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Thread: Chief Starting Procedure - Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Saltsburg PA
    Posts
    352

    Default Chief Starting Procedure - Question

    After 3 years owning my 48 the textbook method of 2 prime kicks with key off, then key on works every time on cold starts. Warm/hot starts are first kick key on, 1/2 throttle and it starts every time. Always an easy starting bike. This is my only bike so I keep it well maintained and tuned.

    The only rare occasion where I have a problem is when I misjudge engine temp after bike has been sitting for 45 minutes to an hour and think its OK for a hot start. This happened Sunday after breakfast at a restaurant. Of course it was with an unusually large number of patrons who wanted to watch the old bike start. I always feel the front cylinder to see if its still warm and this time it had just slight warmth and I didn't want to risk flooding so went the hot start way. After I tried hot start method and it didn't start I was SOL. When this happened in past usually a fully open throttle will get it going after 3 kicks but not always and not this time. From hero to zero I went and I never want this to happen again.

    So my question is; What exactly is happening in the combustion chamber that causes this phenomenon? Why once you fail to use the proper procedure is it such an SOB to start and going backward and starting over using the correct procedure doesn't work. Why does having the key on or off make so much difference?
    Jason Z
    AMCA #21594
    Near Pittsburgh PA (Farm Country)
    Allegheny Mountain Chapter http://amcaamc.com/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    116

    Default

    Hi,
    You don't say, but I'm guessing that you are running a Linkert carburetor. The hot start problem that an Indian has is not so much related to the combustion chamber as it is related to the carburetor. The typical situation is that the carburetor works fine when the engine is cold, or when is it is hot - the hot that happens just a few minutes after the engine is stopped. When the engine sits for 15 to 20 minutes, up to 45 minutes to an hour after the engine is stopped; the engine is neither totally cold or totally hot - and often the engine will not start no matter what you do (except for maybe a bump-start on a long downward hill). This issue has been discussed at great length in many of the forums for many years, and often a satisfactory solution is still elusive. Some claim that the fuel in the float bowl boils - flooding the engine with fuel vapors. Some claim that the idle circuit has trouble pulling fuel when the carburetor is hot - possibly due to gas bubbles forming in the idle circuit. What to do? I had similar hot start issues with a Linkert and my solution was to switch to a Keihin carburetor. Though not perfect, it is far superior to the Linkert and is also designed to work with 10% ethanol in the gasoline. Hopefully somebody will respond with a definitive Linkert 'fix'.
    As far as having the key on or off; the idea is to have the engine primed with fuel in both cylinders before ignition is supplied; this requires that the key be left 'off' during the first couple of kicks. With the engine primed with fuel and the key then turned 'on'; the engine has a good chance of actually starting. The kicking stroke to start the engine does not work well, if the kick is feeble. The kick must be vigorous. Some 'kicking' techniques work better than others.
    Indians tend to be individualistic, and what works for one might not work for another. For a partial discussion of carburetor issues, it is worth checking out: performanceindian.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Saltsburg PA
    Posts
    352

    Default

    Thanks Yellow53. At least some comfort knowing I am not alone. It is a Linkert. I would have liked to have pulled a plug after the first or second kick. Guessing it would have been too wet? Ironically since you mentioned it I reluctantly accepted a push from an HD guy and a BMW guy who were among the spectators and that's how it finally started.
    Jason Z
    AMCA #21594
    Near Pittsburgh PA (Farm Country)
    Allegheny Mountain Chapter http://amcaamc.com/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Yea but how come the only time it won't start is when there are a bunch of people watching!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    ca
    Posts
    162

    Default

    I had to look to see if it was my name on the post. My 47 does the same thing. I hesitate riding it much anymore just because of the hot starting . It never fails when there is a crowd wanting to see this machine run it, doesn't. My kicker doesn't engage until about 2/3 of the way down on the kick stroke, every thing is stock. It seams like the kick arm could use a few more teeth to engage sooner. My best success on a hot start is throttle wide open. Because of my knee problem I have been looking into a electric start. They are rather pricy, it will be a while for that to happen. Stan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    ca
    Posts
    162

    Default

    Wow, after reading a lower post I see a 50 chief kicker does have more teeth. I am looking into that. Stan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    rural eastern South Dakota
    Posts
    934

    Default

    qu: " My kicker doesn't engage until about 2/3 of the way down on the kick stroke, "

    Have to ask: are we bringing the engine to a compression stroke before we kick the hell out of it?
    When I think the engine is only warm I will usually give it half throttle and give it a vigorous kick (no choke). If it takes off I look good. If it doesn't it needs a drink, and I shut off and prime with full choke one kick. Then set choke at 1/4 and kick to start.


    want to see me flunk come to St Paul next weekend.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    742

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fillibuster View Post
    When I think the engine is only warm I will usually give it half throttle and give it a vigorous kick (no choke). If it takes off I look good. If it doesn't it needs a drink, and I shut off and prime with full choke one kick. Then set choke at 1/4 and kick to
    Hey, I could've written that, too. Most times the half throttle/no choke produces fire for mine....otherwise a primer kick is needed.

    And I think Yellow53 mentioned something about Indians being individualistic, and I can attest to that as I ride frequently with someone riding a '41.....we go about our starting procedures in two different ways.

    Full disclosure....I put on a kicker arm I bought from Greer that has the extra teeth and is slightly longer (after buggering up my ankle one summer) and I've convinced myself it was money well spent!
    Pisten Bulley is Harry Roberts in Vermont.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    27

    Default

    I think the crowd of people is the issue. Tell them all to go away and then kick her over.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Catonsville,Md.
    Posts
    175

    Default

    If the kickstand lets it lean over too far ,that also will cause a problem.

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