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  • Couple questions for a new '46 Chief owner

    I bought a 1946 Chief and am going through some of the things that aren't working on it.

    1. The "fog" lights don't work. Should these be wired directly to the battery? OR the Ign. switch? Where on the switch should they be wired too if that is where they get wired?

    2. The speedometer isn't working. I hear a small clicking sound that would be near the end of the cable where it screws onto the head. I am assuming that I need to remove the gas tank to remove the cable for inspection to see what's going on. Will I need to remove both sides? OR can I just remove the left side because that one only has the one gas line and no oil lines.

    3. I have leather saddlebags on it, but the one over the exhaust pipe is very close. There is a shield on the pipe, but it's only about 6" long and I don't think it's long enough. Is there a longer one to protect the bag and whats inside it from the heat??

    4. Is there a fuse block or a single fuse on a '46 Chief? Where would it be if there is one?

    Thanks! I know that these are probably too easy for most of you, but... it's all NEW to me! Riders book doesn't cover these questions.
    Jim

    AMCA #6520

  • #2
    1. Spot lights (or fog) usually have a switch on handlebar.
    2. Remove dash and left tank.
    3. I have not seen any, you may have to fabricate, also check with Kiwi Indian - https://kiwiindian.com/
    4. No fuse from factory, some owners have added fuse.

    Comment


    • #3
      Howdy sir,

      Assumptions: stock configuration, 6V, point ignition, 3 brush, cutout.

      1. With exception of headlight, spots are next highest amperage consumer and if you are fastidious about your shutdown procedure I’d spare the ignition switch and wire directly. Be advised though, a three brush autolite is not a 32E and you cannot casually operate both with lights on even at highway speed, it’s one at a time at best.

      2. Corbins a bit more intricate than SW’s and will leave that to a pro. Drain both tanks, remove left side and gingerly let right stand off on support of its piping so you can reach the right side strap screw. If the speedo is locked at the head it will either strip the ring gear at the rear axle or the cable strips at the drive pin at the unit.

      3. An HD header shield from the Knuckle era works nicely clamped to the pipe. Not a tremendous amount of heat here.

      4. Fuse blocks like you see on late Fours discontinued after early 346 production (mounted to top of top cover over your generator if still fitted) 15 amp fuse more than enough fitted to positive side. No HD circuit breakers on negative as were popular at one time, those just allow a slow burn as the contacts open/close repetitively.
      Cheerio,
      Peter #6510
      The Ozarks
      1950 Vincent Red Touring Rapide - A Red Rapide Experience -

      Comment


      • #4
        THANKS! Great info!

        Peter, As far as I know, my bike is stock. It is a 6V system. I am still running the standard "points". I don't know if the Gen. is 3 brush or whatever, but I am assuming it's still stock. I'm not sure if my "cutout" is the electronic OR the standard points type.

        1. My Fog Lights have a small toggle switch on each light (aftermarket/repro type), so it would be easy to remember to turn them off. I was thinking that the Gen. would be (almost) the same as the H-D 32E Gen. Thanks for enlightening me about that! I'll wire it directly to the battery for them.

        2. As for the Speedo, I 'hear' a clicking near the head under the dash "somewhere", so I am assuming the ring gear on the rear axle is OK. We'll see!

        3. I didn't think about a H-D header shield. Good idea. My bag was burnt where it was laying on the pipe and the "dye" ran onto the pipe as well. It cleaned off the pipe, but the leather is really hard there. I have Pecard's Leather Dressing, but it may be too late for that small area.

        4. Mine is a late '46, but I will look closer where you mentioned, but I don't recall anything like that when I was inspecting it. If it doesn't have one, I may add a inline fuse near the battery inside the fake battery shell... just in case.
        Last edited by Jim; 11-14-2020, 10:54 AM.
        Jim

        AMCA #6520

        Comment


        • #5
          Howdy Jim,

          A 32e is a sophisticated piece of kit and of vastly better quality than an Indian generator of that era, as I’ll readily concede after riding four of these for nearly 30 years before getting my Knuckle. As you likely know the 3rd brush on a 32E controls only the “primary” circuit, for lack of a better description, as switching on your headlight activates full voltage to a second field coil allowing unregulated output permitting you the luxury of urban/city riding without concern for running down your battery (still wouldn’t encourage that with a Knuckle with both spots on). Indians primitively control....notice I don’t say regulate, the output of the generator entirely with the 3rd bush, there are no two stages like a 32E, so to speak. So, If you fancy casually using whatever output you may have on hand, I’d convert your generator to two brush and install an electronic regulator, still no 32E but vastly superior to what these machines were fitted with originally.
          Cheerio,
          Peter #6510
          The Ozarks
          1950 Vincent Red Touring Rapide - A Red Rapide Experience -

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for that good explanation on the Generator! I probably would not really ride with all those lights on anyway, but I'll keep that in mind about the Generator conversion. I see there is a guy cycleelectricinc.com on page 16 (newest issue) in the AMCA Magazine that sells upgraded Generators for Indians and H-D's. 6V and 12V. Funny how I just noticed this yesterday... probably in almost every issue too! HAHA!!
            Jim

