For those of you’s who are old enough to have been left a Dragster under the tree in the 70’s, and even if you’re not…there’s nuthin like the pure excitement you get when u spot wunna these babies at a garage sale, the dump or local shopping centre carpark. Full of rust, bent rims and bits, you still can’t get past that swooping frame and those high rise bars…and the need to take this wreck home and fix ‘er up is just too much to handle…so’s you do. 😏
Most of these finds are a mess, and unless you’ve been lucky enough to find one mummified then chances are there’s gunst to be a huge job ahead. And the first thing that comes to mind is how much is all this gonna cost?! Well, we’ve restored heaps of these bad boYs so here’s some tips that might just stop Ya searchin’ for Nanna’s pills…
Best results are achieved if you can restore the existing parts as much as possible. Original is KinG! And they fit best. Mostly frames are rusty. If possible it is better not to re-spray, however most of the time this ain’t possible.
If the frame is rusty the best way to remove rust thoroughly is by sandblasting. If the rust hasn’t penetrated too deeply then the end result should be smooth ready for priming and re-painting. We’ve always used powdercoating as it provides the strongest finish. Choose a colouR that suits and Bobs Ya brother in law. All these processes can be done at the same place. Having said that, we had a frame once absolutely covered in heavy rust…a real cot case…andafter sandblasting the frame it still had pock marks all over. Solution, we picked a matte black powdercoat with a sand finish (YEP the ridE in the pics here!) – Sable Black. Once the frame was powdercoated you’d never know hey! We even did the bars and headstem too…Looked mint!
For rims and bars etc typically chrome – then WD40 and superfine steel wool grade 00-0 are your bestest frienDs. Spray the rusted area and use a small piece of steel wool and again provided the chrome is not too rusted these bits will polish up as shiny as nu! A much cheaper solution to re-Chroming, which these days it’s hard to find someone who will even do that gig, as that stuff can cause some funKy chillin’ they RecKon…
Try to remove parts like cranks, bottoms brackets and bearings carefully as I said its best to re-use as much as possible. If yOU’s don’t think you’ll remember how they all go back in then take pics.
Now, this is where another old mate joins the shin dig, Kerosene. Grab a plastic container and poor the Kero like a barman on a Hen’s niTe. Carerefully place all the dirty, rusted parts into the Kero (chains too) and let soak for at least 24hours. When the bits have all been left to soak they should look heaps cleaner and dirt free. Rinse all parts in warm water and dry thoroughly with a rag. Here’s where you’s can assess any damage, and also replace older style bits like loose ball bearings (which probs flew everywhere on removal) with new parts like bearings in a race – cheap as and when re-assembled goes back together sweet as – without the need to swear or nothing.
Bran nu parts I reckon are a must to use and are as cheap as fries to buy are pedals, grips, tyres. There are replica (like that word) parts around these days so you’s don’t spoil the end result. The finish then is clean and shmicK – looking like nu!
For extra attention and finishing the Reno off shmicK jump online like eBay and buy some replica decals, YEP they make ’em just like the old ones.
When finished these rides are awesome as…and can be worth a lot of brass too. But the best bit is the project itself, cause it’s great FuN fixing up history!