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'74 Schwinn Varsity
#1
This is a bike project I am working on currently. The bike belonged to my Uncle originally, he bought it brand new from Hook Cyclery in Portland Oregon (Hook is no longer in business). It's a tall bike, 25" seat post height, it has also been sitting in his back yard under a tree from the last 15 years. He used to ride this everywhere back in the day.

[Image: 165364_1809501327985_1553542496_31956376_6893167_n.jpg]

A little worse for wear at the moment. I have it completely taken apart now and have rebuilt the wheels, still need to true them up though.

[Image: 180585_1843991150209_1553542496_32022490_3862074_n.jpg]

Most of the parts have cleaned up rather well with a bit of tri-flow and some fine steel wool. I have a couple of things yet to buy before reassembly and I am going to have the frame powder coated along the way. I will post finished pics when I get it all done.
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#2
Good work, truly a labor of love.
Never Give Up!!!
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#3
Fun project, can't wait to see it done!
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#4
Looking forward to completed photos. Smile

But "sitting in [his] backyard under a tree" might present some challenges in rust removal as well as repairs. Your second photo looks like the rust was minor though. Have you looked inside the rear axle/cone assembly? The seatpost looks badly rusted but I don't see it in the second photo, or maybe don't recognize it. Smile

Did you have to replace any parts?
Let us know the details.

Thanks,
Steve
Junkyard Tools rescued from the junkyard!
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#5
Most of the rust was minor, the cables were completely fused with their housing's. I am going to replace the pedals with something a little nicer along with adding toe clamps and straps to them. Amazingly both derailleurs seem to be in working order after soaking them in tri-flow for a few days and a good scrubbing.

The headlight is a lost cause as is the original generator (completely fused together). Not sure if I will put another generator setup on it, even though I found two and two rear lights for $5. I could buy a headlight in the correct style for another $35-$40. The rear fender was too badly twisted up for repair, the bike shop I do volunteer work at (they have some great programs for kids and the poor to earn refurbished bikes) has a set of fenders that are identical to what I took off for $12.

The seat post and the kick stand had some pretty heavy rust but they both cleaned up well with the wire wheel on my bench grinder, I will have to keep them oiled or waxed to prevent them from rusting back up in a hurry though. The chain was a lost cause and I am replacing that as well. I might replace the freewheel, if I could find a replacement piece for it. The teeth on the cog's do show some wear and it would be nice to have new ones but not completely necessary at this point. The seat is going to get replaced as well. I am going to go for a red and white color scheme with the bike, white seat, handlebar tape, cable housings, etc. The frame and forks will get a fire engine red powder coat job. Then some 27" x 1 1/4" white wall tires.

This was my first time re-lacing a wheelset, took me six tries with the front wheel. I removed the axles and cleaned everything thoroughly on the hubs and rims, then packed the bearings with fresh grease, etc. The rims have a couple of spots where the chrome has been completely eaten away by the rust but they are good steel and still smooth so should be no problems there. The rear wheel needs to be dished properly, I don't own a dishing tool yet but that will be a purchase in the near future. Then both wheels need to be trued of course.
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#6
Sounds like a VERY thorough job. A wire wheel on a bench grinder is real handy in these cases. I sometimes use a 3M Scotch-Brite on a 16-speed drill press and that works well too. Last year I bought a 5-sprocket freewheel from Amazon for around $10 I think. It isn't the best quality but it's new.

Thanks for the info, Smile
Steve
Junkyard Tools rescued from the junkyard!
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#7
Hi Duroon. Nice project!
If you want to make that frame look much better, I highly recommend a Magik Eraser by Mr Clean (I think?). It's a white pad that you can find in the grocery store with bleach and other stuff. It will do wonders for oxidized paint and will not harm the decals if you are careful.

Keep us posted on your progress!

Rob
Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
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#8
Ye RobAR, the Mr. Clean magic eraser works damn good on household chores. It got the soot cleaned from my fireplace mantle stones. Nothing else worked. Works real good.

Have not tried it on my bicycle (its nice and clean ) but good idea for cleaning bikes kept under a tree. :-)).

BTW I admire your determination to re lace the wheels, Duroon, from what you said it may have been done as an educational project for your volunteer program. However sometimes its better just to update and replace. Steel rims are not great for wet braking. However your time is free. AS I said its got to be a labor of love, not economics.

Hope you are 6 foot at least to ride that bike. :-)))

BTW where are you?
Never Give Up!!!
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#9
I am in the Portland Oregon area and I am 6'3". My uncle is 6'7", he had the seat post up to max height to ride the bike, I will probably be able to lower it a little bit lol. All in all this project is going to run me less than $200, it helps that the bike itself was free.

