58 Western Flyer X53


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56 Vette

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Nov 21, 2014
645
717
Arcadia Ohio
#1
Well I've been sitting on this X53, or should I say watching it sit in a corner of the garage since the spring Memory Lane swap meet. Was so excited to pick it up from Dave the Tinker, and tear into it, but one thing after another kept coming up, and there it sat. Well I did a lot of research on the X53's about colors, drivetrains, and serial numbers, and pretty much read everything I could on them. After messing with the Silverking and the DX bomber, I figured it's time to get this one in the stand. Tinker had gathered all the parts to complete it, so first order was to get the repop light top cleaned and polished up, and the rocket ray working. Got that finished and just now got the frame all tore down, everything came off pretty easy, and so the clean up starts. I'll try to keep updating my progress, but this one will take a little while. Joe
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Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
Jul 14, 2009
15,073
14,784
Evans, GA
#2
At least you're starting with a solid, complete bike! The chrome bill on this puppy might be a little hefty but looks like a straightforward restoration. Looking forward to more progress. V/r Shawn
 

the tinker

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
May 4, 2014
2,289
4,158
moved
#3
Hey Joe, glad to see you starting on the old X53 . That day at the Memory Lane swap, you were so excited! It's funny that you posted this today, as I was about to P.M. you, and ask you if you started on it. The X53 was Murray's competitor to the Schwinn Phantom, and in my opinion a work of art. That bike sat neglected for many years, happy to see it found a good home, have fun with it!:)
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Here is a photo of it hanging in my basement. glad to see it got a good home, and not ending up being parted out , like other bikes Iv'e sold.
 

partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,247
3,777
The Land of Oz
#4
The X53 or the Murray Fleet Line is another dream ride of mine, but my plate is full and priorities are shifting - so I doubt I'll chase that whale for a while. I love how this appears as one piece of metal when the frame, tank, guard, and rack are together.
 
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the tinker

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
May 4, 2014
2,289
4,158
moved
#5
The X53 or the Murray Fleet Line is another dream ride of mine, but my plate is full and priorities are shifting - so I doubt I'll chase that whale for a while. I love how this appears as one piece of metal when the frame, crank, guard, and rack are together.
These Murrays are beautiful bikes.I saw only one X53 as a kid. Everyone near me was riding the Monarks or Schwinns, or J.C. Higgins.Pictured below is a Murray I sold to another Caber this spring,
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and below that, behind the other bikes, is a Mercury that I still have.
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I have one more that is not put together yet, that will become a fender-less roadster. I enclose a photo of different Murray springers for comparison.
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The only parts that are interchangeable, as far the X53, and the J.C. Higgins springer is the bottom bolts and nuts.,. and bail cap. Even those changed over the years, so be careful buying springer parts, notice the difference in the rocker assembly's . Pictured is the [black] 50's Higgin's springer, and a 49-50 springer the cap for the X53 springer is the ribbed one. the 49-50 is smooth.
These bikes are getting parted at an alarming rate. i hate to sell them at the swaps, as they usually get parted. Thank you Joe for putting my old one together.:)

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Oops, How did this photo get in here?.....Bicycle Larry ended up with this one....
 

partsguy

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Aug 13, 2008
10,247
3,777
The Land of Oz
#6
These Murrays are beautiful bikes.I saw only one X53 as a kid. Everyone near me was riding the Monarks or Schwinns, or J.C. Higgins.Pictured below is a Murray I sold to another Caber this spring, View attachment 665178 View attachment 665179 and below that, behind the other bikes, is a Mercury that I still have. View attachment 665181 I have one more that is not put together yet, that will become a fender-less roadster. I enclose a photo of different Murray springers for comparison. View attachment 665177 The only parts that are interchangeable, as far the X53, and the J.C. Higgins springer is the bottom bolts and nuts.,. and bail cap. Even those changed over the years, so be careful buying springer parts, notice the difference in the rocker assembly's . Pictured is the [black] 50's Higgin's springer, and a 49-50 springer the cap for the X53 springer is the ribbed one. the 49-50 is smooth.
These bikes are getting parted at an alarming rate. i hate to sell them at the swaps, as they usually get parted. Thank you Joe for putting my old one together.:)

View attachment 665180 Oops, How did this photo get in here?.....Bicycle Larry ended up with this one....
Tinker, I do not see any photos. Seems like many 50's and 60's high end models are getting parted. X53's, Corvette's, Silver Jet's, Fleet Line's, Golden Flyer's, etc. I know Tim Fox was selling a frame and rack at the last swap, and I thought about buying it. Thing is, most of the parts can be easily had. Like you said though, the springer, rack, guard, and tank make or break these bikes. Good luck finding them!
 

the tinker

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
May 4, 2014
2,289
4,158
moved
#7
Tinker, I do not see any photos. Seems like many 50's and 60's high end models are getting parted. X53's, Corvette's, Silver Jet's, Fleet Line's, Golden Flyer's, etc. I know Tim Fox was selling a frame and rack at the last swap, and I thought about buying it. Thing is, most of the parts can be easily had. Like you said though, the springer, rack, guard, and tank make or break these bikes. Good luck finding them!
No photos? I posted 4 photos plus one accidentally , for a total of 5. I see them.....
 

