Rat Rod Bikes Bicycle Forum

Help Support Rat Rod Bikes Bicycle Forum:

Joined
Aug 4, 2016
Messages
1,047
Reaction score
2,547
Location
Poznan, Poland
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
So, another nice story of me getting a vintage American bike in Europe is here :)
First of all, yes, i do have unfinished projects, but this one is different! (Ha-ha, but true this time)
I was not intending to buy it, but i saw an ad on dutch Marktplaats with this photos:
Снимок экрана 2021-12-21 в 15.42.05.png

Снимок экрана 2021-12-21 в 15.42.11.png

Снимок экрана 2021-12-21 в 15.42.16.png

Снимок экрана 2021-12-21 в 15.42.23.png

The ad said 1950's. I just wanted to help the guy out and pointed out that with a chainring like that and no chromed crown on the fork this bike is likely from 1970. I wrote in a nice tone just so he can give more precised info on the bike. He replied that if i know stuff about it why wouldn't i buy it from him. I said that i can't offer much money since i am not in richest time of my life now, but he said he would sell it cheap. I explained that i've just dropped my daily job a couple of month ago to go full time into building bikes and that i can't offer anything. We chatted for a little while and he said he would just give it to me for free. I didn't expect that but the seller was very generous. If you are reading this now - thank you again! :) He even reserved the bike for me and let it wait for a whole month until my friend with a van could pick it up for me and bring it over from Apeldoorn to Poznan. And more than that, he threw a set of white wall tires and some hard to find 60mm wide fenders with it. So nice.
That's how this story begins. I am going to do a restoration, without 100% precision but i try to stay close and use vintage American parts as much as i can.
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2016
Messages
1,047
Reaction score
2,547
Location
Poznan, Poland
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I have it for about a week now and already started working.
First a bit about the condition. It is powder coated candy apple red. The color is very nice and has just a few tiny chips that i've already fixed with nail polish :)
The wheelset, cranks and bearings are original. The fenders seem to be as well. It is funny 571mm rim that would be an absolute pain to fin tires for in Europe, but the tires seem to be good condition and though they are missmatched they look pretty similar, so i intend to leave them.

I have started by changing the stem to the original one. Thanks to @Karate Chicken Industries i have one! Left from my 1963 Corvette I've built for my girlfriend earlier. He sent it to me for free too, but it didn't fit the fork. So finally it took its place :)
IMG_6932.JPG


The next thing i've done is taking off the saddle and finding out that the seat post is a bit stuck. It ended up to be inserted upside down with the narrow seat clamp side to the bottom. But it is not precisely done so it was getting stuck. I flipped it for now, though i am not yet 100% sure what seat to use. I am thinking of 1963 Murray ladies seat for now, since it looks kind of cool on it and is vintage, even though it is a ladies seat so it is a bit short. Anyway it needs some restoration first before it can be put on a bike. But for now i have inserted a 90's reproduction S bolt into the seatpost clamp :)
IMG_6957.JPG


Then i cleaned up some Project 346 bow pedals. I believe 1970 Typhoon had block pedals not bow pedals, but of all i have available those look the closest to what Schwinn could have. I have a few sets with some amount of rust on them, so i took the aluminium foil and WD-40 and went for it. I also hit them a little with the hammer to straighten the frames, here is before/after shot.
IMG_6958.JPG


In a same fashion i went ahead on the fender brackets.
IMG_6959.JPG


After:
IMG_6960.JPG


Not perfect but looks clean!
I found out that the rear wheel spins really hard and first thought the bottom bracket is too tight. But i overhauled it adding more grease and that didn't solve the problem. So now i think the rear hubs needs to be overhauled too.
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2016
Messages
1,047
Reaction score
2,547
Location
Poznan, Poland
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Sacrificed another few hours of my sleep since i got too excited working on that bike today :)
Started to polish the rear fender while it is still mounted on the bike so i holds itself steady. I am going to finish it once i take it off, not intending to achieve a mirror finish from them but just to freshen them up a bit. Above the bridge is after, below is before. Not a dramatic difference, especially on the photo, but it does look way cleaner and nicer in real life. Not too bad for a 51 years old fender.
IMG_6966.JPG


Then i went ahead and took the hub apart and cleaned it.
IMG_6967.JPG


Seems that the hub is actually the reason the previous person who was doing the restoration had dropped it. It has a lot of old stiff grease and dirt, many parts are frozen together. Seems that whoever was doing it couldn't manage to open it. Not a surprise, not so many Bendix hubs we see over here.
IMG_6968.JPG


But luckily everything is in good condition and i have managed to put it back together well. Works like a dream again after all those years! Used some Shimano roller brake grease for the braking pads inside, let's see how it behaves, i think it should work better then on normal old hi-temp grease. Had to sand down some 19mm wrench in the process since i had no 19mm cone wrench :)
I am satisfied with myself and would keep my work up tomorrow!
 

Oldbikeguy1960

My name is Rob, and I approve this rant.
Joined
Sep 3, 2021
Messages
299
Reaction score
635
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I have it for about a week now and already started working.
First a bit about the condition. It is powder coated candy apple red. The color is very nice and has just a few tiny chips that i've already fixed with nail polish :)
The wheelset, cranks and bearings are original. The fenders seem to be as well. It is funny 571mm rim that would be an absolute pain to fin tires for in Europe, but the tires seem to be good condition and though they are missmatched they look pretty similar, so i intend to leave them.

