Resurrecting my 1941 Indian Four - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    They started a bit out of shape

    img_1173.jpg

    img_1175.jpg

  2. #22
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    Nice bike, wish it was mine, or I could find one with a sweetheart price. I've been playing with the idea of just building a bike from scratch, or more like miscellaneous parts, best idea for an engine so far is an air-cooled inline 4 Onan

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    Quote Originally Posted by kustomizer View Post
    I've thought about that a lot but I don't like the pinkish red metalig paint, I want it Indian Red which is almost blood red. I have dreamed of having one of these for a lot of years so it is going to have to look like the pics in my mind.

    When I worked at one of the three Indian dealers in South Chicago right after Indian failed in 1953-54, they called that color "Retail Red". The dealer found out that the used machines that he rebuilt would always sell faster if they were painted red,

    That's a lovely bike. What engine work are you planning? I understand from others I've known that there are upgrades that are beneficial in the oiling department on the fours. I don't know what those might be, though.

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  6. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman109 View Post
    When I worked at one of the three Indian dealers in South Chicago right after Indian failed in 1953-54, they called that color "Retail Red". The dealer found out that the used machines that he rebuilt would always sell faster if they were painted red,

    That's a lovely bike. What engine work are you planning? I understand from others I've known that there are upgrades that are beneficial in the oiling department on the fours. I don't know what those might be, though.
    +1 for "Retail Red", I have 3 red bikes and a red pickup, got a black bike in the mix somehow but I am not adult enough to ride that one.
    Come to think of it, I married a red head who has a red car, even my dog is red.

    I plan to drill the crank as modern engines are for better oiling, I may put hard seats in the cylinders for the exhaust valves, a new clutch as the ones that came with them were cork and prone to sticking. Other than that mostly just freshen it up depending on what I find inside, I think it is low milage but I did round up a set of NOS bearings and some trans pcs. I understand they have a low volume/high pressure oil pump in them so when I have it apart I plan to make a side by side comparison to a goldwing pump as they are low pressure high volume. A goldwing has 40lbs at idle where the indian 4 may have 10. I would make a housing to fit the Indian using the modern internals if my bench tests tell me I should and I plan to add an oil filter and cooler, from the factory they just ran in dirty oil, trans, clutch and engine all using the same oil. I was thinking a finned timing cover with oil passages and a filter mount made of aluminum plate might be a clean way to do it, we will see what we see when we open it up, I have concerns as the old guy that had it was trying to ride it with a stuck clutch, he may have been hard on the trany.

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    Before I quit riding motorcycles, I often went to the event at Laughlin, Nevada. Around the year 2000 (before the Hells Angels-Mongols shootout) I met a man there who had a beautifully-restored Indian Four. He had started with only the engine that he had traded for. A few years later, he was able to locate a frame and forks and, after a while he had the parts for a complete restoration.

    He told me that he had sent the speedometer out for repair and it cost him more than $1,000 for that alone. The bike was very nice, indeed and had done well at shows. They are really a labor of love when completed.

    Your idea for drilling the crank and replacing the exhaust seats sounds like the way to go.

    Good luck on it.

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  9. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman109 View Post
    Before I quit riding motorcycles, I often went to the event at Laughlin, Nevada. Around the year 2000 (before the Hells Angels-Mongols shootout) I met a man there who had a beautifully-restored Indian Four. He had started with only the engine that he had traded for. A few years later, he was able to locate a frame and forks and, after a while he had the parts for a complete restoration.

    He told me that he had sent the speedometer out for repair and it cost him more than $1,000 for that alone. The bike was very nice, indeed and had done well at shows. They are really a labor of love when completed.

    Your idea for drilling the crank and replacing the exhaust seats sounds like the way to go.

    Good luck on it.
    I think my speedo was around $600. but I may get a bit better deal on some of this stuff as I supply parts to some of these guys. Which reminds me I need to get after another batch of oil pressure gauges, I have a few guys pestering me again. There is nothing cheap about these old machines, I think there were only around 500 made in 1941 and a whole lot less in 42.

    I have a few books telling me what should be done and how well they work however they don't have much detail on how it was done like adding the oil filter without wrecking something that can't be put back, I will keep after the research keeping in mund that I have access to the kind of machine shop that most guys working on these old bikes only wish they had, I am hoping this turnd out to be an advantage.

