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  1. #1
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Restoration project - 1970 Moulton MKIII

    OK, this thread is not really about a folding bike, but it's a cousin to one, I'm sure.

    I don't really know what I have gotten myself into, but I've got a restoration project ahead of me. I found this 1970 Moulton MKIII at a garage sale. I would call it a frame, but it's much more. Many of the original parts are still on the bike. It's missing the 349mm wheels, but it still has the original brakes, kickstand, rear rack, stem, handlebar, etc. The front and back suspension are still there and working. The original funky bottom bracket, cranks and chainring all look really good and turns smoothly.

    This looks like a nice project for the Summer. I plan to rebuild the front suspension (very novel design, buried inside the steerer tube), strip and paint the bike, and get some wheels for it. Should be a fun project (I hope )!







    Wish me luck, I'm going to need it!

  2. #2
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    Should be a great project; If you ever need replacement decals the typeface to look for is 'Compacta';
    I've never seen one 'naked' before - the dropouts reveal how much Raleigh share the parts bin - I'm sure they are the same as on the Twenty non? (correct me if I'm wrong but R built the Mk III under license didn't they?)

  3. #3
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittlePixel View Post
    Should be a great project; If you ever need replacement decals the typeface to look for is 'Compacta';
    I've never seen one 'naked' before - the dropouts reveal how much Raleigh share the parts bin - I'm sure they are the same as on the Twenty non? (correct me if I'm wrong but R built the Mk III under license didn't they?)
    Thanks for the typeface info! That'll come in handy when I get the decals replaced.

    Yes, the bike was built by Raleigh, so the bottom bracket is the 26 tpi, extra wide Raleigh spec. The rear dropout is 120mm, the front is 100mm.

    I was very intrigued by your Mercton fixie (the elegant, simple lines) and thought about doing the same for this project, especially since the Mercton and Moulton have the same rear triangle design. But I decided I'm too much of a wimp to ride a fixie much, so it'll have gearing. Plus, this bike has so many of the original parts, I should stay true to the original.

  4. #4
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    Hi Alan, what a great find. That will be a fun project. I have fallen in love with moultons ever since reading evilv,raxel, post on their acquired tsr's

    I was just reading a thread with a couple of pics of some really nice rstored fixed f-frame moultons
    check sammyboys thread out and post 4 and there is a white on in there too

    Modded R20's are old news, let's talk Hotrod F Frame Moultons
    Modded R20's are old news, let's talk Hotrod F Frame Moultons - Bike Forums

    also here is some ebay links

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/MOULTON-decal-...QQcmdZViewItem
    MOULTON decal set. Choice of models. Exceptional detail on eBay, also Vintage Parts, Bike Parts, Cycling, Sporting Goods (end time 02-May-08 18:29:17 BST)

    http://sports.search.ebay.co.uk/moul...34QQsacatZ7294
    moulton, Bike Parts, Bikes, Cycling Accessories items at low prices on eBay.co.uk
    Last edited by doco; 04-05-08 at 09:44 PM.

  5. #5
    jur
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    jealous!!!!!!!!
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  6. #6
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    Nice find!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
    The rear dropout is 120mm, the front is 100mm.
    Sounds like both ends have been spread out to take modern hubs. Our very original (at least when I got it) 1970 MkIII is 110mm and 90mm. Have the rear tip slots been filed wider to take a derailleur hub axle? Check the alignment to make sure it was spread evenly. From what I've seen, this is done poorly more often than well.

    Quote Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
    Plus, this bike has so many of the original parts, I should stay true to the original.
    I would not recommend staying so true that you find another S3B hub. One of Sturmeys blunders, the brake was worthless. I replaced ours with an S5 in a 36h 1953 AW alloy shell. Since you will need to do, or have done, some brazing on the rack, I recommend adding canti brake pivots and V-Brakes.

    Since your rear has already been spread to 120mm, an interesting alternative would be an X-RD5

    Probably because of them being as much a Raleigh as a Moulton, originality doesn't seem to mean much with MkIIIs. At least compared to Series 1 or 2. Seems to me most get hot rodded rather than restored.

  7. #7
    40 yrs bike touring
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    In 1974 the LBS owner bought a new red Moulton Mark III for himself. It was always hanging in the shop for decades and I always joked that I was first in line for the bike. The shop closed for the owner's retirement and the bike went home with him. Over the years I still mentioned the bike when I saw my friend and his family.

    Just two years ago the owner's son called me and told me to come and pick up MY Moulton! He had worked at his Dad's shop from age 7 when I first met him and knew of my interest in the Moulton. He would not take any money and just said that it was time someone rode this new bike who would appreciate it. The son sees me regularly riding the Mark III with great pleasure for both of us.

