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Old 01-25-12, 01:58 PM   #1
Mickey Cassiba
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Alco Villager 3

I'm new here, and not sure how old of a cycle constitutes a classic, or vintage machine. Anyway, I'm sure someone will point me in the right direction if I need to be somewhere else. I'm looking to restore my Villager, and need a little advice as in how to proceed, as well as adjustments, part availability, etc.
Thanks for looking,
Mick
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Old 01-25-12, 02:30 PM   #2
DavidW56
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Your Alco Villager is indeed vintage, if not classic. Here is a link to the one BF thread containing just about all the information on Alco that exists on the 'net:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...=Alco+Villager

I may be the only other member who has had one of these tricycles. Here's a picture of a 1969 or 1970 model before I refurbished and sold it last year:


Last edited by DavidW56; 01-25-12 at 03:02 PM. Reason: added photo
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Old 01-25-12, 03:02 PM   #3
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Part availability depends on which parts you need. I was able to replace the broken Sturmey-Archer trigger shifter with a modern copy, as well as the shift cable and barrel adjuster; but the LBS mechanic also warned me not to lose or damage some pieces of the axle, which he said were irreplaceable. There are plenty of instructions online for adjustment and repair of Sturmey-Archer 3-speed shifters, cables and hubs; just use Google search for them.

I removed the rust from the chrome rims and bars with a paste of Barkeeper's Friend and water, rubbed in gently with a clean white cotton cloth. The frame was washed and waxed with standard automotive products.

If you have specific questions, post them here. And it would be a great help if you also post photos of your trike.

Good luck! and welcome to C&V.
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Old 01-25-12, 04:05 PM   #4
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Cool three wheeler and since you are new to the interest, here are a couple of three wheel bikes I picked up, an E-Z Roll and a BeeKay. You might want to branch out from there since the website is intended to help people, new to the interest in vintage bicycles, come up to speed without making all the mistakes I did as I was learning about this and that...




Welcome to the Bike Forums and we all respond really well to good clear pictures in posts.
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Old 01-25-12, 04:39 PM   #5
Mickey Cassiba
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Hmmm...very nice! Mine seems to be a little different though. I do not have a multi speed trike. I have a single speed, front brake only version. Seems to have been severely tinkered with if the above photos are representative of the model I have.Also the wheels are pretty small, I'll take a couple of pics and post later(please don't boo and hiss) I'ts in terrible cosmetic shape, but is mechanically sound.
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Old 01-26-12, 03:35 PM   #6
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The Alco would likely have been offered in a single-speed version in addition to the three-speed. I have no idea whether the one I posted is complete, as the owner was deceased when I got it. For example, the Schwinn tri-wheeler Town and Country would have chrome fenders on all three wheels, whereas the Alco has only the front.

Edit: Here are some photos of an Alco 3 restoration on this website: http://www.resurrectionbicycle.zooms...tion%20Project .

This copy of an Alco ad found on another site seems to show no fenders on the rear wheels: http://www.proteanpaper.com/scart_pi...00000000006945 .

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Old 01-26-12, 07:32 PM   #7
Mickey Cassiba
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Here are a picture of the poor old thing... Only thing I've done is replaced the tires and put tubes in. It's got a long way to go.
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Old 01-28-12, 08:18 AM   #8
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That should clean up for you, Mickey. By the way, I mislabeled my photo above; that was after I restored it, not before. Here are some before photos:








And after:






I used a paste of Barkeeper's Friend and water to rub into the rusted surfaces of the wheel rims, spokes, seatpost, cranks, chainwheel, handlebars, all chrome-plated parts. That Sturmey-Archer hub didn't need much more than a good wiping, as it was covered with grease or oily dirt. You could also soak these pieces in an oxalic acid bath, which is less labor-intensive.

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Old 12-19-15, 03:06 PM   #9
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Mickey
- somebody has turned the handlbar gooseneck around, easy to undo.
- if the wheels have 24" tires, that's original size wheels

most of the 100s of Villagers I sold in West Palm Beach and Clearwater Florida in the middle 1970s were single-speed, the flat Florida roads didn't need more than 1 speed for the retirees who bought them.

Oddly enough, I saw a Villager today at our local flea market, in south Georgia - it was like meeting an old friend.

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Old 04-27-17, 10:58 PM   #10
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I have a friend who's lending me an alco villager that I may buy this summer. My only issue is that one of the bolts falls out (not one of the originals) and I realized that they weren't even the right kind thanks to your photo David! Do you know what kind of bolts I need for the rear wheels?
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Old 04-30-17, 09:44 PM   #11
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villager

We sold 20" and 24" models, in 1 and 3 speeds. Neither model had rear fenders as a stock item.

Max, not sure what you mean by "bolts for the rear wheels" - do you mean the bolt that goes through each hub and has a nut on the inside end of the axle tube? The original bolts had socket head caps, in which you put an allen wrench to hold the bolt while tightening the inside nut.

Can you pull a wheel off and post pictures of both sides of the hub?

Working from memory - Look at the wheel, one side of the hub may have a cone cut in it to fit the OEM axle. The OEM bolt may look SOMETHING like the attached photo, only longer.
For the best replacement, have a machinist turn down some solid steel rod and thread one end, threading just enough to take a nut, NOT enough to pull the nut and hub really tight against the bearings - a bit of end-to-end play is best. Aluminum rod would be OK in a pinch. Do NOT use "all-thread" (rod with thread the entire length), because the bearings on either end of the axle tube need a flat surface on the rod.
You could, of course, thread both ends and use a cap nut on the outside end.

Don't use a single axle through both wheels, the Villager was stable because each wheel could turn at its own speed when cornering.
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