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Murray Missile's March Madness

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Murray Missile's March Madness

Old 03-18-24, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
I also think I have an Ashtabula crank from a Super Sport in the corner of my basement. Glad to send it along for the cost of shipping!
Thanks but @Deal4Fuji has me covered, my crank and chainwheels will clean up but the bearings and cones were in BAD, BAD shape.
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Old 03-18-24, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Murray Missile
Thanks but @Deal4Fuji has me covered, my crank and chainwheels will clean up but the bearings and cones were in BAD, BAD shape.
You might be getting the cranks too if I cant get the inside cone off The outside cone and retainer ring came off with no problem as did the large ring and pie plate but that inside cone has been a bugger, plus I wasn't positive it wasnt reverse threaded. Law 3speedslow to the rescue with a Schwinn service manual. I'll try this and hopefully get it out tomorrow or Wednesday. I'm adding the deraileurs since it sounds like they might be unique per Velo Mule




As I suspected the cheap paint loosened right up with just PB Blaster.


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Old 03-19-24, 04:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Deal4Fuji
You might be getting the cranks too if I cant get the inside cone off The outside cone and retainer ring came off with no problem as did the large ring and pie plate but that inside cone has been a bugger, plus I wasn't positive it wasnt reverse threaded. Law 3speedslow to the rescue with a Schwinn service manual. I'll try this and hopefully get it out tomorrow or Wednesday. I'm adding the deraileurs since it sounds like they might be unique per Velo Mule




As I suspected the cheap paint loosened right up with just PB Blaster.


Oh wow, you didn't have to do all that! But, THANK YOU!

We had another cold snap so shop time has been limited. Right now I have 5 bikes going at the same and all waiting on parts so it's been a game of "musical bikes" in the shop LOL. I need the weather to stabilize and stay above freezing so I can hook my garden hose back up and get some parts cleaning done.
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Old 03-19-24, 05:35 PM
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Success !! Don't have a bench vice or a cheater bar but I've got a homemade bike rack and daughters who used to play fastpitch softball. Cutting the cap off the end of an old aluminum bat fit the large grip of the wrench where a piece of cast iron pipe probably wouldn't have. With the added leverage and knowing for sure which way to turn the stationary cone came loose nicely.


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Old 03-19-24, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Deal4Fuji
Success !! Don't have a bench vice or a cheater bar but I've got a homemade bike rack and daughters who used to play fastpitch softball. Cutting the cap off the end of an old aluminum bat fit the large grip of the wrench where a piece of cast iron pipe probably wouldn't have. With the added leverage and knowing for sure which way to turn the stationary cone came loose nicely.
I didn't mean for you to go to so much trouble but I appreciate it. Now I have to do the same thing at this end.
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Old 03-19-24, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Murray Missile
I didn't mean for you to go to so much trouble but I appreciate it. Now I have to do the same thing at this end.
No trouble and Law had a BMX use for the small chain ring, so I needed to separate them.
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Old 03-19-24, 09:39 PM
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I didn't take before pics, but there were two of these headed to recycling at the co-op before I recognized their low mileage and snagged them. I took them home and refurbed them there. I sold the 1979 green 22" for a hundred bucks to a guy who had just had his bike stolen and wanted something that no thief would want. I recently finished the 1980 red 20", which is a tad nicer, and I'm hoping to get $150 for it--thus far, no takers. It's chump change considering the time invested, but all the cash is going to the co-op, so it seems like a worthy attempt to keep a bike that is like brand new from becoming a rear door on a Toyota. The most A-R success of the refurbs was the polishing and rehaping of the chainstay protectors to return them from yellowed, stretched globs to their almost invisible, taut original form, as can barely be discerned in the photos.

