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Restoration Tips

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RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   what is it posted by: david on 3/23/2001 at 8:37:11 PM
I have just fund an old bike in need some heavy duty restoration work .but i dont know what it is . On the head stem it has the letter "A" IN WHITE PAINT it almost looks hand writen on the frame is a name starting with A ALSO LOOKS HAND WRITEN FOUR OR FIVE LETTERS IT HAS 3 SPEED GEARS AND HAND BRAKES ALL VERY RUSTY BUT COMPLETE I AM IN AUSTRALIA SO I FIGURE IT T BE LOCAL. ANY CLUES WUD BE APPRECIATED

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   what is it posted by sam on 3/27/2001 at 4:26:20 PM

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   what is it posted by Paul Aslanides on 6/14/2001 at 7:11:12 AM
It could be an " Austral ". Original Australs had a badge on
the head tube which was in the shape of our continent.
I think that after Malvern Star took them over, the badge
was deleted, and they were built, sold and treated as a
cheaper line of bikes, compared to Malvern Star.
You don't say whether it has 3 speed hub gears, or 3 speed
derailleur gears. Also, are the brakes side pull calipers,
or old centre pulls with a horizontal coil spring and nipples at BOTH ends of the cable?
Australs are quite rare these days, not many seemed to
have survived. As the next message suggests, you can learn
lots from the Canberra ctuc museum website, and also from
Sheldon Brown's excellent site, especially on gears.
I had an Austral myself once, my first bike, and wish I
still had it. Of course it would be completely restored.
It had 24 inch wheels, an Eadie Coaster rear hub, Bell
saddle, and it carried me around Cabramatta for many years,
even to Warragamba Dam, National Park, Camden, Campbelltown
etc. K 18004/5 where are you?

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RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   1910-1920's Scwinn 28" Motorbike Information posted by: Ralph on 3/21/2001 at 11:38:25 AM
Im looking for information about the earliest bicycle ever made by Schwinn on Henderson and Excelsior models. It is because somebody claims having a 1920 Excelsior 28" motorbike with tank. But Another one claims to have one bike purchased by his great grandfather on 13 February, 1918. Just want to know when those models of bikes (with or without tank) started to be produced by Arnold & Schwinn Co. I need your expertise knowlege. Please somebody help me sending an e-mail(fotopose@yahoo.com). I will highly appreciate. Best regards. Ralph.

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   1910-1920's Scwinn 28 posted by Gary on 4/19/2001 at 10:04:32 PM
I have a Picture of my Great Great Uncle Clarence, Dated 1917, Doing Postal service on a Excelsior motor bike. very nice pic as well.

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RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   stripping paint posted by: Mike E on 3/20/2001 at 7:33:59 PM
This might be old as the hills, but it`s a tip I pass on to anyone stripping paint off anything. Scuff the paint with 60 grit,brush on the stripper and then cover it with Saran Wrap so it doesn`t dry out as quickly. Works like a champ.

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   stripping paint posted by cj on 3/21/2001 at 5:16:16 AM
Excellent idea!

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RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   Respraying Titanium frame posted by: Ed Raulins on 3/14/2001 at 3:14:36 PM
I am contemplating respraying my titanium frame road bike, and was wondering if there were any hidden dangers in removing the old paint & powdercoating a new finish.
Appreciate any advice.

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   Respraying Titanium frame posted by A freind on 3/18/2001 at 6:18:23 AM
Hi Ed, try taking your frame, or bike down to your local powder coating shop. Since titanium is high dollar metal they may have all ansewers your looking for. They can give you a estimate on stripping the paint, and to the complete finish.

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RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   New Updates!! posted by: MNSmith on 3/10/2001 at 12:54:51 PM
Feel free to stop by! I have added a "Stuff for sale" page and updated some of my restoration tips. http://www.concentric.net/%7ERrrrguy/bike.html


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RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   New Bendix Bicycle Hub Service Patches- $5@ posted by: Tom Findley on 3/9/2001 at 6:08:16 AM
Copy and paste in address box:



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RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:    posted by: JOEL on 3/6/2001 at 12:04:10 PM
I have a Silver King frame that I would like to polish. It has a couple of deep scratches and some scuffs. I was wondering if anyone has any tips on polishing aluminum.

