The 101 Association, Inc.
For the preservation and enjoyment of 1928 to 1931 Indian Scout Motocycles
"You can't wear out an Indian Scout"

Functional Restoration Advice

  • 01 Mar 2020 9:16 AM
    Message # 8784992

    I've attached a couple photos of my '29 Scout.  My desire is to do a mechanical restoration so it runs well.  I am going to clean the grime off the parts as I disassemble so I can see if anything is cracked or broken or worn out.  I do not plan to polish, de-rust, or shine anything up.  A couple of the parts that came with the bike and some of those I have bought are newly-painted (headlight, horn) or plated (air cleaner, oil lines).  I'd like to age those parts so they don't stick out so much.   Any suggestions as to how best to proceed?

    Secondly, you can see that the bike has been painted at some point, the red is all wrong and the paint is flaking off the tank.  I'd like to have it painted and decals applied, but I don't want it looking new and shiny.  Are you aware of any painters that can paint to obtain an aged look?


    John in Alabama USA

    4 files
  • 02 Mar 2020 4:50 AM
    Reply # 8786198 on 8784992

    Remember it is your bike, when you are using the bike and not have it on static display in a museum you are a part of the former, present and future history that is in the making with the bike. Authentic patina is from everyday use and with common repairs, parts get replaced. Patina will form sooner than you think. It is also nice to have something new and unscuffed on the bike. I wouldn't bother do anything with the headlight, you will see after a while your eyes get used with the shiny headlight.

    The best with the rest is to do it like some shade tree bodger back in the day would do it, when the bike wasn't worth more than a weeks pay, polish and wax it up nicely, and use a paint brush and fill in only the missing spots and patches by hand. You'll find that a coherent paint will make a big deal for the overall appearance. Waxed and shiny, the red colour perhaps look like the tomahawk red that came in -31 and doesn't have to be wrong. New decals and striping wouldn't harm. Below is Florian Faltins -31

    The tank is risky though, check thoroughly with a probe camera inside what the rust have done and don't take any risk, there is some 20 pounds of flammable stuff that is sloshing and jolting on the seams in every pothole on the road...

    A good tip is to carry a couple of Element sticks or equal on the bike always.

    PS. Don't ride without the tool box mounted on the rear fender. A small leak from the clutch worm lever can and will make oil drops fly with the slipstream right in between the brake bands. I could have been killed in a road crossing because of that. The toolbox shields that from happening.  

    1 file
    Last modified: 02 Mar 2020 5:39 AM | Carl-Erik Renquist
  • 02 Mar 2020 7:49 AM
    Reply # 8786385 on 8784992
    Tim Raindle (Administrator)

    John, Carl Eriks advice is good. make the bike functional to suit your needs, and it will naturally self patinate. 

    The process can be hurried along a little by wiping the bike down regulalrly with an oily rag, as any road dirt will soon accumulate. A protective coating like penetrol will also help this, a lot of guys with rat rod vehicles use it over worn/faded paint and rust.

    The tank is important, well worth spending 80 bucks at Harbor frieght for one of their little cameras to check internally. Also keep checking the oil tank, make sure there is no leakage of gas into it thru the seems. A sure sign this is happening is that the oil will get very thin, and come out of every joint on the bike. Shut down immediately, and you may just save your motor.

    Paying someone to patinate seems to me to be a bit of a waste of money, you could have a proper paint job done and then cleared, and go over the top of it yourself. I have done that on a couple of my bikes, once cleared, you can do what you want on top of it, and cut it back when the time is right.

  • 03 Mar 2020 7:37 PM
    Reply # 8792713 on 8784992

    Tim and Carl-Erik, outstanding philosophical and practical advice.  Thank you both.  I'm excited to make my mark on this old girl, and get her looking and running good again.  I'll keep you all posted as things progress.

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