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  1. #1
    wats0230
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    1972 Schwinn Continental Restoration Help!!

    So I got this Schwinn a couple weeks ago. I got it from the original owner and it was in pretty rough condition, rust and lots of grease. Basically what I have done so far is clean the front gears (they actually cleaned up really well) and the front derailleur and the back a little bit. I also cleaned up the frame and any little parts where steel wool worked to get the surface rust off.

    But this is the first bike I have worked on and I don't know what to do next so your help would be greatly appreciated. I don't know what to do with the back derailleur and if I should do anything. I'm going to get some marine grease tomorrow morning but I don't know which parts I should put it on. I can put up more pictures if that would help too! Just let me know.

    And also I was wondering what I should do with the chain?

    Thanks a lot!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/5610134...7625302943699/

  2. #2
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    Not sure what you need to know. Here are few tips:

    Steel wool will remove rust and also chrome. Brass wool, should you be able to find it, won't remove chrome. If you want to get serious about rust, read up about oxalic acid on this forum. But don't get oxalic acid on any aluminum or zinc plating.

    What's the problem with the chain? I see that you have a chain tool, so you must know what what you're doing there, at least minimally. If the chain is a little rusty, it can be oxalic acided too. If it's very rusty, replace.

    Grease is for bearings, seatposts, stems, maybe cables, and anything with threads.

    Oil is for chains. (WD-40, by the way, is not an appropriate lubricant for any of these situations, as it melts grease and dissipates, leaving you ultimately with no lubricant).

    If the bike has not been serviced in a while, you should open up everything with bearings in it: headset, bottom bracket, hubs. Degrease everything thoroughly. Replace pitted or rusted bearings. Pack everything with lots of lovely grease, reassemble, and re-tension the bearings.

    Be careful with degreaser and strong detergents: they can destroy paint and decals, plus be absorbed by your skin and turn your liver into a bag of maggots. I should know.

    Aside from the freewheel (which uses a special splined tool to remove it), most everything on an electro-forged Schwinn (Varsities, Continentals, and a few others) can be serviced with regular tools (e.g., wrenches). In order to service the bearings in the rear hub, you'll need to get the freewheel off. You can order this tool or buy one from your LBS or take the wheel to the LBS and they will remove it for a small fee. When you want to reinstall the freewheel, just grease the threads on the hub and spin the freewheel back on. Reinstall the wheel and ride the bike up the driveway, and the freewheel will tighten down on its own.

    The left-side pedal and the nut that holds the crankset together on the left size of the bottom bracket are LEFT-threaded (counter-clockwise turning tightens them).

    To get the stem loose, unscrew the bolt about five or so turns, then whack it with a rubber mallot (not a hammer!)

    Those Schwinns used weirdo small-bore cable housings, making it slightly difficult to retrofit with modern housings, so preserve the old ones if possible.

    Eventually you will want to true the wheels. Long before that, remove the tires and rim strips and put a drop of oil on the head of each spoke nipple. Let the wheel sit for a few days. Then, when you go to adjust them, the nipples will turn instead of rounding off or breaking the spoke.

    Welcome to the C&V club. You've picked a good bike to start on. Here's your new bible: http://www.sheldonbrown.com

    Others will suggest other useful and legitimate resources. Of course, ask any question here, and the mostly-cheery people will mostly be glad to help.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by wats0230 View Post
    I don't know what to do with the back derailleur and if I should do anything.
    Again, it's not clear what the problem is. If it were me, I'd take the bike completely apart. As for the rear derailleur, it would no doubt go bloop into a bucket of degreaser overnight, then come out nice and grease-free the next day and be evaluated for whether it needs an oxalic acid bath. When I was satisfied, I would oil all the pivot points and bearings inside the jockey wheels, wipe it down, and reinstall it. The Huret rear derailleur and its friend, the Atom freewheel, are not well regarded...something you understand when you start trying actually to use them while the bike is in motion. But they are original, so you might leave them there for nostalgia's sake.

    PS The bearings in those pedals can also be serviced. Just carefully pry off the outer chrome cap. You'll see a lock nut and a cone nut on the outside bearings that can be removed. This will need to be retensioned when you put it all back together.

    Other specialized tools you may need:

    Cone wrench (a very flat wrench for dealing with the narrow flats on the "cone nuts" that form the outer part of the bearing race in a hub).

    Spoke nipple wrench.

    Pro-tip: When doing anything with bearings--especially opening up an old hub work over a bowl or a large fluffy cloth or something to keep them all from rolling away. Come to think of it, most of the bearings on a Conti are probably in retainers, so this may not be a big deal.

  4. #4
    wats0230
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    Thank you so much! That was exactly what I was looking for, I can't say thanks enough. I have got a good long Saturday ahead of me I'm sure I'll be back more questions, but for know, thank you so much!

