1940 Schwinn DX Klunker Build

Discussion in 'KLUNKERS & MOUNTAIN BIKES' started by GTV, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. GTV

    GTV

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    Lately I've been focused on building a new commuter bike (1983 Schwinn World) but this bike is on deck.

    I traded a set of wheels for this frame last fall. I've always wanted a prewar Schwinn to build a klunker out of, now I can! I've been collecting parts lately. I'm aware that these bikes came with a variety of headbadges, and since my bike didn't have one it really leaves only one choice for a klunker, Excelsior. The obiqutous Morrow hub has also landed, and a ridiculously long exerciser seat post. The crank/bb came from the same bike as the badge, supposedly a '37. I absolutely love old Schwinn's, but I can not stand the four leaf clover chain ring. I also want this bike to be more versatile (single track, etc.) than just ripping downhill, so I needed better/shorter gearing. I was on the lookout for a child's 18t chain ring, and this is what I recently found. Not sure what it is from, but it's reasonably good looking and will get the gearing (1.8:1) where I need it to be.

    As you can see the plan is very traditional mid 70's, but making it a better all around mountain bike will warrant a few changes, I'd love to hear your suggestions. The chainring is of course one. A Brooks B72 was the saddle of choice back in the day, but there's no way I could pedal for very long with that Lay-Z-Boy under me. So I'll need a slightly narrower Brooks, hopefully still sprung? The huge cruiser bars will also be a no-go, but I'm not really sure what will work. I want something much narrower, and period correct. Pedals with more grip as well. Vintage BMX?? I imagine I suppose I'll try to find an original stem and front hub, or should I go high flange? The hardest part to track down will be an original prewar fork with truss rods. I've been looking for months with zero luck....

    The biggest, and probably the most subtle change will be wheels. I will convert it to 650b/27.5. It should make for a very fun rig. I'm hoping to have it ready for SSUSA in Bellingham this July, but that might be a little too ambitious. I'm considering building it up as it is, then tearing it down and restoring the frame at a later date.

    Comments and suggestions arewelcome. Especially on how do I get that .... old seat post out???
    IMG_3492.JPG
    IMG_3537.JPG
     
  2. GTV

    GTV

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  3. GTV

    GTV

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  4. Robertk

    Robertk

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    Cool start....looking forward to this one!
     
  5. GTV

    GTV

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    Any pearls of wisdom regarding the seat post? I read the saved "how to" article here where you clamp a stem to the post and twist, but the visible section of post is only 5/8", much too small to fit a stem. I have been drowning it in penetrating lube for over a month, tried turning it with big vice grips but no luck.
     
  6. Dizzle Problems

    Dizzle Problems

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    I've had luck with boiling water. But that usually works best with an alloy post. A torch could help ya out. If it really comes down to it, you could drill out the bottom of the BB and hammer a steel rod from below to pop the post out the top. But thats on the extreme side of things. I'd try heat first.

    You mention the b72 being too wide for your liking. Check out the flyer. Its a sprung b17.

    for bars you could cut down some wald long horns. Or, look for vintage motorcycle bars. Clunkers.net has some cool suggestions on it.

    Lookin forward to seeing how this comes out!
     
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  7. LukeTheJoker

    LukeTheJoker Moderator

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    Looks like someone may have shoved a big bolt in for a post?
     
  8. GTV

    GTV

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    The B17 Flyer could not be more perfect! Thanks for the suggestion, it's precisely what I had in mind.

    Yeah, it does look like there are some old rusty threads in there or something. That's the thing that gives me cause for concern. I think it could get ugly. I've heard a 50/50 mix of acetone and atf will really cut through some nasty stuff, I'll try that out before getting mid evil.
     
  9. RustyGold

    RustyGold

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    I've never tried it, but I think you would have to use a non-synthetic ATF. I usually get by fine with the usual penetrating lubricant of the day...I have soaked things in straight diesel with good results.

