Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Cleaning Internal Components?

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Cleaning Internal Components?

Old 12-24-17, 07:01 AM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 62
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Cleaning Internal Components?

Hi Guys,

I am stripping down my old Raleigh and wanted to know how best to clean out the internals. Things like the bottom bracket are filled with old muck / grease, and the headset needs an overhaul. Otherwise they seem in working order and just need cleaning and re-greasing (would new bearings help? The originals seem fine to the untrained eye).

I was also wondering if it is worth cleaning out the inside of the frame in any way, and how you would do this?

Thank you!
josh23 is offline  
Old 12-24-17, 07:38 AM
  #2  
Mechanic/Tourist
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Syracuse, NY
Posts: 7,522

Bikes: 2008 Novara Randonee - love it. Previous bikes:Motobecane Mirage, 1972 Moto Grand Jubilee (my fave), Jackson Rake 16, 1983 C'dale ST500.

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 486 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 11 Posts
I find "odorless" mineral spirits - not the "green/enviro" kind, to be an effective, inexpensive solvent that can be reused by allowing the sludge to settle. It can be recycled at car service shops. Please note that anything you use (including Simple Green) will be contaminated after use, and cannot be responsibly disposed of down the drain or into the street. Using Simple Green or other water-based cleaners means you must either dry out the item (chain) or displace the remainder (brake/derailleur pivots) after cleaning is complete, and they may corrode aluminum if parts are soaked for too long.

In over 20 years as a professional mechanic I never found a reason to treat the inside of a frame. I suppose if one had a very high value frame it might be worth the effort.

Last edited by cny-bikeman; 12-24-17 at 07:44 AM.
cny-bikeman is offline  
Old 12-24-17, 07:50 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Golden, CO and Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,858

Bikes: 2012 Specialized Elite Disc, 1983 Trek 520

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 683 Post(s)
Liked 787 Times in 442 Posts
Get a small parts dish/old soup bowl to soak bearings in some solvent, and an old toothbrush to scrub them and to reach the parts you can't soak. Inspect the ball bearings for pitting, inspect the cones and races for galling--use a ball point pen if you don't trust your eyes. The most likely point of wear is on the hub cones--if they're okay, everything probably is too. Get some bicycle grease to repack the bearings. There are plenty of tutorials on adjusting bearings.

The only parts of the frame that are accessible are the bottom bracket shell, the top of the seat tube, and the head tube. These should be cleaned and inspected. The condition of the BB shell should indicate the condition of the rest of the frame. If there's any blistering paint on any part of the frame, suspect some damage.

If the seat post is aluminum, make sure that comes free before you go any farther! And be sure you grease that when you reassemble.
andrewclaus is offline  
Old 12-24-17, 08:06 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 62
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by cny-bikeman
I find "odorless" mineral spirits - not the "green/enviro" kind, to be an effective, inexpensive solvent that can be reused by allowing the sludge to settle. It can be recycled at car service shops. Please note that anything you use (including Simple Green) will be contaminated after use, and cannot be responsibly disposed of down the drain or into the street. Using Simple Green or other water-based cleaners means you must either dry out the item (chain) or displace the remainder (brake/derailleur pivots) after cleaning is complete, and they may corrode aluminum if parts are soaked for too long.

In over 20 years as a professional mechanic I never found a reason to treat the inside of a frame. I suppose if one had a very high value frame it might be worth the effort.
Thank you - 'mineral spirits' are what we refer to in the UK as 'white spirits', correct?
josh23 is offline  
Old 12-24-17, 08:19 AM
  #5  
Mechanic/Tourist
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Syracuse, NY
Posts: 7,522

Bikes: 2008 Novara Randonee - love it. Previous bikes:Motobecane Mirage, 1972 Moto Grand Jubilee (my fave), Jackson Rake 16, 1983 C'dale ST500.

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 486 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 11 Posts
Yes, that's correct - several other terms as well.
cny-bikeman is offline  
Old 12-24-17, 08:30 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 62
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by cny-bikeman
Yes, that's correct - several other terms as well.
Perfect - I will give that a go some time over the holidays. Thank you
josh23 is offline  
Old 12-24-17, 08:36 AM
  #7  
SE Wis
 
dedhed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 10,560

Bikes: '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400, 2013 Novara Randonee, 1990 Trek 970

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2756 Post(s)
Liked 3,427 Times in 2,075 Posts
Originally Posted by josh23
(would new bearings help? The originals seem fine to the untrained eye).
Bearing balls are so cheap there's no reason not to. Do the hubs too.

Bicycle Balls : Bearing Ball Store, Wholesale Bearing Balls
dedhed is offline  
Old 12-26-17, 01:55 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 304
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 83 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by dedhed
Bearing balls are so cheap there's no reason not to. Do the hubs too.

