‘61 Radiant Green Corvette 5 speed Rehab


This ad disappears when logged in

schwinnlax

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jun 14, 2016
35
28
52
La Crosse, WI
#1
Starting to rehab the ‘61 Corvette 5 I recently purchased. Bike appears to be complete and original, but has lots of rust. The chain guard was my test case. Here is the original condition:

38C322E0-8C0E-474F-A7B0-601965BCAC8E.jpeg


7F6D7394-CDDA-4238-8622-18C2CBD7CCC1.jpeg


Here is after 48 hours in the oxalic acid bath.

90FB98D4-4019-4C3B-8F52-D36AEC1FB017.jpeg


33277002-2E40-426D-B72A-7CA654C554CA.jpeg


Then, did some cleaning with 0000 steel wool.

FF3AA15C-E563-4685-A0D1-303E99F4537C.jpeg


2EC704BD-B4CB-4C0C-9D89-201C388E1C1C.jpeg



Not as good as I wanted it to be. I need to take a close look at this to see if the chrome is gone on the remaining spots. There is definitely pitting in the chrome, so those spots are not going to come back. It will look good from a distance.
 

GTs58

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Sep 2, 2012
9,042
6,782
Central Arizona
#2
It's not minty, but it sure looks 100% better.
1546219221322.png


I did a Fair Lady guard years ago as a OA test on these chrome and paint guards to see what would happen. The rust was about as bad and it cleaned up better than I thought it would. Soaked it for 8 hours and I'm thinking my mix ratio was a tad bit stronger than what you used. The bigger issue with these guards is the paint falling off and fading over time. Your paint looks way nicer than most. A good chrome polish and then some wax will help too.
 

schwinnlax

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jun 14, 2016
35
28
52
La Crosse, WI
#3
Thanks GT. Took the forks in to the LBS today and had those straightened. Stem is in the soup along with the seat crash rail. Seat springs and hardware are very corroded, but I used a wire brush on one part, and there is chrome underneath, so now it’s a matter of getting the pan separated from the bracket that holds the springs and post mounting clamp. Got one nut off the bolt that holds the beehive spring on, but other one is being very stubborn.

A2E6B180-E4B7-47F4-ADB4-5AF6E68AC110.jpeg
 

GTs58

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Sep 2, 2012
9,042
6,782
Central Arizona
#4
Wow! Maybe shoot @bricycle a PM and see if you could borrow his Mapp torch for that nut. lol

Did Bob give you any history on the bike? Years ago ole Bob beat me to the punch on a Black one owner Corvette 5 that was hanging up in a garage for 40+ plus years. I believe it was the Grandson selling it during the Grandfather's estate liquidation. Possibly the Son was selling, I have all that info posted on a nuther forum.
 
Last edited:
Likes: bricycle

schwinnlax

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jun 14, 2016
35
28
52
La Crosse, WI
#5
Wow! Maybe shoot @bricycle a PM and see if you could borrow his Mapp torch for that nut. lol

Did Bob give you any history on the bike? Years ago ole Bob beat me to the punch on a Black one owner Corvette 5 that was hanging up in a garage for 40+ plus years. I believe it was the Grandson selling it during the Grandfather's estate liquidation. Possibly the Son was selling, I have all that info posted on a nuther forum.
Bob said he picked it up at the estate sale of the original owner in Winstson-Salem, NC. That's all he knew.

I've used some liquid wrench on the nut, letting it soak. If that doesn't work after a few days, it will be the torch!
 
Likes: buses n bikes

buses n bikes

Finally riding a big boys bike
Oct 24, 2018
136
119
33
Ames, Iowa
#6
Sure was tempting to pick that up. One rare bird and radiant green is gorgeous. I felt his ask was reasonable, too.
 

schwinnlax

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jun 14, 2016
35
28
52
La Crosse, WI
#7
After several days in a weak acid solution, stem came out pretty decent, seat crash rail, not so much. I will need to look for a donor if I want to save the aesthetics of the original seat.

