project started in November 2007 with the request from number 2 son Andy:
"Do you think we could build a Dispatch Tow replica or trike?" The seed
was sown, and a good check amongst the stock of Indian parts we had around
in the workshop directed us in the favour of the model 741 to be the base
of the build.
After dragging out and checking the in-house stock together with world wide internet, eBay and various Indian Rally swap meets, we ended up with the following components:
Main frame: 741 standard
Rear sub frame for box, and neat wheel discs to hide the Honda wheels!
The motor and transmission were rebuilt in our workshop into a unit complete with the standard engine mounting plates and standard 741 carb. The front frame section and motor were assembled together. The front forks bushes reconditioned, and taper roller bearings installed with the headstock and bars. We now had the front end and mainframe ready to mount onto the alinement jig. This was all set up and clamped into position. The rear sub frame was mounted and bolted onto the mainframe. Up to now a standard Indian 741 rebuild.
We now were ready to design the rear axle assembly and the rear frame mods. The car rear axle was converted from shaft drive to chain drive, still maintaining the differential cluster. The main housing was alloy so it was quite easy to cut the two windows for the drive chain entry and exit. The diff unit was then lined up with the final drive sprocket.
After measuring the wheel base and rear wheel width to enable the trike to fit onto our two wheel trailer we now had to shorten one side drive shaft and housing by 6” and the other side by 4”. After major cutting, sleeving and welding and this was done.
The next stage was
to jack out the rear frame to a suitable width and design the rear axle
mounting clamp assembly. With the assistance of the hydraulic jack and
the welding blow-torch both sides came out to the required first
position, the temporary anchor frame was welded onto the allingment jig
and the other side of the rear frame was jacked further out into position.
Now we could fit in the frame cross brace tubes and design the axle split
clamp assembly. The modified rear axle was the next to be installed onto
the split clamps. The rear drive chain was fitted together with the idler
tensioner sprocket. This was finally enclosed to keep shit out and lubrication
Frame and rear end in jig with plumb line from steering head.
brakes were next, hydraulic foot operated with a combination of Indian
pedal and linkage to the cross-over shaft linked to a Toyota clutch master
cylinder then piped up to the overhauled rear brake drum assemblies. The
brake light switch is on the hydraulic lines. The hand brake is cable operated
to both rear wheels using a Vauxhall car hand lever onto the compensating
shaft to balance the tension to each rear wheel.
The Honda pressed steel rear wheels were next to modify. Two special adaptor hubs allowed the wheels to fit onto the drive shafts and fit over the brake drums. Next two special discs were laser cut to fit into the wheel outer rim and onto the hub centres. This was done only for effect together with the fitting of the two Citerion hub caps.
The mudguards were
next on the list. A set of three new-style Indian front guards complete
with separate side skirts located in USA arrived. The side skirts were
only used on the front end
The exhaust is standard
741 two-into-one front end then a custom built silencer box and tail piece.
A full size lightweight
model was built from cardboard and plywood. This together with a small
cardboard model, complete with hindged top, was sent to the cabinet maker
to manufacture one from ½” marine plywood. This was built onto a
timber frame, plywood body, and finally clad in alloy sheet with alloy
edge moulding down the four corners. We now had the top of the tub covered
with old leather and foam padding. The tub was fitted, side rear mudguards
fitted with lights and the two stop and tail rear lamps fitted. The back
number plate and marker light were next to fit. Two tub side top grab rails
were next to fabricate and fit, then the rear bumper tube was fabricated
Plywood and cardboard mockup for box.
We were now ready for the road test, only round the block to start with, followed by more ambitious routes.
We passed the UK MOT test OK. We successfully logged it with the DVLC as the "Indian 3 wheel Trike". After the usual tuning and riding position adjustments we are happy with the result.
The trike is now ready for strip down for the paintwork and plating to be done over the winter. We are carefully planning the sign-writing for the rear tub to ensure it is period and correct for the year.
If all goes to plan
the trike will be on display and ridded around the Rally
site in Scotland 2009, ridden by Andy complete with his daughter Anna as
Final plywood box back from the cabinet maker.
Last year's Carabine VI story, Tony (and gang)
has opened Indian Trading,
building and marketing custom Indians - and who could blame him? With the
speed he finishes projects they would soon pile up around the Carabine
residence if he didn't do something to pass them on!
Padded box top with hand rails.
Final photos next year - or maybe on Tony's Indian Trading website?