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How to Make Roller Spring Perches
Images and conversion courtesy Day Scovel


The raw materials required for the roller perch modification are four R142RS sealed ball bearings and 2" diameter, 15-gauge steel tubing. The tubing is cut to 3" lengths and serves as the bearing housing. The R142RS bearings used are a fairly common sealed roller bearing, often used in roller skate wheels and other routine applications. The 1/2" thick bearing has a 7/8" inner diameter and 1 7/8" outer diameter. The bearing and tubing kit can be purchased from Day's website.

You can convert your existing perches (see page 2 for removal instructions) or use a new or used set. Either way they need to be taken apart.

The first step is to hammer or press out the mounting bolts. Then the shaft needs to be separated from the rubber and removed. We've seen this done any number of ways, such as using a propane torch to burn out the rubber. The method most efficient is to cut the tube lengthwise, pry it open, and pry the shaft and bushing out. Finally, remove the bushing tube Upon close inspection you'll notice one side of the bushing tube is "swedged" into the perch.

A hardware store 1 7/8" washer is tack welded to the perch to serve as a pilot for the hole saw. Position the washer slightly below the "fold" in the perch to ensure the bearing tube clears the underside of the perch by 1/8" to 1/4".


A 2" hole saw is used to cut holes in the perch for the bearing tube. Use a drill press to keep the holes aligned.

Prior to welding up the journal, we'll mock up the shaft and bearings in the perch in order to measured where the bearings with sit on the shaft. The bearings should sit centered on the wall of the perch for maximum strength. With the shaft centered measure the distance from the outside of the shaft to the center of the bearing.

Using the measurements in the previous step, use a sharp pointed punch to peen the circumference of the shaft at four to eight points.The divits will prevent the bearing from walking inward on the shaft. Day recommends creating a jig out of angle iron to keep the shaft from turning.

The 3" section of pipe can now be squared up in the openings and welded into position. Weld both the outside and inside edges of the perch for maximum strength.

A sanding roll is used to knock down and welds which have penetrated through the tubing wall. Finally a light touch with a brake hone may be used to true the journal back to a uniform inner diameter. Test fit the bearing to ensure proper fit and avoid removing too much material. This is also a good time to prime the perch for painting.

The shaft and bearings are now ready to be installed in the modified perch. Once assembled, the very edge of the bearing tube is carefully rolled over with a hammer to lock the bearing in position.

The final step is to squeeze the center of the tube to create clearance for the shock studs. This can be achieved by positioning the perch on two long punches and slowly squeezing in a vice as show.

(Installing Roller Spring Perches)
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