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

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fuji "Thrill" Restoration part 1

Hello and Welcome, I found this low mileage Fuji "Thrill" recently at one of my "regular stops". It appeared to have been "ridden hard and put away wet." While it was dirty and the cables were (are) rusty. Nothing really showed any signs of wear. Unfortunately the saddle has a gouge on the back side. I have really lousy luck with saddles. And even though the derailleurs are dirty and the free-wheel has the usual oil soaked dirt coating, everything appears to be in good working order. I could have easily "slid-by" and just replaced the cables and given the rest a quick clean-up. But with the paint being so nice, and all the Shimano Altus components. This bike is worth a total rebuild. The head-set is super smooth I might just leave it alone.
Below: The sealed bottom bracket. All my experience to this point has been with older bikes. This is the first "cartridge" bottom bracket I have ever gotten "Up close and personal" with. I had to purchase the bottom bracket extractor tool at my LBS (about 8.00 US).Before I go on, The crank and arms are removed in the usual way.
The only real difference is that under the dust cap you remove a bolt instead of a nut. Ok I am now working from the left side of the frame. I reach around and loosen the drive-side first (reverse thread), using the bracket extractor tool. Now I loosen the left side until I can slide the unit out. It is in fine shape (no grinding) and smooth. It does not need to be replaced. I really just wanted to get a look at it (: And it`s pretty cool!
After cleaning off the cartridge I rub a light coat of grease on it and slide it back in. Basically you are just reversing the process. Now I clean-up the drive side crank and arm (see below) and the left side arm, using Clean-Streak on the chain-rings (crank) and bio. de greaser on the arms and caps.
Below: Before I put on the arm (left-side) or crank and arm (right side)I smear a wee bit of grease on the "outer" spline.
Below: After the arm is in place you just pull it back onto the spline by replacing the retaining bolt and tightening. Note: I have put a little blue lock-tight on the threads.
Below: Installing the dust cap. This type you just push and snap into place. Now it is time to turn the frame around to install the drive side.
Now The crank is finished (almost) This is a one piece triple chain-ring so I was not able to break it down for cleaning. So to clean the sprocket teeth that are hidden behind the outer chain-rings, I will need Q-tips and bio de greaser. (maybe latter)
Below: I also replaced the pedals. I know I`m a jerk about this, But "To me, these plastic pedals look like they belong on a child`s tricycle". These very basic pedals with traps and straps run about 20.00 to 25.00 US.
Below: There was nothing wrong with the black water-bottle cage that was on the bike. I just thought this red one would look better. The black cage will be used on a future project.
Below: This comfort saddle was about 25.00 and will make for a very comfortable ride. It is technically a woman`s saddle. But being a smaller frame (16-17 inch) this bike will probably go to a woman anyway.
Below: I used the brass wheel brush to clean-up the seat post adjuster clamp. Burning-up my high-speed 3/8 drill has turned out to be a blessing. I get a lot less shrap metal flying at me using the 18 volt rechargeable. And yes you still need to WEAR SAFETY GLASSES or goggles.
Below: I re-cycled this mirror that came off one of the road-bikes.My plan is to also install a rear rack and fenders. This will no doubt be a campus bike. Wow! there`s a face only a Mother could
Below: That`s where I am at right now. I`m also working on the Raleigh Technium 460 road-bike. I will be posting that one after this one is finished (or near finishe).
Till Next Time, RIDE SAFE and Remember to Always RESCUE,RESTORE & RECYCLE!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Schwinn LeTour Mixte Restoration Part 2

Hello and Welcome, Yesterday was our first really nice day in quite a while. I made a mistake and had a very low speed crash in my driveway. I had been test riding 3 different bikes, none of which have straps and traps on the pedals (clips). Then I got on my Quantum Road Warrior Hy-brid (see below) and went for a short ride. I just wanted to see how the brakes and shifters were working.(they were fine) When I pulled up to the garage/shop door I was rolling real slow. As I hit the brake I tried to slide my left foot off the pedal sideways. As you know that does not work with straps and traps. I was on the ground before I knew it. I quickly looked around, I was glad to see there was nobody around to witness my stupidity.The only damage was to my pride.
Now back to the Schwinn LeTour mixte restoration.
Below: The fenders are SKS Commuter 45mm. They are very reasonably priced at about 25.00 and easy to install. I thought they would go nicely with the black saddle. And they would have gone nicely with the black cork handlebar tape I was going to use.

