I decided to fit everything back on the bike and have a few rides to see what, if anything needed to be changed.
I also had another session on cleaning the rust & is currently like below, much better than when I got it but far from perfect.
Once I'd had enough of scrubbing, I washed/dried the frame/forks again and then treated it to x2 coats of AutoGlym SRP & a couple of coats of AutoGlym EG to try and protect the frame a little and now it gleams
How it currently is now I've put it back together
Quick ride on the Trans Pennine Trail heading towards Dunford Bridge
Over looking Langsett Resevour & the Peak District
Very Happy with it so far although there are a few little niggles to sort out.
* The front wheel bearings need attention, there is a grinding feel when the wheel turns and there is sidewards play too
* The front mech shift up 1 chainring at a time however it will only shift down to the granny ring (not stop on the middle ring)
* New rear u-brake plate needed
* Handlebars creak when riding. Can't see any cracks on them
I'm still tempted togo 9sp as I have some shifters/cassette so won't need to buy much and it will solve my shifting problem
Please don't go 3x9, I have nothing but trouble with mine on my Kula and it's shite compared to a well set up 3x7 setup of DX or XT. The problem you mention with the front shifter could be heavy handedness with the first gen push-push shifters as they are very sensitive on the downshift on the front. A gentle touch is all that is needed, if it still refuses it will just be sticky in there. A good douse with car brake cleaner to wash out the old sticky grease and a lube with something like white grease should see it working. If you can't get on with it (and I wouldn't blame you) I would swap to XT Thumbies and 2 finger levers (all my retros are Thumbies, two having been swapped with early STi's).