B0F064B9-4DA6-41DB-932B-EC84D1E264D7.jpeg
5CF9FA9D-24B3-442E-9FA0-13B70D2C1A2C.jpeg


A98C5C34-AA2B-4443-9652-7E84FCA0F493.jpeg


19637A97-CA76-4FEF-9C29-9961B0837339.jpeg
 

GTs58

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Sep 2, 2012
9,042
6,782
Central Arizona
#8
What OA mix ratio are you using? You might get better results with a stronger mix and way less time. After doing my first couple bikes I found the OA loses it's potency over time. Depending on what I'm soaking and how bad it is, I'll go with one heaping tablespoon or two per gallon of hot tap water and soak for about 8 hours. I doubt the crash rail would look much better though, the chrome unfortunately is pretty much gone.
 

schwinnlax

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jun 14, 2016
35
28
52
La Crosse, WI
#9
It's pretty weak (probably less than a tablespoon of OA/gallon). It's the same solution I used when doing the chain guard. I didn't want it to be too strong for fear of affecting the paint or decals on the chain guard. I'm not in a rush, so the longer times are ok. The OA is consumed in the de-rusting process since it is reacting with the iron oxides (rust) and converting them to iron oxalate, which is a yellow color. So after a number of parts have passed through the bath you have to either add more OA or make a new solution.

I'll be working on the seat springs next, then crank and sprocket for the de-rusting bath. Not too many chrome parts to do, really. As a part of the deal with Bob I got a nice seat post tube, seat post clamp, and two rims. The rims will need a bit of de-rusting, but that can probably be done with steel wool. The original rims are shot. The rear one has rusted through the chrome on the sides, and the front one has a lot of dents. So, once I get the better rims cleaned up, I will transfer the wheels over. Pretty simple process as I've done it before. The handle bars are shot - chrome flaking off in large areas, so I'll be getting a replacement.

I've got a very nice spare Troxel seat I might use on the Corvette, so not sure how much effort I'm going to put in to the original. Here's a picture of the seat on my '63 Tiger. MUCH more comfortable than the original seat!
1963 Tiger 2017.JPG
 
Likes: Adamtinkerer

bikemonkey

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jun 25, 2016
918
1,139
66
North Carolina , Albemarle, NC, United States
#10
Nice job! OA baths are excellent chemical rust removers.

I also use citric acid and brass hand brushes on chrome plating to good effect. The brass is softer than steel wool or steel wire brushes and I dip the brass brush in the CA solution when I am scrubbing of the rust. Steel wool of any grade will dull chrome plating. I still use it, but try to limit it on surfaces surfaces that will not improve or appearances don't matter (rim beds, etc.).

j55.jpg


j59.jpg
 

schwinnlax

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jun 14, 2016
35
28
52
La Crosse, WI
#11
Seat spring de-rusting did not go as well as hoped. There is either too much corrosion or not enough chrome left. The painted seat bracket turned out ok, that will be easily painted, but I think if I want to save the seat, I’ll need to get new springs and crash bar, or just live with it.

E68FE908-CFBF-41CD-9E06-68D116211E9A.jpeg


6A4B764B-0A20-4102-8ECE-7F6EF89F8E00.jpeg


Sprocket and crank went a bit better. Pedals are better, but here again, I think there is just too much chrome lost on some areas to bring them back. Another thing I’ll have to live with or buy replacements.
A62CC796-5AD5-4247-8B76-DBECAB00C3F8.jpeg


B45F8BFA-A56A-4A59-94C3-5DB091608015.jpeg
 

schwinnlax

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jun 14, 2016
35
28
52
La Crosse, WI
#12
Well, here is an unexpected surprise I noticed today. Looks like this bike took a side hit:
A3DBBAE1-DF77-4A09-84B1-1F7933AE426C.jpeg


8D71ACA0-C226-4054-A85B-0C3A36986057.jpeg


Yikes, not sure what to do about that! This is looking like I got a bad deal on this bike. This was never mentioned by the seller. No idea how to straighten that. Will take the frame to the LBS to see if they can do anything. :(
 

schwinnlax

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jun 14, 2016
35
28
52
La Crosse, WI
#13
Head mechanic at LBS was able to straighten the frame stay. Just a bit of an indentation where the hit occurred remains. Not bad.
87EE70D8-9A62-4594-9A27-1AE6202DC29D.jpeg


Next up is cleaning the chain and deraileaur.

