Because of expensive shipping costs US-India ($100 USD or so), the seller eventually agreed to let me keep the tank for just $50 total (he reimbursed the remaining cost, including original shipping). My frame (1953) definitely has only 13" front-to-rear centered lugs, but I figure easy enough to just weld some new tabs underneath in the correct position. I will be painting the underneath the standard black color anyway, so no worry about discoloring the chrome underneath. I may very well tap the new holes as standard SAE threads, since Whitworth taps and hardware are hard to come by here in the states.. that way I can insure I have the exact correct length of bolt to not drive it through the tank bottom.
This tank is fully chrome plated, so I am going to have to find a way to mask the correct chrome areas, then bead blast the remaining tank to allow paint to stick.
After my original posting, I tried out my new petrol cap (from Draganfly) and found the hole in the tank to be slightly out of round, to the extent the cap will just barely fit, after a bit of fiddling every time. The workmanship on these Indian tanks (at least this one) is crude at best. I can almost envision some worker sitting barefoot in the dirt beating this tank into shape with a spoon!
Who knows? I guess it is possible that my frame is somehow from a Mark I, but with the MK II engine? Given the state of my bike from P.O., I wouldn't put anything past him.
My frame (or VIN number) is ES694 The engine, near as I can tell, is XJ536..
I would appreciate any comments from other owners as to the tank mount lug measurements specifically on a 1953 MK II, as well as if these numbers jive with that model year.
Phil Auldridge Austin, Texas - USA
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53 SQ 4 MK II, '72 Norton Commando, '78 BMW R100/7, '79 Honda CBX, 2014 Indian Chief Vintage