PDA

View Full Version : '47 Chief- finally starting the build



TH47Indy
10-08-2016, 01:25 PM
I purchased a '47 Chief rolling basket from the original Jerry Greer in around 1994 when he had his shop in Stanton, Californina. I started on the bike, then running a business, life, other projects, and lack of time or lack of extra money got in the way.

I recently pulled everything from the crate and and started doing inventory of what parts need to be repaired or purchased. I had a great time going through everything again, it was like buying it all over again.

When I bought it the engine had been rebuilt and never started, but not by Jerry and we don't know who did the rebuild or how well it's done. Just had the frame and forks sandblasted and just by using several levels and protractors I believe the frame is pretty straight. It also looks like someone may have already done some work on the frame and forks. But still going to have it and the forks checked out by a pro.

I plan on doing as much of the work as possible. Even the paint. I used to run a body shop when I was in my late teens and wasn't great at paint but figure I'll try and if I screw it up I'll have a friend do it.

Obviously I'm not looking to build a show bike, just a good reliable ride with decent looks.

Here's a few pictures of the bike when I first bought it, and a couple of the sandblasted frame.

Looking forward to getting a lot of advice from this forum and also open to suggestions and opinions.

Thanks.
Terry
1840618407184081840918410

Tom Lovejoy
10-09-2016, 12:23 AM
Very cool Terry, good luck and keep updates as you go. Fun reading about others progress. I hope to start a build this coming year, with a 47 Chief engine. Tom

swall
10-09-2016, 07:28 AM
You are starting with a decent machine, which is a major advantage. Might want to price out paint and associated supplies before you make the plunge to paint it yourself. My painter had about $400 worth in my '52 Chief when he painted it this May.

TH47Indy
10-19-2016, 08:38 AM
You are starting with a decent machine, which is a major advantage. Might want to price out paint and associated supplies before you make the plunge to paint it yourself. My painter had about $400 worth in my '52 Chief when he painted it this May.

Thanks for the advice. Since your post I've been looking into paint and was surprised at the cost. Thinking I'll definitely have my buddy that owns a body shop help me out.

Two lil indians
12-12-2016, 08:33 AM
Just completed my 1947 chief as well. I would mock up the complete bike again, including all the oil lines, gauges, brake and clutch, wheels, and exhaust. Also check to see if any of the running board holes are oblinged and reweld if necessary. Also check to see if there is excess slop in the kicker shaft pin in the frame when the kicker is installed as now is the time to replace it. Also look for oblong holes in your hubs before re lacing your wheels and if you need brake shoes get the ones from Jerry Greers as they are relined from original cores and fit properly. Good luck with the project! Some great help videos by Mike at kiwi Indian also on the internet.

TH47Indy
12-12-2016, 09:17 AM
Just completed my 1947 chief as well. I would mock up the complete bike again, including all the oil lines, gauges, brake and clutch, wheels, and exhaust. Also check to see if any of the running board holes are oblinged and reweld if necessary. Also check to see if there is excess slop in the kicker shaft pin in the frame when the kicker is installed as now is the time to replace it. Also look for oblong holes in your hubs before re lacing your wheels and if you need brake shoes get the ones from Jerry Greers as they are relined from original cores and fit properly. Good luck with the project! Some great help videos by Mike at kiwi Indian also on the internet.

Thanks for the great advice. Perfect timing as I will be getting my frame and forks back this week, as well as the rims and handlebars from the plater. I did already buy brakes from Greers, and have learned a lot from watching Mike's video on the Kiwi site. I also take another good look at the hubs before lacing up the wheels.

I was thinking about how much information there is on the web, including parts and great diagrams, and really appreciate the skills and dedication it required to restore and maintain our vintage bikes before the internet.

TH47Indy
03-06-2017, 12:15 PM
Making some progress. Things would go quicker if I didn't have to do everything 2 to 3 times! I guess it's a great way to learn and I'm enjoying it.
The info from this site and on Kiwi and Geers has been invaluable.

Went the powder coat route, but went with a semi-gloss to eliminate the plastic look I've seen on some and to make it look more like paint. Going with black on the sheet metal so hoping this will also make the high gloss finish on the metal pop.

Rims are original that have been re-plated with cad spokes.

Assembling the girder was the most time consuming, had some challenges with mounting the shock and springs. Again, found some great tips on this site that saved time, busted knuckles and a lot, but not all of the cursing.

Original tanks and motor are in the cue with john Bivens.

Looking forward to the next steps.

