Trading out computer work, I wound up with an unidentified Haro 20" BMX. The bike was obviously a beater. The front wheel was loose and sloppy, but has a sealed bearing system and to fix that, all I had to do was take the wheel off and hand tighten the inner axle nuts and then reinstall the wheel. I figured wth, check to see how true the wheels are and the front is pretty close to true, but the rear wheel is noticeably wobbly from side to side. So I definitely need them trued. Outside of that, it'll need brakes front & rear as the previous owner had either converted it to a brakeless bmx or had this bike around as a donor bike ? But that's bare minimum to make is safely rideable for a child ?
Frame finish is scraped up, so it's uglified, but the tubes aren't dented and there are no cracks either, even at the welds. Hmmmm, what else ? No trick pegs, so maybe those would be nice to add. Tubes have held air for a week now, so they are good, tires have rubber, but have that look of decade old, rarely ridden and dried out look. But they should hold up for riding around the neighborhood.
Anyway, trying to identify the specific model, looks like a Haro Mirra 540
Now that I look at it, there's a top tube bend just before the seat post that kills the Mirra 540 match. That and the crank arms aren't 3 piece. Unless this bmx is a little older than the 1999 and the frame design changed prior to it in an unknown model year.
So it's about a $ 200 brand new bike in it's day. There might be a possibility that it could also be the X2 or X3 Backtrail that would value it somewhere between $ 250-400 ? But what kills that match is that the X2 & X3 all seem to have the 3 piece crank set. And this bike I have has a cruiser-like cheapo 1 piece crank set.
Find the serial and post it on BMXmuseum someone there should have a cheat sheet, its hard to tell with a lot of the new stuff because in many cases the same frame can and will have several "different" names, but yeah Im gonna go with X1 its for sure not a mirra.
Now that I magnified the picture of the 2003 Backtrail X1, the seat post has the same clamp and saddle the same paneled stitched design. Mystery solved 2003 Haro Backtrail X1 it is. Chromoly frame and fork, the crank set/arms could be nicer, but for a beater, this one is just fine. Probably worth about $ 20 without the brake hardware and the condition the paint finish is in. I researched a few on Craig's List for anywhere between $ 50-125 dependent upon model year and condition. Those prices are probably negotiable too. Hunt down a front & rear brake system, true the wheels and this one should be rideable in traffic and around the neighborhood. It rides pretty good as is, but I'm not enamored with the Reebok brakes.
Thanks Fizzaly, I scraped paint off today and this bike has a history of being painted. Actually, the frame was chromed, prior owner(s) roughed up the chrome in some spots and other areas failed to sufficiently get the metal/chrome prepped properly. The bike has gray primer, red and yellow paint around the bottom bracket and rear wheel stays, which actually is proving to be the hardest to get off the frame even though the frame was prepped poorest for the paint job at those points. I'm speculating, but the yellow looks like paint that they paint curbs with, it's that tough. And it's around the welds so I'm picking at it like I'm cleaning teeth to break it free. The last coat, flat black scrapes off easily and I think the previous owner got disinterested in doing a quality stripping and prep job to go all black with it. I intend to get the chrome off it and really do the best I can, even if it takes more time than it seems to be worth. It's cleaning up really nice though and I've got 99 % of the lame attempt to go black on the bike off it.
I researched Haro serial numbers, mine is B1S3E*****, everything I found on-line indicates B1 = Model, a Backtrack X1, not sure what S3E stands for, but *****, that's either a count of frames produced, year, week & lot # ? Wouldn't surprise me, but there might be a coding for what plant the frame was manufactured in there ? I see enough 3's in the SN to convince myself that one of them is the year. Also confirming the Backtrack X1 model, the chrome on the top tube, the original sticker or branding method, that was there long enough to leave a ghost image that indicates that model too.
Go to wally world and get a can of orange stripper its around 7 bucks a can coat it real good let it sit over night and in the morning you should be able to remove all the paint with just a green scrubbie, if you cant get the pedal off just cut the arm off ive had to do that on a few bikes those 1peice cranks are pretty much worthless anyways. My method of seat post removal is weird if i can't get it out with vise grips ive found banging it in a bit further will sometimes loosen it up, but sometimes it just gets it stuck worse
I have the same problem im always working on some old pos im a tinkerer thats the excuse i use
Well, I'm down to the bare frame with a stuck seat post. The chrome is 75% scrubbed, previous attempt left me all the tight areas to grind the rest of the chrome. The black paint was easy to scrape off, the other attempt to paint it they didn't use any primer. Anyway, here are some pics of where the project is now. I think I'm going gray primer and battleship gray for the color choice. With as much effort, I'm seriously considering powdercoat ? Opinions ?
If you bring it in for powder coat you can have them chemically strip the frame for you, would save you a bunch of effort, ive never had the best of luck painting over chrome without out having it removed.