I’m going to leave working on the seat until much later. I think that will be a separate project that will need new springs.

Really undecided about what to do with the frame paint. There are a lot of rust spots as can be seen in the closeup picture above. Would prefer not to repaint, and probably won’t until I get the whole thing reassembled and see what the complete bike looks like. Anyone have opinions to share?
 
Likes: buses n bikes

GTs58

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Sep 2, 2012
9,042
6,782
Central Arizona
#15
Looks like your LBS did a nice job on the cantilever bar!
1547180703202.png


I'm not sure what I would do with the paint. These candy colors are a pain sometimes because the rust is not all the way thru to the surface of the paint but it can be seen it underneath the color coat. Can't go wrong with cleaning it up first and then decide if it needs more help. I had a black 61 that was a rusted up mess so a repaint was a definite. Rusty frame after the paint was removed with chemicals.

Cali Vette Stripped Frame 001.jpg


Cali Vette Stripped Frame 002.jpg
 
Likes: buses n bikes

schwinnlax

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jun 14, 2016
35
28
52
La Crosse, WI
#16
The Tiger I have pictured in post #9 had similar paint issues tho this radiant green Corvette. Not quite as bad, but still did not look pretty. I got the bike in a trade and cost was around $60. Since that bike is not uncommon and I wanted to use it as a rider, I decided to try "touching up" the paint. Found a standard automotive paint that was a very close match to the radiant blue of the bike, not identical, but very close. This was a total overhaul, so I had everything off the frame. After cleaning the frame, I started doing touchup, and it was looking good. I decided a lite overspray of the whole frame would look really good. So, I masked off all of the decals, and then did a lite overspray. Bad areas got more coats. Also did a little bit of touchup in select areas of the forks and chain guard. The result was excellent. You have to be withing inches of the decals to see the slight difference in the shade of blue between the over painted area and the original areas near the decals.

For the radiant green I was thinking something similar. If I could find a paint match, my thought was to smooth out the paint surface with 0000 steel wool. Not sure decals are worth saving on this frame, so I would probably go right over those, but mask off the head badge. Then do light over spray coats and see how it goes. The idea would be to just make all of those rust blotches go away.

The alternative is to give the bike a good cleaning and wax, and leave as is. I think from a distance it will look just fine, but close up there are a lot of warts. The fenders are in great shape with no dents, so that will be a bit of a contrast.
 
Likes: buses n bikes

Eric Amlie

Finally riding a big boys bike
May 9, 2010
319
254
Madison, United States
#17
In a thread on the Schwinn forums several years ago somebody showed pics of a bike that he had repainted with Testors #1601 Emerald Green. He said the paint was a very close match to Schwinn's Radiant Green, and it looked so in the pics.
 

buses n bikes

Finally riding a big boys bike
Oct 24, 2018
136
119
33
Ames, Iowa
#18
I’m in a similar position with a campus green Fastback right now. Since the chrome didn’t clean up all that well and the paint isn’t either, at least they match.
Putting crummy chrome parts on a repainted frame sounds like a sore thumb waiting to happen.
 

schwinnlax

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jun 14, 2016
35
28
52
La Crosse, WI
#20
Thanks for the advice on Testor's. I found several threads that mention it. GT also mentioned Dupli-Colors Metalcast Green in a CABE thread, though I don't think I found any threads where someone actually used that color. I'm really in the middle on the paint condition. A few feet away, it does not look too bad. It's closer up that the warts become very apparent. I think it's going to come down to how the complete bike looks once I get everything cleaned up and assembled, which likely won't be before summer. Depends on how much night/weekend time I have and garage temperature!
 

This ad disappears when logged in
Most Recent BUY IT NOW Items Listed on eBay
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture
eBay Auction Picture