Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Parliament Rode Bike Restoration Part I

Hello and Welcome, I have started restoring the Parliament ladies road bike. I was excited about the old style front wheel with the wing nuts, So that is where I started. The rim was in fine shape (rust wise) but it did have some small curb dings. When you spin the wheel on the truing stand with the pins screwed in close to the the rim`s side walls (start at about 1/8" out)
*Photograph is from another build. It is being used to show the set-up*
It will rub the pins where the wheel is out of true. If it is a curb ding, it wont make a rub or scraping sound as it passes the pins. It is more like a "ping" sound. Once I have located a curb ding I mark it on center inside and out with a blue Sharpie. Then I remove the wheel from the stand. I use the edge of my work bench top as a brace. With the edge of the bench top inside the rim and under the ding to brace the rim. I hit the mark with my ball-pein hammer.(not too hard) Then check it visually if it looks good (flat)I put it back on the truing stand to check it. If it no longer contacts the pin and the gap looks good I move onto the next one. One day I will have to get a photo of this as it is difficult to explain. But with both hands busy and no room for the tripod I will need to do this when someone is around to take the pictures.

Above and Below: Above photographs of the front wheel finished. I was very careful with the ding repair. This would be a tough wheel to replace. Besides the wing-nut front axle, It also has a unique segmented design on the side walls. Below:The hub and flanges cleaned up beautifully. After the "curb dings" were banged-out the truing was very minor. It spins now with less than a 16th of an inch of wobble. If you left click on the top photograph you can see the segmented design on the side-walls.
Below: The three piece cotter crank and bracket assembly all polished-up and ready to be re-assembled. Luckily I had the correct pins in stock as the originals mushroomed a little on the threads. I probably could have cut-off a little of the threaded post and re-used the original pins if it had been absolutely necessary.
Below: A shot of the Crank back on the bike. It does have some minor pitting, but for circa 1969 I think it looks pretty damn good. Note the heavy scratching on the chain-stay. I think the lime green enamel that I had to darken for the green Raleigh 3 speed might be perfect match. "I should be so lucky"
Below: The first New Brooks saddle I have ever purchased. When this project is finished, it should look "right at home". It was 89.99 US including delivery. I think that`s a great price for a "saddle manufacturer" that many still consider to be "simply the best"
Below: The vintage frame pump is one I had laying around the shop. It is really more of a prop, as it is wore out. I think it is a little too much white anyway. I will attempt to locate a reasonably priced chrome replacement on the e-bay.
Below: The upper and lower (pictured) head-set bearings are really cool. As you can see the crown-race is channeled and the bearings sit in there. Then there is a cup that fits over the top. Then the whole thing fits into the normal cup on the head tube. Kind of an early sealed bearing set-up. Well I think it`s really cool anyway.
Below: Here is the lower head bearings ready to be inserted into the head-tube. Once
this is in the lower head cup the bearings will be very well protected. I call the other "the head cup" because the bearings are already in this cup.
Below: This pic of the top head-set bearings ready to be placed into the upper head tube cup shows why I call these sealed bearings.
Below: A shot of my very basic but effective small parts cleaning station. When these bearings are clean I will store them in the cap (of the white lightning can) to keep them clean (and off the floor) till I need them.
Below: When I am ready to place the individual bearings into the cup or race I have a trick to getting these tiny bearings out of the cap without dropping them all over the floor. I simply dip my finger lightly into the grease tub and then stick my greasy finger into the bearings. It actually works quite well. I try not to get more than three at a time, too many at once gets a little tricky.
Below: Polishing up the stem with Mother`s. I did use the "fine" brass wheel brush to remove some of the "rust staining" on the lower stem. I was careful to not brush above the min. insertion line as it does leave fine scratches in the soft alloy.
Below:I think the new fenders (mud guards) are going to look awesome. It took a little while to find white fenders. I located these on I don`t think it is visible in this pic, But they do have a raised stripe which gives them a more retro style than just being smooth.
Well that`s where I am at right now with the "Custom Built Parliament Made in England" I am having a little trouble with the rear wheel. It appears that the rear axle is badly bent. And I do not have the correct free-wheel removal tool. I did find another old English Sturmey Archer rear wheel in the shop. The hub flanges match. And the pie-plate (also Sturmey Archer England engraved) is real close. Two problems, One the chrome is not quite as good. And two, the wheel is slightly out of round. If I have to use this wheel, I think I can adjust most of that out. So tomorrow I will take the original wheel to my local bike shop and see if they can remove the free-wheel and hopefully they have a replacement axle.
Until Next time, Please Ride Safe and Remember to Always RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Schwinn Traveler Restoration / Conversion Part 2

Hello and Welcome,  I am  not sure if was noticeable but, I got a little out of sequence on posting this project. I think it started with the real cork grips. This was the first time I had ever used them and I was eager to share it with you. So forgive the confusion. Second thought, If  you have been here before, surely you must be used to it by now. I hope you enjoy the restoration, I sure did.