From what I've just read about it, most chrome has a light layer of copper underneath, that must be the yellowish gold hue (or at least what my lcd monitor displays as that) at the mid-points of the top & down tubes in pic #3 ? Been scrubbing that with a sheet of 80 grit and it seems to have roughened it up, I think that might be rough enough for a base primer coat to adhere to ? Reading on painting copper, there seems to be a concensus that there are no adhesion issues with primer and enamels with copper. I'll probably try a wire attachment to a 3/8" drill and see where that gets me on the bottom bracket and head tube to try to make that lighter work. I'm also in the process of contacting a guy that I know that has a custom paint shop. Not sure if he has any experience with it, but yeah, I'm all for getting it done the easiest way, but also the best way for the best results without raping the bank account.
As for the 1 piece crank, I'm going to try to reuse that, the bearings aren't worn and they were quite smooth. Besides I'm looking at the bottom bracket shell and it has these cups that I can't seem to see a way that they are removed easily. Inspecting the head set bearings and bottom bracket bearings, this bike has very little mileage on it and show no wear at all. I'm not ready to invest in a bottom bracket and crank set, although modernizing the bike has also crossed my mind. I will put new pedals on it, the resin ones are scuffed and worn.
Previous owner just didn't like the chrome I guess and wanted it a solid color. That finish is pretty tough, as if the chromoly steel wasn't already. Personally, the chrome annoys me, too shiny on a sunny day. Even if I clear coated it as scuffed, that's preferable to the reflection, glare & sunburst the chrome would have.
Prepped the top tube with 80 grit sandpaper, then did a test spot with Plasti-kote's gray automotive sanding primer paint, it seems to coat evenly & adhere to the scuffed steel properly. I think this is going to work and I'll put a couple quality layers of primer on it, a better quality enamel is going to finish quite nicely. I'm thinking using spray cans, even for the enamel, that this will be just fine ? Just not looking forward to sanding the entire frame, but I'm in this far, so I need to get busy and stay the course on demanding an excellent prep job out of myself, hopefully my resolve is as tenacious from start to finish. Just the satisfaction from the results of the test spot is encouraging.
Reading more on it, I need to use self-etching primer first, I don't think the product I tried/tested is that type of primer. Afterwards the other layers of primer and paint can be a regular primer and enamel. I guess while this worked for what I did, it may not last long, so I will definitely use the self-etching primer.
Pros: For as long as Rust-Oleum, the bike and or Ford continue to exist, there will be paint that matches. Even so, the paint has a code and can be mixed even by a custom paint shop. The stuff is relatively inexpensive. Virtually all these products prevent & resist rust. I intend this to be the last and only time that I ever paint this thing. It's really a lot of work at this point (damn chrome).
Cons: Not sure how it will hold up to exposure to direct sunlight as an external application, most engines aren't directly exposed ? Not sure how durable or rather resistent to stones and chipping ? On cast iron blocks laid on thick enough it'll take a beating from wrenches, so I figure it should hold up.
So far, itemized estimate on getting this one restored:
F&R wheels trued $ 25.
Origin 8 u-brake, everything from hand lever to the pads $ 50.
Paint job, I estimate will run about $ 25-30 for the rattle cans or self etching primer to finish coat (and a lot of blood, sweat & tears).
Some day, it'll need new tubes & tires, but I'll save that for down the road. Hmmm, I probably should've just hunted down a desperate or distressed Craig's List bmx for sale ?
I've been putting off the frame for sanding. In the interim though I have the fork (everything except the dropouts), 1 piece crank and crank gear prepped for primer and painting. I'm contemplating whether or not to do the handlebars. Those are high ten and have some rust, a single dent on the underside near the stem collar & scratches where stickers were scraped off. And I still have to get that seat tube loose.
I was thinking if there was an easy way to do it, that cutting out sections of the solid crank gear would be nice. Give it a cheap but more modern look, by a couple of years ? Modifications though are too tough for me. If I had a drill press, that might be a nifty idea to make it customized ? And it would save me from having to worry about a solid flat crank gear from having to be perfectly painted without possibility of paint runs.
Actually found one on Amazon.com, a Redline 44T that is pretty reasonable for what I want to pay for a replacement. I think that I will paint the one I prepped last night and see how it comes out though first.
Can't get over how perfectly thin and durable the paint on the factory item is. Again prior owner/painter had drip runs and then didn't prep the part. Weird though, the rust was surface rust, very little to no pitting, but pitted and it almost looks like an acid rain drop attacked the finish and steel after I had sanded it in some spots. Anyway, the primer should fill whatever pit is left and harden, then I'll paint it with the finish coat.
Here you can see the spots that sanded easily, some of that I attribute to the paint that was applied after the factory job (larger, more complete areas exposed to the bare metal), but the smaller spots had light surface rust that pitted. I'm thinking the chainwheel was exposed to fertilizer, bug spray chemicals that caused that. The larger areas that has to be a reaction to the fusion or bonding from the additional paint, perhaps even acidity of the paint ? Maybe I'm over-analyzing it, nothing I can do about it anyways, just thought I'd share ?
The orange based stuff you can get from walmart is what i use and its non toxic so long as you dont have a painted bath tub just throw some plastic down and leave the window open it only smells like oranges and it works great.