Huffy Mainliner 3

Discussion in 'Bicycle Restoration Tips' started by kriswood, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. #1 Posted Jul 31, 2012
    kriswood

    kriswood On Training Wheels

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    Hi Everyone,

    While looking for a cruiser for my girlfriend I remembered my mom's had an old huffy sitting in her garage for the last few decades gathering dust. I bartered her some computer help for it and brought it home. It's mostly in good shape aside from rust spots (the sort of rust that happens from being in a spot that occasionally gets humid in the winter months, not out-in-the elements). I'd like to restore it, or at least figure out how to clean the rust without removing the paint and chrome.

    I'd also like to identify it if possible. It's labelled a Mainliner 3 on the main tube. My guess is it's from the 60s or 70s, certainly older than the 80s and probably newer than the 50s.

    Can anyone tell me how to find out what year it was made? Where is the serial number located on it?

    How do I clean it without damaging the original paint and chrome? I tried soap and water and got rid of most of the dirt and grease but it didn't effect the rust much at all.

    IMG_20120729_151022.jpg
     
  2. #2 Posted Aug 1, 2012
    partsguy

    partsguy Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe

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    This is from the 1960s and the serial number is on the rear dropout, next to where the rear wheel mounts. I should have a number and then the letter "H" followed a series of other numbers. The first digit represent in the last digit in the year of manufacture. To determine the decade, look for styling hints. This bike has the star chain ring, introduced in the early 60s, has the 60s logo, possibly a decal headbadge (DON'T USE DISHSOAP ON IT!) For example, 5HXXXXX for a Huffy Silver Jet (which I own). Well, this bike has space age design and the Silver Jet was built from circa 1962-1967. This means it is a 1965 model.
     
  3. #3 Posted Aug 1, 2012
    partsguy

    partsguy Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe

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    Restored, this might a $75 bicycle. So you easily will have much more money and time into it than its worth. But, if you truely love this lady, then it probably won't matter. Personally, I would touch up the front fender and replace the front rim. I can't see spending all the time and money to get it rechromed. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks like the chrome is peeling off of it.

    Matter of fact, I might just have the wheel you need should this be your course of action. I'm using it as a part bike prop so I have no use for it, its form a '73 Huffy Escape.
     
  4. #4 Posted Aug 2, 2012
    kriswood

    kriswood On Training Wheels

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    The serial is H673, there might be a very faint 1 stamped in front of the H I cannot tell.

    I'm not going to invest a lot into this, just some steel wool and whatever cleaning solution is best for this sort of thing.
     
  5. #5 Posted Aug 3, 2012
    partsguy

    partsguy Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe

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    It probabaly is a "1" in front of the "H". This bike has a BMA/6 sticker on the seat post, so thats a dead giveaway. Your bike is a 1971. Again, if you need that wheel, let me know, its only a prop to me.
     
  6. #6 Posted Aug 3, 2012
    partsguy

    partsguy Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe

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    Oh, and the cleaning solution. A member here recommended that I use "Dr. Bronners" soap. It is all natural and very gentle on the decals yet aggresive on dirt. Simply use a Q-Tip/cotton swab and dab the decal headbadge with the stuff. Anything else and you run the risk of destroying the badge. I almost destroyed the seat tube decal on my 1961 Monark and those decals are NOT reproduced, so yes, I did have a bit of high blood pressure for a moment.
     
  7. #7 Posted Aug 3, 2012
    kriswood

    kriswood On Training Wheels

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    Thanks for the advice! I'll give Dr Bronner's a try. Does it work on rust too?

    The front rim might be cool, but I don't have anything to offer you for it.
     
  8. #8 Posted Aug 3, 2012
    partsguy

    partsguy Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe

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    Dr. Bronner's merely works on cleaning the decals. Is there rust near the badge? You can try to buff it out GENTLY with some rubbing compound if its light surface rust. If its past the paint, well, you do what you think is best. The headbadges are reproduced if it comes to that. As for the front rim, I'll send you a pic via PM in the morning. If you can use it, you can have it for the cost of shipping. Lightweight parts like these are pretty cheap and I'm cleaning out and I just baled some old scrap and parts today.
     
  9. #9 Posted Aug 5, 2012
    MagicRat

    MagicRat Guest

    If you want to get really serious about cleaning that Huffster (like I do)

    You gotta disassemble it to the very last nut and bolt

    And unlace the rims too for cleaning.

    Any car products (Polish/Wax/Cleaner) will work good on a bike.

    Be carefull around the decals.

    I love restoring crusty bikes!

    Any Q's lemme know.
     
  10. #10 Posted Aug 5, 2012
    kriswood

    kriswood On Training Wheels

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    @classicfan1, Ok, I'll take you up on that when I get my next pay check and can actually pay for the shipping. :) I wouldn't say the chrome on the current front rim is peeling, but it certainly is rusted a lot in some places. Also, the rear wheel is out of true. :(

    @MagicRat, I'm not skilled enough to re-lace wheels, but I'll be taking apart most of the rest of it and cleaning wherever I can.

    I created a google+ album for this project:

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/103281565393725364360/albums/5773317761712600081

    As you can see the rust is pretty bad in places, and while none of the chrome seems to be peeling, the paint certainly is on the fenders. Also the stays that hold the fenders in place are completely rusted through and bent up in spots. Can these be replaced?

    The rear brake doesn't work at all, the lever won't even budge. Any advice on how I'd fix that?

    Here's a close-up of the serial. You can just faintly see a vertical line in front of the H, but I'm not sure if that's my imagination or a number 1.
    IMG_20120805_133521.jpg
     
  11. #11 Posted Aug 6, 2012
    partsguy

    partsguy Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe

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    You are in luck, my friend. I was crushing/baling some junk the other day and I thought of you and pulled out a front fender from the same Huffy Escape the wheel is off of. I'll toss it in too. Here's the pics:

    [​IMG]

    Should clean up nicely with some steel wool:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As for the brakes, you need new cables. your local bike shop can get you all new brake cables for around $10 and they can (or should) true up your rear wheel for about $10-$20.
     
  12. #12 Posted Aug 6, 2012
    kriswood

    kriswood On Training Wheels

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    Very nice, that should be helpful! I'll take the bike to the shop next weekend and see about cables and truing.

    Meanwhile I have a question about tires. I think the tires on this bike might be original. The tread seems almost new, but the sidewalls have tiny hairline cracks around them from age. Are original tires worth keeping? I know you said this bike isn't worth much, but does changing the tires alter the value? My girlfriend is partial to whitewalls and would probably be pleased with new ones, but I'd like to make sure before doing it.

    I'm still not sure what to use to get the rust off the painted parts without damaging it, any suggestions?
     
  13. #13 Posted Aug 6, 2012
    MagicRat

    MagicRat Guest

    If GF wants white walls...get her white walls.

    If GF is unhappy,you will be very unhappy (heh)

    What size tires are they?
     
  14. #14 Posted Aug 8, 2012
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