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Author Topic: New 59 RE Indian owner but....  (Read 444 times)

roenin59

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New 59 RE Indian owner but....
« on: September 18, 2013, 12:42:57 AM »
  Hello all.  I have been reading your posts for some time and have enjoyed them all. 
   I found a 1959 RE Indian Chief locally (bike was more or less an assembled basket case which wasn't running) but I took a chance and bought it.  The fellow I bought it from has had this basket case since 1967, but never got to fixing it despite dragging it around most of the country.
   After tearing it completely apart, I have found some problems which are more serious than I had anticipated.  When I say serious, I mean expensive.  While the top end of the motor seems to be in good shape, I noticed a huge amount of play in the primary side rod after removing the piston.  After splitting the case, I verified that indeed the bearings had failed and the rod was machined by the crank giving it lateral play as well. 
    The bike is missing fenders, in need of a lot of powder painting, 50 year old tires, etc.  So there is no room in the budget for replacing crank, rods, and bearings.  I'm afraid I may have to cut my losses and part out the bike unless someone can offer me an alternative? 

High On Octane

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Re: New 59 RE Indian owner but....
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2013, 03:13:47 AM »
Definitely sounds like it's going to need a complete rebuild.  And yes, it is going to cost quite a bit of money.  I just finished restoring a '58 Trailblazer but luckily I had a good motor and only needed to true the heads and convert the mag to electronic ignition.  I'm actually looking right now for another RE/Indian project bike of the same era that I plan on doing a full performance rebuild on.  Your bike would be a good fit for me.  If it seems too extensive and beyond what you're willing to invest and are looking to get out of it, I'd be interested in taking it off your hands.  Think about it and send me a PM if you want to talk.

Scottie
Scottie J
Denver, CO

1958 Enfield/Indian Trailblazer

roenin59

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Re: New 59 RE Indian owner but....
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2013, 06:09:14 PM »
  Scottie: Thanks for your reply and interest.  I would certainly rather pass this project along to someone who wants to finish it than just sell pieces.  I'm still not sure which way I will go but I should know soon.
   I have made more progress in that I have removed the rods and exposed the crank.  The bushing was trash on the bad rod but looks like it didn't damage the crank.  More detailed measurement at the crank shop will tell all.   

Arizoni

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Re: New 59 RE Indian owner but....
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2013, 10:36:37 PM »
It's just a guess without seeing the parts but if the rod bushings didn't spin in the rods and with the crankshaft journals undamaged, just replacing the rod bearing inserts would probably fix the problem.  Some side to side movement at the big end is not unusual.
Jim
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary

roenin59

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Re: New 59 RE Indian owner but....
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2013, 11:49:51 PM »
Arizoni (Jim?):  I just got back from crank shop today.  Measurements show good journal is right on spec, but the bad one is 4 out and will force a +10 grind (assuming a magnaflux doesn't show anything else).  So much for my opinion that it wasn't damaged. 
   Thanks for your ideas in any case as I need all the help I can get. 

High On Octane

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Re: New 59 RE Indian owner but....
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2013, 01:38:23 AM »
I think I can give it a good.  I'll send you an email tomorrow.

Scottie
Scottie J
Denver, CO

1958 Enfield/Indian Trailblazer