Monday, October 15, 2012

Assembling the 1964 Raleigh Sports

 Hello and Welcome, The Raleigh Sports project was interrupted by our badly needed holiday on Mackinac Island. Also when the new bearings arrived the headset bearings were missing. They had been oddly packaged in a folded cardboard folder, and the ends were unsealed. Being these bearings were packaged in a little plastic bag (like a bean bag) I have no doubt they worked their way out through the unsealed flaps during shipping. Enough with excuses, lets get on with it.
Above: The frame has been painted and allowed to dry for 72 hours plus an extra 24 for the gold detail. That is allowed to dry 72 hours after the final coat. I did add another coat after 48 hours. normally I would spray the second coat after 24 hours, but due to the cooler weather I gave it an extra 24 hours. The Paint used is Rust-Oleum Professional Enamel.
Above: The gold detail paint is Testor's Enamel from Tower Hobbies as are the camel hair brushes. The low odor Mineral Spirits should be available at any good Paint Store or Paint Department. The other bottle is glossy black fingernail enamel for touching up any mistakes or scratches. The secret to the gold detail paint is always rest your hand on something when painting. And avoid caffeine. Doing the pin stripe or detail might not be a good idea after hanging out at Starbucks drinking high octane coffee all morning.
Above: Although having been cleaned out I am still seeing and feeling something on the inside of the drive side cup. Nothing serious probably just a little grease residue.
Above: I cut a small piece of med fine automotive grade wet sand paper about 1 inch by 1&1/2 inch and fold it lengthwise. I will fold this over my finger tip and sand the inside of the cup all the way around then re check.
Above: Here I am sanding the inside of the drive side cup. This will only work for light scratches and hardened grease residue. If the cup is scored I will need to replace it. If you I need to remove it I will need to remember the drive side cup is reversed thread (clock wise to loosen) If I do have to replace it I may have a little trouble locating a replacement cup with the correct threading. I try to make sure my supplier or e bay seller knows the model year of my bike and where it was built. If a Raleigh is "Made in Nottingham England" it should say so on the head badge.
Above: Once the cup is clean and dry, I grease it pretty heavily so the bearings will stay in place. This is a little tricky feeding the bearings in from the outside one at a time while I have a finger inside to push the bearing into place. I usually smear a little grease over the bearings to hold them in place when finished. Before I insert the bracket spline or axle, I will have the left side bearing cup all ready with bearings in place and within easy reach. I will also have the Teflon tape and scissors at the ready and within reach. I like to get this done in short order while the drive side bearings are still in place. I will avoid bumping into the frame or bracket, I don`t want to knock any of the drive side bearings out of the cup.
Above: Once I have the bottom bracket axle in place I carefully turn it by hand applying slight pressure. If all the bearings are seated properly it should feel smooth. Now I can let it go (without pulling it out at all) while I grab the left side bearing cup which is all ready to go.
Above: Now I can carefully thread the left side cup in while making sure I do not pull the spline away from the drive side cup. The left side cup has normal threads, (clockwise to tighten). Now if you are satisfied with the condition of the threads and you prefer not to use Teflon tape. You can thread this cup all the way into place. I will only thread mine in a enough to hold it in place then stop.
Above: By wrapping the Teflon tape in the opposite direction that the cup is turning the tape will not bind up when the end of the tape is threading into the housing. It is just one of those little things that can save you some unneeded aggravation. Teflon tape has been known to stop that creaking sound that bad threads on the housing can cause. It also seals and protects the threads.
Above: Once I have threaded the left side cup in all the way and I am satisfied with the proper torque or tightness. I usually tighten the left side cup until I feel just a little grind when I turn the bracket spline or axle. Then I back it off just a hair. As always with bearings I am looking for "no grind and no play". If I can`t achieve this, a tiny bit of play is better than the bearings grinding. With high speed Automotive wheel bearings you need to leave a tiny bit of play. If you do not when the bearings heat up and expand they will burn up from being to tight. Point being "In my opinion" a wee bit of play is always better than the bearings grinding. I like to recheck mine after a few rides as sometimes they loosen up a bit after the bearings are seated. Same goes for head set bearings. Also Important NOTE: I am holding the cup in place with an adjustable wrench while tightening the lock ring using my Hozan bottom bracket tool. If I do not do this, the cup is likely to turn and over tighten.
Above: The crank went back together without a hitch. When I am installing my cotter pins I need to hammer them into place. The nut and washer will not hold the crank or arm in position if I do not do this. I always tell people the nut and washer is only there so you do not loose your cotter pin if it should loosen up while riding. Just remember the crank goes on the right ..LTMS A while back, late one night in the shop I found myself putting the left arm on the drive side. Message here is: When your tired, get some rest.
Above: The rear mudguard or fender went on without a problem. I used the time while the paint was drying to install new rim strips and mount the tires on the rims with new 26 x 1 3/8 inner-tubes (schrader valve). I have already cleaned up all the fender mount nuts and bolts. This bike has no rear caliper brake which made installing the rear mudguard much easier than normal.
Above: I really like the rebuild-able pedals. Breaking them down was simple enough and being the plating is high quality they cleaned up nicely. I ordered the replacement blocks on e-bay. And I must admit the blocks look much better that I thought they would. I did trim about 1/8 inch off each block.
