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[PROJECT] Chilled's old skool BMX restoration/build worklog (Mongoose, Redline, Hotfoot)

Discussion in 'Other Toys/Hobbies' started by MR CHILLED, Aug 29, 2021.

  1. MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    As promised a few times around here I would do my own retro BMX build, preferably a Blue Max (mongoose variant). Why a Blue Max? Well to cut a long story short I got one as a birthday pressie way back in the 80's and it got stolen from out the back of our house. So like lots of middle aged men with a little dosh I'm trying to get my slice of childhood that was stolen from me :p

    (Mongoose) Blue Max history

    Been doing heaps and HEAPS of research, had to as my memory of smaller details of the Blue Max are sketchy. I remember parts of it but other bits I just can't recall. But I remember the basics of my bike so should be able to construct one to how I remember it. It's difficult to look at others restorations because they add their own flavour, their own no original bits and pieces, and I'm trying to keep as close to the original as possible. VintageMongoose was a great place to start the research. The original Blue Max had a few variations but this was what most people will remember of this particular model:

    upload_2021-8-29_16-16-35.png

    Few variations include but not limited to front gusset on earlier versions, later models no gusset. Rear dropouts on the original had just one slot for the wheels, on later versions they had holes above for pegs I believe. Original versions (1980-1983/4) were looptails, later versions (Expert and Californian) had no looptail. Later versions (1984-1986) dropped the gusset, no looptail and were based on the Mongoose Expert and Mongoose Californian. My bike, from what I recall was a 1984 looptail so that's what I'll try to re-create.

    As people would be aware there is a huge market for old BMX and some of the prices are staggering. Someone offered me a Blue Max for $7,000 no wiggle room on price, but that was just way too much and I wanted to build one for myself anyways according to how I remember mine was.

    Aims

    I'd love to have a completely original one in pristine condition but simply don't exist in circulation, and as I said above the restored ones you just never know what is historically correct on their build. So simply just buying one from someone was not something I wanted to do. But I would be willing to buy a project Blue max as long as the frame and forks were original.

    My aim loosely is to build one as close as I can to my original, and that will be by sourcing original parts where possible as long as they are not too ridiculously expensive.

    Negotiables/Non negotiables

    Non negotiables? Well the frame and possibly forks need to be original from the era otherwise what's the point. The Mongoose Expert and Californian frame I think was used as the basis for the later Blue Max's so I will go with one of those if I canb source one because finding an 1981-83/4 Blue Max frame is near on impossible. My best bet will be to use the Mongoose Californian as you really can't tell any difference between that and the Blue Max 1984-86.

    Negotiables? All other parts from original are extremely hard to source, so basically for a lot of parts I'll have to source new old skool replicas which there seem to be quite a few around courtesy of places like BMXWorks and a few other Australian BMX sites. We're lucky here in OZ because there's a healthy community and there are quite a few old skool BMX sites to source parts from.

    What I would love to have original but probably won't be able to source at a reasonable price would be would be these parts:
    • Kashimax (maybe Aero) seat
    • Original crankset
    • Handlebars
    • Izumi chain
    • Araya 7x (stamped) wheels
    But some of the parts I will be better off getting new anyways like the chain, crankset, and headset, just because the bike will feel better to ride with new moving parts.

    A lot of the replica components are damned good so I'll probably just end up buying those rather than sourcing hugely expensive originals.