    I recently attended the 85th birthday of the original owner of this Moulton.

  8. #8
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MnHPVA Guy View Post
    Nice find!!!!

    Sounds like both ends have been spread out to take modern hubs. Our very original (at least when I got it) 1970 MkIII is 110mm and 90mm. Have the rear tip slots been filed wider to take a derailleur hub axle? Check the alignment to make sure it was spread evenly. From what I've seen, this is done poorly more often than well.

    I would not recommend staying so true that you find another S3B hub. One of Sturmeys blunders, the brake was worthless. I replaced ours with an S5 in a 36h 1953 AW alloy shell. Since you will need to do, or have done, some brazing on the rack, I recommend adding canti brake pivots and V-Brakes.

    Since your rear has already been spread to 120mm, an interesting alternative would be an X-RD5

    Probably because of them being as much a Raleigh as a Moulton, originality doesn't seem to mean much with MkIIIs. At least compared to Series 1 or 2. Seems to me most get hot rodded rather than restored.
    Thanks for your tips. I have read your previous posts about your MK3 and hope I can count on you for support, moral and otherwise, as I proceed with my restoration.

    It's my first attempt at a restoration, and I will take some liberties with it to modernize the bike. I haven't fully decided what I'm going to do (since I just got the frame today ). I do know that I'll have some fun with it, though.

  9. #9
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arctos View Post
    In 1974 the LBS owner bought a new red Moulton Mark III for himself. It was always hanging in the shop for decades and I always joked that I was first in line for the bike. The shop closed for the owner's retirement and the bike went home with him. Over the years I still mentioned the bike when I saw my friend and his family.

    Just two years ago the owner's son called me and told me to come and pick up MY Moulton! He had worked at his Dad's shop from age 7 when I first met him and knew of my interest in the Moulton. He would not take any money and just said that it was time someone rode this new bike who would appreciate it. The son sees me regularly riding the Mark III with great pleasure for both of us.

    I recently attended the 85th birthday of the original owner of this Moulton.
    What a great story!!!! That makes your Moulton extra special! Congratulations....

  10. #10
    Edd
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    Hi SesameCrunch,

    I am sure the project will be fun, the front suspension is an interesting disassembly, I did not understand the diagrams until I had it apart. Needs a bit of patience and loooong screwdrivers. There is a lot of information on the web about Moulton mechanicals, although I think less on the MK 111 than the F frame. The Moulton preservation society can supply proprietary parts.

    Good Luck
    Edd

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edd View Post
    the front suspension is an interesting disassembly
    I had heard and read all about the difficulty removing a certain screw down inside the fork. So I tracked down a specific screwdriver bit that was supposed to be the best fit and made an adaptor to allow it to be used with a 3/8" extension and a hammer driven impact driver.

    When you smack the driver with a hammer it forces the bit down into the screw while rotating it either left or right. To determine which way it will rotate, you give the handle a twist before hitting it.

    The twist was all it took to loosen the screw. I was all psyched up for a major conflict between man and machine, but the machine surrendered without a fight. My 4 lb hammer and I felt a little let down for the rest of the day.

  12. #12
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MnHPVA Guy View Post
    I had heard and read all about the difficulty removing a certain screw down inside the fork. So I tracked down a specific screwdriver bit that was supposed to be the best fit and made an adaptor to allow it to be used with a 3/8" extension and a hammer driven impact driver.

    When you smack the driver with a hammer it forces the bit down into the screw while rotating it either left or right. To determine which way it will rotate, you give the handle a twist before hitting it.

    The twist was all it took to loosen the screw. I was all psyched up for a major conflict between man and machine, but the machine surrendered without a fight. My 4 lb hammer and I felt a little let down for the rest of the day.
    Quote Originally Posted by Edd View Post
    Hi SesameCrunch,

    I am sure the project will be fun, the front suspension is an interesting disassembly, I did not understand the diagrams until I had it apart. Needs a bit of patience and loooong screwdrivers. There is a lot of information on the web about Moulton mechanicals, although I think less on the MK 111 than the F frame. The Moulton preservation society can supply proprietary parts.

    Good Luck
    Edd
    I read about this on the Moulton preservation society website. I'm (gulp) looking forward to it.

    How far down is the screw? How long of a screwdriver should I have?

    Thanks much!

  13. #13
    Still moving forward.
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    It would be a treat to see this bike when you are done. And if you ever need assistance or tools I am not too far away. It would be fun to work on with you, and I could learn a thing or two in the process.

    You may know already but there is a large bike swap taking place in Cupertino on 4/27. Should be oodles of parts there, maybe even some 349's. I can PM the info to you if you are interested.

    I would love to have a Moulton! There is one for sale right now on SF Bay CL for $2500. Someone locally has a nice one, I drool everytime I see it.

