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1956 Racer Rebuild

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DesmoDog

Look Ma, No Hands!
Apropos of nothing, I've got to say. Every time I see "'lil knee scuffer" under my avatar I chuckle. For whatever reason it makes me think of the Pixie kids bikes we'd sell. I always thought they were cool even though I was five sizes too big for them. Lucky kid...

Untitled.png
 

DesmoDog

Look Ma, No Hands!
I started working on the front wheel today. This is not a rim I would normally use, but staying with the "if it functions it stays" mantra, I'll give it a go. There isn't going to be much "chrome" left in some sections once it's cleaned up I'm afraid.
Rim_6726.jpg


An aside - I hear people talk about cleaning rust off of chrome and how wonderful their elixer/method of choice is. Well yeah, those potions are nice for cleaning rust, but chrome doesn't rust. What is rusting is the steel underneath the chrome. You're not cleaning rust off of chrome, you're cleaning rust off of the steel that's exposed because the chrome plating is compromised. Nothing will bring it back short of stripping and rechroming it. Which is never going happen here. I have no idea what this will look like after it's been derustified, but the rusted areas won't be chrome anymore.

When I was looking for spokes for the rear wheel, someone was surprised at the length (290mm). Which got me thinking... as it turns out, this bike used a four cross spoke pattern on both the front and rear wheels. I tore down the rear wheel before I realized this, but here's what that looks like on the front.
Cross_6724.jpg


Two of the first three spokes I tried to loosen were frozen. That didn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy, but they turned out to be the only bad ones on the wheel. I sprayed a little penetrating oil on them, gave it about 30 milliseconds to work, then hit them with a propane torch. They came apart with no issue after that.

I was surprised how smoothly the front hub spun, to the point I wonder if it hadn't been rebuilt along the way. It looked pretty good when I took it apart, the grease was discolored but not hard like in the headset and crank.
Hub_6733.jpg


The cones have no locknut. When I took it apart I found out how they hold it in adjustment - the threads are modified in the areas the cones sit. That's not a great picture, there is an obvious pattern that shows it's intentional. If I had seen that before I had forgotten about it. Seems to work ok though?
Axle_6734.jpg


A little light rust on the hub but mostly just grime.
Hub_6741.jpg


It all cleaned up and went back together nicely
Hub_6752.jpg


I ran out of time/inspiration to tackle getting the rust off the rim tonight. That will have to wait for a later post.

I did knock the pads out of the holders though. I'll compare the measurements to the Kool Stop replacements and add them to my list.
Pads_6747.jpg
 
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J-wagon

I live for the CABE
The cones have no locknut. When I took it apart I found out how they hold it in adjustment - the threads are modified in the areas the cones sit.
Interesting observation. I have bike with no locknut, after few rides cones tend to self tighten. Not noticeable when riding but when I pick up front wheel spin has more drag. Perhaps I need to look closely to see how to hold in adjustment.
 

SirMike1983

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Interesting observation. I have bike with no locknut, after few rides cones tend to self tighten. Not noticeable when riding but when I pick up front wheel spin has more drag. Perhaps I need to look closely to see how to hold in adjustment.

I've had that happen as well. I used one of those finned spacers from the 1960s Schwinns to hold the drive side cone in place and prevent it from self-tightening. The locknut can work as well. I have several 1940s Schwinns that use locknuts. The British solution is the stop ridge machined into the axle. But I definitely like having something there to keep the drive side cone in place.
 

Eric Amlie

Wore out three sets of tires already!
The rims look pretty good.
They'll fit the patina of the rest of the bike when you're finished with it and not look out of place like new rims would.

Here are the list of titles based on post count as best as I've been able to figure them out:

On Training Wheels 1-9
Lil Knee Scuffer 10-24
Look Ma, No Hands! 25-100
Finally riding a big boy's bike 100 – 499
Wore out three sets of tires already! 500 – 999?
I live for the CABE 1000 – 1999?
Cruisin' on my Bluebird 2000 – 4999?
Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe 5000 – ?
 

Oilit

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
I figured it would change again soon. I couldn't find the list of names it will change to though

I got one of the rims cleaned up.

It looks ok here
View attachment 1720305

But this shot shows a more realistic condition
View attachment 1720306

The cleaned rim is the same one as shown in post #22
Your bike won't look new, but then it isn't new. It will look like an old bike that someone has taken care of, which is a great improvement over how most of them are found.
 

DesmoDog

Look Ma, No Hands!
I laced up the front wheel today. Here's a shot from a reality check I did to see how I was doing getting it dished correctly. The clean up on the rim turned out better than I was expecting, it will fit in fine with the look of the rest of the bike. Of course it will also start to flash rust the minute any condensation gets on it but we can't have everything!
Wheel_6776.jpg


I thought I could get away with installing the tires off a donor bike I have from another project, but no. They're too far gone. Putting pressure in them starts to open up the splitting instead of hiding it like it does sometimes when it's minor. Time for new tires I guess. I also had plans of using the tires off another donor I was going to buy for yet another project, but this morning when I looked at the ad again there was a sale pending. Oops, that's what I get for putting it off I guess. Anyway, here's what it looks like with a tire on it. The tire was spinning when I took the shot, I thought it might blur the moving stuff and make the tire look less trashed. ;)
Wheel_6784.jpg
 

Oilit

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
I laced up the front wheel today. Here's a shot from a reality check I did to see how I was doing getting it dished correctly. The clean up on the rim turned out better than I was expecting, it will fit in fine with the look of the rest of the bike. Of course it will also start to flash rust the minute any condensation gets on it but we can't have everything!
View attachment 1720850

I thought I could get away with installing the tires off a donor bike I have from another project, but no. They're too far gone. Putting pressure in them starts to open up the splitting instead of hiding it like it does sometimes when it's minor. Time for new tires I guess. I also had plans of using the tires off another donor I was going to buy for yet another project, but this morning when I looked at the ad again there was a sale pending. Oops, that's what I get for putting it off I guess. Anyway, here's what it looks like with a tire on it. The tire was spinning when I took the shot, I thought it might blur the moving stuff and make the tire look less trashed. ;)
View attachment 1720851
A good coat of wax will help with the flash rust. And keeping it indoors when you're not riding. Although when you've collected enough bikes keeping them in the house becomes another problem. 🤔
 
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