I'm interested in Silver King parts for a boys 24" standard model too.

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:    posted by sam on 3/6/2001 at 2:44:56 PM
Joel,I polished mine on a grinder that I put a buffing wheel on.you can get then at Sears along with the compound to use.Use caution if you use a grinder they spin very fast.

          RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:    posted by JOEL on 3/7/2001 at 7:22:35 AM
Thanks. That's what I had in mind.

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:    posted by JimW. on 3/10/2001 at 1:35:45 PM
I'd recommend sanding the scuffs and scratches first. Otherwise you'll just have shiny scuffs and scratches. I use
wet-or-dry sandpaper in various grades, starting with 180 and ending up with 1000 grit. When you've finished with the sandpaper, 6X steel (preferably bronze)wool will blend the sanded area with the rest of the frame, which is wooled thouroughly at the same time. Then, when you polish, the whole frame will have a nice, even surface to shine up. I normally use a cloth wheel on an electric drill. Have fun.

          RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:    posted by JOEL on 3/12/2001 at 9:23:13 AM
Thanks, I'll try that. Some of the scratches are deep enough that they will need some smoothing out for sure. Is it necessary to go over the whole frame with bronze wool?

          RE:RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:    posted by JimW. on 3/12/2001 at 11:34:28 AM
I'd recommend doing the whole thing, just for consistency of
surface. Bear in mind that I'm talking about the finest grade of wool. This isn't a lot of work. With this grade of
wool, the process is more of a polish than anything else. The process will leave the whole frame with a satiny sheen, just right for the final polishing. Without it, the polished
frame will have uneven patches.

          RE:RE:RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:    posted by JOEL on 3/12/2001 at 2:14:58 PM
Ok, Thanks a bunch !

          RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:    posted by Wings on 3/12/2001 at 11:47:41 PM
I have had good luck with a buffing pad and a buffing compound. The compounds also very as to the cutting so carefully select a compound (looks like a big crayon). Also the buffing wheels come in different sizes and softness. Size would relate to speed. If the compound is red, you may have red in the welds. There are some white compounds similar to jewers rouge. I had good results on chrome. I have not done aluminum.

          RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:    posted by JOEL on 3/13/2001 at 7:34:27 AM
I've used the cheesecloth wheel on both a grinder and a drill with paint and chrome but not aluminum. Just need to look around and see what's out there. Thanks for the tips.

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RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   Paint & sticker removal posted by: Keith on 3/1/2001 at 5:58:16 PM
I want to remove the paint from my old redline to reveal the chrome finish, the chrome is not sanded under the paint,and also i want to remove the stickers with out destroying them to make a template for repros, any suggestions on the cheapest and easiest way to remove the paint with having good results?
thanks in adv.

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   Paint & sticker removal posted by A freind on 3/3/2001 at 2:49:17 PM
Get your self down to the nearest hardware store and buy a paint brush around 2" wide, and a quart of paint remover and brush it on. Brush it one way only! Not back and forth motions. Now kick back with a cool drink, depending where you live, and watch with eyes how it starts to happen. Let it blister well, get your moneys worth out of the product. For the decals, they will start to become soft and easy to remove. Repeat prossess as needed. Wash off, dry off, and aplly as nessarsary.

          RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   Paint & sticker removal posted by Jon on 3/5/2001 at 6:28:17 PM
Get close-up photos of those decals before you try to remove them. Place a ruler next to them for reference in case you have to reproduce them by hand or send them to a pro to reproduce.

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RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   identifying vintage bicycle posted by: tressa on 2/24/2001 at 8:32:20 AM
I have a Hiawatha (men's) that looks like it's from the fifties or maybe late forties. That's all I know about it and wonder how to find out the model, approximate year and value. I'd like to restore it and sell or trade it for a cruiser (women's)to ride. Thanks.

