Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Project LeJeune: Update II

Making (slow) progress
Project LeJeune Update:

Well, I got something done! This might take an eternity to chip away into what I had envisioned, but at least I have taken one step forward here.

First, I needed to dismantle the old wheels. That seems simple enough until you go looking for that Atom freewheel removal tool. Ahh! But the shop has a Phil Wood one, back in the day, it was used a lot, so I borrowed it to use for the project.

Okay, so I twisted that off without much of an argument. Makes my theory that the bike was barely ridden more plausible. Anyway, then comes the cutting of spokes. Quick work with my heavy duty nippers frees the hub from its connection to those old red label tubular rims. Then, I started fiddling with the hub, turning the axle in my hand as I thought about my next step.

That was going to be a hub tear down, but......two things popped into my mind. One- the axle was beginning to turn more freely after a few minutes. Could the grease still be good, only needing a bit of heat to make it viscous again? Two- the Record hubs have metal clips around their centers covering a zerk type hole for greasing. Hmm......grabbed my needle point greaser and started pumping. Old lithium grease squozed out of the seals, slightly brownish, but still slippery. Then the new grease popped out behind. No contamination to be seen. Good.

Spinning the axle nicely afterward, I decided not to crack open the hub. Likely I would only find everything in order. Now on to a bit of external cleaning and then wheel building.

This made me think...
One thing about Project LeJeune gives me pause now. The fact that it is a skinny tubed steel bike might be an issue. Yes, the ride on the old Raleigh Grand Prix showed me that.

That frame was noodling and bouncing around like mad on my ride, making me think I was about to see the frame buckle at any second. I don't know, maybe I am overstating the issue, but the frame was getting knocked about on the chunky gravel quite a bit. Well, the LeJeune might just be the same deal on gravel. Maybe.

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