Information about 1978 Schwinn Klunker 5

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hm.

Finally riding a big boys bike
Feb 10, 2018
398
the wild wild west
That clean 78 badge shows pretty nice on that Black 80 or is it.. 81?

Might be a Schwinn Exerciser bike missing that out there somewhere:screamcat:
 
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Reactions: TRUEBLUE1981

Blue klunker 5

Look Ma, No Hands!
Oct 20, 2019
27
59
Pasadena
That's odd. Blue Klunker On this black cruiser 5 >> You have a Feb 1980 frame, the fork's graphics are 81 which is not odd and rather usual but, a late 1978 badge?. Somebody either doesn't realize the badge serial is actual build date, (When replacing it with a better B/C the scratch on head post indicates the original 1981 badge might have gotten/beat/ bent/smashed or major scratch then too) or pulled the ol'll switch-a-roo. [wink] 2988 = Oct 25 1978

5f880011-5f61-4de8-8906-9a2ca566ab19-jpeg.jpg
Well now then there. The controversy may be resolved by a Schwinn factory employee who could explain the descrepancy of the badge number 2988 on a February 1980 frame serial number. Approximately one year time lapse. Is this a fluke occurrence? The Cruiser 5 is original unmolested bike. If someone conspired to place a 1978 badge on a 1980 bike it would have been better used to fake a Klunker 5. Then you would have to get a forensic expert on paint, frames, serial number stamp font. Are there any forensic experts out there? I am speculating it is a factory oversight which makes this ‘80 Cruiser more desirable.
 

GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Sep 2, 2012
10,913
Central Arizona
Heck yah man, Schwinn built franken bikes every single day of the year so there's no doubt that's all 100% original! Never mind that it's almost 40 years old and gone thru multiple owners. No need to get the forensic team in on this one, that's an original Schwinn Franken Cruiser that's very desirable and I'm sure all the experts would agree.
Have you checked all the other date stamps on the parts just to verify it's a 1980+1 Cruiser built in 1978? I know the front hub is stamped 70 something.
 

Blue klunker 5

Look Ma, No Hands!
Oct 20, 2019
27
59
Pasadena
Heck yah man, Schwinn built franken bikes every single day of the year so there's no doubt that's all 100% original! Never mind that it's almost 40 years old and gone thru multiple owners. No need to get the forensic team in on this one, that's an original Schwinn Franken Cruiser that's very desirable and I'm sure all the experts would agree.
Have you checked all the other date stamps on the parts just to verify it's a 1980+1 Cruiser built in 1978? I know the front hub is stamped 70 something.
GTs58:
The front hub year date is 79. I will look the Cruiser over for other date stamps. Where should I look for known serial numbers without disassembling the bike. I remember seeing a date stamp of 1968 on a 20 inch Schwinn crank before it was stolen. I am curious about the square brake/ fender bracket on the frame. Are you suggesting this bike was built in 78 as a projected prototype for 79, 80, 81?
 

Jeff54

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Sep 11, 2013
2,248
Ft Myers, Florida
Well now then there. The controversy may be resolved by a Schwinn factory employee who could explain the descrepancy of the badge number 2988 on a February 1980 frame serial number. Approximately one year time lapse. Is this a fluke occurrence? The Cruiser 5 is original unmolested bike. If someone conspired to place a 1978 badge on a 1980 bike it would have been better used to fake a Klunker 5. Then you would have to get a forensic expert on paint, frames, serial number stamp font. Are there any forensic experts out there? I am speculating it is a factory oversight which makes this ‘80 Cruiser more desirable.
GTs58:
The front hub year date is 79. I will look the Cruiser over for other date stamps. Where should I look for known serial numbers without disassembling the bike. I remember seeing a date stamp of 1968 on a 20 inch Schwinn crank before it was stolen. I am curious about the square brake/ fender bracket on the frame. Are you suggesting this bike was built in 78 as a projected prototype for 79, 80, 81?
Ur missing the point Klunker. And especially most important, credibility. You do seem to have a Blue Klunker and established provenance as original owner and all that, save the screen print on guard looks a little funky. As U can see on your 81 Cruiser the screen print is nice and clean whereas your Klunker has crap in the paint. Little chunks of dust or bits of paint and a line across the top where the thickness of paint differs. But, it can happen understanding how easy it is to have imperfections in manufacturing process. Not saying it's a fake, not at all. In fact I think I've seen something like that in another klunker, just a glitch from the spreader. Moreover, it's showing the direction the spreader was dragged, and that's a point that only factory worker would know. Spead vertical or horizontal? Yours was vertical. and that line or change in thickness is from a pause or bump when spread

