It’s been a busy week. Two SBDU frames have been received, unpacked, documented and blogged. SB1500 was intriguing, it didn’t need any clean up at all, I’ve left it exactly how it arrived; the story with that frame was amazing. While I was blogging about that frame, SB5084 was sitting in the corner crying out for some TLC, so with a couple of days over the weekend, I got the polishing cloths and rust treatment out in a bid to try and banish a decade or more of neglect and decay.

This is how it looked following its arrival and stripdown…

SB5084 1982 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 531SL Team Cyclo Cross Stripped
SB5084 1982 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 531SL Team Cyclo Cross Stripped

Cables across the top tube had been held in place with Duct Tape – this stuff is sticky and leaves a large amount of goo behind. There was also a great deal of Parcel Tape on the frame tubes and there was Electricians Tape wrapped around the seat stays, placed under the clips and holding the pannier rack and mudguards. The clips had come loose, probably several years ago and had rubbed the seat stays to a point that there is no paint left above the dropouts. Chrome clips had been fastened around the base of the seat tube and down tube to hold the mudguards and extra cable required for the front derailleur. Everything was loose, and everything had rubbed the paint allowing rust to take hold.

A few people have wondered if this frame was just one step too far gone. I was actually worried about the frame snapping and the chain stays crumbling into a pile of dust. I was so worried about the chain stays that I took the paint off the left hand stay as soon as the frame was stripped. What I found gave me a bit more assurance… nice clean metal! I was happy that I sacrificed a little bit of original paint to give me the confidence to go on with the frame.

SB5084 1982 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 531SL Team Cyclo Cross Chain Stay Rust Before and After
SB5084 1982 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 531SL Team Cyclo Cross Chain Stay Rust Before and After

Soapy water dealt with the dirt but it can’t deal with rust. There are several products that can deal with rust, converting rust back to good metal – it always sounds impossible to me, but the product I use really does a good job. I never really listened in Chemistry at school but I understand a little about rust and what rust converters do, but this is what Wikipedia has to say… Rust converters are chemical solutions or primers that can be applied directly to an iron or iron alloy surface to convert iron oxides (rust) into a protective chemical barrier. These compounds interact with iron oxides, especially iron(III) oxide, converting them into an adherent black layer that is more resistant to moisture and protects the surface from further corrosion. They are sometimes referred to as “rust remover” or “rust killer”.”

SB5084 1982 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 531SL Team Cyclo Cross Kurust
SB5084 1982 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 531SL Team Cyclo Cross Kurust

A chemical reaction should occur and this can be seen by the white Kurust turning blue/black. This stuff is messy and can stain paint so make sure it is kept to the rust and wiped off any paint. If you miss a bit on the paint then don’t panic as it can be sorted later, but it is best to be tidy. As you can see, I wasn’t that tidy, I brushed it everywhere!

SB5084 1982 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 531SL Team Cyclo Cross Kurust Applied
SB5084 1982 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 531SL Team Cyclo Cross Kurust Applied

You can notice the rust on the fork crown turning black – that chemical reaction is working. After an hour the rust has gone. The sheen on the paint is the mess I’ve left with the Kurust. I cleaned it with Acetone but you need to be extremely careful using Acetone as it will wipe off frame transfers!

SB5084 1982 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 531SL Team Cyclo Cross Kurust Reaction
SB5084 1982 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 531SL Team Cyclo Cross Kurust Reaction

Just to make sure that the Kurust had lots of time to work, I left the frame overnight and turned my attention to the Campagnolo Record headset that came with this frame. It wasn’t in too bad condition, so after an overnight soak and a scrape with my finger nail, it turned out ok. It has lost a little of the chrome plate on the top nut, and I discovered a DIY O-ring made out of electrical wire.

SB5084 1982 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 531SL Team Cyclo Cross Campagnolo Record Headset Cleaned
SB5084 1982 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 531SL Team Cyclo Cross Campagnolo Record Headset Cleaned

I’ve always used the same paint renovator and polish products as they have always done an excellent job. SB5084 was going to be their biggest challenge. But the process is the same, apply the renovator with a clean polishing cloth and buff it off with another clean cloth.

SB5084 1982 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 531SL Team Cyclo Cross Paint Renovator
SB5084 1982 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 531SL Team Cyclo Cross Paint Renovator

The polish is applied in the same way; apply the polish with a clean polishing cloth and then buff with another clean cloth. I think this is the first time SB5084 has had a shine on its paint in a very long time.

SB5084 1982 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 531SL Team Cyclo Cross Polished Paint
SB5084 1982 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 531SL Team Cyclo Cross Polished Paint
SB5084 1982 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 531SL Team Cyclo Cross Treated Rust
SB5084 1982 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 531SL Team Cyclo Cross Treated Rust

The clean paintwork makes SB5084 look like a new frame. The paint is shining and glossy. The rust has been treated and the frame is solid. Until I decide on how to deal with the missing paint then I’m going to leave it as it is, I’m happy that I’ve stopped the rot. I’ve refitted the headset to put the frame and fork back together while I ponder my next move…

SB5084 1982 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 531SL Team Cyclo Cross Complete
SB5084 1982 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 531SL Team Cyclo Cross Complete
SB5084 1982 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 531SL Team Cyclo Cross Cleaned
SB5084 1982 SBDU Ilkeston Reynolds 531SL Team Cyclo Cross Cleaned
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About the Author Neil McGowran

Blogger of all things to do with the Specialist Bicycle Development Unit (SBDU) and TI-Raleigh Ilkeston.

One comment

  1. Very nice job i think, well done. Another old steel frame saved. It’s about time i unpack my SBDU and have a closed look, this was inspiring, thanks.

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