Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Mystery Person" (For the moment) Schwinn Varsity Restoration

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle After

This is, for a little while "Mystery Persons" Schwinn Varsity.  I have been having a little problem exact dating the year of the Varsity but I will find that out.  It is for "Mystery Person" because it a is a birthday surprise for the person.  From what I have been told the person really loved there bike and went a long way with them from the college bicycle stickers from the early 1970's.  Everyone knows I like a bike with a history!

The Varsity is very rough however and will take time and a good amount of replacement parts.  Good thing is I have some already on hand.  The spokes are to far gone to be safe at all so those will have to be replaced or maybe just replacement wheels.  I have been keeping my eye out for replacement wheels at swap meets this spring but nothing has come close yet.   The crank will also have to be replace.  I have  a couple year newer then this one on hand, it has the chain guard built in and looks a little different.  I have also been keeping an eye out for a crank.

The Varsity is going to need new paint.  I think this green is faded and the original green was a little darker.  I think I can match color pretty well from catalogs and photos. Decals are not a problem to find.

All new cables, cable housings, bearings and brake pads will be installed along with new tires and tubes.  

Now to the major issue.  The stem is frozen dead in place.  Rusted tight as I have ever seen.  I cut the stem off and have been drilling it out very slowly and carefully with a jig I built on my drill press.  But it is extremely slow because my big drill bits where very expensive and I don't want to ruin them. I am a little worried what condition the fork tube will be in after years of rust, if its good great.  If its bad I can easily find a replacement fork.  I will get it though in the end.  

I am going to add more as I get a little farther through with getting the stem out.  For now my goal is to use as much of the original parts as I can even if that means splitting parts between the original derailleur and a replacement.  Original is good!

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration - Bicycle Before

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration - Bicycle Before
Handlebars & Brake Lever

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration - Bicycle Before
Stem & Handlebars

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration - Bicycle Before
Stem

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration - Bicycle Before
Stem

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration - Bicycle Before
Head Tube

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration - Bicycle Before
Front Brake

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration - Bicycle Before
Front Wheel Hub

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration - Bicycle Before
Front Wheel Hub

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration - Bicycle Before
Front Wheel Rim

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration - Bicycle Before
Shift Levers

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration - Bicycle Before
Down Tube

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration - Bicycle Before
College Sticker

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration - Bicycle Before
Seat Area

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration - Bicycle Before
Crank

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration - Bicycle Before
Front Derailleur

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration - Bicycle Before
Front Derailleur

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration - Bicycle Before
Rear Brake

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration - Bicycle Before
Rear Brake

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration - Bicycle Before
Rear Derailleur

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration - Bicycle Before
Rear Wheel Hub

The stem and headset where completely rusted into place.  There was no option but to cut the fork out and replace it.

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Original Front Wheel

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Original Front Wheel Hub

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Original Front Wheel Rim

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Cut Fork to Remove from Frame

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Original Rear Wheel

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Original Rear Wheel Hub

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Original Rear Wheel Rim

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Original Rear Wheel Hub
I collected some replacement parts for the Varsity.  The first is the wheels.  I was unable to remove the free wheel from the original rear wheel, it was completely frozen in place.  The original front wheel I couldn't get the lock nuts to break free, even with a 3 foot wrench.

The replacement wheels are a good match.  They didn't look perfect to start but I knew perfect was under the grime.  A good cleaning, polishing and new bearings and the replacement wheels look fantastic and spin forever!!

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Front Wheel

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Front Wheel Hub

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Front Wheel Hub

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Front Wheel Rim

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Rear Wheel

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Rear Wheel Hub

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Rear Wheel Hub

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Rear Wheel Rim

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Front Wheel Old Grease

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Rear Wheel Old Grease

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Front Wheel Polished

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Front Wheel Polished Rim

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Rear Wheel Hub Polished

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Rear Wheel Rim Polished

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Front Wheel Bearings Packed

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Rear Wheel Bearings Packed

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Front Wheel Wheel Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Front Wheel Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Front Wheel Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Rear Wheel Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Rear Wheel Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Rear Wheel Complete
The original derailleurs pivot points where completely rusted and frozen in position.  Even if I could break the pivot points free they would never function well.  The replacement derailleurs turned out beautiful! I couldn't be happier with the replacements!
Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Original Front Derailleur

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Original Front Derailleur

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Original Front Derailleur

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Front Derailleur

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Front Derailleur

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Front Derailleur

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Front Derailleur

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Front Derailleur

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Original Rear Derailleur

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Original Rear Derailleur

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Original Rear Derailleur

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Rear Derailleur

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Rear Derailleur

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Rear Derailleur

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Rear Derailleur

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Front Derailleur
Replacement Rear Derailleur
Polished
 The original brake calipers are photographed below.  From this angle they don't look to bad but all the chrome pieces behind are completely rusted.  I also was unable to break the adjustment barrels free and two of the brake pads.

