, 2010 - 08:35 AM


Have you tried turning the axle 180 to see if the angle of the wheel changes with it?

  • joehonee

Posted April 01, 2010 - 09:56 AM


No but I'll try that tonight.

  • mikeerob

Posted April 01, 2010 - 11:08 AM


If your forks are truly different lengths then your dampner rod has come loose from the bottom rebound bolt inside one of your forks (usually the longer one). Take your forks apart and fix it. Don't ask me how I know this.

  • joehonee

Posted April 02, 2010 - 02:54 AM


Well I pulled the front end apart last night and found the problem. It appears that the previous owner reversed the axle spacers at some point. Obviously the brake rotor and caliper would then not line up so his solution was to install small 1/4" thick washers between the caliper bracket on the fork and the caliper. I removed these and re-assembled the front end. By using the brake and pumping the shocks, the front end aligned itself well. The wheel is ever so slightly out but I don't think I am ready to true a wheel.

Thanks for the help.

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