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What is the difference from a 1939 Indian Chief motor and a 1948?

10574 Views 15 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  dieselgman
I am working on a Indian Chief motorcycle rebuild/restore in my shop.

After researching the frame and motor numbers, I found I have a 1948 Frame with a 1939 Motor on it.

I am just trying to find out what the difference there is in the 1939 motor that's on it and a 1948 motor that should have been on it.

Thanks for any help.

Briggs Bikes, Manhattan, KS
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To be clear, I have a 1948 Indian chief Vtwin frame #3481813
with a 1939 motor number #CCI-1703b

This is a restore for the owner of dealership I work for who asked me to find out what the difference was in the Vtwin 1948 motor that should have been on the bike and the Vtwin 1939 motor that is on the bike.
Briggs Auto is a major Car dealer with several new and used dealerships in The Central Kansas area, with one tiny Motorcycle Shop with just one motorcycle mechanic, (me).

He has elected not to restore back to 100% original due to the numbers not matching however, we are restoring it close to original.

All I am looking to find out is different in the 1939 Motor & the 1948 motor. Both motors are Vtwins.

I am aware allot was changed, but I am not sure exactly what. I have been doing research but finding it hard to come up with anything. The owner will return this Saturday and will ask what I found out regarding this question he posed to me, I was just hoping someone else might know and could give me a better answer than the one I currently have.
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This is bike with all tin removed for paint. I have since stripped it down to the bare frame as we powder coating the frame.


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I think I found my answer. Does this sound correct?

The 1948 Indian Chief 74ci come out that year with new motor changes as follows:

1. Engine case pinion housing modified for straight thru line boring

2. Silent ball lock starter replaced sprag faced gears

3. Aluminum geared oil pump

4. Header and muffler were now sperate units
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