Bicycle Balls : Bearing Ball Store, Wholesale Bearing Balls
The local surplus store was selling good grade ball bearings by the pound so I bought a bunch of the sizes that are common to have on hand. Costs me less than a dollar to replace all the bearings on the entire bike.
IrishBrewer is offline  
Old 12-28-17, 06:15 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
restlessswind's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 458

Bikes: 2017 Surly Cross-Check. 2020 Specialized Turbo Vado 3.0, 2002 GT Dyno Roadster, 2002 Rans Stratus, 2020 Giant Fathom 2, 2011 Trek Pure Sport

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 171 Post(s)
Liked 85 Times in 62 Posts
I use kerosene (liquid camping fuel). I also use kerosene for my camping stove and lantern. This seems to be my favorite degreaser as it can have multiple uses. It stores for years without issue either.
restlessswind is offline  
Old 12-28-17, 07:01 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
ramzilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Fernandina Beach FL
Posts: 3,604

Bikes: Vintage Japanese Bicycles, Tange, Ishiwata, Kuwahara

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 700 Post(s)
Liked 322 Times in 252 Posts
Diesel fuel rules!
ramzilla is offline  
Old 12-29-17, 07:23 AM
  #11  
Full Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Retired to Penang Malaysia originally from UK
Posts: 346

Bikes: My 1978 Raleigh from new, 1995 Trek, & constant changing & rebuilding of other bike projects.

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
If I'm stripping a bike for reasonable cleaning service, once its stripped then I'll clean out the seat tube, simply pushing a rag down with a broom handle etc, if its really rusty then I'll wrap emery paper around the same broom handle etc give it a clean through. Other than the fork headset its not worth the effort to try & clean the other frame tubes, occasionally if I've picked up a wreck once stripped I'll internally wash out all the tubes chain stays to ensure there are no bugs nesting in there etc, doing it on a really hot tropical day so it drys out quick.
Bike tinker man is offline  
Old 12-29-17, 07:32 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Near Pottstown, PA: 30 miles NW of Philadelphia
Posts: 2,202

Bikes: 2 Trek Mtn, Cannondale R600 road, 6 vintage road bikes

Mentioned: 83 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 477 Post(s)
Liked 1,107 Times in 414 Posts
Originally Posted by cny-bikeman
I find "odorless" mineral spirits - not the "green/enviro" kind, to be an effective, inexpensive solvent that can be reused by allowing the sludge to settle.
+1. I've used mineral spirits for many years and it's very effective. As it can be reused, I throw away very little of it, a fraction of an ounce on occasion. MS and an old tooth brush ( never throw away an old tooth brush). I'm also renovating an old Raleigh ('79 SuperCourse12) and am dealing with old dried grease. Manually remove as much as you can with a scraper ( various sizes and materials - steel, aluminum, wood, plastic) and rags. Then finish with MS. As I'm in no hurry I can let components soak for days if I like. I wipe the component off with paper towels then set it on the wood stove for a minute or so to bake any residual MS out of the internals. Lube then back onda bike.

BTW, IMHO, MS is no less effective than kero or diesel but has MUCH LESS smell and is easier to wash off your hands. I would not use kero, diesel or gasoline. TOO much downside. Try cleaning with kero or diesel or gas then go eat a sandwich. Ugh.
Prowler is offline  
Old 12-29-17, 08:01 AM
  #13  
2-Wheeled Fool
 
J.Higgins's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 2,346

Bikes: Surly Ogre, Brompton

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1385 Post(s)
Liked 677 Times in 457 Posts
Originally Posted by Prowler
I would not use kero, diesel or gasoline. TOO much downside. Try cleaning with kero or diesel or gas then go eat a sandwich. Ugh.
This. Odorless mineral spirits are probably the best you can use. You can add a dash of Dawn to it to help break surface tension, but its generally not needed. These days I am very careful with any solvents, and my standard cleaning system comprises of two 1-gallon steel paint cans. One for Mineral Spirits, and the other for Acetone. I throw the part/s in the mineral spirits can, put the top on, and give it a quick shake. That usually cleans it up pretty good. After that, a quick slosh around in the acetone makes it squeeky-clean. I've used this system for years and it works for me. The advantage to this in my opinion, is that each container of solvent is sealed after use - its not an open container, allowing the solvent to evaporate or exposed to sparks or other ignition sources.

The solvents will get old and smelly, and when they do, I just pour them on a pile of wood in the fire pit and torch it up. I know that many folks will not have this available to them, so in that case I would just recommend recycling it.
J.Higgins is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
NoWhammies
Bicycle Mechanics
13
12-29-18 08:16 AM
BikingGrad80
Bicycle Mechanics
8
04-14-15 10:19 AM
evrythngsgngrn
Bicycle Mechanics
16
06-09-14 02:05 AM
_dylan
Classic & Vintage
4
06-23-12 09:16 AM
portcitygal
Bicycle Mechanics
9
04-18-12 04:01 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.