'59 FLGHTLNR


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Sven

I live for the CABE
Dec 24, 2017
1,888
5,305
55
Mechanicsville, MD, United States
#1
I picked this '59 J C Higgins Flightliner up outside Richmond for $45 a few months ago ( It was aprt of a Package deal). I know its not the " To die over, must have bike" . And a whole list of parts that aren"t original and missing the front rack.. But I decided to restore it to the best of my abilities. Im retired so I have a good bit of free time.



As I bought it

20180423_164525.jpeg

I learned , after removing some of the paint, that the bike had stripped down to bear metal and painted over without much body work to fill the many pitted areas or any type of rust treatment.
Aircraft remover made quick business of paint removal. A little Bondo action to fill the pits, primed, Since then the tank was top coated with white primer.

2018-06-19_08.56.11.jpg

More body work
20180614_145651.jpeg

I thought it was neat how the "Flightliner" showed up after stripping / rust treatment / bondo and primed
2018-06-19_08.46.26.jpg
This stuff works great, But extreme care and precautions when using it.
2018-06-19_08.47.41.jpg
..and the frame and fork stripping are done

20180619_084005.jpeg
 

Adamtinkerer

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Sep 8, 2008
3,583
595
Western North carolina
#5
How can one pinpoint the year of these bikes?
That chain guard was only used '58-9, and most are stamped with the Sears catalog # w/the serial, usually in the 4500-4700 range through '62, later models have an extra digit. This bike is interesting, having painted fenders, it must be a base model Flightliner. If it didn't have the name on the guard, I'd have said it was a lower Sportflite model!
 
Likes: Sven

Sven

I live for the CABE
Dec 24, 2017
1,888
5,305
55
Mechanicsville, MD, United States
#7
Well, the tank is finally finished..painted Dupli-color Chevy white over white primer, 4 coats of of clear coat , wet sanded down to a 5000 grit and polished as well as tank stickers applied. Perfect ..not by any means..there is some slight evidence of orange peel around the edges. I didn't want to burn through the finish and have to start over. Next up is the chainguard
2018-06-19_08.56.11.jpg
20180713_140018 (1).jpg
 

Sven

I live for the CABE
Dec 24, 2017
1,888
5,305
55
Mechanicsville, MD, United States
#8
Got a rolling chassis with the front end complete. Waiting for the rear rack's completion( Clear coat the rack and paint the support braces ) to finish the rear section. Soaking a new chain chain in degreaser as to give it the Molten Speed wax treatment.
20190506_185514.jpg

learn a good lesson. I thought I was going to slick and use the nice chrome rear rack braces that came with the female sears rack I got of eBay..wrong. Too small. I am gonna strip the black paint off these pitted up ones that came with the bike and use filler primer, gloss black and Krylon "Chrome"
20190506_190714.jpg

..and the seat needs padding, Covering with marine grade black vinyl and white piping.
Its gettin' there. Slowly but surely.
20190506_194350 (1).jpg
g t
 

Sven

I live for the CABE
Dec 24, 2017
1,888
5,305
55
Mechanicsville, MD, United States
#9
Well its done. There are a few final adjustments to go. The seat didn't turn out all that great. Its covered but , looks like a tick. Not perfect, but not a stick in the eye. Lessons learned, I think the next time , I would have it stripped, painted and striped by a professional paint shop. Or powder coated.
20180423_164525.jpeg
20190525_075159.jpg
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20190524_192329.jpg 20190524_192334.jpg
The Lights were upgraded to a 9 volt system LED.
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20190524_223524.jpg
 

CURTIS L LINDGREN

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 19, 2017
386
699
62
Bothell, WA, United States
#10
Awesome ! That was a lot of work ! Stripping / Sanding/ Painting...................it takes some time and effort. Unless you've done many paint jobs. Paint and pinstriping is hard to do "Correctly" . I learn with each attempt. I bought a bike for VERY LITTLE $ , and there's evidence all over showing that some one was "Practising " their Paint /Pinstriping / Decal Placement Skills. I couldn't pass it up..............and frankly.............would not have done any better myself. Your thoughts on Professional Painting and /or Powder coating are on my mind more often now than ever. Great Post , and thanks for all the photo documentation . ;) You should be very proud of your work. Your bike looks great. :p Here's a few photo's of the Bike I was referring to. :cool:

DSCF0847.JPG


DSCF0853.JPG


DSCF0865.JPG


DSCF0867.JPG


IMG_20190317_151146231.jpg
 

CURTIS L LINDGREN

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 19, 2017
386
699
62
Bothell, WA, United States
#11
My last Attempt at painting a tank was on my Spaceliner. I liked the results , but there's room for improvement. You did a good job saving that bike. and....the light conversion is The BEEZ KNEEZ !!! :D

IMG_20181215_123318726.jpg


IMG_20181215_123350058.jpg


IMG_20181215_123408945.jpg
 

Sven

I live for the CABE
Dec 24, 2017
1,888
5,305
55
Mechanicsville, MD, United States
#12
Awesome ! That was a lot of work ! Stripping / Sanding/ Painting...................it takes some time and effort. Unless you've done many paint jobs. Paint and pinstriping is hard to do "Correctly" . I learn with each attempt. I bought a bike for VERY LITTLE $ , and there's evidence all over showing that some one was "Practising " their Paint /Pinstriping / Decal Placement Skills. I couldn't pass it up..............and frankly.............would not have done any better myself. Your thoughts on Professional Painting and /or Powder coating are on my mind more often now than ever. Great Post , and thanks for all the photo documentation . ;) You should be very proud of your work. Your bike looks great. :p Here's a few photo's of the Bike I was referring to. :cool:

View attachment 1003740

View attachment 1003741

View attachment 1003742

View attachment 1003743

View attachment 1003744
Thank you for your kind words.
I probably spent a liitle over $200 in stripper ,wire brushes ,sandpaper , 7 cans of Duplicolor Electric Current Red Metallic ( which is no longer available in auto stores in my area, had to order the last can online), 2 cans of Duplicolr Chevy white, 2 cans of the areosol 2 part clear . I figue pay the extra have a person who knows the art and chemistry of auto painting or powder coating do it.
I like doing the body work.curing the rust with vinegar , Bondo, ,sanding

Just got you pic of the spaceliner . The tank came out great. On your tiger, theres a lot if metal to take car of, not just a frame and forks.