Below: The original seat post came with an adapter to make it fit the seat-tube. The post did not clean-up all that well. So I dug through my collection of salvaged seat posts and came up with this one.The chrome is pretty good and it is a perfect fit without the adapter.
Above: The Schwinn (S) collar bolt all cleaned-up. I removed the rust using my 18 volt rechargeable drill/driver with a "fine' brass wheel brush attachment.
Above: The rechargeable drill/driver has proved to be indispensable. It started as a temporary solution to the problem of not being able to locate brass wheel brushes for my 4 & 1/2 inch Ryobi Angle Grinder. I have become accustomed using the drill. I like the slower speed. Much easier (and safer) to use on the small parts. I do still hope to find the brass wheel brushes for the Ryobi. It really makes quick work of cleaning-up larger bolt heads and parts.
Above: The Bell saddle is from my local K-Mart, it runs about 25.00 US. I may swap it for the saddle on my Physio Phat. I like the color and texture and the springs. It is just a "wee bit wider" than what I wanted for this bike. Although the wide comfort saddles are popular here. We are, after all "the fattest people on the planet". No wonder, I remember when a 16 ounce Coke was considered Huge. Now you order a large Coke and they bring you a 5 gallon bucket. Enough about that.
Above: It actually occurred to me, that this being a commuter project. I should clean-up the brake calipers before mounting the fenders. So after taking the calipers apart and cleaning and polishing all the parts, I installed them loosely on the bike. The SKS fenders were no problem. The 45mm fenders gave me plenty of clearance. NOTE:If the fender-struts are mounted to the same eyelet or threaded hole as a rack, you will need longer screws.
Above: The rear wheel is finished and the tire is mounted. The truing of the wheel and greasing of the bearings and removal and clean-up of the free-wheel all went well. I have also installed the rear derailleur (without hooking it up) and a new Schwinn chain. As always, I want to get all the basic drive train stuff working before I start routing cables. The 45mm SKS fenders worked out great. The SKS fender chart shows 35 mm for a road racers. But for 27 x 1&1/4inch tires you want to go with the 45 mm. I had a tough time getting the 35 mm fenders to work on the Raleigh. I think for the 35mm fenders you don`t want to go any bigger than 27 x 1 & 1/8 inch road tires.
Above: Here is one of the pedals before refurbishing. While it is rusty, it really does not look hopeless. You can tell the rust is really not all that deep.
Above: The pedal after brushing and polishing. First I get as much of the rust off as I can with the wheel brush. Then I get all the places I could not get to with the brass detail brush. After that I polish it with the Turtle Wax Chrome Polish & Rust Remover. You really want to make sure you use your safety glasses when using the wheel brush as they do shed bristles. I have been also wearing a disposable respirator mask lately when doing rust removal. I also added a few drops of oil to the pedal spindle and spun it a few times. Then just a touch of grease on the threads and it`s ready to be mounted.
Above: What you are looking at is a piece of 1x6 wood clamped into my work-bench vice. Then I used a C-Clamp to clamp the rack mounting bracket in place so I can re-drill the hole big enough for the old style collar-clamp bolt. As always I keep a drop of oil on the tip of the bit to keep it from burning up. I did all this because, If you drill this piece without securing it. It will bind up on the bit and spin at a high rate of speed. And it hits like a razor blade.
Above; Here is the Sun-Lite rack mounted using the re-drilled mounting brackets. I added a reflector from my box of salvaged reflectors. At this point I have also cleaned-up the front derailleur and mounted it. And I ran the rear derailleur cable.
Above: This shot shows the rest of the cable routing pretty well. With the head or stem-mounted shifters, you want to make sure both shifter cable housings are the exact same length. If they are not, it may be noticeable from a side view. As far as the brake cables go. I like to keep them long enough that the cable will never kink. But also short enough that they are not hanging all over the place. And the cables should be making all the bends as smooth as possible. For brake cable housings,you might want to turn the handlebars while holding the housing in place before making the cut. This will assure you that the cable and housing are long enough. To short, and you may activate the rear brake just by making a sharp turn. Also pay attention on how your cable routing effects other cables when turning. Notice: I chose to run the "right or rear brake cable" inside the shift cable up against the head tube. This way I keep the rear brake cable routing as smooth as possible especially where the housing goes into the braze-on cable guide. This is a spot where kinks in the housing are typical.
Above: This is the finished project. I have a little more enamel touch-up to do.
And I am sure I will be making a few more minor adjustments.
Above: Another shot of the bike, this one from the left side
Well my friends, That`s about it for the Traveler Restoration/Commuter Conversion.
I`m still not too keen on the saddle, but I`m working on it. Before I sign-off, Here is the latest pic of the "ever evolving" Physio-Phat taken on my morning ride a few days ago.
Until Next Time Please RIDE SAFE and Remember to Always RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE

