Indian Tadpole

silverbear

The Boy Who Never Grew Up
Jul 9, 2009
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northeastern Minnesota
And here are a few more images of the very early Indian with the camel back gas tank behind the seat. This is the model inspiring Fasteddy's tri-car build. Notice how the engine forms part of the frame of the bicycle... just one reason there is no way to duplicate the original. So his build will be "in the spirit of".
SB
 

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silverbear

The Boy Who Never Grew Up
Jul 9, 2009
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northeastern Minnesota
Hey Steve,
Sometimes my computer connection to the internet is so poor that I have trouble seeing the pictures off site, so I put them right there as thumbnails. I didn't mean to be presumptive if I was. I should have asked.
I don't know all that much about computers other than what others have shown me how to do. If I have to teach the computer science class it will only be for one or two sessions before I've taught everything I know. I had to have somebody show me how to copy and paste... very handy. I found photos to be very hard at first. Can I post a couple pictures of the donor frame for your tri-car bike or should we start a new build thread? This one seems to have a life of it's own already so I guess we could just continue it. You decide.
SB
 

fasteddy

Well-Known Member
Feb 13, 2009
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It would be two class better than what I know now that's for sure.

Gosh, I guess we can contiue on this thread. We have a lot on it now and I think you started the thread and it isn't a hijack of somene elses and if it is we can start another one.

Please post photos of the frame I'm using. Our frames are different so we should show them both and everyone can make an informed decision as to what they want to build.

The cuts are coming together very nicely. Had they been any longer I would have passed out since I'm holding my breath with each one. I bought some Bosch metal cutting blades for our DeWalt jig/saber saw and figuring they were going to go dull I bought two packs.

The steel is a 1/6 of an inch thick and the blade slices through it with no problems. The blades are working great and it will be interesting to see how long they last.

BarelyAWake sent me a great site with lots of information on setting up the steering for caster and camber and how to build it into the front end. Had a bit of an idea how to do it but this site told you how in simple language and had lots of diagrams to show you what they meant.
It will keep Silverbear and Eddy out of the ditch or out of the grill of someones car if I understand it correctly.

Steve.
 

silverbear

The Boy Who Never Grew Up
Jul 9, 2009
8,191
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northeastern Minnesota
Pictured below is the donor bike for Fasteddy. It is one of four old skinny tire bikes I got in the treasure hunt last summer, but it is the only one which will work for our purposes... the reason for that is shown in the second photo. Note the forward edge of the wheel and how much room there is around it due to the way the frame was made. The other candidates had much less room. This is an issue since Steve has in mind Worksman wheels for this bike with 2.125 tires. I later removed the rear fender and wheel and tried in it's place a balloon tire and heavy duty wheel... lots of room, so this is a good frame choice. if you are considering turning one of these old frames into a cruiser of some kind, it is something to consider. Also, it has a one piece pedal crank, which will keep things simple and it has the one inch head tube, so the leaf spring forks Curtis Fox is making up should fit just fine. It looks as if he will get away with not having to alter the frame in any way other than having engine mount ears welded into place.
The last three photos show the Villiars engine in three different positions. I don't know what he has in mind, but there is plenty of room for it in that frame. This old three speed pedal bike is sure going to look different by summer's end...
SB
 

fasteddy

Well-Known Member
Feb 13, 2009
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Indian Tri-car Build pictures by speedydick - Photobucket

Here's todays offering. Suprisingly no problems as I just followed the lines as I cut it up and then pulled it into shape. Everything that I drew up on the master sheet was right on where it should be.

Tomorrow I'll grind down the welds a little and weld in the spring cup on the top. I bought a few sets of mini bike, fork shock springs that are plated and this is the suspension on the tri-car.
The plan is to weld fender washers on the top of the pieces of pipe that the spring will fit into. I'll have one piece of pipe welded onto the spindle holder and one on the other end of the spring, then the spindle it self with bearings in it and then a piece of pipe welded in with a washer on both sides of that.

I'll put a 5/8 or 3/4 inch bolt down through the center to hold it together and provide an axle for the spindle to turn on.

Tomorrow night I'll be able to give you a better idea of what I'm talking about.

Steve.
 

fasteddy

Well-Known Member
Feb 13, 2009
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Well the wheels came off the train pretty fast on this idea. Went to put the spring in the piece of pipe that I had cut off to use as the spring holder on the top and given the choice of two pipes leaning against the wall I picked up the wrong one.

As my English Grandmother would say after I fell down 'you've fallen off your wee horsie".
This time is no different except I think that the horse is giving me a, What now Ace, look.. Throw in Mr Akermann's steering theory and it is getting interesting to say the least.
There is the theory for vehicles with A arm suspension and the theory for solid axles like go karts but so far nothing for a go kart with a spring over.

I'll be in touch as soon as I can find a way out.

Steve.
 

silverbear

The Boy Who Never Grew Up
Jul 9, 2009
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northeastern Minnesota
Sorry to hear that it was one step forward and two back. The life of a pioneer... sigh. You'll figure it out, Steve. If I had any idea at all I'd venture an opinion or suggestion, but...
I'd offer a beer and some encouragement, but you're too far away for the beer and customs would want a sip first.
SB
 

silverbear

The Boy Who Never Grew Up
Jul 9, 2009
8,191
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northeastern Minnesota
Steve,
There was just this one photo, right? Oh, man, that rings all my bells. I may need to change the color of mine from cream to black. That is so rich looking. Can you do that kind of upholstery? That would be awesome in black elk hide... the seat part behind the upholstery, is that like a million coats of hand rubbed paint or what? Would you make that out of wood or metal?
We need to find the owner of this or another original and beg him for photos of the front end mechanics with closeups. Not that we have to do things exactly the same, but it would still be good to know how it was done.
SB
 

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fasteddy

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Feb 13, 2009
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Just the one photo. It's in a museum in Washington state, down south of Seattle I think.
I thought about going down to look at it but from what I've seen from all the photographs there was no castor or camber built into the tri-car.