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   identifying vintage bicycle posted by sam on 2/27/2001 at 6:52:41 AM
Offer it for trade as is.Mens bikes are worth more than girls bikes and most collectors/restoriers would want the bike original and do the work themselves-put your time into the girls cruzer---sam

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   identifying vintage bicycle posted by JOEL on 3/1/2001 at 1:00:26 PM
Can you send a picture? Depending on which model, I might trade a girls bike for it.

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RESTORATION TIPS - RUST:   Rust Removal posted by: Hansie on 2/22/2001 at 2:05:30 AM
Can anyone suggest a good remedy for removing rust from tire rims and handlebars? I noticed Menotomy offered a cleaning kit but I wondered if there is a home made version. Thanks, Hansie

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - RUST:   Rust Removal posted by chris on 2/22/2001 at 2:32:52 AM
steel wool and a chrome cleaning stuff

          RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - RUST:   Rust Removal posted by kath on 2/22/2001 at 11:07:30 AM
Don't use steel wool.
1) it will scratch the chrome
2) tiny bits of iron from the steel wool get stuck in tiny grooves in the chrome. these bits begin to rust and weaken the chrome

          RE:RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - RUST:   Rust Removal posted by Hansie on 2/22/2001 at 10:10:04 PM
What shall I use instead? Any other ideas? Thanks again.

          RE:RE:RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - RUST:   Rust Removal posted by MNSmith on 2/23/2001 at 12:11:36 AM
I have some chrome cleaning restoration tips on my web site.


If that link doesn't work, go to Oldroads.com links page and click on Bunch "O" Bikes. It will take you right there!!

          RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - RUST:   Rust Removal posted by MNSmith on 2/23/2001 at 12:14:37 AM
For some reason that link doesn't work, but this one should! Just copy and past in your address location.


          RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - RUST:   Rust Removal posted by Jon on 2/27/2001 at 4:25:56 PM
Look for a product called Quick-Glo. It's a gritty paste that does a nice job of rust removal. It's a little messy but it is fast.

          RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - RUST:   Rust Removal posted by Dan on 2/28/2001 at 5:02:53 PM
Save yourself the time. Bronze wool costs $6 for 2 small balls. Quick-Glo is expensive and runs out fast and leaves a haze. Get Menotomy's kit. I'm on my 3rd one!

          RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - RUST:   Rust Removal posted by BillG on 3/14/2001 at 5:03:25 AM
3rd kit? How many bikes are you doing? I've restored 15 bicycles with the menotomy kit and and haven't gone through 1/4 of the contents.

          RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - RUST:   Rust Removal posted by Dan on 3/16/2001 at 11:24:19 AM
We did 74 english three speeds for rental down here in the Sunshine State.

          RE:RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - RUST:   Rust Removal posted by Ty on 4/18/2001 at 1:59:19 AM
Steel wool gets a bad rap... I think it works well with the fine grades on light rust removal (with no scratching on good chrome). Heavy jobs or super-vintage bikes rust remover (there are many types that work) or bronze wool. Never, I repeat never, use a moist diaper.

          RE:RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - RUST:   Rust Removal posted by ty on 4/18/2001 at 3:20:38 AM
Well, let me qualify my last post so that I don't seem to contradict... I think that for chrome cleaning for polishing purposes steel wool is not the best. If it is used, the finest grade should be used (#000 I think, for polishing) or else scratching will occur (hard to see but it is there). Coarse/medium grades will scratch every time pretty much. This said, I will say that steel wool is invaluable for other cleaning purposes for bike building/maintenance such as bearing surfaces or other non-plated parts where a polished finish is not applicable. I reiterate my opinion on moist daipers, however, as tragic results may occur.

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RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   year/model posted by: ryan on 2/19/2001 at 2:47:23 PM
I have a schwinn serial #c86836
I am both trying to verify the year and model. It is currently ready to be repainted, but I acquired it in a condition without original paint. Any idea what model/year this bike is so I can bring it back to original. It fits the description of a 53 panther, except it has painted fenders. Please advise.

