Everyone loves yellow right?! I know I do.
The last post was really just an introduction to the Viscount. I wasn’t really in bad shape; the stickers and frame had scuffs and there were spots of rust on the frame but the main issue were the rims. The old rims had been painted to hide the rust and pitting ,a cheap and nasty fix, so I decided to strip the wheels down and buy new rims. I’m yet to build the wheels up so here’s what’s new.
I decided to bite the bullet and get the whole frameset powder coated the gorgeous Signal Yellow. It’s a risky choice, in terms of profit, but when it comes to quality vs a rattle can spray job it’s a million times better. The components were all dropped off on Monday morning and I picked them up on Wednesday, along with another build…
The finish is beautiful. Smooth and solid all over. In fact, the only imperfection is my attempt at knocking out the dent on the rear mudguard.
I’ve cracked on with reassembling the frame this weekend and it’s looking good. The bottom bracket and crankset went on first. I don’t think there’s a spot of rust on them now and after cleaning out the remnants of the sand blasting the bearings are spinning smoothly. The cranks are stamped Nicklin, which brings me to something I found interesting. Nicklin, are the company that bought Williams, which would make sense seeing as this chain ring closely resembles a Williams model. This makes me think Viscount chose some good quality parts for their bikes.
The headset is another good quality item, made by TDC and after clearing out all the old dirt and grease I found it was almost perfect. New bearings and new grease and the bike was ready for it’s bars. After looking over the original bars I decided to swap them out for a spare set I had which had better chrome. I borrowed a set of brake levers from my spares pile too as the original ones were mismatched and with the finish so far, everything needs to be top quality.
I stripped the calipers down and polished up each part before assembling and fitting the mudguards. My Dremel really came in useful here, so much so, I’ve ordered more polishing compounds to use it on my other projects. It seemed a shame to put the old rusted bolts back on the bike so I’ve used some brand new stainless bolts – I hope whoever buys the finished item appreciates these little details!
Refitting the seat post and seat is about as much as I can do at the moment. I’m waiting on a few more parts to arrive before fitting all the cables and building the wheels. How’s it looking so far?
Over the weekend I was busy “dog sitting” so I couldn’t really get anything big done. In fact, the only thing I could really do is give the old girl a good wash, polish and wax. In all honesty, she’s a 10 yard car. Looks great from a few paces away but as soon as you get close you see all the scratches, touch ups, mismatched paint, stone chips, cracks, and dents that previous owners have left. Still, from those 10 yards away, with a good polish and wax, she looks amazing.
I decided to take all my polishes and wax with me, set up my GoPro and film the whole thing. It took a good few hours but it’s been condensed down into a 4 minute time lapse. Unfortunately, again, YouTube has decided to block the video from mobile playback and some countries (I don’t know which) because of my choice of song. I tried to pick an instrumental to avoid this happening but I guess they’re that picky.
AutoGlym products are my weapons of choice (apart from the Turtle Wax soap):
Turtle Wax Soap
Autoglym Deep Shine Polish
Autogylm Fast Glass
Autoglym Vinyl and Rubber Care
Autoglym Instant Tyre Dressing
Autoglym Leather Balm
Autoglym Aqua Wax
Here’s the results:
If only the paintwork was just as good looking up close!
My replacement gear knob turned up today too. After the listing on BuddyClub UK for a Toyota was wrong and the incorrect knob returned I received the Subaru fitment today. In case you missed it in my last post, the listing on the website for Toyota is for a M8 threaded gear knob. As far as I can tell this only fits automatics. The Corolla needs an M12 gear knob and the only one that matched (after deciphering the part codes) was the Subaru one. It fits perfect.
The standard one was well worn, so this is more of a visual upgrade. Ideally I was looking for something heavy to help with shifting but the BuddyClub Type B actually seems lighter than OEM. I’ll have to see how I get on with it, whether the comfort and “feel” are improved or not. For now at least, it looks better (it actually has the blue BuddyClub logo stuck on top now… I just forgot to take a photo).
