NOW SEEN IN FINISHED SECTION! ▓▒░ Higgins the German Spy ░▒▓

Discussion in 'BUILD OFF #7' started by yoothgeye, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. yoothgeye

    yoothgeye I <3 Single Speeds Moderator

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    It is with great sadness that I must put █ ▌▌G.I.JESSE JAMES ▌▌█ on the back burner and bring another bike into play for the build-off. I will continue to build the sidecar chopper, and I encourage you to follow that build in the builds section here: viewtopic.php?f=21&t=56352

    This bike is more suited for the build-off this year because I have a lot of things going on right now and this bike will take less time to get together the way I want it, and I already have an early deadline of mid July to have it mostly done to take with us on vacation.

    Nothing spectacular will be done on this build, just some rust preservation, a wheel swap, seat swap, adding the huge apes I made, etc... It's more of an assembly than a built.

    Here is the bike as I purchased it for $40 December of 2011.
    [​IMG]

    Once I posted it on here in Fresh Finds I discovered that this was a bike made during a factory strike here in the US, so it was actually built in West Germany. There are subtle differences between it and it's American counterparts, but mainly what caught my eye was the 3 piece bottom bracket which I now know is a Thompson BB and it's damaged... that's my big hurdle right now.

    Anyway, I started tearing it down:
    [​IMG]

    Some parts thrown about:
    [​IMG]

    Found the original color under the tank:
    [​IMG]

    I knew when I saw it on CL in the photo that the fork was bent, so I pulled it today to check it out, what do you think, is it bent?
    [​IMG]

    You've pretty much got the overall idea of the build now, I just want it to be a rider by time I go on vacation in July.
  2. Rat Rod

    Rat Rod Owner & Founder Staff Member Moderator Pro Member

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    Re: '56 J.C. Higgins, making it a rider

    Your neighbors must love your yard. :lol:
  3. yoothgeye

    yoothgeye I <3 Single Speeds Moderator

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    Re: '56 J.C. Higgins, making it a rider

    Actually I think I'm more embarrassed of my yard than my neighbors, when it piles up I apologize and they tell me it's no big deal.

    Here's the across the street view of my shop:
    [​IMG]

    And another where you can see the back of the house:
    [​IMG]

    I got some more insurance money recently and I'm going to buy some privacy fence and build a "pen" to put all the "extra" bikes and parts that tend to pile up in front of the shop. That riding mower is going SOON! An older guy from church bought it for $20 and brought it to me last week to see what I could do with it, within 20 minutes I had the engine running, I'll pull the engine today and he'll come pick it up to sell the engine and scrap the rest.
  4. SCHWINNRAY69

    SCHWINNRAY69

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    Re: '56 J.C. Higgins, making it a rider

    I'll be watching :D

    Someone over in the build off forum said there is only 6.5 weeks left :shock: Ya gonna finish...I may not :|
  5. yoothgeye

    yoothgeye I <3 Single Speeds Moderator

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    Re: '56 J.C. Higgins, making it a rider

    This one is really up in the air, I'm not going to sacrifice the rest of my life just to hit the deadline. I am building this bike for my vacation.

    Anyway, since most of the bicycle service books start off describing a Thompson bottom bracket by saying "Chances are, you'll never see one of these." I thought I'd show you all one:
    [​IMG]
    (soaking in a bath of mystery fluid)

    And here's the top of the bent fork, the legs are bent and the steer tube is bent, it's not worth the effort to try and save it, interesting the crown seems to be made of cast metal and it says "BET" and "161" no clue what these things mean.
    [​IMG]

    And good news, I think I fixed the spindle, I'll know soon, but the left side crank arm was egged out pretty bad as well as the keyway for the cotter in the spindle. I filed the spindle until a non damaged crank arm would fit over it and I filed the keyway as well:
    [​IMG]
  6. jackdaw

    jackdaw

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    Re: '56 J.C. Higgins, making it a rider

    Hey, nice save on that spindle man. Cool to save an old strange BB.
  7. yoothgeye

    yoothgeye I <3 Single Speeds Moderator

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    Re: '56 J.C. Higgins, making it a rider

    I really have no choice, it's the only type that will fit in that BB shell, and I really don't have any desire to cut/mod the frame.
  8. yoothgeye

    yoothgeye I <3 Single Speeds Moderator

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    Re: '56 J.C. Higgins, making it a rider

    SO every chance today this bike had, it reminded me that it was different... stupid strike bike!

    The fork being toast I grabbed a donor bike, a women's J.C. Higgins... 60s model I guess:
    [​IMG]

    The stem was stuck good, so I applied oil, heat, and torque to remove it thus...
    [​IMG]

    I may just use my RRB Headbadge on this bike, I like the J.C. badge, but I think the US models were made differently or were they all just thin stamped cheap steel?
    [​IMG]

    Needed another donor bike for some wheels. Yes, this bike looks nice, and it was, but I only got it for the parts, it's been up in the bike bathroom for months just collecting dust:
    [​IMG]

    The struts no longer fit, either this fork is shorter or the bent fork messed up the struts, so I have to bend them more:
    [​IMG]

    And a quick mock-up before I rolled it into the shop.
    [​IMG]

    I'm kind of thinking of making this my build-off bike since I must get this one finished by mid July and the end of the build-off is during my mission trip in August, any thoughts?