    Jason
     
  10. GTV

    GTV

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    It's a rider... temporarily :)

    A month or so ago a friend put me in touch with a welder/fabricator/blacksmith selling a bunch of old bikes. I bought a bunch of his stuff, and he also agreed to help me remove my stuck seat post, which we achieved last Tuesday :) He welded a makeshift slide hammer to the post, applied heat to the frame, and after a couple minutes of hammering out it came! Someone in the past used a short section of pipe fitting to take up the space from a seat post that was much too small for the Schwinn.
    Anyway, I was a happy guy. So that evening after work I put it together with some of the parts I'll be using, and others that I just had lying around. I wanted to have something to ride around Bellingham for SSUSA this past weekend. Goal accomplished :)
    IMG_3795.JPG
    Unfortunately it is the worst riding bike I've ever built. The Lepper saddle is miserable for pedaling. The handlebars will not stay tight in the stem (temporary parts anyway). But the worst is the Morrow coaster hub. Before I installed it I tested it and it felt like it had a huge gap between the drive and the brake, so I decided to rebuild. Everything looked great inside other than the ancient grease, and the rebuild went smoothly. Unfortunately the rebuild didn't help. It still has the massive gap between engaging the drive and the brake. It makes for a terrible ride. What is the solution? I'd love to keep the Morrow if possible...
    Thanks for looking!
     
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  11. ADVHOG

    ADVHOG

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    Your DX looks great! Sorry it do want ride well, keep tinkering on it, you'll get it riding as good as it looks!
     
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  12. Speed King

    Speed King

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    Can't help with the Morrow problem, but your bike is batting 1000 in the looks dept. HB's are easy fix.
     
  13. GTV

    GTV

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    Thanks! This was essentially just a quick mock up with spare junk I had lying around, the finished bike will be a lot better.

    I also have some MC 7/8" bars that will be going on. The old cruiser bars are not fun on the dirt, I don't know how they did it back in the day.

    Anyone have Morrow advice???
     
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  14. rrtbike

    rrtbike

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    You gearing/chainwheel look good! Fork seems a bit different. I vote for BMX style fork but keep the truss rods.
     
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  15. GTV

    GTV

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    Thanks! Yeah, I dig the gearing and chainring as well. That fork was just a temp to get it up and riding, it's already back off and getting prepped to go on a different bike. I'm personally not a fan of tubular forks on old frames, they look out of place to my eye. I really want a complete truss rod fork (you know the one with the perpendicular stantions built in) but I haven't found one yet.
    I still need to figure out a stem (original or...?) and appropriate pedals (something pre 1976-ish but with some grip in 1/2" thread).
     
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  16. OddJob

    OddJob

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    Hey man, just seeing your build now for the first time.

    Love the natural rat-ina of the frame! Clay colored tires work well with the look too.

    I'm not a CB hub man, I just clean 'em and grease 'em and go, so not much help on the Morrow.

    Sounds like you have some motox bars in line for this build, have them on both of my klunkers and they are perfect for getting up and hammering and control on those bumpy, rocky downhills.

    The BMX forks on the old frames aren't too bad. They make for solid handling for sure. The blade fork on the Schwinn doesn't cut it for the off-road look. Maybe keep the truss rods you have, and try a different old school fork?

    I like the bear trap pedals or something similar with a real grippy cage to grab hold of the bottom of your shoe / boot.

    Again, nice build! Looking forward to your progress!
     
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  17. GTV

    GTV

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    Thanks!
    Many of the components were robbed off of my '51 straight bar (wheelset & tires, fork & truss rods, bars & stem, and pedals) just to make it ride for a weekend. Since then I've torn the '40 back down and rebuilt the '51 properly (just waiting on some rear hub washers to arrive and it will be finished).
    IMG_3822.JPG
    I also took the time to carefully go back through the Morrow hub. While I don't believe I assembled it incorrectly the first time, I wanted to look it over closely and cross my t's and dot my i's as I was really rushed last time. Regardless, it feels better now, at least up on the stand. Although I'm sure a lot of that has to do with the gear ratio on the big sweetheart chain ring (less pedal movement required compared to the small 18t ring).

