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Thread: '47 Chief- finally starting the build

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    54

    Default '47 Chief- finally starting the build

    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
    IMG_3348.jpgIMG_3350.jpgIMG_3349.jpgIMG_3328.jpgIMG_3341.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    883

    Default

    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    149

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    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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    54

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    Quote Originally Posted by swall View Post
    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.

  5. #5

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    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    54

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    Quote Originally Posted by Two lil indians View Post
    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.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    54

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    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.

    IMG_3328.jpgIMG_3345.jpgIMG_3501.jpgIMG_0800.jpgIMG_0816.jpg

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    54

  9. #9

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    John has done 2 sets of tanks for me long wait expensive but quality work I wanted to stay original

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    130

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    Quote Originally Posted by bstevens479 View Post
    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.

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