Above: I did this by placing the blocks in the vise horizontal leaving about 1/2 inch sticking out, then cut off the 1/8 with a hacksaw. For the clean-up on the pedal frames I used the fine brass wheel brush on the low speed drill. And did the touch-up with a toothbrush size brass detail brush. I polished all the chrome pieces with "Turtle Wax Chrome Polish & Rust Remover". This was done before installing the new blocks of course.
Above: I replaced the chain with a Schwinn Single and 3 speed 1/8 replacement bicycle chain. And I once thought only single speeds and fixed gear bikes used a 1/8 inch chain.
Above: The chain guard took a little finagling to get it in the proper position so that the crank side pedal arm would clear it. I did revert back to some pics I had taken to make sure I installed the clamp-on front guard mount bracket properly. I think the guard might still be a wee bit high in the front. I might readjust that latter on down the road.
Above: I rebuilt the headset installing new grade 25 ball bearings. There are 50 ball bearings in the headset. That makes for a very smooth feel when turning. If you would like to see pics of "yours truly" rebuilding a headset, just enter "re-build headset" in the "Search This blog" feature in the right column on this page. It is located just below The Followers thumbnail images. The cork grips I installed, after the brake levers and shifter of course. I did shorten up the grips using a single edge razor blade. This allowed me to mount the front brake lever in the proper position. To hold the grips firmly in place (after I am sure everything is mounted on the bars correctly) I used Permatex # 2 "hardening" gasket sealer . Do not smear the Permatex on the handlebars. It is much cleaner if you smear it inside the grip. (using surgical gloves) About the same amount a tooth brush will hold should be about right.
Above: I was not able to reuse the original front brake caliper. The long mounting bolt was bent but I managed to fix that "pretty much'. Then I could not get the cable knarp to work. My knarps were the wrong shape and would not stay in the pocket. If you are wondering what the #### a knarp is ??? You know the little ball on the lever end of a brake cable? Well a knarp is like that, but it is removable and has an inset screw to secure it. In reality I like the replacement caliper better, It is lighter and takes a modern brake cable. Also the spring on the original caliper was giving me fits. But that was my fault, I took it apart 3 years ago. It took me a while to figure exactly how it attached to the caliper. Definitely nothing like the side-pull calipers I am most familiar with. So this is an upgrade I would have made eventually anyway.
Above: The front fender or mudguard took some adjusting so that it would not rub. I suspect this is because the front wheel is narrow compared to the original. This gives the 26 x 1 & 3/8 tire a little higher profile. In other words the tire is taller than it would be with the wider stock wheel. But although really close, the tire is not rubbing the fender or struts now. The front wheel will be replaced in the near future. But that will be another post in itself. I`m talking Dyno hub wheel here!
Above: Thanks to the late and Great Sheldon Brown, hooking up the three speed shifter was actually quite simple. The man had a wonderful way of making things that seemed very confusing quite understandable. After reading his tutorial and looking at the photographs, I felt like I had hooked up a hundred of theses 3 speed shifters. If there really were "Bicycle Gods" I am sure he would be with them now.
Above: The rear fender or mudguard decal and the new rear reflector really finished off the stern end nicely. But it still needs something?
Above: The Brooks Millbrook holdall bag and the Brooks Flyer Saddle finish off this bike beautifully. As I mentioned there may be a front wheel and lighting change in the future. But for now the 1964 Raleigh Sports 3 speed is finished. So here are some more pics of the finished project.
Above: The Sports from the drive side front. I rigged up the 1919 Buddy lantern/flashlight for photographs only. However, I have ridden it a few times with the light in place with no problems. I think I will leave it on there for the time being.
Above: I do not think I have ever owned a bike that photographed this well from the left side, well done Raleigh!
Above: Another shot of the stern. I am glad I decided to paint the lower rear mudguard white. I did not want it to look exactly like Brian's Sprite.
Above: A close shot of the shellacked cork grips, bell and Buddy lantern. The leather strap is a left over from the tool bag. The bag was not designed to strap to the seat post when using a springer saddle I guess. I have the bag secured to the spreader below the saddle springs with a "zip tie". It is pretty much invisible and makes the bag a little harder to steal. If you look closely I have also zip tied the lantern to the handlebars to the right of the strap.
Above: I really like the way the lantern/flashlight looks up front. I hope I can find something equal to it too hook up to the Dyno Hub.
Above: It should read "Made in England - Restored in the USA" I can really understand why there are guys out there who only restore old Raleighs and other British bikes.
Above: *Not the bike shown above, but the same model and color.* Yesterday I inquired about a lavender Raleigh Competition. I think it might be the first year for that model, around 1972? They had it priced pretty high for it`s condition So I doubt they will take my offer. In retrospect I should have waited a couple weeks before making the offer. Give reality a chance to settle in. Until next time Please RIDE SAFE and Remember to Always.......RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE..........Cheers,Hugh
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  1. Photo tip: to trick your camera into focusing properly on something like the "Made in England" decal on your top tube (instead of the pavement below), hold your hand under the top tube. Press down halfway on your shutter button so the camera focuses on your hand. Hold the shutter button halfway down to keep the focus. Then move your hand out of the way and shoot the photo. Good luck!

