|Late model Chiefs (1940-53) are probably the most popular Indians, and the most usable if your riding includes longer trips and motorways (freeways, autobahns etc). I have most parts you will ever need for your Chief, and I will be making an updated list of all this as soon as possible. Here is a small selection of Chief stuff for now - including some for the late 1930s rigid frame models; most engine parts etc are the same as the later models. Please keep in mind that some of these parts are in limited production, or made to order only, meaning that they may not always be in stock and that it may take some time for more to be made. So - as always - it is a good idea to plan ahead and order your parts in plenty of time before you will need them.|
|You don't need all that many special tools for working on your Indian. I will try to make a list soon. I have all of them, either in stock or to order, so ask if you need any special Indian tools. Here's a start. Valve cover pliers, high-strength aluminium; strong, but soft enough not to mangle the knurling on your late-model valve spring covers. Can be dismantled for cleaning. Fits Chief, 741 and Sport Scout from 1939 up. P/N VCPLIR. 2023 still available- ask.||
Aluminum valve cover pliers.
|IPE has fenders and other sheet metal for most models and years, but most of it to special order (there are a lot of different fenders and I can't afford to have everything in stock at all times). Here is an example - in the new trademark IPE orange primer! This is a 1936-39 rigid frame Chief rear fender. It is sort of a generic version (these years had small differences; or at least different part numbers - the only real difference I have found is the position of the hole for the tail light wire; but that's not drilled here yet, so you decide the year!) that will work for all years and look the part with the typical inset sides, press formed chain cutout etc. It has a nifty hinged rear part for easier wheel removal - or to be left off for that cool bobber look. See an example of this fender in bobber mode here. This fender, and many other Indian fenders, can be adapted for other models, if you want to make your Indian a little different. The picture here shows a 1940-45 spring frame Chief with 1939 front and rear fenders, and chain guard. I took the photo in Slovenia, at the International Indian Rally there in 2002 (the best food of any of these rallies so far!). Nice bike. P/N 92938, rear fender 1936-39 Chief. SOLD OUT - ask for price/availability.||Click
photos to enlarge
|And - staying with the cool late 1930s rigid frame Chiefs - here is a horn bracket for up to 1937 Chief leaf spring forks. I am not sure how far back this was used, but maybe all the way back to 1931 when the new (1931-37) handlebars with the ear in front for the high mounted head lamp was introduced. The bracket can be used for other years if you want to mix and match Indian parts to come up with your own interpretation of The Perfect Chief (like with a handlebar mounted head lamp with the horn underneath). I also have the rest of the horn mounting parts - for most models and years - to order, if you need them. P/N 74169, 1931-37 Chief horn bracket. SOLD OUT - ask for price/availability.||
1931(?)-37 Chief horn bracket.
|New Chief cylinders, 1940-53. These are made in India ("Genuine Indian Parts", no?), but totally reworked, bored and honed to your pistons (or mine, but in case of yours I need to know the clearance required) and valve seats cut. The material used in these cylinders is really good, but the workmanship and standard of machining is atrocious. To make these cylinders actually work, IPE makes sure all surfaces are parallel or at right angles, as the case may be, remove the stock (leaky and badly lined up) nipples, line up the nipple holes in the cylinders, cut new threads and fit new O/S nipples. Valve guides are modified to give the correct valve spring height, and a few other little tricks performed. A lot of work, yes, but necessary to make these cylinders usable. In my opinion the India cylinders are only fit for use as paperweights (but then they can hold down a lot of paper for you!) as they are, but really nice when reworked into what they should have been from the start. You may want to keep this in mind when seeing them on eBay, or at least examine them closely and form your own opinion, P/N 93070/1. Set of 2 with manifold nipples and valve guides: SOLD OUT||
New Chief cylinders from IPE.
Note: Valve covers etc not included, see text.
steel valve spring covers will add some class to your Chief engine.
