Friday, May 2, 2014

David C's 1995 Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration


Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Bicycle After
This is David's 1995 Schwinn Moab mountain bike.  There is a really good story behind the Moab,  David's son found the Moab one evening at the curb slated for the dump, he brought it home.  David shared with me this evening that this Moab was a few hours away from being in the dumb, a sad ending even for a bicycle in extremely rough shape, now in about a week the Schwinn Moab will be brought back to life and David and his son will be out for a long ride, I can't think of a better continuation to this Schwinn Moab's story!

Now for the reality, the Moab is in very rough shape, it struck me tonight that I think the Schwinn had something very nasty spilled on it and then left in a garage like with the spill not cleaned up for many years.  There is some heavy rust in places, the chain is shot, the shift levers are done, the brake pads are garbage and the cables are frozen.  The strange thing and why I think the spill story is the correct story is the frame is almost spotless, yes, its covered in heavy grease and dirt but under that I think we are going to find a perfect paint job with a little polishing. What also was amazing is all the components removed with out a problem, a bicycle left out doors would have many frozen pieces.

This is a 100th anniversary Schwinn, not that the model is an anniversary model but it does have the Schwinn Century Decal.   This also is not a cheap Schwinn, in 1995 it was over $600 new which is right about $1100 today.  The frame is a surprising lite Chromoly tubing, the top tube has a shaped profile, the seat stays also are shaped and curved and the chain stay has an asymmetric shape, none of this is cheap.

As you can see in the before photos I have my work cut out for me but I also love the challenge!!  I am very excited to see the Schwinn Moab results and very excited to challenge my skills.  For now the plan is to replace the shift levers, chain, brake pads, pedals and cables.  i think the tires are still good.  the derailleurs look horrible but i think they will come back very nice and below all that rust and grim I really like the look of the derailleurs.

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Bicycle Before

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Bicycle Before - Handlebars

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
 Bicycle Before - Stem

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Bicycle Before - Shift Levers

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Bicycle Before - Front Brake

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Bicycle Before
Front Wheel Hub

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Bicycle Before
Front Wheel Rim

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Bicycle Before
Moab Elite Decal

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Bicycle Before - Seat Post

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Bicycle Before
Front Derailleur

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Bicycle Before - Crank

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Bicycle Before -  Rear Derailleur

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Bicycle Before- Rack

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Bicycle Before
Rear Wheel Hub
 I stripped the Moab of all the components and got to cleaning the frame.  The frame cleaned extremely well and will be polished soon.  I like the little detail of the Schwinn logo stamped on the rear drop outs which can be seen in the photo below.

I did the final polishing of the frame this morning, the results are stunning. It is hard to believe this is the same frame.  There was only a few minor spots with a small amount of surface was, those will be fine with touch up paint and extremely hard to see as is.  I have said it many times before but this type of blue is my favorite. It is an understatement that I am very happy with the results.

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Frame Before

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Frame Before - Head Tube

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Rear Seat Stays

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Frame Before - Bottom Bracket

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Frame Before
Bottom Bracket

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Frame Before - Chain Stay

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Frame Before - Drop Outs

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Fork Before

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Frame Polished

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Frame Polished
Schwinn Decal

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Frame Polished
Bottom Bracket

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Frame Polished
Saddle Area

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Frame Polished - Seat Stays

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Fork Polished

The headset seemed a bit rough with a little rust in the paint of the bearing cups.  it took a lot of hand cleaning and then many passes in the parts washer and sonic cleaner.  I also did some hand polishing of the pieces but in the end I am really happy with the results.

The bottom bracket is the sealed cartridge variety so only a little cleaning, the bottom bracket still turns smooth so that helps a lot in the budget. The bottom bracket installed easy.

I like the stem, it had a decal just slapped on by Schwinn saying do not ride bike unless you know how, the lettering washed away in the first cleaning so I polished the sticker off.  The stem polished fantastic and with the handlebars polished its hard to beat that look.

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Headset & Bottom Bracket
Before

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Headset & Bottom Bracket
Cleaned & polished
Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Stem - Before

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Handlebars - Before
Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Stem Polished

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Handlebars Polished

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Headset Cups Pressed

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Headset Complete

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Bottom Bracket - Complete

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Headset & Bottom Bracket
Complete

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Stem Installed

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Handlebars & Stem Installed

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Handlebars & Stem
Installed

The crank took a good deal of work to get reasonable.  The chain rings bolts on the front side turned out very nice, the chain ring nuts on the back side are a little rough, they function fine but look rough at least they are on the back side.  The chain ring cluster was also rough, it took a good deal to get half way respectable.  The crank arms polished amazing though which really helps bring the crank back.


Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Crank - before

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Crank - Exploded


Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Crank Polished

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Crank - Installed

The small pieces to the brakes had a lot of surface rust and grime, I cleaned, polished and inspected each piece and all turned out fairly good, some rough spots yet.  I then installed the new brake pads and installed the brakes back to the frame.  overall I am pretty happy and the brakes look fairly good installed and function nice.


Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Brakes - Before

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Brakes - Exploded
Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Brakes polished

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Brakes Complete

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Front Brake - Installed

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Rear Brake - Installed
There have been some set backs today with the derailleurs, they cleaned and polished nice considering where they started but the front derailleur is not functioning smooth yet, I have been working penetrating oil into the pivot points to see if that helps.  I installed it for now so its easier to work and move the pivot points.
The rear derailleur cleaned and polished pretty good also but as I was wiping it down i felt something snap in my hand, it was the cable adjustment barrel.  he part in the threads is still stuck, I am not sure what to do yet.  I want to drill the broken part out and user a donor barrel but I don't know if I can drill it out with out damaging the threads.  I think I will have to start going through parts bins to find a donor derailleur.  I installed the original for now to see how it looks.

