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Thread: I.D. that bike

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    137

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    Eric,

    Are you baiting me?

    Just to clarify, 22 &23 Chief fork had the Powerplus style loop spring and links through the fender, so there was a huge T shaped hole in the top of the fender.

    The first picture is a 24 Chief, could be a 61", cylinders look short. The straight leaf spring with links running through the cat eye holes in the fender was 24,25 &26 only. However, '24 was the last year for 28 x 3 tires as shown on this bike, balloon tires came out in '25. It is equipped with a Splitdorf S-2 magneto and DU-5 generator, all standard from '22- early '28. Still using the external seat spring canisters which were an assist to the seat post, last used in '26. Note the small brake assembly, internal only. Also the handlebars, never seen a set like this with an integrated cross bar, curved no less! and turned down low, it would be tough to ride, but then I'm probably 2 feet taller than this guy!

    The second picture is either a '28 or '29 Chief. The parts book barely even lists any differences, only a couple small parts. It would be a 74 as the 61 was discontinued in '27 when removable heads came along. First year for the front brake was mid (?) '28. Last year for the tank inside the frame loops was '29. The '30 Chief would have cast aluminum tanks, around the frame and 19" drop center tires. Also it is equipped with a Splitdorf NS-2 magneto and DU-7 generator, both introduced around March of '28. Note the exposed coil springs for the seat, so no seat post. Note the much larger external brake, came out in '26.

    Both models appear to be domestic models because of the left side kick starter (for right hand sidecars) and single rear brake. Indian continued this trend through '31. Export models were also required to have 2 brakes so Indian used a second hand controlled brake on the opposite face of the same drum. Also export models to those countries driving on the left side of the road fitted the kicker on the right as they used left handed sidecars.

    Do I win a prize????

    Gene

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    3,423

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    I'm so ashamed, that I considered surrendering my Big Chief membership card, Gene. What the heck was I thinking; the early Big Chief had the scroll spring. This was my 1924 Big Chief, which Gene Harper was very helpful with, and even owned at some point.

    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Central Illinois, USA
    Posts
    3,222

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    Eric and Gene!

    What years did they move the floatbowl indexing of the valve from front to the rear, and back to the front?

    Thanks in advance as always,

    ....Cotten
    Last edited by T. Cotten; 10-10-2017 at 10:11 AM.
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    1

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    Love it. Just listing what can be seen: don’t forget the Dash/Ammeter/Switch moved off the top of the frame and connected to the stalks of the headlight with a dash. Headlight is also different (not counting the police lights). Location of the horn is moved down. It is hard to see but the grips are different. More items on the other side of the bikes that you can’t see.
    Chris

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    137

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    Cotten, You got me! I can't answer that for you. I'd have to dig up the sales brochures and research that, if indeed that's what happened. I suppose a twist of the fuel line would allow it to assembled the other way.

    Chris, yes lots of other details. The top frame tube mounted ammeter and switch box I believe went through 26(?) then the handlebar mounted dash assembly came after that. Headlight was the little bullet stye for 28, so maybe that second picture is a 29 then?

    Eric, Yep too bad you let that bike go, but we will let you keep your early chief membership card! In my opinion, the 20's chief is hands down the best built american bike of the era, especially for hauling a sidecar!

    gene

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    rural eastern South Dakota
    Posts
    925

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    That's it! I just learned more about the 20's chiefs (hope I can retain it all) than I've realized in 27 years. Thanks a bunch Gene and Eric! .... now, I always thought that '27 was first year of removable head also, but I've read on Facebook that it was as early as 25 on Chief. I still think 27 makes more sense, a hunch about the castings. Also, leading link vs trailing link? Was '21 the end of one (leading, I think)?

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Central Illinois, USA
    Posts
    3,222

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    The reason I asked, Gene,...

    ...Is that the bowlstems on DLXs are not somewhat symmetrical like HXs.
    They have obstructions, presumeably the reason for the center of the float to be eccentric. The 'bulge' for the lowspeed needle and idle circuit gallery in particular.

    (Selfishly, I need to know the installed positions to be absolutely certain that installed floats will not hang up when returned to the owner!)

    In my collection of vintage pics, snagged off the 'Net, half of the HXs (on various models of course) have the bowl indexed either forward or right in the middle (a curious inconvenience, but probably a carry-over from the Hedstrom fuel line location.)
    The very few pics I have of twins with DLXs (Some Scouts of course, and some that are probably PowerPlus's and I don't know the differences..) all show the bowl indexed forward, like more "modern" models.

    This places the 'eccentric' hole in the middle of the DLX float where it would have the best chance of clearing the casting.

    Indexing to the rear strikes me as quite an anomaly!

    ....Cotten
    PS: Just one more reason why I would never dream of being an AMCA judge.
    Last edited by T. Cotten; 10-12-2017 at 08:02 AM.
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    137

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    Cotten,

    OK, did some digging in my books, sales brochures etc. Based entirely on original factory photos and sales brochures, I feel confident in saying that HX as well as DLX carbs on the early Chief and Scout models (through 31) all had the bowl stems indexed to the front. I did see an occasional pic of one to the rear but that was not a factory picture, someones modern assembly. Hope that helps.

    Fillibuster,

    1927 was definitely the first year for removable heads on the the Chief. These were cast iron heads, sometimes referred to as the starburst head, as the fins are arranged in a radial pattern when looking at the top. Though they will interchange from '27-31, there are at least 4 variants of the head, as the spark plug hole moved and the bosses changed location. Also 30 and 31 had 2 fins trimmed a bit for clearance to allow removal as the lower tank tube sat lower to fit the aluminum tanks. The introduction of removable heads increased the compression ratio considerably, with the Ricardo shaped compression chamber and lots of "squish", and a nice jump in performance must have been noticed. Of course this made starting much more difficult, so in '28 the kick start ratio was changed to allow easier starting. I believe the Scout came out with removable heads in 1925.

    The fork on the Powerplus (later the called the Standard after the Chief arrived) early Scout and Chief was the leading link type with the loop spring. 24 was the first year for the trailing link and flat leaf spring on the Chief and Scout. The Standard remained the same leading link through the end of production in 24.

    There you have it, more than you ever would want to know unless you are trying to piece one together!

    gene

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Central Illinois, USA
    Posts
    3,222

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    Thanks again, Gene!

    But I bet every rule has an exception, such as this H indexed in the center (just like many H-Ds).

    The DLXs are the only ones I worry about positioning,...
    (And Linkerts of course. M-88s are such a pain it makes you wonder how the Allies won the War.)

    ....Cotten
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    Last edited by T. Cotten; 10-12-2017 at 11:32 AM.
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

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