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Old 03-10-13, 08:19 PM   #1
heytchap
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Restoring a Centurion Le Mans from 1982, plan on making a conversion - again!

First and foremost, the bike is 7 years older than me! I get a real kick out of that.

I was able to source the bike pretty cheaply so I'm not super invested at this point. Plan is to restore the frame and then transfer parts over from a bike frame I want to put into a sabbatical of sorts.
Here are some pics of the frame-set in question:

http://imgur.com/a/CZuIW

as everyone sees, the frame does a have a few areas that have exposed metal; while the fork has pock marked chrome. Kind of a bummer, I'm hoping the damage isn't deemed as extensive or likely to spread.

I did hit the bike with a light rub of steel wool, including the fork. The once over with the 000 grade steel wool made the bike pretty flat in its color. I gave it a once over with some car wax and it brought a lot of the color back. I read that I should give the bike 2 or 3 additional coats to bring the luster back to the bike. I also read it is ill advised to hit the bike with a clear coat as it might come out pretty crummy. That said, is there a way to restore the fork, or should I just give up on that idea and replace it? I was able to remove surface rust from the forks chrome accented tips but the pocked marks remain.

I do have a spare SOMA straight blade fork laying around which I think might look pretty fitting on this conversion. Link to the fork here:

http://smartbikeparts.com/search_det...Fag7MgodpAoAPA

What about the frame itself? Does anyone have any suggestions for a way to restore the paint? I've searched around but perhaps there's a new method that I am unaware of?

Thanks for all of your help everyone!


EDIT:
OK. I've decided to give up on the fork all together. I will use the SOMA straight blade fork that I own.

Seeing as I rubbed the paint down with steelwool, like a noob, how do I go about restoring the shine or paint? Also, any ideas/ thoughts about the few bald spots in the paint itself?

Last edited by heytchap; 03-10-13 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 03-10-13, 08:25 PM   #2
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Wait... you went over the whole bike with steel wool? Steel wool is not for cleaning paint. For paint, you want some sort of polishing compound, or if it's really bad, rubbing compound (just be careful around decals, it'll take them right off) followed by polishing compound.

Once chrome gets pitted like on the fork there isn't really anything you can do, unfortunately. It'll still look alright from a distance if you use extra fine (I use #0000) steel wool and chrome polish.
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Old 03-10-13, 08:31 PM   #3
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Yeah. I used 000 and gave it a quick once over. Guessing this wasnt brilliant. What is the difference between polishing compound and rubbing compound?

Do you think I should replace the fork entirely with the SOMA blade fork in the OP?
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Old 03-10-13, 08:39 PM   #4
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Do you think I should replace the fork entirely with the SOMA blade fork in the OP?
Is it 1" or 1-1/8? And if you do that you'll also have to replace the headset and stem at the least. Most people would probably say it's not worth it to dump much money into this bike, but hey, do whatever makes you happy.
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Old 03-10-13, 08:40 PM   #5
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Yeah. I used 000 and gave it a quick once over. Guessing this wasnt brilliant. What is the difference between polishing compound and rubbing compound?

Do you think I should replace the fork entirely with the SOMA blade fork in the OP?
Steel wool was not a good idea. It does not know the difference between the paint and chrome you want to save, and the rust you want to remove. It removes everything.

I continue to revive rusty forks with OA. Here's the last three I did. Left to right: a Pinarello, a Masi, and a Nishiki. Rust has been discussed thousands of times, google will get you there. Your fork rust was pretty bad. OA does not replace chrome that is gone, it just removes rust.






Polishing compound is much less aggressive than Rubbing compound. Its relatively easy to remove the paint itself with rubbing compound. So I save it for the worst offenders.

Last edited by wrk101; 03-10-13 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 03-10-13, 08:48 PM   #6
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Is it 1" or 1-1/8? And if you do that you'll also have to replace the headset and stem at the least. Most people would probably say it's not worth it to dump much money into this bike, but hey, do whatever makes you happy.
I already have tons of parts laying around, so it's not really much of an inconvenience to me. I currently use a threaded quill stem with the fork and have no issues.
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Old 03-10-13, 08:59 PM   #7
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OK. I've decided to give up on the fork all together. I will use the SOMA straight blade fork that I own.

Seeing as I rubbed the paint down with steelwool, like a noob, how do I go about restoring the shine or paint? Also, any ideas/ thoughts about the few bald spots in the paint itself?
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Old 03-10-13, 09:37 PM   #8
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Try some Meguiar's Ultimate Compound on the paint. If the scratches aren't bad, it might take care of them.

As far as the chips in the paint are concerned, you can bring the bike into a hobby shop that sells Testor's model paints and try to match it, or chip some more off and take the paint chips to a wal mart or anywhere that sells spray paint, and try to match it. I've actually had reasonable success touching bikes up with spray paint sprayed into a container then applied with a foam brush.
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Old 03-10-13, 09:52 PM   #9
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Try some Meguiar's Ultimate Compound on the paint. If the scratches aren't bad, it might take care of them.

As far as the chips in the paint are concerned, you can bring the bike into a hobby shop that sells Testor's model paints and try to match it, or chip some more off and take the paint chips to a wal mart or anywhere that sells spray paint, and try to match it. I've actually had reasonable success touching bikes up with spray paint sprayed into a container then applied with a foam brush.
Should I sand the few bare spots first?
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Old 03-10-13, 10:51 PM   #10
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There's bound to be a nail polish in that red color that you could use for touchups.
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