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Thread: Help me find thread on starting a Chief

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    272

    Default Help me find thread on starting a Chief

    I have been riding my '48 Chief for over 50 years, but it can be contrary when it comes to starting at times. I know there is a thread somewhere where our members discuss starting techniques. Please help me find that thread.
    BTW, I am ready to start using ether to get the bike started!
    George Tinkham
    Springfield, IL
    www.virmc.com

    1941 Indian 841
    1948 Indian Chief
    1956 H-D KHK
    1960 CH
    1964 BMW R69S
    1966 Honda Touring Benly (aka "150 Dream")
    1984 Moto Guzzi V65Sp

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Saltsburg PA
    Posts
    352

    Default

    George,
    50 years is a long time! Is it giving you problems particularly when’s it’s cold, hot, warm? Or all of the above?
    Jason Z
    AMCA #21594
    Near Pittsburgh PA (Farm Country)
    Allegheny Mountain Chapter http://amcaamc.com/

  3. #3

    Default

    Do you have the correct carburetor including venturi and main nozzle?
    Float material?
    Float setting?
    Vacuum leak (throttle shaft)?
    Vacuum leak (manifold, nipples)?
    Spark setting?
    Plug gap?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    ca
    Posts
    162

    Default

    My 47 starts cold with a couple kicks, with the choke on. Then one click down on the choke lever. Then one healthy kick it usually fires up. Hot is a different story. It starts very hard. Seams the more people watching the harder it starts. You may check for air leaks on the manifold. I made up a plate to pressurize the manifold, and use soap to check for leaks. Even with no air leaks my 47 still starts hard hot. Wish I had a better answer for you. Stan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Central Illinois, USA
    Posts
    4,307

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stan View Post
    My 47 starts cold with a couple kicks, with the choke on. Then one click down on the choke lever. Then one healthy kick it usually fires up. Hot is a different story. It starts very hard. Seams the more people watching the harder it starts. You may check for air leaks on the manifold. I made up a plate to pressurize the manifold, and use soap to check for leaks. Even with no air leaks my 47 still starts hard hot. Wish I had a better answer for you. Stan
    Stan!

    Did you bubble-test at a full 15psi, using a constant, regulated air supply?

    Sorry I had to ask, but hand pumps, shop vacs, and air mattress pumps give false negatives.

    ....Cotten
    PS: Holes get bigger when hot.
    Last edited by T. Cotten; 09-15-2019 at 02:06 PM.
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Catonsville,Md.
    Posts
    175

    Default

    Hot start check coil, it could have a heat soak problem. Also make sure you don't have peaks forming on points as condenser could cause that.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    272

    Default

    Valves seem to be fine. Brand new Bendix carburetor and solid state 12 ignition system from Starklite. For a few weeks, it started fairly well. I let it sit for ~1 1/2 weeks this month; then, it became stubborn. I finally got it to fire up when I used ether on it today. It ran fine once I got it going. Until I figure this out, there will be a container of ether in my saddlebag!
    George Tinkham
    Springfield, IL
    www.virmc.com

    1941 Indian 841
    1948 Indian Chief
    1956 H-D KHK
    1960 CH
    1964 BMW R69S
    1966 Honda Touring Benly (aka "150 Dream")
    1984 Moto Guzzi V65Sp

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    S.E.N.Y. State American side of Hudson River
    Posts
    484

    Default

    I've owned my 58 Panhead for almost 50 years. It starts cold usually no issue. After that it could be one kick or a hundred. For 50 yrs. its been a pain in my unowhat. My 57, never an issue.
    Last edited by D.A.Bagin; 09-16-2019 at 07:08 AM.
    D. A. Bagin #3166 AKA Panheadzz 440 48chief W/sidecar 57fl 57flh 58fl 66m-50 68flh 70xlh

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Saltsburg PA
    Posts
    352

    Default

    Maybe you just need more fuel during priming. Don’t know Bendix carbs but does it have an accelerator pump?
    Jason Z
    AMCA #21594
    Near Pittsburgh PA (Farm Country)
    Allegheny Mountain Chapter http://amcaamc.com/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Central Illinois, USA
    Posts
    4,307

    Default

    Seriously, Folks.

    HDs and Indians started the same: Both damn easy honest!...

    When everything's in order.

    If it don't, then its broken: Fix it.

    ....Cotten
    Last edited by T. Cotten; 09-16-2019 at 03:56 PM.
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

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