Schwinn klunker build

Hello, my name is Juan and this is my 2nd klunker build (first documented on a bike forum). The first bike I built was a late 1930s Schwinn straightbar (or C model frame). The idea for the late 30s was to use as many Schwinn parts as possible. I looked at Alan's klunker site, watched klunker builds like J_Westy's first klunker, and emailed Ductape, J_Westy, and tam_shadow for help on the build. The bike was finished last year.

Now, I will begin to put together the green (machine) 1940 or 41 Schwinn. This frame was a parts bike I found on the local craigslist. I needed the rear fender, chain guard, and chain and sprocket for a prewar cycletruck. After I took these parts off the frame, I felt bad looking at the bar frame. I had parts left over from the first klunker build and decided to build another klunker. The first klunker was mostly a heavyweight (no, like a real heavyweight) Schwinn Klunker. This build will be more like Joe Breeze's and Otis Guy's klunkers and the Alan Bonds black 1940 DX build.

Last weekend, I took pictures of all the parts I think I will use on this build. Most of the parts are ratty, used, but still functional. Other parts are in very good condition but not mint. Some parts are from the straightbar frame but might not be used on this klunker build (I have a prewar Canti frame waiting to be built after this build). Oh, and no painting or re-plating.

The first picture is the klunker I built last year (frame now in California with Jer).


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Here are the parts for the klunker.


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I started on the 40-41 klunker this past week.

1) Original fork went on with original headset but with stronger post-war cups instead of the smaller prewar cups. Condition of headset is fair as far as chrome and has plenty of scratches.

2) Ashtabula stem with a shim to fit the prewar fork. I do have an early Ashtabula non-script, chrome stem that wouldn't of needed the shim (it's an early 60s stem). The reason I didn't use it was because it was too clean and the chrome was to bright and clean for the build. The shim came from memory bikes and the stem was from ebay. Condition of stem is very good.

3) The Texas long horn handlebars came off an old phantom that was being parted. Although I am pretty sure they were not original to the phantom (to small at 24 and 1/2, phantoms used 26 inch bars). Condition of bars is good, minimal scratches and good chrome.

4) A B. F. Goodrich badge was used instead of the original Cadillac badge. The reason, it has more color than the dull Cadillac brass (I think) badge. Original screws were used instead of the larger screws memory lane carries. Badge was picked up from Rat Rod Bikes. Condition of badge is ratty but cool factor is way up there.

5) Fork is original Schwinn with the three white stripes pretty faded. At this time I am not sure if the fork and frame were repainted?

Note: Hunt Wilde grips for the bars are not on because I received two different sized grips. Although the grips are identical, one grip is actually 1 inch and the other is 7/8. The grips are the Schwinn scrambler type with the two flags at the end of the grip.


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This past Sunday, I began installing the Schwinn script cantilever brakes. I finished installing the brakes on Tuesday along with the Campagnolo seat binder. I also changed the handlebars. The brakes were pretty much a bolt-on job. I used a Schwinn S2 26 inch wheel as a mock-up to the eventual Araya 26 inch wheel I plan on building for this klunker (I hope).

There is a wire that originally came with these Schwinn cantilever brakes from the factory. The wire wraps around the headset on one side and also wraps around the section of the brakes that runs up from the upside down Y to the front of the badge. Then, continues towards the front of the handlebars and onto the brake lever. I think the wire was used much the same way a front cable hanger would be used later on cantilever brakes.

I received my cantis from ebay, less the wire. I originally attempted shaping a piece of a metal hanger into the shape of the wires I have seen in pictures on the net. I then fitted the wire around the headset and the other side around the brake line just above the front of the badge. As a result of poor fit and function, I decided to wrap a bag tie around the brake cable and the handlebars. So far, it seems to work.

The brake pads on the cantis seem to be in good shape. I will keep them on for now. I also adjusted the brakes as best I could (keep in mind, I am not a professional). The brake lever went on with no problem. The Campagnolo seat binder is also on. However, I might need to install one or two small 8mm washers. The reason for this, the left side of the the seat tube is built for a D AS bolt.

Lastly, I changed the handlebars to a set with more character (scratches) and less chrome. For this klunker, I think the look I am shooting for is more of a rider with patina. I will try and stay with this theme for the rest of the build. The only part that will be shiny (chrome) is the seat binder.


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The Campagnolo seat binder, my attempt to make a Schwin front cable hanger (sorry, it's upside down) and the two handlebars (chrome one was is out).


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Clunker, here is the pictures of the Schwinn canti brakes mounted.


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More canti brake pictures.


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Here she is

Frame-prewar Schwinn girls-green with cream-craigslist-I think it's the original paint?-condition used.
Fork-prewar Schwinn-used-came with fork-wish I could have found truss rods for this bike-keep in mind, the prewar Schwinn girls frames have longer steerer tubes than most prewar Schwinn mens bikes.
Handlebars-24 inch no name-off an old phantom-condition used.
Grips-Schwinn scrambler, Hunt?-the cabe-off an old scrambler-condition used-Love these old grips.
Saddle-Girls Brooks b72-ebay-didn't realize they made these till it arrived. condition used.
Seatpost-solid alum bar turned down-ebay-12 inches long, 10 inches at 13/16 and and two inches at 7/8-condition new.
Stem-Ashtabula-ebay-new-made an early offer and got it for 1/3 of the current prices on ebay.
Headset-prewar Schwinn-came with frame-condition used.
Seat binder-Campagnolo quick release-ebay-condition new.
Brakes-front fork-early Schwinn scripted cantilever with Schwinn brake handle-Rat rod bikes-condition used-Also, missing the wire that hooks around the headset-used a bag tie around handlebars.
Rims-36 hole Schwinn S2 knurled-of phantom-condition used. I did manage to clean the 26 x 1.75 Arayas with oven cleaner-however, no experience in lacing-will try it on the next project-hopefully.
Front hub-Schwinn scripted-came with S2-cleaned and repacked.
Rear hub-Bendix-came on with S2-also cleaned and repacked.
Tires-black Cheng shin 26 x 2.125 knobbys-condition new-Niagra cycle works-also, added heavy duty tubes.
Bottom Bracket-Odyssey-ebay-condition new.
Chain ring-95 anniversary Schwinn phantom-ebay-condition used-had a prewar deluxe version of this ring. Unfortunately, the holes for the crank were too small-didn't want to drill larger holes-at least not yet.
Crank-180 Odyssey-ebay-condition used.
Pedals-Union rat trap-Schwinn bicycle forums-condition used

If I missed something, please let me know.
This frame spoke to me the loudest, as far as a build.
I had three other prewar candidate frames I could have used-a 40/41 DX frame, 40/41 cantilever, and YES, a cycletruck frame (already have 20 and 26 ukais and 20 and 26 knobby tires).
In the near future, I will definitely build another klunker.


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