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Leveling frame? Edited

If the frame is level side to side should the cars tire be vertical? I do have tilt so I can adjust the tire to change its angle but that just changes the frame as well. Re-leveling the frame throws the tire off vertical again 🙁 Does it matter? Am I doing something wrong? Also, when the rear of the frame is adjusted for horizontal the front is off level a little. Not sure how critical this is. Attached picture to show the difference in level between front and rear and also how much the tire is off from vertical when the frame is level. Ignorance is NOT bliss.

Attached files

The problem with humanity is: we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and God-like technology.

It's not unusual for the swingarm to be out of plumb with the frame. I've seen it a lot through the years with both high end and entry level sidecars. It's easily adjusted with proper alignment.

NWSC Ret'd.

ncdave - 2/10/2017 9:07 PM

to me it indicates that something is bent in the swingarm, connection or axle. I have a similar problem with my sidecar. curious to hear what the experts say.

Me too Dave. Nothing I can find online about this issue in any of the numerous how to align instructions. Hoping Lonnie or some one will explain how it's easily adjusted out. Meantime I'm getting impatient and may just start attaching like this knowing I'll likely have to do a lot of readjusting anyway.
Went ahead and attached the frame just from impatience. Drove it a bit around my low traffic neighborhood. Experienced the directional pulls when accelerating and braking but wasn't terrible Mostly went straight without too much effort. Did some circles in an office parking lot and it was a lot easier to steer in left hand circles than right hand. Don't know if that's typical. Has some head shake at low speed but lessens at faster speed UNLESS I let go of the handle bars which I tried doing. Immediately started to shake and quickly got a LOT worse. Again no experience to know if that's typical. Probably didn't go a mile total but can feel my arms and shoulders from the steering effort and my hands from the death grip I was applying 🙂 . Had 120 pounds of sand on the frame. A different experience for sure. Still concerned about that swing arm problem and the hack tire not being vertical but now it seems to me that's something that will vary depending on the weights on the bike and the car or position of the tilt control. I may not be thinking correctly though, geometry can get difficult for me. I'd appreciate any feedback on the install, if what I experienced was normal or not and suggestions on the best place to start making adjustments for improvement. With the bike loaded with 180 pounds the tilt out is about 1/4 inch over the height of the bikes tire, toe in is 3/4 inch and distance from bike/car tire center to center is 55 inches.

Attached files

The problem with humanity is: we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and God-like technology.

The tire needs to be vertical. No two ways about this. The axle may not be square to the frame. The proper best way to deal with this is find the problem and fix it. The far more practical way to deal with this is to simply shim the body so every thing looks good. It is what we would and have done if it is not off to far. After first making sure that the swing arm bushings are not simply worn out (check this any way) if shims are not going to cut it we would cut off one side of the pivot for the swing arm, square it up and weld it back together.
Jay G
DMC sidecars

Jay G DMC sidecars 15616 Carbonado South Prairie RD Buckley WA 98321 866-638-1793 Hours Monday - Thursday 6-4:30

Thanks Jay. I just disconnected everything and am going to start over. No real welding capability so I'll true the tire vertically, leave the frame where it ends up and put extra washers under the low side of the tub as shims. On closer inspection of the tire it appeared the inside edge was slightly more worn. Confirmed that with a micrometer.

The problem with humanity is: we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and God-like technology.