    Parts list
    • Frame/forks - 1981-1988 original Mongoose Blue Max if possible otherwise a Cali or Expert
    • Wheels - Araya 7x (stamped if possible, otherwise go with stickers) 20" wheels in silver
    • Handlebars - cromoly replica true to the original if I can't source one second hand
    • Brake calipers - Dia-Compe MX1000 (replicas) (Blue)
    • Brake Levers - Dia-Compe MX121 Tech 3 (Blue)
    • Brake cables - replicas (blue)
    • Brake clamps - Dia-Compe replica
    • Pedals - MKS BM-7 allow annodized 9/16" (Blue outer, silver inner)
    • Padset - replicas which I have been able to source which are exactly like the originals
    • Headset - replica, either ProBMX MX-5 Aluminum or ProBMX Retro MX-125 Aluminum or Tange 125
    • Cog - replica
    • Crankset - replica ProBMX 3 piece (polished silver spider, blue outer chain ring) with YST sealer bottom bracket
    • Seat - Original Kashimax if possible but otherwise a Skyway Aero or Velo VL-117 replica (blue)
    • Seat clamp - replica Dia-Compe MX or Tange seat post clamp (blue)
    • Seat Post - replica (chrome)
    • Stem - replica 21.1mm 4 bolt SR Sountour Power Quill Stem (blue)
    • Wheels - Original 36 hole Araya 7x 20"x1.75 wheels (Aluminum) if possible otherwise replicas (when I can source even the replicas!). Hopefully replicas will be stamped but not sure.
    • Hubs - Original SR's if possible but I doubt it so ProBMX replicas
    • Tyres - Would love the original but would be hard to source so probably go CST Comp 3 Skinwall sides replicas or Kendas (Blue)
    • Decals - replicas aren't too hard to find which are just like the originals (they came with different stickers but mine are the 1984-85 decals set
    • Handlebar grips - replica Mongoose (blue)
    • Valve covers - Schrader iron cross valve covers!

    What do I have so far?

    Well not a lot :lol: I have bought a few parts and waiting for delivery of these:

    Brake Levers - Dia-Compe MX121 Tech 3 (Blue)
    Pedals - MKS BM-7 allow annodized 9/16" (Blue outer, silver inner)
    Padset - Blue Max 3 piece (dark blue)
    Valve covers - Schrader Mooneyes Iron Cross valve covers!

    It's difficult to buy some parts without knowing what I'll get with the frame so holding off on some stuff until I can source the frame and forks.

    End result?

    Well I'm aiming to have it look something like this, but not exactly like this one.

    bluemax37.jpg

    This will be a bit of a show bike (for the house) in the end, but I will give it a spin of course! There's a BMX track close to me :lol:

    Any questions let me know and let me know if I've missed anything! Happy to take advice from the old skool BMX gurus around here, about what I should change, what might look better, good sources for old skool parts, any parts they might have that will help, etc etc. Will post plenty of pics as I go, should be a bit of fun, but I can imagine I will be here for the long haul, so be warned it might all take a while! :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2021
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  2. BlueRaven

    BlueRaven Brute force & optimism

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    Nice OP Chilled, that's a handsome parts list (the brand names are all new to me but I'm here for it).
    Sucks that your original Blue Max got pinched mate. Subbed to come along for the ride ( :rolleyes: ) and relive a slice of my childhood too.
    I remember being a bit jealous of the kids who had a real Mongoose, mine was just some generic thing from the bike shop at the local shopping village.
    A lot of afternoons were spent in there, split fairly evenly between gazing at cool bikes, gazing at cool skateys, and trying to calculate how long I'd have to save my pocket money.

    :eek:
    I knew they were desirable for old-skool-kool but I had no idea they were worth that much! Learning stuff already.

    Looking forward to updates as and when they happen, subject to limitations of daily life, virus pandemics, and general "CBF right now" feelings. ;)
    The already-purchased parts all look the biz. Did you ever have rear/front pegs on your original one? I'm guessing no since they're not on the parts list?
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2021
    oinka2 and MR CHILLED like this.
  3. OP
    OP
    MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    Oh don't worry....I spent a long time being envious of other kids bikes while I rode a 3 speed chopper (center shifter) with banana seat! :lol: Although I think with the price of those too I'd love to have it back ;)

    I had the best bike in the neighborhood when the Blue Max arrived. I was careful with it and thought leaving it behind my house not visible would be fine, obviously not. I think they knew what they were after ;)

    Yeah it's a build which I'm in no particular rush with and I think it's going to take a while to even source the frame/forks that I'm comfortable doing the build with. Cali is my best bet as the prices are high but within reach, seem to be a few of them around as well....unless I stumble across some sort of barn find that someone doesn't know the value of. So that will be the hard part. Once I have the frame and forks the rest should come together reasonably quickly as most of the rest will be replica parts.

