60ish Flightliner


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wheelbender6

Look Ma, No Hands!
Oct 23, 2018
62
59
Houston area
#1
Bought this frame/fork on FleaBay. Seller thought it was a Sears Spyder but it is a 24 inch Flightliner.
-Rat trap fork has apparently been welded multiple times, but it is still fragile.
-Frame was originally chrome, but the previous owner painted it purple.
I gotta long way to go.
flightliner.jpg
 

Sven

I live for the CABE
Dec 24, 2017
1,760
4,728
55
Mechanicsville, MD, United States
#4
Welcome to the CABE.
I'm working on a ('59) Flightliner project myself. The weather here has brought the paintingpart of the project to a halt for the past months. Either it rains or the temps don't go above 50. Anyway....Have fun and post pix of your progress.
 

wheelbender6

Look Ma, No Hands!
Oct 23, 2018
62
59
Houston area
#5
Welcome to the CABE.
I'm working on a ('59) Flightliner project myself. The weather here has brought the paintingpart of the project to a halt for the past months. Either it rains or the temps don't go above 50. Anyway....Have fun and post pix of your progress.
-Sven - How did you determine the production year of your Flightliner? I have a legible serial no but I have not been able to decode the production year. Your flightliner is really complete.
 

Sven

I live for the CABE
Dec 24, 2017
1,760
4,728
55
Mechanicsville, MD, United States
#6
AndyA and BrentP answered my thread "Need help identifying Flightliner" in the Middleweight section
Also the 1959 Sears catalog helped as well
 
Last edited:

Adamtinkerer

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Sep 8, 2008
3,564
587
Western North carolina
#7
-Sven - How did you determine the production year of your Flightliner? I have a legible serial no but I have not been able to decode the production year. Your flightliner is really complete.
The chrome frame was only available '61-'63. The middle # in the serial, usually in the 46000 47000 range, is the Sears catalog #. These changed yearly, so the best year indicator.
 
Likes: Sven

wheelbender6

Look Ma, No Hands!
Oct 23, 2018
62
59
Houston area
#8
Thanks Adamtinkerer. I checked the sears online parts site but my model number wasn't found. Looks like I will have to download some sears catalogs to narrow down the individual year.
 

wheelbender6

Look Ma, No Hands!
Oct 23, 2018
62
59
Houston area
#9
The purple paint was not too difficult to strip away.
-I can't weld so I bolted the rat trap moving parts to a slightly newer Spaceliner fork.
-Finally got some 24" wheels on it. I bought a 24" donor bike for a quick source of cheap parts.
I will need to grind the front dropouts a bit before the wheel fits correctly.
flt liner wheels.jpg


flt liner wheels 1.jpg
 
Likes: Scribble

wheelbender6

Look Ma, No Hands!
Oct 23, 2018
62
59
Houston area
#11
I was advised to grind the front axle instead of the front dropouts in order to fit. It was great advice. The dropouts in that rat trap fork are really tough. Like battleship armor.
 
Likes: Adamtinkerer

wheelbender6

Look Ma, No Hands!
Oct 23, 2018
62
59
Houston area
#12
Banana seat arrived so I did more work on the Flightliner. The 24" spyders were purple, so I got a purple seat and grips. Packed the headset and crank bearings.
-Installed a universal rear brake kit. I didn't trim the cable since I don't have the ape hanger bars yet. Flightliners were single speed or a few came with a 2 speed kick back.
-I planned to finish the drive train but I didn't have a bmx chain. I was sure that I had one. I guess I mis-remembered.
spyder a 0127.jpg
 

Saving Tempest

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Feb 6, 2012
3,977
2,200
52
Earth (Middle)
#13
Spaceliners and Flightliners are pretty popular projects around here right now, means the Murray-built Higgins fans are moving from the 40s and 50s squarely into the 60s now. I've got one of my own coming. Not as ornate but a ton of fun just the same.
 
Likes: Sven

wheelbender6

Look Ma, No Hands!
Oct 23, 2018
62
59
Houston area
#15
20190217_113906_resized.jpg

20190217_113927_resized.jpg
I found some ape hangers I liked so I clamped them on and slid the grips on. I made a little mount for the shifter and hung it on the seat tube for now. Still working on the drive train.
 