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Old 03-20-24, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by sbarner
I didn't take before pics, but there were two of these headed to recycling at the co-op before I recognized their low mileage and snagged them. I took them home and refurbed them there. I sold the 1979 green 22" for a hundred bucks to a guy who had just had his bike stolen and wanted something that no thief would want. I recently finished the 1980 red 20", which is a tad nicer, and I'm hoping to get $150 for it--thus far, no takers. It's chump change considering the time invested, but all the cash is going to the co-op, so it seems like a worthy attempt to keep a bike that is like brand new from becoming a rear door on a Toyota. The most A-R success of the refurbs was the polishing and rehaping of the chainstay protectors to return them from yellowed, stretched globs to their almost invisible, taut original form, as can barely be discerned in the photos.

Nice. Sadly around here Varsities don't sell, too many nice ones survived out of the millions they sold. Everybody had one and almost everyone still does. They were indestructible! Two things will survive all out nuclear war, cockroaches and Schwinn Varsities LOL. That's partly why I've kept my yellow '74 and why "Dave" will be super cheap if not out right free.
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Old 03-20-24, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Murray Missile

We had another cold snap so shop time has been limited. Right now I have 5 bikes going at the same and all waiting on parts so it's been a game of "musical bikes" in the shop LOL. I need the weather to stabilize and stay above freezing so I can hook my garden hose back up and get some parts cleaning done.
Story of my life, but not a bad story mind you
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Old 03-20-24, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Murray Missile
Nice. Sadly around here Varsities don't sell, too many nice ones survived out of the millions they sold. Everybody had one and almost everyone still does. They were indestructible! Two things will survive all out nuclear war, cockroaches and Schwinn Varsities LOL. That's partly why I've kept my yellow '74 and why "Dave" will be super cheap if not out right free.
Not to mention that the weight restricts any potential purchaser to living on the first floor. It was quite a struggle getting these back up from my basement workshop.
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Old 03-20-24, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by sbarner
Not to mention that the weight restricts any potential purchaser to living on the first floor. It was quite a struggle getting these back up from my basement workshop.
Yeah, Big Bird tips the scales on the high side of 45 Lbs. Great for getting back in shape after being out of the saddle too long though.
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Old 03-21-24, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Murray Missile
Everybody had one and almost everyone still does. They were indestructible! Two things will survive all out nuclear war, cockroaches and Schwinn Varsities LOL.
A sky blue 1965 Varsity was my entry point. My mom bought it from a co-worker in ‘67 when I was not quite 11. By the spring of ‘72 I had learned to ride and wrench on it, but I turned my back on it in favor of “proper bicycles”. I don’t recall what happened to it, to be honest. My older sister used it a bit, managed to get it stolen…and I found it outside a pizza joint, so I stole it back. She thinks she traded it for a Raleigh Sports that belonged to my best friend but I have my doubts. I don’t have any nostalgia for it but maybe one day I’ll see it again?
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Old 03-26-24, 06:33 PM
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Bottom bracket pieces are here, many thanks again @Deal4Fuji! Paint cleanup hasn't gone as planned, evidently all those years in the weather has softened the paint and even light rubbing with the #0000 steel wool and WD-40 removes the blue topcoat. I've used this on much older bikes and toys and got pretty agressive with no paint loss but not so with Dave so I'll be switching methods on that part of the rehab. He's going to be a bit more rustic looking than intended and he was already going to be quite rustic. Probably more along the lines of "urban camouflage" than beausage......
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Old 03-26-24, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Deal4Fuji
Success !! Don't have a bench vice or a cheater bar but I've got a homemade bike rack and daughters who used to play fastpitch softball. Cutting the cap off the end of an old aluminum bat fit the large grip of the wrench where a piece of cast iron pipe probably wouldn't have. With the added leverage and knowing for sure which way to turn the stationary cone came loose nicely.

Brilliant!

