Keep a diary of your latest build here.
11 posts • Page 1 of 1
Well, this isn't my first cruiser build, but it looks like the first one I might finish!
Last year my dad's wife (note: I should really start calling her my step-mother, I guess ) let me have her daughter's (my step-sister's) old bicycle for my oldest girl. It's a purple Schwinn Stingray L'il Chik. Here's the before picture:
It was covered with blue model paint "embellishments," as well as a fair amount of rust. The tires were bald, but held enough air for my daughter to ride it around a little bit...and she liked it!
I haven't taken ANY "during" pics yet, but so far: I only disassembled it to the point of removing wheels and chain -- I'm just replacing tires/tubes and chain, and cleaning up the rest to reuse, since it's all original. Carburetor cleaner took the model paint off. Wire wheel on my power drill took most of the rust off the unpainted parts, and some chrome cleaner is working wonders on the rest of the rust. So far I've polished the front wheel and the chrome bits on the frame, (chainwheel, crank, bars, stem, bit'o chrome on the forks) Rubbing compound and polishing compound are bringing back at least a little bit of luster to the purple paint.
I got a set of 20x1.75 tires from eBay for it -- and found that DANGIT, Schwinn uses their arcane "S-7" wheel size and the tires simply won't fit...so I ordered a set of 20x1-3/4xS7 tires on eBay last evening. Dangit! I have the tubes and a chain, though, so once I get the tires I'll be able to reassemble.
I still have to wire-brush and polish the fenders, sissy bar and rear wheel, and I think I'm going to have to paint the fenders silver, as they're really pitted over a fair amount of them. I'm hoping to have it done when my dad visits from Texas this coming weekend, but if I don't, I'll definitely have it ready for my daughter by her birthday on August 16.
'Nother pic. I swear I'll take some "during" pics...or at least a "done" pic or two...
Last edited by noodlenoggin on Sat Jul 18, 2009 5:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
Not only did I shirk my homework and put in an evening of work on my daughter's L'il Chik...I even took photos!
First, the frame. I still have some work to do on the rear stays with rubbing compound and I have to hit it all with polishing compound, but the paint seems to be getting a little bit of luster to it. I'm really happy with the way the chrome cleaned up.
I got the tires mounted -- and thanks to a topic about Schwinn S-7 wheels I found here, I knew to lube up the bead with soapy water! Here's the front tire mounted, and of course, a big bag of Tidy Cat.
This is the chaos that is my workbench -- but I'm darn glad to actually have a house with one. I've never had a real space to work on stuff until now.
You can see the un-polished fenders and seat, as well as the 20" tires I bought BEFORE I found out that "S-7" makes a difference...so I have a spare set of tires, I guess. At least it was only a $20 lesson...
Once I had both tires mounted, I put them in the frame just so I could see it on its own wheels.
Okay, so I did take it out on the road like that...scooter-style. I only finger-tightened the axles, so I'm lucky the front wheel didn't come off and teach me a lesson!
Last thing I did tonight was hit the fenders with the wire brush on my power-drill and give the insides a coat of primer, and a coat of silver. The insides were all rust, and pitted, so I couldn't just clean them up. I thought I'd have to paint the fenders completely, but the side of the rear fender I thought was gone actually cleaned up pretty well -- there's about a 4" long stretch that's too pitted to polish up, but most of the fender is going to shine, and that's good enough for me -- I'd rather have blemished original chrome than silver spray-paint.
At this point, I think one more evening will have this bike done. Left to do: Polish the fenders and paint, reassemble.
Well I put in about an hour last night and finished up my daughter's Sting-Ray. There are still some things on it that are pretty blatantly "good enough" rather than good, but I think they're small -- I didn't clean up any of the bolts, or the rear hub, and there's a decent patch of rust on the fender. Overall, though, I'm really happy with how much it cleaned up.
And the look on my daughter's face really made it worthwhile to me. I called her outside, and as soon as she saw the bike in the yard she just lit up and ran to it.
I had time to snap those two pictures before she was off and riding it -- and it fits her, too. I had to adjust the rear of the seat down about an inch, and that was it. Man, she rode that thing up and down the road almost until dark.
She's happy, I'm happy, and I'm really happy that she's happy, if you know what I mean. Chalk one up for dad actually doing something right!
i think it looks perfect! the rust spot is just beautiful patina! its like seasoning an old cast iron pan.. the more it gets seasoned, the better it gets.
"My eyes are drooling!"
"When it comes to math, there's 3 kinds of people in the world:
Those that can count and those that can't "
Thank you! I can't say how good it makes me feel to see her on that bike -- she loves it! My wife says that the neighbor kids are actually jealous of her...lots of "that's cool" and "can I ride it?"
Makes me wanna finish MINE!
11 posts • Page 1 of 1
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