I'm 19 and have been riding a raliegh m-40 that i got when i was 12. it's in really poor shape with bent rims, rusted components (riding in the rain), worn sprokets and all the good stuff not to mention that the frame is way to small for me. anyhow, i decided that getting a new bike would probably be a good move, and i would like to build one (i know it's probably not any cheaper, but i like building things). i picked up a used giant chrome-moly frame and fork and i need to get my hands on some components. now comes time for the questions....
1) how do i figure out what size bottom bracket i need?
2) what prep work must be done to the frame before i install a bottom bracket (or anything else for that matter)and can i do this myself or must i take it to a shop?
3) i don't need a 9 speed cartridge, are there any decent 7 or 8 speed cartridges available compatible with rapid fire shifters?
4) does anyone know of a place (preferably on the internet but not nessicarily) that sells build kits.
5) i don't know if i'm being unreasonable now, but please excuse me, this is my first time in seven years buying a bike and it's a lot different from when i was twelve. Can i possibly build a bike for between $300 and $400?
if anyone can help me out with any of these questions, it would make me a very happy little person. thank you