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  1. #1
    Senior Member smurray's Avatar
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    Mid '80s Panasonic DX-300 "rebuild"

    I have a Panasonic DX-3000 from the mid 1980's. It's in very good shape, and from what I can tell has mostly original parts. I'm in need of a project, so i'd like to completely strip the bike down, clean everything, and build it back up. What I'm wondering is, are there any parts I should try and replace while I'm doing this. Specifically I'm thinking about parts such as the bottom bracket or headset, where I can replace the current piece with something with sealed bearings. Would this be worth it, or should I just leave it as is since everything seems to be working fine?

    I'm also contemplating whether to have the frame powdercoated matte black. Right now it's that black/yellow combination, and I'm not a big fan of it.

  2. #2
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    Changing to a cartridge bottom bracket isn't that expensive but you will have to be sure the spindle width is correct for your crank. Your bb shell is 68 mm and English threaded so that is very easy to find parts for.

    The headset may be more difficult. If the current headset has a short stack height (32 or 33 mm) and the fork was cut to just fit, you will have problems finding a reasonably priced headset to match since most newer headsets have stack heights of 37 - 40 mm. Chris King does make a short stack height threaded headset but it is very pricey.

  3. #3
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    If it is indeed in very good shape, all you need to do is clean it well, repack bearings (hubs, bottom bracket, headset) with grease, remove and grease stem and seatpost, replace cables and brake pads and tires, check/correct spoke tension and wheel trueness, lube drivetrain. You will spend some money on tools, so no reason to spend more by replacing things unnecessarily.

    Don't skimp on the correct tools. Bikes have a lot of fine threads and small alloy parts, blundering around with pliers and an adjustable wrench will do damage.

    The only bearing you can reasonably replace with a sealed unit is the bottom bracket. It won't make any difference to performance.

    I don't know what the bike is worth now, but it will be worth no more than $100 if you powder coat it. Painting or powder coating devalues bikes, unless the original paint is truly trashed and the repaint is part of a high-quality restoration with factory colors and correct decals. If you don't like the color, probably best to sell it and buy a bike you like.
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  4. #4
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    Clean and re-grease, don't replace. And, that yellow and black scheme is pretty classic, it would be shame to repaint it. If you have second thoughts about the components and paint maybe that isn't the project bike for you...pass it on to a new owner.

  5. #5
    Senior Member smurray's Avatar
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    The current paint job isn't in horrible condition, but it isn't in the best shape either. Some of the decals are partially worn off, and certain areas of the frame have some paint rubbed off (from repeated rubbings on a bike rack).

  6. #6
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Sounds like typical vintage bike . . . how about some pictures? (Drive side)
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  7. #7
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    NFRP - never fix a running piece. A possible exception might be replacing the brake pads and perhaps cables. Clean it, lube it and ride it. Replace stuff as it wears/breaks. You will easily spend $100 powdercoating it and you will end up with a $100 bike. Look at the wear and tear and rub marks as battle scars. Leaving it alone will also make it less attractive to thieves. Spend some money on a good lock and chain instead.

  8. #8
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    I have a Univega that has a lot of the decals worn off or wearing off but I would never consider painting it/powder coating it. Like others have said, don't powder coat unless it is truly trashed and looks beyond horrible. Worn decals and a bit of wear here and there? No way to painting/powder coating.

  9. #9
    Senior Member smurray's Avatar
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  10. #10
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    Nice looking bike. The yellow cable housings are a nice touch. I think it would be a shame to powder coat it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
    Nice looking bike. The yellow cable housings are a nice touch. I think it would be a shame to powder coat it.
    Ditto. I would just touch up the black with something just because black is usually fairly easy to touch up but other than that, would be a shame to powder coat.

    Nice bike.

  12. #12
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Nice bike in original, complete, and pretty darned good condition. Compare to http://panasonicbikemuseum.info/arch...sonic-bicycles

    I would not even consider repainting or powder coating that frame.

    If the chips in the black paint bother you, simply touch them up with matching black paint (hobby or model shop) and a small brush, then wax and polish. Just wheel the bike right into the shop and compare to the paint bottles - model-maker types understand this sort of behavior.

    You might also search here on polishing methods, and shine up the alloy bits too. They don't really need it, but the bike will look like sparkly new. Don't remove stickers on rims, chainring, etc - work around them.

    Note that you cannot get that fade effect with powder coating, and it will cost you plenty to get it from a professional paint job. Those effects are pretty "in" nowadays.
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