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  • Indian Rear Springs

    I am getting ready to disassemble the rear springs this weekend and see what I have. But I am not sure how to determine if I will need new springs on what may be originals (not sure, but likely) from 1942. Without ever having ridden the bike, is there a way to determine on the bench if I have still have good springs? Or are they just something I should replace since I will have them open and apart? If you have been through this before, and replaced them, was there a huge difference in the ride or handling? Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Rick, I'll weigh in with my 2 cents. A few years ago I was chasing a problem with the RH adjuster screw repeatedly breaking so I went into the rear springs ('46 Chief) and found one broken, so I replaced them all with new. I didn't notice the broken spring before, and I couldn't tell any difference with the new springs after

    I'm sure the rear springs help keep the rubber on the road but they also have limited effect on the ride quality IMHO, cushy is not a word I would use for Indian rear springs. "Your mileage may vary!"
    Pisten Bulley is Harry Roberts in Vermont.

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    • #3
      Howdy sir,

      Rear suspension units, two things as it regards rear springs, was this a side car hauler or a 1940 one year only with the softer compression spring. Then yes I might automatically replace out of caution. As you don’t know who might have changed only one spring at some point then it is imperative both be of the same rate to avoid binding which causes the wheel to cock to one side with resultant odd handling.

      I’d focus on the bushings and shafts which can be quite worn from lack of full grease distribution. Or none at all if one or both bottom grease fittings have been knocked off at some point along the way.
      Cheerio,
      Peter
      #6510
      1950 Vincent - A Red Rapide Experience

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks to both of you. All great advice and it looks like I will be replacing springs! Both uppers on the '42 Chief were broken so I will just replace all of them. The zerks were intact and there was plenty of grease, to your point, Peter. In the picture, I had already taken them out. I will replace bushings as well. Nothing like the smell of some soft / some rock hard 79 year old grease in the air.

        Now the hard part...how do I get these slippers off without destroying them?

        IMG_0174.jpeg

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        • #5
          If you mean the shock covers and are trying to save them and reuse I would leave them in place.
          A set of new new ones is usually the best .
          A little heat around the bottom and they come off easy.
          Tom

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          • #6
            Howdy chaps,

            Those are very nice originals for which no repops made to date can compare, notice that nice taper on the lower perimeter of the upper/lower outer covers. All the repops are merely square cut on that edge. As these assemblies are not rusty and in fine shape they can be removed and replated. Measure the OD of the cover, take a piece 2 x 6 or 3/4 inch plywood cut it such that it will fit within the jaws of a vice when clamped face up. Drill a hole in center slightly larger than the cover OD to accommodate a strip of left over inner tube, then cut the plate in half. Throughly clean your cover with brake clean, now clap your shock assembly vertically in a vice grasping the cover about 2 inches or so down from the shock body. Heat the shock cover all way around above this line and, and using a wrench on the axle bracket, slowly work it back and forth while rotating the body upward. The original covers are of a thinner gauge steel and sized more accurately to their mountings than the repops (not swelling like those when hammered into place) and should yield fairly easily.
            Cheerio,
            Peter
            #6510
            1950 Vincent - A Red Rapide Experience

            Comment


            • #7
              Always very observant, informative comments, Peter. You are spot-on about saving the slipper covers, even if the refinishing, and chrome doesn't cover all the blemishes, you can always dial the best finished surface to the outside I cut the covers off my '40 Chief back in the '70s when I was an armature moron (I'm an experienced moron now).
              Eric Smith
              AMCA #886

              Comment


              • #8
                Howdy chaps,

                if you’ve had any rear spring breakage you need to carefully check the alignment and integrity of your rear axle, besides the slipper bracket bushings grinding themselves the axle will flex and bend. And Harry, the easy answer to your harsh ride is you’re far to svelte carcass on board, they smooth right out with a pilot in the 250 - 275lb range.

