Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Finishing Touch !

Well, in continuing in my "cheaper is better" way of thinking on this build, I decided to make my own stickers instead of buying them for a measely $20 direct from Santa Cruz! Yes, they would have looked more professional, but this project has been about making something out of nothing.

So I went down to the local Office Depot, bought a 10-pack of Avery #18665 8 1/2" x 11" full sheet, clear, inkjet printable labels.

Then I grabbed the sample picture of the decal sheet I was going to buy off of an un-named website. I then installed the FreeWare Graphics program "GIMP" and proceeded to clean up the picture I had downloaded, scaled the size back up and printed them out!

I then stuck them on after cleaning the frame carefully after my first real ride (picture to the right)

Since inkjet ink is not waterproof and to seal the edge of the stickers against moisture causing them to lift, I then applied several light coats of clear gloss overcoating.

I even bumped my ego a bit and put my name on the bike!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

$171 for a Heckler??

What a day yesterday was! My oldest daughter finally made us Grandparents! So, up all night on Thursday night, daughter finally decided to go to hospital @ 3:30 AM and by 6:00AM I am running home to get my wife. We let her sleep thinking it was just a quick "your doing fine" kind of check but noooo.... She had to have a C-section and time was of the essence!

Anyway, grandson Asher Liam Long was for July 24th @ 7:07AM, both he and mother are doing fine. Despite my lack of sleep I was so keyed up when I got home last night at 10:00pm I started finishing the bike!

I obviously went with a basic "black and white" paint scheme and it turned out just like I had imaged it would. Not bad I think for a "department store spray can of paint" job.

Here is a pictorial recap of the project:

The start of my "Budget Heckler". At this point I am exactly $110 into the project ($80 Frame and all the crap off of my old Raleigh M60 hardtail hung on it). As you can see, the paint was in pretty sad shape.

I didn't strip this all the way down to bare aluminium, just sanded off decals (what was left of them). If I wasn't trying to be so cheap on this project (see Grandson comments above!) I would have taken it to be sandblasted clean. I used a combination of wet and dry sanding and even a wire brush for the decals. In the process of breading the frame down and removing the swing arm, I broke one of the pivot bolt bearings. I was able to find a single bearing (didn't need or want an SC Propack for this project. I called the local industrial bearing supply place and they had just what I needed. For the first generation Hecklers, it is a "General Bearing Corp" P/N Z99R6. Less than $10.

Anyway, after sanding and final rinsing (did you notice I was too lazy to even pull the BB), I laid down several coats of "el cheapo" white primer lightly sanding between coats and then a nice final wet sanding.

After I made sure it was totally dried I moved into my garage to reduce the possibility of flying "critters" and other stuff swirling around outside getting into the final color coat. I chose to stay all gloss white for the color with just a touch of gloss black on the rear triangle axle area.

I applied the Krylon Gloss White paint in several light coats followed by about 6 or 7 light coats of Krylon Gloss Clear overcoat. It was hitting 102 degrees in Utah at the time, so after spraying the color and letting it sit for a few minutes, I moved it back outside to cook in Natures own "oven"

After everything had time to dry fairly well (2 days) I started putting it all back together (very carefully as the paint will need at least a month to fully "cure", I used lots of rags to protect painted areas as I worked) and began to see the results of my labor!

In keeping with my "spend as little as possible" motif (again, see comments about new Grandson) while I was working on the paint, I kept shopping our Local Online newspaper's classifieds and snagged two good deals I felt were worthy of my Budget Heckler. I found two good ones I think!

Someone had a brand new set of Bontrager Race Tubless rims/ disc hubs with equally new Bonty Jones XR tubless tires mounted to them. He wanted $40 for the set! Thought I would get into a car wreck getting to his place before someone else did!The second good deal was when I called a guy who does a lot of selling on the classifieds for bikes he has bought and refurbished. I called and asked if he had a coil over rear shock that would fit the bike and he had just gotten a pristine condition RockShox Pro Deluxe. I offered to trade him my old Raleigh hardtail bare frame I had just raped for this bike. He said fair deal so I picked up the shock and put it on this bike. Plus, it had a black spring that would match my black and white "outfit". Now I forgot to tell you that the reason the frame was so cheap was because the Fox Float was trashed (not air seals, but really nasty sounding metal scraping inside). Besides, I was worried that with my 205+ lbs I would be too rough for an air spring anyway.
For this: I was able to trade for this:
Here is the results of my hard labor and bargain hunting:
And here is the final tally sheet:
1. Frame $80
2. Wheelset $40
3. Cassette $25
4. Paint $18
5. Pivot bearing $8
6. RockShox Pro Deluxe $trade

Grand Total $171.00

Not a bad deal huh? Please leave comments on the Forum to let me know what you think.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Paint is Done, now to find where parts go!