  14. #14
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
    Yes, the bike was built by Raleigh, so the bottom bracket is the 26 tpi, extra wide Raleigh spec. The rear dropout is 120mm, the front is 100mm.
    Ooops, my bad. The dropout widths are original - 90mm in the front, 110 in the back.

    Took most of the bike apart today. Everything is in fairly good shape. I'm really pleased. Even the rubber parts (rear suspension squash ball, front fork boot) are in very good shape. The bottom bracket looks good (whew!). I haven't attempted the front suspension disassembly yet. Don't have a 10" screwdriver. Will have to defer that to another day.

    I still need to source 349mm wheels. Does anyone have a good source?
    Last edited by SesameCrunch; 04-07-08 at 12:29 AM.

  15. #15
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sahadev View Post
    It would be a treat to see this bike when you are done. And if you ever need assistance or tools I am not too far away. It would be fun to work on with you, and I could learn a thing or two in the process.

    You may know already but there is a large bike swap taking place in Cupertino on 4/27. Should be oodles of parts there, maybe even some 349's. I can PM the info to you if you are interested.

    I would love to have a Moulton! There is one for sale right now on SF Bay CL for $2500. Someone locally has a nice one, I drool everytime I see it.
    Thanks for the offer to help. I'll see what we can set up. Thanks for the tip on Cupertino. Please do give me the info. I'll be there for sure.

  16. #16
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    I passed up a Moulton earlier this year on craigslist and have been kicking myself ever since...I love those things. Happy building and keep us posted on your progress,

    Juan

  17. #17
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
    I still need to source 349mm wheels. Does anyone have a good source?
    I had mine built by Gaerlan Custom Cycles. They are great. And cheap. But they only do matched builds (e.g. 28H to 28H). Given that 28 is the minimum and is overkill, this makes little sense to me.

    If you want fancier wheels, you can get custom drilled rims from Australia. Maybe Jur can send you a pair of undrilled rims.

    These guys sell the Aerohead and Aeroheat rims: http://www.everybicycletire.com/Shop...ohead-349.aspx.

    Finally, here is a fellow in the US who will make custom drilled 369s. I have no idea how much they will cost or whether they will fit your frame. From the Moulton Yahoo Site (you have to go there to email him):

    In North America, Doug Milliken (doug.milliken@...) can provide
    > rims in any drilling you want.

    John and all,
    Thanks for thinking of me, but I only have undrilled 17" AM rims
    (which I can drill to any pattern). Sorry, nothing to fit 349 tires.
    -- Doug

  18. #18
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    Here's a photo of a nicely modified Mk3 I saw at the moulton weekend a few years ago. I have some other Mk3 photos, let me know if you're interested and I'll email them to you.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  19. #19
    Edd
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    Hi SesameCrunch,

    10 inch will be ample, I used a screwdriver with 8.5 inches of clear length. Don't be surprised to find a slot or philips head bolt. There is a very good scale drawing of the front suspension (F Frame) in the 'Moultoneer' No 37 Winter 1993. It was available on the old Moultoneer web site but I have not been able to find the current link. Being cross sectional and to scale it is more useful than the other diagram available on the site. If the worse case occurs the bolt may need to be drilled out, a scale drawing may come in handy!!
    Also the advice on being careful with the cir clip is well taken, it can take off with out being seen again.
    If you are having the forks sandblasted and powdercoated, be sure to protect the serrated section and only have the forks themselves coated/painted.
    The rubber boot can be replaced using a boot from a car steering/universal joint, I found one at the local garage and cut it to size.

    Edd

  20. #20
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diode100 View Post
    Here's a photo of a nicely modified Mk3 I saw at the moulton weekend a few years ago. I have some other Mk3 photos, let me know if you're interested and I'll email them to you.
    That's a really sweet one - especially the chromed collar and cuffs

  21. #21
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    I was going to recommend Gaerlan for the wheels too; certainly they can sell you rims.

  22. #22
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diode100 View Post
    Here's a photo of a nicely modified Mk3 I saw at the moulton weekend a few years ago. I have some other Mk3 photos, let me know if you're interested and I'll email them to you.
    Niiice looking MKIII. I love the low spoke count wheels. I love the clean, minimalist lines.

    If you've seen Little Pixel's modified Merc/Brompton single speed build, it has the simplicity and elegance I aspire to.

    Thanks for the offer of the pics. I'll PM you for them.
    Last edited by SesameCrunch; 04-08-08 at 08:10 AM.

  23. #23
    Edd
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    This Japanese site has lots of nice Moultons:
    http://http://www5f.biglobe.ne.jp/%7eyutaka_i/gallery/

    Edd

  24. #24
    Edd
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edd View Post
    GREAT!!! Link, EDD thanks

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