1926919270192711927219273

TH47Indy
03-06-2017, 12:17 PM
A few more.
192741927519276

bstevens479
03-06-2017, 07:00 PM
John has done 2 sets of tanks for me long wait expensive but quality work I wanted to stay original

Green Indian
03-06-2017, 08:58 PM
John has done 2 sets of tanks for me long wait expensive but quality work I wanted to stay original

Yes, John is the best when it comes to these things, he's done two of my bike's tanks and never had an issue with a leak again, ever. I keep them original too.

TH47Indy
03-10-2017, 10:25 AM
John has done 2 sets of tanks for me long wait expensive but quality work I wanted to stay original


Yes, John is the best when it comes to these things, he's done two of my bike's tanks and never had an issue with a leak again, ever. I keep them original too.

Good to hear. I originally had some concerns about the long-term integrity of using original tanks, but I trust John and want to use as many of my original parts as possible.

Also going to stay with the original 6v. May regret it but can also upgrade to 12v later if its an issue.

Dkgoz
03-17-2017, 11:12 AM
Hi TH47Indy,

If you stick with the 6 volt system, give some thought to installing one of Gene Harper's solid state regulators and a Shorai lithium iron battery. I did last year, and the 6 volt system on my '48 Chief is finally reliable. And the Shorai battery holds a charge for quite a while. I fired up the Chief with no problems a couple weeks ago after sitting for 3 months without a charger.

dkgoz

TH47Indy
05-22-2017, 01:00 PM
Starting the process of fitting the rear fender, change guard and exhaust system. I have an original rear fender, a reop chain guard and purchased the exhaust from Geers. Got my cases back from the rebuilder while the cylinders are our for boring and he gave me a couple to use to fit the exhaust.

Started with the fender mounted behind the battery cradle since I believe that I read that that was the original position, and then tried with the fender over the tabs. Overall everything fits better with the fender in front of the tabs.

The fender and braces seem to line up correctly, but the chain guard needs to work, maybe some metal added and some reshaping of the edge to get a better fit to the fender?
Exhaust needed very little tweaking to get it to fit, and the kick started clears everything. I plan on having it welded together as one piece, then polished before the chrome dip.

Been looking for some close ups shots of how well the guard should fit to the fender at the top and where it bolts to the fender, but haven't had much luck.
I'd appreciate any advice or suggestions on the correct position and fit of the guard or anything other help or advice.
Thanks.
Terry
http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/47Indy/IMG_0874_zpsp97fzeba.jpg (http://s44.photobucket.com/user/47Indy/media/IMG_0874_zpsp97fzeba.jpg.html)
http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/47Indy/IMG_0906_zps3e8xeszd.jpg (http://s44.photobucket.com/user/47Indy/media/IMG_0906_zps3e8xeszd.jpg.html)
http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/47Indy/IMG_0913_zpsb4rpo874.jpg (http://s44.photobucket.com/user/47Indy/media/IMG_0913_zpsb4rpo874.jpg.html)
http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/47Indy/IMG_0910_zpsp9dtymg3.jpg (http://s44.photobucket.com/user/47Indy/media/IMG_0910_zpsp9dtymg3.jpg.html)
http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/47Indy/IMG_0905_zpsibyog5ip.jpg (http://s44.photobucket.com/user/47Indy/media/IMG_0905_zpsibyog5ip.jpg.html)
http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/47Indy/IMG_3819_zpscvy67bf0.jpg (http://s44.photobucket.com/user/47Indy/media/IMG_3819_zpscvy67bf0.jpg.html)
http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/47Indy/IMG_3826_zpsfutpyax2.jpg (http://s44.photobucket.com/user/47Indy/media/IMG_3826_zpsfutpyax2.jpg.html)

tomfiii
05-22-2017, 02:30 PM
Check tabs to transmission and trans gear clearance with chain on! May have to shift fender and recontour edge of chain guard to fender.

pisten-bully
05-22-2017, 02:39 PM
Terry, I think you can get that chainguard a bit better, might be tied into the way you've mounted the fender to the tabs at the battery tray? My rear fender is to the rear of the tabs, and the red one here (picture I took at an AMCA meet) is the same way... doesn't mean it's correct I guess!

http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/o554/harryjroberts/fender%20mount_1.jpg

http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/o554/harryjroberts/P1010002.jpg

http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/o554/harryjroberts/chainguard2.jpg

http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/o554/harryjroberts/chain%20guard1.jpg

(BTW... yesterday was a 100 mile ride and I live on dirt and ride a lot of dirt roads are around here... haven't cleaned off my bike!)

You're going to like the one piece exhaust I think!

TH47Indy
05-23-2017, 09:08 AM
Check tabs to transmission and trans gear clearance with chain on! May have to shift fender and recontour edge of chain guard to fender.