Well, pretty productive day. I found a source for the pivot bearing (the local Santa Cruz dealers were out of Propacks for the 1st generation Hecklers) and I didn't want to wait for mail order. Turns out, these bearings are a pretty common commodity in the industrial world! I went to a local Industrial Bearing supply store, He took one look and came out with exactly what I needed! It is a "General Bearings Corp" p/n Z99R6. So, if you are in a pinch or only want one bearing, then check out your local Industrial Bearing stores!

Paint is done, got swingarm back on so now it looks like a bike frame again!

Traded my old Raleigh Frame and fork for a very good condition RoxShox Pro Deluxe spring shock (again, I weigh 205+ lbs) and it has a nice black spring, so the "Black and White" theme has come completely together! It wasn't an exact fit, it is only 7-1/2" eye-to-eye and the bushings for the 2" wide mount (the bottom one) were a little too wide. So, I took the bottom bushings from the trashed Float and manually filed them down to fit the smaller eye hole on the Rockshox (could have taken them in to be machined, but hey...this is about a CHEAP rebuild, isn't it?). I also had to drill out the top-tube bushings slightly to take the stud used on the Heckler but that was easy. The Rockshox has a little more travel (there is enough clearance to allow for it) and I hope it will work out fine.

Since my Cheap-O SR Suntour Duro-D fork is only a 100mm version, it is a little shorter than I would like and I noticed the geometry was a little "quick" since there was less Rake to the front end. I am hoping that since the RockShox shock is almost 1/2" shorter, that will sit the rear down a little and help offset the shorter fork. We will see tomorrow when I give it a test ride.

Tomorrow....the rest goes on and TEST RIDES! (Of course it will be better than before, just like a clean car always runs better!

The Paint Job

The paint was pretty beat up on my recently acquired "Budget Heckler" as you can see!

So I stripped it down, used white primer and repainted a basic, gloss white! Looks pretty darn good I think for a "Spray can job" I think.

I am going to get replacement for pivot bearing I trashed during disassembly tomorrow I hope!

I also found another deal for this. My Fox Float RC on this frame was trashed (no dampening, very bad metal sounds when the piston was moved up and down!) and I didn't want to spend $130 with Fox for a rebuild! Besides, I was concerned about an air shock with my weight (205+ lbs.....I'm not saying how much "plus") and wanted to swap it out for a coil over shock instead.

A little "huzpa" here....I follow the local newspaper's free online want-ads daily always looking for a deal (how do think I found my frame to begin with?) and have always noticed the same guy posting a different bike or two every week. So, I called the number on his latest ad and just asked if he had a 7-7/8" coil-over shock and he did! It is a RockShox Pro Deluxe. Not wanting to spend any more money (new Grandson on the way you know) I asked if he was interested in a trade. Since he builds bikes for resale, I asked if he would trade the shock for my Raleigh M60 bare frame and the RockShox Jett fork that came with it! Since I was trying to sell them on the same classified ad site for only $40 for both, seemed like a good deal for me since the shock is probably worth $80-$100. He said fine, he needed another hardtail project more than the big shock. So I will go pick it up tomorrow.

In the beginning

Here is what I started with:

Heckler Frame: $80
Bontrager Race Tubless wheelset with Jones XR tubless tires : $40 !! (not in this picture, I took this the day after I got the frame and had just hung all the stuff on it and I didn't stumble across the wheels until later!)
New 8 speed Shimano HG40 cassette: $23

Not bad so far, huh? Since I have always wanted a decent quality bike but didn't have the $1K-$2K to shell out, This is going to be an all-out "Cheap Rebuild"