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Sequence for Doing an Overhaul?

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Sequence for Doing an Overhaul?

Old 12-18-13, 10:24 AM
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pedalnmetal
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Sequence for Doing an Overhaul?

Hi folks -

As someone fairly new to CV and wrenching on bikes, I'm at a point where I've acquired a few CV road and mountain bikes and some basic tools and would now like to start working on said bikes to put them in better shape than I've found them. And as someone who generally prefers to plan a bit vs. diving right into things, I'd be curious to hear how you all approach overhauling a bike with the hope of saving me some time and hassles. Recognizing that there are probably no absolute rights and wrongs, are there any generally accepted or suggested sequences for inspecting, tearing down, and building back up a bike? For some reason, I feel like the sequence of building a bike back up is more important than tearing it down, but correct me if I'm wrong about that. I already have a bike repair book that helps with how to do specific tasks (and am aware of the tutorials on the Park website), but I'm interested in the order of the entire process (step 1, step 2, step 3, ...), knowing that not all steps will be necessary depending on the condition of the bike.

If there's a thread here on BF somewhere that has already addressed this please point me to it. I'd be surprised if there isn't one, but I didn't see anything obvious when I searched thread topics for 'overhaul' and a few other related terms. I did find this overhaul checklist from the United Bicycle Institute, but it seems like more of an exam than an insightful guide.

I figured I could also post this in the 'Mechanics' forum, but since my current interests and acquisitions are 'older' bikes (80s - 90s) I thought this was a safe place. Thanks in advance for any advice ...
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Old 12-18-13, 10:50 AM
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There's only a few logical things that go in order, other than that it's just a pile of bolts really, nothing to be afraid of.
Avoid scratching, dinging, dropping tools on the frame. Avoid overtightning and carefully deal with frozen parts. Most can be removed given enough patience and time. Avoid things that sound like shortcuts. A bike is very simple.
Do it right - do it once, but don't be afraid to redo it when needed.

I may do this:
1. Remove bartape, saddle, seatpost, wheels
2. Remove brake and shifter cables, cable housings
3. Remove brakes, brake levers
4. Remove Stem and handlebar (threadless forks will drop out so tie up or set aside)
5. Remove chain, then derailleurs and then crank arms
6. Remove bottom bracket (cups as well on vintage)
7. Remove fork, be ready for loose bearings to fall on old vintage (AND headset cups if doing a complete frame prep job)
8. Soak, clean degrease, polish, prep etc to your hearts desire.
9. Inspect for parts needing replacement
10. Installation is opposite of removal.

Good luck
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Old 12-18-13, 10:54 AM
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I do a lot of volunteer work at a co-op so this is just a vague guide, nothing concrete I do... I generally start by taking the wheels off and check them (cleaning, repacking, truing, if needed). Next I take the pedals off and put anti-seize* on the threads. I usually check the seatpost and stem at this time for movement and apply anti-seize* at this time but hopefully on your own bikes they are already moving. I check the BB for play and fix if needed, or repack if it's old and grinding or something. I hate repacking pedals so I avoid doing that as much as possible but it'd be next up on my list. I leave the pedals off until later. Next up I'd take the chain off and clean it in some mineral spirits (I shake it in a peanut butter jar and hang it to dry). At this point I'd re-pack the headset if it needed it. I clean the derailleurs and chainrings too (if they weren't removed earlier). At this time housings/cables get checked for free movement and replaced if needed. At this point I think I've checked/repacked all the bearings and then it's just a matter of putting the wheels back on, installing the cranks, chain and setting up/checking the shifting and setting up the brakes again. You'd want to install new brake pads before putting the wheels back on as well.

Obviously I don't think this is the only order or even the best order but it's generally how I think I do things. It's also not a complete list but I think it's got most of the important things on it.


*grease is fine if you don't ride on salty roads and probably is fine even if you do
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Old 12-18-13, 11:04 AM
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I'm sure folks that are much more knowledgable than me will step in and explain some general principals. I'll just say that because you're working on old bikes, you may have to deal with some common problems such as seized seatposts, stems, bottom bracket cups, and other seized or stuck fasteners such as derailleur clamp and pinch bolts. These topics have been covered extensively here. One way to start is to just check for the big problems of seized seatpost or stem and go from there.