I have started by changing the stem to the original one. Thanks to @Karate Chicken Industries i have one! Left from my 1963 Corvette I've built for my girlfriend earlier. He sent it to me for free too, but it didn't fit the fork. So finally it took its place :)
View attachment 184600

The next thing i've done is taking off the saddle and finding out that the seat post is a bit stuck. It ended up to be inserted upside down with the narrow seat clamp side to the bottom. But it is not precisely done so it was getting stuck. I flipped it for now, though i am not yet 100% sure what seat to use. I am thinking of 1963 Murray ladies seat for now, since it looks kind of cool on it and is vintage, even though it is a ladies seat so it is a bit short. Anyway it needs some restoration first before it can be put on a bike. But for now i have inserted a 90's reproduction S bolt into the seatpost clamp :)
View attachment 184604

Then i cleaned up some Project 346 bow pedals. I believe 1970 Typhoon had block pedals not bow pedals, but of all i have available those look the closest to what Schwinn could have. I have a few sets with some amount of rust on them, so i took the aluminium foil and WD-40 and went for it. I also hit them a little with the hammer to straighten the frames, here is before/after shot.
View attachment 184603

In a same fashion i went ahead on the fender brackets.
View attachment 184602

After:
View attachment 184601

Not perfect but looks clean!
I found out that the rear wheel spins really hard and first thought the bottom bracket is too tight. But i overhauled it adding more grease and that didn't solve the problem. So now i think the rear hubs needs to be overhauled too.
Nice project bike!

Can you buy Oxalic Acid powder over there? There is a thread here on using it to clean chrome without touching it. The stuff is fantastico!
I am planning to clean an all chrome frame soon.
Not sure, but I think you can dip chrome/ painted parts and it will leave the paint undamaged. I would not try it on a chainguard with silkscreen lettering or logos though, they fall off if you breathe on them too hard.
Rob
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 4, 2016
Messages
1,047
Reaction score
2,547
Location
Poznan, Poland
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Nice project bike!

Can you buy Oxalic Acid powder over there? There is a thread here on using it to clean chrome without touching it. The stuff is fantastico!
I am planning to clean an all chrome frame soon.
Not sure, but I think you can dip chrome/ painted parts and ot will leave the paint undamaged. I would not try it on a chainguard with silkscreen lettering or logos though, they fall off if you breathe on them too hard.
Rob
I've tried working with acid recently, but with Phosphoric acid. It is stronger so allows you to get great results fast, but also that means it is more aggressive, and it eats away chrome and other coatings. Maybe Oxalic acid will be next on my list.

The work on the bike had slowed down lately because i have many clients waiting in line for their bikes done for the spring :) But also because i got myself a new toy i've dreamed about for ages. Bought an old lathe for a price of scrap metal, paid about 25$ for it. The downside is its condition also was of a scrap metal, not just the price :D Now three weeks into restoration i am getting close to puttin it back together, but still a lot of work is ahead of me. I will post you the photos if you are curious :)
 

Oldbikeguy1960

My name is Rob, and I approve this rant.
Joined
Sep 3, 2021
Messages
299
Reaction score
635
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Sure, photos and progress would be cool! I would like a lathe myself. Hope this one will be many years of fun!
Oxalic Acid is much easier on chrome and other metals as well. I use Phosphoric Acid for quick tanking of Holley carburetors, it rips that awful Cadmium plating off and leaves the die-cast carbs looking like cast Aluminum. I am sure you know Phosphoric Acid is the main ingredient of Naval Jelly, popular here for quick rust removal from chrome but you are right that it comes at a cost if you are not hovering over it.
I hope the bikes always do good for you and keep you happy.
Rob
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2016
Messages
1,047
Reaction score
2,547
Location
Poznan, Poland
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Your lathe restoration is looking awesome, what did you use for the green paint? I like the old school hammered finish it has!
It is Hammerite hammer paint. I love how it turned out too. On the background you can see the bike painted same color :)

The lathe turned out great
Still some work to do. Need a custom nut for the thrust bearing for the spindle axle, put some engine, fabricate a frame. But most restoration work is over.
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2016
Messages
1,047
Reaction score
2,547
Location
Poznan, Poland
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
The progress as documented for 5th of March. I was preparing the bike to exhibit at Kustomhead show in Wroclaw.

Got the seat from '63 Murray powder coated. I've welded up the broken spring, and after the bike done a few miles (took a little ride after exhibition) it broke off unfortunately, so i am now deciding wether i should just put a modern Schwinn seat or try to find a different frame and springs for this pan.
IMG_7024.JPG


The next thing i've tried is to put some One Shot lettering enamel over a stencil cut on vinyl film. I've prepared the file, but unfortunately there was too much bleed on the paint, so i had to clean it off. I will give it another shot using a heat gun in future, but i had not enough time to do it before the show.
IMG_7025.JPG

IMG_7026.JPG


Here is how the seat looks on the bike, not bad at all, i like the vintage style and the looks it gives to the whole thing.
IMG_7028.JPG


Here are the Coke bottle grips by @ifitsfreeitsforme fitted to the bars. They look so great with the paint color, so i prefer them even over original black chubby grips i have.
IMG_7029.JPG


Here how the entire bike looked like after a cleanup when i took it to the show.
IMG_7027.JPG


Seems almost finished to me. However as i said above, the fixed seat spring didn't make it, so i need to find a solution for that. I also would have to attach the reflector back where it should be and tighten up the front fender, since they loosened up from vibration during transportation (i took the bikes by train :crazy:)
Then i'd paint the Schwinn logos and i'd call this one done, unless a potential future owner would want me to put standard 559mm 26" wheels or a kickback hub.
 

Latest posts

Top