PROJECT QUICK CHANGE / Schwinn Dixie (Third time's the charm.)

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kingfish254

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Okay, finally gave myself some time to make some progress on Schwinn Dixie today, though not as much as I would have hoped.

I tried disassembling my parts bike today, with the hopes that a propane torch would be all I'd need to loosen up any stubborn nuts and bolts. While that worked for some pieces, and was even unnecessary for others, it turns out that... this bike my be a little too far gone to salvage everything. I snapped the bolt that kept the handlebar stem in place, and no amount of smacking the stem with a rubber mallet seemed to jar it loose. The bolt that held the front fender wouldn't budge even after being grilled by the torch, and ended up snapping inside the fork when I used a vice grip to turn it loose. I couldn't even get the rear wheel off because the nut and bolt holding the coaster brake arm are both so stubborn!
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_parts_bike_1.jpg


I did, however, successfully remove the three parts I wanted to salvage most, though! I got the two fenders and the kickstand removed. The fenders bow out a little near some of the fender brace rivets (typical,) but for the most part, they are nice and straight! They're in even better shape than the fenders that came with my Build Off bike! But now I'm stuck second-guessing my plan to bob the fenders. I may end up just leaving the fenders their full length instead of shortening both of them. I have an idea of how I'll do that, but that will have to wait until I can take the fork to my welder and have him replace the steerer tube.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_parts_bike_2.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_parts_bike_3.jpg


Stay tuned! More to come, hopefully soon!
 
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Okay, I changed my mind about the colors, the quality of the finish, and the overall direction of this build. This will no longer be a clean, fun looking "Dreamcycle;" instead, this will now be a hideous, paint-over-rust, matte purple people eater!
20210723_193059.jpg

(I swear there's a perfectly logical explanation for this; I'll just have to wait until the paint finishes drying before I can explain.)
 
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Okay, so here's what's up with the purple/pink paint: I was originally planning on bobbing/trimming the fenders, but after mocking the bike up with uncut fenders so many times, and with the whole "mellow, good-feels" vibe I'm going for, I wan't sure I wanted to do that anymore. Problem is, since the parts I'm using to build this bike aren't the same color, it's tough to gauge just how full-length fenders would look on the finished bike. So, I decided to conduct a little experimental mockup... with some leftover "Cadillac Ranch" spray paint. I took everything over to my dad's shop, hung up the soon-to-be-painted parts on a powder coating rack, and then proceeded to spray bomb everything in this ugly matte purple paint, because I honestly doubt it would have ever been used for anything else.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_purple_paint_1.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_purple_paint_2.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_purple_paint_3.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_purple_paint_4.jpg


The fork I want to use hasn't been fixed yet, so I just used this one for this test. I felt a little bad that I was about to paint over what might have been the original paint, but that didn't stop me from doing it anyway.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_purple_paint_5.jpg


I'll admit, I wasn't really trying to do a good job painting over everything, but that was never the point. This is all just a temporary paint mockup. I'm still going to sandblast everything later anyway, so this doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to be one relatively solid color.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_purple_paint_6.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_purple_paint_7.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_purple_paint_8.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_purple_paint_9.jpg


And here's the whole reason for this hideous paint job: I can now see what the bike would look like in one solid color, with uncut fenders. Now that I can see what it looks like in one uniform color, I like the full fenders better than bobbed fenders. I might tinker with the idea of making the back of the front fender level with the front of the rear fender, but for the most part, I think this is the direction I'm going, sans purple paint. I still want to explore using other handlebars, and I still feel like there need to be a headlight or something ahead of the head badge, but that's a problem for tomorrow.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_purple_paint_10.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_purple_paint_11.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_purple_paint_12.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_purple_paint_13.jpg


I know it may look like a step backward, but I feel like this is a big step forward. It helped me figure out a few things I wasn't sure of, and that'll make the next step even easier to tackle.

That's all for tonight! Stay tuned for more!
 
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Some dropped and pulled back bars, along with a big ol tractor headlight in the front would look good.

Full fenders was def a solid move!
 
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Yeah, that's what I'm thinking on the handlebars, but I can't say I've got any headlights that big at my disposal. I would like to have a headlight on this bike, though. Thanks!
Look for vintage tractor head lights on ebay. They are a perfect size for our rat bike builds. I've used them extensively on my builds, including RaTs GaSs from last year. Tractor light with application of Stained Glass spray paint to make the clear lens yellow.
received_1440050112860148.jpeg
 
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I don't hate the pink over crust. Very punk. A little bit of graffiti here and there to mess it up, and you'd have some real middle finger attitude
It really isn't that bad of a color. It's just not the color for this bike. Looks too much like a bike I might have seen at Walmart. I would love to revisit this color for another bike down the road, though!
 
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Look for vintage tractor head lights on ebay. They are a perfect size for our rat bike builds. I've used them extensively on my builds, including RaTs GaSs from last year. Tractor light with application of Stained Glass spray paint to make the clear lens yellow.View attachment 165706
I definitely like the look of the tractor light, now that I see it on yours. Do you know if they make orange stained glass paint? I might want to try that. I don't know if I want to mess with trying to figure out how to mount a tractor light to my bike, but maybe I could get one of those chrome battery-powered headlights and color the lens on that.

You changed RaTs GaSs a bit since the last time I saw it! I remember when you had the funky little header exhaust on it! Kind of miss seeing it on the bike, but it's still looking sharp!
 
