Last Updated November 5, 2011
Part 5 - Fit to Roll 
The Worst is Over...

By Grizzy

Firstly, I would like to apologize for lack of corespondence on this build due to things beyond my control - and to anyone who has bothered to follow this rubbish, sorry! 

A lot of what has been happening here is straight off the top a my head. I don't think a lot of what I am trying out has been done on an Indian before - especially an old pre-1930 one. So everything has been done without drawings, apart from the odd sketch and several mock-ups (we have a phrase in the UK for a mock-up its known as Blue Peter-ing). Don't knock it. Sometimes, if you can take a mock-up to the next level and keep adding bit by bit to it, things can work out.

Which is what has happened with the oil pump situation. I knew what I wanted but didn't know how to get it .

The easy part, I thought, would have been the cams and shafts, as in two front shaft for 1948-53 aluminum pump. So I took them to a local cam producer. "No job too big or too small" was the legend on the gate. Fantastic, that will do for me! I also had a problem with the drive gear off the crank drive shaft. Although I think it is a 101, it is the same mesh as the rest of the drive train, but the gear sat off the drive shaft by 3/8" so I could not get a nut on it. 

I needed the taper opening out to drop it on the shaft further, and asked where they thought I could get it done. One of the guys there took one look and told me to come back in an hour and bring cash. All done, cash paid. Brilliant! (the boss was away). 

But the cams were a different case. A total of nine weeks of phone calls, and three visits, ended up with me taking them back and doing the job myself (that realy hurt my head, with grown-up mathematics and all!). 

So now we have "dodgy" cams on a pair of 769003 shafts - forged and crafted in the depths of a Pratts Bottom back garden. I am not that sure how they will turn out (my engineering, I have been told, resembles a blacksmith at a potter's wheel when I use a lathe - pha!), so there is no point in going into detail of degree measurements about the cams untill we get some sort of read-out.

I have been told they are methanol hillclimb cams for a 4-7/16" stroked Scout, developed to give good torque at the lower rev range. I am hoping they will sort a slower reving Chief of the same stroke, and allow me to pull the high gearing I need to get this old girl to go fast! More then, when we know if it has been worth the pain and effort - OR if I've been spun a good yarn (sold a pup).

I tried to get the cams and oil pumps inside the timing cover, but it turned into a lash-up that looked so wrong - not just for an Indian but any self-respecting machine! I have used a combination of the Chief timing cover and the AMC pump mount.

To accommodate the cams I have had to replace the valve springs. This is not a straight-out-of-the-box job either. The early Chief is a different animal than the late; the valve springing is very much in the "antique" era. 

For the extra lift, I have reduced the spring heat shield by half. I will be running methanol so a heat shield is less important. This has now given me 3/8" to play with, and enable me to have a better design of longer travel and better poundage for the new springs. I had Paul Savage out of the VMCC wind me up some, the guy is a one man band but, boy, does he know springs!

As there is a limited "sump" on these early Chief motors, I need to get the excess oil away from the flywheels as soon as the scrapers (see part 3) have scraped it off.

I am trying out a remote collector. I have opened out the lower sump drain hole to 5/8" and tapped a thread to accept a short tube with a flange on it. 

This is directed into a flask that is lower than the sump and of 1-1/2" in diameter at entry point. The flask has a take-off at the top for a breather. The breather is a one way valve fixed on rigid tube so that the momentum of the breathing process isn't damped by flexy tube, and allows it to be both remote and higher - thus less prone to oiling up and sticking. The one-way valve is at the brass connector.

As there are no other breathers on the engine, the theory is that the draining of the oil into the flask will be helped by the breathing process through the 5/8" drain hole. The return oil collected in the flask which has an oil pump pickup at its lowest point.

Intake. I have increased the carburettor size to a 1-1/2" Linkert M74B, which has a four-bolt fixing. Just putting on a tapered adaptor, the carb would stick out past my knee, so I constructed a manifold.

As I am starting carte blanche, it has enabled me to open up the inlet stubs to 1-1/4" (they were 1") so the transition from 1-1/4 " to 1-1/2"....

... is much easier. But with the sweep of the bends the carb still stuck out past my knee.

I tried casting something (FAILED)
I beat the crap out of sheet (FAILED)
I tried machining (pha!) out of a block of aluminium - (FAILED MISERABLY!)

I have ended up using plumbing fittings silver soldered together - turned, filed  worked and moulded to make a manifold...

... even the four bolt Linkert flange is made out of an old  brass door hinge .

This is not my ideal manifold, because this is what I had in mind.

