|Racer Before - My outdoor photos are really Bad|
|Racer Before Restoration|
|Racer Before Restoration|
I started work on a his and her Schwinn Racer and Schwinn Breeze for Joe. They are his parents bikes and have some history in them. I like working on the old city style bikes. Both bikes are in descent starting condition. A few scratches in the paint but not bad for 40 years old. The tires, tubes and rim liners are shot. A lot of grime and surface rust to clean and polish.
I was a bit worried when I got the bikes up on the bike stand and found that the coaster brakes did not work at all, when you peddle backwards the crank just kept going back and not engaging. I usually start with tearing down the bike into all its pieces, but instead I started with the coaster brake and rear wheel. If the coaster brake would be bad it might not be worth restoring the bikes.
When I got the coaster brake open I discovered that the grease was as hard as could be, no parts would move and the gears on the brake could not meet up. It took most of the day to get the grease off. It was like hard glue on everything. I tried all the tricks I know and the only thing that started to loosen the grease was soaking the parts in soapy water in a crock pot set on low.
Tomorrow I will do the tear downs of both bikes and start work on the frames and bottom brackets. I have not decided how I am going to proceeded yet. I am thinking I will start with the men's Racer and get the bottom bracket, headset, and wheels restored then do the same on the women's Breeze. Then work on both at the same time on the finishing touches.
I also ordered new tires last night. I was out of the old S-6 Schwinn style tires. I do have a lot of the English 3 speed tires still if anyone has one out there that needs restoring.
I will also take better before photos before tearing them down in the morning. The ones I took turned out awful. That digital photography class at school isn't paying of yet I guess.
Once the coaster brake components where cleaned I started the greasing and reassembling process. Everything went back together smoothly with out all the old grease, and the most important thing, the coaster brake now works perfectly. Below are photos of the process.
|Racer Coaster Brake Before Restoration|
|Rear Hub Cleaned - Before Polishing|
|Coaster Brake Components - Exploded View|
|Coaster Brake Complete - Needs One More Polishing|
|Coaster Brake - Left Side Complete|
|Coaster Brake - Cog View|
I started polishing the rims tonight. They are pretty rusty, The photo below is of the Schwinn Racer rear wheel. There is a little pitting, but after polishing it turned out pretty nice. I always leave the old tire on until the end. It is very helpful to have the rubber surface to help hold the wheel against a work bench while working on and polishing the wheel.
|Rear Racer Wheel - Before Polishing|
|Rear Racer Wheel - Polished|
|Racer Frame Stripped Down|
|Racer Frame Dirty|
|Racer Frame Polished|
With everything polished I installed the headset and stem. I started by pressing the headset cups in place with a cups press, I then greased and installed the bearings. After cleaning the bearings are in great shape. Schwinn made great headset bearings, although they are not light. Next I installed the fork, I always grease the fork stem to help prevent corrosion. I first install the fork crown bearing race and then lock the fork into place with the top bearing race and lock nut. The ehadset looks great polished.
With the headset in place I installed the stem. The stem wedge was pretty nasty, but after using heavy de-greaser and a quick polish on the bench buffer it looks great. Also the the stem bolts where in rough shape, but after cleaning and buffing I am surprised how good they look. I always heavily grease the stem so there is no chance of it ever rusting in place.
The handlebars had a lot of rust. Joe wanted to keep the green original handle grips, but to get the handle bars and stem apart for proper polishing you must remove at least one grip. It is pretty hard to remove these old Schwinn grips with out tearing them, over the years they dry and get brittle. Good news is I got one grip of with no tearing, it wasn't easy, but it is off with no problems and cleaned up pretty nice too. Now I just have to hope for the same good luck on the Schwinn Breeze. The handle bars polished pretty nice on the bench buffer, the rust is removed, but there are a few areas of rust pitting in the chrome. I will be putting a protect-ant on the pitting to help keep it from rusting in the future. The headset, stem and bars look great polished and installed.
|Headset & Bottom Bracket Components after Crock Pot|
|Stem & Handlebars Before|
|Components - Stem - Handlebars Polished|
|Pressing Headset Cups|
|Headset Bearing Greased|
|Stem Polished & Installed|
|Headset & Handle Bars Complete|
The once piece crank took a lot of polishing. I did the easy to reach areas with the bench top buffer, the tighter areas required a polishing compound and a small brass brush, and a little elbow grease. It was all worth it because the crank looks awesome. The polished chrome of the crank is really going to stand out when the bike is finished.