I have a long piece of thinwall that I flattened one end, I may have to upgrade to a batter up version.
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Old 04-11-24, 04:11 AM
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Dave has not been abandoned, just been trying to knock out some low hanging fruit. Hoping to get some cleaning done on it this weekend.
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Old 04-13-24, 03:58 PM
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Got a lot done today, crankset disassembled, crank and chainwheels cleaned and clearcoated to delay rusting again and small parts soaking in vinegar overnight. Frame and fork cleaned of the heavy rust and clearcoated but still LOTS of patina, the old paint soaked up the clearcoat like a sponge and that gave it just about the finish I was shooting for. Still undecided on wheels, since the goal is for it to be "invisible" to thieves but reliable transportation I want to use bolt on wheels, problem is the only serviceable set I have are the chrome wheels on Big Bird and it uses the axles to mount the fenders. I do still have the originals off Big Bird though. I wonder, since the rust pin holes are on the surface between the spokes and not on the braking surfaces if I could patch them with some aluminum tape under the rim liners on the inside and a thin coat of JB Weld in the holes? Or maybe just the tape on the inside and skip the JB Weld.The holes are from a chemical being splashed on them, not from a rust out, so they're still plenty strong and that would certainly be in keeping with the theme of the bike LOL.

I am shocked at how easily everything has come apart, I figured as rusty as it was everything would be a major battle to remove but it has been quite the opposite. It's going to look a hundred times better than when I started but it will still look like a refugee from the smelter..... oh wait, it is.
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Old 04-13-24, 04:44 PM
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A great project. I played around with a Suburban for a few years. The precious owner had modified it intro a single speed with a bottom bracket adapter and aluminum wheels, and I picked it up for $25. I put some useful gearing on it. It was fun to ride around with despite its weight; the one thing that I would have liked to fix was the fork. Those pressed fork blades felt disturbingly flexy.


I added a rear brake after I took this photo.
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Old 04-14-24, 05:47 PM
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Had a pretty decent day in the garage, Dave is staring to look like a bicycle again. Headset rebuilt; fork back in; brake calipers disassembled, cleaned, reassembled and mounted with new shoes; crankset back together and installed with replacement BB compliments of Deal4Fuji ; derailleurs mounted; shifters back on and deraileur cables and housing run. I'm using a Shimano FD I pulled off an 80's Varsity and a Suntour Honor RD that I have no memory of obtaining but it was in the stash. The original steel bars were severely bent in at the end on one side so I used the stem from the same 80's Varsity and a set of only slighty bent aluminum bars from the Volkscycle my Arabesque group came off of. Still have to clean up a set of brake levers, I'm using a set of Schwinn Approved Dia Compes with turkey levers. I also found a set of steel bolt on 27 inch wheels less rusty than Big Birds originals (no pin holes to fill LOL) in the back of the garage and they not only had a usable set of gumwall tires on them but they still had air in them! They had to have been back there a good 10 years or better. The gumwalls look a bit "funky" but they aren't discolored, dried out or cracked and the tread looks fair to middlin' with no signs of cracking.

I'll clean up those wheels and then knock away at what's left. If all goes to plan Dave will be a functioning bicycle by next weekend.
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Old 04-21-24, 04:59 PM
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It's been awhile but Dave is progressing, Wheels are done but I ended up putting new tires on them, while cleaning them I noticed the tread was separating on the old tires and I didn't have any good used ones that I wanted to part with. I had a pair of cheap tires I had bought during the pandemic for a bike that has "left the building" so I put them on Dave's wheels. I also swapped the 5 speed road freewheel for a 5 speed from an old MTB with much larger cogs to gear him down for improved climbing. For those that have never had the "pleasure" Varsities are NOT fun to climb with. I picked up a vintage Schwinn Approved saddle for $5 and put it on today. I also found an old set of Dia Compe levers with blue hoods and the hoods have have cutouts for turkey levers. Oh yes, I am putting turkey levers on him. He's also getting purple bar tape. Why purple? Because I bought some for another bike but it wasn't the shade of purple it showed in the ad and clashed really badly. However, it actually looks decent (sort of) against the blue on Dave and I will almost certainly never have another chance to use it up LOL. I was tempted to take a pic of him on the stand and post it but I'm going to wait until he's done. I have to clean up the brake levers and hang them on the bars, wrap the bars, run brake cables, put a chain on and set the brakes and derailleurs. He'll still look like the South end of a North bound horse but that's about a 1000% inprovement over how he looked when I pulled him out of the dirt.
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Old 04-27-24, 03:10 PM
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Ladies and gentlemen, meet the reincarnated "Dave"........