    1. Thanks Anonymous,
      That is very clever, I will give it a try.

  2. Outstanding! I really enjoyed the post. I hope you enjoy the bicycle I enjoy my raleighs.

    1. Thanks Dan,
      I have ridden it a few times and enjoyed it very much. I am riding it into town this morning for the first time. I want to "show it off" to my coffee shop friends. My darling wife Carolyn gifted me a "flat cap". So now I will look like an Englishman on my classic Nottingham Raleigh. Cheers

  3. Wow....Just Gorgeous Hugh a drop dead gorgeous English steed. The pin striping; white lower half of rear fender, copper bell, brooks saddle and holdall, the frame pump, shellacked cork grips and cool old light -it all goes together beautifully. That bike is gonna turn heads when you ride to town. Don't be surprised when people start referring to you as "guv'nor"

    Curious is there a rear brake? is it a coaster or a drum?

    Well done Sir.


    1. Thanks Ryan, I am very pleased with the way it all came together. About the rear brake, that is a good question. I always assumed that all English three speeds have a caliper rear brake. This one has a coaster brake. But the hub has all the Sturmey Archer markings in including a 64 to indicate the model year. So I imagine it was built this way. I don`t think I have had a "coaster brake bike" as one of my riders since I was a boy. Combined with the front brake it works well enough I guess. Thanks again mate. Maybe this morning when I ride the Sports into town I will order tea and finger toast with marmalade! Cheers


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