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pedal crankset axle squeak
#1
It's making a light squeaking noise when I pedal. Not sure i want to take that apart, but maybe I should. It does not have excessive free play. it is NOT the pedals. It just started a few weeks ago, but maybe I could not hear it previously.

This bike is OLD. 1950s or 60s. When I found it in 2013 it was laying in someone's backyard missing wheels and seat. Handle bars are slightly too low, but cant break loose that adjusting bolt. It sat in my garage for several years until I found a seat and wheels/tires. Then I started riding it weekly, about 7 miles a week.

Im thinking for now just wait and see, but if it starts making more noise or the axle free play increases, I should try and take it apart.

I really like this old bike and the longer it lasts the better.

Yes the seat looks bad, but that width is great for me. Basket I added for carrying home large watermelon.

Im hoping it wont catastrophically fail during one of my trips.


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#2
Needs fresh grease probably. If so, that squeaking is from friction.
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#3
Your story reminds me of my past. Upon discharge from the Navy I found an old Schwinn Corvette and used it for transportation for a year. The seat post and stem were rusted into the frame and I rode it as it was. It, too, had a squeaky bottom bracket. All I did was drip some heavy oil into the bearings by laying the bike on the non-drive side. Applied a ring of oil around the outer circumference and let gravity pull it in. After a few minutes I flipped the bike over and repeated the process. Seemed to work well enough, and thereafter at the end of each month I applied more oil this way. The bearings went the distance and I subsequently sold it to a guy that was going to restore it.
I did pull apart the hubs and greased them. The rear hub was a 2-speed kickback Bendix. First time I had ever torn into one of those, and I reassembled it correctly!
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#4
(01-17-2022, 04:12 PM)paulmars Wrote:  It's making a light squeaking noise when I pedal. Not sure i want to take that apart, but maybe I should. It does not have excessive free play. it is NOT the pedals. It just started a few weeks ago, but maybe I could not hear it previously.

Im hoping it wont catastrophically fail during one of my trips.

It probably needs a full service; clean and repack all bearings with grease; oil the chain. What previous post mentioned about letting heavy oil (preferrably gear oil, chainsaw bar oil) seep in on each side of the bottom bracket shell is a reasonable 'quick fix'. You can't really over do it except for oil dripping on your floor; I'd put something underneath to protect the floor regardless. That's a one piece "ashtabular" style crankset and bottom bracket. Pretty easy to find a good used replacement for cheap if needed. It is not hard to fully or partially disassemble to add grease if needed. Your chain looks pretty dry; you can use the same oil as the cranks. Any lube is better than none. If you continue to ride it as is you'll definitely wear out the crank and cup bearing races with no option but to replace them. If you take it apart now to lube it, and it is not damaged it will last for years. I'd replace the ball bearings since they are very inexpensive even if they look ok.
I'd put some penetrating oil or similar products (PB blaster, WD-40, etc.) on all the nuts, bolts, threaded fittings in order to facilitate future removal and prevent further oxidation. Try that on your bar/stem first and let it sit for a day or so than use some heat (torch, lighter, candle; whatever) on the nut/bolt, add some more oil and let cool again. Try loosening; if no luck heat it again. Expansion and contraction of the metals usually 'breaks' the 'weld' caused by oxidation. You may have to remove the front wheel, flip bike upsidedown, and blast/pour some oil up into the steerer tube of the fork if the expander plug of the bar stem is seized; no real way to heat that area unfortunately. Also, let some oil seep down the side of the stem to penetrate into the steerer tube from the top; it will help with ease of adjusting the bar stem height. Use good fitting tools, avoid adjustable wrenches unless it's all you have. Harbor Freight has good enough tools that are inexpensive and should work on your bike. No metrics on that ride. If you want to remove the crank remember that the locknut on the left side is reverse/lefthand threaded (so is the left side pedal). TURN CLOCKWISE TO LOOSEN or you'll just keep tightening it and potentially strip the threads.

I doubt that you will have "catastrophic failure" with that set-up. They are pretty bomb proof, and will spin even when wore and beat; it will just be rough when pedaling.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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#5
ok I clicked quote, but its not showing.

you really think parts are available for a 1950 or 60s bike?

What type grease? I just finished repacking my tacoma Front wheel bearings. Same grease?
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#6
(01-20-2022, 01:13 PM)paulmars Wrote:  ok I clicked quote, but its not showing.

you really think parts are available for a 1950 or 60s bike?

What type grease? I just finished repacking my tacoma Front wheel bearings. Same grease?

You can use the grease you have.
Those crank types were used for decades; I think they still use them for the most inexpensive bikes made nowadays (childrens, cruisers, etc.). They were very common in the 40s- 70s. If you went to a thrift store, etc. you could probably find a used bike for $15-$20 that uses one that would work, plus you may need wheel hubs also so you would have all the parts you'd need. Craigslist always has bikes like that for $20-$50. Just make sure the crank lengths (and wheels if needed) are the same size. I don't know how much they go new, but you can get them; there are only 2 types I believe. Here is a good link about these cranks, but there are others I'm sure:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.sheldonbrown.com/opc.html&ved=2ahUKEwjU6b-r6sD1AhUMJUQIHdcNAXMQFnoECCYQAQ&usg=AOvVaw3S-rBs_Ztp1mOwXgOvq2Rq.

I know that the BMX types are not as cheap since a lot of people are restoring those bikes, but I don't think yours is the same as those (axle threads).
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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#7
Note there's also a product called Evaporust that can be used to remove rust from everything.

You'll need the Evaporust gel to remove it from parts that cannot be soaked in a bucket or oil pan.
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