Thursday, May 17, 2012

Started Work on Vintage 1954 Schwinn Spitfire Day 1

          Hello again, I am going to start posting with a project I started yesterday, it is, according to serial numbers, a Schwinn Spitfire that is dated November 2, 1954. It was sitting in a barn for many years. All parts are on the bike except for the original tires. Some areas are pretty rough and some not so bad. It looks as if someone had attempted to re-paint it in the past. The rims have been painted white, and there is some new old paint on the head tube, otherwise all paint is original.

I like the design of this bike, it has an elegant grace to it.
I lost the before picture somewhere in the cloud, so here is the bike disassembled.

 Bare Frame Pre-clean

Disassembled Parts

Frame Cleaned

     I always start by cleaning the frame.  I am not going to re-paint this bike.  I don't like to repaint bikes of this era, unless I have a buyer prearranged who wants it re-painted.  The paint is in ok condition, it cleaned up nicely and has some shine still left.  There is also some color fading in areas but not to bad.  And, of course, with all 58 year old bikes, there is a good amount of scratches and dings, but no dents or cracks.

 Bottom Bracket Cups

     When the frame is cleaned, I start with the bottom bracket and crank set next.  I find it easier to work on the crank and reassemble it while the frame is torn down.  There is more room to work with out the fork and handle bars in the way.

Crank and bearings pre-cleaning

 Bottom Bracket Parts Pre-cleaning

Crank Bearings

I think the crank is in good shape, just has 58 year old grease to clean.  There is a little more rust on the crank arms then I like to see, but not bad for 1954.

Before and after Bearing Cups.

One cleaned and polished cup, one to go.  Very pleased with the way the cup cleaned and polished.

Cleaned and Polished Crankset and all the parts.

     Very happy with the way it all cleaned up.  There is some  rust pitting that I wish wasn't there, but not to bad for bike this old.

     That is all for today, can't wait to get started again tomorrow, have a good night and keep riding.

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