Hello and Welcome, I hope everyone had a nice Holiday. We have not seen any "real snow" here yet. The temps however have dropped back down to a more normal range.(Highs in the 30`s - 40`s Fahrenheit ) I`m guessing that the snow will be here soon. I have done a few posts about cleaning-up brake calipers, so this time I think I will talk about cleaning-up the brake levers.
Above: This is my product of choice "Mothers Mag and Aluminum Polish". I started using this stuff years ago on my motorcycles and it carried over into my bicycle restorations. I have only heard good things back from people who have started using Mothers on their bicycle projects. I will be cleaning-up a set of vintage "Schwinn Approved" levers (dated 12-83) for the Ross Adventurer.
Above: Here is the comparison pic of the Road Bike Brake Levers. The unpolished lever does not look bad at all. That is until you compare it to the polished one. It`s all a matter of how good do you want them to look?
But if the brakes are not set tight, due to the wheel(s) being out of true. And if the levers are not positioned properly, then they do not work so good. Back on topic, You want to always use the largest screwdriver that fits. This will minimize the chance that you will damage the slots in the screws.
Above: Apply a light coat of Mothers on the area. Then wipe off and buff with a clean rag or paper towel. Aluminum bleeds-out quite a bit over the years. So you will likely see a lot of black residue on your rag. You may need to repeat this two or even three times depending on the condition of the aluminum. Because of the black residue I like to use Paper Towels
I am using the low-speed 18 Volt Rechargeable Drill. And as always this is a "fine" brass brush. You will probably want to hold the smaller parts with a pair of pliers. When polishing the screw head you may want to thread it into the post while brushing. Your fingertips will thank you latter.
Vermont American Fine Brass Wheel Brush is probably the most important tool I have for restoration work. Second only to having a good work-stand. In a matter of seconds it can make old bolt and screw heads look like new. And also too many other applications to list here.
Simple Green DeGreaser and wipe it clean with a paper towel. Actually in this case I used Castrol "Super-Clean" bio-degradable cleaner. Both very good products. Although I suspect the Simple-Green is cheaper.
Castrol Super Clean. Is it really necessary to clean the bushing? Probably not, But that has never stopped me before (:
Center Pull Brake Calipers. The cables are new Jag-Wire and the new cable housings are Jag wire L3. and I finished it off with new Jag Wire X Caliper Brake Shoes.
These brakes and levers will be a huge improvement over the original generic side pull brakes with generic levers.
Above: I did the paint touch-up yesterday and wrapped the handlebars. The only thing left to do is remount the rear wheel (removed for paint touch-up) and shine it up and take some pictures. I should be able to have all that done tomorrow.
Till Next Time, RIDE SAFE and Remember to Always RESCUE, RESTORE and RECYCLE
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