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RADBMX.CO.UK  |  Technical & Reference Section  |  Tech and Restoration  |  Firebird Freestyler Ideas?
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Author Topic: Firebird Freestyler Ideas?  (Read 528 times)

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Offline jend

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Firebird Freestyler Ideas?
« on: February 06, 2021, 04:37 PM »
What would you guy's recommend I do with this?  Sentimental value is more important than monetary value.  I have no intension of selling and want to preserve it.  The chrome seems pretty bad in places and I'm not apposed to paint/powder.  I often thought I should have had a white one.

I'm quite happy to put some elbow grease into restoring.  I used to strip and clean it every couple of months in the 80s.  Despite being quite house proud my mum used to let me polish parts in the lounge in front of the TV!!!   There'd be no chance of me letting my son do that now, lol.

Thanks, J

Offline Retrodan72

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Re: Firebird Freestyler Ideas?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2021, 05:01 PM »
Great piece of your history you've got there.

You're doing the right thing not selling, it obviously has a lot of meaning and sentiment and you'll find that once it's gone, you'll regret it and buying another will be costly and unless the person you sold it to decides to let you have it back, you'll have lost your history.

Mechanically, do what you did in the 80's, strip/clean/grease and build. Clean all the plastics and other bits and only replace things that are beyond restoration. Nothing looks too bad on there to be fair.

As for the chrome, try an oxy bath. I've never done it myself, but have seen loads of people having great success doing it, you just need a paddling pool full of water and some citric acid. This will clean up any chrome work, without harming the decals.

Personally, if it were mine, I?d lose those pegs, they look really out of place on a mid 80's bike. That's just my opinion though, it's your bike and you can build it how you choose.


GO FORWARD TO THE PAST, WITH NRP'S

Offline CustardLips

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Re: Firebird Freestyler Ideas?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2021, 05:03 PM »
That's in great shape mate.  :4_17_5:
Strip it down and give the f&f and any other chrome parts that may need it a citric acid or oxalic acid bath.  Clean all the other parts, re-grease it and put it back together... good as new.  :daumenhoch:
"Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time"

"WWG1WGA"

Offline CustardLips

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Re: Firebird Freestyler Ideas?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2021, 05:11 PM »
How to guide... no pics but you'll get the gist...

http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,178383.0.html

Whichever you choose to use (oxalic or citric) won't do any harm to the original decals either.  :daumenhoch:
"Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time"

"WWG1WGA"

Offline wildon

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Re: Firebird Freestyler Ideas?
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2021, 06:55 PM »
Defo just give the chrome a clean as already said.  I've given frames similar to that oxalic baths and they come up amazing .. you'll be surprised how good the chrome is under that rust.  you're going to erase all the history of that bike stripping off the original decals and painting it.  It's only original once.  :daumenhoch:

Offline jend

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Re: Firebird Freestyler Ideas?
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2021, 07:01 PM »
Thanks guys.  I'll give cleaning up the chrome a go.

Retrodan72, yeah, I know what you mean about the pegs.  They went on when I started riding again in the late 90s.  Similarly with the gyro in the early 90s.

Offline Mikku

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Re: Firebird Freestyler Ideas?
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2021, 10:22 PM »
Excellent stuff! As everyone else has said and it sounds like you're going to do:- keep it, clean it, enjoy it!! Oh, and post reports and pics of the whole process on here! :daumenhoch:
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php'topic=182215.msg1828811#msg1828811
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old guy make a fool of himself! :D

Offline jend

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Re: Firebird Freestyler Ideas?
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2021, 10:09 PM »
I made a small start on the restoration tonight.  My mother has broken her ankle so I'm spending every other two nights at the house where I grew up, swapping with my sister.  So the start of the work is happening where I did all my maintenance as a kid which is pretty neat (but not for my mum, obviously).  Anyway, I started with the seat post as I'd read they were often a pig to get out.  The clamp seemed fast so I strayed it with some WD40, left it a while and then I got it loose and removed the post without any trouble.

I've loosened the stem bolts, removed the horrible pegs and started to remove the pedals.  The left pedal came off pretty easily but the right appears stuck fast (I do remember the threads are opposite).  I've resorted to WD40 again so gave it a spray and left it while I write this.  The pedals are Shimano SX rather than DX but have lost their caps and most of the grease it appears.  I also own some original DX too but they have a 9/16 thread (3 piece crank), I'm running these on my mountain bike but probably should stop doing that as I guess they are worth a few quid now?   Back in the day I first ran an aluminium three piece and got the DX for that but the three piece wore such that you couldn't get it tight so I swapped to a one piece.  My paper round didn't pay enough to also purchase another pair of DX so had to buy the cheaper SX.  I did manage to swap the spindles from the SX to the DX (without watching a YouTube video!!!) and use the DX with the once piece.  The DX are in much better condition so may be I should think about swapping spindles again?

Offline jend

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Re: Firebird Freestyler Ideas?
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2021, 10:15 PM »
The previous post should have had a picture of the poorly SX pedal.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2021, 10:23 PM by jend »

Offline Mikku

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Re: Firebird Freestyler Ideas?
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2021, 10:22 PM »
& so it begins! Good start so far, though as you've already surmised, you might want to rescue those DXs! :daumenhoch:

PS Send a "Get well soon" to your mum from RAD! :)
« Last Edit: February 22, 2021, 10:24 PM by Mikku »
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php'topic=182215.msg1828811#msg1828811
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old guy make a fool of himself! :D

Offline Uksupergoose

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Re: Firebird Freestyler Ideas?
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2021, 08:33 AM »
The previous post should have had a picture of the poorly SX pedal.

Sweet! Can't believe you are doing this in the same place you did in the 80's! 

That's all kinds of RAD right there! (sorry about your mum's ankle though)

YEP, get those DX's swapped and on. You can get new end caps on eBay for ?35 if you fancy a fresh look....

This is really helpful.....although like you I figured it out without the internet!

http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,187314.0.html

Offline Uksupergoose

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Re: Firebird Freestyler Ideas?
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2021, 08:40 AM »
You know what to do with the pegs  ;) but keep the gyro, I like it, it suits it....

sweet sweet ride btw

this is what I dream of finding at the Booty for ?20.....

Offline Retrodan72

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Re: Firebird Freestyler Ideas?
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2021, 10:15 AM »
A great start fella, not great for Mum though, hope she's ok soon.

Glad you ditched the pegs, I think you made the right decision there. I?d be inclined to bin the gyro too, in favour if a Potts Mod (hollow stem bolt), but this is all down to my own personal preference. I never ran a gyro BITD and although they do the job intended, to me, they look untidy and were more of an addition towards the late 80's, but as I said in my first post, it's entirely your choice.

Keep going and keep us updated


GO FORWARD TO THE PAST, WITH NRP'S

Offline brettypeeps

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Re: Firebird Freestyler Ideas?
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2021, 12:12 AM »
Great Bike and story.  Good luck with the restore.

 explosion explosion

Offline wildon

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Re: Firebird Freestyler Ideas?
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2021, 08:51 AM »
This gives you some idea of how effective an Oxalic acid bath is ...

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