My main bike is actually a Specialized Crossroads.
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#10
(02-20-2011, 05:00 AM)Duroon Wrote:  My main bike is actually a Specialized Crossroads.

pics?
Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
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#11
This is the only pic I have of that one lol! Guess I need to take a few of it.
[Image: 29433_1446352409489_1553542496_31133877_5915542_n.jpg]

I fixed up an old bike for my wife previously, no idea what brand it is though. Picked it up at a garage sale for $5 and proceeded to put $300 into it, the majority of the money was on the new wheelset, Sturmey Archer 3 speed rear end with a coaster brake.

[Image: 30776_1433572209992_1553542496_31104858_4045251_n.jpg]
[Image: 30776_1433573730030_1553542496_31104859_8373336_n.jpg]

I had the paint custom mixed at a local body shop. My family owns a towing business so we do a lot of business with the local shops and I get pretty good deals on that sort of stuff. One of the sandblasting companies did the frame for free. My younger brother has painted a few cars in his day so he did the paint work.
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#12
(02-20-2011, 04:52 PM)Duroon Wrote:  This is the only pic I have of that one lol! Guess I need to take a few of it.
[Image: 29433_1446352409489_1553542496_31133877_5915542_n.jpg]

I fixed up an old bike for my wife previously, no idea what brand it is though. Picked it up at a garage sale for $5 and proceeded to put $300 into it, the majority of the money was on the new wheelset, Sturmey Archer 3 speed rear end with a coaster brake.

[Image: 30776_1433572209992_1553542496_31104858_4045251_n.jpg]
[Image: 30776_1433573730030_1553542496_31104859_8373336_n.jpg]

I had the paint custom mixed at a local body shop. My family owns a towing business so we do a lot of business with the local shops and I get pretty good deals on that sort of stuff. One of the sandblasting companies did the frame for free. My younger brother has painted a few cars in his day so he did the paint work.

I like the trailer you have in the first pic. You make it yourself?
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#13
Nope, actually had an ice cream cart built onto it when I found it. I tore that off the top and have been using it as a flat bed trailer. I want to add sides to it though so I can use it for camping and other stuff without having to tie everything down.

It's amazing what people leave in cars sometimes. In Oregon if a car is left with us more than 30 days the vehicle and everything in it becomes the property of the towing company, as long as the proper lien paperwork is filed. The trailer was left inside a wrecked van, the owners cleaned most everything out but left it behind.
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#14
You certainly do good work, and your labor is free. Its like the projects I do, if I was charging for my time I could not afford myself.:-))
You also have great resources available to you and enjoy doing the work, through those long Oregon winters.:-)) Having custom made stuff your way is great, and of course the challenge of restoring your uncles bike has emotional value.
Nice job cleaning the crank, BTW. As per freewheel it takes more than just external cleaning and sometimes a replacement is the way to go.

Having done lots of restorations and being a collector, I get totally buried with reselling things I fixed up,(once I decide to start another project) but I did have fun. It thought me to buy the best as it will stay the best. As witnessed in the used bike market, only the top models in excellent condition have retained value.The rest are $50-$150 bikes if in good condition. While mechanical items can be fixed or replaced the cosmetic, paint, logos, etc. once gone are gone.

I picked up a 1985 Fuji del Rey with an excellent frame and components and also put $200 into it.It was worth it, and I have it my way.

My motorcycles get worked on in the winter too.
Never Give Up!!!
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#15
Hi nice one. I hope you wife appreciated the effort.
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#16
Very nice bikes!!!
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#17
(02-21-2011, 11:11 AM)hcjg1 Wrote:  Hi nice one. I hope you wife appreciated the effort.

She loves the bike, she makes me keep it clamped into a bike stand so there is no chance it will get tipped over in the garage.
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#18
One of the fun items on the Schwinn is the seat tube sticker from Hook's Cyclery. Hook's has gone out of business, I think back in the 80's. I am going to do a reproduction sticker for the seat tube. Here is what I have so far on that.
First pic is the original sticker still on the bike, the second is my effort to use photoshop to reproduce the sticker.[attachment=1967][attachment=1969]
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#19
Good idea. I have thought about doing that with water-based decals to duplicate old Schwinn logos. Technically, it would be copyright/trademark infringement for a logo of a company still in business, but I doubt anyone is going after you if it is just for personal use of an obsolete decal - not selling it on eBay or something. I think eBay has been the one that stops that sort of thing more than the copyright owners.

Are you using the sticker or water-based decal type? And what sort of printer would you use?

Steve
Junkyard Tools rescued from the junkyard!
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#20
I am going to have them printed by the company that does the signage on our tow trucks. They will be a sticker and not a water based decal. I am told that decals don't stick to powder coat very well. I am also going to have some of our towing companies logo's done up custom for the top tube, possibly down tube instead, same size tube so I just need to decide which it will look better on after having them made. Our tow trucks are red and white, that's the color scheme I am going to put on the bike. Our logo looks like this but I am going to have him change it up a bit, mainly so it runs along the tube.
[attachment=1970]
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