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Thread: What is a 38' indian four worth, its a roller?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    San Luis Obispo, CA.
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    Default What is a 38' indian four worth, its a roller?

    38' Four with a cracked transmission case? No sheet metal on the bike. It has a speedo, frame, motor, transmission, front fork, handlebars, front and rear wheels are there. The motor spins and its not frozen.

    Need some advice on a value of this bike to be able to bid? And, what would it take to fix the case or the availability of another transmission case? What would be the value of the bike after restoration? Would not want to sell after restoration but I need to know how much to invest in the bike without over-spending?

    Thanks to all inadvance for the answers to these questions..

  2. #2
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    Apr 2014
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    How much of the work can you do yourself? During the last Las Vegas auction cycle professionally restored 38-42 Indian Fours were bringing around 90K at auction. Ones that were complete and showing their age (old restos)brought low 40's (don't forget those buyers fees 15%).

    How badly damaged are the cases on this bike? Good and proper repair to Indian Four cases is almost a lost art, getting someone to fix them will be your biggest issue.

    Does the frame and engine #'s match? That's good if they do, if they don't, well, it does not appear to effect the value of fours as much as Chiefs and Scouts but it would be a big plus if they match.

    I'd jump on it at 20K - 25K or so, but only because I would have to get professional help rebuilding the motor and if I grew frustrated in a few years I could always unload the project and still make a few bucks for my trouble.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply. Frame and engine #'s do NOT match. I will ask to see the damaged transmission case to evaluate the amount of work need to repair. I appreciate your time and response.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2014
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    If you can post photos of the engine damage someone will probably offer their advise who has tackled something like this before. Any Indian Four has value; the trick will be what you have to pay and how correct you want to restore it. Some folks only want matching # or bikes with very few, if any, reproduction pieces. However, owning an Indian Four cylinder will put you into a different category among vintage motorcycle owners, those that wish they had one and those that do. They have a loyal following for a good reason.

    The 1938 Indians have their other issues that set them apart from 39 and later Fours, they have their own speedo, ammeter and ignition switches which will be very difficult to find as correct OEM parts. There maybe good reproductions out there for these but I've never compared the OEMs to the reproductions so if you have the correct grey-faced parts you are ahead of the game on these items.

    Here's a link to a current eBay listing for the correct speedo for the Four you are considering:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Indian-Motor...3D322423461295
    Last edited by Green Indian; 02-16-2017 at 07:22 AM.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2014
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    Is there an Indian four builder that someone can recommend?

  6. #6
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    Apr 2014
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    Dennis Young, he's in Klamath Falls, OR but is almost unreachable by email maybe someone can PM you a ph# for him for you.

    He's a very good engine rebuilder but I'm not sure he does the weld repairs. The good thing is if you do succeed in contacting him, he has many good NOS motor parts for his rebuilds and knows the Four cylinder motor better than most anyone who rebuilds them for a living.

  7. #7

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    Howdy sir,

    In advance of pix which will clarify the following, by "transmission case", do we mean the upper case half or the lower encompassing the trans? If the latter cracked from curb surfing not necessarily a huge challenge. If the former this generally occurs from a thrown chain wadding up and bursting the case at the back of the flywheel compartment adjoining the trans. Depending on severity this can wreak havoc on main bearing and bevel gear alignment and is a job specifically for a Four specialist, not the best aluminum welder not versed on the above alignment issues. If a matching number machine I would do anything required to restore that upper case.

    Unless this machine is acquired for a song with the work and components required to return it to its just glory - there is nothing in Fours as beautiful as a 38 - not to mention time, one will be happier with matching numbers for the effort required when it's all said and done.

    Mark Hill (AMCA member) does everything on these power plants and with the latest Cannon Ball behind him may have time to build it.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for more information on this type of machine. I will PM Mark Hill for more advice and information on this indian Four. I wil try to attach an image when I receive it. Thanks to all.

  9. #9
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    Mark Hill is very good, also have heard good about Rob Olson. They are expensive and so is work on them ! but they are worth alot too, have a friend bought one for 25 grand, rode the heck out of it and sold it a few years later for 60 grand - true story ! all original machine, lot's of shop's don't even want to work on them. Mark Hill builds em to ride, good luck.

  10. #10
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    Apr 2014
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    Here's a YouTube video of Mark Hill with a 39 Four motor:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3s1R1HJVA8

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