Monday, March 28, 2011

Fuji 'Thrill" Restoration Part 2

Hello and Welcome, The Shimano Altus front derailleur cleaned-up easily using the White-Lightning Clean-Streak and a parts brush. I did a little touch-up on the chrome with the brass wheel-brush after wiping it clean with a paper-towel. When I mount the front derailleur I do not run the cable until I have the rear wheel, rear derailleur and chain in place. Even with no cable attached I am not able to line up this front derailleur with the smallest chain-ring. Although it does line-up with the middle chain-ring. I don`t believe it could be this much out of adjustment. I suspect the front derailleur has been replaced with a two speed derailleur. So for now I will just "leave well enough alone".
Below: I also cleaned-up the rear derailleur with the Clean-Streak. I did remove the jockey wheels so I could break them down for a good cleaning. I also used this opportunity to clean the inside surfaces of the Jockey-wheel cage plates. I used the brass wheel brush for this. Notice: I have run the new cable but left it unattached for now.
Below: The Free-Wheel all cleaned-up with Clean-Streak and a "Park Tool" Gear-Brush & Scraper. Then I cleaned between all the cogs with a folded rag using a sawing motion (with the free-wheel mounted on the hub).And the bearings got some fresh grease as well. Once the wheel is mounted on the frame I can now install the new chain. I start at the front derailleur (with the master-link pin facing out towards me)and work it back through the rear derailleur. Usually I can connect the chain together at the master-link without pressing it together. This gives me a chance to check the chain length. With the chain on the smallest gear (front and rear) I check the rear derailleur. If the lower jockey wheel is allowed to move too far back the chain will not move through the rear derailleur smoothly. It may even rub. In this case I had to remove four links to get it in the position you see below. Quick Tip: The reason you want the master-link pin facing you when you route the chain. Is, it is easier to use the chain-press. It can be done with the master-link pin facing away, but it is a little trickier.
Below: At this point I am ready to run the new derailleur cables. To my way of thinking, with no cables the chain should run smoothly through the derailleurs with the chain on the smallest gears front and rear. If the chain is rubbing the front derailleur I may need to loosen the mount bracket and square it to the chain. If the rear is not tracking smoothly I check to see if the wheel is square to the frame. Do I have an equal gap from the wheel to the chain-stay on both sides? If it is still not tracking smoothly after adjusting check the spacers on the axle. Adding or deleting a spacer or washer on either side can through it off enough to cause some tracking problems.
Below: If I am re-using or replacing the cable housings I like to add a few drops of a light clear oil before inserting the cables into the housing. Also before I tighten down the cable anchor on either derailleur I make a quick check. Are all my cable ends inserted into the shifters and cable guides properly? Are the shifters in the proper position? Before I tighten the anchor I make sure that there is no slack in my cable. If they are sloppy they are to loose. But If the derailleur is reacting (moving) as you are pulling the slack out,it is too tight.
Below: The front axle bearings also got some fresh grease. I like to smear a light coat of grease on the whole axle to protect it from corrosion. I do the same to the quick release skewer. And of course the cones and axle get a good cleaning first. In this case it just took a clean rag.
Below: I took these fenders off a BCA Mixte that I never restored due to a stressed frame. I had to re-shape the struts a little to get them to clear the off road tread. Road tires would have been nice, but these are basically like new. Also the aggressive tread should do nicely in slushy conditions which can go into May here on rare occasions. However I do not like the way the straddle cables rub on the fenders.
Below: My solution to getting the straddle cables off the fenders was to switch to some "old school" road bike straddle cables. I did this on the Quantum as well, but I never got around to putting fenders on the Quantum. To be honest, I was just "playing around." While I was doing this one I also replaced the brake cables. I made the new straddle-cables from the old brake cables. Since they were well protected at top-end, they were not rusty at all.
Below: The (40 lb capacity) Sun-Lite rear rack installed. It did come with the rear reflector bracket and plenty of mounting screws and nuts. However it did not come with the seat-post collar mounting bracket. I had a left-over set that worked fine after re-drilling the post clamp holes. And I found a suitable reflector in the "reflector box."
Below: For the front I could not resist using this vintage "solar-panel like" Schwinn o.e. reflector. I think it goes well with the practical/utility theme.
Below: The Fuji Thrill is finished!(except for test-riding and adjusting) I think it will make someone a wonderful campus-bike or townie. In this pic you may notice it is a little shinier. I went over it quickly with some Meguiars Cleaner/Wax.
That`s about it for the Fuji Thrill. I really enjoyed this build. I had been wanting to build this type bike for a while. Maybe I should build more.
My parts order is in for the Raleigh "Technium 460" and also some stuff for the woman`s Raleigh (the model name escapes me right now) Oh yeah! Raleigh Pursuit!
Until Next time, RIDE SAFE and Remember to Always RESCUE,RESTORE & RECYCLE
Cheers, Hugh


  1. Hey Steve, Sewing machine oil is what I used in my motorcycling days to free-up the zippers on my leathers. It`s good stuff. What I have now is pretty much the same "electric motor lubricant". For a harsh climate (like here) I recommend the snowmobile cable and clutch lubricant.(Polaris) I just checked weather dot com, Right now it`s 10 degrees warmer in Juneau Alaska than it is here.

  2. I've always greased well the bare cable before sliding it into the housing. In the sections along the path, that the cable is out of the housing, I will wipe off any excess grease.

    I might use bike oil (like Tri-Flow) on an old housing if I don't want to remove the cable and am trying to free up a bound or sticky cable. I live in San Diego and we don't really suffer any dramatic cold weather.

    I'm a bit old school and am learning new things. Some cable guides have teflon linings and I am wondering if the cables need to be lubed for those. Do you have strong convictions on how best to set up cables and guides for ease of sliding?

    Great site Hugh, I've enjoyed many of your builds and am getting started on my own blog.


  3. Hey Knotty,
    Thanks for stopping by and Good-Luck with your blog. Almost without exception I replace the cables and housings. However if the housings are in "excellent" condition, I do re-used them on occasion. (especially if they are high-end) The thing about grease is, "dust and dirt adhere to it". I live on a dirt road. So I try not to use grease on anything that is exposed. Tri-Flo is a good product. I use it on derailleurs quite a bit, and on chains as well. I like to wipe-off the excess after spraying. (again the dust problem) When it comes to oil, I like to use a light clear oil. And I always wipe-off the excess. Back to cables for a sec. I think you will find (like I did) that it is better to just replace them. Older cables regardless of how they look, have a tendency to snap. For "a couple bucks a pop" the piece of mind alone is well worth the price. And I do try to keep an open mind. But I do have trouble "letting-go" of the old ways sometimes. One (or more) of my readers will usually get me on the right track when I`m just being stubborn.
    Cheers, Hugh


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