The replacement brake calipers came out perfect however!  That is why I love this stuff!

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Original Brake Calipers

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Brake Calipers

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Brake Calipers

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Brake Calipers

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Brake Calipers
 I have had these handlebars and stem for a while.  I will only be using the stem and handlebars, not the brake levers and reflector.  Both the stem and handlebars polished beautifully!

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Stem & Handlebars

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Stem & Handlebars

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Stem & Handlebars

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Stem & Handlebars

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Stem & Handlebars

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Stem & Handlebars

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Stem

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Stem

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Stem

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Stem & Handlebars
Polished

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Stem & Handlebars
Polished

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Stem & Handlebars
Polished

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Stem & Handlebars
Polished

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Stem & Handlebars
Polished

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Stem & Handlebars
Polished
 Below is a photo of the original stem and a piece of the headset.  The stem need to be cut free and the headset piece is rusted into place.
Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Original Stem Cut
Original Headset Rusted in Place

This is the replacement headset.  Not to bad of starting condition.

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Headset
 Polished the headset is perfect.  The shift levers in the photo I forgot I only wanted the lever arms and polished everything.

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Replacement Headset Polished
Shift Levers Arms Only Being Used
Not Shift Lever Bracket
I was thinking the original frame was going to need to be replaced but I borrowed a scope and looked from the inside.  The inside was in great shape!

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Frame Before Blasting

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Sticker Location

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Sticker Location

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Sticker Location

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Sticker Location
I am currently repainting the frame.  I had some things happen in life and when I got back to the Varsity I was not happy with the paint.


Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Frame Painted

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Frame Painted

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Frame Painted

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Frame Painted

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Frame Painted

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Frame Painted

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Frame Painted

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Frame Painted

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Frame Painted

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Frame Painted

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Frame Painted

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Pressing Headset Cups

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Crank & Bottom Bracket Polished

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Crank Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Pressing Bottom Bracket Cups

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Pressed Bottom Bracket Cups

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Crank Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Crank Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Ne Tires

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Drive Train Complete - Chain later shortened.

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Rear Derailleur COmplete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Rear Wheel Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Rear Wheel Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Seat Post Installed

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration

I am expecting a replacement replacement fork to arrive this morning.  The replacement fork I purchased was loose around the fork crown with the headset.  Couldn't really figure out why.  Second replacement fork is chestnut brown so it will be a couple days to paint and then finish up the decals and installed the front wheel and handlebars. 

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Fork Painted

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Fork Painted

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Fork Painted

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Fork Painted

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Fork Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Fork Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Front Caliper Installed

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Front Caliper Installed

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Front Caliper Installed

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Front Wheel Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Front Wheel Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Front Wheel Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Front Wheel Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Handle Bars Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Handle Bars Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Handle Bars Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Handle Bars Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Badge Installed - Poor Photo

For wiring the Schwinn I was going to put the shift levers on the down tube where they were originally.  The replacement shift elvers have a beautiful condition headset mount so I installed them there.  The advantages are ease of use and much safer than reaching down to change gears.  I have some very nice adapters for the down tube shift lever bosses.  I am pleased with the results!


Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Wired

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Wired

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Wired

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Wired

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Wired

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Wired - Down Tube Adapter

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Handle Bar Tape Installed

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Handle Bar Tape Installed

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Handle Bar Tape Installed

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
New Decals

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Fork Decal Installed

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Down Tube Decal Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Chicago Decal

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Complete

Mystery Schwinn Varsity Restoration
Bicycle Complete
Thank you!
John Z.

4 comments:

  1. the first bike I ever restored was a varsity - about 1975 vintage - and when the lady who bought it came back from her test ride she had a huge grin on her face and told me "that was like being 13 again" I am sure your mystery customer will be thrilled to have a rideable like new bike again

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi John, Nice to read along with the restoration. Good to know there are others that see the merit in restoration even if it poses some challenges like frozen stems. You mentioned new paint. Do you have a blog post some where where you describe the process. Do you do your own or have a painter. I paint but am always looking for others who paint to see how their methods and setup compare and what kind of success they have. All the best, Daryl

    ReplyDelete
  3. That stem looks bad!

    ReplyDelete
  4. John

    Is this project completed ?

    ReplyDelete