But now on your 81, it's a different ball game. Understanding the hub can have an older date, I mean, it's not like they make stuff and assemble the exact same day, week, month or year because they didn't. Almost all their frames were made well in advance before getting painted, before being assembled. It wasn't until the early 70's that Schwinn began assigning an extra serial number or actual assembly date. I.E. they could have a frame lost in storage for a couple of years, but the badge's assembly date obviously would not match date on frame. When establishing credibility, making assumptions as in your 81, "Oh it musty be a proto type" "Only a forensic scientist knows how to solve" Etc. It's a good idea to have a clue of what Schwinn did.

Your 81 is actually more irregular than just having had the badge switched. And as collecting goes, they're about 300 bucks or more in bonus points compared to usual or average. . The saddle is a deluxe and the drum brake wasn't standard issue then.

Not to say they are not original because all Schwinn dealers offered up grades including special orders and or shop owners doing them selves B/C duh, it's not only a whole bike but additional parts bring in the Ka-Ching! too. Yet usually direct from factory, The Cruiser Deluxe, with springer would have that saddle. It's not easy to find those seats too, very difficult to run across one. . It's also illustrated in catalogs as standard but very, very few standard Cruiser 5's actually came with Deluxe saddles.

But when you, or whoever ya got that bike from, ignorantly (not stupid or dumb, just didn't know it's dated) stuck the wrong date on it, then the odds against credibly increases. Moreover, obvious that somebody built it up verses factory original.

As it's clearly obvious you have pride in ownership in the Blue, and hope to or expect to cash it in some day for the highest a-Ching! within your market, whelp,, it's not such a good idear to illustrate ignorance in U other bike at the same time. [wink]. I mean ya got a lot of goodies on the 81, except it's not a Deluxe so, I wouldn't stick a springer on it, not without a Deluxe guard. No need to speculate here, simply, That fork matches the frame perfectly. And the graphic on it didn't happen till 1981. Make it right, get 81 badge and call it good. Heck, most would be glad to have that 78 badge on Ur Klunker, it's only a few days younger than the one on your bleu.
 
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hm.

Finally riding a big boys bike
Feb 10, 2018
398
the wild wild west
GTs58:
The front hub year date is 79. I will look the Cruiser over for other date stamps. Where should I look for known serial numbers without disassembling the bike. I remember seeing a date stamp of 1968 on a 20 inch Schwinn crank before it was stolen. I am curious about the square brake/ fender bracket on the frame. Are you suggesting this bike was built in 78 as a projected prototype for 79, 80, 81?
Klunker.. you have a very nice bike there! Looking at your photographs I can clearly see the badge has been swapped out from the date code and by the look of the screws. Its no big deal since badges come up for sale all the time and its easy to get one for $25 or less.

For the rest of the bike it is very simple, you will have pull the crank to repack the bearings with fresh grease anyway so check the date stamp while you are there. Same goes for the headtube bearings, repack and check the date stamp on the goose neck and the center stamp of the handle bars. Also there will be a date stamp on the backside of your front brake caliper.