Friday, May 6, 2011

Schwinn Traveler Restoration / Conversion

Hello and Welcome,
Springtime has finally come to Michigan. I have finished the Schwinn Traveler step-through. It was originally set up as a tourer with drop-bars and a coil sprung Saddle. It also had chrome steel fenders (somewhat dented up) typical of an old Schwinn I guess.
Below: The Traveler stripped down to the frame.
Left Click on Image(s) to Enlarge. Left Click Back(<)Button to Return
Below: As usual I used Mother`s to get the last of the grease out of the bearing cups and races. This of course includes the races for the crank bearings. The crank bearings and cups were cleaned with White-Lightning Clean-Streak. I recommend you use the White-Lightning out doors. And keep your work area well ventilated when working with all the different polishes and cleaners. Your lungs will thank you latter.
Below: The Crank and Bearings all cleaned-up and ready for reassembly. Notice the bottle of "Turtle Wax Chrome-Cleaner/Rust-Remover" It turns out, The Turtle-Wax works better than the Mother`s on the badly rusted chrome. But on the "good chrome" Mother`s is the best I`ve ever used. So I guess there is room in my shop for both.
Also notice the "one size fits all" plastic medical gloves. These are great when working with chemicals. I buy them at my local drug-store. Money well spent.
Below: A shot of the one piece crank assembly back on the bike. Next up, The Head-Set & Fork.
Below: After wiping the grease off the fork crown race. I smear some Mother`s Mag and Aluminum Polish on the race. Let it sit for a minute or two, the grease remnants should wipe-off with a clean rag. If it is really bad, you may have to repeat and possibly touch-up with a brass detail brush. I talk about this a lot, but I think this is the first time I have actually photographed it.
Below: This head-set has loose or free-floating bearings. I like to grease these cups heavily. This allows me to stick the bearings in place. Once I have the top bearings in place. I then carefully loosen the clamp (on the work stand) and gently rotate the frame just enough to access the bottom cup.Then re-tighten the clamp of course.
Below: The Head-Set reassembled and ready for the Stem and Handlebars. It is always a good idea to keep track of the order in which things are stacked on the head-set. A sketch or digital photograph will do the trick nicely. The thread on cap/race is always first. Usually next is a washer/spacer with a nub that fits into the slot on the steer`r tube. After that is usually the cable guide bracket (if center -pull brakes are used) Or the reflector mount bracket. Or as in this case, the head mounted shift levers. Then the cap-nut. But they are not all the same. So make a sketch! (picture)
Below: The Stem and handlebars all cleaned up (stem with Mothers) (bars with chrome polish) and ready to be installed. I like to lightly grease the stem below the max line before inserting it into the steer`r. Also lightly grease any threads during assembly (especially the free-wheel threads on the rear hub). I don`t really prefer this type of stem with the expanding plug thing. I prefer the common wedge type. This type can be a bugger to take apart down the road.
Below: Ok, Now that Stem and Handlebars are mounted, I slide the Dia-Compe brake-levers into place. I have slid them on as far as they will go. I then slip on the cork grips and measure the distance between the lever mount and the grip. Why am I doing this? These bars are really wide and I want to shorten them up a little. It looks like I can safely cut-off 3/4 of an inch.
Below: I have made a mark at 3/4 of an inch in from the bar end with a Sharpie. Then I use the tube-cutter to cut-off the excess. If you have never used a tube/pipe cutter, it is simple. Just open it up, slip it on lining up the roller blade with your mark. Snug it up. Now as you rotate the cutter around the tube, tighten the cutter (like a C Clamp) gradually as you go. And before you know it you will have cut it off. Sweet!
Below: After test fitting the grip and being sure it is all "good to go". Now I smear a little bit of Permatex #1 (form a gasket) inside the grip and slide it into place. I use the # 1 Permatex because it does harden. You don`t want the grips moving around or pulling off. Your going to want to use a glove for this.. trust me.
Below: This is what I have chose to protect the grips. You can find Shellac at any Paint Store or Builders Supply or Hardware Store. I will also be using it to re-do the wood trim on my truck (lorry) tail-gate. And maybe on some wood fenders.
Below: Here is the grip finished. I used a cheap brush and a piece of card board to catch the drips. Sorry for the crappy pic. My photographer (son) was not around to snap the shot. But you get the general idea.
Below: Next the wheels. A little trick I like to use. First I do one little section of the worst (rusty) part of the rim. If I can make that acceptable I know the rim is worth saving. This one required some more brass brushing and polish. But eventually it cleaned up pretty good.
Below: Front hub and wheel after much brass brushing and polishing. On the rim I used Turtle-Wax Chrome-Polish/Rust remover. Like I said "On the rusty stuff" I gotta give the edge to "The Turtle". On the Hub I used Mother`s Mag and Aluminum Polish. And lots of brass brushing on both.
Well my friends, It looks like there is going to be a part two. If I don`t stop now my head will explode. (: I`ll try to finish up this one up before the new week begins. Till Next Time, RIDE SAFE and Remember to Always RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE
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