Below: The Cinelli light natural cork handlebar tape. The reason I went with the light cork instead of the black is this. Light cork looks fantastic with the Kenda Gum-walls, really a nice vintage look. Originally I finished with the Cinelli logo tape. But after one totally came unglued and unraveled and ended up on the floor. Well it was time to go with the black electrical tape.
Below: Here is a look at the front Kenda Gum-Wall tire. Also a nice view of the Super-Maxy crank re-assembled and back on the bike.
Below: The wheels required lots of cosmetic work but very little truing. The bearings needed to be cleaned and re-greased and the free-wheel needed a good cleaning. I used the brass wheel-brush on the rims then Turtle Wax Chrome-Polish/Rust-Remover. For the hubs I used the brass detail brush and Mother`s Mag and Aluminum Polish. And the spokes were cleaned with a rag and some bio-degradable de-greaser.
Below: To clean-up the Free-Wheel I used White-Lightning Clean Streak. (out-doors) To speed up the process I used my Park scraper and Brush Set. If you scrape between the gears prior to spraying it will clean-up quicker. I wear vinyl gloves so I can handle the Free-Wheel while cleaning. After I spray the Free-Wheel I brush it with the Park Brush then re-spray and brush again. This is much more effective and quicker than just using the spray. You will also want to wear safety glasses or goggles. Note: Brush away from yourself, that way you wont be splattered with cleaner/de greaser.
Below: A nice view of the Shimano Free-Wheel and the Shimano Altus Rear derailleur. Which was also cleaned (White-Lightning) and brushed. The Pie-Plate was brass-brushed and polished with Turtle Wax Chrome Polish. The chain is a new Schwinn and the cable and housing are both Jag-Wire. Note: I did check with my LBS and the bulk cables I purchase there from time to time are also Jag-Wire as I suspected.
Below: A nice shot of the front hub, spokes, rim and flange all cleaned up.
Below: My favorite part of the restoration, some shots of the finished project(:

Lots of cool projects coming up. Including the Raleigh Technium road bike. Until next time RIDE SAFE and please remember to always RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Schwinn LeTour Mixte restoration

Hello and Welcome, It has been a long winter but the weather is finally beginning to break. In fact we are expecting it to reach 50 degrees F at some point this week. I had to take some time-off  to concentrate on getting healthy. It is great to be back in the shop doing what I love. Before we move on, here is a pic of the Raleigh Sports 3 speed. After lots of  trial and error, I finally came up with a good touch-up paint color. Most of the touch up is on the right outside fork blade and the front 1/3 om the chain guard. Please note, it has not been rubbed-out and polished yet.
Below: A pic of the LeTour where we left-off. The frame stripped with the head-tube and bottom bracket shell cleaned up.
Below: The Super-Maxy crank assembly cleaned up nicely using "Mother`s Mag and Aluminum Polish" (as usual). I`m always saying, "If you really want to clean it up, you have to take it apart". I am of course referring to a restoration bike not a cleaner late model bike.
Below: To help off-set the cost of the commuter fenders I decided to refurbish the pedals. As shown I used a brass brush attachment on a rechargeable drill/driver. Also a brass detail brush and yes some Q-Tips (dipped in turtle wax chrome polish / rust remover) Quick Tip: If your NEW to this, The pedals are marked L or R (left / right) the mark is usually on the end of the threaded post. Left and Right is as if you were riding the bike. The left pedal will be reversed or "lefty tighty" threaded. In other words both pedals screw-in turning them towards the front of the bike.
Below: The brake calipers before refurbishing.
Below: The brake calipers being refurbished. As always I never take the second caliper apart until the first one is re-assembled. Note: You can also use Mother`s
to clean-up the straddle-cables. Compare the before and after pics, and you can see why I am always recommending Mother`s. This stuff really does do a wonderful job!
Below: This Avenir saddle looks good. And will also be very comfortable for this sporty commuter. This saddle is also affordable, you should be able to purchase one for around 25.00 US

Below: The S.R. (Sugino Race?) Stem also cleaned-up nicely with Mother`s. The clamp bolt and nut were cleaned with a brass wheel-brush. The quill-expander bolt was cleaned up with a brass brush and Turtle-Wax Chrome Polish/Rust Remover. Note:
Before inserting the stem, lightly grease the stem below the max-height line to the expander-nut. (usually wedge shaped)

Below: I found an inexpensive but fairly sturdy rear rack. It is a SunLite rack
with a 40lb. payload capacity. I latter added the rear reflector mount bracket and a nice reflector from the "reflector box". You should be able to find this for about 25.00 US if you shop around. (including delivery)
Well friends, it is time to wrap this up for today. I will continue this restoration post soon. Until next time please RIDE SAFE and remember to always RESCUE,RESTORE&RECYCLE
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