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1950s Liberia Restoration

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1950s Liberia Restoration

Old 12-08-23, 04:30 PM
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-----




---

additional source for replica french cable casing -

https://www.sim.works/collections/al...ench-for-brake

roundwire

-----
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Old 12-08-23, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Brad L
We left the fixed cup in place as it appears to have been staked in place.


Interesting solution to the perennial self-loosening Italian or French "fixed" cup. I use Locktite on my one bike that lacks the ISO (LH) threading my good bikes have.
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Old 12-08-23, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by John E
Interesting solution to the perennial self-loosening Italian or French "fixed" cup. I use Locktite on my one bike that lacks the ISO (LH) threading my good bikes have.
Well, I had to file it off to remove the fixed cup. I was cleaning it from the non-drive side and found a giant pit where the balls roll. A replacement arrived today.
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Old 12-17-23, 12:39 PM
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Itís about time for an update or three. I havenít had a lot of time to work on the Liberia with the holidays and my shop being unheated, but things have been happening nonetheless.

First, the fork was given a good clean and polish. The chrome was scrubbed with wet aluminum foil to remove the rust, treated with phosphoric acid to deter its return, then the entire fork was first polished with cleaner wax, then a final wax with a good auto paste wax. As a bonus, I found the Vitus stamp on the steerer tube. Interestingly, the paint on the fork legs is very durable as the cleaner wax removed only the grime on the paint. But on the fork crown, it seemed to remove the blue and red paint quite easily, so I had to treat it very delicately. It came out quite well.








Last edited by Brad L; 12-17-23 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 12-17-23, 02:42 PM
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My intent was to leave the fixed cup in place and clean it from the opposite side. The adjustable cup and spindle were in very nice condition so I expected the fixed cup to be as well. Once the fork was done I moved on to the frame, starting with the bottom bracket shell. I was surprised to find the interior of the shell virtually rust free. The fixed cup had its own surprise - what appeared to be a large pit on the bearing surface. A pick verified the hole.







I had to file off the metal where it had been staked on and it came off easily with my VAR bottom bracket tool. I found a bottom bracket on Ebay that was a decent price as it had two fixed cups. It also had proper Stronglight crank bolts of which I needed one. Unfortunately, the fixed cup I needed has a small pit, but I kept it since I needed the bolts.






I found an NOS cup, so the third time is a charm. This one will work fine.





One thing I noticed is that the original fixed cup is slightly smaller than the two replacements, though they look virtually identical. The original is 36.4mm across the flats while the later is 37.7mm across the flats. Also, the thread length on the original is 10mm while itís 11.7mm on the later version.



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Old 12-17-23, 03:04 PM
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Once the frame had been cleaned I was able to remove the seat binder bolt, and as juvela suspected, the nut was concave, meaning it had been installed backwards. Iíll install it properly.




I received a replacement cable adjuster for the Simplex 543 shifter thanks to obrentharris.




And a correct, matching set of Stronglight 49D cranks arrived. Iíd be tempted to use these chainrings since theyíd be easier on the legs than the 45/50 set the bike came with, but I donít believe the Simplex 543 derailleur could take up that much chain. Besides, I want to keep it as close to original as possible, so the 45/50 stays. The threads seem to be in good shape, but the threads for the pedals were a bit tight.





I would need to chase the threads to clean them out, but finding the tools to do so would be difficult and/or expensive. So, I found a set of low end pedals with French threads. Iíll pull the axles the make my own thread chasers.


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Old 12-17-23, 03:46 PM
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-----

wrt pit in original fixed bottom bracket cup -

it "looks" like it might be above the actual ball track

your eyes be the ones on the scene and mine be old & vectoring australly

one idea which glided in is that the cup may have been mounted with the VAR tool

doubt factory would have done the staking; would think it more likely to have been done by someone who felt they did not have the right tool to apply the requisite torque

in any event am thinking pit could have been created at time of installation by a piece of foreign matter getting trapped between the tool's "bolt" and the cup wall

one check which could be made would be to pack the cup outside the frame and insert the spindle to see where the balls actually track...

---

the Lyotard 36R pedals you found are relatively late as evidenced by their hexagonal spindle ends


-----

Last edited by juvela; 12-17-23 at 03:50 PM. Reason: correction
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Old 12-17-23, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela
-----the Lyotard 36R pedals you found are relatively late as evidenced by their hexagonal spindle ends-----
The age of the pedals doesnít really matter as theyíll be sacrificed for their spindles. Iíll cut grooves in them to make thread chasers. Iíll use a thread file to knock down any burrs created by the cutting.
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Old 12-17-23, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela
-----one check which could be made would be to pack the cup outside the frame and insert the spindle to see where the balls actually track...
-----
Iíll mock it up and double check but the pit appears to be in the ball track. Itís worth a try.
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Old 12-17-23, 04:20 PM
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The frame has been cleaned and Iím now letting the excess Frame Saver drain before the final polish and waxing.




