This is typical cracking of late 70`s early 80's old Schwinn decals. The Gold decals seem to be the worst (for cracking). At least I thought so, until I saw these. After striping the bike down to the frame, it`s time to remove these badly cracked decals.
Some people think the cracked decals give a bike character, I respectfully disagree.
Above: The bike stripped down to the frame. I did relocate some of the clutter so I could "get to work". Look for me on a future episode of "Hoarders"
Above: This is "The Stuff" I like to use to remove all kinds of crud. I love Goo-Gone, almost as much as I love Mother`s Mag and Aluminum Polish. This won`t remove the decal by itself. But it will soften it up a bit. I put some on a rag or paper towel and rub the decal and surrounding area down real good.
Above: After wiping off the excess Goo-Gone I warm-up the first 5 or six inches of the decal with the heat-gun. You want to keep the heat-gun moving all the time to avoid cooking the paint. Try heating the decal for a short time and then try to scrape the decal off. I like to use my thumb-nail with a paper towel over it. You might want to use a plastic scraper. If the decal is hot enough it should break-up easily when scraping.
Above: This is me demonstrating my paper-towel over the thumb-nail method. After I scrape an area it will leave some flecks behind.
Above: Here is the first 5 or 6 inches of the decal removed. Afterwards I put some Goo-Gone on a clean paper-towel and wipe off the flecks. They will slide around a little, so you will have to fold the towel and hit it a few times.
Above; It should look something like this when you are finished. Now it`s time to clean-up those bearing-cups and races.
Above: After wiping-off the grease I cover the race with a good coat of Mother`s.
After it sets for a minute I wipe it off and buff with a paper towel. I usually have to repeat this two or three times before it really shines.
Above: I think this looks fine and it feels smooth. If I am still not satisfied
with the results. I sometimes sand it down (just a little) with # 600 automotive grade wet-sand paper, then re-polish.
Above; The head set bearing-cups get the same treatment. Sometimes I will use a brass-bristle detail brush on the inside of these. After all the bad decals are removed and all the races /cups are clean I wipe the frame down with Armor-All "Cleaning" Wipes.
Above; Now we have a nice clean frame to work with. Note: This bike is actually finished now. I will be posting the restoration in pictures in a few days. I think you will like it. Till next time, PLEASE RIDE SAFE and remember to always RESCUE,RESTORE&RECYCLE Cheers,Hugh