They are interchangeable with stock 1940-53 covers and will fit on your
stock pushrod guides. The covers are sealed with an o-ring, so there will
be no oil leaks here! P/N 339003/4SS, set of 4 covers: SOLD
OUT. IPE also has 40-53 Chief valve spring covers in cadmium
or chrome SOLD OUT If you need the
1936-38 clip-on type covers, I have these to order also.
Also in the photo right are stainless steel pushrod guides with bronze liners. The stock cast iron guides last pretty well, but are often worn out by now (after only 60+ years!). New cast iron guides are available (EUR350.00, (EU) EUR280 (World) for a set of 4), but if you want to brighten up your Chief a bit, these nifty stainless guides are worth considering. There was a bit of worry when the stainless guides were first made, that the bronze liner might not last very long, but we have had several Chiefs running with them for 10 years now (some of these doing serious mileage), without any wear problems, so this doesn't seem to be a problem. And the liner can be renewed when time comes, so this should be the last pushrod guides you will ever need to buy. In the pic to the right of here you see the renewable bronze liners with internal scroll (spiral) for the oil to travel along. A set of 4 stainless steel pushrod guides for your Chief, P/N 41814SS, costs SOLD OUT. Stainless pushrod guides and valve spring covers are also available for 741. Stainless valve spring covers are available for 101. See the 741 and 101 pages for more info on this.
IPE Stainless valve spring covers and pushrod guides.
|IPE has authentic looking reproduction leaf spring forks for most models to order (meaning that they are not all in stock all the time, as they are made by hand to order, which takes time, so plan ahead and order in good time before you need one). The one in the photo is for a ~ 1936-39 Chief or Four. Also available is the slightly longer 1940 forks, but be aware that you can't fit skirted fenders, only military or bobbed fenders. The reason is that it hasn't been possible for economic reasons to make a steel mould for the wider center casting of the later forks, so they are made with the 1939 casting, which is the same but a little bit narrower. Another detail that isn't 100% correct is the little triangular stops on the rockers. The rockers are actually 101. The factory also used these basic patterns, but moved the stop for the later Chief forks. If this bothers you, you can easily cut off the stops, move them and weld them on again. The material of these castings welds nicely. Other than that the forks look like factory parts, as I hope you can see in the photo. Individual parts for repair (main frame, links, springs) are also available to order, but again usually not in stock. I hesitate to mention this, what with me making fun of the Milwaukee "Pigs" and that, but you can also get the forks with a 1" stem to mount on one of those. Some years ago there was a craze for this (which is quite understandable if you have tried riding with one of their springer forks!), led by a certain US hot rod builder, whom IPE supplied with special leaf spring forks for some time. Complete Chief leaf spring forks, P/N CHFFX1. ASK. The forks may need minor tweaking before fitting. All forks of this type are very sensitive to even minor misalignment, so plan on spending a little time getting to know your new forks.||
Chief reproduction leaf spring forks from IPE.
More pics here. See also 101 page.
|Steering head bearings for leaf fork Chiefs is a problem area. The factory setup with loose balls tends to get sloppy pretty fast, and the traditional fix has been fitting a modern ball bearing (P/N 42742R, 2023 still available - ask. instead of the top bearing cup in the frame. The top cone needs to be turned down for this. New top cone, P/N 42742, 2023 still available - ask. - you will need to perform the lathe surgery yourself, but it is pretty clear what needs to be done when you have the parts in your hand. Or IPE can do it for you, email to discuss. I also have all the original parts if you prefer that. The lower bearing cup in the frame is best replaced with a new taper roller bearing (P/N 38854, 2023 still available - ask. which is a huge improvement over the stock setup. All of this fits leaf spring Chiefs from at least the late 1930s to 1945, and probably earlier models too, but I haven't had a chance to verify that yet.||
Top cone for stock balls or conversion to modern ball bearing.
neatly brings us to... this nifty Stainless Top Cone with Taper Roller
Bearing! P/N 42742SSX, SOLD OUT - but
ASK about alternatives While the ball bearing conversion above
works well enough, a taper roller bearing is number one for this application.