It either handled like a beast and that was why there are so few of them or the length of the steering arms and the long handle bars worked out ok. The bike too, was pretty long with the tri-car on the front end.
Still puzzling just what to do.

Having bounced off the front of two cars already I don't suggest it to anyone nor do I wish to try it a third time.
It is going to be very hard to build in the angles and have the axle look like it should. I'm certain that the engineers at Indian knew about the Akermann steering and I don't know why they didn't use it unless it was felt that it wasn't necessary or they lived with the bump steer which doesn't seem likely.

Steve.
 
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fasteddy

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Feb 13, 2009
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Silverbear, my feeling is that it is that the seat is all wood. It would have been built by a buggy maker and it has the same type of upholstry that the buggys had in those days.

When I restored buggys and cutters as a hobby most of them were built with bass wood or poplar. They are a hard wood and have no grain. Easy to paint. Today I'd just use one of the bendable plywoods and build a frame like my side car and cover it with the plywood and seal it with a primer and paint it.

I like the real dark blue that is on the tri-car that you posted. Black leather was common on upholstered seats in those days.

I'll look up where the museum is and see if I can get down to look at it. I have some things to order and they can be delivered to my pick up spot in Washington state and I'll pick them up when I go to the museum.

Steve.
 

silverbear

The Boy Who Never Grew Up
Jul 9, 2009
8,191
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northeastern Minnesota
I wanted to give an update in photos of the frame modification to the Worksman. Finally got it back from the welder today. I like it and there's going to be plenty of room now for the Villiars engine. Will sit the engine in it tomorrow to start figuring out engine mounts. The donor down tube came from a sixties Schwinn Corvette girls's bike. I did the prep work, stripping paint and cutting off the Corvette tube and left it to the welder to decide where he wanted to cut out the worksman and make the attachment points. I also elected to do the grinding down of the welds. He appreciated the effort on my part and has become interested in the project... was even familiar with what an Indian tri-car looked like. He lit up a little when I told him I'd bring the bike by when its done for him to take a ride. The guy doesn't smile much, but that brought one. I paid $45.00 and consider it a great bargain. Now I won't have to fight that Worksman frame. Woohoo!
SB
 

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silverbear

The Boy Who Never Grew Up
Jul 9, 2009
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northeastern Minnesota
A little more on the frame modification to document things...
The Worksman frame has too little room for an engine. Trying to fit the Villiars Midget in there was like a contortion act and made for some intake and exhaust manifold problems.
I cut the front down tube off of a middleweight Schwinn Corvette and had it welded in place of the Worksman down tube. In effect, I just made a Panther frame, or close to it... very similar geometry. So you might save some money in the first place by finding an old straight bar Schwinn frame to work with, in my opinion a better bet than the Worksman frame and every bit as well made if not better.
But things are looking good, ready for the engine.
SB
 

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silverbear

The Boy Who Never Grew Up
Jul 9, 2009
8,191
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northeastern Minnesota
Before setting the engine in place there were a couple of other things to attend to. The wheels for this bike have been a lot of work for me and are my first wheel building effort. I started out with a pair of 1952 (I believe) Schwinn cruiser rims given to me by Tinsmith from a donor ladies bike. Dan had done the same thing with his stretch Worksman... removed the original down tube and replaced it with the sweeping ladies' Schwinn down tube. So I got the left over wheels which were in very good condition.

I stripped them down to bare metal, and primed them, then laced AMF moped hubs with NOS Schwinn 12 gauge spokes I got from Bairdco and gave them their final paint with clear topcoat. I haven't had any kind of stand for the final truing until now... the bike they are going on.

I had to grind out the axle slots a bit front and back and then make them wider to accommodate the wider hubs. I gave a lot of thought to this and the solution was simple. A piece of all thread, some nuts and washers is all it took. You can see that I have two nuts midway, tightened against each other so that I can keep it all from turning as I tighten the nuts against the dropouts... pushing them out. I did it a little too much on the front fork, but no problem... if you put the nuts to the outside of the fork arms, tighten down and bend it back in just enough.

Now I'll be able to flip the bike upside down and I have my truing stand to get the wheels done. And now with the wheels in place I'll have a better idea of how it is going to look.

One last thing to do is come up with a stand so that I can work on it and have the bike well supported. I like center stands, but didn't have one free for this bike. I did have what was left of the one I had on a bike that got burned in a fire. I cleaned up the remains on a wire wheel and have been hanging on to it since. I found a replacement spring at the hardware and figured there was some way to give it a peg leg. As you can see, one leg was melted off in the blaze. I cut off the other one so the bend at the bottom was gone and fitted up copper water pipe with street elbows and end caps, brass bolted it together and have a center stand I may end up leaving on the bike, as I like it very much.

Now the engine is sitting in place and there is room for it to sit as it should... with the carburetor level and even room for the stock muffler. Progress. Awesome.
SB
 

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LS614

Active Member
Dec 22, 2009
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Very cool looking build SB, you always make such quality work. Can't wait to see what you do with this one :D It looks like it will be an instant favorite when it's done :)
 

harry76

New Member
Apr 16, 2011
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Brisbane, Australia
I love it. That frame looks perfect. And that motor is a nice fit. I love the wheels/hubs/tyres combo. You should be proud of those wheels, well worth all that effort.

Im thinking of making a rear stand for mine like the boardtrackers had....

Once again this thing looks so good, cant wait to see it progress.....