Thursday, February 13, 2014

Restoring a Raleigh 3 Speed: 1958 Raleigh Sports

 As you may recall, the 1958 Raleigh Sports came to me with no head badge. The original had been removed and another, larger badge put in its place. The replacement badge was off center as well. I cleaned up the head tube with polish and tapped out
 the old rivet remains with a punch and hammer.

I have two head badges on hand. One is brass and black Raleigh heron from the 1940s or 50s, while the other is a painted brass heron from the late 1960s or 70s. Contrary to popular belief, not all Raleigh herons share the exact same hole spacing. The older heron has spacing a bit smaller than the later on.

Instead of rivets, I have Type U drive screws. These are small screws with helical threads. They are tapped in, similar to nails, but the thread theoretically keeps them from backing out. They are one of the ways to attach a thin metal badge without having to tap threads or resort to specially sized rivets.

I found the old Heron fit pretty closely. I tapped in the first drive screw in and synced up the holes using a very small, round needle file. The correct screw size was #0 with a 1/8 inch length.

Here is the finished product. It looks nice so far. I put a dab of JB Weld epoxy on the inside of the head tube where each of the drive screws enters. This may not totally stop them from loosening, but in the event they do loosen, it should hold them in place long enough to get home and replace them.

As you can also see, the holes from the larger badge are still present and were indeed off center. I took some JB Weld and filled the holes with it. I left it to set overnight. When I get a chance, I will cover the grey of the JB Weld with black paint to make it virtually invisible.

A few shots of the frame. My stand is makeshift- the tool shelf of a ladder. Do not attempt to do it with a fully assembled bike or you may break your ladder tool shelf. I was only able to do this because the frame is more or less stripped.

While the the frame sat, I moved on to the wheels. I flushed them with some WD 40, until the crevices bled clear liquid. I then inundated the front hub with 50 weight oil and the rear hub with 20. I like medium-heavy oil in the bottom brackets and front hubs of these bikes because I use it in lieu of grease. The hubs and bottom bracket are oil lubricated and you just have to top them off with more oil from time to time.

The rear is a Sturmey Archer SW, notorious for camming out of second and third gear, as well as being very picky about bearing adjustment and oil thickness. The original Sturmey oil was an SAE 20 machine oil. 3-in-1 blue can is the way to go today. I used only that in the SW. I inundated that as well, working it into the bearings by laying the wheel on each of its sides.

Meanwhile, I strung the brakes, handles and cables vertically on the ladder. I filled the housings with oil until the oil ran all the way down and out. This flushes and lubricates the original brake cables, which I certainly want to keep.

Finally, I called it quits in the shed and moved into the house where it was a bit warmer. I worked on touching up the white tail of the rear fender. This paint is a mix of Testor's Gloss Enamel, the type you might use on a model car or airplane. I've found the little jars are perfect for touch up work and the paint mixes easily. It is also oil based, which I like for its extra rust protection over water-based hobby paints.

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