Monday, February 29, 2016

John & Kevin M's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle After

This is John and Kevin's early 1980's Raleigh Grand Prix.  It is a great story for the Grand Prix.  The Grand Prix was originally John's and now it is passed to Kevin, John's son.  Stories and history of a bicycle doesn't get much better then that.

The Grand Prix has been a mid level for Raleigh for a long time.  It is one of those underrated bicycles like the Raleigh Sprite and Schwinn Le Tour.  Bicycle that can do it all and do it all pretty easy and comfortable.

John and Kevin's Grand Prix I want to say is a 1983 version.  What is nice about the early 80's version of the Grand Prix is there where some nice upgrades from the 70's version.  Upgrades like alloy wheels and rims.  Nice Sun Tour components. (No more crappy Simplex components.)  Much better quality brazing on the frames.  Just a nicer bike all the way around and lighter too.  

The Raleigh Grand Prix is going to be a two stage build.  The first stage is going to get the Grand Prix up and running with a mechanical restoration and restoration of the components.  Later on the Grand Prix will get new cable brackets brazed on and new paint and decals.

The Grand Prix is a little rough in spots and has proven to be a bit of a challenge to restore.  The stem was frozen in place.  The worst I have come across.  It took a lot of cutting with hand saws and chipping away at the aluminum.  Eventually I got it down to a point where I could use a little costic soda to eat away part of the stem and pound out the rest.  Right now I am working on a frozen and corroded pedal in the let crank arm.  I am also working on freeing up the adjustment screws on the front derailleur.

The Raleigh in the first stage will receive a mechanical restoration, restoration of the components.  A polishing of the paint, new cables, cable housings, new bearings and brake pads.  The Grand Prix will also get a new chain and new handlebar tape.  Later down the road the Grand Prix will get new paint and decals along with new cable brackets brazed to the top tube and new tires.  I am pretty sure I have the exact same stem for replacement in storage so I will be looking for that. 

I can't wait to give the Grand Prix a test ride.  It feels so light and nimble as it is just moving it around.  It helps with lightness not having a chain on it right now but that is not the only reason, it is lighter then the early Grand Prixs.  Plus the Grand Prix as an after market freewheel that is a race freewheel that is very light for a freewheel and has a very tight range.  Much nicer then the heavy Raleigh freewheel with a very wide range.

In the before photos below you see a mountain bike handlebar in place of the drop bars.  That was to see if I could break the stem free with more leverage.  I also did not want to damage the original handlebars with leverage.  That MTB handlebar is not staying.  

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before -  Frozen Stem

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before -  Head Tube

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before -  Fork Crown

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before -  Front Wheel Hub

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before -  Front Wheel Rim

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before -  Shift Levers

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before -  Saddle

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before -  Crank

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before -  Front Derailleur

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before -  Front Derailleur & Bottom Bracket

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before -  Seat Lug

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Before -  Handlebars & Front Caliper

As I mentioned above the stem was frozen in place.  The worst I have ever come by.  Every trick and process I have did not make a difference.  And that is a lot of tricks and processes.  In the end I cut the stem off and drilled down the center of the part stuck in the fork tube until I could fit a small saw blade in it.  I then cut a line down one side and chipped away at it.  It was so stuck even chipping the aluminum from the steel would not work.  I resorted to costic soda and melted the aluminum away.  Eventuality I was able to pound the rest out, the bottom piece in the photo below.  Even pounding out that piece it did not want to give.  I am so happy the stem is out now!!

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Old Stem Removed
Since I am still working on freeing up the pedal frozen in the crank arm and the front derailleur adjustment screws I started work on the wheels.  The quality of the wheels are great.  I believe the front wheel is a replacement wheel but it is even better then what would have been on the front.

The front wheel rim was a little rough.  It has a few very rough spots and a pretty bad curb dent.  I was able to pound out a good deal of the curb dent.  The finish on the front wheel rim has a textured brushed finish that makes polishing everything out a little difficult.  The front wheel hub polished beautifully!  The rim polished very nice considering where it started and the rough texture finish, I am happy with the results I wish it was just a bit better.  I packed the new bearing sin new grease and assembled the hub.  Some truing on the stand and a good spin and the wheel spins for ever!

