Showing posts with label Raleigh Sprite Restoration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Raleigh Sprite Restoration. Show all posts

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Rusty Raleigh Sprite Restoration Part 3

Hello and Welcome, It has been a while since I updated the blog, for this I apologize. The weather has been insufferable and has really been "wearing me down". I have been getting up early and working before it gets too hot to do anything. By the time I get the tools put away, (usually around 1 or 2 pm) I am soaked in sweat and exhausted. I find it impossible to write when I am completely drained. Today I quit early and turned on the a.c. So I am feeling pretty good today. Below is a picture of the Rusty Raleigh where I left off on my last post.
Above: I convinced myself that the front fender would not be a problem because it looks pretty much the same as it did when the bike arrived. lol Yeah right. We will get back to that in a little while.
Above: I was sure I had a set of English 26 tpi thread quill pedals. It turns out I used them on another project. So I decided to try to salvage the original pedals. They came out much better than I expected. And considering this is an old style Raleigh upright touring bicycle, I think it would look better to have the correct block pedals. Besides they have that really cool Raleigh logo molded into the blocks.
Above: I think these block pedals look really good on an old English 3 speed bike. This is definitely not a 3 speed, but is in that same classic English style. The restoration is coming together nicely, especially considering all the time this bike has spent out in the weather.
The new Kenda gum wall tires look fantastic. The rear tire cleared the fender with out a problem. The front tire rubbed the lower back inside of the fender or mud-guard badly. (no real surprise there) My first idea was to change the struts. I do have some salvaged struts I have been saving for just such an occasion. Unfortunately none of them were any longer than the original struts. My next thought was to fashion some sort of a "strut extension".
Above: Digging through my miscellaneous small parts I found these L shaped brackets. First I flattened them out on the anvil part of my shop vise using my Ball Pein Hammer. Now I have a flat piece of metal with an elongated hole at one end. Holding the piece up to the strut mount it looked like I just needed the end with the elongated hole "on the now flat bracket" to extend the strut. So I cut it off using a hacksaw and fortunately it worked perfectly.
Above: Just like the pedals, I had no plans of restoring the original touring brake levers. I had decided that I would use the brake levers off my unrestored 1964 Raleigh Sports 3 speed. As luck would have it, I was not able to locate one of the levers. So I had to try to reuse the original brake levers. First I cleaned up the outer body and lever handle using the fine brass wheel brush on the 18 volt rechargeable drill. This actually worked out real well.
Above: To clean out the inside of the body or frame I dug out the spider sacks using a very small slotted screw driver. Then cleaned it up using a Q tip with a little Turtle Wax Chrome Polish and Rust Remover on the tip.
Above: The constrictor clamps on the brake levers were badly rusted. I tried to remove the rust using the brass wheel brush with very little success. First I should mention that I wanted to replace the clamps with clamps from salvaged levers. But I had none that were big enough. This is another first. I used the small angle grinder to remove the rust. Carefully using the underside of the grinding wheel. It actually worked pretty good. Desperate times call for desperate measures!
Above: As for grips, I planned on using these Dimension cork grips with a good coat of shellack. The touring handlebars were just too fat for the cork grips. The grip split as I carefully tried to make it fit. I will try to glue the crack and use the cork grips on another project. So for a temporary solution I borrowed a set of white grips off another bike. I have since replaced them with black grips that are not original. But they are the same "smaller size" and are much more comfortable than the originals. So it is a change I can live with.
Above: This wonderful "period correct" bicycle tool bag came in on a Schwinn World. After a good cleaning inside and out and some "Bear Grease" on the leather, it looks fantastic. I hope Brian leaves it on there, because it really does look good and correct on this style bike.
Above: The Raleigh decals that were generously donated for this project by Darrell Yarborough from "Bent Wrench Restorations" in Arlington Hts. IL look great. Thanks Darrell. I did not get them perfectly straight, but I think I did ok. Unlike wet decals, You really need to get these right the first time. So my advice is, Put these on before you drink your morning coffee :)
Above: As usual I used Jag Wire X Caliper brake shoes, cables and cable housings. A good tip to remember: When you cut the housings for the stem mount shift cables make sure you cut them both the exact same size. And cut them just long enough for the cable to move smoothly through the housing. I have seen them cut (1) way too long or (2) way too short or (3) cut different lengths altogether. None of those three will look professional. And as always put a drop or two (depending on housing length) of clean cable oil in each housing before you insert the cable.

