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Thread: 46 Chief - Need Engine Rebuild

  1. #1

    Default 46 Chief - Need Engine Rebuild

    I have a 1946 stock Chief engine. I would like to have a complete rebuild of motor and transmission. I would like to upgrade to either Bonneville or Ollie cam for a little more torque & power, but would like to maintain stock reliability.

    I'm in the Northern Ohio area. I would like some recommendations on a reputable and experienced builder. I would like to stay within approx 700 mile radius of Cleveland, OH.

    Please post any recommendations you may have, with contact info.


  2. #2

    Default Engine & Tranny rebuilds

    Past and Present Motorcycle Service
    Freedom Pa. 15042
    724 561 5364
    Vintage Harley and Indian Restorations
    Last edited by 46CHF; 01-15-2012 at 08:34 PM. Reason: add e-mail

  3. #3


    laughing indian if flordia aint to far M.C.

  4. #4


    Why not rebuild it yourself? Chiefs are easy enough, especially if nothing's broken. And, you'll learn enough about it to keep the thing running when you go to actually ride it.
    Brian Groff
    Member Since 2002

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011


    Quote Originally Posted by brian_groff View Post
    Why not rebuild it yourself? Chiefs are easy enough, especially if nothing's broken. And, you'll learn enough about it to keep the thing running when you go to actually ride it.
    I've got a 48 Chief engine and transmission I need to go through. Any recommendations on good books to walk me through it?

    Rick L.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    High in the B.C. Rockies....


    Rick, there's an overhaul manual that you can download for free in the club library...
    Cory Othen

  7. #7


    Sure, that book, a Hone, a Milling Machine, a Lathe, a Surface Grinder, and a Boring Bar and Valve and Valve Seat Equipment.....Plus a whole bunch of Special Tools......Gear Pullers and Installers, Race Pushers, Micrometers, Bore Gages, Flywheel Jigs, Truing Stand, Balancing Setup, Rod Squaring Plate, Etc., Experience and Practice and you are ready to build your Indian Powerplant!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Richmond, IL



    You sound knowledgeable and not to hijack the thread, could you list the typical uses for the equipment in your post? I am looking to get some Experience and Practice on my powerplant. Maybe, you could provide some pointers for a new DIY'er trying to learn? It might also provide some insight to how much each piece of equipment gets used and if outsourcing is a better approach due to the cost of tools. I am slowly assembling the tools I need and plan on outsourcing what I cannot do my self. I have the items with an "*"

    Available in AMCA Library:

    Available at Local engine shop?:
    *Milling Machine - rough boring cylinders, deck cylinders,
    Boring Bar - used with Mill for boring cylinders
    Hone - Hone cylinders, case races, rod races, pushrod guides
    *Lathe - ?
    *Surface Grinder - ? maybe flywheel/rod shims?
    Valve and Valve Seat Equipment - obvious?

    Plus a whole bunch of Special Tools......
    *Gear Pullers - Pinion
    Gear Installers - have any pics? is there a special installer for the pinion gear?
    *Race Pushers - Rod races
    Race Pushers - case races - any pics for case races prior to 46?
    *Micrometers - measurement
    *Bore Gages - measurement
    Flywheel Jigs - any pics and usage information?
    *Truing Stand - is a bench center adequate?
    *Dial indicators - used with truing stand/bench center
    Balancing Setup - any pics and info? and Is it really necessary unless your gonna race it?
    Rod Squaring Plate - any pics and info?
    Etc. - any other information?

    No motor rebuild experience, but I am knowledgeable about most of the equipment listed and I can turn a wrench and I really want to do as much of it as I can myself. I hope to do a second powerplant someday.

    This past summer I successfully rebuilt a BMW R60 transmission after I had problems with it from the shop I took it to. That built my confidence, but I'm still afraid to a point about working with these pricey items. If money were not an issue I would probably be done already. I need to do it right the first time and not break anything in the process.

    Wish I had a good engine builder in my back yard to learn from.

    Thanks in advance,
    D.J. Knott
    AMCA #10930

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009


    Overhauling an old motor-- be it Harley, Indian, or what-have-you --- will require the experienced use and operator skill of all the machines Indianut mentioned-- and probably a few more.
    It's the same as being your own lawyer at a trial...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Minnesota USA


    I agree with Rooster. There is nothing more frustrating than having a fresh built engine take a dump on you because you forgot something simple only to find out later that detail wasn't in the book but common knowledge to an experienced builder. Ever think about Bob's Indian in PA?

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