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Old 09-06-2011, 10:35 PM
Alan Alan is offline
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 511

Originally Posted by dmc View Post
Still recovering from a bike wreck 6 weeks past, I have found to time do a complete overhaul on the Super Sport I purchased a couple weeks ago...
Best wishes on the recovery!

My two cents on the repairs/restoration:

Any rust on bearings (either the balls or the race; the cage isn't critical) means new bearings; no way to effectively clean those; the damage is done. Price is really pretty reasonable. Yeah, I've reassembled some bearings which were less than what you have to does make it hard/impossible to get them adjusted right.

I avoid steel wool, especially on aluminum (brake calipers, etc). It embeds tiny slivers which subsequently react with the base metal and make pits. Try Scotch-Brite instead. Also, automotive degreaser solutions are cheap and readily available at any auto parts store. Read the labels, ask the counter guys. Don't use gasoline...huge fire hazard. Those chainrings look shiny!

I bet someone makes replacement plastic bar tape for old Schwinns, no? Or "new old stock"? Like wsbob, I'm not a fan of that old tape (from days on my Continental), but I do understand wanting to preserve it for historic or restoration value. You could certainly wrap over it, that's not unusual. Folks who want a thicker, cushier bar do two layers all the time. If preserving the old tape is the idea, choose a new tape with minimal adhesive. The cork wrap I'm using had no adhesive, and some foamy Specialized tape I used on something else was also bare on the back.

Your LBS undoubtedly has cables, housings, end caps and crimps, or Universal Cycles has kits in various price levels. You need a largish, very sharp diagonal cutter or a special bike cable tool, too. Most bike tools have a nice pincer for the crimps, and maybe an awl to ream out the cut end of the housing. Burrs and rough edges there will cause early cable wear.

A stuck stem can be a bear. Try the penetrating oils wsbob mentioned, also Marvel Mystery Oil (my fav) or Liquid Wrench. Soak plenty into the joint between stem and head tube. You'll need to keep dripping it in to the top joint very frequently (minutes/hours) for days, since it only holds a drop or two at a time. Take the stem bolt all the way out and put some joint juice down that hole each time, too, to penetrate around the wedge end of the stem. After a few days or week of that, flip the frame upside down and dribble in a goodly amount through the bottom bearing, and let is soak in that position for another few days. In that position, replace the stem bolt to keep the oil from dripping through the hole.

As it's soaking in both positions, try twisting the bars in a steering motion while holding the wheel straight. Use lots and lots of mildly forceful back-and-forth to fatigue the corrosion bond rather than gorilla-strength torque which might bend or snap the wrong things. If you've ever tried to straighten misaligned bars without loosening them (like after a crash), it feels sort of like that.

After you've soaked as much penetrating oil into the joint as your patience allows, it's time to apply force. A 24-oz brass hammer is perfect, but you can also us a chunk of brass or aluminum about 1/4" thick, that you can grab with pliers while holding it on top of the stem bolt so that it slightly cushions the blow of a regular hammer (it protects the head of the stem bolt). This is one time when it's nice to have that Schwinn stem bolt head sticking up proud of the stem!

Next, tighten the stem bolt down all the way snug, then back it out about two turns. The idea is to have nearly all of its threads engaged in the wedge, deep in the head tube, to transfer the force to the wedge, and just enough free play to allow shock from the hammer to pop the wedge free of the tube, maybe 1/16" or so.

Hold the brass/alum shim snug against the stem bolt and give it a good, solid rap straight down the stem bolt line. Stop and wiggle the bars. If no luck, line up shim and hammer and whack it again. It may take a dozen or more blows to break it free.

The couple times I've had to do this operation, I succeeded with leaving the wheel and inflated tire on the bike. The tire will soak up much of the impact, avoiding damage to things like dropouts and rim, but still allows the initial shock to break the wedge or stem free of the tube. If it doesn't work that way, then I'd remove the wheel and go to bracing a 2x4, longer than the forks, against the bottom of the fork crown, and repeat the hammer blows. After a dozen or so whacks, put in some more penetrating oil and give it more time to soak.

Good luck!
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