Above: Another first for me. The gold detail around the lugs and on the fender tips. I used Testors gold enamel purchased from Tower Hobbies online. I also purchased a set of camel hair paint brushes from Tower. This is another project you might want to try Before you drink a lot of coffee! Because the original fenders on this model year are kind of plain Brian (the owner) and myself decided to "dress up" the fenders a bit with a little gold detail.
Above: A shot of the front fender tip gold detail. I do have a little touch up to do, but overall I am pleased with how the gold enamel came out.
Above: My favorite Raleigh decal and the rear fender tip detail.
Above: The Raleigh as is it looks right now. (seriously I just took this pic moments ago) Do not stress out over the saddle, it is temporary. No worries! Brian has ordered a Brooks saddle for the faithful steed.

Above: Just a reminder of where we started. It has been one amazing ride!

UPDATE: The formerly Rusty Raleigh Sprite shown with Brian's Brooks Saddle. Excellent Choice, Well Done Brian!
Until next time, RIDE SAFE and remember to always RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE
Cheers,Hugh
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Rusty Raleigh Sprite Restoration Part 1

Hello and Welcome,
I am restoring this 10 speed Nottingham Raleigh Sprite for Brian. Brian is the fellow who purchased my GIANT Attraction mountain bike earlier this spring. This Raleigh was apparently left outside for an extended period of time. It was badly rusted to the point where I had serious doubts about whether or not it was worth restoring. The first thing I did was take it apart and make sure the bottom bracket and headset were serviceable. As it turns out they are both savable I may need to replace the bracket spindle or axle. And it will no longer have a chain ring guard (or at least the same chain ring guard) And I may need to replace all the bearings. But all this is manageable, I guess.
Above: Here is the Sprite looking as if it doubled as a boat anchor for a couple summers. Mt first instinct was to pass simply because it needed so much replaced. But I decided to see how much I could replace using salvaged components that I already have in the shop. As it turned out I have both wheels. The rear is a perfect match to the rear wheel that is on there now (minus the rust). And I have a front wheel that I think will actually look better than the one that is on it now. Mine has a higher flanged hub that looks more retro. I also have both derailleurs, well sort of.
Above: The company that manufactured the rear derailleur for Raleigh manufactured virtually the same derailleur for Schwinn. And all things considered, I think it will do fine.
Above: My good fortune continued "or even improved" with the front derailleur. It turns out I have what appears to be the exact same Huret front derailleur in my collection of salvaged and take-off front derailleurs. This is important because, the amount of replacement parts needed "if purchased" would make this restoration way to expensive to attempt. Now for the brakes. So much of the brake caliper's hardware (springs, barrel adjusters, mounting bolts and nuts etc.etc.) has deep rust that they are not worth trying to save.
Above: At first glance, my side pull brake calipers do not look much better. But trust me on this one, these will clean-up nicely. And although mine are Dia-Compe and the originals are Weinmann they are of equal quality. And "design wise" they are a real good match.
Above: I did not run into any surprises until I got a closer look at the lower inside blades on the original fork. This rust is too deep and in a really bad spot. There is no way I can use this touring road fork. I knew this was going a little too well!
Above: This is really incredible! While the drop-outs are on a slightly different angle. Laying side by side the rake on the two forks is nearly identical. And this is Really Cool, The steerer tubes from the crown to the top of the tube are exactly the same length and size. I quickly tried it for fit and realized the crown races would need to be switched. So the very next day (at Cycle Therapy in Waterford Mi) I had the crown race removed and replaced with the crown race from the Raleigh fork. Then rushed home to mock it up and see if it would work.
Above: And it did work! The Bicycle Gods are shining down on me again! The original stem could not be removed! After lots of penetrating oil and tapping and twisting, I gave up and cut the S.O.B. off. I replaced it with this very "Vintage English" looking stem which I found in my tub of salvaged stems. This is why I try to never throw anything away that I think I may need at some point down the road.