The rear wheel is original to the Grand Prix and has the Raleigh stamp on the rear hub.  The rear rim is in much better starting the condition then the front wheel rim however the spokes are not the prettiest, there is a lot of damage in the chrome of the spokes.  The chrome damage has not damage the spokes as a whole yet.  I think the Raleigh was left out in the rain a lot like a lot of bikes have been.  I had a bike that was always left out in the rain, it just had to be at the time and then restored later.  

I cleaned and polished the rear hub and wheel and they turned out fantastic.  With new bearings and grease and a little truing the wheel spins great!  I did my best at treating the spokes, they look somewhat better then they did. Overall I am happy with the wheels.       

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Wheel Before

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Wheel Hub - Before

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Wheel Hub - Before

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Wheel Rim - Before

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Wheel Hub - Old Grease

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Wheel Hub - Polished

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Wheel Rim - Polished

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Wheel Hub - New Bearings & Grease

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Axle Components Ready

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Wheel - Complete

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Wheel Hub - Complete

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Wheel Rim - Complete

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Front Wheel - Before

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Front Wheel Hub - Before

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Front Wheel Rim - Before

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Front Wheel Hub - Old Grease

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Front Wheel Hub - Polished

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Front Wheel Hub - New Bearings & Grease

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Front Wheel Complete

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Front Wheel Hub - Complete

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Front Wheel Rim - Complete
In the next day or so I will post photos of the frame.  I am working through the polishing grits today.

Check back soon!

 The thing about the frame that is a little frustrating is that the blue paint is a really nice color with very nice metallic too it.  The blue paint that is complete really looks good.  There are rough spots to the frame though.  The top tube brake cable brackets are shot and rusted out, they are bent and barley attached.  The rear bracket is only attached on one side.  Instead of the brackets supporting the cable housings the cable housing was supporting the brackets.

I cleaned the frame and very carefully worked around the brackets.  I bent the brackets very carefully as close to round as I could with out breaking them.  For now they should hold a cable housing or at least get a new one through them.  At this time I also removed the remnants of the seat tube decal. With the seat tube decal area cleaned it will really make a big difference int he looks of the frame.

With the frame cleaned I started working through the polishing grits.  The blue and silver color really polished very nice.  The paint where it is good has a deep shine.   I am very impressed with the blue color, I really like the color!  I wish the cable brackets area was better and a few spots around the frame. Overall I am pretty happy with the frame considering the few rough areas.  Man the blue looks good!

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Head Tube

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Head Tube

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Head Tube

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Top Tube

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Down Tube

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Down Tube

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Top Tube Bracket

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Seat Lug

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Seat Tube Old Decal

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Bottom Bracket

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Bottom Bracket

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Bottom Bracket

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Seat Lug

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Back of Seat Tube Decal

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Seat Stays

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Chain Stays

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Drop Outs

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Fork

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Fork Crown

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Fork Blades

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Before - Fork Drop Outs



John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Head Tube

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Head Tube

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Head Tube

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Top Tube

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Down Tube

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Down Tube

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Seat Lug

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Seat Tube Decal Area

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Seat Tube

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Bottom Bracket

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Bottom Bracket

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Bottom Bracket

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Seat Lug

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Seat Stays

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Chain Stays

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Drop Outs

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Fork

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Fork Crown

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Fork Crown

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Fork Blade

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Fork Blade

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Polished - Fork Drop Outs

 Check back soon!


I have everything polished except for the front derailleur and crank.  Still working on the frozen pedal and the frozen adjustment screw.

The headset held up well during the stem removal process.  The headset definitely need a good rebuild.  I put all the pieces through the crock pot for cleaning along with the bottom bracket.  The headset and bottom bracket cleaned nice and polished very nice.  Installed the headset and bottom bracket look great and spin great with new bearings and grease.