If the bikes are old and haven't been serviced in a long time, and your goal is just to get them in better shape for riding (as opposed to better looking!), here is a list of what I think would be worth doing:

Wheels: Clean and re-pack the hubs with fresh grease and new ball bearings. True and tension the spokes. New tires if the old ones are in bad shape.

Drivetrain: New chain and freewheel/cassette if the originals are worn out. Re-pack bottom bracket or replace with a newer cartridge bearing model. Clean rear derailleur, replace the jockey wheels if they're really worn out, if they are just not turning well you can often re-lube them to some extent. New shifter cables and housing.

Brakes: Clean, check that they pivot smoothly with no play and adjust as needed. install new brake pads, install new cables and housing.

Headset: check for play or rough steering, if it seems fine you might just leave that alone.

General: grease all bolts. remove seatpost and stem, grease and re-install.

Good luck!
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Old 12-18-13, 07:47 PM
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Strip down to bare frame, gently rub out paint avoiding decals with polishing compound, clean, touch up paint if needed then wax the heck out of it. Clean, lube and rebuild parts one at a time and reinstall. I throw everything into a bucket of mineral spirits for a couple of days, then clean with a toothbrush and steel wool if appropriate. Throw the bare aluminum on a buffing wheel if you're so inspired. I install everything with the fasteners facing the drive side. Wheels, whatever they need. Handlebar tape, toe straps, cables and hoods last. I usually always use new cables and housing, new chain, new tires and tubes. Anywhere steel threads into aluminum use Never-Seize; someone will love you for it in 20 years.

Stand back and admire your work!
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Old 12-18-13, 08:14 PM
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I don't have any particular order. Check the things that could get hairy first, such as making sure the stem and seatpost will move. Otherwise, it may be a lost cause.

I wash my hands before taping handlebars. I sometimes wash them while taping them, too, if they get dirty from working on a bike and touching dirty tools.
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Old 12-18-13, 09:23 PM
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pedalnmetal, I don't know if there is a best sequence applicable to everyone. I generally strip the frame from the top down and service from the bottom up. I generally treat the wheel set as a separate sub system. Before reassembly is a good time for cleaning and waxing, during which the frame and fork are carefully examined.

Brad
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Old 12-19-13, 03:49 AM
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I tend to, mentally, break the project down into sub-projects. And, there is no particular order for the build, however; there is one thing, the first thing, that I do when rebuilding a vintage road bicycle...

Make it road worthy and safe to ride - without spending a single cent that you don't absolutely have to and without paying the slightest bit of attention to cosmetics. Once made road worthy, and that does not mean it has to shift, I test ride the bicycle! Failure to do this can prove to be very disappointing. The builder can find out a number of extremely important things, through a five minute test ride, that will answer the following questions...

Does the bike fit you when riding it? Does it track well or tend to pull to one side or the other? Do you like the feel of the bike? If there is a single no to one of those three questions, stop and forget the build. If the bike is the right size, tracks properly and makes you happy to ride, then start spending money, building what ever you want to first and continue on to the last.

Every bicycle featured in MY "TEN SPEEDS" discusses the build process, some in detail, from beginning to end. There are how I do it articles to assist with detailed issues. By looking through those, you might be better prepared to answer your own questions. For me, in answer to your primary concern, it is...

