Extreme rust on me frame, and looking for some advice- 1917 Wards Deluxe Flyer

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The Carolina Rambler

Finally riding a big boys bike
Hello everybody! Hope you are all doing well. After taking a break from working on bikes, I have gotten back to work, and am making headway on the restoration of my 1917 Montgomery Ward Deluxe Flyer. Unfortunately, I have a bit of a frame issue I am dealing with right now. As you can see, there are some rust out issues in the lower sections of the downstays on the frame, and there is even evidence of water getting down in there over the years and freezing, which rusted and cracked, causing holes. This frame sat out, presumably in the woods, for decades. I sanded down the holes, and pressed into the really weak metal to get into stronger metal. So then, I took it to the best welder I know of in town, and he is under the impression that in the sections where the rust out is, the steel is too thin to weld effectively, and would burn out if that was attempted as it is now. And that even if he could weld it, it would likely not improve or restore the strength of the frame in that section, and I agree with and understand what he is saying.

With that in mind, what do yall think about some methods of repairing this problem. The frame is good and sturdy other than in that area, and is still just as thick and strong a steel as ever. I have some ideas myself as to how to go about properly repairing this, but I don't want to say them just yet, so I don't bias anyone's ideas, and want to know what yall think. Even with the holes it feels pretty sturdy. The goal is for this bike to safely {relatively speaking given it's a 100 year old bike} accommodate a 200 pound rider, which is 50 pounds more than I weigh, and is likely what this bike was originally designed for. Thank you for reading, and have a nice evening!

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Barnegatbicycles

Finally riding a big boys bike
Probably the best repair would be to retube that part of the frame. You could try welding it up but you might end up just chasing blow out around. Another way to go about it could be to take a half but tube and braze/ weld it to the frame ( clad it). The easiest solution might just be to find another frame.
 

Superman1984

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Hello everybody! Hope you are all doing well. After taking a break from working on bikes, I have gotten back to work, and am making headway on the restoration of my 1917 Montgomery Ward Deluxe Flyer. Unfortunately, I have a bit of a frame issue I am dealing with right now. As you can see, there are some rust out issues in the lower sections of the downstays on the frame, and there is even evidence of water getting down in there over the years and freezing, which rusted and cracked, causing holes. This frame sat out, presumably in the woods, for decades. I sanded down the holes, and pressed into the really weak metal to get into stronger metal. So then, I took it to the best welder I know of in town, and he is under the impression that in the sections where the rust out is, the steel is too thin to weld effectively, and would burn out if that was attempted as it is now. And that even if he could weld it, it would likely not improve or restore the strength of the frame in that section, and I agree with and understand what he is saying.

With that in mind, what do yall think about some methods of repairing this problem. The frame is good and sturdy other than in that area, and is still just as thick and strong a steel as ever. I have some ideas myself as to how to go about properly repairing this, but I don't want to say them just yet, so I don't bias anyone's ideas, and want to know what yall think. Even with the holes it feels pretty sturdy. The goal is for this bike to safely {relatively speaking given it's a 100 year old bike} accommodate a 200 pound rider, which is 50 pounds more than I weigh, and is likely what this bike was originally designed for. Thank you for reading, and have a nice evening!

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Cut out the softest parts & weld in new tube. Guys here have reshaped metal pieces for Elgin Bluebirds & some other Very Rare bicycle Art pieces. That looks to be simple to save if that's the main damages
 

The Carolina Rambler

Finally riding a big boys bike
Probably the best repair would be to retube that part of the frame. You could try welding it up but you might end up just chasing blow out around. Another way to go about it could be to take a half but tube and braze/ weld it to the frame ( clad it). The easiest solution might just be to find another frame.
That's exactly what the fellow who does the welding in town was concerned about regarding blow out, with the metal being so thin in that section. I think I like your idea of retubing that section the best, especially since I have some modern scrap yard frames that I can cut up and the tubing will probably be the same size, I'll have to check. So far that might be the most cost effective and safest method, while still retaining the originality of the machine. Thank you for your input!

Any other input from anyone else is still welcome, the more ideas the better!
 
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Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
Probably the best repair would be to retube that part of the frame. You could try welding it up but you might end up just chasing blow out around. Another way to go about it could be to take a half but tube and braze/ weld it to the frame ( clad it). The easiest solution might just be to find another frame.
x2 I think it can be saved by brazing in tubing sections. V/r Shawn
 

SirMike1983

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
I can't tell from the picture, but before investing any more time or money in the frame, fully de-rust it down to bare metal. It sounds like you mean that the rust is on the lower section of the seatstays. Pay extra attention to the chainstays when you de-rust. The chainstays are a place where water can collect and cause rust because they're a low point on the frame. I think you have the right answers above on the repair of the particular seatstay sections you point out, but before spending more time and money, make sure this is the only issue.
 

1motime

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
If it HAS to be saved be mindful that since it has been wet for a long time the rust is probably just as bad inside the tubing. Removing rotted tubing and welding (not brazing) is a given. To fully derust the frame should be acid dipped. Yes that opens up other issues. Getting the acid out. Find a GREAT dipping company that understands what you are doing. If that still exists!

When dipped the acid will find any way to get inside all tubing. Drill a hole for drainage. The trick is get to it as quickly as it gets out of the tank. Then take a torch to all tubing. Heat it until the acid flashes out. It will be obvious as it vaporizes. Additional holes can be welded.

The other thing to be aware of is when patching a tube in the middle you have lost the tube strength. Fab a inner tube sleeve to insert inside the replacement section so it goes inside the patch tube and the original adjoining tube. Lots of detail fitting but it will ensure the integrity of the frame. It also assists in alignment of the patch tube. Good luck Lots of work to do it right!
 
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SirMike1983

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
If it HAS to be saved be mindful that since it has been wet for a long time the rust is probably just as bad inside the tubing. Removing rotted tubing and welding (not brazing) is a given. To fully derust the frame should be acid dipped. Yes that opens up other issues. Getting the acid out. Find a GREAT dipping company that understands what you are doing. If that still exists!

When dipped the acid will find any way to get inside all tubing. Drill a hole for drainage. The trick is get to it as quickly as it gets out of the tank. Then take a torch to all tubing. Heat it until the acid flashes out. It will be obvious as it vaporizes. Additional holes can be welded.

The other thing to be aware of is when patching a tube in the middle you have lost the strength. Fab a inner tube sleeve to insert inside the replacement section so it goes inside the patch tube and the original adjoining tube. Lots of detail fitting but it will ensure the integrity of the frame. Good luck Lots of work to do it right!
Exactly - the issue of water inside the frame leads to rust from the inside to the outside. You can get down to silver, bare metal but then you push on the metal and find it has no structural integrity. I had a very interesting frame made in West Germany in the 1950s some years ago that had rusted from the inside out at the lower point of the chainstays. Stripped down to metal just fine, but push on the metal and it give way.
 
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