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[RESTORE] 1960 Frejus Supercorsa

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[RESTORE] 1960 Frejus Supercorsa

Old 12-02-23, 03:13 PM
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spindle -

AB 77's do enjoy a bit of a reputation for spline failures on the arms

have no opinion on how well-deserved this be

should it be the case there should be some spindles out there seeking arms to mount

an alternate solution would be to perform what is termed "hard chroming" and then regrind the race

had this done once on a Verot model 34 spindle and it turned out well


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Old 12-03-23, 09:01 PM
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Quick post for tonight's progress...

For some reason, the dead spindle got me all fired up to get the rest of the bike disassembled. I was finally able to get into the shop tonight to pull apart the front end. So far, everything has come apart very easily, but the stem was stuck in the fork and wouldn't budge. After getting everything else removed from the front end, I shot a bunch of WD40 into the stem from the top bolt hole, then put the stem bolt back in and gave it a good whack with a dead blow. It finally popped apart revealing a gross amount of old grease that had solidified inside the head tube. After that, cleanup was easy and left only the headset removal to be clean down to the frame. Took me longer to find my Park headset removal than it did to get the headset out of the frame. Soaked the thick grease in a mineral spirits bath and brushed everything clean. A brass brush on the rusty chrome cleaned everything up like new. No need for rust removal or ultrasonic cleaning, just a little elbow grease.







Now that the frame is down to the bare bones, I wanted to get it on the scale. Pulling it out of the bike stand, I was surprised how light it is. Tipped the scale at 4.74 pounds or 2.140 kg. Way lighter than I thought it was.

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Old 12-03-23, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by purpurite
Sounds like a perfect opportunity to use a Flex Hone. I hate tight seat tubes. Those nasty Zs up the side of a seat post drive me crazy.
a flex hone will get rid of burrs. But that is about it.
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Old 12-05-23, 07:19 PM
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This one cleaned up nicely, AND after buying the mismatched crankset for $25, I found a same-year left side crank arm on eBay for $30. What a beautiful piece. Now to figure out what size BB spindle to use on this thing (the one in the photos was the 68mm British spindle it came with). I did manage to restore the Campy Italian one that was on the bike with the Williams.





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Old 12-05-23, 07:43 PM
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-----

just look at those arms!

not even any toestrap scuffing on their outer faces


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Old 12-22-23, 02:56 PM
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Off for the holiday today and the weather isn't horrendous, which is strange for December in Chicago. I got my workbench cleaned up a little and decided to do some frame work on the Frejus and clean up the gross bottom bracket shell. Hot water with Simple Green didn't cut it, so out came the mineral spirits. Not terrible, but not clean yet, so a brake cleaner soak and it finally came clean, inside and out. Removed the round grease fitting and noticed it's not a standard fitting. There is one missing in the head tube, so I'm guessing that's not going to be fun to try to find. Strange thread and took a 7mm socket to remove, too.

After the bottom bracket, I moved to the greasy, crusty head tube. Cleaned it out the same way, and then decided to remove the head tube badge to begin its restoration process (indoors, where it's warm). I was rather excited about this because I have had a feeling since I got the bike that the paint on the head tube isn't original. The chrome lugs have been buried under dark blue paint, which wouldn't have been what the SuperCorsa looked like from the factory. I knocked the back of the rivets off and pulled the badge off to reveal a completely different blue, with creme white paint seeping under the badge! This thing has been repainted at some point, and not terribly well, either.





While I was cleaning up the paint around the head tube and lugs, I noticed a paint crack that went perpendicular to the tup tube, right behind the top head tube lug. After cleaning the area with lacquer thinner, I decided to see how far down it went so I scraped the paint clean to the metal with a razor blade. A couple of things of note. One, there is a different paint color underneath the vanilla white and it looks like the reptile green or maybe yellow under the white. Two, the cracked paint was caused by what I believe is a hairline crack in the top tube, and boy am I bummed out. I know this can be fixed, but man, that's not what I wanted to see.





So, is the solution to have the crack ground down, drill a small hole in the end of the crack and weld up the crack area? And who should I look to do do a repair this delicate? Anyone have any recommendations in the Midwest (or driving distance from Chicago)?


Also, I hope I have found the proper BB spindle from Harry Havnoonian on eBay. We'll see when it gets here, but I think I did the maths correct.
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Old 12-22-23, 03:52 PM
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Plating is more brittle than the tube. Before jumping to welding, make sure there is a cracked tube. Most likely the bike did endure a front ender.
I would be searching for a burble in the underside of the down tube, every once in a while it will be a bow in the downtube, need a decent length straightedge for that.
‘there are a few nondestructive ways to check for cracks. Reference that first.
‘from what you have uncovered, my assessment was the bike had chrome lugs to begin with with the blue under the head badge as the head tube color.
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Old 12-22-23, 05:21 PM
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Once I purchased a 1954 Bianchi, I think it was a Tour de France model. It was in original shape, but hammered, lots of surface rust. I had the frame restored, rechromed and painted. Took it out for its first ride, about 30 miles in I looked down at the same location on the top tube and there was a crack, same as yours. I carefully rode home, put it up for sale as a great looking wall hanger. At the time, I just could not deal with trying to fix it, the expense or the time.