The before just for a reminder.



And as of about an hour ago............



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Old 04-27-24, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Murray Missile
For those that have never had the "pleasure" Varsities are NOT fun to climb with.
Looks amazing! It’s a good thing I was only 15, skinny and stupid when I started riding in earnest. I didn’t know any better or realize how challenging climbing on my Varsity was, I just knew I could. What moved me to get a better bike was descending! Watching those blade forks vibrate at high speeds convinced me I needed to upgrade.
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Old 04-28-24, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by ascherer
Looks amazing! It’s a good thing I was only 15, skinny and stupid when I started riding in earnest. I didn’t know any better or realize how challenging climbing on my Varsity was, I just knew I could. What moved me to get a better bike was descending! Watching those blade forks vibrate at high speeds convinced me I needed to upgrade.
In my teen years there were a pair of bikes in Grandpa’s garage for visiting grandkids to use. I always rode the green Varsity. My cousin used the 3 speed Raleigh(I think). I was amazed by my cousin’s athleticism when we raced. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t beat my cousin when we raced. I figured 10 was better than 3. Now I know. The Varsity weighed a ton! Memories can bring diamonds and rust. That memory is a diamond.
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Old 05-04-24, 01:51 PM
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Well, couldn't sell the nice bike I had for sale but Dave just sold along with his big brother "Big Bird".
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Old 05-04-24, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Aubergine
A great project. I played around with a Suburban for a few years. The precious owner had modified it intro a single speed with a bottom bracket adapter and aluminum wheels, and I picked it up for $25. I put some useful gearing on it. It was fun to ride around with despite its weight; the one thing that I would have liked to fix was the fork. Those pressed fork blades felt disturbingly flexy.


I added a rear brake after I took this photo.
I though that the Suburban, like the Continental always had tubular forks. I could be wrong, perhaps there was a year or two were they used the Varsity forks. This bike has a matching fork, and the proper looking Suburban stem and handlebars, so it could be that they were made with flat forged fork blades for some time. Good looking bike, it looks like a great rider. I like that it already came with the crank adapter already.

My preference is for Suburban and Continentals because of the better and lighter tubular forks. I have a Varsity now that, if I use start working on it, I will put a tubular fork on from another bike. Like I need more working bikes. Or even another electro-forged Schwinn bike. But I do like them, now, in my older and I don't care what people think, years.
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Old 05-04-24, 05:36 PM
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Bikes: Peugeot: AO-8 1973, PA-10 1971, PR-10 1973, Sante 1988; Masi Gran Criterium 1975, Stevenson Tourer 1980, Stevenson Criterium 1981, Schwinn Paramount 1972, Rodriguez 2006, Gitane Federal ~1975, Holdsworth Pro, Follis 172 ~1973, Bianchi '62

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Originally Posted by Velo Mule
I though that the Suburban, like the Continental always had tubular forks. I could be wrong, perhaps there was a year or two were they used the Varsity forks. This bike has a matching fork, and the proper looking Suburban stem and handlebars, so it could be that they were made with flat forged fork blades for some time. Good looking bike, it looks like a great rider. I like that it already came with the crank adapter already.

My preference is for Suburban and Continentals because of the better and lighter tubular forks. I have a Varsity now that, if I use start working on it, I will put a tubular fork on from another bike. Like I need more working bikes. Or even another electro-forged Schwinn bike. But I do like them, now, in my older and I don't care what people think, years.
To be honest I can't recall for sure now if it was a Suburban or some other non-Varsity model. And yes, it was fun to ride. I used it on the Washington coast where my family had a little vacation house for many years. It was perfect for that.
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