Above: I really do not want to purchase new fenders. I have to repaint the frame and fork and the money is just not there. While the fenders are rusty, and the once Bronze metallic paint now appears to be a light brown. They are not dented and the struts are not all mangled. So I will try to save the touring bicycle fenders before I continue on with the frame. Lots of sanding ahead! and some wheel brushing as well.
Above: Here is the front fender after sanding and priming drying outside in the sun. Not too shabby! Looks like all I will need to replace on the fenders is the bicycle fender mounting hardware.
Above: After the Rust-Oleum Gloss Black Paint was good and dry (about 48 hours) I hung the fenders up high and out of the way so nothing bad will happen to them before I need them.
Above: A shot of the fork sanded and ready for primer. I used the fine brass wheel brush on the high speed drill to remove the paint from the area around the lug work at the top of the fork blades. You will need to wear safety glasses or goggles for that job. And a respirator (mask) if dry sanding.
Above: I like to use 220 grit (automotive) wet sanding paper followed by 400 grit and then 600 grit. This will give me a nice smooth surface for primer and paint.
Above: The fork primed and ready for paint. This is the third bike and second primer and re-paint for this fork. This is the same fork I used on the "Stars and Stripes" fixed gear bike. Which I later cannibalized for the red lugged frame fixed gear bike.
Above: The fork drying outside in the sun. The white areas you see on the fork are glare, not missed-paint spots. And no I did not paint the fork next to my wife's car.
Above: Here is a shot of the bottom bracket shell cleaned out. I coated the threads with grease to protect them from moisture / corrosion. The drive side would not budge. Not wanting to do any damage with my adjustable wrench I decided to leave it alone and clean it up in place. They do not give you much to lock onto on the right or drive side cup for removal.
Above: I did not have a bicycle seat post that fit the seat-tube. So I used the fine brass wheel-brush and some Turtle Wax Chrome Polish / Rust Remover to clean-up the original. For some unknown reason the size is not engraved or stamped on the original post.
Above: Here I am wet sanding the frame. I keep a rag handy as the wet sanding will smear the paint. So I need to wipe it off often to see how I am doing.
Above: Here I am rinsing paint off a piece of 220 wet sand paper so I can get the maximum use out of it. I probably used about 8 full sheets of 220 grit on this frame. I use much much less of the finer paper to smooth the finish. The great thing about wet sanding is it really keeps the dust down.
Above: To remove the paint around the head badge I use a single edge razor blade. Them finished it with a very small folded piece of sand paper. I plan to tape over the badge trimming around the perimeter with an X Acto knife before spraying primer and paint.
Above: Here is the frame "pretty much ready" for primer. I will probably do a little more touch-up before I put the primer coat on it. I will also wipe it down first "very carefully" to remove all the dust before spraying.
Above: I do not recommend you remove the cotter crank pins in this manner, especially if you are not experienced. I use penetrating oil, a lug nut and a large heavy duty C Clamp and a small propane torch. I have learned to give it a little time, it usually pops the pin loose when I least expect it. When the pin breaks loose the clamp and nut and pin all fall on the floor. So I am careful not to leave anything breakable underneath.
Above : Early on I put my wheels on to check for fit. The rear wheel was originally going to be my replacement rear wheel for the Parliament. But it has a little pitting. So I refurbished the original wheel after I found-out that Joe at American Cycle and Fitness in Pontiac had the correct (1969)free wheel removal tool. But even with a little pitting, this wheel is a hundred times nicer than I could ever make the original. So that's about where I am at with the Raleigh Sprite. Tomorrow I prime and paint the lugged frame. Then I will get busy with the crank and headset.
Above: I added a rack bag to the single speed/fixed gear "touring style" commuter bike. Now I can bring along my camera every time I ride. I have already missed a couple of really good photo ops this spring. Eventually I will add cheap panniers to the rear bicycle rack for running errands. Can you spot what is not quite correct on this bike? I should have much more progress to post on the blog next week. So Until Then Please RIDE SAFE and Remember to Always....RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE! Cheers, Hugh
 
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