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Old 02-03-11, 07:23 PM   #1
corkscrew
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Jc Higgins - Overhauling for a friend. What can you tell me about it?

I picked this up yesterday. It was given to a female friend of mine by an older gentleman who had it sitting in his garage. According to him it's a 59.

My own research is showing it to be a early 60's flightliner.

Some questions:
Can anyone verify that it's a flightliner?

Any helpful hints for dealing with the hubs on this bike? I've never overhauled a coaster brake hub before. Or dealt with an Ashtabula crank...

Anyone have any experience with these bikes? Namely the built in lighting system? I can't find a generator mount anywhere... But haven't torn into it yet to see if it's a battery pack or what. Both front and rear lenses are missing anyway...

Oh, and here is the underside of the BB.






Last edited by corkscrew; 02-03-11 at 07:27 PM. Reason: Pics disappeared...
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Old 02-03-11, 07:26 PM   #2
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Some more pics...







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Old 02-03-11, 07:54 PM   #3
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Ashtabula cranks are easy as heck to work on. Heavy, but easy to tear down and regrease.
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Old 02-03-11, 08:55 PM   #4
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1960 is correct, I think. That shows up in the Sears Catalog with the springer fork. They also had them in 1961 but they were all chrome including the frame.
-roger
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Old 02-04-11, 08:53 AM   #5
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It was built by Murray for Sears. The pointed rear drop outs are a dead give away. It is no better or worse than any Murray. Roger
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Old 02-04-11, 10:17 AM   #6
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That was my impression too. Thanks.

Even with the thing being a tank, she want's it worked on. So rust removal and overhauling here I come!

After I finish a few other projects that is...was just hoping to gather some intel on this one before I start ripping it apart.

Besides, kinda neat since it's broken the "oldest bike to grace my garage" category.
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Old 02-04-11, 07:00 PM   #7
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You will be amazed how fast you can have that crank apart, cleaned and back in. Let us know how much dust, rust and bug parts are in there, eh ! As for the rear hub, what make is it.... if it's a Bendex, it should not be too difficult. I have worked on some and they were pretty straight forward. The kick backs were a little more complicated.

Good luck on getting her and her back on the road. 3SS
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Old 02-04-11, 07:30 PM   #8
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Notice the hub has a lube fitting - probably not Bendix. Maybe 'New Departure'. They had a disc pack for the brake and they would squawk extremely loud when the discs got dry. Note that the oil fitting is right over the braking surface area. Just use white Lithium grease in the hub, and don't scrimp. Don't use any kind of 'friction-modified' grease in the hub such as 'Teflon', etc.
The lights were run by batteries, and no doubt you will find that they were left in the fixtures and consequently rotted them out. We didn't see generators until the 'English' bikes started to come in, then they started to get popular. 'English' bikes had 3-speed hubs, fenders and upright position. We didn't see 'racing bikes' with dropped bars and derailleurs for a few more years.
Interesting 'knee action' on the front. For anyone who has never ridden a '50s-'60s bike with sprung front end, it's very comfy.
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Old 02-04-11, 08:26 PM   #9
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Those are cool. Sheldon brown's website has a page on ashtabula cranks. Just remember that the bolts on the left side have left hand threads.
I've never read any directions for a coaster hub but I've rebuild a few and never had any trouble getting them back together. Have no fear.
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Old 02-07-11, 10:32 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by 1saxman View Post
Notice the hub has a lube fitting - probably not Bendix. Maybe 'New Departure'. They had a disc pack for the brake and they would squawk extremely loud when the discs got dry. Note that the oil fitting is right over the braking surface area. Just use white Lithium grease in the hub, and don't scrimp. Don't use any kind of 'friction-modified' grease in the hub such as 'Teflon', etc.
The lights were run by batteries, and no doubt you will find that they were left in the fixtures and consequently rotted them out. We didn't see generators until the 'English' bikes started to come in, then they started to get popular. 'English' bikes had 3-speed hubs, fenders and upright position. We didn't see 'racing bikes' with dropped bars and derailleurs for a few more years.
Interesting 'knee action' on the front. For anyone who has never ridden a '50s-'60s bike with sprung front end, it's very comfy.
Thanks for the info. I've never worked on a bike this old. Have rebuilt ones from the 90's back to the 70's, but well, this has new stuff to learn.

Is Park's grease a "Friction-Modified" grease? I have a tub of it sitting on my work bench.

Thanks again guys, I'll post up when I get to ripping her apart. Have one more project to finish before this one comes up on the stand.
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Old 03-22-11, 04:30 PM   #11
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New Question guys.

Wheel work (so far as spokes and rims) is still black magic to me. In taking a closer look at this bike, I'm realizing the whole assemblies should probably be replaced. (Broken/missing spokes, rust everywhere, etc).

Is there a cheap (the poor girl is on a budget) to get replacement wheels for this beast? I haven't broached the subject with her yet, but want to have some options when I do.
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Old 03-22-11, 04:46 PM   #12
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When did the classical Ashtabula crank first come onto the scene? As far back as 1960? I thought they were a bit newer than that.
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Old 03-22-11, 06:06 PM   #13
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Well, if you mean Ashtabula with a capital A then I don't know. If you mean 1 piece cast cranks, they go back almost to the turn of the century.
Cheap wheels? I think that bike has 26x1 3/4" wheels. Those are different than the 26x1.75" wheels that modern bikes come with. The new style will likely work. You can get them off of a cheap Wall Mart bike and then part out the rest of the bike. They also show up at my other favorite site sometimes;
http://www.ratrodbikes.com/forum/vie...d9ce5cc5c2e4de
Niagara has some deals, too, but shipping is a factor with wheels;
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ducts_id=34617
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