- strip the bike down to frame/fork and wheels (yes, leave the wheels on until the bottom bracket is removed)
- remove bottom bracket
- remove forks
- repair, replace clean/polish anything and/or everything(this might mean further disassembly of individual components)
- install fork
- install wheels
- install bottom bracket
- install transmission and cables
- after that, there is no special order that I follow
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Old 12-19-13, 05:20 AM
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sequence isn't that important if you have the time. if you put something together in a bad sequence (like installing lever clamps before putting the bars through a quill stem), you simply remove one of them.

i always put something like the rear derailleur on a new build before i really should, 'cause i get anxious in how it will look.

a real problem though is putting something like bar tape on your bars and then wanting to deanodize and polish them. don't do that. remove road rash and polish everything pre-build.
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Old 12-19-13, 05:36 AM
  #10  
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Two parts of the process for me: photos and zip ties. I don't rely on memory. For instance, you take off the dt shifters clamp, but then can't remember whether it was clamped above, around or below that little steel diamond on the underside of the dt frame. Also, if you can use zip ties for things that come off in sequence (headset stacks, etc.). And if you have two of something, like shifters, take one apart to clean, lube and then reassemble while the other remains untouched in case you need to refer to it. I always try to make those things part of my process.
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Old 12-19-13, 06:34 AM
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I didn't see mention of bottom bracket. Make sure you have the right tool to remove the crank arms. Don't remove the right side bearing cup unless necessary.

Headset? If you do choose to clean and repack it, there is a good way and a bad way to disassemble it. Keep the weight of the bike on the fork when you looseen the top race. If you don't, the fork will drop down as you unscrew the top race, and the lower bearings (there are usually many, like 27 but the number varies) will drop out and possibly scatter like bugs. Pick out the top bearings. Then while holding the fork against the frame turn the frame over and lift the fork out. Re-assemble in the reverse order, starting with the frame upside down.
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Old 12-19-13, 07:23 AM
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Usually, I remove all of the parts from the bike first. I then clean and repack the headset and bottom bracket (putting anti seize on the BB cup threads). I then clean, polish, wax the frame. I clean the cranks/rings and reinstall before putting on the derailleurs (it makes placing the front derailleur easier). Next I put on the wheels and then derailleurs (already cleaned and polished) and check the limit screws with no chain against the cassette and cranks. Next is the polished/lubed brake calipers are installed and pads roughly adjusted. I then put on the cleaned/polished bars, stem, levers/shifters and adjust the brake lever and bar angle with the bike off the workstand and on level ground. I then remove the wheels and cassette/freewheel and clean, repack, true the wheels and clean and lube the freewheel. I reinstall the cassette or freewheel (grease freewheel threads). Install new tubes/tires and put the wheels on the bike. Install a new chain. I then run my new shifter cables/housing and adjust/test on the workstand. Next is the rear brake cables/housing/pads. Take the bike off the stand (my stand requires removal of fr. wheel), install front wheel and do front brake cables/housing/pads. I then adjust the headset by applying the front brake and rocking the bike to check for play. At this point the bike can be tested and final tweeks made to rider position/shifting/braking. When all of that is done, with clean hands, I install the bar tape.
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Old 12-19-13, 07:31 AM
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Lot of good advice here. The first thing I do is grab a handful of sandwich bags. My memory isn't what it use to be and I don't have a lot of space due to the crowded conditions. Plastic bags are used to collect groups of parts, loose ball bearings! I hate playing hide and seek. If the part is to big, use a bigger bag.

I don't clean as I go, I pick a sub-assembly and bag it. This process continues until the frame is bare with the exception of the DS BB cup and maybe the HS cups, although HS cups are not hard to remove. I may remove the crown race as well depending on the condition of the fork. If repaint is required, it comes off. I don't use any special tools for the HS, either to remove or install. If the DS cup needs to come off, having everything off the frame is a bonus. Gently putting the cup in a bench vice and using the frame as a lever works. If not, use the Sheldon Brown method. If that doesn't work, heat will.

For stuck parts I have found Kroil works better than PB Blaster or WD 40 or Liquid Wrench. It is only availabe on line. The only seriously challenging stuck part in my experience is a rear drop out axle adjuster. It doesn't take much torque to twist it off and it is difficult to know if it is turning or failing! Watch the other end to tell.

I too like to work from the bottom up. Depending on the circumstances, I may clean and lube a bag at a time, then decide to install parts, working from the bottom up with cable routing just prior to HB tape installation. The fun part is discovering what works best for you and that can vary depending on other factors of life and events.

