Monday, June 22, 2009

Fuji "Gran Tourer" Restoration

Today I worked on the Fuji "Gran Tourer" restoration.Here is a little tip for rebuilding threaded headsets. When you remove the threaded headset including the (races and bearings) you can wrap a wire or zip tie around the top race, cup and cartridge bearing. That way you won`t mix them up. And I have found that a little "Mothers" works great on cleaning the crown race on the top of the fork (see pic). And of course you want to inspect the bearings, cups and races. As you can see the ones from this Fuji are in excellent condition. I remove the head tube bearing cups with a long and large slotted screwdriver. (not the correct tool) I like to remove the bottom one first. This makes it a little easier to get a good angle with the screw driver when removing the top head tube bearing cup. You want to tap the cup out as evenly as you can. So don`t strike to hard. So I don`t get carried away, I prefer a lighter hammer. And I use a piece of wood when tapping the bearing cups back into the head tube. (also not the correct tool) I use a 4in x 4in square piece of 1x Or 2x works just as well. You want to make sure you have the cup positioned level and then place the wood over the cup. I like to give it a good strike tapping does not work so well for me when replacing the bearing cups. Well now that the bearing cups are back in place you are ready to apply a light coat of grease to the cups (as well as the crown race). Then grease the lower bearing and place it on the crown race. You want to make sure it is in the same position it was in when you took it apart. If you are not sure, take the well greased bearing (by it self) and place it in position on the lower head tube bearing cup (which is already coated with grease and once you have it in place turn it back and forth inside the bearing cup. If it does not feel smooth try flipping it over. The side of the cartridge bearing that exposes the individual bearings should always be facing into the bearing cup. So the bottom bearings would face up and the top bearing would face down. Ok now you have the top headset bearings in place and the bottom headset bearing in place on the crown race (facing up).You are ready to put the fork back in place. As you slide the Steerer Tube through the head tube. Go easy so you don`t push the top bearing out of place. Once you have it inserted, thread the top "threaded-race" into position. An old rule of thumb is tighten it (by hand) till you feel the bearings grind when you turn it. then back it off (just a little) and it should now feel smooth. Now if it feels right you can put the spacers or washers in place then the lock-nut. Now you have finished the head-set rebuild. Note It is always better to use the proper tools. You can purchase a headset cup removal tool. And they also make a headset press for installing the cups. If you would like more detailed (and much better) instructions go to then click on repair help. Then just follow the directions carefully. It is a great resource for the home bike mechanic. And they make the correct tools for removing and re-installing the head tube races. Also check-out Sheldon probably the best home bicycle mechanic reference on the Internet. Today I ordered the tires and a new saddle and some other stuff for the restoration. I will try to mount the handlebars,and brake-levers as well as the down tube shifters tomorrow. And maybe start on the wheels. Till next time, Ride Safe and please remember to Rescue-Restore & Recycle
Cheers, Hugh

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