I am still working on the one you see as a sketch; it became soo time consuming I had to pull the plug until later. But this one will do for now, it keeps the carb tighter to the bike and ups the intake size . 

The gearbox has suffered greatly. 

The gods only know what this gearbox was like when it was in use. The drive side bearing had collapsed - remarkably the clutch hub bearing had not. But the bronze bush in the clutch hub was worn into a cone shape. The counter shaft gear actually rattled on the shaft!

The gear ratios are different to late Chief. Early counter shaft gear has 14/18/22 teeth, slider gear 14/18. Late 14/17/22, slider 14/19. A lot of people would say, after seeing the state of my gears, use a new later set (you tight git!).

But I actully think the early second-gear ratio is more suited to my needs and, although the gears I have are shot to bits, I would kick myself for not at least trying them out. I cleaned them up as best I could and am sure the are usable (just!). I will be fitting a 17/19 set for comparison at a later stage anyway.

After a discusion with Moen, we fitted IPE counter shaft roller bearings. I belive the bronze bushing in this area is a problem for Indians, and I consider this a "must" modification, even for road use.

Having ordered the bearings, bushings and counter shaft update kit from IPE, I set about chasing the bronze out of the counter gears, which was easy enough, but only to be confronted with such a mess of machining inside the counter gear cluster - it was as rough as a bear's arse. I could have cried! 

I couldn't go back to the cam shop, as I left them on, let's say, none-to-good terms. Most places I tried just weren't interested, every one else said ''just use later gears'' - but that's not the point.

Then I dropped into a mate of mine for a cup'a tea. He was repairing his MB jeep's brakes, re-rubbering the brake cylinders and using a hand drill with a $1.99 hone to take the ridge of the cast iron slave cylinders. EUREKA!!

I kissed the top of his shiny head, told him he could poke his tea, I'm off to get one of them things - Cheers! - and went to the local motor factors and bought a $1.99 honing kit.

I had nothing to lose -and the rollers would not fit with the corrugated machining, it was far to tight. It took me most of all day with cutting oil and running the hone up and down the gear in my stand drill to get it to all fit but yes, another triumph for us sheddies! (engineers, I shit 'em!)

The gearbox is all together now and feels good - much to everyone's suprise. The clutch control is straight off the worm gear, it saves buggering...
Click for big picture
... about with linkages and puts it near enough to where the rear-set fits best. As the kicker isn't needed, I have put the 9'' angry grinder straight through the casting, that saved about 7lb of excess iron! 
Click for big picture
I have had plenty experience with a KING clutch in Geronimo over the years. I've done burn-outs out side the pub on club night just to prove it can be done with a foot clutch. And I've pulled some outrageously tall gearing at times. Living around here you are on and of the clutch all the time. 

The general abuse the product gets and stands up to has impressed me, enough so to use the same again in this build - so back to IPE again, one KING clutch complete with springs please, Moen? I use ALL the springs as nature and Indian intended, the KC sorts it right out - (thats the way "ahh ha ah ha" I like it "a ha a ha").

The exhaust was pure joy to do, and was made from my favourite source of free tubing; discarded office furniture - made my day welding that lot up! 

Click for big picture


Earlier Installments of the DiXiE Story:

Part 1 - Presentation

Part 2 - End Float Mystery

Part 3 - DiXiE Oils Up!

Part 4 - Pumphouse Preview

Main DiXiE Page


More Chouts and Vintage Sprinting:

Click to read more about DiXiE on the VI
The Birth of DiXiE on the VI

Click to visit the Indian Chout Breeders Association website
Indian Chout Breeders Association

Click to visit the VMCC sprint section site
The VMCC Sprint Section

Click to visit the NSA website
National Sprint Association

Geronimo on the VI
Part 1 (part 2 here) - Maybe not a Chout in the strictest sense, as the frame isn't from a Scout (it was originally a BSA!), but it shows how you can give things your own twist if you don't have the "correct" Indian parts. Geronimo was also built by Grizzy, the builder of DiXiE and author of the story on these pages. The earliest issues of the VI (where the links above go to) look a bit odd in today's screen resolution, but don't let that scare you away from reading a great article.

Land Speed Racing Chout on the VI

I think we are over the brow of the hill, turned the corner, last rung on the ladder, burnt all our metaphors. This has been one hell of a build so far, and I can now see my way to the end. I still have the carb to rebuild and convert to dope and some sort of ignition distributor/coil setup to make, a compensator for the front brakes - and fixtures, fittings and finishes (paint) still to do - but this winter should have DiXiE fit for the new season.

More to follow!

Comments or questions to Grizzy at Home