1955 BLUE Radiobike Restoration


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partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,247
3,777
The Land of Oz
#62
I am researching on how to build a correct battery pack for this, and thought it would be beneficial to other owners if I posted what I found here.

In order to build a 90V A-B battery pack, here are a few OEM model numbers to reference for sizes and specs:

RCA VS064
Eveready 729
Burgess 4TZ60

SOURCE: http://antiqueradios.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=218547

Info on dimensions and battery box labels: http://www.antiqueradios.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=146627

Instructions on building said battery box "guts". Appears to be called a "farm radio battery" in some circles: http://143.95.77.243/~elmphoto/radios/Build A Farm Radio Battery.pdf

Battery Packs for the Zenith Trans-Oceanic portable radio are similar, but not quite a match. However, I also found this useful. This source from a friend: http://143.95.77.243/~elmphoto/radios/radio11.htm

RIP...RadioShack. Looks like some holders are still on their site: https://www.radioshack.com/pages/search-results?findify_q=battery holder&findify_limit=24&findify_offset=0&findify_filters[0][type]=category&findify_filters[0][name]=category1&findify_filters[0][values][0][value]=D Battery Holders
 
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partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,247
3,777
The Land of Oz
#63
Update:

1) Nearly all sheet metal parts are finished. the only exception is the chain guard, which needs to be repaired. Lots of dirt, grime, and drops of house paint came off and now they really do shine!

2) I have started on the mechanical work. The sprocket is finished, the crank will likely be replaced. It is straight as an arrow but the chrome is totally gone on one side. I will have a replacement shortly. The bearings are soaking in degreaser right now.

3) I fear I will not find suitable replacement rims before my deadline, I have began to dismantle the back wheel that came with this bike and a donor wheel from a burned-up '55 Dial-A-Ride. I hope these can be re-plated in time.

4) I need to find someone who has the tools and ability to braze and weld. I need to have the rack repaired and a new mounting bracket put on the chainguard

5) I am on the fence, again, about repainting the frame and fork. I have pushed this down the bottom of my priorities list. Because, I have bigger issues on this bike to fix before I even think of doing that. this will be the last thing I do before final assembly.

Also, finding the CORRECT size of rod to use in my repop antennas has proven to be a challenge. No progress as of yet. I would like to find parts sources here in the USA if I can. I prefer American-made parts on an American Classic!
 
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partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,247
3,777
The Land of Oz
#64
CAD designs for the tuning knob are almost done, then I can obtain quotes.

Most of the bearings and hardware have been cleaned, but some had to be replaced. Like these rusty and mis-matched ones. One rusty Hartford, and one rusty Wald. I had some nice Hartfords in the shed from the '86 Huffy I parted out last week.

I also got the spokes ordered for the back wheel. I saved many, many nipples from the old junky wheels and the ones that were still good have cleaned up flawlessly! NOW I NEED THE HOOPS!

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2jakes

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Sep 1, 2010
6,506
4,410
Elysium Fields
#68
Not sure about that, 'tho a red 1955 single-speed Radiobike was featured in Back to the Future Part II...@2jakes has a good screenshot of that!
The movie scene of the Red Radio-bike in BTTF2 was less than a second.
This was as good as I could get. But if you know about Radio-bikes, you can spot the radio knobs on the tank.
The rear carrier if I’m not mistaken is the battery pak. Not 100% on this though.
Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 3.28.49 AM.png

Doc Brown has just arrived at Biff’s garage looking for Marty.
Seconds earlier Marty had jumped into the rear seat of Biff’s cool Ford.

I don’t know why I telling this...I know that my pal partsguy knows this by heart! :tongueclosed:
 

partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,247
3,777
The Land of Oz
#69
The movie scene of the Red Radio-bike in BTTF2 was less than a second.
This was as good as I could get. But if you know about Radio-bikes, you can spot the radio knobs on the tank.
The rear carrier if I’m not mistaken is the battery pak. Not 100% on this though.
View attachment 646817
Doc Brown has just arrived at Biff’s garage looking for Marty.
Seconds earlier Marty had jumped into the rear seat of Biff’s cool Ford.

I don’t know why I telling this...I know that my pal partsguy knows this by heart! :tongueclosed:
It appears as 'tho I am wrong about the Radiobike. It appears the one in the movie is a 1956 model, it sports the different tank graphics. Could be a '57 also.

They REALLY have created a paradox in the space-time continuum!

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partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,247
3,777
The Land of Oz
#70
Parts, parts, PARTS...