What better way to spend a beautiful sunny Sunday? Well I could think of loads of ideas but today I ended up spending most of the day cleaning. The Corolla was first on the list after the UK got hit by rain contamination with sand and dust from the Sahara. I’m not religious with my car cleaning but the thin layer of speckled dust was annoying. It’s a bit of a chore cleaning the car without a hose so I’ve developed a technique of soaping a panel at a time with the microfibre mitt I have before wiping away all the residue with a chamois washed in clean water. It’s not ideal but it get’s the job done. Three hours soon disappeared from washing and polishing the car! It got almost the full works today with all my Autoglym gear. Full bodywork polish, all the tyres dressed, all windows polished, plastics polished and anything vinyl or rubber was treated to a wipe over with some Vinyl and Rubber care. I must admit, despite knowing the old girl needs a full respray, she don’t half look good with a good polish.
I’m going to have to do something about the front bumper soon though. It’s obviously had a terrible respray at some point in its life. There’s paint flaking off and a million and one stone chips 😦 It’s like a giant dot to dot on the front bumper. Another annoyance… I found out someone again has hit my car. With what, I don’t know but the drivers side rear quarter has a “nice” new scratch down it. It looks like something with green paint has hit it. Nobody has any respect for anyone’s property anymore…
That three hours on the car tired me out a bit but I carried on with the mountain bike next in line. It was caked in mud and after my last ride out along the canal it had been left with a flat tyre. On that ride I think I picked up about 6 punctures and I couldn’t find the culprit. It got to the point where I walked the bike home. Those “fat” tyres I put on in January seem to have absolutely no puncture protection. Everything is drying up now though so I swapped out the rear tyre for one of the “slimmer” Panaracer tyres I was using last summer. The bike was stripped of all it’s guards and given a good clean in every places I could find dirt. The chain in surprisingly shiny still! All the gearing got a good dose of Muc-Off dry lube so it’s all ready to roll again now.
I have found another potential issue though. I found out the steerer tube was wobbling about a bit in the headset and on stripping everything down I found the pressed in bearings seemed a bit rough. I’l have to replace those at some point (and I’ll probably re-do the frames paintwork at the same time). I’m not entirely sure why the front forks had come loose though, the top nut was tight. I added an extra spacer just in case and tightened it all back up and the play went away. It’s a never ending world of work!
By the time I’d done all that I didn’t really feel like starting on the road bike so that will have to wait till tomorrow!
After fitting the springs yesterday I promised to get some new shots so today I’ve been dodging the random rain showers to give the old girl a good clean. She scrubs up quite well for pictures!
Up close though it’s a different matter. The front bumper is peppered with stone chips, the rest of the body has loads of random scratches and dings and there’s one or two bigger dents and creases. It also looks like in places someone has tried to repair some damage, sanded the paint or whatever is underneath with the coarsest sand paper out there and just painted over the top. Either that or they painted with a brush… Most of this you don’t even notice until you start polishing up the paintwork but I know it’s there and it annoys me. That’s something else to add to the list. But first. I really need to refurbish the alloys. They’re in a dire state so please excuse those! The poor girl has had a hard life but slowly I’m correcting everything. Slowly.
Anyway the pictures. After dodging random rain showers to wash, dry (repeatedly) and polish up the bodywork we were blessed with a beautiful afternoon. I headed out to a local manor house to grab a few quick snaps. You can see the front is sitting really nicely now while the back has closed up but there still is a bit too much arch gap for my liking. The ride hasn’t really changed too much. The steering cornering feels a bit tighter…more responsive but only slightly. It has got a bit firmer too as bumps seem to be a bit more noticeable but it’s still nothing compared to coilovers.
All in all. A shiny car, slightly lower car. I’m happy. Onto the next job now!
It’s just a small update for the “fixie” build today. Last time round I’d assembled the front wheel and got that ready for fitting. I’d stripped down the hub and rebuilt that, along with replacing a spoke and assembling the inner tube and tyre. It is all good to go but before I put it on the bike I wanted to give all the spokes and rim a quick clean. I was being a bit optimistic thinking it was going to be a quick clean. The spokes didn’t look too dirty but after cleaning one with some metal polish and seeing the amount of dirt it removed and the effort it took I realised it was going to take a while. In an attempt to speed things up a bit I started off by using a light grade of sandpaper and wet sanding all the spokes and rims. It worked really well, but the polish was still needed to bring the shine back. Two hours or so after starting I had a clean front wheel.
