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Thread: 38 Chief front wheel offset?

  1. #1
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    Default 38 Chief front wheel offset?

    It looks like I have an alignment problem with my front wheel. Does anyone know if the front wheel is offset on a 38 Chief?


  2. #2
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    It looks like the wheel is on an angle, which would make me question if the fork is straight. I've had bent forks on every one of my early motorcycles, and considering the beating they probably took from potholes, and washboard dirt roads, it's no wonder they are bent. Of course, the only way to know if the fork is bent is to set it up on a surface plate. Judging by the machine tools in the background, you shouldn't have any trouble making the holding fixtures, and taking the proper measurements to find the problem. The pre 1946 hub offset is 2-15/16", however, I always true an Indian wheel in the frame, and fork.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  3. #3
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    Bill!

    I would remove both wheels, and insert long, straight, rods through where the axles ride.
    Then stand back and eyeball if they are parallel.

    Tain't easy in a small room.

    ....Cotten
    PS: Leafers are a LOT harder to straighten than later designs. Hope its just the sprung fork assembly ("spring connecting links").
    Last edited by T. Cotten; 10-08-2017 at 11:00 AM.
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  4. #4
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    It doesn't look like it's leaning when you look at it. Everything appears to be on a parallel plane just shifted over. The wheel lacing doesn't seem like there is any offset?




    Last edited by Bills37; 10-08-2017 at 11:02 AM.

  5. #5
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    The wheels on 38 are interchangeable.It is easy to mistakenly use a 40-45 brake drum which has the hub side boss about 1/"4 higher to fit the later wider fork and tire.If that's the case you can face !/4"off the drum and be ok.
    Tom

  6. #6
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    Just a thought - on my 25 Scout, my front wheel was off to one side. Just messing around looking at things. I tried flipping the side brace arms from one side to the other. It worked and wheel was centered in the forks. Might not apply at all, but worth a look anyway, good luck

  7. #7

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    When the wheel was laced was the offset set correctly to allow for the wheel hub to be slightly off centre to make allowance for the brake drum.

    This information is from handwritten notes from a 1945 Indian Training school... not sure if they are applicable to a 1938 wheel as well.

    "Late model Chief and 4 cylinders, the brake drum side of the hub is 3/8” deeper than the rim, this for the 18” wheel only. On the 16” wheel, brake drum side is 3/4” deeper that the rim."

  8. #8
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    I ran into similar problem. Take a look at this thread http://www.antiquemotorcycle.org/bbo...t=wheel+offset

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tfburke3 View Post
    The wheels on 38 are interchangeable.It is easy to mistakenly use a 40-45 brake drum which has the hub side boss about 1/"4 higher to fit the later wider fork and tire.If that's the case you can face !/4"off the drum and be ok.
    Tom
    A winner: I had a 40 or later front brake drum. I will face it down to size and will need to get the correct hollow axle. The upside is I learned how to correctly measure the front end for straightness and alignment. Thanks to everyone who helped.

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