Sunday, December 13, 2009

4. Dirty and Saggy

If you refer back to the second post in this series, and read the original sales ad, you will see that this bike is afflicted with a rear wheel problem. Apparently, the two wheel bearings were not doing their job, at least not very well.

When I went to look at the cycle for the first time I asked the young lads about this situation. "We fixed the busted wheel bearings, and then after a little while the rear wheel started to feel funny, and the chain kept poppin' off." "At the shop they said nothin's broke, but that we forgot to put in the third bearing." I think they meant wheel spacers, because there seem to be none found. "We don't have the money to fix it, so we're sellin' it." I checked it over, they had done a number on the rear hub, but it was not ruined beyond repair, or replacement. Of course, not only did the bearings need to be replaced, but also the sprocket and chain as well.

Just look at those wonderful straight teeth, and the mounting bolts, things of beauty. "The chain kept poppin' off." I wondered how it could have stayed on at all, especially since they lubed it with a thick, gloppy coat of rust. Now, if the rear sprocket is in such a state as this the front can't be much better. It isn't.

Perhaps I am being a little harsh in stating that the chain was lubed with rust, upon closer examination, it can clearly be seen that, indeed, oil was used. Not just any oil, either, but used engine leakings mixed with a hearty dose of sand. Super lube, to be sure.

This coating not only would protect the chain, but also the entire undercarriage, engine and carb. I could see giving this thing a bath was going to be fun. Here would be the perfect opportunity to dirty up my new scrub brushes, making sure that whatever they came in contact with, from here on out, would be streaked and smeared with the tarry goo. I had a few tricks up my sleeve though for taking care of that grime.

Super lube, rust, missing bearings, they all added up to a saggy, limp, or not so limp chain, depending on where you tried to flex it. With all that free play just imagine what happened to the sliders and blocks; gone. My replacement parts list was growing at an alarming rate.

If this was the drive side, what did the brake side look like?

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