56 Vette

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Nov 21, 2014
645
717
Arcadia Ohio
#9
Hey Tinker, thanks again, and I'm very glad to be the next caretaker of this one! Right now it won't be getting the full on restoration, but it is certainly in decent enough shape to go that way. I'm just taking each part and seeing how much chrome and paint i can get to come back, and make a nice rider out of it. And it will definitely NOT be parted on my watch!! Tinker thanks for all the info on the differences in the springer forks between the bikes you pointed out, guess I've never really looked that close, but very good stuff to know. Got the back rack polished up, and there might be a little more color there than I originally thought. She isn't gonna be a #10 show bike, but hopefully the rest cleans up this well. Joe
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56 Vette

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Nov 21, 2014
645
717
Arcadia Ohio
#11
Making a little progress on the X53. Got the frame and fork derusted the best I could, and polished what paint remained. It didn't come back as well as I had hoped, but it has its own look that is growing on me more and more. All the hardware and front springer parts took a 24 hour bath in Evaporust and came out pretty well. Also got all the bearings and races cleaned and relubed and crank and pedals put back on, along with the fork reassembled and installed. Still along way to go, but glad to see it finally going back together. The front fender needs more tlc but I couldn't help putting it on for a quick pic. Joe
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indiana dave

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 22, 2013
262
184
Whiteland, United States
#12
That's looking good. Personally, I'd rather have a well preserved, cleaned up original paint bike than an over-restored museum piece.
My bikes get ridden, and are stored in my garage, where they may get bumped into, or knocked over.
I don't want to have to worry about every little scratch.
My bikes are all basically like this. Disassembled, cleaned, polished, regreased, and any unusable parts (usually just tires and tubes) replaced.

There are plenty of brand new bikes with the "classic look" and the average person doesn't know the difference.
They see an old bike that actually looks old, and they take notice.
 

56 Vette

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Nov 21, 2014
645
717
Arcadia Ohio
#13
Well I got quite a bit farther on the Western Flyer the last few days. I'm sure a lot of you guys are the same way, when you can see the end result is close and you keep going just to see it finally done and ride it! Tore into the seat and found the bar that holds the springs was broke, so I took it to work and on lunch breaks I blasted the chassis, and rewelded the broken bar, and put all the hardware in an Evaporust bath at home. I painted the pan and chassis, and got it all back together, it turned out pretty good. Also tackled the tank and chainguard to see what if any paint was left on them. Not much was left, but still traces of gold and red on tank, and gold only left on the chainguard. Gonna leave them like this for now, maybe try a patina restore if I can find candy gold and red, but nothing too soon. Then I moved on to the front fender brace, Tinker gave me a new brace, but the original still had traces of red, so I went ahead and straightened it the best I could and polished up the fender and installed it and the light for good. Then on to the rear fender, rack braces, the spear and reflector holder. The reflector was broken and epoxied back in years ago, I decided to leave it instead of putting it the new one Tinker gave me with the bike. Here are a few pics. Joe
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56 Vette

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Nov 21, 2014
645
717
Arcadia Ohio
#14
Now it's on the stand and the only thing left is my favorite part, the wheels! NOT!! Lol. Got the hub's apart, cleaned all the internals, derusted and polished the hoops, spokes, hub shells and reassembled everything with a set of NOS Lightening Darts. Put the chain back on after soaking for a week, and believe it or not, this thing rides like silk! It's heavy as a Sherman tank, but really pedals well, and coasts and brakes nicely, and the springer is pretty cool too! Overall really happy how it turned out, big thanks to Tinker for letting me be the guy who got work on it! Have a great weekend all! Joe
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mfhemi1969

Finally riding a big boys bike
Oct 4, 2015
297
149
Indianapolis, IN, USA
#15
Now it's on the stand and the only thing left is my favorite part, the wheels! NOT!! Lol. Got the hub's apart, cleaned all the internals, derusted and polished the hoops, spokes, hub shells and reassembled everything with a set of NOS Lightening Darts. Put the chain back on after soaking for a week, and believe it or not, this thing rides like silk! It's heavy as a Sherman tank, but really pedals well, and coasts and brakes nicely, and the springer is pretty cool too! Overall really happy how it turned out, big thanks to Tinker for letting me be the guy who got work on it! Have a great weekend all! Joe View attachment 669976 View attachment 669979 View attachment 669980 View attachment 669981 View attachment 669982 View attachment 669983
Very nice job! Well worth your time on this one. Enjoy
 
Likes: 56 Vette

FULLYLOADED

Finally riding a big boys bike
Apr 11, 2016
348
685
14
San Pedro, United States
#18
Making a little progress on the X53. Got the frame and fork derusted the best I could, and polished what paint remained. It didn't come back as well as I had hoped, but it has its own look that is growing on me more and more. All the hardware and front springer parts took a 24 hour bath in Evaporust and came out pretty well. Also got all the bearings and races cleaned and relubed and crank and pedals put back on, along with the fork reassembled and installed. Still along way to go, but glad to see it finally going back together. The front fender needs more tlc but I couldn't help putting it on for a quick pic. Joe View attachment 668282 View attachment 668283 View attachment 668284 View attachment 668285
KEWL!

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
 
Likes: 56 Vette

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