Most importantly, take it slow and easy and have fun! Don't take a risk you don't feel comfortable with a negitive result (bottom bracket drive side cup removal).
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Old 12-19-13, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by dbakl View Post
Strip down to bare frame, gently rub out paint avoiding decals with polishing compound, clean, touch up paint if needed then wax the heck out of it. Clean, lube and rebuild parts one at a time and reinstall. I throw everything into a bucket of mineral spirits for a couple of days, then clean with a toothbrush and steel wool if appropriate. Throw the bare aluminum on a buffing wheel if you're so inspired. I install everything with the fasteners facing the drive side. Wheels, whatever they need. Handlebar tape, toe straps, cables and hoods last. I usually always use new cables and housing, new chain, new tires and tubes. Anywhere steel threads into aluminum use Never-Seize; someone will love you for it in 20 years.

Stand back and admire your work!
Yup
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Old 12-19-13, 08:45 AM
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Pedalnmetal -- Thanks for a great question! I'm getting at least as much of this thread as you are.
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Old 12-19-13, 09:53 AM
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It's definitely a good idea to have some plastic bins to put the pieces into as you disassemble. Also, blue nitrile exam gloves will save your hands.
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Old 12-19-13, 10:17 AM
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Ditto on the plastic bags and pre-rebuild test ride.

In my case, I place the loose and bagged parts in separate boxes for each project. I tend to have more than one project going at a time and I don't want to mingle parts (that may not be the best idea, but that's how i am). Any bike that is salvaged for parts only gets stripped, and the parts are placed in with other spares.
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Old 12-19-13, 10:56 AM
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1.) Put bike on repair stand...
2.) If seat post & stem move, have a beer.
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Old 12-19-13, 11:22 AM
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Hi everyone ... just checked back in and am thankful to see so many thoughtful (and humorous) responses ... it's much appreciated. Now I need to make a little time to read through them more carefully, and hope to see others continue to add their 2 cents. I know it's not astrophysics, but even the basics are good to hear from others who have been there / done that many more times than me. Eventually I'll probably look into taking some repair classes at the local co-op, but for now I'll grab a 6-pack and my tools and start learning by doing.
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Old 12-19-13, 11:36 AM
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One more thing. If it doesn't move with gentle pressure, put a 3ft-long pipe over the end of the wrench then push hard on the end of the pipe. Then go buy a new bike. It really works.

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Old 12-19-13, 11:39 AM
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I usually start by checking the stem and seatpost..........even better to check at the time of purchase. Then I start with the wheels by making sure I can make them reasonably true and then repack the hubs. Once I'm sure I have a good set of wheels I proceed with stripping the parts. I leave the fork while cleaning the frame and when I'm ready to repack the headset I'll remove the fork and clean it. I like to install the headset and BB right after cleaning/re greasing them. Clean and re install the rest of the bits and do cables and bar wrap last.
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Old 12-19-13, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
1.) Put bike on repair stand...
2.) If seat post & stem move, have a beer.
Dang, and I stopped drinking...

Oh, and if you have the tools check the dropouts are centered on the frame (string test), dropout squareness and derailler hanger alignment before you start reassembly.
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Old 12-19-13, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
(bottom bracket drive side cup removal).
Generally, unless you're repainting the frame or need to replace you can leave that and clean from the inside. They can really be a bear sometimes.
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Old 12-19-13, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
1.) Put bike on repair stand...
2.) If seat post & stem move, have a beer.
If seat post and stem don't move, have something stronger.

Maybe two...
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Old 12-19-13, 07:59 PM
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My sister recently got me a nice Giant hybrid from a social program for drunks, recovering drug addicts and other marginalized persons trying to get a hitch back into society by working on stray bikes. Attached with the receipt was a sort of "fligh-check" list, used in overhauling the bike, checked off by the guy rebuilding it. It was pretty specific and covered all the bases, neatly grouped in groups, like "drivetrain" and "brakes". I think I'm just going to use that list on my next rebuild, as I'm wont to forget important stuff like closing the brake QR's when going on a test drive.
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