HERE ARE MY SCORES FROM LAST NIGHT! Sadly, the cranks were close but no cigar. I THINK the rims are chrome, not the original nickle or zinc finish. I'll be using them as a backup, in case I don't find originals in time, which is a distinct possibility. The lock cylinder for the red bike is sweet! I am excited to find the repop dealer tag

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Where I stand now, nearly everything in this pic is done!

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partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,247
3,777
The Land of Oz
#71
I have decided that I will hold onto those minty chrome rims for a rainy day, and have a local shop re-zinc plate a pair of original old rims I have. For $110 each, I can have them done within two weeks. Had I known it was that cheap and quick, I would have done it a long time ago lol.

Big shout out to a local collector who let me into his home to see his bikes, and his unrestored Dial-A-Ride and Radiobike. I know now what finish I wish to achieve.
 
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Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
Jul 14, 2009
15,052
14,775
Evans, GA
#72
I have decided that I will hold onto those minty chrome rims for a rainy day, and have a local shop re-nickle plate a pair of original old rims I have. For $110 each, I can have them done within two weeks. Had I known it was that cheap and quick, I would have done it a long time ago lol.

Big shout out to a local collector who let me into his home to see his bikes, and his unrestored Dial-A-Ride and Radiobike. I know now what finish I wish to achieve.
I don't think nickle is the correct finish. Most 50's bikes I've seen that didn't have chrome had a cad finish--that didn't hold up well. May want to double check before you're sporting some yellowish tinted rims. V/r Shawn
 
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partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,247
3,777
The Land of Oz
#73
I don't think nickle is the correct finish. Most 50's bikes I've seen that didn't have chrome had a cad finish--that didn't hold up well. May want to double check before you're sporting some yellowish tinted rims. V/r Shawn
You're right, it's zinc. I can't keep my words straight. Huffy didn't start chroming their rims until around 1957/58. I think the others did too around that time.
 

partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,247
3,777
The Land of Oz
#75

partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,247
3,777
The Land of Oz
#76
The new stainless spokes for the back wheel should be in today. The front wheel will be finished and dropped off at the shop to be trued when I pick up the rear spokes.

The front wheel is being assembled from original spokes salvaged found in the boneyard, brass nipples that were cleaned and polished from the old spray-bombed wheels, a correct hub from a local collector, and a rare NOS zinc-plated rim I got at the Fairborn swap.

The rear wheel is to be assembled using original brass nipples that are cleaned and polished just like the front. Spokes will be new stainless, and the rim will be an original, re-plated zinc to match. It will have the correct Bendix Aviation 2-speed trans and hub this bike used to have. The front will serve as a sample of what finish I need to achieve at the platter's. Total build time, including platting, is two weeks.

Thus far, I am on schedule to complete the bike by September 1st. I may get it done earlier. The only unknown variable is how long it will take to get the first batch of knobs milled and when my new inside tank label will be done.
 
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partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,247
3,777
The Land of Oz
#77
Updates:

Front wheel is still in the bike shop getting trued. As soon as I get it back, the tire is going on and front lug nuts will be polished. Hopefully, I can finish putting the front end together.

Battery pack was built and both radios tested with it. The red one blew a tube and I had to swap one over. The blue one barely came on, I was able to get a Southern Gospel station playing Bill Gaither, and 84 WHAS out of Louisville, KY. Then...nothing. Something probably burned out and it is going back to my radio guy this week for re-repairs. At 62 years old, it probably blew a capacitor or resistor.

I have found a nicer, correct crank on eBay. It will be here Saturday, I HOPE it is the right size. It looks straight and good - just a enough patina to match the pedals and chain ring. If all is good, the bottom bracket will be reassembled.

I have found that Bar Keeper's Friend has somewhat brought back the frame and fork. They're still very dark, but they are BLUE under all that dirt and rust. A repaint may still be in it's future, but I will determine that after it's together. See below:


https://thecabe.com/forum/threads/tried-bar-keepers-friend-on-the-radiobike-results.115010/
 

partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,247
3,777
The Land of Oz
#79
A couple sneak peaks of the re-assembly, and the finished fork contrasting the unfinished frame! One side came out REALLY NICE!

Shout out to @Reesatheresa for suggesting Meguiars, it REALLY helped!

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partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,247
3,777
The Land of Oz
#80
Well, there a ton more rust on the frame than the fork. Lots of gray areas appeared after my efforts to bring back any of the blue. Its more of a glossy patina now. It will be repainted - 60% of the paint is gone - it was mostly rust.

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