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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:24 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:16 pm
Posts: 5293
I have my daily commute (96 CC) but earlier this year I started to get that itch. You know the one. For me it was my head saying "you can't really call yourself a retrobiker if you haven't restored a bike". I tried to push that niggle away, but I found myself browsing the site more and more...and before I knew it I put in a cheeky bid for a Fire Mountain. The rest is history.

Before I go into the build a bit of context. I love this site and the wealth of knowledge is second to none. Some of the build threads are epic and the attention to detail outstanding. I wanted to try and compete but realised I'd never be in that class. So instead, I thought, why not try and keep this simple. And from that I had my concept; an idiot's guide to restoring.

These are just my opinions and thoughts so I'm sure I'll be challenged (in fact I hope I am since this is a messageboard after all), but if there is anyone out there who like me started to get the itch but didn't really know where to start, then perhaps there'll be some information or inspiration here to set you on your way.

So, let's begin!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:31 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:16 pm
Posts: 5293
Here's my logic for selecting the right machine.

1. Choose a bike you want
2. Choose a bike you can afford
3. Choose a size that fits you
4. Don't over-stretch yourself

It sounds really stupid and obvious but if you can't get excited about the bike you're working on, then your build will be a mess. Don't think you can reach sinnerman levels if you're an office monkey like me. This was the first time I was really messing around with bikes since my teens so a lot of this was a steep learning curve.

I love Kona's. I love the splatter range. I wanted something a bit different and settled on the Fire Mountain. Accessible and cheapish so if I screwed it up it wouldn't be the end of the world.

After patiently waiting on the For Sale section, this potential beauty came up:

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£150 smackers and free delivery was a bonus. It was the quailty of the paint that clinched it for me. There was no way on earth I was going to have this re-sprayed.

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The mystical TBG branding added that little bit extra for me at least. Remember there's a wealth of catalogue information on here. So I studied the 1990 brochure before hand to make sure it had as much of the original kit as possible.

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As you can see, it was rough around the edges, but was fully original. It had one lady owner who revealed her boyfriend back in the day had bought it for her. He had great taste I said!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:40 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:16 pm
Posts: 5293
Once I had my paws on it, it was clear where the build was heading. Since it was my first proper is was simple - take it apart, completely. Everything. And that's what I did. Kit you need that wouldn't normally have in a usual toolbox:

Headset spanners - don't even think you can remove one with normal spanners like I did. You'll ruin the metal and it slips like a bitch.
Crankset remover - massive faceplam moment was I posted on here going "why can't I get these off?" and was politely told, "have you used the remover?" :lol: Top tip, make sure you screw in the bolt as far as you can otherwise with really stubborn cranks, you can shear off the thread...which ALMOST happened.
Cassette remover adapater and chain whip - luckily I had these already. Remember the earlier cassettes can take different adapters...as I've just found out with my next build :lol:

I also recommend:

Patience - you can't buy this. But seriously, don't rush, take your time. This took me 7 weekends, about 4-5 hours a pop.
Halfords motorcycle/ car degreaser (spray can)
Halfords lacquer
Autosol - whoever invented this is a genius
Cilit bang
Old tea towels

Slowly but surely, I took everything apart. Cleaned, degreased, polished. The only item I didn't remove was the BB only because it had no play in it whatsoever. Don't mess with stuff you're not familiar with was my motto!

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Dinner is served.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:45 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:16 pm
Posts: 5293
What was my nemisis? The wheels.

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I spent the best part of 4 days cleaning, scrubbing and polishing. Stainless steel clearly stains. In fact they were covered in a crust. So, scouring pads and Cilit Bang - this stuff is brilliant but be careful since it's acidic. In 3/4 spoke sections, I sprayed the bang, left it for 90 seconds, then scrubbed. Off came the crust. Then when rinsed and dried, it was polish time with autosol. I think they came up a treat.

The tyres were shot as were the tubes so, thanks again to the For Sale section I had some 92/93 original Joe Murray's. I think they look ace.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:49 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:16 pm
Posts: 5293
Everything was cleaned (have I mentioned that?). The cranks, removed, the chain rings removed, everything. When the last bolt had been polished it was time to build. Top tip, make sure you keep all sub-components together so you don't mis-lay that essential screw!!

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Love the paintwork. Lesson learnt, the paint is splattered on top of the decals, not the decals on top. At one point I really was torn on whether I should keep them or remove them. I think I made the right call.

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Last shot before the final build push...


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:54 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:16 pm
Posts: 5293
Here she is, complete. The only other item I had to source other than the tyres was the seat bolt / quick release. That was an evilbay purchase from the US and it's lovely (NOS apparently but you never can tell).

Picture heavy content coming up:

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The saddle was repaired with evostick and some pegs. Not perfect but too good to replace in my opinion.

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The only really noticeable chain suck, there are a few light scratches elsewhere but she's been well stored.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:57 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:16 pm
Posts: 5293
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Little bit of brasso with a wire toothbrush and it came up nice!

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Where it was sold. No idea if it's still there.

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Nice original grips, carefully removed with WD40 and re-applied with hairspray. Shame the brake lever is missing a little plastic.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:00 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:16 pm
Posts: 5293
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Serial number action and post-code protection :wink:

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Final shot.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:02 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:16 pm
Posts: 5293
And there we go.

She's heavy and the shifting is a bit :? but once you get her going, she's fairly nimble.

What's planned for her? She'll be up for sale later on so if you're interested drop me a line. Next up is a 1990 Lava Dome.

Spec - see the catalogue! I hope you like it.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:26 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:37 am
Posts: 327
Location: Sutton, SE London-ish
Very nice. Just goes to show you don't need a high-end, bling-spec bike to make a good project. It's tough to decide about paint stripping but i think that looks fine. A few chips add a bit of character and certainly keeps costs down. It's very good for a bike of its age.
How does the 300lx kit perform?
Sam


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