  5. #5
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    Hooray!

    Edit: Cone wrenches come in different sizes. I think the typical Normady hub used 14mm cone nuts, but I'm not sure. Take the wheel with you to the LBS to buy the cone wrench.

    Also get: plastic tire levers for removing tires without destroying them.

    If your tires are shot, you'll need new ones. If you're not familiar with the wacky world of bike tire sizing, be sure to read about it on Sheldon Brown before you purchase new tires (tl;dr: all 26" tires are not the same size).
    Last edited by Roll-Monroe-Co; 11-19-10 at 09:19 PM. Reason: even more info

  6. #6
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    Here are a few more tips...

    Change the wheel bearings. They are cheap and, for all the work, you might as well have fresh bearings in there. If bearings have a lot of miles on them, they will have an established wear pattern and if you put them back in they may not roll well (or be downright crunchy because they're not really round anymore). These bearings are not in a retainer, so put a pan under the hub when removing. The front takes 3/16" and the rear takes 1/4".

    Use a good bike grease like Park or others available at your local bike store. Marine grease is a bit heavy for bikes.

    Liquid Wrench is a great degreaser, especially for old crusty stubborn grease. It also dissolves light rust. Be sure to clean all the LW off with detergent before re-greasing or it will dissolve the new grease as well.

    Avoid steel wool. A brass brush works well. For light rust try wadding aluminum foil and rubbing with a light lubricant like WD40. Oxalic acid is good for heavy rust, but be careful not to over do it or you will be left with a yellow residue that is sometimes harder to remove than the rust.

    For aluminum parts, try Mothers mag and aluminum polish. Works fast and easy and looks like new.

    You can spruce up the paint with turtle wax polishing compound to remove oxidation (not rubbing compound). Careful over the decals, but this can also reduce yellowing of the decal if applied gently.
    My other bike is a Huffy.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sprint75 View Post
    For aluminum parts, try Mothers mag and aluminum polish. Works fast and easy and looks like new.
    +34. You won't believe your eyes. Then, when you see what it can do, you won't be able to stop. C&Ver khatfull used to be a major roadie. Then he polished his first Campy hub, and he hasn't left his basement since. Search this forum for examples of his work.

  8. #8
    wats0230
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    So I decided today I am going to order most of the stuff I need online and get it cheaper than the stores around here. I have a lot of homework to do this week so I decided to get started on that today (booooo!). This way I'll get the stuff within the next week and I'll just do minimal things with it today (BOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!).

  9. #9
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    This looks like a great project and please keep us all posted on your progress. Wondering about the year of the bike, I'm not sure it's a 72, I don't think the graphics match up with that vintage. Heres a good resource link for decoding the serial number
    http://www.re-cycle.com/History/Schwinn/SwnB_Serial.

  10. #10
    wats0230
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    yeah I guess I haven't gotten any verification of the year, the owner thought he got it in 72 or 73 but he wasn't really sure. I'll look it up, thanks!

  11. #11
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    http://www.angelfire.com/rant/allday...innCodes1.html. Try this link instead, looks like the other one had trouble for some reason.

  12. #12
    wats0230
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    According to that website, it was made in June, 1976. Hmmm I wonder how the owner was 4 years off.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by wats0230 View Post
    According to that website, it was made in June, 1976. Hmmm I wonder how the owner was 4 years off.
    Objects in the seventies are closer than they appear.

  14. #14
    wats0230
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    what tools do you recommend for getting the freewheel off?

  15. #15
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    That freewheel appears to be a "model J". Check it to make sure, it should be stamped on the freewheel. If so, you will need a Park F4 freewheel tool.

    Once you have the it, put the tool in a vise pointing up. Drop the freewheel onto the tool and turn the wheel counter clockwise.
    My other bike is a Huffy.

  16. #16
    wats0230
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    Yeah it was a model J, thanks. I'll get that tool then. Thank you so much!
    I am going out of town for Thanksgiving, so by next weekend I'll be back and have the tools and grease coming.
    Can I just get the replacement ball bearings at a hardware store do you think or somewhere else?

  17. #17
    wats0230
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    If so, you will need a Park F4 freewheel tool.

    Just to be sure, is this the tool I need?

    http://www.cambriabike.com/shopexd.a...m=041586046300

  18. #18
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    That's the one. Your local bike shop should have the bearings. Or order them online. I usually get mine from Harris Cyclery. I like to give them business when I can cuz of all the great info Sheldon Brown has shared.
    My other bike is a Huffy.

  19. #19
    wats0230
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    Thanks, I bought from them too. It's a really helpful site. I'm going to wait for the parts and then get to work later this week.

  20. #20
    wats0230
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    Freewheel

    So I got the tool for the freewheel, but I am having trouble taking it off. How do I get it off?
    Thanks

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