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I didn't get a whole lot done yesterday, but I did spend some time last night mocking up some handlebars last night. I grabbed all these handlebars out of my parts stash, plus a few different stems. I didn't take pictures of each mockup, just the ones I liked best.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_handlebars_1.jpg


First noteworthy handlebar was this flipped option. I like the idea, but it comes down a bit too low for my taste.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_handlebars_2.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_handlebars_3.jpg


Option 2 looks much better, especially upright. I tried flipping it too, but at this point, I decided that I really didn't want flipped bars on this bike.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_handlebars_4.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_handlebars_5.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_handlebars_6.jpg


For my 3rd choice, I went with the original style of bars that came with this bike. If I was restoring this bike, this is what I'd use, albeit with a different stem, but that's not what I'm doing here. On to the next!
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_handlebars_7.jpg


Option 4 was kind of my top pick of the pile last night, but looking back at the photos, I think I might like option 2 batter. At this point, I think it'll come down to which one feels more comfortable.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_handlebars_8.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_handlebars_9.jpg


One last idea I wanted to try before the summer heat really got to me: flipping the front fender. I figured that instead of trimming the back of the front fender to match the front of the rear fender, I could just flip the front fender instead. It didn't yield the result I was looking for, but it does give me an idea I want to test on another bike...
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_handlebars_10.jpg


I would have loved to do more on this bike yesterday, but between getting to bed late the previous night, being worn out for most of yesterday, and the insane heat and humidity giving me a headache after only 2 hours mocking up parts, in the evening/night no less, this is as far as I got yesterday. It's only going to get hotter this week, and I am not looking forward to it. I'm either going to have to try getting up earlier, or just work on the bike a little at a time to avoid a potential heat stroke.

There's another problem I need to sort out too. I can't fit a seat post into the bike more than 2 inches into the seat tube, and in fact, the original seat post was clearly cut because of this problem. It was brought to my attention just how bad of a situation that could be, and that I'd want to fix it so I can move a seat post as far down as I'd want. Thankfully, there doesn't seem to be a broken seat post stuck down inside the seat tube, but there are some bumps and imperfections that are in the way. I've got a rat tail filer that I could try using to remove the imperfections, but even then, I'm not sure that will be enough to fix the problem. Anyone have any ideas on how to fix this issue?
 

The Renaissance Man

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...there are some bumps and imperfections that are in the way. I've got a rat tail filer that I could try using to remove the imperfections, but even then, I'm not sure that will be enough to fix the problem. Anyone have any ideas on how to fix this issue?
It may just be a build up of crusty metal. I would try a course flap sanding wheel with a drill extension to get deeper down the tube. I have one that I welded a loger rod to it just for seat posts.
walter-surface-technologies-power-sander-accessories-15f504-64_1000.jpg
 
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Plenty of grease is always advisable when putting in a seatpost,
i,ve had the same problem several times. sometimes it helps to ¨wriggle¨ (wiggle?) the seatpost in,
pushing it back and forth, side to side, carefully a bit while pushing it in.
Often it is only the top which is too tight.
Be carefull not to damage the top of the seatpost though.
 

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It may just be a build up of crusty metal. I would try a course flap sanding wheel with a drill extension to get deeper down the tube. I have one that I welded a loger rod to it just for seat posts.
walter-surface-technologies-power-sander-accessories-15f504-64_1000.jpg
Ditto. I have the same setup :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
 
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It may just be a build up of crusty metal. I would try a course flap sanding wheel with a drill extension to get deeper down the tube. I have one that I welded a loger rod to it just for seat posts.
walter-surface-technologies-power-sander-accessories-15f504-64_1000.jpg
There's some definite crust going on inside the seat tube. I'm hoping Dad and I can get the new sandblaster end installed so I can blast the seat tube to get a better look inside first. That flap sanding wheel is definitely a good idea! Dad might have one I can use, but if not, I can just buy one and try it out.
 
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Plenty of grease is always advisable when putting in a seatpost,
i,ve had the same problem several times. sometimes it helps to ¨wriggle¨ (wiggle?) the seatpost in,
pushing it back and forth, side to side, carefully a bit while pushing it in.
Often it is only the top which is too tight.
Be carefull not to damage the top of the seatpost though.
Completely agree.
If all else fails you could use a smaller size seatpost with an adapter.
View attachment 166075
I actually want to use an old layback seat post I've got, but I need an adapter to make it fit. The seat post I want to use is a 5/8" diameter, while the inside of the seat tube, at least up top, is about 13/16" wide. So... how do I know which adapter to get? Are the ones you shared metal, or plastic?
 
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One more minor physical mockup. I have these matching chrome wheels with a Bendix red band 2-speed kick back coaster brake hub that I wanted to test fit to the bike. They're cool, and they wouldn't take much work to shine up again, but between rebuilding the complex rear hub, the limited time left to finish the bike, and the narrower-than-expected whitewalls, I'm just not sure these are the wheels I want to use right now. It would be nice to have some more chrome on the bike, but I think I just need to keep it simple for now. I might just powder the other aluminum wheels either a matte or gloss white, so the whitewalls appear bigger than they are.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_chrome_wheels_1.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_chrome_wheels_2.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_chrome_wheels_3.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_chrome_wheels_4.jpg


I think I need to solve this seat post/tube problem before I spend any more cash on this bike. So far, I haven't spent much on it (aside from what I had spent on it before the Build Off,) but I need to find out if I can actually fix this issue before I fix or buy any more parts. I'll work on my digital mockup again to figure out some other details, but for now, the seat tube is my main concern.
 
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