The Gift Horse

Discussion in 'BUILDS' started by mesome, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. mesome

    mesome

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    I'm starting this thread a little late in the process but better late than never I guess. I've still got more work to do so this should motivate me to take more pics.

    I was given this (Februaryish 1960 if I read my serial number correctly) Deluxe Tornado earlier this year by a friend. It was given to him by an old lady who had it as a decoration next to a shed in her backyard. It's the first cruiser I've built that I will actually get to keep so I'm pretty excited. I tore it all down right away but had to set it aside to finish up a couple other projects I was already working on. Here's some pics of the teardown which turned out to be a bit epic for me compared to some of the other ones I've done.

    Here's some shots of it the night of "the battle" when I hit it with some WD-40 and let it soak for a while.
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    The tank was in good shape compared to the rest of the bike.
    There were a couple smaller dents in the right side and one shallow longer one in the middle of the left but overall it was better than I expected.
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    Wheels were a little iffy and the spokes were completely gone but the hubs looked to be in good shape, they're the "Schwinn Approved" "Made in Germany" ones.
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    It was really late at night and I was caught up in the moment so no pictures of the teardown, all I have is some shots of the aftermath. I got the wheels off easily enough and took bolt cutters to the chain. The crank came out without much fuss and the head snapped off the one screw left in the tank so it came right off, but that was the last part to take pity on me. Next up was the rack, fenders and chainguard, tried taking off the screws, bolts and nuts first but ended up having to cut almost all of them off with the dremel.
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    With all the fragile parts off I started in on the headset. The pipe wrench in the picture was my last ditch effort to get the adjustable bearing race off. Not pictured is the 3' steel bar I had in-between the front forks for leverage as well. I honestly thought I was going to snap the steerer tube in half at one point but no such luck, it made me fight it the whole way off. Even with 1/2 a can of lubricant on it it still screeched like a banshee every time I turned it.
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    Unsurprisingly, the seatpost gave me the most trouble. I tried getting it out by tightening up the seat clamp and twisting it out but quickly gave that up and tossed it in the bench vice. I got out the torch to help it along too but still ended up twisting off the top chunk of seat post. Wrestled with it some more but had no luck, it was about that time I decided to give up and go to bed. I left it sitting in the bench vice to soak.

    Came back to it the next morning, hacked off the crushed part of the post, put a 90 degree bend in a piece of steel rod that fit snugly inside the seat post, and then welded it on there. Stuck the whole thing back in the vice and spent the next 45 minutes yanking on the frame, moving the post out a fraction of an inch at a time. I won the battle in the end but it was a hollow victory at best, it had thoroughly kicked my a**.
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    Well that was the teardown, when I'd get burnt out on other stuff I'd spend a few minutes here and there working on it. The steerer tube was completely rusted out in a few sections so I hacked it off and welded on a new one. The rims also required a beating or two to fix a few flat spots and I did my best to hammer out the dents in the fenders.

    At that point I started collecting the stuff I'd need to build it back up:

    Spokes - got a great deal on a box of old German spokes from Jaxon in the "For Sale" section, they were right in between the size of the old front and back spokes so I figured I could make them work.

    Chain, Stem, and Bottom Bracket - Found an old Schwinn XR-8 stationary bike on craigslist for $20 that had all of that and more (can't wait to put that speedo on something)

    Headset - Tioga Beartrap II from Niagara Cycle Works.

    Seatpost - was like $7 + shipping on Amazon I think.

    Handlebars - I had bought some short, swept back aluminum ones from JensonUSA.com a while back for another bike but didn't like them on that one, I really like how they look here though.

    Pedals - Pulled some off a junked out AMF Roadmaster moped that look exactly like the ones that came off it, minus all the rust.

    Saddle - I've got a few extra ones laying around but none that I like on this bike so I'm still looking.


    About the time I got the last of my parts I started stripping everything down, removing all the rust, and thinking about paint. I came really close to doing the whole thing in red and creme (even bought the paint) but ended up settling on matte black for the frame, and white/metalic blue for the rest. I was starting to get really impatient so I took care of the frame first and put an extra set of S-7's I had on it so I could start riding it around.

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    I finally got the tank taped off the other day and was able to put down the metallic blue. I fully intended to leave it off the bike until I had everything else painted and ready to go, but I found myself at the hardware store a few days later hunting for some screws and retention clips for the tank (old ones were missing or rusted beyond use) and had it on there that night. I also put a new spring in the horn button but the horn was missing when I got it so I've got to scrounge up something to put in there.