I'm wearing the shirt my attitude on my paint job
IMG_20190525_1136557_rewind_kindlephoto-3602356209.jpg

Anyway, Thanks again for the compliments
 

razinhellcustomz

Finally riding a big boys bike
May 28, 2018
356
188
59
kiel wisconsin
#13
Tah man!! Your rattle can paint looks great! I'm the same way as far as learning paint tricks. I just did my 66 sting ray in red and turned out pretty decent. I'll have to touch up some chips from dropping the bitch, but that's no biggie. Enjoy your new old flightliner, curtis. Razin.
 
Likes: Sven

razinhellcustomz

Finally riding a big boys bike
May 28, 2018
356
188
59
kiel wisconsin
#14
Awesome ! That was a lot of work ! Stripping / Sanding/ Painting...................it takes some time and effort. Unless you've done many paint jobs. Paint and pinstriping is hard to do "Correctly" . I learn with each attempt. I bought a bike for VERY LITTLE $ , and there's evidence all over showing that some one was "Practising " their Paint /Pinstriping / Decal Placement Skills. I couldn't pass it up..............and frankly.............would not have done any better myself. Your thoughts on Professional Painting and /or Powder coating are on my mind more often now than ever. Great Post , and thanks for all the photo documentation . ;) You should be very proud of your work. Your bike looks great. :p Here's a few photo's of the Bike I was referring to. :cool:

View attachment 1003740

View attachment 1003741

View attachment 1003742

View attachment 1003743

View attachment 1003744
Nice job on the paint. I love,love,love the headlight too. Enjoy. Razin. And what year is your tiger? I'm looking at a 61 one on craigslist that i may pull the trigger on in the next day or two.
 

razinhellcustomz

Finally riding a big boys bike
May 28, 2018
356
188
59
kiel wisconsin
#15
Got a rolling chassis with the front end complete. Waiting for the rear rack's completion( Clear coat the rack and paint the support braces ) to finish the rear section. Soaking a new chain chain in degreaser as to give it the Molten Speed wax treatment.
View attachment 992979
learn a good lesson. I thought I was going to slick and use the nice chrome rear rack braces that came with the female sears rack I got of eBay..wrong. Too small. I am gonna strip the black paint off these pitted up ones that came with the bike and use filler primer, gloss black and Krylon "Chrome"
View attachment 993007
..and the seat needs padding, Covering with marine grade black vinyl and white piping.
Its gettin' there. Slowly but surely. View attachment 993013 g t
Very nice bike!! I'll have to blow my flightliner apart and give it the once over. What is the molten wax treatment? And i also love the mexican krylon chrome in a can. I have also used bright silver on some occasions. Looking good!! Keep up the good work. Ride on!!! Razin.
 
Likes: Sven

Sven

I live for the CABE
Dec 24, 2017
1,888
5,305
55
Mechanicsville, MD, United States
#17
Very nice bike!! I'll have to blow my flightliner apart and give it the once over. What is the molten wax treatment? And i also love the mexican krylon chrome in a can. I have also used bright silver on some occasions. Looking good!! Keep up the good work. Ride on!!! Razin.
Thanks @razinhellcustomz ,
The closest place to me that chrome plates seems to be Nasville TN. So I went the spray route.

Molten wax, no more grease or oil flung on your bike.
https://moltenspeedwax.com

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?...FE532FF0B5ED09771642FE532FF0B5ED&&FORM=VRDGAR
You can make your own .
I use White Lightning wax at intervals to freshen it up. But about ever 250 to 300 miles redo the process.
For the first. I find it easier to start with a brand new chain and remove the oils from it with Whatever your favorite degreaser is then soak it in denatured Alcohol.
 
Last edited:

Blackbomber

Finally riding a big boys bike
Aug 23, 2018
265
434
44
Connecticut, USA
#18
The wax sounds cool. I’m building a Motobike with no chain guard. Sounds like a great solution.

Excellent work on the Flightliner. I think (for me at least) any restoration will come with lessons learned. That’s a fine job, in my opinion, and best of all it’s a rider. So how do you like riding it compared to the Corvette?
 
Likes: Sven

Sven

I live for the CABE
Dec 24, 2017
1,888
5,305
55
Mechanicsville, MD, United States
#19
The wax sounds cool. I’m building a Motobike with no chain guard. Sounds like a great solution.

Excellent work on the Flightliner. I think (for me at least) any restoration will come with lessons learned. That’s a fine job, in my opinion, and best of all it’s a rider. So how do you like riding it compared to the Corvette?
Thanks@Blackbomber,
The Flightliner has a 52 tooth front sprocket as my Corvette has 46 teeth.Both have 18 tooth rears. The Corvette is quicker of the line. Not by much but you notice the difference. I do like the fact that I dont have to worry about boogering up the paint on the Corvette .
 
Likes: Blackbomber

Rivnut

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Nov 24, 2012
712
305
Shawnee, United States
#20
Any progressive pictures and a parts list for the LED headlight conversion?
 

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