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Headset Before

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bottom Bracket - Before

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Headset & Bottom Bracket - Polished

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Pressing Headset Cups

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Headset Cups Pressed

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Headset Bearings - Packed

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Headset Complete

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Headset Complete

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bottom Bracket Bearings Packed

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bottom Bracket - Complete

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bottom Bracket - Complete

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Headset & Bottom Bracket Complete

I thought I had a stem from a Grand Prix from 1983.  After searching and comparing to my notebook it was a stem from a 1983 Raleigh Record.  It still is a good alloy stem and polished very nice.  It looks great installed.  The handlebars also cleaned and polished great.  Installed the stem and handlebars look great!

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Handlebars Before

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Handlebars Before

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Stem & Handlebars from Raleigh Record

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Stem From Raleigh Record

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Stem Before

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Stem Before

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Stem Exploded

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Handlebars & Stem Polished

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Handlebars Polished

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Stem Polished

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Stem Complete

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Stem Complete

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Stem & Handlebars Installed

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Stem & Handlebars Installed

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Stem & Handlebars Complete

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Stem & Handlebars Complete

I like the Die Comp brake levers, I have always like the drilled look of the lever.  I cleaned, lubricated and polished the levers.  The brake levers turned out fantastic.  For now they are installed but later I will cut the end of the axle and install new brake lever hoods.  That axle stud that sticks out is for the upright brake lever arm.

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Brake Levers Before

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Brake Levers Polished

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Brake Levers Installed

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Brake Levers Installed

At this time I installed the wheels because I couldn't wait to see how they looked.  They look great!!

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Front Wheel Hub Complete

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Wheel Hub Complete

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Wheels Installed

The seat post is rough.  There is a lot of rust and damage from probably being frozen at one point.  I cleaned the seat post and worked through a lot of the polishing grits.  The stem polished pretty good. There is some rough spots but hopefully they will be below the frame line.  At the maximum height most rough spots are below the frame line, most will probably be below the frame line when adjusted. A lot of grease in the seat tube and the seat post should be no problem for a long time to come.

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Seat Post Before

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Seat Post Rough Area

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Seat Binder Bolt Before

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Seat Post Before

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Seat Post Polished

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Seat Post Installed

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Seat Post Installed

I like the brake calipers, they are Die-Comp 500's.  I broke down the brake calipers and cleaned all the pieces through the sonic cleaners.  With the pieces cleaned I worked through the polishing wheels.  The pieces of the brake calipers polished beautifully!  Assembled the brake calipers look fantastic and function perfect.  I am very proud of the results of the brake calipers!  They look great next to that blue paint!

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Brake Calipers Before

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Brake Calipers Exploded

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Brake Calipers Polished

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Brake Calipers Complete

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Front Brake Caliper Installed

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Brake Caliper Installed
 The rear derailleur is a great and bullet proof Suntour V.  I love these derailleurs, they restore nice and work fantastic.  I broke down the rear derailleur and cleaned all the pieces.  With the pieces cleaned it was to the polishing wheels.  The rear derailleur polished beautifully! It is a joy to reassemble the components when everything has been restored.  Bushing are smooth and easy to install, threads thread in easy.  I love this stuff!

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Derailleur Before

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Derailleur Before

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Derailleur Before

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Derailleur Exploded

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Derailleur Exploded

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Derailleur Complete

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Derailleur Complete

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Derailleur Complete

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Derailleur Installed

I like the shift levers a lot.  They are Suntour and they are so simple, bullet proof, function fantastic, have a great feel and look like little jewels when polished.  The shift levers cleaned and polished beautifully!  Properly lubricated the shift levers function super smooth.  I am very happy with the results of the shift levers!

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Shift Levers Exploded

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Shift Levers Polished

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Shift Levers Complete

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle So Far
I have been working on the frozen pedal in the crank arm and the frozen adjustment screws on the front derailleur.  Heat wrenching has not worked yet.  More penetrating oil and hopefully a few more heat and cold cycles will break them free.  Photos of the crank and front derailleur before are below.

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Crank Before & Frozen Pedal

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Front Derailleur Before

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Front Derailleur Before

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frozen Adjustment Screws on the Front Derailleur

Since the last update we have decided to go with the frame repaint now.  This also meant brazing on new rear brake cable brackets.

The cable brackets where in bad shape and one was even half broken off.  I stripped the frame and found cable brackets that fit the frame tube well.