The stainless cone also looks fabulous - especially if paired with the
stainless 17B3 top nut also available from IPE. Unplated (for painting
- or not; for that fashionably rusty rat rod look, no?) and chrome plated
17B3 nuts are also available:
Stainless taper roller top steering head bearing kit (top cone, bearing and frame cup) for leaf spring fork Chiefs. Use P/N 38854 taper roller for the bottom bearing (see above).
|TECH TIP. One of the more bothersome construction details on leaf spring forked Indians is the way the handlebar center casting sits against the threaded steering head stem. This means that the middle hole in the handlebar casting wears oval over time. As the handlebars are, in effect, the top "fork yoke" here, it isn't a such a great idea to have them flop around on the fork stem. You can fly-cut the hole back to (oversize) round (retaining the original center), counterbore the top of the (stock, repro or stainless) top cone, and fit a short piece of tube that is a snug fit in both the counterbore of the cone and in the new handlebar hole, securely locating the handlebars relative to the stem. Another way of doing the same thing could be to turn down the lower part of the hex of a top nut, forming a locating dowel at the bottom face of the nut, going into the handlebar center hole. This might be easier, but personally I like the first version best. I may get around to offering this as a kit (you will most likely still have to get your handlebar center hole done locally, as handlebars are not among the easiest and cheapest items to wrap up and send across the world) if there is sufficient demand.||
17B3 nuts, left unplated, front stainless, right chrome (sorry about the blurry photo - the nuts look much better in real life!)
|Oil filters are always a good idea, but they are usually not all that pretty, and the more oil lines and stuff, the more chances of leaks. One of the neatest setups ever is this filter that fits inside the tank on Chief, 741 and Sport Scout. It just slides over the return tube in the tank. If you look at the photo to the right, pretend that the red line across the threads on the return tube is the bottom of the tank. The black rubber on the end of the filter seals against the tube. You can still check that oil is returning; it bubbles nicely from the filter when everything is ok. To change the filter, you just pull it up by the little handle on top (see photo), after having drained the tank (the accumulated crud usually stays in the filter, but if a little falls out it is easy to flush out of the tank). Every Indian deserves one! 2023 still available EUR30.00 (EU), EUR24.00 (World). If you want something more elaborate, there is a super nice black anodized aluminum setup for car-type paper element filters on the special offers page.||
In-tank oil filters from IPE.
|As you may have read about on the VI, or on the IPE news page (or very likely experienced yourself), leaky manifolds is one of the most common of Indian problems, and can be seriously bad for your engine. Here is a brand new aluminum manifold for 1940-53 Chief, complete with cadmium plated nuts and custom cut PEEK sealing cones (sorry about the bad photo, the manifolds look better in real life), ready to bolt on, P/N 74062X: 2023 still available - ask. If you want to fit one of the popular Keihin CV carbs to your Chief, I also have special manifolds for this, see the new parts page. And if you like shiny things, I have some chromed Chief manifolds on the special offers page. I make a little fun of these, but they can be made to work fine with a bit of work; I used to use them before the aluminum manifolds were available. So if you are prepared to put a little work into it, they can save you some money.||
New aluminum Chief manifold from IPE. Comes with cadmium plated nuts and custom cut PEEK sealing cones.
|Speaking of Keihin CV carbs, I have some parts for these, in addition to the special manifolds. If you haven't already been there, Jim Mosher has done a ton of CV research, and presents the results on his website, where you can also find some very interesting thoughts on cams and ignition timing, among other things. Jet kit , P/N CVJET1 (which will cover most Chief and Scout needs) Sold out. Carb rebuild kit, with seals, gakets, o-rings and float needle, P/N CVKIT1 Sold out A new Choke cable, often missing or broken on swap meet carbs (not in photo), P/N CVCHK, Sold out. The big CV carb will be in the way of the petrol tap on some Indians, but you can fix that with the little angle fitting in the photo, P/N 437001 ASK. I also have an assortment of petrol taps, with and without filters, that I will list asap, but in the meantime, just ask if you need more info on any of this.||
Parts for Keihin CV carb. Left is an angle fitting to place the RH petrol tap horizontally to clear the big CV carb. Jet kit in the middle (the wood screw is a Harley carb special tool!) and to the right a rebuild kit with gaskets, seals, float needle etc.
