1955 BLUE Radiobike Restoration


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partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,295
3,848
The Land of Oz
#1
Well, it seems I have secured a parts bike with a very elusive part. I shall be receiving the bike tomorrow. That said, I will now begin the MILD restoration of my 1955 Radiobike, one of a handful in blue. I have had a DISASTEROUS week in my personal life and finding these parts has really brightened my spirits. I would like to thank my CABE FAMILY for hooking me up.

The goal is to have all of the work DONE by September 1st. Why? It must be done in time for the town cruise-in, the 2017 Mum Festival show. There is a local AM station that plays oldies, the bike will be on display playing the music. I also have an idea on how to get it to play a broader range of 50s and 60s music without molesting the tube radio, and using my truck to do it.

By DONE, I mean this to do list:

1) Get the chrome cleaned up and polished as best as possible. There are rust spots, I hope to remedy them or upgrade parts if necessary. Fork cap and bars are the worst.

2) Find a Bendix Aviation 2-speed drivetrain w/ nice original wheels. I would like to track down the past collector-type owners of this bike to see if anyone has the exact parts out of this bike. Between the time it was discovered on RRB and sold to me, someone took the Aviation 2-speed setup out. Thank God pics from it's discovery are still online and I can see the paint lines on the frame from the missing cable guides. Worst case scenario, I buy all the bits and pieces and assemble and chrome it all myself.

3) Full mechanical overhaul. All hubs and bearings dismantled completely, cleaned, and re-lubed.

4) Attempt to bring out the paint better on the frame and fork. Dulled finish and surface rust throughout. Thy will be done.

5) Fix a broken weld on the carrier rack and tack weld the correct mounting bracket back on to the chainguard

6) Repair the light

7) Mill-out a new aluminum knob for the tuner (I'll need to borrow an original knob for this. Anyone willing to help?)

8) Last, but most importantly, REPAIR THE RADIO! A buddy of mine actually makes A-B battery packs for his portable radios and I have the number of a gentleman who can do the chassis work. Having the antenna now makes that possible!

Progress pics to come Friday night and as time allows....

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Still got this song running through my head. It's a good one! There will be lots of music in this thread.

 

Rides4Fun

Finally riding a big boys bike
Feb 19, 2017
265
296
56
Front Royal, Virginia
#2
Love the bike and wish you the best on the restoration! It was a lucky kid who got this back and the day and could ride around listening to some tunes!
 
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partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,295
3,848
The Land of Oz
#7
This morning, I picked this up. I thought I bought a parts bike! Ended up with one that was complete instead. Sweet! The more the merrier! It has the parts I need, which I'll dismantle and study to make reproductions. I cannot part this, too rare and too intact. I have my dream bike, I would like to start making parts for these also - hopefully others who share in the dream can complete their bikes as well. The inside tank label was mint, and the antenna in excellent condition.


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partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,295
3,848
The Land of Oz
#10
This weekend has been very busy! I have been trying to bring back the paint on the frame and fork, with little effect. So, I have broken the tires and put the wheels in the garage, they have no purpose to me anymore. I am moving on to the parts. I have made a post about my paint problem in the "Restoration Tips" forum, awaiting any replies. Paradise, for some a land of milk and honey, is being by yourself with old metal and your tools ;):cool:


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partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,295
3,848
The Land of Oz
#11
After some debate last night, there is only one method I can try on this frame and fork. Otherwise, it's in for a repaint!

Time for Evapo-Rust.


THE DIP!!

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partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,295
3,848
The Land of Oz
#13
No, not all. Many who do own Radiobikes restore them as two-speeds, I have yet to see a restored single-speed bike. the red one I picked up over the weekend is a single-speed model. It shows no signs of ever having the cable guides installed.
 

GTs58

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Sep 2, 2012
8,486
6,082
Central Arizona
#14
Let us know how the Evap dip goes. Question. Can you tell me what Huffy's paint practices were during this time? I see blue and gray or maybe a silver underneath but no primer. Was the candy's base coat a primer?
 
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partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,295
3,848
The Land of Oz
#15
The radio chassis will be dropped off to have the radio inspected and repaired as necessary on Sunday morning. The battery pack will br made Saturday. The antenna from the red bike will be borrowed for the work.

I may have the radio from the other bike checked out too while I'm at it.

"Daddy won a radio. He tuned it to a country show. I was rocking in the craddle to the sound of a steel guitar"


Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:
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partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,295
3,848
The Land of Oz
#16
Let us know how the Evap dip goes. Question. Can you tell me what Huffy's paint practices were during this time? I see blue and gray or maybe a silver underneath but no primer. Was the candy's base coat a primer?
I sure will! I'll test it on a small area first.

To answer your question...

A silver undercoat was sprayed. This was essentially a primer, but it has a high lead content. It allowed the candy paint to have the shine that it did. I hope this helps, and I could very well be wrong. Just my observations!

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,295
3,848
The Land of Oz
#17
UPDATE!

The radio for this bike and the red one were dropped off in the care of a gentleman, who, for decades refurbished old radios. I got his number from a close friend of mine and I trust this person to do his duty to this beauties. Until yesterday morning, he had never heard of a Huffy Radiobike. The neat thing about old radios is, no two models look alike!

Rock and roll is here to stay, indeed....

 
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partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,295
3,848
The Land of Oz
#19
what tool did you use to take off the tank- it would take a special slotted tool.
If the screws are indeed original, you need a "clutch bit". Dayton Tool Crib off Needmore Rd. is the only local place that has them. I bought three, and they're only a buck or two! Someone swapped all of the mounting screws on my blue bike with grade 8 Phillips screws. I'll be swapping those out, and I'll bet Au-Ve-Co or McMaster Carr will have them.

http://www.daytontoolcrib.com/
 

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