I look back on it now and would have probably gone ahead, replaced the top tube, and maybe rechromed the lug again and repaint.

- Guy

Last edited by cinelliguy; 12-23-23 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 12-22-23, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by cinelliguy
Once I purchased a 1954 Bianchi, I think it was a Tour de France model. It was in original shape, but hammered, lots of surface rust. I had the frame restored, rechromed and painted. Took it out for its first ride, about 30 miles in I looked down at the same location on the top tube and there was a crack, same as yours. I carefully rode home, put it up for sale as a great looking wall hanger. At the time, I just could not deal with trying to fix it, the expanse or the time.

I look back on it now and would have probably gone ahead, replaced the top tube, and maybe rechromed the lug again and repaint.

- Guy
‘probably would have required stripping the complete front end and might have had one of those integrated headsets.
reasonable call.
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Old 12-22-23, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage
‘probably would have required stripping the complete front end and might have had one of those integrated headsets.
reasonable call.
Yep, it did have an integrated headset.
- Guy
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Old 12-22-23, 05:54 PM
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Inspirational to get going on my basket case 68 Frejus Tour de France.
I was lucky with the 71 Bianchi in terms of the integrated HS (Campagnolo) being in great condition. It didn't have all the balls when disassembled. They were black so new ones were purchased. Can't remember but there are more than 30 at each end.

Nice project. I should consider looking for period pieces too.
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Old 12-22-23, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage
Most likely the bike did endure a front ender. I would be searching for a burble in the underside of the down tube, every once in a while it will be a bow in the downtube, need a decent length straightedge for that. ‘there are a few nondestructive ways to check for cracks. Reference that first.
A brief stint in the shop with a machinists scale on the top and bottom of the top tube revealed about .008" to .010" downward drop to the top tube. The down tube is fine, and the underside of the top tube has about the same lack of straightness right in front of the top lug. It's super slight, and might be attributed to the thickness of the paint behind the lug, but I'm really unhappy right now. Repairing a crack is one thing, but replacing a top tube is not in the cards for my plans with this frame. I'm pretty bummed out right now. Fortunately, it hasn't been rechromed and refinished like Guy's Bianchi, but I am really gutted to be at this point already only to find something that will likely be terminal to this restoration project.

I have some contact floated out there to a couple of local frame builders to see what they think, but man, this sucks. This project may be over before it really got going.



Dang.
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Old 12-22-23, 08:48 PM
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I have purchased a bike with undisclosed frame damage. At the time, I was so busy that I did not inspect the bike and frame for over a month, a kink just below the shift braze ons. It was a light Super Vitus tubed frame… metric tube. Finding a new one for that, not impossible, but lotto winning lucky. a C. Dardenne, otherwise a nicely finished frame with a good reputation.

major bummer when that happens.
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Old 12-22-23, 09:07 PM
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Didn't see it until the I stripped the paint. Easy fix though, spliced in a new piece, I'm told.


Maino Frame 56 by iabisdb, on Flickr
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Old 12-22-23, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by iab
Didn't see it until the I stripped the paint. Easy fix though, spliced in a new piece, I'm told.


Maino Frame 56 by iabisdb, on Flickr
Aliens. Aliens I tell you.
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Old 12-23-23, 12:15 PM
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...as already noted, it would be good at this point to further investigate your line in the chrome, to see if it's really a crack in the tubing.
If the displacement is as small as you have measured it, there's a good chance it's not a crack. And any effect on the handling will be negligible.

On a project bike this old, I have often assembled and ridden them mid project, prior to repainting. It's extra work, for sure. But it gives you a chance to decompress, and decide before you do all that extra work of stripping and repainting, I think that the paint on mine, except for the added yellow to cover the rusted chrome portions, is original. At least, that's the impression I got from the guy I bought it from.

But I wouldn't give up on this as a project yet. There are always some new wrinkles to address, on something this old, IME. I would offer you mine, but it's too big for you if that one fits you well.
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Old 12-24-23, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer
.
...as already noted, it would be good at this point to further investigate your line in the chrome, to see if it's really a crack in the tubing.
If the displacement is as small as you have measured it, there's a good chance it's not a crack. And any effect on the handling will be negligible.
I did run this by my machinist father to see what he thought this morning. He agrees it's a hairline crack, even after we buzzed the rust off with a ScotchBrite Dremel pad. I was going to try to run through a dye penetrant on it to make sure, but I trust what he sees.


But I wouldn't give up on this as a project yet. There are always some new wrinkles to address, on something this old, IME.
We're not dead yet. Next week, I'm home on some vacation time and I will be actively looking for someone in the general Chicago area that can give me a better idea of the repair possibilities and costs. I think that will be the determining factor on whether this frame gets restored or will hang in my shop as cycling artwork. I guess we'll see.