Great advice, but I only have the empty cases. I've been looking through the left side of the case to see if the area for the gear/chain looks centered. The tab to trans stud does fit and I can adjust it up and down.
http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/47Indy/IMG_0911_zpstvxfa7ao.jpg (http://s44.photobucket.com/user/47Indy/media/IMG_0911_zpstvxfa7ao.jpg.html)

TH47Indy
05-23-2017, 09:16 AM
Terry, I think you can get that chainguard a bit better, might be tied into the way you've mounted the fender to the tabs at the battery tray? My rear fender is to the rear of the tabs, and the red one here (picture I took at an AMCA meet) is the same way... doesn't mean it's correct I guess!

(BTW... yesterday was a 100 mile ride and I live on dirt and ride a lot of dirt roads are around here... haven't cleaned off my bike!)

You're going to like the one piece exhaust I think!

Thanks for pictures Harry. I read some other posts about the fender going behind the tabs and I did start there, but the chain guard is short to the fender so I wanted to move the fender forward. With it over the tabs the rest of the original holes in the fender also line up better, but not factor at this point, figured the hole placement will need to be adjusted.

The chain guard is still short so I'm thinking it will need some metal added to fit the curve to the fender, so I could move the fender back behind the tabs if that is the correct or best position.

Can't wait to get to the point where I can get my bike dirty!

TH47Indy
05-29-2017, 01:16 PM
Check tabs to transmission and trans gear clearance with chain on! May have to shift fender and recontour edge of chain guard to fender.
Making some progress, shaped the guard to fit the contour of the fender and also took Toms advice and got a drive sprocket to check clearance. The drive spoken I have for fitting the guard is a 26 tooth and I don't have a chain yet.
I plan on using a 23 tooth sprocket, which should allow about .20" more clearence then the 26.

How much extra clearence should I allow for the chain between the bottom of the sprocket and the chain guard?

And how much, if any, space should there between the edge of the guard to the fender?

Bills37
05-29-2017, 02:44 PM
Terry, I think you can get that chainguard a bit better, might be tied into the way you've mounted the fender to the tabs at the battery tray? My rear fender is to the rear of the tabs, and the red one here (picture I took at an AMCA meet) is the same way... doesn't mean it's correct I guess! ~ Pisten-Bully

What you're showing is correct. The fender goes on the rear side of the mounting tab. Moving it will also align his chain guard to the fender better.

TH47Indy
03-03-2018, 06:52 PM
It's been a while since I've felt like I've made much progress, but now I'm back on track.
Picked up my rebulit motor before the holidays and I'm really pleased with the end result. Sounded great on the test stand. Getting it in the frame wasn't easy, but followed alot of the advice on this site, and after some cursing and hearing my Dad ask several times " are you sure you don't need to remove the heads?" it went in as it should.

Just picked up the rebulit tanks, re-plated shifter and the sheet metal is cleaned and welded up. The exhaust plating should be done early next week.

Spent today doing a final assembly to recheck the fit before paint and the only thing that needs some adjustment is the chain guard tab.
Tomorrow will be disaasembly and then off to a buddys body shop for paint.

I made a list of everything I need to complete the resto, and I was surprised at how many parts I still need. Over a 120 items. Some are small, but there are some big ticket and hard to find items like the front & rear crash bars, horn, headlight, seat and quite a few $100+ items.
Not complaining, was just thought I was closer then that.

2173321734217352173621737

Bills37
03-03-2018, 11:06 PM
Looks like she coming along nicely. I feel your pain about finishing it. It's really starting to look like a bike and you're itching to fire it up and ride. It always seems like there one more detail to take care of. The frustration will only get worse when you get some paint on it.

pisten-bully
03-05-2018, 11:01 AM
I made a list of everything I need to complete the resto, and I was surprised at how many parts I still need. Over a 120 items. Some are small, but there are some big ticket and hard to find items like the front & rear crash bars, horn, headlight, seat and quite a few $100+ items.
Not complaining, was just thought I was closer then that.

It's looking good Terry!

Those lists of missing parts are tough to look at sometimes! I restored a car years ago and one of the vendors selling parts had a program where every dollar you spent was kept track of by them, and then they'd give you a credit towards another purchase based on how much you spent in the past... smart guys as it kept me buying from them and somewhat eased the pain of having to keep going back to them for more parts!

TH47Indy
03-05-2018, 11:40 AM
Thanks guys. The hours I've spent on this site reading old Indian posts and being able to ask questions really provide some great tips and advice.

Really looking forward to being able to ride it, and I know there always be some tinkering to do on it but I'm also going to miss the search and build process. Already thinking about the next project.