Tuesday, July 8, 2014

1958 Raleigh Sports: Restoration Work Begins

After a week of putzing around on here and talking about random stuff, I can finally start writing about the main point of this blog.  Since the ground was still muddy from the last night's rain, I skipped yard work yesterday and started to work on the bike and as I was tearing it apart - carefully, of course - my buddy Nikolai stopped by to lend a hand.  I photographed the assemblies just to make sure I could get everything back together later on.

In this close-up, it's clear how badly this bike needs to be cleaned up and refreshed.  

It's out of focus, but notice the rust covering the bottom chain stay.  That's actually just a layer of rust-saturated grease from the old chain.  I didn't find a good time or place to clean that off after replacing the chain in April.  

Before pic - just for the record

Not used to seeing my bike like this.  Disassembly is going smoothly, for the most part.  

Ew ... grody


This kickstand is made from a massive hunk of aluminum and has fused to the steel bolt.  It happens to be the only major component of this bike that is not steel or rubber.  Anyone know how to remove these darn things? (Fire did no harm but was of no help - may try boiling water today)

Grime on the driveway, all 56 years' worth.  At least it's not in the transmission anymore!

We filled the hub with WD-40 and it poured back out of the bearings black, flowing down the one dark spoke that is visible in the left picture.  We migrated out of the garage before too much of a mess was made.  I spun the gear as Nikolai injected the oil and this took up the majority of our time.  After 2/3 of the can, the WD-40 started to run clear.  

Nik buffing the headlight lens

Making some noise

The bike required some bodywork, too.  The previous owner crunched the fender ends a bit and the front fender was squeezed too narrow between the fork, possibly the result of an accident.  There's a light groove in my front tire tread from the fender rubbing on it.  Many metalsmiths use a sand bag as a base for sheet metal shaping.  We didn't have one so a dirt bag was the next best thing.  Not as firm or consistent, but it worked.

Nik got the bright idea to clean the surface rust off the rear wheel while it was still covered in WD-40.  Compared to a photo further above, the difference is astounding.  

Bike all packed up to move out of Mom's parking space.  Let's light some of that WD-40 on fire!