                Just like the overly sprung clutches that rear suspension was designed to take an extremely heavy chair and passenger without any modification from stock solo. After frequent spring breakage in 1940 they firmed them up. In the end, still a far better ride with more rear wheel control than a hard tail, a 346 with its relaxed fork trail is the sweetest one of the lot.

                Cheerio,
                Peter
                #6510
                1950 Vincent - A Red Rapide Experience

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have installed about 4 or 5 sets of starklite shock covers with no issues,certainly no hammering or resulting distortion,but I havent bought a set in 10 or 12 years.Hopefully the quality hasnt changed as I need another set.
                  I admire saving the originals although I never had a set worth saving.
                  The only original set I have loose on the self were removed from a very original 47,last on the road in the sixties,straight cut .032 thick.Maybe they are old repros but I doubt it.
                  Tom

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                  • #10
                    Howdy sir,

                    Tapered covers were on early spring frames, one of those small details lost along the way as Indian went broke along with Four fuse holders on top of 340 series generator covers, elaborate rubber horn isolating mounts, rubber isolated rear muffler hangers, multi piece sump oil return assemblies, Corbin speedos, etc. With the exception of a few 442’s, 41 was the last of the magnificent Fours and I’d look to preserve everything I could if doing another one.
                    Cheerio,
                    Peter
                    #6510
                    1950 Vincent - A Red Rapide Experience

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks,I had a 40 along time ago and never noticed the taper.(and probably other things)
                      Tom

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Howdy sir,

                        ….now wait a minute, aren’t you the big gregarious bloke from New Jersey/NY with the Barry White basso voice bust’n my ballz between drags on a cig in the beer/rain sodden parking lot at the Cherokee road run a couple of weeks ago when we were hanging out at Larry Offil and Rick Allen’s parking area? Can’t believe that 440 (blue?) you had is gone it was two serial numbers away from mine and a stunner on 18’s and quite original.
                        Cheerio,
                        Peter
                        #6510
                        1950 Vincent - A Red Rapide Experience

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          No, that was me. LOL. And it is not gone. Was riding it yesterday. Oh, I wasn't bustin your balls, I'm from NY, that's normal to survive here.

                          Last edited by D.A.Bagin; 10-21-2021, 07:09 AM.
                          D. A. Bagin #3166 AKA Panheadzz 440 48chief W/sidecar 57fl 57flh 58fl 66m-50 68flh 70xlh

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                          • #14
                            So I thought I would follow up with this thread since I gave Peter's suggestion a try. It worked beautifully, but with a bit of a learning curve. I used a scrap piece of 2x6 I had in the pile, cut a square piece and then cut a hole using a 2.5" hole saw that I had. Cut some old inner tube I had, along with some 1/8" thick rubber strips I had left over from another project. The inner tube piece worked great on the larger slipper and one wrap of the 1/8" and one piece of inner tube worked on the smaller diameter slipper. I also needed to put a piece of tube on the vise as the wood kept slipping out.

                            IMG_0283.JPEGIMG_0284.JPEGIMG_0285.JPEGIMG_0286.JPEGIMG_0287.JPEG

                            More on the next post....





                            Attached Files

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                            • #15
                              Continued….
                              Clamped it in (you can actually tighten it up pretty good without affecting the slipper). I also had to apply a little bit of heat and some small taps to break it loose. Out she came....

                              IMG_0289.JPEGIMG_0290.JPEGIMG_0291.JPEG

                              On my second attempt, the jig broke with the grain in two spots, so I made "Ver 2" and did the center cut with the grain. This held up for all the rest of the slippers!

                              IMG_0295.JPEGIMG_0296.JPEG

                              What a great feeling to get these off with ZERO damage. Like I said, a few of them needed a little heat and light tapping, but there were several, like the cups, that came off with no heat. Just twisting action on the mounts and pulling up on them at the same time. Now the jig will go in the tool box with the other "special" Indian tools. Oh, yes...keep a fire extinguisher handy as well!

                              Thanks Peter! Where can I send a 12 of Shiner Bock?

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