Hello and Welcome,
This GT Avalanche has the legendary "triple-triangle" frame described by many as "Indestructible". It would appear the previous owner abused this bike badly. Not so much by the way it was ridden. But by leaving it outside and never having it serviced. The rear wheel was so badly bent it rubbed the frame. The rear brake-shoes had been removed. I assume they had to be removed so the bike could be ridden home.
The Headset was an absolute nightmare. The nut over the top cup (shown below with paint removed)would not break loose. After removing the nut and spacers above the unpainted nut, I sprayed the threads with WD-40 hoping that would help. After I realized that I would probably destroy it before I could break it loose, I decided to take it to a pro and see what they could do with it it.
Above: Fortunately the moisture that rusted the threads on the steerer never reached the bearings. Here is one of the bearing cartridges after cleaning and re-greasing. While they had very little grease remaining, they were in remarkably good shape considering.
The left side arm retainer bolt was rusted into the threads. After trying everything I could think of, it finally broke loose. There was absolutely not a trace of grease remaining on the bearings. Only lots of rust and dust. Fortunately I did have a good set of cups and bearings that were an excellent match. I did have to re-use the bracket(axle) itself as I could not find a match. But it was in "pretty fair" shape. After re-assembling the bottom bracket the second time, everything was "good to go". I think on a scale "one to ten" the performance of the crank now is about a 9.5 or so.
Above: The three piece crank was taken apart and cleaned-up. No problems there, other than spending quite some time on the floor looking for one of the spacers.
So far I have spent way too much time on the bottom-bracket, crank and the headset.
Lesson here "Don`t leave your bike outside to fend for itself".
Above: The next step is to sand off the rust. QUICK TIP: I like to fold the sand paper. This way I can use the folded edge to sand just the nick. If it is rusty, I will first use a grittier sand paper then finish with a finer one. If it is not rusty I will often just use the finer sand paper. Folding the sand-paper is the best way I have found of just sanding the nick.
Remember, This is a touch-up, not a re-paint "Less Is Better"
Above: Applying the lacquer to the nick. Do Not Brush! What you want to do with a paint chip like this one is just tap the nick with the end of the brush. Make sure you shake the paint up real good, and repeat often while working with it. You want to make sure you don`t over-load the brush with paint. This will take a little practice. If you screw-up, just wipe it off and try again.
This was one of the better areas. All the touch-up really tested my patience. As did the whole restoration.
Above: The Araya wheel-set cleaned up easily with some Mother`s Mag and Aluminum Polish. The wheels required very little truing and the hubs and spokes cleaned up easily as well. I topped them off with a new set of Kenda Kross Plus 26 x 1.95 "Smooth Rollers" as I like to call them.
Above; These are the new handlebars I was going to use. But after test fitting the lever/shifter units, I found there was not enough room. I will no doubt use them on some project down the road.
Above: I taped off the top part of the original seat-post. And after a light sanding gave it a coat of black satin.
That about does it for today. I will try to post the rest of the restoration in the next few days. It will include some last minute changes. And I will be giving this GT the full Ze-Fal treatment. Including some really cool new Ze-Fal products.(new around here anyway) Until Next Time, RIDE SAFE and Remember to always RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE