1949 Matchless Teledraulic Forks

Shelby-Right

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On my 1949 matchless g80 500 the forks are cone and shuttle 1 ⅛ , there is no damper rod , the bike was semi restored 20 years ago , never made it to the road , forks are exactly like a cheap pogo stick in feel and sound , I have only changed the oil, 9½ fld oz has 15wt should have 20wt , there is absolutely no dampening, I am doing my norton forks in a few months so might help me get a bit of insight .Has anyone got a photo or drawing of that type of fork internals ? Or any known mods like JS motorsports, I think these were only made 47-49 ? I have got parts to rebuild . Cheers .
 
A friend and I have just looked up the Bruce Main Smith Matchless singles 1939 to 55 manual and parts book which is probably still available from Morton's Media Group Ltd.

Surprisingly the early war dept Matchless forks had piston dampers but 1948 to 1950 forks do not.

Friend suggests your best bet is the AJS Matchless owners club in NZ for parts and advice. Try www.jampot.co.nz
 

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Thanks I think I have that pic in one of my manuals It will be interesting when I get in there , I know they haven't got the long attaching rod , maybe they should ! ? , when I got the parts from the AJS & Matchless club spares, he called them 1 ⅛ cone and shuttle, all I know is they are just springy , I will just have to do it . Cheers
 

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Does the 1 1/8 indicate the fork tube diameter in inches? My AMC forks look like figure 25, but the fork tube diameter is 1.25" and there is no brake stay stud. Judging from those diagrams, it wouldn't surprise me if you could swap out parts to give you any of the three configurations. Or as TT suggested, experimenting with different weight oil might help. I'm thinking about one of these K-Tech cartrige kits. https://www.tga.co.uk/products/mplk-tech-fork-cartidge-kit/
 
A friend and I have just looked up the Bruce Main Smith Matchless singles 1939 to 55 manual and parts book which is probably still available from Morton's Media Group Ltd.

Surprisingly the early war dept Matchless forks had piston dampers but 1948 to 1950 forks do not.
Very unlikely. I am quite sure this a picture shortcoming. Just because the dampers were left out in the pic doesn't mean they were not present. Look up in the spares list.

- Knut
 
Does the 1 1/8 indicate the fork tube diameter in inches? My AMC forks look like figure 25, but the fork tube diameter is 1.25" and there is no brake stay stud. Judging from those diagrams, it wouldn't surprise me if you could swap out parts to give you any of the three configurations. Or as TT suggested, experimenting with different weight oil might help. I'm thinking about one of these K-Tech cartrige kits. https://www.tga.co.uk/products/mplk-tech-fork-cartidge-kit/
Hold on! All Teledraulic forks will have dampers. AMC changed the forks for 1955 by introducing 1-1/4" stanchions. Yes, they were 1-1/8" until then. No cartridge kit is needed. Teledraulic forks are superior by offering two way damping. Just make sure dampers and stanchions are in good nick. One worthwile modification is having the stanchions centerless ground and hard chromed (they need to be dead straight of course).

- Knut
 
I was questioned on the type of top triple clamp type/design which apparently meant they were 1 ⅛ , I only tried the 15wt oil be cause I didn't have any other have got some 20wt now but you would think there would be that slight oil sound , I don't know what the stanchion chrome ? and condition will be like , the previous restorer had done a lot , but not all correctly thanks for your help , it's good to hear "superior two way dampening " I think that part was left out ! :) cheers
 
Hold on! All Teledraulic forks will have dampers. AMC changed the forks for 1955 by introducing 1-1/4" stanchions. Yes, they were 1-1/8" until then. No cartridge kit is needed. Teledraulic forks are superior by offering two way damping. Just make sure dampers and stanchions are in good nick. One worthwile modification is having the stanchions centerless ground and hard chromed (they need to be dead straight of course).

- Knut
No
Hold on! All Teledraulic forks will have dampers. AMC changed the forks for 1955 by introducing 1-1/4" stanchions. Yes, they were 1-1/8" until then. No cartridge kit is needed. Teledraulic forks are superior by offering two way damping. Just make sure dampers and stanchions are in good nick. One worthwile modification is having the stanchions centerless ground and hard chromed (they need to be dead straight of course).

- Knut
No. The 48 to 50 forks did not have dampers.

That was a parts book the photo was taken from.

And also my friend who has some 40 years of experience working on old bikes from ABC to Vincent worked on a 1949 bike last year which also did not have dampers in the forks.

This is a fact. Not in dispute.

The strange thing is why.
 