Likes: Scribble

wheelbender6

Look Ma, No Hands!
Oct 23, 2018
62
59
Houston area
#16
The mountain bike drive train shifts well now. The shifter located under the seat works well but I need to dress it up.
The Flightliner chain guard is attached with zip ties.
-Still need to trim cable housings and other minutia. I need to rub in more chrome polish, thanks to the salt air.
spyder chain guard 030319.jpg


spyder 2 chain guard 030319.jpg
 
Last edited:
Likes: Sven

wheelbender6

Look Ma, No Hands!
Oct 23, 2018
62
59
Houston area
#17
Found out that the torsion fork can compress so far that the tire can jam against the fork crown, locking the front tire (as I sailed over the handle bars). I will have to shade-tree-engineer some way of limiting the fork travel so that the front wheel will not lock again when I hit a big pothole or get run off the road by a cager. I could also switch the front wheel for a 20“ to help the problem. Surprisingly, the fork still works quietly, with no rattles or squeaks.
--I added a third bracket to the chain guard and it is steady now. Doesn’t rub on the cranks or chain. I hate chain guards that rub.
--I stuck a wine cork (Mondavi 2018) in the grip shifter since I haven’t come up with a good mod for it yet. I wish I had something for it that matched my purple jeweled valve caps.
http://d36mgel2479174.cloudfront.net/2019/03/91454_2399f05b06e898a2bd7b157fd16f37b9_thumb.jpg?Expires=1553037700&Signature=VUeT9P82glu1Vqh0wpi3ayYAU3jyEkacsdpnTmD-QVuYKZfnoKb1Sg5HoVyPFOKLAaR4nv8Upbgtb9V11nOuqjmNHi0raV39kxDAAZedtlF6BMLGJC3txDOSR5a0TRNnhbK-rmLEbr3R9lPJMzZ6AqMtz2NkTu5jDjAxyTPmUki3b7JWuKQkq9pxwLNylK68TWNLoZr4h6tF0mQjbHOE0Adar5M35HCg3PZh7DCvd9rcYVILtRsTla94DLMidqOTvXrZ~sM2SCeShOOUeoYhy4MEXhgYx-ZlR161S4qRbxCs2yqEv72I-X1hnnmR-YGhf4JIAAZW0AzIvkuwB7q2pg__&Key-Pair-i.d.=APKAIQSHINAC2AVYX6HA http://d36mgel2479174.cloudfront.net/2019/03/91455_a1a1e1945eed419609e6bc4922ac3f05_thumb.jpg?Expires=1553037700&Signature=ZkKwXtskgsFYymxRjyE50~l-thq-~TlFQOiHGkogim~0~cRbBCKu16F7CtYPXBgBeRzDtC67U2jaG8WJoveERy9YGLJ0U7ShhJTzeV-cJMhk6kzLV2wEn6ohIj5c-B7b7F8Tv16F02UOaiaUF8SViS3br0zw4Hi-ie0tQDBttZZUMbhfJCzyNdo0MrWRxQ7v8O7KIkVVlhU0bnwm8-pOYNWk99m-j5EYMTzW-clTkyEDGXsNIgy7sEift9inkwpsA7Jc8PCZJYPuNokUiYhPgULE9zW86KL867yc77Ty18AqGpecI-g~BYk9aulcmtwimsIPxkTKKAXR7FjPuu2UFQ__&Key-Pair-i.d.=APKAIQSHINAC2AVYX6HA
--I still need more leg room, even though it’s a 24” bike. Thighs start to burn before the mile mark, even in low gear and I want to be able to enjoy an hour long ride. I’ll try a lay-back seat post before resorting to a longer seat and sissy bar.
 
Likes: Sven

wheelbender6

Look Ma, No Hands!
Oct 23, 2018
62
59
Houston area
#19
I installed a lay back seat post that provides more leg room.
-The bike still looked like a cruiser with the 24" front wheel, so I swapped it for a 20" wheel. Its a 24/20 now. 24 20 gator.jpg

-The stick shifter that I ordered arrived at the PO today, but I will not get my hands on it until tomorrow.
24 20 bridge.jpg
 

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