I installed the crank cups with the cups press and greased the bearing. The bearings are in great shape. I was worried the cups and bearings would be badly worn the way it original turned, but there is absolutely no wear visible. I greased the bearing, installed the crank and tightened down the lock nuts. There can be some art in setting bearings and lock nuts, to tight and the bearings grind, to loose and the crank will wobble and cause wear. I am supper happy with the polished crank, especially the way it started. It looks great and turns very smooth.
|Racer Crank - Before|
|Racer Crank Arm - Before|
|Crank Arm Rear - Before|
|Crank Arm - Before|
|Pressing Crank Cups|
|Crank Installed - Left Side - Love the Transformation|
|Crank Polished & Installed - Drive Side|
I am also going to try to find time to install a couple more lights in the new shop for better photos.
|Bike to this point|
This afternoon I worked on the front wheel. The bearings where true but dirty, and I need to replace a few spokes, I have to order them special, I do not have any Schwinn s-5 spokes left. The rim and hub polished up really nice, and the bearing cones and races polished out nice. The wheel turns really nice. I am going to check a local guy for spokes on my way to class tomorrow, otherwise I will have to order them. When the new tires go on the chrome will really pop.
|Racer Front Hub - Dirty|
|Racer Front Rim Polished|
|Racer Front Hub Polished|
|Racer at the End of The Day|
The front fender strut on the drive side had a bend in it. I laid it out on a flat board and bounded it straight. It now looks strait. The outside of the fender polished nice on the buffing wheel. The inside took a lot of elbow grease. I out a heavy coat of polishing compound and then used a brass brush and scrub all the rust and dirt off, this took a while, but well worth it, you would really notice it if it wasn't down, now its just invisible in the bigger picture.
The bike is coming along fast now. I will finish the rear fender tomorrow and the small detail pieces like the seat post, seat clap, coaster brake arm clamp and polish the chain guard. After that it will be waiting for tires and stripping down the Breeze.
|New Spokes - Bad Photo|
|Racer - Bent Front Fender Strut|
|Racer - Front Fender - Before|
|Racer - Fender Installed|
|Racer - Fender Installed|
|Racer - Fender Installed|
With the fenders installed I polished the seat post and seat post collar. I am thrilled with the way they turned out. This is what makes me love doing this work. The collar and seat post where corroded a dirty and where never really polished nice new from the factory. They now look better then the factory ever did.
The last step I did today and last step before I put it aside before I start the Breeze was to clean and polish the chain guard and install the chain. The guard cleaned nice and polished descent. The guard takes a lot of wear so in the end it looks good. The chain I have been oil soaking for a couple of days. I wiped it down and cleaned it with a wire brush, it looks new.
I will save the seat and peddles to restore with the Breeze's seat and peddles. Later today I will start the tear down of the Breeze, and I am still waiting on tires. I am also going to clean the shop before I start the Breeze. I am still having a hard time with the flow of the new shop.
|Racer - Rear Fender Polished & Installed|
|Racer - Rear Fender Installed|
|Racer - Seat Post & Collar Polished & Installed|
|Racer - Chain & Chain Guard Installed|
|Schwinn Racer to This Point|
Everything broke down easy. The grease is hard as a rock. All the components are in the crock pot of soapy water and will be ready to go in the morning. I should say the frame paint is in better condition then the Racer. There is a lot of rust like the Racer, and all the grease is like hard glue. Below are some photos. I hope to get the headset and crank cleaned, polished and installed tomorrow and hope fully get the coaster brake apart and in the crock pot. And of course the frame polished first.
|Breeze - Before|
|Breeze - Drive Train - Before|
|Breeze - Rear Fender - Before|
|Breeze - Rear Wheel Hub - Before|
|Breeze - Frame Stripped Down Not Polished|
|Breeze - Wheels - Before|
I started with assembling the crank. The rust is a little deeper then the rust was on the Racer, so there is a little more pitting, but things did polish up nice. I didn't want to just show the same type of photos I showed for the Racer, so I tried to show the assemble process of both the crank and headset. The crank loads into the bottom bracket from the bottom. Next comes the bearing cone, then a spacer and lock nut. I was very happy with the way the components polished up.