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    I remember Jack Finglas had every year Indian Four from 1927 to 1940.....he also had hundreds of other bikes from the days when people gave bikes away to get rid of them....My brother collects knuckleheads ,and the prices he says for American speedos are crazy....to me anyway, as I dont know how many HD and Corbin speedos Ive sold for a few bucks each...$1000 for a weatheared,broken WLA speedo...He used to repair bike speedos from when he was about 8 years old,and now has cupboards full of them ,especially Chronometrics...Even has a Bonnicksen "Time and Distance Meter" as fitted to 1920s Broughs in new condition.He has a collection of NOS tank speedos that read both directions to around 20mph.

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    Quote Originally Posted by john.k View Post
    I remember Jack Finglas had every year Indian Four from 1927 to 1940.....he also had hundreds of other bikes from the days when people gave bikes away to get rid of them....My brother collects knuckleheads ,and the prices he says for American speedos are crazy....to me anyway, as I dont know how many HD and Corbin speedos Ive sold for a few bucks each...$1000 for a weatheared,broken WLA speedo...He used to repair bike speedos from when he was about 8 years old,and now has cupboards full of them ,especially Chronometrics...Even has a Bonnicksen "Time and Distance Meter" as fitted to 1920s Broughs in new condition.He has a collection of NOS tank speedos that read both directions to around 20mph.
    There are little hoards of parts for almost everything you can name, I was very supprised to turn up a full set of NOS engine bearings that only fit 38-42 and only available as a result of the internet. It is a good thing them old guys held onto this stuff but I fear in the near future a lot of that stuff will end up in the landfill as the younger folks just see it as old junk.

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    One thing about me is that the older and more rickety the better... personally I would rather own a flat belt drive single than a bike from the 20s or 30s... not saying I don’t like them I just admire the crudeness of an earlier bike or car or engine etc. Anyone that has any interest in motorcycles knows what the real early singles or twins can bring so back in 2010 I purchased a reproduction from a guy in Texas... I will drop a link for his bikes.. Timeless Motor Company I will say while not exact to an original it’s pretty dang close to the point that when I purchased mine and it arrived and I opened the crate I feel like I know exactly what it must have felt like back in 1910 buying one for the first time! I know to some die hard motorcycle guys these aren’t real so they don’t give them the credit that I feel they deserve but I was seriously impressed with the detail. I bought the “timeless classic” in black ... the gas tank hardware and some knobs I had done in polished brass... if anyone gets a chance and hasn’t heard of or seen these bikes I would suggest checking out the website in the link I provided. By the way I am no way affiliated with this company in any way .. just wanted to share what I think is a neat and cheaper way to get your fix on maybe owning an earlier style motorcycle without remortgaging your house.. I believe I paid a little over $11k shipped to my house.. the same bike today I think is about $1000.00 more but that’s understandable as I purchased mine about 10 years ago.

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    Thanks for that link, it is new to me and super cool, I need more HP as I live in steep mountians and have a big lard ass but for many it is a cool chance at a very nice looking machine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kustomizer View Post
    Thanks for that link, it is new to me and super cool, I need more HP as I live in steep mountians and have a big lard ass but for many it is a cool chance at a very nice looking machine.
    That's funny. Yer employer has been bragging online to her wealthy high-society socialite girlfriends that she had her private live-in cook and Chauffuer prep HER bike and take her for a tour of the aromas of the area. You'd have to know "nose brain" priorities?

    But she described it as a "warm and comfortable windbreak".

    Be grateful to the genteel "redheads" in yer life.


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    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    That's funny. Yer employer has been bragging online to her wealthy high-society socialite girlfriends that she had her private live-in cook and Chauffuer prep HER bike and take her for a tour of the aromas of the area. You'd have to know "nose brain" priorities?

    But she described it as a "warm and comfortable windbreak".

    Be grateful to the genteel "redheads" in yer life.

    I am living proof, she has no real taste

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    Quote Originally Posted by kustomizer View Post
    I am living proof, she has no real taste
    LOL! But they do... "binary". In the belly:

    FULL/NOT

    Food passes through a Dog's mouth too FAST to say "all their taste is in their mouth"!

    OTOH, whilst humans actually DO have an extraordinarly discerning sense of smell, [1] a Dog has about a 60:1 advantage. So they have "enjoyed" their food before it ever hits tongue and tooth!