I brazed the new brackets on the top tube and then prepared the frame for powder coating.  The frame stripped of the paint and prepared is in really good shape.  No problems from rust other then the old cable guides.  The gable guides brazed to the top tube very well!

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Cable Guides Held in Place

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Cable Guide BRazed

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Cable Guide Brazed

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Cable Guide Brazed

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Cable Guides Brazed

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Ready for Paint

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Ready for Paint  - New Cable Guide

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Ready for Paint - New Cable Guide

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Ready for Paint - New Cable Guide

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Ready for Paint - Head Tube

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Ready for Paint - Head Tube

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Ready for Paint - Head Tube

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Ready for Paint - Seat Lug

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Ready for Paint - Bottom Bracket

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Ready for Paint - Bottom Bracket

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Ready for Paint - Seat Lug

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Ready for Paint - Chain Stays

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Ready for Paint - Drop Out

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Ready for Paint

The blue on the frame turned out very nice! I am happy with the results of the blue.  I let the frame rest for a few days and then will mask the head tube for the gray head tube.  After the frame rests I will apply the self etching primer to the masked head tube and the gray color.  A few days after that the clear coat goes over the gray.

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Blue Layer Complete

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Blue Layer Complete

As we speak the fork blue paint is in process.  The fork should be done shortly.  I am very happy with the paint process so far!  Check back soon.


The fork turned out very nice.  I am happy with the results!

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Fork Painted

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Fork Painted - Fork Crown

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Fork Painted - Fork Crown

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Fork Painted - Fork Blades

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Fork Painted - Fork Drop Outs

Next I masked the head tube for the gray head tube.  I applied a few thin coats of a self etching primer first.  Next the gray color.  Last a clear coat over the gray.  After a bit of buffing I am very happy with the gray head tube.  The mask lines are very good and the gray and blue is such a nice combo!
John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Head Tube Mask

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Head Tube Masked

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Head Tube Painted

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Painted

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Painted - Head Tube

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Painted - Head Tube

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Painted - New Cable Guides

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Painted - Shift Bosses

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Painted - Seat Lug

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Painted - Bottom Bracket

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Painted - Bottom Bracket

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Painted - Bottom Bracket

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Painted - Seat Stays

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Painted - Chain Stays

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Frame Painted - Frame Drop Outs

From here I assembled the Grand Prix.  The components where restored above so now its just installation.  First was the headset.  The polished headset looks great next to the new paint!

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Headset Complete

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Headset Complete

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bottom Bracket - Complete

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Headset & Bottom Bracket Complete
 Next I installed the handlebars and stem along with the brake levers.


John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Handlebars & Stem Installed

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Stem & Handlebars - Installed

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Handlebars & Stem - Installed

Next I installed the brake levers.  They restored so beautiful and installed with the new paint everything is just amazing!!

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Front Brake Caliper - Installed

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Brake Caliper - Installed
 Next I installed the rear derailleur, that is a beautiful derailleur!

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Derailleur - Installed
 I now installed the shift levers, they polished fantastic and look so good installed.   Best of all the levers function so smooth!

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Shift Levers Installed

Next was the seat post and seat binder bolt.

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Seat Post & Binder Bolt - Installed

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle So Far

Next I overhauled the freewheel and installed the wheels.  The freewheel turned out great!  Very smooth and tight!

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Freewheel - Before

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Freewheel - After

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Wheels Installed

With the Grand Prix moving along it is time to cut the ends off from the old suicide brake levers and install the new brake lever hoods.  The brake levers look great installed!

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
New Brake Lever Hoods

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Brake Lever Ends Cut

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Brake Lever Hoods - Installed

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Brake Levers Installed - Beautiful!

I think the only choice of brake cable housing for the Grand Prix is Metallic Gold.  The cable housing looks fantastic!! I love this stuff!!

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
New Cables & Housings

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Cables Complete

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Cables Complete

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Brake Cable Installed

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Brake Cable & New Cable Guide

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Rear Derailleur Wired
 Next I cleaned up the saddle and installed it.  It looks good!

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Saddle Installed

Kevin chose a brown synthetic leather like tape that I think is great for the era of the Grand Prix.  The handlebar tape really brought everything together!  I love this stuff!

