In the previous post I introduced the Teikoku frame that I plan to restore. Before cleaning up the frame, the first thing is to remove the fork and bottom bracket. In this post we will remove the fork. But before that there are few tips to help prepare for a restoration.
POINTER: Always be sure to take photos BEFORE disassembly. This serves two purposes.
(1) A reference for re-assembly, which parts were originally where!
(2) A comparison of before/after.
POINTER: "Well begun, half done".
It is critical that parts and information travel together. In other words, after removing a part it must be labeled (name, location, orientation, quantity, size, etc). I use assorted Ziplock bags and magic marker to record information directly on the bag. Bags serve not only to organize the parts but also to prevent scratches. Small parts in small bags and all the components that comprise an assembly are placed into a larger bag.
POINTER: The head typically contains 26 ball bearings in the upper portion and 26 ball bearings in the lower. When loosening the locknut maintain a constant downward pressure on the head to prevent any gap from forming between the lower head cup and fork crown race. Unlike bicycles with caged bearings, old bicycles have individual ball bearings and a gap will cause the ball bearings in the lower head cup to spill out!
Use a C-spanner to take off the top locknut, remove the light bracket, the second locknut and adjustable head cup (Shown from top to bottom in the photo below).
The safest way to avoid losing any bearings is to first remove the bearings in the upper portion, turn the frame upside down and remove the fork and the bearings in the lower cup.
For reference purposes, the fork has been removed and all 25 ball bearings are shown in the upper head race. The consistency of the grease changes over the years and this gummy substance kept the ball bearings stationary.
The chrome parts (locknuts, lamp bracket, adjustable cup, etc) can be cleaned up with steel wool.
Note steel wool comes in various grades:
Super Fine 0000
Extra Fine 000
Very Fine 00
Medium Coarse 2
Extra Coarse 4
POINT: Always start off with a finer grade and test the steel wool on an inconspicuous spot as there is the danger of removing the chrome plating if too coarse a grade is used.
Lamp bracket with Teikoku company logo.
In the next post we will look at cottered bottom bracket disassembly.