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

Wore out three sets of tires already!
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.
 

Archie Sturmer

I live for the CABE
The through-holes might make one wonder about the corrosion on the insides that one cannot readily see?
Reminds me of an old air compressor tank that only had one little 1/4” rust through-hole, that I could see — from the outside.

I saw another Hawthorne frame on eBay, not sure of its age or if it was built by A&S or Great Western Manufacturing, La Porte, Ind., or another; ($200 + s/h), Wisconsin?
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-...0001&campid=5335809022&icep_item=184491389343
 
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Superman1984

Wore out three sets of tires already!
I know this older than a 1958 but I am going to say Unless it sat with holes in the frame full of water It Will be Fine. I have a USA Army air compressor that did & it didn't rust through. Still builds 250 psi on all original parts but the hose & fittings. I would fill the cut pieces with an internal tube before welding as suggested & just fix it. It's not a $100,000 show piece so put it back to the way it looks or good enough & make a rider out of it or until Your content. If you're too stressed about the rust it may or may not have; might be the wrong hobby. Lol. If it's worth saving you'll make that decision of what's too far or far enough.
 

The Carolina Rambler

Finally riding a big boys bike
I know this older than a 1958 but I am going to say Unless it sat with holes in the frame full of water It Will be Fine. I have a USA Army air compressor that did & it didn't rust through. Still builds 250 psi on all original parts but the hose & fittings. I would fill the cut pieces with an internal tube before welding as suggested & just fix it. It's not a $100,000 show piece so put it back to the way it looks or good enough & make a rider out of it or until Your content. If you're too stressed about the rust it may or may not have; might be the wrong hobby. Lol. If it's worth saving you'll make that decision of what's too far or far enough.
Yes, I agree. I am inclined to think that likely, the rust overall inside those tubes, is probably not as bad as it may seem right now. And even with the rust inside the tubes, I would expect that on most any bike of this age, there is a fair chance some rust will be inside the tubes, simply because that was bare steel, and likely had little to no paint even from the beginning, so rust is inevitable. Since it is now stored indoors and will be maintained, its good to know that any existing rust should not really progress further. I will be getting out the hack saw and taking a look inside here in the coming weeks, so we will know for sure then.

Thank you everybody for all of your advice, and I feel that I have the information I need now to do a proper job. I'll be keeping yall in the loop, and wishing everybody happy and safe riding!
 

Superman1984

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Yes, I agree. I am inclined to think that likely, the rust overall inside those tubes, is probably not as bad as it may seem right now. And even with the rust inside the tubes, I would expect that on most any bike of this age, there is a fair chance some rust will be inside the tubes, simply because that was bare steel, and likely had little to no paint even from the beginning, so rust is inevitable. Since it is now stored indoors and will be maintained, its good to know that any existing rust should not really progress further. I will be getting out the hack saw and taking a look inside here in the coming weeks, so we will know for sure then.

Thank you everybody for all of your advice, and I feel that I have the information I need now to do a proper job. I'll be keeping yall in the loop, and wishing everybody happy and safe riding!
If you feel the need plug every hole/opening in the frame & vinegar soak it inside, drain & neutralize; rinse & repeat. Weld it up. Now I can't wait to see it progress Cheezin'
 

the tinker

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Hang it up as is for a kool piece of nostalgia, or sell it and let someone else deal with it. Once it's out of your sight you'll forget about it and move on to an easier project, and there's plenty of them out there. As wall art, it'll be awesome. Unless it's grandpa's bike, it's not a Bluebird. Don't bury yourself in it. [EDIT] It's been a few hours since I posted this and I want to add that I've buried myself in several bikes that I would have been better off leaving as is. Sometimes the rusty ones hanging from the ceiling, or stuck in a corner get more interest and positive comments than the restored ones. I know this as fact. I'll post a photo of a bike that I've just finished and I'll get comments about some other rusty junker that's in the photo, buried in a corner. I don't exactly know why, but maybe it's like a rusty old steam locomotive, long sidelined, setting alone on a railroad siding. It's rusty and almost beyond repair, but there's just something nostalgic about it, that a restored bike doesn't possess. It's only original once.
 
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49autocycledeluxe

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
first thing to do is find someone else to weld your stuff. you need to find a craftsman, and not all welders are craftsmen.

maybe get one of those cameras they make on the end of a tube where you can put it inside and see whats up like a colonoscopy for your frame tubes rather than your butt tubes.

if that were my project at the very least I would run my sandblaster in the tubes. that frame has been rusting from the inside out, you would most likely end up with more holes than when you started and that would give a better indication to whether this could be built into a rideable bike again. after that I would pour POR 15 inside the tubes, it encapsulates rust and stops it.

a better alternative would be to have it dipped. that will clean it up inside and out.

I take things like that as a challenge... anyone (not really) can fix up a bike already in good shape.

repair the tubes, put it together as rideable, then go jump off some curbs to test your work.
 
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