S&S Machine’s Bicycle Torque Couplings (BTC) allow frame separation without affecting the trikes’ rigidity or integrity.
fig. 17
The key to the couplings’ ability to maintain a frame’s strength is the material they are made of and their design. Most specifically their precision, tapered teeth that lock out all movement between the two frame sections when the coupling nuts draw the lugs together and are tightened with a spanner wrench. In actual torsion, tension and bending tests, the couplings are stronger than the frame tubes themselves. Though a frame can be separated into two pieces when the couplings are loosened, they will hold the frame together in perfect alignment, rigidity and safety as a regular one-piece frame when tightened.

Warning check the tightness of couplings with spanner provided before every ride as they may loosen off.

Cleaning and inspecting the Couplings during Regular Use

Attention If your couplings are stuck, before doing anything, go to section 4.0!!!

1.0  The couplings must also be kept clean from all dust and abrasive materials during assembly so that wear of their contact surfaces will be minimized and so they will open and close smoothly without damage to the threads, shoulders and teeth, etc.

2.0  Clean the couplings periodically, especially if you detect debris inside or turning it feels rough.

2.1  Use a firm plastic brush (tooth brush) on the teeth and threads.  Note Be careful not to push particles into the threads, retaining ring area, behind the retaining rings or into the frame tubes.

2.2  Blow out the couplings with air while shaking the nut if necessary. Wear eye protection!

2.3  Make sure there is no foreign material left on the shoulders, rings or just inside the coupling bore.

3.0  The threads of the coupling nut and threaded lug should they ever feel rough when turning.

3.1  We highly recommend placing a small amount of Dupont  Teflon Bearing Grease inside the nut and on the threads after a good cleaning. This is the best lubricant we have found that offers superior protection.

4.0  A rough turning nut due to abrasive blasting media, debris or lack of lubrication demands special attention. Of 40 lubricants tested, only two have been found to work well for aiding this problem: Liquid Wrench Super-Lube with Teflon and Permatex  Super-Lube with Teflon, both in aerosol form. Accept no substitutes. Grease or simple oil forms do not work.

4.1  Spray the fluid into the threads from both ends to be assured of adequate penetration.

4.2  Work the nut slowly back and forth with the spanner wrench. It should begin to loosen almost immediately. If as the nut is being loosened, it begins to turn with difficulty again, reverse the direction, apply more lubricant and try again.

4.3  After the coupling is opened, clean thoroughly according to the above instructions.

Be sure to adequately protect the teeth on the couplings when disassembled as they can be burred over when hit against something hard or cause damage to other components when packed into a box/case/bag.

Warning check the tightness of couplings with spanner provided before every ride as they may loosen off.