I'm waiting for tires to arrive hopefully by the weekend. I've tried 3 bike stores to see about straightening the fork, and they all looked like I was asking them for a million dollars.
I'm going to try it myself. I read a lot of the threads on this forum, and it looks doable.
I made an amateur mistake by not writing down exactly which nuts and washers went in what order when I removed the front wheel and now I'm a little confused on how to do it. I could also use some advice on getting the front wheel back on the fork. Do you just spread it open or do you put the axel through the hub after you place it between the forks? Thanks in advance for the assistance.
I finished it today except for the brake. He didn't have it hooked up and I'm not positive where I'm supposed to bolt it to the chainstay. Should it go straight across? I didn't do anything with the electric lights or horn. Someone will do a more thorough restoration some day and deal with that. After riding it a bit, I see why people enjoy these bikes. It was a real pleasure. Here's a few pics.
This was my first time working on a balloon tire bike so I made some mistakes and asked some questions but I learned a lot with the help of this forum. I made the mistake of painting the headlight but I then made it look old again. It looks better now. I also ordered a new New Departure coaster brake strap. There wasn't one on the bike. I put new white wall tires on but I may put the old tires back on. They're in good shape and hold air just fine, and they're black walls which I guess came on this bike originally. I'd like to let my uncle know the value of the bike so he'll know if he decides to sell it. I'd like to buy it but I think it's more than I want to spend. What do you think it's worth in the Chicago area? What other suggestions do you have to do to the bike?
I’d keep the newer tires on it, but definitely hang on to the originals. New ones ride noticeably better, and can take higher pressure (for less rolling resistance). Also, the old tires will have a canvas carcass, as opposed to nylon. I’ve had one split down the middle (thankfully not while riding), and hear that’s not unusual.