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Discussion Starter #1
I'm starting the rebuild/reassembly of my basket case 1969 Bonneville. I'm examining parts as received from the PO and it appears that the speedo drive gear box is threaded on the rear axle. It would only come off by spinning up the threads and by all appearances will only go back on the axle by threading it back again. It is the original Smiths drive (correct ratio). Is this correct?
745065
 

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Hi Happyfeet, The Speedo drive when new is a slip fit over axle.

The axle nuts tend to crush the soft metal of the drive. This can press soft metal into axle threads & make it appear threaded. You can just wind it back on or file/drill hole back to slip fit.

This is huge problem on OIF drives as you must tighten axle tightly. But you pretty much have to drive out to remove as it’s swagged to smooth part of axle.

Your version the hollow axle nuts don’t need to be so tight. The solid axle must be tight though.

Personally I’d probably just wind it back on. You have to line up speedo drive with brake plate, so a little fiddling may be needed to get both lined up & nuts tight.

in every case make sure speedo drive, speedo cable are well lubed. Repro drives tend to be less durable than originals, so we need to protect drive. They like to be well lubed.

Clever machinists make & insert a steel bushing into drive center which is what factory should have done.
Don
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks,Don! This is my first go at a "dry frame" bike. Logic said it should be a slip over just like my 71 and 79. The 69 is designed a bit differently and just wanted to be sure. I think I will gently file it back to slip fit. As far as the bushing is concerned, if memory serves, my 71 and my friend's 72 have such a bushing in the design. Thanks again!
 

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Hi Happyfeet, The dry frame in my mind is easier to fit wheel in, but the chain guard is more difficult.

The later drive has smaller hole to fit the one piece axle. It never had a steel insert though. It can pinch axle so tight I’ve had to drive several axles out with a large punch. I file hole. Next time it’s tight again.

Anyway, you have a good plan.
Don.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Don, my frame and assorted bits are at the powder coat shop now so when I get everything back the reassembly and fun begins! I had given some thought to the chain guard and was thinking it might work best to install it before the wheel, as part of the frame if you will. I'll keep you posted. Thanks for your responses! HF
 

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Definitely a lot easier to install the chain guard before the wheel and rear fender. Do that first. No room to get hands in there if you do the chain guard last.
I found that out the hard way.

Rob
 
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