View Full Version : 1940 indian military chief

aka HAWG
08-24-2008, 07:20 PM
just purchased a 1940 indian chief fairly complete.

it is in military trim - can anyone help me comfirm it is a true military chief, is there anyway to tell?????

bike has been blasted of all original paint and covered in primer so this way is out

story was daughters uncle go just after the war, let it go a few years ago and sat in guy's livingroom, he tore apart, blasted then primered the bike ( had been painted when he got ), it sat in his livingroom till this afternoon when I purchased.

it is a canadian bike

how many military chiefs were built??????, any guess on how many left????

any help would be greatly appreciated

08-25-2008, 07:31 AM
A 1940 Military Chief will have a VIN that starts with CAV. Here is a link you may like!

Tom Wilcock
08-26-2008, 06:58 AM
There are numerous military chiefs and scouts in Canada with a different serial no. configuration. The left hand number boss on the engine has "MC". The right hand boss has the digits for the serial no. (no letters). Apparently these were made for the French military and were on a ship bound for France with other military supplies when Germany overtook France. The Canadian government confiscated the ship and all the cargo when it docked at the Halifax, Nova Scotia Harbor for more supplies. The military Indians made for the Canadian military did have CAV preceding the serial numbers. Tom

aka HAWG
08-26-2008, 10:02 AM
thanks for the info - the story that was told to me must be a bit off. I was told uncle used it at the military base in TRENTON ONTARIO, and purchased it from there after war

my vin has CDO.

tom - picked this up down the road from you, was going to stop in but really tired and had to get home. going to davenport???

keep any info coming

aka HAWG

08-28-2008, 09:40 AM
A 1940 military fork is slightly different than a civilian fork. The civilian fork will have heavy wall tubing welded to the main fork about 6" up from the rocker holes. This is for bolting the fender skirt. The military fork doesn't have this feature but I believe the military fork has indents where the tubing would be located. I hope that makes sense. I don't believe there are any structural or fundemental design differences between the civilian and military models other than the obvious bolt on components. 1940 Chiefs are quite unique and have many one year only items. If you go back in the history of this thread the 1940 Chief is discussed and all of it's peculiar parts are mentioned.

08-28-2008, 09:51 AM
That information about 1940 Indians is in the 4 cyl. thread on the 2nd page.

aka HAWG
09-05-2008, 10:37 AM
were do I find the frame numbers

aka HAWG

Chris Haynes
09-05-2008, 11:02 AM
Frame number is on the left side axle plate.

09-05-2008, 01:25 PM
Frame number is on the left side axle plate.

No it's not. It's right here! If it were on the axle plate you would be able to switch it from bike to bike!!


09-05-2008, 01:43 PM
I've seen it in both of these places on a 1940 Chief.


09-05-2008, 01:49 PM
I think Indian came to the same conclusion and switched the # location to the frame.

09-05-2008, 02:14 PM
I found a picture of a 40 Chief with the # on the slipper.


Chris Haynes
09-05-2008, 04:03 PM
[QUOTE=indianut;69727]No it's not. It's right here! If it were on the axle plate you would be able to switch it from bike to bike!!

Sorry for my lack of Indian expertise. I didn't know that models that early had a spongebottom frame. I was thinking rigid frame.

09-05-2008, 05:11 PM
Chris, The 1940 Chief was like the '58 Panhead of Indians! First year of plunger frame and first year of skirted fenders!

aka HAWG
09-08-2008, 10:27 AM
thanks for the help. the vin number was right under the shock as pointed out

as I go through the bike I will have more questions and hope the help flows freely

aka HAWG

10-05-2008, 07:28 PM
Actually, Some Canadian Military bikes DID have a VIN that was CDO. There is an existing list of those VIN's. If we knew your VIN we may be able to determine if it was a Canadian Military!

aka HAWG
10-06-2008, 08:24 AM
have been stripping diligently as time and weather permit. have found some traces of olive drap paint under smaller items the guy did not take when sand blasting.

motor number is CDO 3685
frame number is 3408612

thanks in advance to any more info

aka HAWG
1914 excelsior
1940 indian chief

aka HAWG
11-02-2008, 04:39 PM
looking for front lower military fender strut 14 1/2 inches long total - 13 inches hole to first hole- 11/16 between 1st and second. part number 75684

also looking for rear lower military fender strut - 15 1/2 inches total length - 14 3/4 hole to hole. part number 75681 or 75682 not sure if left or right side at this time will post tomorrow

does anyone have any info on what motor numbers the military cdo numbers were ( read that approximately 100 were cdoxxxx

aka HAWG

1914 excelsior belt drive single
1940 indian chief military

11-03-2008, 05:19 PM
According to Mr. Bruce Palmer, whom I have been relaying this information to, and who is writing a book on Military Motorcycles, to include both Harley and Indian, your VIN falls about in the middle of the VIN's that were indeed Canadian Military. From that information and what you have discovered (OD Green paint) you could probably assume your '40 is indeed a Canadian Military Model.