Fork with Open Closed Drop-Out

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Rides4Fun

Finally riding a big boys bike
Folks,

I’ve learned so much here, but am still a newbie in many respects, which prompts my question. I have a set up drop center wheels I picked up a few years ago (not sure what brand they are) and was trying to put the front wheel on my newly acquired mid-30’s Hawthorne Motorbike.

The drop outs are 3 3/4” out-to-out and the axle length is 5 3/8” and the drop outs are open one one side and closed on the other. Can’t get the axle in the drop out while in the wheel and can’t thread the axle all the way through. Please see the photos.
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Can someone let me know what I doing wrong, why it won’t work and/ or what my options are? I’m not the most mechanically inclined- hard to admit- but sincerely would appreciate a clear explanation to help. I’ve searched threads, but am still missing something with regard to understanding.

Thank you very much,

Barry
 

Rides4Fun

Finally riding a big boys bike
Thank you, Junkman Bob! I did try that, but the cone nut and bearings were still outside if the forks since I couldn’t thread them further toward the center than what the threads allowed. So, I’m wondering if the axle is too long at 5 3/8” and do they make shorter axles that would work? Thank you.
 

Archie Sturmer

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Somewhere on this site are threads about stretching forks over axles with only 2 arms (and legs).

I have used the method that ties one fork end to a secure door knob or tree; freeing both arms to pull the fork wide enough to install the axle/wheel in the fork. Slotted side first, and then hole side stretched.
Pre-favoring one side of the axle as @Junkman Bob suggests is most helpful.

The process is complicated if one uses modern wider hubs. And if a fork is recently painted, be sure to allow the paint to fully cure and harden; perhaps using paper or bubble-wrap to prevent scrapes and scratches.
 
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Rides4Fun

Finally riding a big boys bike
Thank you, Archie Sturmer, for your guidance
and insight! As a newbie, my discomfort seems to be with stretching the forks apart, without causing undue stress, unless that is inherent to the design. So, I am wondering if that is the norm or if I need to look for an axle that is shorter to fit my drop- center wheel, which is not orginal to the bike? The frame is an “x” stamped serial number mid-30’s Snyder Hawthorne frame. I appreciate any and all advice.
 

GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
The axle does look a little longer than what's needed. What all is going to be attached to the axle other then fender stays? Measure up after the axle is in the hub and see what will be sticking past the nut after it's all assembled. I wonder if Jack Handey has any deep thoughts about this one hole-one slit fork design. 🤣
 

jimbo53

I live for the CABE
Of course, sacrilege would be to cut the enclosed axle hole to match the open one. I’ve done this before without too many nightmares of recurring guilt, but it sure does make it easier to get the wheel off and on. Follow your heart on this. I’ll never understand why a builder would have one open and one closed axle hole (unless to prevent the wheel from falling out of the fork) but maybe someone could help explain it.
 

lee friend

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Somewhere on this site are threads about stretching forks over axles with only 2 arms (and legs).

I have used the method that ties one fork end to a secure door knob or tree; freeing both arms to pull the fork wide enough to install the axle/wheel in the fork. Slotted side first, and then hole side stretched.
Pre-favoring one side of the axle as @Junkman Bob suggests is most helpful.

The process is complicated if one uses modern wider hubs. And if a fork is recently painted, be sure to allow the paint to fully cure and harden; perhaps using paper or bubble-wrap to prevent scrapes and scratches.
 
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