Thursday, December 30, 2010

Raleigh "Sports" Restoration / Wheels, Crank , Pedals, Levers etc.

Hello & Welcome. This will be my last post for 2010. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you find something useful. I look forward to a new year of bicycle projects. I learned a lot this year. One of the things I learned is that there is still much much more to learn. It`s been a great ride so far. See You soon!

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Above: Here is the bracket and crank back on the bike. I am pleased with the way these came out. I also removed the shift cable guide/pulley and cleaned it up. I used the Mother`s Mag and Aluminum Polish to dissolve the caked on sludge on the sprocket teeth. As usual I also used Mother`s on all the bearing cups. (bracket and head-set)
Above: Judging by the lack of wear on these pedals I think it is safe to assume this is a very low mileage bike. The pedal`s metal parts were cleaned-up with brass brushes and Turtle-Wax Chrome Cleaner/Polish/Rust Remover. The rubber blocks were cleaned -up with a bio-degradable de greaser and a scrub-brush.
Above: The front wheel all cleaned up and ready for the new Kenda Gum-Walls to arrive. Both front and rear hubs have oil ports. I am a huge fan of oil ports. I like the idea of the average "not-mechanically inclined" Joe being able to lube anything without having to take it apart first. I guess that`s why I like the self adjusting levers as well.
Above: The "Self-Adjusting" levers cleaned-up real nice. If you take one of these apart for the first time, leave the other one together for a reference. I`m glad I did. There is a little drop-in piece that I assume turns the little cog.(or holds the cog in place after it has advanced ) It fell out before I even got a look at where it was. So I carefully took the other one apart to see how it drops in. I should have gotten a pic of that. My mistake. At any rate, they do work. I remember that from the Raleigh Sprite. When you squeeze the lever something (maybe the little clip) turns the little cog which takes the excess slack out of the cable. I think it only does this when the lever is pulled-in farther than it would normally if the cable were tight. Very cool (:
Above: I think this is the original Sturmey Archer shifter. It looks pretty nifty after all surface rust has been removed. It had not been polished yet when this pic was taken. I ordered a replacement cable. But this one is in such fine shape I decided not to replace it. I did clean up the adjuster-end of the cable. I think I have a pic of that I can squeeze in here. (see below) The shift cable on a Sturmey Archer 3 speed is not under a great deal of tension. It is for this reason that I feel confident not replacing the existing cable that looks to be in "near perfect" condition. I did however lubricate the cable housing with a three or four drops of clean electric motor lube. I also put the same light oil on the linkage chain at the business end of the cable. And wiped off the excess with a clean rag.
Above: The surface rust on the bars and stem came off easily using a SOFT brass wheel brush (on 4&1/2inch angle grinder)and a brass detail brush and lots of Turtle-Wax Chrome/Cleaner/Polish & Rust Remover. The Turtle-Wax is almost gone, I`ll be trying the Mother`s Chrome Cleaner Polish Next. I have been told the bracket with the Heron on it was originally a mount for a specific type headlamp. Maybe one of our friends "across the pond" can confirm this. Whatever it is for, it looks really cool.

Above: This is pretty much where I am at with the Raleigh right now. Since this photo was taken I have cleaned-up the chain. I also have been experimenting with the touch-up paint. Trying to come up with the best color match. I have ordered the tires Kenda 26 x 1-3/8 Gum-Walls with the old style tread. Also (at the owners request) some "Mr Tuffy" tire-liner. I wonder if there is going to be ample room for the inner-tubes now. I could see a little "accordion effect" on the tubes when I removed the tires. It may have been caused by not inflating the tires properly. After mounting a new tire I inflate the tire to about 20 or 30 psi psi. I check the bead, then deflate the tire, and then pump it back up up to about 75%max inflation. Then I re-check the bead if the bead (seal) if it looks good (even) I then pump it up to desired inflation. Sometimes if I suspect, or am not confident the seal is good, I`ll leave the psi at 75% for a day or two.
Above: One of the new additions to the garage/shop this winter is this commercial light-stand. An old friend recently purchased my mortar mixer. He was just a little too low on his bid. So I requested he include this light-stand. It has been a real God-send. As requested by one of my readers I will be doing a post soon about some of the must have tools around the shop. Till next time, HAPPY NEW YEAR!
As always, RIDE SAFE and remember to always RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Raleigh Sports / Schwinn La Tour mixte / cotter pin removal

Hello and Welcome. Wintertime, and the live`n ain`t easy. Now I got this song stuck in my head, "Summertime and the Living is Easy". Lately I have been hearing the snowmobiles going by while working in the shop late at night. It`s only  been officially winter for two days, and I am already yearning for spring. In an attempt to embrace winter. I went ice skating in Central Park yesterday. Not THE
"Central Park" This Central Park is in Milford Mi. Only the second time I have been on skates since I quit playing hockey some 30+ years ago. Enough about winter. It`s time to get caught-up on what`s been going on (and not going on) in the shop/garage these past few weeks.

