Hey all! I am new to the site, and am impressed with all the knowledge here. I have been into riding all my life, but I would always ride a stocker into the ground, or they would get stolen. So I've never had the opportunity to really mod any bikes. I've got new brakes on the way, but I am wanting to upgrade the bottom bracket and maybe the cranks right now as well.
Do a google search for sheldon brown, he has some specs listed on his web page for older bikes. Though I don't know if yours will be on there. Also on most bicycle parts if you remove the item, it will have a size stamped or labeled on it.
For tools I'ld recomend a full toolkit from someplace like nashbar.com I picked up one for about $20 bucks on a good sale, that has a number of bicycle specific tools. http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename= well worth the full price investment though.
You will need a special tool to remove the bottom bracket, it's basically a funky socket, that crank tool will get the cranks off, but "park" tools are basically top of the line. If you're only doing this a couple of times, generic tools used carefully will be plenty good. That kit I linked too has a number of flat wrenches, that although seem insane to use on car type stuff, are very usefull for reaching certian things on a bicycle.
As a car mechanic turned cyclist who does my own wrenching, I'll give the following advice. 1) look out for things that are threaded backwards (pedals come to mind) 2) just take it easy, leave that impact wrench in the drawer! 3) research, a lot. 4) if your not sure it's right, have a shop check it out before you do anything wild on it. For example after I converted to a threadless headset, and installed my own new fork, I had a shop "go over it" they charged me an extra $5 above a standard tuneup to set the bearing tention right on the headset, but it was worth the money considering you really don't want that coming loose.