Sometimes I get a bit tired of hearing people whine about how impossible and expensive it is to find the right parts from way back when, yeah sure Vard forks are super hard to find, and they sure are expensive too, but HEY! What if you lived back in 1945 and wanted an Öhlins frontend from 2012 more than anything, now THAT would be something to REALLY whine about, just get some fucking perspectives for Christ’s sake.
Here's two sets of cast Vard fork covers fresh from the foundry, I made sure they got a good 2 millimeter extra on top since I’ve heard they were bound to break when you tightened the fork leg’s top bolt. All I have to do now is put them up in the lathe, remember to remove the chuck key and cut the holes up to size, and make sure the top surface looks exactly like the original one, the top is flat right now and the original cover has a ‘step’ around the hole. And finally I also have to fit the new covers in the mill and cut the sides where the triple trees go in, and then comes the hard part - deciding on whether painting them black or running them just as they are...
And here are the casting molds made from the original Vard covers, note the internal step and minimal cone shape, these are the things that makes them too complicated to do in any other way that to just cast them, and the original covers were cast so it's all perfectly perfect. But when I first thought of doing these I wanted to cheat and machine a set from an aluminium round-bar, well due to the internal step and cone that is something that would be impossible, so I'm really glad I choosed to do them like they did in the 40's even though this sure is a super time consuming process.
Here’s one of the original Vard top bolts, these bolts has the weirdest check valves I’ve ever seen, I just love them. Just look at the 1/4" thick hexagon brass ‘membrane’ that slides freely inside the bolt, they also have this elegant pressed in brass piece that keeps the hexagon from falling out (it had to be threaded to be pulled out, they are not threaded originally)
Ok, now I have about as many thread tools as anyone but I still haven’t been able to figure out just what threads these were, so I had to measure and trace the threads from the original bolt ...Well, let's just say I didn’t exactly make it home for dinner on time that day.
Here you can get a good look how one of these super cool brass valves are closed and the other one is open...
The bolts as you can see also needs to have this super tiny air bleed hole drilled on the sides.
And finally, two new undamaged axle caps, if you look closely you can see how the holes are not drilled in the exact same locations if you compare one cap to the other, that's because that's exacly how the fork legs are drilled, my guess is they did these on free hand and didn't have any sissy jigs to hide behind... Bring back the 1940's!