The square brake/fender bracket shows that the frame was made in 1980 or later. The rounded bracket was used on the 79 and earlier spitfires and klunkers. That style seat and reflector were both used in 1980. In 1981 they changed the seat and the reflector was moved to the square brake/fender bracket and mounted up along with the rear brake caliper.

The brake cables have been replaced with black, should be a greyish color and the shot out tires that say schwinn cruiser are replacements that came later. When sold new it would have had Schwinn Studded Balloon on the sidewall. Those couple things dont really matter because its a great bike but I would check the dates. Its the best way to know if it is an 80 or 81 so you can get the correct badge.
 
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Blue klunker 5

Look Ma, No Hands!
Oct 20, 2019
27
59
Pasadena
Klunker.. you have a very nice bike there! Looking at your photographs I can clearly see the badge has been swapped out from the date code and by the look of the screws. Its no big deal since badges come up for sale all the time and its easy to get one for $25 or less.

For the rest of the bike it is very simple, you will have pull the crank to repack the bearings with fresh grease anyway so check the date stamp while you are there. Same goes for the headtube bearings, repack and check the date stamp on the goose neck and the center stamp of the handle bars. Also there will be a date stamp on the backside of your front brake caliper.

The square brake/fender bracket shows that the frame was made in 1980 or later. The rounded bracket was used on the 79 and earlier spitfires and klunkers. That style seat and reflector were both used in 1980. In 1981 they changed the seat and the reflector was moved to the square brake/fender bracket and mounted up along with the rear brake caliper.

The brake cables have been replaced with black, should be a greyish color and the shot out tires that say schwinn cruiser are replacements that came later. When sold new it would have had Schwinn Studded Balloon on the sidewall. Those couple things dont really matter because its a great bike but I would check the dates. Its the best way to know if it is an 80 or 81 so you can get the correct badge.
The handle bars are dated 7836-8 . I did not lift the goose neck yet. The front cantilever brake left side rear is numbered counter clockwise 1234567 year ‘79 centered letters looks like OND at top. The badge is 10/78, handle bars ‘78, front wheel ‘79, frame BV...... 02/‘80 spanning three years. What happened to quality control at Schwinn with the components dated those years? Somebody out there who worked there explain it? Is this frame pre ‘80 assembled for ‘80-‘81.
 

Blue klunker 5

Look Ma, No Hands!
Oct 20, 2019
27
59
Pasadena
The handle bars are dated 7836-8 . I did not lift the goose neck yet. The front cantilever brake left side rear is numbered counter clockwise 1234567 year ‘79 centered letters looks like OND at top. The badge is 10/78, handle bars ‘78, front wheel ‘79, frame BV...... 02/‘80 spanning three years. What happened to quality control at Schwinn with the components dated those years? Somebody out there who worked there explain it? Is this frame pre ‘80 assembled for ‘80-‘81.
Correction on head tube letter it is BR
 

Blue klunker 5

Look Ma, No Hands!
Oct 20, 2019
27
59
Pasadena
Correction on head tube letter it is BR
The handle bars are dated 7836-8 . I did not lift the goose neck yet. The front cantilever brake left side rear is numbered counter clockwise 1234567 year ‘79 centered letters looks like OND at top. The badge is 10/78, handle bars ‘78, front wheel ‘79, frame BV...... 02/‘80 spanning three years. What happened to quality control at Schwinn with the components dated those years? Somebody out there who worked there explain it? Is this frame pre ‘80 assembled for ‘80-‘81.
Correction on head tube letter it is BR
GTs58:

I have looked at some component serial/date numbers on my Cruiser 5. Your comment and knowledge is insightful about these Klunker’s, Spitfire 5, and Cruiser 5’s. By the way I am looking at a Spitfire 5 selling for $500.00. Is this a reasonable price in the current buyer-seller market? What is an appropriate buy offer?
 
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GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Sep 2, 2012
10,913
Central Arizona
Recent sell on eBay with just a few incorrect parts and bassackwards aftermarket front fender.


81 Cruiser 5 with rear caliper brake.

 
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