Start your RRB Build Off diaries here!
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.
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:
Some parts thrown about:
Found the original color under the tank:
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?
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.
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:
And another where you can see the back of the house:
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.
I'll be watching
Someone over in the build off forum said there is only 6.5 weeks left Ya gonna finish...I may not
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:
(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.
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:
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.
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:
The stem was stuck good, so I applied oil, heat, and torque to remove it thus...
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?
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:
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:
And a quick mock-up before I rolled it into the shop.
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.
I'm afraid I may not finish either that's what these bare metal bikes will do to you...
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. 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".
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.
Good luck with your second (or is it third) try to build a bike that is better than BEER RUN.
BO8 FireWing-Flexy-Fugsley-Beer Run * SALE ITEMS, FRESH FINDS + KINGFISH254 Stuff
MO FIRE MO WING .. just build a cool bike and have fun
Until I have a bike hanging in a restaurant, I've never had a better bike than Beer Run.
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.
More bad news? Yeah, removing another cottered crank arm.
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
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