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Date:  5-22-2012
Number of Hours:  1.50
Manual Reference:  SNX-L02
Brief Description:  Nosegear Fork Drilling & Nosewheel

I did a task I have been putting off and dreading -- drilling the second 3/8" hole in my nosewheel fork. I have no idea why Sonex doesn't drill both holes at the factory, instead only drilling one side. Trying to get both holes aligned is critical, if it's off then the wheel will not run true. That can lead to premature tire wear and wheel shimmy.

After looking at other people's solutions to this, I decided to do it the way Michael Crowder did...I locked it in on the drill press, and ran the bit through the existing hole and down to the other side of the fork. Before that I had carefully measured and marked where I thought the hole *should* be centered.

This is a $300+ part, and there is a lot that can go wrong here...the fork has to be held tight in two dimensions, and I had my wife hold the long strut to take pressure off so that the weight didn't pull the drill off line. The distance between forks has to be 4.25", and from the factory it's a little wide. So I put a block of wood in there, clamped it down to the correct length, and used duct tape to hold that distance, which worked very well.

I brought the bit down and just "kissed" the metal to make a mark, which was almost exactly where my measured mark was. I remeasured it, saw it was good, and finished the hole. Overall, I don't think I could have made a better alignment and measuring afterward shows the alignment to be excellent. I'll only know for sure with the wheel on and rolling, but I think it will be great!

I also assembled the nosewheel per the plans, which went without incident.
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Strut Fork Drilled

Strut Fork Drilled

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Nosewheel

Nosewheel

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