    I'd still finish G.I.JESSE JAMES, but just in the builds section.
  9. highship

    highship

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    Re: '56 J.C. Higgins, making it a rider

    I'm afraid I may not finish either :x that's what these bare metal bikes will do to you...
  10. yoothgeye

    yoothgeye I <3 Single Speeds Moderator

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    Re: '56 J.C. Higgins, making it a rider

    Here's another fun thing that happened today. The only cottered crank arm I had that was the same length as the drive side was off an exercise bike I recently found, so I put it on. When it came time to put the stock pedal on it was too small. :shock: I had no clue that they made 3 piece crank arms for 1/2" pedals. So the '56 Higgins uses 3 piece cranks with 1/2" pedals. OK, fine, so I grabbed my left pedal from the exercise bike and it wouldn't thread in, I forgot the sprocket was on the left side of the exercise bike, so I had to use the right side.

    So now my bike has 2 mismatched pedals, both are right side pedals, one is 1/2" thread and the other 9/16". :lol:
  11. yoothgeye

    yoothgeye I <3 Single Speeds Moderator

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    Re: ▓▒░ Higgins the German Spy ░▒▓ (was G.I.JESSE JAMES)

    Cottered crank collection:

    1. From Higgins, damaged left side, threaded for 1/2" pedals.
    2. From exercise bike, in great shape, but drive side is on left so pedals are on wrong side for street application.
    3. From Sun 24" trike, cool snowflake chainring, but crank arms are really short!

    And that's it.

    I have a 60s Raleigh in one of the church houses and I'm hoping it has a 3 piece crank, will check soon.
  12. kingfish254

    kingfish254 Let's Ride Clyde! Pro Member

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    Re: ▓▒░ Higgins the German Spy ░▒▓ (was G.I.JESSE JAMES)

    Good luck with your second (or is it third) try to build a bike that is better than BEER RUN. :p
  13. yoothgeye

    yoothgeye I <3 Single Speeds Moderator

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    Re: ▓▒░ Higgins the German Spy ░▒▓ (was G.I.JESSE JAMES)

    Until I have a bike hanging in a restaurant, I've never had a better bike than Beer Run. 8)
  14. yoothgeye

    yoothgeye I <3 Single Speeds Moderator

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    Re: ▓▒░ Higgins the German Spy ░▒▓ (was G.I.JESSE JAMES)

    I've got good news and bad news on another cottered crank set. The good news is that the Raleigh has a cottered crank set!

    The bad news is the chainring is larger than I wanted. However, I can just use the left side crank arm and have the correct threaded pedal for that side of the bike, but I'm guessing that I will still have mismatched pedals (9/16" and 1/2") oh well.

    [​IMG]

    More bad news? Yeah, removing another cottered crank arm. :x
  15. raggedjim

    raggedjim

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    Re: ▓▒░ Higgins the German Spy ░▒▓ (was G.I.JESSE JAMES)

    I like the higgins! I never knew there were German built ones, I learn things here all the time, whether I want to or not!

    Good luck, Rg
  16. SCHWINNRAY69

    SCHWINNRAY69

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    Re: ▓▒░ Higgins the German Spy ░▒▓ (was G.I.JESSE JAMES)

    Nice, can't wait to see what you come up with :wink: Good luck 8)
  17. yoothgeye

    yoothgeye I <3 Single Speeds Moderator

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    Re: ▓▒░ Higgins the German Spy ░▒▓ (was G.I.JESSE JAMES)

    Well, only a year as far as I know and it was because the Murray plant employees were on strike, so they farmed out the job to a plant in West Germany, so it's a... weird bike.

    Thanks man, good to see I haven't lost *all* of my followers.

    Nope, won't work. The German J.C. Higgins has a Thompson Bottom Bracket as shown on the first page. The BB shell has no threads, the cups press in like American bottom brackets. I am stuck with cottered crank arms on my original BB or nothing at all without major bike surgery or redneck engineering, and I want this to be decent.
  18. yoothgeye

    yoothgeye I <3 Single Speeds Moderator

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    Re: ▓▒░ Higgins the German Spy ░▒▓ (was G.I.JESSE JAMES)

    You're still sleeping, this is all a dream, and since you're in dream land, put some cool stuff in a box and send it to

    Justin D. Fender
    538 Franklin St.
    Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870
  19. yoothgeye

    yoothgeye I <3 Single Speeds Moderator

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    Re: ▓▒░ Higgins the German Spy ░▒▓ (was G.I.JESSE JAMES)

    Just glad my parents didn't give me a middle name that starts with "O".

    I don't have the tools to thread the BB, and even if I did, I don't know that the diameter would be correct. Imagine the nightmare, inside threading of an antique BB and I think one side would have to be reverse thread too! :eek:
  20. Dr. Tankenstein

    Dr. Tankenstein

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    Re: ▓▒░ Higgins the German Spy ░▒▓ (was G.I.JESSE JAMES)

    Have you considered carefully cutting the BB off and welding on a 'standard' one from a donor? Would that violate the rules? I've seen guys cut their seatstays and weld in spacers for tires, would this be THAT much different?

    Just askin', ya know?

    Good luck bud.

    Cheers,
    Dr. T

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