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   year/model posted by Wings1123@aol.com on 3/11/2001 at 11:19:04 PM
Serial number on left rear fork.
June 20th to 26, 1952.
Boys Panther D77 Chrome fenders and trim. Mine has Truss rods on front fork, Schwinn saddle, 3 inch reflector with chrome housing, torpedo light. Mine is from 51. In 53 they had a spring fork -- might have had them earlier also. Best place for colors would be from pictures like in Evolution of The Bicycle Vol2.
Good luck.

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RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   Any suggestions for mounting caliper style brakes on a Spaceliner? posted by: Mike Stone on 2/15/2001 at 11:20:01 AM
Does anybody have any ideas how to mount caliper style or some other rim squeezing type brakes on a Spaceliner? I want to do it without altering the original frame i.e. no drilling or welding.

I want to put a five speed drive on a Spaceliner. Sure, sure, it is an adultration of a fine collectable, but I want to commute with it and the single speed is too limiting.

If I put on a five speed sprocket cluster, I won't have any brakes, so I need to find a way to get some brakes on it.

Keep in mind that I don't want to tap holes in the frame or weld any attachements to it. The bike has to be left in a condition to pass on to future generations.

Any ideas?

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   Any suggestions for mounting caliper style brakes on a Spaceliner? posted by JOEL on 2/15/2001 at 1:23:50 PM
All I can think of is to replace the fork w/one that is drilled for a caliper. You will have to bend the rear triangle to squeeze that 5 speed in too.

Why not go with a Sturmy 3 speed coaster hub ?

          RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   Any suggestions for mounting caliper style brakes on a Spaceliner? posted by JOEL on 2/15/2001 at 1:27:01 PM
Another thought....will the caliper brake work with the drop center rim on the spaceliner?

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   Any suggestions for mounting caliper style brakes on a Spaceliner? posted by MNSmith on 2/15/2001 at 8:09:24 PM
Maybe a vintage ( prewar ) Schwinn set up, where it was like a split caliper set up that bolted to each leg of the fork ( or seat stay. ) Cantilever brakes?? I'm sorry, I'm not up on my modern day brake terminology!!

I just checked Sheldon's site. Schwinn made a cantilever type that had clamps and clamped to the fork or the seat stays.

          S/A three speed coaster hub posted by Mike Stone on 2/15/2001 at 8:46:18 PM

The S/A three speed coaster brake would be a sensible approack.

Geeze, though, I have a real dream of having five speeds on the Spaceliner. Imagine a FIVE-SPEED Spaceliner! Oh, Baby.

MNSmith, any suggestions where to start looking for the stay/fork mounted brakes?

As for the rims, I am planning to go with 1 3/8" rims with the multi-speed hub (Ya, ya, I know, it is so naughty). Think of the speed, though! An all-chrome Spaceliner with a springer fork literally SPEEDING around town. I'll be quite the hot-item to be sure.


          RE:S/A three speed coaster hub posted by MNSmith on 2/16/2001 at 12:00:54 AM
There was a small run of them on Ebay a while ago, I haven't seen any lately. Maybe the usual circle of ballooner guys??

          RE:S/A three speed coaster hub posted by JimW. on 2/16/2001 at 7:20:26 AM
Hi Mike,
When you've got it finished, how about sending us some pix?

          RE:RE:S/A three speed coaster hub posted by JOEL on 2/16/2001 at 11:09:51 AM
Yea, I guess a Spaceliner should logically go really FAST. Did you see the custom 10 speed middleweight on BikeRod&Custom's site? I didn't notice the braking. Hey, doesn't someone make a 5 speed internal/drum brake hub?