|Valve guide seals on Indians? Yes, it actually makes sense. Indian valve guides tend to wear out fast, and they often pass a lot of oil into the cumbustion chambers where it builds up on the pistons, and sometimes come loose and scratch up the cylinder walls. Some long-distance Indian riders (among them Dave Kilgore) have used these seals for years with very good results. I haven't tried them myself, but will be fitting them in 4 or 5 Chief engines for the 2009 season, and will try to report back next time one of these engines is torn down for inspection. The seals are made of rubber with a spring clip and teflon liner (which doesn't stop the oil from getting into the guide, merely meters it in reasonable quantities rather than the usual gush). They fit nicely on stock and most after market Chief valve guides, P/N VGSEAL, set of 4: Not available any more.||
Teflon-lined valve guide seals from IPE (who also has these super nice hard-chromed stainless Chief valves and really good cast iron guides for your Chief! - See below)
steel valves for 1940-53 Chief with hard chrome plated stems, P/N 42545/6,
each Sold out - but alternative available - ASK
Really good cast iron valve guides for 1940-43 Chief, P/N 43647,
ASK (I also have guides for earlier
Chiefs to order, as well as for other models). Valve springs, 1940-43 Chief,
set of 4, P/N 39909: ASK. Valve
springs collars and keys etc also in stock.
While we are in the valve train department, I can't resist posting this photo (if nothing else because the sun light playing on it - pic was taken outside - reminds me that it can also be sunny here, not only snowy like in some of the other shots on these pages). I will list everything as soon as possible - although I think I need a little break from web work after finishing this first edition of the new IPE website, so it may be a little while before I have everything online - but it kinda hints at how much stuff I have for your Indian.
Chief valve train parts from IPE. Just a selection; I have more!
of the best things about riding an 101 is the direct feel when shifting
with the lever mounted directly on the gearbox with no linkages or stuff.
You can get the same feel on a late Chief by fitting a jockey shifter.
The lower shifter in the photo is a faithful replica of the shifters the
factory supplied to some police customers (who presumably needed that direct
feel when shifting) in polished stainless steel (the last one of these;
now only available in chrome). The shorty is a special, custom made one
I have had on a Chief but don't need anymore. Also in stainless. The neat
thing about stainless is that you can just give it a polish and it will
be good as new. You can see another, slightly longer (the shorty is seriously
short), version of this on the "99% New Chief" here.
Anyway. These shifters are both for right-hand use, but I actually had
the shorty on the left, so there is some leeway for personal initiative
here. Police shifter, including the little pin to fasten it to the shifter
fork shaft, but without knob, P/N POLSFT, ASK
The shorty, starting to build up a nice patina (OK, it has a few scratches,
but they will polish out!), also without knob,
P/N SHORTY, sold
out. The price of shifter knobs varies, see table below.
Cool shifter knobs and stainless jockey shifters from IPE.
The babe on the knob is Lady Luck (not Betty friggin' Boop!) and she is an old flame for various tribes of motorheads, having graced both classic hotrods and WW2 B24 bombers (pic here).
Lower center in pic is Saint Christopher (a little extra insurance!), and the others are 8 Ball, Laughing Indian in red, white or black, and (on the shorty lever) a smaller diameter, very simple and understated, ivory knob with an engraved black line drawing of the Laughing Indian.
These knobs are beautifully made and a joy to hold. There are more, but I have those models in the photo in stock (more than one of each, of course) at the moment. I will try to take some better photos to better show how nice the knobs are. A 3/8" jam nut (to keep the knob from rotating on the shift lever) is included with all knobs.
Prices in Euros
Ordering or questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
more information on prices, ordering, payment,