Well, thanks to a lof of help from folks on this forum I finally got the ol' Raleigh Sprite in good working order.
Some thoughts, from a rank beginner.
Working on the bike has been decidedly low-tech, which for me is good. The tool I used the most was a crecent wrench. The $39 bike stand from Performance worked just great. For a while I lost one of the innards to the stem mounted shifter and got really uptight, like the shifter was cast right into the stem and only a new bike would solve my problem. Then I realized that the shifter was just attached to the bike with something similar to a hose clip and that I could just substitute another shifter if necessary. I finally found the part but just realizing how low tech it all was eased my tension. Changing the cables was easy and it solved a lot of problems. I bought super cheapie cables. This is just a 5 speed bike with friction shifting. I used a Spind Doctor cable tool and thought it made the job real easy. My dikes were not sharp enough for a clean cut.
Once I had replaced the cables, the dirraleur adjustment fell right into place per the instructions.
I replace the brake pads, which were really hard and brittle with a cheapie set. The only place I could ones thaf fit easily was at a department store and they were $4 a set. Had a lot of problems removing the chain. Once the pin came out, it was really hard to put back in, even thought the guy at the LBS told me it would go in just the reverse of how it came out. I used a chain tool bought at the LBS. I guess the answer is to not remove the pin all the way but just leave it still sticking a little to one of the links? I bought a new chain with a quickie link of some sort and even that was really hard. That, for me, was the hardest part of all, the chain. I would sure like to see a tutorial on chain removal and replacement, which most of you take for granted.
Also, what's a good chain to buy that has a reliable quick break-away and redo feature?
I have become a lot less stressed as to what kind of lube and oil to use. Obviously it's more important to use some than to get all hung up on what brand. I used Park lube and some high tech bike store oil this time.
Replacing and relubing the bearings was easy and necessary as the old grease had turned to solid varnish. I did not re-do the headset and BB but they seem to be fine. Changing tires can be a PITA and I ruined two tubes before I got the hang of it. My new Suntour VGT (I think) RD makes it easy to take the chain off it without breaking the chain. I got the hang of that and it helped a lot.
I bought a used Centurion Le Mans for $20 and I may switch the alloy wheels from it for the Raleigh chromes. The Centurion is funky and it has a slightly bent fork anyway. If I do that I'll save the chrome rims. I'm still thinking on that.
All in all, a good learning experience. I want to rehab a mixte next just because I think they are cute. I think condition of the frame and paint is more important than anything else on these old bikes as parts are easy to change out if necessary.
Thank again to all.