            AMCA #6520

            Comment


            • #7
              Jim, I'm putting mine away for the year (last ride on Wednesday...kinda cold!) so I took a few pictures:
              1) my fog lamps also have a toggle so they're just wired to the same terminal on the switch as the headlamp and fender lamp, suppose I could have wired them to the coil terminal on the switch..but I didn't ;-)
              AA4F5C16-0AD6-42E9-8D40-8EA0F8CF457C.jpg

              2) you're going to need to get that right tank off or out of the way because you can't unscrew the cable from the speedometer in order to check the cable:
              D92C2B76-3E8E-4DF5-962A-5EE7D3F52BC5.jpg

              4) I installed a self resetting circuit breaker on the positive battery lead above the battery and slipped a length of bicycle tube over it:
              49B121D1-CC1D-4241-BB62-51C161FE69CF.jpg
              Pisten Bulley is Harry Roberts in Vermont.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for the pictures Harry! I am 99.9% sure my lights are repro lights; I'll have to look closer near the switch. My switch is on the bottom of the light, but they look nice. I am still waiting for the state to mail me my Antique tag/plate. Seems like it's taking forever, but... that is how it goes when you wait for something like that. I'm going to check into removing the tank(s) and see what I need to do. Did you use a 15 amp breaker? Since I've never used one of those before on anything (including cars). Are they 6V or 12V specific? Did you use a 15 AMP breaker?
                Jim

                AMCA #6520

                Comment


                • #9
                  Oh geez, I'm going to put myself out there and relay what I've always understood! 6 volt systems require twice as many amps as 12 volt systems with the same load (e.g. a 50 watt bulb, either 6v or 12v, will draw twice as many amps in the 6v version compared to the 12v version). AND circuit breakers are commonly rated at 12 volts....but you can use the same 12v rated circuit breaker in a 6 volt system BUT you should double the amp rating. So for a 15 amp protection in a 6 volt system you would want a breaker rated for 12 volts at 30 amps.

                  Jim, I am NOT an authority on electrical matters so if I'm wrong I hope someone will jump in!
                  Pisten Bulley is Harry Roberts in Vermont.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    No,Amps are amps.Voltage on a breaker is more about insulation.So a 15a breaker rated for 12v would be fine for 6v system.The amp rating should be below the wire rating,so you dont want a 30a breaker or fuse.
                    But Ive been wrong before.
                    Tom

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pisten-bully View Post
                      I am NOT an authority on electrical matters so if I'm wrong I hope someone will jump in!
                      See? I told you so!

                      I guess I was thinking that if you need to protect a 12v system at 15 amps, then you should protect the same system ...if it were 6 volt...at 30 amps. But Jim didn't ask that question, sorry to muddy the waters

                      (I've got a 12v system with a 15 amp breaker)
                      Pisten Bulley is Harry Roberts in Vermont.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I like the in line fuse holder.
                        It makes an easy disconnect if needed.
                        Tom

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tfburke3 View Post
                          I like the in line fuse holder.
                          It makes an easy disconnect if needed.
                          Tom
                          I may just go with a fuse holder and carry a couple spares. I mean... if a fuse keeps blowing, there is a problem.

                          Originally posted by pisten-bully View Post
                          See? I told you so!

                          I guess I was thinking that if you need to protect a 12v system at 15 amps, then you should protect the same system ...if it were 6 volt...at 30 amps. But Jim didn't ask that question, sorry to muddy the waters

                          (I've got a 12v system with a 15 amp breaker)
                          You're right, I didn't say if mine was 6V or 12V. I didn't even think about your Indian being converted to 12V. However, I think I read that yours was 12V not too long ago somewhere here in the forums... (I think).
                          Jim

                          AMCA #6520

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well I found out that the sealed beams in BOTH spot lights are bad. I pulled out both bulbs and did a continuity test between the spades. Neither one had continuity. I know they are reproduction or "generic" 6V lights. They say GE 4510 on the back and are sealed beams. I wonder why BOTH lights are blown out.

                            I removed the speedometer I'm sending it out to Terry to have it cleaned and gone over.
                            Last edited by Jim; 11-20-2020, 05:17 PM.
                            Jim

                            AMCA #6520

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Vibration and cycling, turning on and off, of filament bulbs are two big enemies of light bulbs AC or DC. Overvoltage assures almost immediate failure as well.
                              I have a filament type spotlight bulb lighting the flag in front of my home that has been on constantly for at least five years and I would bet it was made in China, no it is not a testament to Chinese manufacturing, it is never turned off. In the world of motorcycling that is just not practical. A hot filament subjected to constant vibration reduces its useful life dramatically.
                              I tired of changing the spotlight bulbs on my '97 FLSTS and changed them to LED's. I believe they are making more 6V LED's for a lot of applications. These are great for riders not for show. The wattage is generally lower as well so your bike's electrical system will love them.

                              Comment

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