If anyone knows any current bike builder with experience with lugs and brazing repairs somewhere within a few hours drive of the Chicago area, I'm all ears.
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Old 12-24-23, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by purpurite
I did run this by my machinist father to see what he thought this morning. He agrees it's a hairline crack, even after we buzzed the rust off with a ScotchBrite Dremel pad. I was going to try to run through a dye penetrant on it to make sure, but I trust what he sees.




We're not dead yet. Next week, I'm home on some vacation time and I will be actively looking for someone in the general Chicago area that can give me a better idea of the repair possibilities and costs. I think that will be the determining factor on whether this frame gets restored or will hang in my shop as cycling artwork. I guess we'll see.

If anyone knows any current bike builder with experience with lugs and brazing repairs somewhere within a few hours drive of the Chicago area, I'm all ears.
Jack at Franklin Frames I think is most reasonable for repairs and paint. And I know Gary at SSSInk will have the proper varnish-slide decals. Jack prefers varnish slide. No clear coat needed.
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Old 12-26-23, 09:25 PM
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While I wallow in the possibility that the frame fix might not make sense financially, I needed to be in the shop today to do something, even if it was just cleaning and organizing tools.

While I was cleaning up, I found the pedals that still needed to be cleaned. It felt like a good thing to just detune and work on some parts. So after careful disassembly, the gross, filthy pedals and parts got a dunk in the ultrasonic bath. It did a number on the grime, but the rust still needed attention. One of my favorite tools lately is the small brass wire brush, which took care of the surface rust on everything without much effort, A quick polish with Simichrome and everything looks beautiful. Except the toe clip bolts, which are for some reason half rusty and black and half chrome. I just ordered some M5 stainless bolts to replace whatever had been previously installed on these. I thin they turned out great, so far. I need to get some leather straps to finish off the restoration, but these look awesome.

Before:


After:




I also will be reaching out to Jack at Franklin in Ohio this week to see what he thinks about the possible crack in the frame. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
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Old 12-26-23, 10:33 PM
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The images on the seamless backdrop look very good.
way back for my senior thesis project, I had a big model.
We were all entering a design competition.
I really wanted a gradation light grey to near black at the top.
paid again, and got what I wanted, 4x5 transparency era.
that was the glamour shot. Learned a bit that photo shoot, I brought my 35 mm camera and auto bracketed the heck out of it.
I was probably tolerated as I was a student.
be nice to have room enough for a cove.
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Old 12-30-23, 09:54 AM
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Does anyone know what color primer Frejus used on their frames? I have a color underneath the paint on mine that is not what I expected...

Chatted with Jack in the last couple of days, and I may send him the frame for inspection and potentially a new top tube. I hate to give up at this point, but I don't want to be throwing good money after bad on this project. It needs a re-chrome, too, so the potential for this to add up quickly is high. 😬

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Old 12-30-23, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by purpurite
While I wallow in the possibility that the frame fix might not make sense financially, I needed to be in the shop today to do something, even if it was just cleaning and organizing tools.

While I was cleaning up, I found the pedals that still needed to be cleaned. It felt like a good thing to just detune and work on some parts. So after careful disassembly, the gross, filthy pedals and parts got a dunk in the ultrasonic bath. It did a number on the grime, but the rust still needed attention. One of my favorite tools lately is the small brass wire brush, which took care of the surface rust on everything without much effort, A quick polish with Simichrome and everything looks beautiful. Except the toe clip bolts, which are for some reason half rusty and black and half chrome. I just ordered some M5 stainless bolts to replace whatever had been previously installed on these. I thin they turned out great, so far. I need to get some leather straps to finish off the restoration, but these look awesome.

Before:


After:




I also will be reaching out to Jack at Franklin in Ohio this week to see what he thinks about the possible crack in the frame. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
-----

DisraeliGears reports that the Zeus agent for Italy was none other than Eugenio Rampinelli (REG/ROTO/COBRA)

although it be unlikely peds mounted there...

-----
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Old 02-10-24, 01:05 PM
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Hello Purpurite,

Any word on your frame? I just came home with this and depending on how the chrome cleans up I may be in need of a fork!

Sellers photos attached. Will post more when I get a chance...




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Old 02-10-24, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by gazman22
Hello Purpurite,

Any word on your frame? I just came home with this and depending on how the chrome cleans up I may be in need of a fork!

Sellers photos attached. Will post more when I get a chance...



Great score.

Jack at FF can have the fork rechromed and prep well for it.

I strongly encourage you to keep that fork with the frame if original.

And you need to quote a poster to get a response.
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Old 02-10-24, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by gazman22
Hello Purpurite,

Any word on your frame? I just came home with this and depending on how the chrome cleans up I may be in need of a fork!

Sellers photos attached. Will post more when I get a chance...




-----

...please to commencing a textillium whenst ready...

bonus points for getting the Fulmine

although Sr. e Sra Gaslo appear to have gone walkabout

shall be interested to hear report from axle locknuts as BCD be twelve squared but arrestors be Gino with metal QR's

sends a slight mixed message temporal...

-----

Last edited by juvela; 02-10-24 at 01:56 PM. Reason: spellin'
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