Very unlikely. I am quite sure this a picture shortcoming. Just because the dampers were left out in the pic doesn't mean they were not present. Look up in the spares list.

- Knut
We did. That's where the photo came .

"Hold on! All Teledraulic forks will have dampers. "

No. That is incorrect. Please do not tell me to "hold on".

I guarantee you my friend knows what he is talking about. The first thing he did was go to his library of parts and workshop manuals.

I visited his workshop yesterday and in his shop being worked on for ccustomers or waiting to be picked up the bikes included two AJSs from 1930s and 50s a Trident, a Commando, his own Vincent Rapid and Velocette Venom, at least two BMW'S, an Indian, several Vincent engines several Triumph engines including his own GP engine plus BSA engines. Workshop is equipped with several laths milling machines grinders etc. he is actually trying to retire but still gets work all the time.

He is a go to guy for one off difficult engineering jobs for vintage cars and currently working on a Lagonda. I have also seen RollsRoyce, Bentley and BMW work being done.

He also worked over 20 years in probably the largest British bike parts supplier in the Southern hemisphere and spent a lot of time re engineering parts supplied by manufacturers so they would actually work.

He knows his stuff and has worked on AJS 1949 forks within the last year. He immediately knew they did not have dampers and commented it was most unusual given of course the earlier WD bikes did have dampers.
 
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"Hold on! All Teledraulic forks will have dampers. "

No. That is incorrect. Please do not tell me to "hold on".

I guarantee you my friend knows what he is talking about. The first thing he did was go to his library of parts and workshop manuals.

He knows his stuff and has worked on AJS 1949 forks within the last year. He immediately knew they did not have dampers and commented it was most unusual given of course the earlier WD bikes did have dampers.
Obviously he does. Sorry for misreading you. However, it's not correct to say there were NO dampers, they just looked different to the rod and plunger type which were re-introduced for 1951. Termed fork shuttle dampers, AMC experimented with a simplified damping arrangement for 1947-50. Why I do not know. This kind of damper may require fork oil with a higher viscosity.
My comment about the superiority of the Teledraulic fork applies to the 1957/8 onwards type. I believe the mods introduced can be adapted to the 1951 type.

-Knut
 

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To mdt-son , are the matchless 1 1/8 stanchions originally chromed ?
No, they were centerless ground high tensile bare steel and they do corrode, although AMC went to some length protecting the outer surface by rubber seals and application of grease. Still, they do get pitted, especially below the lower crown/yoke where sliders do not wipe the stanchions and where moisture creeps in. I guess AMC expected them to be replaced every 10 years or so when exposed to a moist climate.

I have managed to salvage a pair of genuine stanchions by hard chroming, but pitting should be light for this to succeed.

- Knut
 
My friend did a bit more research in his library.

In the two books Singles 1931 to 49 and Twins since 1949 written by F W Neil service manager for AJS and published by Pearson 1956 edition he says.

(Page 110 of the 1949 singles book)

For 48 and 49 the damper tube and rod was discarded and replaced by a shuttle damper on each inner fork tube.

This is illustrated on the diagram I showed earlier.

The shuttle is located above the lower fork bush and moves up and down contained by a circlip.

Neil also says in the later twins book. The shuttle dampening valve was discarded I 1950 because customers reported a clicking noise which could sometimes be cured by adding additional oil.

My friend checked and the shuttle valve pieces are in stock with UK AJS Matchless spares scheme but not stanchions. Stanchions used to be made in NZ but he is no longer up to speed on that. He got the last pair available in NZ but did have to machine the slot for the circlip.

So to answer the original post in this thread. The 49 bikes did not have the damper rods. What he has seems to be original. The shuttle dampening can be made to work and seems to have been only discarded because of noise issues.

I can get the name of the guy in NZ who has the remaining parts bought from Norm and Lynda Maddock if that's any help.

It's possible these models did not make it to Norway I guess. Back in those days NZ got a lot of British machinery and for example my father bought a new 1949 AJS spring frame in Whanganui from Percy Coleman Ltd. It was supposedly the 7 th spring frame ever built. The first 6 going to the Belgium army. He rode it several years snd sold it when he married. It was unfortunately latter destroyed under a tram in Wellington.
 

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Thanks for all that, good info , I will stick with the original shuttle , if you can pass on the name that would be great , hopefully the previous owner has got good components in there , they have that spring noise and obviously haven't got the rubber protective sleeves or have perished , just want it safer for braking and feel a bit more normal . Cheers Vaughn.
 
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