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Help with this Panasonic

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Help with this Panasonic

Old 12-10-09, 12:59 AM
  #1  
jkmartin
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Help with this Panasonic

I believe what I have here is a 1984 Panasonic DX 2000 serial # 4B06139 in 28" (71cm) size. Standover height even with flat tires is 37". The head tube is 12". This is a big bike. It seems to be as close to original as possible. I wouldn't be surprised if these were the original tires (at least the parts that haven't been gnawed away by critters). The chain, cables, cable housings, saddle, decals, and brake hoods are pretty much goners. The crank, chainrings, derailleurs, shifters and brakes are in surprisingly good condition. The wheels are 36 spoke and seem true. The cassette is rusted but turns. The frame is straight and seems rust free. Paint is faded and has some scratches and nicks.

I bought this as a project bike but unfortunately don't have any experience tearing down and rebuilding bicycles. My first idea is to disassemble the bike, strip the paint, replace what needs replaced, put some wider tires on, repaint and make this into a cyclocross/dirt road bike for my friend (who is tall enough to ride it).

The other idea is to turn the bike into a single speed/fixed gear. The frame has a nearly horizontal rear dropout.

Is there anything I definitely should or should not do with this bike? I'm fairly certain I can get all the components off but what's the best way to strip the paint (chemicals, steel wool)? Is it possible to get replica decals? My investment so far is $10 so I doubt I can mess this up too bad.

Thanks.


Last edited by jkmartin; 12-10-09 at 01:01 AM. Reason: add picture
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Old 12-10-09, 01:45 AM
  #2  
old and new
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Just clean it up to provide to your friend. You don't consider yourself an expert but you prove in your text that you know enough. Don't paint it. Panasonics used American Car type colors, touch -it up... last. After the bike operates. To tell you what you need to obtain for it; used, a few obvious items new....is not warranted, you already know it and typed it. Touch the spokes up, don't "true" the wheels, just poke around those spokes, wing it but don't get carried away and make'em worse. Wheels wre sturdy on them, as was the paint and the frame's tendancy to NOT rust. Decals, paint... I can't in good conscience recommend that. It's a decent bike; mostly chromoly as you know with good components. It's just not "worth" goin' crazy on, almost no bike is.
I have a HUGE Panasonic myself, a lesser one in quality which nobody is likely to want. Your big strong friend will like that bike. Knarly tires and you're set. If he wrecks the wheels, HE can then get new ones. A saddlle cost five bucks used, e-bay or scrounged otherwise; a bike store.... whatever. A free or cheap saddle can suit any given ind. butt as well as an eighty dollar one. Impossible to "know". Tape , cables, maybe casings, not much else.
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Old 12-10-09, 05:31 AM
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I had a Panansonic of the that size pass through my hands this summer. Biggest frame I had ever seem, with a full 36" plus stand over height.

I would not tear the whole bike down all at once, but rather, do one component at a time. Wheel hubs, headset, bottom bracket etc. I would do new cables, housing, chain, bar tape, rim tape, tubes and tires coupled with cleaning, polishing and clean out and fresh grease on all the bearings. I 100% agree with 'old and new' about the paint -- polish it up and touch it up but don't strip and repaint. The Park Tools website and Bike Tutor should be able to provide the know how to do most of what needs to be done.

If you don't have a crank puller or free wheel removal tools a local bike shop should be willing to remove those things for you for a few dollars. I would also consider having a shop true up the wheels -- I would think that would be $10-15 per wheel.

With careful shopping you should be able to have the bike ready to go and not have more than $100-120 in it at most, which is well within the value range of the bike.
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Old 12-10-09, 09:26 AM
  #4  
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Thanks for looking at this. What would be a good means for decal removal and polishing? What remains of the decals is mostly some raised lettering.
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Old 12-10-09, 09:53 AM
  #5  
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+1 A quality repaint will cost more than the bike is worth, and will lower its value.

I would leave the decals alone. Half a decal is better than no decal. I would use polishing compound to buff out the paint, it should look really good at that point. I would replace the bearings and grease on hubs, bottom bracket and perhaps head set (all cheap). I would also replace the cables and housings.

Replacement brake lever hoods are available at Niagara Cycle for less than $7. Niagara also sells the bearings you will need: 3/16 inch for the front wheel, 1/4 inch for the bottom bracket and rear wheel.
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Old 12-10-09, 10:29 AM
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I remember that model. I sold it in 1979 in the bike shop in New York City where I was a mechanic. I had a 6'8" tall customer (173cm) who needed it. We also sold a few to people too short for it, because at the time, riding bikes was in vogue for some people.

It was a pretty nice model, especially for the money. My guess is that it retailed for about $240 in 1979. I liked it also because it came in even-numbered size frames rather than the traditional odd-numbered sizes.
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Old 12-10-09, 10:46 AM
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Bill Walton rode one that size...
Attached Images
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Old 12-10-09, 12:38 PM
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Don't paint this bike if you ever want to get cash out of it. If scratched or knicked, just touch up paint. I get testors paints and mix paints till I get a match. Used small brush to touch up. Decals probably aren't available, since Panasonics are not made anymore. If you could get them they would be expensive. Take one of those mechanic courses at a bike shop so you can do your own work. I did about one year ago, best thing i could do. Paid for itself 20 times over. Panasonic 2000 is a good model, its worth the effort to bring that bike up to a snuff.
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Old 12-10-09, 04:49 PM
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If it fits you: get it overhauled — new grease and new bearings in the wheels bottom bracket and headset. Strip the tires and put on some high pressure touring or practice race types. Perhaps new tubes. Buff up the paint with some auto cleaning paste and then wax the daylights out of it. You can use modeler's enamel and an artists brush to fill in chips or scratches. New chain, some bar tape. If you dismantle the rear derailler and soak it in kerosense or WD-40 for awhile it may come perfectly free. Shimano has a selection of old style freewheels that cost about $12. If your LBS does not supply them, you can order them through Harris Cyclery If you can't find new gums for the levers, Shimano BR 400's should cost only about 30-35 $ and they are aero type and have a spring return. The brake blocks may have hardened up — no big thing to get new ones. New cable set. My two bits — this should not cost a fortune, and you'd have a nice, all round road bike that gets respect from around the place — from people who appreciate them. Matsu****a/Panasonic made nice bikes. Don't fixie the thing. Don't do a frankenbike. If it is as original as you indicate, it would be a shame to screw it up. I believe it's Hi-Ten (high tensile steel) not CrMo double butted, but a nice lugged steel frame nevertheless. Let us see it when you have fixed it up! And oh yeah — while it is all apart DO get the wheels trued up by a pro on a proper wheel stand.
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Old 12-10-09, 05:01 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
Bill Walton rode one that size...
That photo is, at the same time, hilarious and amazing.
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Old 12-10-09, 05:02 PM
  #11  
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May I suggest removing the reflectors? I mean, most of the time they can't be seen anyway...
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Old 12-10-09, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by DRietz View Post
May I suggest removing the reflectors? I mean, most of the time they can't be seen anyway...
The reflectors are the best part (other than the Oskaloosa, IA, bike license). Next you'll want me to take off the dork disc!

Almost got the seatpost out today. Turns but doesn't pull.
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