1901-1953 Indian Motorcycle – Parts – Accessories

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  5. 219 – How To Improve The Carburetor Choke On Models 149-249

219 – How To Improve The Carburetor Choke On Models 149-249


When you find that these engines do not start readily after they have been parked long enough to cool off, it is probably due to the choke not functioning as it should because of air leaks.

There are four locations on the air cleaner where air may be drawn through when the choke is in a closed position. The locations are shown in the attached sketch and numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4.

  1. The outer movable disc may become distorted and not fit tightly against the inner disc, allowing air to be drawn in around the edges.
    To hold the outer movable disc firmly against the inner disc, make two hacksaw cuts 1/4″ apart at points A, B and C on the inner disc (see illustration). Then, using a pair of pliers, fold these three sections up over the outer disc and tap down lightly to form hooks (see D) which will hold the outer disc firmly against the inner disc, yet allow it to operate.
  2. Air can be drawn through the space behind the choke handle. The space behind the choke handle may be filled in with solder.
  3. Air may be drawn in through the second notch in the outer sliding disc. The notch in the outer disc may also be closed up with a small piece of metal and solder.
  4. Air may be drawn in through the saw cut made for the pinch bolt for clamping air cleaner tightly.
    The saw cut in the aluminum part of the air cleaner at the pinch bolt may be filled in with a piece of thick vellumoid or cork and coated with shellac.

After these air spaces and holes are sealed up, you will find the engines will start readily when the engine is cooled to the extent that “choking” is required.

Note: To obtain maximum performance and top speed, force the screen and air cleaner element (No. 5) as far back from the carburetor air intake mounting hole as possible. This will prevent the element from blocking the free passage of air into the carburetor.

Walter Brown
Service Manager

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