FYI - the aluminum foil and water trick works great on these rusted chrome stays. The before and after difference is amazing.



Last edited by Brad L; 12-17-23 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 12-17-23, 04:37 PM
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Nice, can't wait to see the end result here
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Old 12-21-23, 03:55 PM
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The frame for the 1955 Liberia is done! Itíll now wait for the remainder of the components to be restored. The frame was washed with soap and water, then mineral spirits for tougher grime, and the chrome was scrubbed with wet aluminum foil. Then all the chrome and paint chips were treated with phosphoric acid to deter future rust. It then had the interior coated with Frame Saver. Once this was complete it was polished with Meguiarís Cleaner Wax, then waxed with a good auto paste wax.

I was able to scrub most of the frame briskly with the cleaner wax to remove the more difficult stains. However, like the fork, the blue paint was very easy to remove, so I took great care to remove as little paint as possible. The delicacy of the blue paint leads to believe the bike was ridden little, as it wouldnít take too many washes to remove it altogether. Enjoy!










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Old 12-21-23, 03:57 PM
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And a few moreÖ









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Old 01-26-24, 12:24 PM
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The holidays and cold temps in my unheated shop has slowed progress, but things are still happening. I completed the LAM Competition brake calipers during a lull in the cold weather. Both have had incorrect replacement parts in their past, but Iím using them how I found them. The front caliper has had the spring replaced with a later model and the rear caliper has had the cable clamp assembly changed. They both work, so thatís good enough.

Also, Iím not sure where the washers for the brake pads were when I took the exploded view, but theyíre on the calipers.






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Old 01-26-24, 01:26 PM
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Looking good
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Old 01-26-24, 02:42 PM
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Walking through this thread today from start to finish --- Nice job doesn't come close. Beautiful bike, and I love your attention to detail both in the restoration and the pictures. Can't wait to see it all built up for Spring or Summer!
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Old 01-26-24, 07:16 PM
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This thread is fabulously entertaining....
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Old 02-01-24, 06:26 PM
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I finally got around to pulling the spindles from the cheap pedals. I clamped them in the vise, and shortly had a nice groove cut to take any debris. I hit the threads with a thread file to remove any burrs I may have created, then tested them out on the mismatched cranks that came on the bike. A little tight, but they worked great! I now have a pair of French pedal thread chasers to add to my toolbox.








I then used them on the good crank pair and am very happy with the result. I was able to install the chainrings, so now I have a complete crankset awaiting installation. In the box the go, for now.




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Old 02-02-24, 11:54 AM
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Well, crap! My inexperience has bitten me in the keester. Those cheap pedal spindles are marked R & L, meaning they're English thread even though the seller had listed them as French. I have a few options to correct my self-imposed situation.
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Old 02-02-24, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Brad L
Well, crap! My inexperience has bitten me in the keester. Those cheap pedal spindles are marked R & L, meaning they're English thread even though the seller had listed them as French. I have a few options to correct my self-imposed situation.
-----

wuz waitin' fer this to glide into view...

D & G, D & G


-----


-----
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Old 02-02-24, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela
-----

wuz waitin' fer this to glide into view...

D & G, D & G


-----


-----
Lesson learned - the hard way.
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Old 02-09-24, 03:36 PM
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My error has been resolved. I bought a pair of later Lyotard 45CA pedals with English threads on the chance the spindles didnít change. Fortunately theyíre virtually identical. I was able to rebuild a pedal original to my Liberia using the replacement spindle. I can breathe easier now. The last photo is a before/after shot.




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Old 02-11-24, 06:02 PM
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Both pedals are now complete and have had their spindles swapped for English threads. Again, nothing has been polished. Iíve only removed grime and rust.






The A.V.A. stem is ready as well. I took the opportunity to file a round end on the expansion slots to deter any cracks.







And finally, the front hub has been cleaned but will need new cones. I needed to assemble it so Iíd know how close, dimensionally, I needed to be. Very close. This is a Campagnolo Gran Sport hub but has several differences from the normal Gran Sport hubs. Like the normal ones, it has aluminum flanges pressed onto a steel center. However the outside of the flange has a flattened profile. The 8mm axle is solid with an 8x1mm thread, and there are no date stamps on the lock nuts.




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Old 02-11-24, 07:21 PM
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-----



looking good!

since the nut on the stem's ALGI binder is a simple hex & buggered up you might wish to consider replacing it for the few centimes it would cost...



-----
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Old 02-11-24, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela
-----



looking good!

since the nut on the stem's ALGI binder is a simple hex & buggered up you might wish to consider replacing it for the few centimes it would cost...
-----
Itís not as bad as it looks. Iíll keep it. Original is original.

Last edited by Brad L; 02-11-24 at 08:29 PM.
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