    As far as a fork goes, I'm really going for a simple 1975-76 klunker look for this bike and that means a tubular fork wouldn't be right. Yes, I know that a tubular fork is the solid choice, but I'm almost always willing to sacrifice form over function I'm after a early truss rod fork like these:
    IMG_3818.jpg

    I've got 4ish bikes I need to finish up and sell before the '40 is a priority again. I'll keep my eye out for the parts I'm after in the meantime. Some parts I have a pretty good idea of what I want, others I'm open for suggestions (pedals, stem and lately I'm thinking about a high flange front hub?).
    As I mentioned before I will be using a 650b/27.5" wheelset. That will require a little custom work to the chain stays for clearance, and eventually the frame will be painted up in an original black/white colour scheme.
    I believe I've settled on the Velocity Cliffhanger hoops as they are available in 36h and they have a similar-ish profile to the old Schwinn S-2's. They are also available polished, so at a glance they should look just like an old S-2.
    http://www.velocityusa.com/product/rims/cliffhanger-584
     
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  18. Bicycle808

    Bicycle808

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    Re: the Morrow hub--- reviewing the thread, it looks as though you had built the bike temporarily with the wheelset from your ´51- and you´re still waiting on the Velocity Cliffhangers- so I´m guessing you don´t have the morrow laced yet, and you haven´t ridden it yet? Your impressions are coming from the truing stand, right?

    In either case, how many degrees of gap, would you say, exist between full-brake and engagement? It might not be as bad as you think, once you´re riding it....But, anyway....Muss with the hub on the stand or in hand. Is the engagement gap over 90degrees? Is the engagement gap pretty variable, meaning sometimes it hooks up pretty good, and other times, it spins free a lot before it engages? If it really is bad, the problem likely lies in the driving clutch, or the internal surface of the hubshell where the driving clutch engages. I´d tear it down again, re-clean and inspect the driving clutch, and inspect the inside of the hubshell for excessive wear. If everything looks good, i reinstall, but i wouldn´t use a lot of heavy grease on the driving clutch components. Go # 00 grease if you have it, or just rock a light coating of # 2 grease if that´s all you got. Engagement can suffer if clutch parts are overlubed; the clutch has rings and a retaining spring that help the hub transition from brake to drive....if they are drenched in heavy grease, they might have trouble hooking-up/engaging. If they´re worn, well.... finding replacement parts for Morrow hubs isn´t exactly easy....

    I found this awesome thing on the CABE, where RRB´s own @Mark Davo (apparently he goes by ¨Boris¨ on the CABE) shared an awesome service manual. Yes, it refers to engagement problems.
    https://thecabe.com/forum/threads/info-on-rebuilding-morrow-hub.7697/

    I gotta ask-- if you´re slavishly devoted to mid-70s tech, why the 650B build? We´ve all read/heard about the 650B Nokian Hakkapeliitta tires that 70s guys supposedly ran, but i´ve never seen a picture or heard any specific credible references to those things being run on repack. Personally, it´s 2017 and i think that using modern parts on a klunker build is just as rad as trying to go full ¨reenactment cycling¨-- especially if you plan on actually riding the bike. But, searching for ´75 pedals with 1/2¨ spindles and grippy cages is kinda incongruous with running Velocity Cliffhangers with modern 650B rubber.... especially considering that frame mods AND fork mods will be needed to run any 584s with decent trail manners. Just my $0.02, but keep it 26; keep it awesome.

    HTH
    -Rob
     
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  19. Bicycle808

    Bicycle808

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  20. scrumblero

    scrumblero

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    I have had to grind some of the driving cone off of the narrow end to get it to work right in hub shells that were badly worn on the pinch flange..
     

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