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
New Handlebar Tape

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Handlebar Tape - Installed

Next I hand polished the crank the best it would.  It is a stamped and pressed crank so it can not be disassembled.  I think it turned out very nice for hand polishing!

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Crank Installed
 That brings us to the point photoed below.  Tomorrow the new chain goes on.  I am also working on freeing up the adjustment screws on the front derailleur.  So far every trick I know and some new tricks I made up have not budged them at all.  I may have to look in the collection for a replacement derailleur or maybe the adjustment screws are frozen in just the right place and it won't matter.

Check back tomorrow.

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Almost Complete!
Today I installed the new chain and installed the front derailleur.  The derailleur had the frozen adjustment screws but lucky enough they are set perfect for the Grand Prix.  With the derailleur and new chain installed I tuned out the drive train.  The Grand Prix shifts very very smooth and easy!  I am very happy with the results!  I can't wait to road tune the Grand Prix.

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
New Chain

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
New Chain & Front Derailleur Installed

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
New Chain Installed

That just about finishes the Grand Prix.  I am currently prepping the head badge to be installed and waiting on decals.  Its been well over three weeks if not more since they where ordered.  I have message out to the decal makers today asking where they are.

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Almost Complete

I gave the Raleigh a real hard ride and work through on the road today.  I got the Grand Prix dialed in very nicely on the road but then as time went I got more and more slipping from the freewheel.  I tried dialing it back in but it just kept getting worse, the smallest two cogs proved to be just to worn.  I replaced the freewheel with another freewheel that is somewhat close to the same range, maybe slightly easier on the low end because the original freewheel was a very tight range. With the replacement freewheel the Grand Prix was spot on.

With the freewheel replaced the Grand Prix rides super smooth and very nimble!  I couldn't be happier with the ride!

Better is the looks!  The blue paint turned out great and the masked gray head tube tops it all off!  Fantastic!  I took the photos below with out the decals because the Grand Prix may go home this weekend and decals put on after.  I am very very frustrated with the amount of time the decal place has been taking in getting the decals here. I hope to get some photos with the decals. Sorry, back to the looks!  I love it, the metallic gold cable housings are perfect for the Grand Prix, the perfect accent and will be even better with the decals!  The components turned out fantastic!  Hard to beat those brake calipers against the new paint! I love this stuff!!

I am very proud of the Grand Prix, it fought hard against me a lot of the time but in the end it turned out beautiful!  I am very proud!!

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete Minus Decals

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete Minus Decals

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete Minus Decals - Hanldebars

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete Minus Decals - Stem

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete Minus Decals - Head Tube

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete Minus Decals - Front Brake

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete Minus Decals - Front Wheel Hub

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete Minus Decals - Front Wheel Rim

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete Minus Decals - Handlebars

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete Minus Decals - Stem

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete Minus Decals - Head Tube

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete Minus Decals - Top Tube

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete Minus Decals - Shift Levers

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete Minus Decals - Seat

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete Minus Decals - Seat Tube

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete Minus Decals - Crank

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete Minus Decals - Front Derailleur

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete Minus Decals - Seat

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete Minus Decals - Rear Brake Caliper

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete Minus Decals - Rear Derailleur

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete Minus Decals - Rear Wheel Hub

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete Minus Decals - Rear Wheel Rim

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete Minus Decals 

Thank You
John Z.

The decals finally came.  They make such an amazing difference in the completed bike!  The decals seem to be okay quality and went on nicely.  I love it!!  The decals and cables highlight each other perfectly!  I love this stuff!  I am super proud of the Raleigh Grand Prix!  It is ready for a whole new lifetime!

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete With Decals

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete With Decals

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete With Decals - Just like this shot a lot!

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete With Decals - I like this shot a lot too!

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete With Decals - Fork Decal

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete With Decals - Top Tube Decal

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete With Decals - Down Tube Decal

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete With Decals - Raleigh Decal

John & Kevin's 1983 Raleigh Grand Prix Restoration
Bicycle Complete With Decals - Seat Tube Decal


Thank you Again!
John Z.







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