Left: This is the temp in the shop on a cold day, with both heaters going! Not as bad as it looks. I keep the radiant propane heater close to my work area. so where I am working it is probably 50 to 60 degrees F.
Above: I found the correct replacement gum hoods for the Raleigh Technium. But I had to put the Technium project "on hold" for a few weeks or so. Due to some unexpected bicycle work that came in.
Above: This Raleigh Sports 3 speed was selected for restoration by one of the two young ladies that stopped by to look at the 10 or so step-through frame bikes I have in stock. I don`t keep more than one or two finished step-through bikes in stock as they do not sell very well.
Above: The other young lady selected this Schwinn Le Tour "Mixte" These were probably the two best step-through bikes of the bunch. These girls knew what they were doing.
Above: I decided to start with the Raleigh. I`m not a huge fan of "Cotter Cranks." I figured it would be best to get it "out of the way" first. Then the rest should be fairly routine. Below is my preferred method of removing cotter-pins.
Above: After removing the nut I sprayed a tiny bit of penetrating oil on the key (both ends)the night before. Then I place the lug-not over the fat end of the pin.
Then carefully position the clamp. This clamp has a groove that helps keep the threaded end of the pin in place. It is still tricky, so take your time getting it positioned properly. Then I apply pressure (as much as I can) Then being winter I add a little heat.
Above: If your shop is well heated this step may not be necessary.If you do heat it up use a low flame, and keep the torch moving. And don`t over-due it. Also only heat up the arm around the bracket not the bracket end. You want the arm to expand, not the bracket. The torch in this pic is not positioned properly. it should be closer and a little bit lower flame. I had the torch in one hand and the camera in the other. Right after I finished warming -up the other side my phone rang. And it broke loose while I was talking to my wife on the phone. So give the heat a little time to work.
Above: This is what a bracket and bearings look like when they have not been serviced in many years. This would not have been savable if it had gone much longer.
As it was, I was not 100% sure I would be able to save it. What you are seeing is a battle between the rust and the grease. Looks like the grease was loosing the battle!
Above; The bracket, bearings and one of the cups all cleaned-up. I used White-Lightning Clean-Streak and a Brass Brush. I also sanded it a little bit with #600 automotive grade sand-paper (only the bracket).
Above: Ready to re-assemble the head-set bottom bracket and crank. The plastic bag contains new head-set bearings. That gets us pretty much caught-up on whats been going on. I will be doing more posts about these two bikes as they progress. If it
is warm enough where you are (or your just really tough) get out and Ride Safely.
Happy Christmas! I hope you have a Wonderful Holiday Season.
Cheers, Hugh
Eddie (the worlds coolest cat)says Remember to RESCUE,RESTORE&RECYCLE

Friday, December 3, 2010

Schwinn Caliente Finished

Hello and Welcome. I have finished the Caliente project, except for the paint touch-up. The weather has turned cold and I will have to wait for it to warm up a little. As for the "finish pics" I went ahead and photographed it (as is). It still looks pretty good. But a little paint touch-up will go a long way towards making it look better. I hope to be doing that real soon.
Above: I found these levers laying around the shop and decided to polish them up and use them in place of the generic levers it came with. These are no doubt off one of the 5 or 6 Continentals I have re-built in the past 20 months. I still might up-grade the brakes to some vintage center-pulls. But if I do that, I will want to up-grade the wheels too.....

Above: I have no idea which bike these pedals came off of. I found them in the pedal box. The original pedals were very dull with no chrome. I decided it needed a little bling!

Above: This is the bike I was saving this Specialized (take-off) saddle for. You might remember it from the red Varsity mock-up. It is quite comfortable and still very sporty looking. I would have used it on the Varsity, but I was really trying to keep the cost down. Most of my customers are college students and many have a very tight bike budget. So I like to keep a few less expensive bikes around.

Above: Shown with new Kenda 27 x 1-1/4 Skin-Walls mounted on the original wheels.
I don`t like the way the skin-walls photograph. They look like white-walls. I think
I will be going back to using the Kenda Gum-Walls in the future. I polished-up and trued the wheels. I did find one little ding. I marked it with a Sharpie marker and
banged it back with a ball-peen hammer. I have a trick for doing that (hammering out the ding) I`ll have to do a post about that some time.

Above: I like to cut my cable housings with a cutting wheel on a high-speed drill.
I insert the little nail quickly after cutting to prevent the end from melting shut.
I sometimes mark the spot to be cut with a small piece of tape. After I make the cut I trim the end with a small pair of scissors. The wheel will also cut through housing and cable together. If you have a long universal cable with housing, you can cut it in the middle and use both ends. Of course you will want to measure first.

OK, Here are some pics of the finished (but not touched-up) project.

I found some NOS gum hoods for my next project a Raleigh "Technium." I paid a little too much for them. However they are a perfect match. And I want this Raleigh to be as close to perfect as I can make it. I should have a progress report soon about the Technium. Till next time Ride Safe and remember to Always RESCUE,RESTORE&RECYCLE Cheers,Hugh
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