The front derailleur was on life support for a while but as made a miraculous recovery with letting the penetrating oil work, it function great.

The rear derailleur did not make it, I donated a derailleur close to the same from my parts collection.  The replacement derailleur polished nice and functions perfect.  In the end the derialleurs came out good.

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Derailleurs - Before

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Front Derailleur - Before

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Rear Derailleur - Exploded

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Front Derailleur
Polished

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Rear Derailleur - Polished

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Rear Derailleur Complete
Broken Barrel in Front.
Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Rear Derailleur - Installed
For Now
Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Replacement Derailleur
Before

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Replacement Derailleur
After

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Replacement Derailleur
Polished

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Replacement Derailleur
Complete

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Replacement Derailleur - Installed
The seat post was in fin condition, just cleaning and a good polishing.  the seat binder bolt also turned out very nice.  Such a mid 1990's thing to do having the seat binder bolt in front!

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Seat Post & Saddle - Before
Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Seat Post Polished
Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Seat Post - Installed
Below is a photo of the Schwinn to this point.

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Bike to this Point
The wheels looked very bad, I was a little worried if they where still good.  I removed the hub components and the tires and got started.  In the cleaning processes I started seeing some good results and continued on.  The rust was mainly light surface rust on the outer most hub components the rest where great.  The rims where a little scary but I used a secret I found for cleaning very bad, very dried on grime and stains and they turned out fantastic!  The hubs polished fantastic also but I did replace the bearings just in case.  The tires are old but I think there is a lot of life left in them, the gum walls are not perfect, if they end up being bad after the first rides David can choose new tires but for now it helps with the budget as with other replacement parts the budget has grown some.  All in all I could not be more thrilled with the results of the wheels!!  They look great, are dead straight and the tire treads are hardly worn at all.

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Front Wheel - Before

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Front Wheel Hub - Before


Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Front Wheel Rim
Before

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Front Wheel - Old Grease

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Front Wheel hub - Polished

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Front Wheel
New Bearings & Grease

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Front Wheel - Complete

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Rear Wheel - Before

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Rear Wheel - Before

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Rear Wheel Hub - Before

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Rear Wheel Rim
Before

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Rear Wheel Hub - Old Grease

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Rear Wheel Hub - Polished

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Rear Wheel - Complete

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Rear Wheel Rim
After

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Wheels - Complete
The original chain was shot, the only thing that could be done is replace it with new.  I had to pound the old chain flat with a mallet to get it to lay flat to measure against the new chain.  The original cassette looked very bad, this was another point of worry.  Luckily most of what is seen on the original cassette was just lightly stained old grease and grime, the cassette cleaned beautifully.  Of course the cassettes real test will be passed or failed on the test ride, the only way to know if the cassette is good is to put a lot of pedal force on it and see if it slips.

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Old Chain & New Chain

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Cassette - Before

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Cassette - After

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Chain & Cassette
Installed

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Chain & Cassette Installed

That is all for now, just waiting on the new brake/shift levers to arrive which should be this afternoon or tomorrow.  Then its wire the Schwinn, finishing details and test ride!


The brake/shift levers came and I got them installed.  They turned out very nice!!  I am very happy.


Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - New Shift/Brake LEvers

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Levers & cables Installed
Dave has pedals and a saddle for the Schwinn Moab but for now I installed this saddle and pedals for the final photos and test riding.

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Temporary Pedals

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Temporary Saddle
Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Old Pedals

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Reflector Bracket
Not Able to Save

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Water Bottle Cage - Before

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Nuts and Bolts Waiting Polish
Above are some photos of small parts that where not in the best shape.  The water bottle cage turned out very nice though.

The rack is a nice rack and it fits perfect, the rack hardware was badly rusted so I replaced all the hardware.  Removing the rusted nuts and bolts was a nightmare, I had to cut them off.  In the end the new hardware looks great and will last a lot longer.

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Rack Before

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Old Rack
Hardware

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Old Rack Hardware

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Old Rack Hardware
Cut




Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Bicycle Complete

With the rack complete the Schwinn Moab is complete.  I took it for a test ride and it road fantastic, the shifting is perfect, the brake work great and it rides surprisingly smooth on the road.  Of course the large knobby tires to make the usually knobby tire noise.  I am so happy with the results of the Schwinn Moab, I love the story behind it and I am very proud of the results considering where it started.  The final photos look fantastic, although the lighting is interesting because I took them after this evenings storms.  Very happy and proud!!


Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Bicycle Complete

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Bicycle Complete

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Handlebars

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Front Brake

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Front Half

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Drive Train

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Rear Half

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Bicycle Complete - Rear

Schwinn Moab Elite Restoration - Bicycle Complete - Rack
Quick Update:

The crank on the Schwinn Moab has a government recall on it, the recall is 18 years old but they will still honor it if David brings it to one of the bicycle shops that is covered for the work under the warranty, so that is nice.


Thank You Dave!!
John Z.

2 comments:

  1. I've really enjoyed reading your blog for a while now. I just wished I lived closer so you could do some work on my bikes (although you may be sick of 80's Schwinn road bikes (85 Traveler and 88 Le Tour)).

    Anyways, I think those Alivio cranksets are still under warranty from Shimano. There was a recall in 1997 due to failure. Here's the details: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/1997/CPSC-Shimano-Announce-Recall-of-Bicycle-Components/

    ReplyDelete