          RE:RE:RE:S/A three speed coaster hub posted by MNSmith on 2/16/2001 at 2:26:21 PM
Sure!! I have one up for auction right now. An Atom drum brake with a 5 speed cluster!! http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=559613265&r=0&t=0&showTutorial=0&ed=982550949&indexURL=0&rd=1

          RE:RE:RE:RE:S/A three speed coaster hub posted by MNSmith on 2/16/2001 at 2:28:35 PM
Maybe I should just leave the item number?? Item #559613265 Ends Sunday.

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RESTORATION TIPS - RUST:   gas tanks posted by: John Martin on 2/12/2001 at 4:42:44 PM
o. k Guys, remind me how to clean out a rusty gas tank. What
is the chemical to use, how long do you keep it in there and
what do you flush it with? Also, don't you have to seal it?
What with? Working on an old WHIZZER.

          Don't try this at home posted by avanti_tomf@yahoo.com on 2/13/2001 at 5:04:48 AM
Take the tank to a car radiator repair company. Have them boil it out for 24 hours. Seal it with gas tank sealant from the Eastwood Co.

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - RUST:   gas tanks posted by Jon on 2/14/2001 at 4:16:19 PM
The chemical is phosphoric acid. You can find it at an auto paint store. It is also sold as wire wheel cleaner for steel wheels. Follow the usual safety precautions; rubber gloves, safety glasses, and adequately ventilation. Put a half cupful in the tank and slosh it around. The longer it stays wet, the more rust it removes. Rinse well. Repeat until clean. (Add a few ball bearings to help loosen scale.) Let dry completely before sealing.

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RESTORATION TIPS - WHEELS:   stiff tires posted by: John on 2/8/2001 at 12:49:48 PM
Is there anyway to bring tires that are old and stiff back to life?

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - WHEELS:   stiff tires posted by A freind on 2/9/2001 at 8:22:42 AM
Hi John, John you sound like alot of us here on this site. I understand where you are comming from with the originality of the bicycle. You are doing everything possible to keep it O.G. Maybe you have already posted your needs over the web site and came up short, I don't know. There is a wealth of information and parts here. I am sure we all have experinced a time or too, putting old tires on. They just seem to crumble apart around the bead. Lets say you are going to keep them, like I would. Try washing them down with oven cleaner, and a SOS pad. The acid in the oven cleaner will remove the loose dirt and grime. After you rince and towel dry. Look them over and inspect them good. If you like what you see, that rich looking black ol' vintage tire". Then get some dish soap, like Palmolive, or your wifes Downey softner, You know where I am going with this". After you soap them down and rince them down, don,'t forget to towel dry them, they like that! Take some shoe shine polish, like KIWI brand black, a little dab will do you. Then simply massage your side walls only! Then once you do that, take a shop rag and wipe down to a spit shine polish. Thats it and your done.

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RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   yellowed nos WW tire posted by: mike on 2/6/2001 at 6:26:59 PM
I already posted this question on the muslebike area, but I thought this would be the right area to ask. What is the best way, if possible, to remove yellowing from a WW tire? I would appreciate any tips...thx

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   yellowed nos WW tire posted by A freind on 2/7/2001 at 12:31:19 AM
Hi Mike, Use EASY-OFF oven cleaner. Make sure the tires are off the bike. This way you don't get overspray on your paint. Make sure you keep it away from aluminium!!. After you apply the cleaner,wait about 2mins, and take a SOS pad wet and scrubb the side walls down until your happy, then rince with water and your done.

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   yellowed nos WW tire posted by mike on 2/7/2001 at 4:29:47 PM
Thanks for the tip!!! I'll try it...

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   yellowed nos WW tire posted by john hawrylak on 3/11/2001 at 6:37:27 PM

You may want to try Castrol Superclean (sold in auto parts stores). Use it full strength. Do it with tires off rims if you have Al parts. Use a brush to work it in. It does a great job on my car tires and is not acidic like the Easy Off oven cleaner.

          RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   yellowed nos WW tire posted by Mike on 3/12/2001 at 9:21:17 AM
Thanks for the tips Guys, But I used Westley's Bleche-wite I found at the auto parts store. That with a nylon brush and some elbow grease that slik looks great!

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