    [​IMG]
    The head badge took me 6 tries on painting it before I thought it looked acceptable. I wanted white on the rim and lettering but I just couldn't get it masked off well enough to make it look good so I just hit it with the blue and sanded off the outer ring and letters.
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    I have the wheels painted and laced up, but they still need to be trued and the rear hub needs repacked with grease.
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    The fenders and chainguard are still works in progress as well. I want the fenders to end up with more blue on them than white but I haven't decided exactly how to go about that yet.
    [​IMG]

    I've also got the truss rods cleaned up but they won't go on until I'm ready to put the fenders back on too.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. scrumblero

    scrumblero

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    looks great!!!
     
  3. Graylock

    Graylock

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    Looks like you put a lot of work into it and looks weel worth the time spent. I have a 52 Columbia I've been doing as a winter project, started last year and I'm about half done with a 60's Western Flyer Tandem waitng in the wings. It just takes a lot of time.

    Graylock
     
  4. g-ratter

    g-ratter

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    That is one pretty tank.
     
  5. davethecreep

    davethecreep

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    sweeet ride. love it when theyre all o.g. rusty barn find lookn
    and then restored is, bittersweet. but much nicer!!!
     
  6. Uncle Stretch

    Uncle Stretch Moderator

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    Man the project should be that S90 sitting in the background. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
     
  7. mesome

    mesome

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    Thanks guys!

    @ Graylock - It sure does test a guys patience putting these back together. I was hoping to wrap this up sooner but it's looking like it'll turn into a winter project as well.


    @ Uncle Stretch - Oh don't worry, it's next. I've been itching for something motorized to ride so I plan to have it done before next spring. Gotta get the schwinn finished first though. One thing at a time!


    I got the white base coat on the chain guard last night. I've done this all with Rust-o-leum spray cans so it takes an agonizingly long time to dry. Hopefully I can mask it off and finish painting it by this weekend.
     
  8. Galtbacken

    Galtbacken

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    Nice lines on those frames, and the blue/white tank looks soooo good with the flat black! :)
     
  9. mesome

    mesome

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    Thanks Galtbacken! The more stuff I get done the more I'm digging that metallic blue.


    Got a few more things done this week. Got the rear fender done and the truss rods back on it, the front fender is getting close too, soon as it's finished I'll be putting them on.

    [​IMG]

    Also found a saddle I like. It's marked "Wrights - made in england" on the back and came off an old womens Western Flyer that was sitting on top a pile of junk in a local barn. I offered to buy the bike from the guy but he just gave it to me along with a 3-speed Schwinn I still need to go get. The seat pan and springs had a hefty layer of rust so I disassembled it and took a wire brush to the parts and then painted them a semi-gloss black, the vinyl top got a thorough scrubbing too. I still need to polish up the rivets. Oh, and I got the wheels tensioned and on there too, you can see a little bit of the rear one here.

    [​IMG]


    I ran into a problem with my seatpost. It's a 13/16" tapered down to 5/8" at the top but the clamp on the new seat is made for a 1" post. I was hoping I could just flip mine over and the 13/16" would be big enough, but no such luck. I ended up cutting about a 2" piece of tubing off some old motorcycle handlebars I have laying around to use as a shim, I made sure it was about 1/4" taller than the top of my seat post once it was slipped over the tapered portion. To keep it from swiveling I tapped out the inside of the seat post and screwed a big square-head bolt down into it and cranked it down nice and hard, then ground the corners off the bolt until they were rounded to the shape of the shim. I wasn't sure how well it would work when I started but after putting it on there, I'm fairly certain the clamp will shift before the shim does.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. mesome

    mesome

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    Got the fenders on and had the chance to take a few pictures this morning. Still have a couple little things I want to do to it, but for the most part I'd say it's done now.

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  11. mattyfu

    mattyfu

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    Oh man that looks sweet!
     
  12. ratina

    ratina

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    Very nice!
     
  13. outskirtscustoms

    outskirtscustoms

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    Looks great! Now all you need are some RatRodBikes Decals on the tank and you'll be good to go!
     
  14. mesome

    mesome

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    Thanks guys!

    I do need to figure out something to do with all that open space on the tank, also want to get the pinstripes put back on the frame/fork like the original.

    The one thing I'm still not really sold on is the saddle. I like that one more than the one I tossed on it originally but I'm still not sure it fits with the rest of the bike.
     
  15. Dboy9887

    Dboy9887

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    Nice bike, I can agree with the seat issue, its just to plain looking for it but other than that i like the paint on the fenders and tank!
     

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