|Crank & Headset Out of Crock Pot - Not Polished|
|Breeze - Crank Before|
|Breeze - Crank Polished|
|Breeze - Loading Crank|
|Breeze - Bearing Cone Installed|
|Breeze - Crank Spacer Installed|
|Breeze - Crank Lock Nut|
|Breeze - Crank Complete|
With the crank installed I worked on the Headset. I installed the cups and packed the bearings. Next I cleaned the rust off the fork tube with a wire brush and coated it with a layer of grease. I then installed the fork and put on the bearing race nut, the headset spacer and the headset lock nut. Everything looks good on the headset and turns smoothly.
|Breeze - Fork Tube Cleaned|
|Breeze - Fork Tube Greased|
|Breeze - Headset Bearing Race Nut|
|Breeze - Headset Spacer - Did Clean Inside Rust After Looking at this Photo|
|Breeze - Headset Lock Nut|
|Breeze - Rear Hub/Coaster Brake Before|
|Breeze - Rear Coaster Brake - Before|
|Breeze - Rear Coaster Brake Exploded - Dirty|
|Breeze - Rear Hub - Dirty|
|Breeze - Rear Hub - Dirty|
|New Tubes & Tires|
I polished the rear rim, hub and the coaster brake components. Everything went together well and looks good polished. The coaster brake now works very well, the grease was so sticky that it did not work at all before.
|Breeze - Coaster Brake - Polished & Installed|
|Breeze - Rear Wheel - Polished & Installed|
|Breeze - Rear Wheel Rim - Polished|
|Breeze - Front Wheel - Polished|
A neglected part of restored bicycles I see are always the bolts and nuts. When polishing the stem I always remove the stem bolt and wedge and polish them as bright as the stem, even though you don't see them, except for the bolt head. Also the handle bar bolt polished very nice. I don't know if many people notice damaged or unpolished bolts on a restoration, but they are the first thing I see if they are not polished. When bolts and nuts are polished they fade into the back ground where they belong.
|Breeze - Stem & Handle Bars - Before|
|Breeze - Stem & Handle Bars - Polished|
|Breeze - Fenders - Before|
|Breeze - Front Render Polished & Installed|
|Breeze - Front Fender - Polished|
|Breeze - Rear Fender Polished & Rear Reflector|
The Breeze is almost complete. It seems like the last details take forever, but that is what makes a good restoration, the details. Today I put the new bearings in the front wheel, and trued the wheel in the wheel stand. I also installed the new tire tube and new tire. The front wheel looks great for a 40+ year old bike.
|Breeze - New Front Tire & Fender Installed|
The rear wheel looks great with the new tire. I also replaced the rear fender bolts with new chrome bolts. Looks much better that way. They photo below shows the new bolts next to the old bolts.
|Breeze - Rear Wheel & Tire Installed|
|Breeze - New Bolts & Old Bolts|
|Breeze - Chain Installed|
The seat post and collar where in pretty bad shape. The chrome and metal has been frustratingly rough on this bike. The post, collar and seat bolt polished up nicely, just took a lot of polishing compound and patience.
|Breeze - Seat Post & Collar - Polished|
Next is the cleaning and polishing the chain guard, seat, peddles, a test ride, minor tuning and a wipe down and the bicycle will be finished. And I forgot, the original basket also. Below is a phot of the bicycle to now.
|Breeze - Bicycle as of Now|
|Seat Components - Before|
|Seat Components - Polished|
|Breeze Seat Installed|
|Breeze - Chain Guard Installed|
|Breeze - Coaster Arm Bracket|
|Peddles - Before|
|Peddles - After|
The reflectors and straps that fit over the wheel hubs came out wonderfully. I was worried that the rubber straps would be brittle, but it took just a little soapy water and a small amount of polishing of the metal and they look great.
I also did a few touch up paint spots on the Racer. It is really hard to match the old Schwinn green. I did a few of the bad scratches, but did not want to touch up every tiny nick, it would look worse with the green that does not quiet match freckled all over then having the small scratches the way they are.
|Breeze - Wheel Hub Reflectors|
|Breeze - After Photo - No Basket|
|Racer - After Photo|
|Breeze & Racer Finished|
|Breeze & Racer Finished|
|Breeze - Finished - Side View|
|Breeze - Finished - Angle View|
|Breeze - Finished - Drive Train|
|Breeze - Finished - Rear View|
|Breeze - Finished - Front View|
|Racer - Finished - Side View|
|Racer - Finished - Rear View|
|Racer - Finished - Front View|