1948 Columbia Goodyear Marathon

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My initial intentions were to get a bike built for the spring, but my basement is too crowded and my garage is too cold to get much done over the winter. Here is the starting point for this project:



So far it's been torn down, cleaned up and given a coat or two of turtle wax that has given the paint a nice almost velvety look. During the course of the teardown I discovered that the fork steering tube was blown out:



I've been looking for a a replacement fork and I've come up with a couple of alternatives, each with their inherent problems to solve. Pictures to follow.

Dave
 
Jun 3, 2012
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arkansas city,kansas
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man that bikes a true survivor
that paint looks excellent..
this is gonna be a really cool build i cannot wait to see what you do with it.
i have a similar problem with a couple bikes i have with the forks.
boys were rough on their bikes i remember i was a boy once(too long to recall but i remember some lol )
are you gonna restore it or just do some repairs to make it work?
either way im watching it's a cool bike and in pretty good shape considering it was a boys bike
good luck with the build
Sean
 
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man that bikes a true survivor
are you gonna restore it or just do some repairs to make it work?
Sean
The plan is to get it running with some mods where there are broken or missing parts. The Marathon was the entry level cruiser back in the day so there's not a lot of bang for the buck to restore it to showroom. I will be keeping paint original and holding on to all the original parts in case I ever decide to do a full on restoration though.

As I was saying I have two choices for forks, each with their inherent issues. I managed to pick up a period correct Columbia springer fork but it I need to get step bolts machined for for the swing arm, I am missing one and another is pretty chewed up. This is what it looks like on the bike:



and this is the missing step bolt (I have cad drawings of it too):


If anyone knows someone who can turn a few parts on a lathe at hobbyist friendly prices drop me a PM with the particulars.

The other option is a repop Schwinn-style springer shown on the bike here:


The repop fork has a larger diameter steering tube so there is going to be some issues installing a new headset etc. I'm not sure if I can get the newer headset cups to fit the older frame. If anyone has any advice on this I'd love to hear it.
 
Dec 16, 2012
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i hear you restodave its always something ..lost post due to fc
step bolt pics i wouldnt mind modern fasteners either
close up
 
Dec 16, 2012
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Quincy,MA
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any leads on these out there? columbia springer step bolts original or reproduction call for help restodave sorry to beg / hyjack your thread

Sent from my LGMS769 using Tapatalk
 
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OK, I didn't realize that you don't automatically follow your own posts so I missed the last couple of comments. Dave420, if you're still following, I dropped thenewgaragesalequeen2011 a message on ebay, i'm waiting for a response. I had also spoken to elginbluebird on ebay who was selling what looked like the same forks as thenewgaragesalequeen2011 and he too was looking into getting parts made.

In the interim, I'm going to fabricate a new swing arm and drill holes for 5/16" bolts and try to get it on the road with lock nuts. It's not ideal, but I'm anxious for a little progress, and it should work until I can get the right parts.
 
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Jul 29, 2014
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that fork is not that bad, if its mine, i will try to dent it out from the inside with a tube that just fit. and weld the gap. Angel grinder and smoothened with the file.
If that don't work cut off the busted tube, and replace it with another one from a less valueble fork :thumbsup: done it several times, always work fine for me. Also seatposts i weld myself or bent, lucky sevens are so expensive and its just a tube :headbang:
 
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Well spring is here in the great white north, or at least close enough that I can find my way into my garage again.



So it's time for me to take one more stab at getting this bike built so I have a rider this year. First off was to fix up the headset. The bike had a badly bent front fork which wore out and rusted out the bottom end of the headset. I managed to pick up a replacement headset on ebay. The trick was how do I get the old cups out. There wasn't enough room to drive them out.



I tried a few things including an attempt to grind a slit in the cup so I could loosen it. I finally gave up and just clamped the cup in my bench vise and worked it loose.

Apparently the bench vise is my friend, although it is a big dumb friend that doesn't know it's own strength and needs to be carefully supervised. It gouged my frame taking out the first cup, but I exercised a little more caution and the second one came out without incident.

I also had to fabricate a support for the spring on the fork. Last year I had rough cut a support from a piece of mild steel using my drill press, a drill and a hole saw. Now I wanted to refine the shape a little. I used a rotary tool with a cutoff wheel and my bench vise to score and snap off pieces of steel.



then I used a bench grinder and hand files to refine the shape further. It's not perfect now, but it's a huge improvement over the raggedy piece of steel it was.




I reinstalled the bottom bracket, cleaned and rebuilt the seized up old pedals, and installed the handlebars from another bike.

Not bad for a days work. I will install the wheels and chain the next time I get in the garage and I'll have a rider. Here's how it looks right now:

 
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Could you perhaps use a bushing as replacement for the "shoulder" and a common bolt? :39:
From my perspective the re-manufactured shoulder bolt is the best solution based on function, strength and durability. If someone has different criteria like cost, or "I make it all myself" or OG parts only, then it may not be the best solution for them.
 
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As promised, here are some better pics. The before picture:



The after picture:


I'm thinking I like it better with the rear fender, any opinions?

The rims and rear hub are original to the bike but I tore everything down and rebuilt them with fresh spokes. I had tried polishing the rims only to find the chrome was too far gone. I sanded them down in preparation for painting before relacing then decided I liked the rough bare metal look. Any opinions?



I'm at a bit of a loss for what to do with the crank, so far I have left it as found but I am considering sanding it down so it has the same finish as the wheels. Any opinions are welcome.

I'm really happy to finally have finished a build. Actually it will never be finished but it is a rider. My pace is nowhere near what people pull off in the build-offs but they sure have inspired me.