My project came with an original front fender and a back fender. The front fender was much better suited for a patina bike. It was pitted and the sheet metal was anything but straight. It was orgininal which started me down the path of looking for original sheet metal. I didn't have correct tank for a Chief and the rear fender was more likely for a Scout or Four then a Chief. So I turned to plan B. All new sheet metal from Matt Blake at Iron Horse Corral (http://indianfenders.com
). Matt's work is amazing. The rear fender fit like a glove and the front fender looks wonderful. I did note that the front fender was a bit narrower then the original. This ment that there was a gap between the front fender and the fender brackets. On my bike this was resolved by welding new brackets on the front fender to take up the space. I could have easy added a 1/16 shim to take up the extra space. Now when I see preskirted chiefs I always not if there is a gap between the fender and the forks.
Originally gas tanks for a Chiefs were soldered. And after 20, 40, 60 + years the solder fails. John Bivens (Indian Engineering
-- Stanton, CA) will rebuild tanks. He unsolders them, has the clean up, tinned and resolders them. The alternative is steal welded tanks is a very smart way to go. Most the experienced Indian folks I respect advised me to go with steal welded tanks. So that's what I did.
Well I ran into a small snafu on the tanks I ordered from Matt. The location of the mounting holes on my frame didn't line up with the fixture Matt uses when assembling his tanks. Matt guarantees the parts he sells will work and he stand behind is work. After a call to Matt describing the problem I encountered he suggested I make a fixture which matched my frame and send the tanks and fixture back to him and he would modify the tanks to fit my bike. Two weeks later I had my tanks back and they fit like a glove. It's really hard to say what a 75 year old frame has gone through. But my frame likely had seen quite a bit.
I sold my original fenders on Ebay. I was hoping to sell them for what I paid for Matt's fenders but alas I only got just under half of what the replacement fenders cost.
The oil and gas share the same tank (right) on a Chief with a divider of course. The gas is used as heat sync for the oil and helps to cool the engine. The story I heard on this bike was that the right tank was filled to the top and boiled out while being ridden. Fire extinguishers were present and exhausted but offer little relief for the enviable. Worst part of the story is that it was a borrowed bike. What a pity.
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San Francisco, Ca