    [1] Healthy human female can detect DNA abnormalities in a male's perspiration, avoid a mate that would produce unhealthy kids.

    Healthy human male can tell when his lady is ovulating, but only "up close and personal" (no.. her BREATH..). But Dog can detect estrus MILES away.

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    Its not horsepower that Indians need ,its braking power.....I will never ride a prewar Harley or Indian on the road ,the brakes are plain suicidal .

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    Quote Originally Posted by john.k View Post
    Its not horsepower that Indians need ,its braking power.....I will never ride a prewar Harley or Indian on the road ,the brakes are plain suicidal .
    Good friends of my parents had MET on their Indians as young-young folks. Club meet somewhere around Pittsburgh, PA. Coupla kids and a lotta years LATER what had become a same paint-job matched pair (sort of ivory?) came out a few times a year and "portlier posteriors" hit the saddle, then hit the road!

    Other-side neighbour had a Triumph "Bonneville". Guess Lucas must have invented the dead as well as the dark, as many times as we younger kids had to gang up for a push back UP the hill when he couldn't get it started going DOWN the hill!

    He finally traded it for a 1941 Ford Coupe with a '52 Chrysler Hemi. Balance on that animal resembled that of a skunk in the defense.

    All the mass in the nose trying to drag on the ground, ass bouncing up in the air to spray stink!



    Ettore Bugatti actually did "fair" brakes, but once when chastized as to not fair ENOUGH, shrugged it off with: "I make my cars to GO. Not to stop."

    "Brakes are a fool's accessory" was our byword, back when dam' near anything mobile on the American continents had s**t-lousy brakes and even worse tires, not just 2-wheelers.

    Mought have been our low population and vehicle density, (close to triple the headcount and easily six times the vehicle count today as when I was a kid). Lots of wide-open spaces, a dirt embankment or cornfield yer "Plan B" if need be.

    BTDTGTTS, meself, and more than just the one time!

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    Quote Originally Posted by john.k View Post
    Its not horsepower that Indians need ,its braking power.....I will never ride a prewar Harley or Indian on the road ,the brakes are plain suicidal .
    My 741 Indian came with the stock brakes. The front one was so poor that the effect was barely noticeable. Lee Cowie gave me a set of Norton linings and that cured the problem. Panajachel Guatemala is in an extinct volcano crater and the slope down to it is 11 miles of steep road. As I went down it, riding the brakes constantly, the front brake lever kept getting closer to the handlebar. As the drum heated, it expanded and required more movement. I realized that if the lever touched the handlebar, I was in deep doo doo, so I stopped and let it cool. Burned the paint off the drum but not a bit of fade.

    I rode the bike in most states east of the Mississippi, Canada and from Brownsville to Panajachel and back and that was the only problem I had with brakes.

    OTOH, the brochure for the '30 101 Scout brags that their new front brake has brought one from 60 mph to a complete stop in only 12 seconds. My 101 was just as bad. Riding it I was in constant fear that someone would cut me off, figuring that I had plenty of room to stop, but I didn't. I didn't take any long trips on it.

    Bill

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    I had my Chief relined by a guy that does old racing bikes, I told him I didn't care how long they lasted or if they wrecked the drums, when he got done the brakes were pretty darned good and I rode it for several years without any problems. I will be sending him these and this time I will find out what he uses. back in the day they made a mechanical/electric beake for the front but the whole idea scares me.

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    Dual leading drums can be great stoppers if set up properly. I'd rather have those (on my vintage bikes) than single disk setups
    on the newer ones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim rozen View Post
    Dual leading drums can be great stoppers if set up properly. I'd rather have those (on my vintage bikes) than single disk setups
    on the newer ones.
    This is a good idea, I would have to have the guy in the shop make a new backing plate, cams and linkage but I think he would do it.

    norton2a_12_sb.jpg

    Here is a nice artical showing the process : Converting Harley-Davidson Drum Brakes to Dual Leading Shoe Comments

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    Friday we made a trip over to Helena MT and dropped off a small pile of pieces to be re-chromed, it was kinda snowy on the passes.
    I asked them to strip the chrome off my tailpipe so I can bend and weld it, it took less than 5 mins, somehow I had it in my mind it might take hours.

    img_1231.jpg


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