After cleaning it all up I have noticed the rim could really do with being replaced. There are quite a few rough patches on the brake surface where the chrome has worn away and rust started as well as a couple of dings but it will do to get me rolling (and I don’t have the money spare now, damn rear hub)
Before I detail on the rear hub… The crankset is now ground down and just needs a clean up and polish before fitting to the bike. I’ve decided to saves a few pennies and not get it powder coated so for now, it’ll be staying silver/chrome.
The rear hub… I was hoping to clean the original hub up and re-use that for the final assembly. The idea was to just replace the rim and spokes after giving the original gear a good clean and rebuild. It didn’t exactly go to plan. The cleaning went really well; A good dose of degreaser took it from a rear hub thick with 20 or so years of dirt and grease to a perfectly gleaming chrome example. Unfortunately that’s where I discovered a problem. One half of the hub broke away. I thought it might have just be pressed together so I carried on assembling the hub with new grease and bearings only to find when it was all together the hub was useless. Even with the whole thing assembled, both sides of the hub could move independently. I guess it must have been welded together originally but over the years the rust has eaten that away.
There’s nothing really I could do about that hub so I’ve had to spend a little more in my final order for the build and buy a complete new rear wheel. The whole order should be with me tomorrow but I found it a bit difficult deciphering all the information that the internet could throw at me when making my choice. I went with a Halo Aerotrack wheel with a track (flip/flop) hub. That wasn’t the problem. Choosing a 120mm axle hub was easy. The problem came with choosing the gearing. I was originally thinking one of those “single speed conversion kits” would be what I needed but I couldn’t work out why they all had Shimano style grooves in them. Then there was just single sprockets with those grooves in and some without. It then dawned on me what the conversion kits were for; Singlespeed, not Fixed Gear. Although they both use just one speed the single speed keeps the ability to coast with a freewheel or freehub and the conversion kits were to replace the rear cassettes on Shimano Style freehubs. Having a fixed gear means of course, you don’t use a freehub or freewheel. The conversion kits were out of the question and the Shimano style sprockets were too so it was just down to the threaded sprockets.
I managed to find out that fixed hubs have two sets of threads. One for the sprocket and one for a lock ring to stop the sprocket working itself loose. After looking through the Halo website I found out the right thread information and I’ve hopefully order a sprocket and lock ring to suit. We’ll soon see!
Today, the rain has held back and I’ve had some free time so the Corolla has had some TLC. I’m not a religious car washer; I don’t go out there every weekend and clean it inside and out so it needed a good bath! A few buckets of water later and she was clean but not clean enough. The panels had become slightly dull and the headlights had started to cloud over. The panels were an easy fix, a bit of wax and a lot of elbow grease and the colour and shine had returned. Unfortunately, working so close to the bodywork I’ve realised how scratched and dinged it is. The front bumper is the worst; it looks like it has been resprayed at some point but it’s now peppered with stone chips and cracks are appearing at various points. There’s not much I can do about that though.
The headlights on the other hand, I could do something about them. The driver’s side headlight is the worst with a rough, cloudy and yellowing lens. It’s something that a lot of plastic headlights suffer from but there is a solution. Meguiars do a polish called Plast-Rx. It acts as a light cutting compound and polishing agent so with a bit of elbow grease so can remove a fair but of the damaged top layers. It didn’t work completely for the worst light on mine though. The damage has gone deeper into the plastic and it needs something more aggressive to tackle it. The polish removed a lot of the discolouration but I’m going to have to go a little further and use a wet sanding method. I’ve used the same technique on my Civics old headlights and it works a treat; using fine grades of soaked sandpaper to gradually remove the damage. I didn’t have time to do that today so expect a write up in another post.
In the last post about the Corolla I’d spread the news that some kind individual had decided to leave their mark on my car in the form of a rather large dent in the rear quarter. I had a solution. The dent hadn’t creased any metal or split any paintwork so I was hoping it would just pop back out. I thought that meant I would have to strip back the interior to get access to the back of the panel. After a bit of thought I came up with another idea; to use my GoPro suction mount to pull the dent back out. It actually worked! The panel popped right back into shape, Happy Days!
That’s it for now. A gleaming car ready for some more maintenance.