    Already looking forward to the end result :)

    Nah never had pegs, just never really got into that sort of stunt riding type thing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2021
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  4. mad_mic3

    mad_mic3 Member

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    If you can find a frame and forks in the Newcastle, Gosford or Benalla areas after the Cov 19 restrictions lift i could help out with pickup and get it posted to you if the seller is reluctant
     
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  5. OP
    OP
    MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    Thanks mic appreciated! Might just take you up on that offer if there's one around the area. keep an eye out for me too if you could ; )

    Just got notification that one part (first part so far) is ready for pickup :)
     
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  6. connico

    connico Member

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    A work mate of mine rode one of those in Bmx Bandits (1983)!
     
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  7. OP
    OP
    MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    It's actually really quite difficult to find survivor pics which is are original or even mostly original. So difficult to know how they truly looked originally with so many people hacking them apart, adding their own parts, resto's and other things. I've managed to find one on WorthPoint.com which is a website that scans various sites like gumtree and gets valuations on your item......this led me to an ad on ebay, the seller lists it as all original, from 1984.....so his pics will help source close to original looking parts.

    I've saved these pics from this ad which ended a while back: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1984-Mon...=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

    pretty damned close to how I remember mind, except for different grips, tyres were blue and chainset blue.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    Awesome, found one this morning in the US! 1983 Mongoose Expert Frame and Forks and in excellent condition. Pretty much identical to the Blue Max frame on the same era, I think they actually used the Cali and Expert frames/forks for the Blue Max. I was thinking I'd have to get one re-chromed but this is in great condition so no need to do that now. And it's a looptail too :thumbup: It cost a bit but wasn't too bad actually in comparison to what sellers charge in Australia.

    Serial number M3-F9585 which translates to....

    M - M
    erida
    3 - 1983
    F
    - June
    9585 - production number

    So stoked! Without this non negotiable, i.e. the frame and forks, I really couldn't do much :)

    Might keep the original Mongoose stamped headset but have to assess the condition when it arrives.

    s-l1600.jpg s-l1600 (1).jpg s-l1600 (2).jpg s-l1600 (3).jpg s-l1600 (4).jpg s-l1600 (5).jpg

    .....ctd in next post as max of 10 images/post
     
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  9. OP
    OP
    MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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  10. kombiman

    kombiman Dis-Member

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    Aren't you like 9'6" tall ;)


    Sweet find Chilled!
     
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  11. OP
    OP
    MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    Long seat post and handlebars pushed forward and I'm good to go ;) :leet:

    More a show piece than a daily ride, but most of the fun will be sourcing all the parts I reckon : )
     
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  12. BlueRaven

    BlueRaven Brute force & optimism

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    Aw hell yeah boys, it's happening!
    Congrats on nailing down the non-negotiable mate. :D

    Agg , this has to be solid candidate for the next time you do a "what's happening in the forums?" news update... :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2021
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  13. OP
    OP
    MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    Thanks : ) yeah I reckon it will come together now a lot quicker than I originally thought. USA is the place to look, just not enough around Aus, and they want ridiculous prices.

    Willing to go replica on a lot of other parts but the only other part I'd really love to be original would be the wheels, i.e. stamped Araya 7x 20" 's. Could be tricky, otherwise I'll just have to pre-order them. They are making them these days but obviously won't be original to the era.

    Oh would like an original handlebar stem also.....good chance of getting an original one....just depends on the condition.
     
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  14. OP
    OP
    MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    First part has officially arrived ....Iron Cross schrader valve/dust covers : )

    20210901_161528.jpg
     
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  15. kombiman

    kombiman Dis-Member

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    Shrug! It's a nice ride going together on a genuine old frameset
     
  16. JSmithDTV

    JSmithDTV Member

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    I certainly hope so, used to love the ol' BMX's myself... I'm sure you remember this then;

    [​IMG]

    :)



    JSmith
     
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  17. OP
    OP
    MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    Absolutely, I secretly have a copy ;)

    Was going through old Mongoose videos last night and came across this one.....pretty cool Aussie vid on finding the right BMX for you. If anyone is interested the second video is much longer and about the history of Mongoose.





    :lol:
     
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  18. OP
    OP
    MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    It's on it's way! Probably looking at 4 weeks minimum I'd say. Official estimate is end of the month / early next month. Going to be a long wait :p

    But at least now I can start buying other parts.

    FramePost.JPG
     
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  19. OP
    OP
    MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    MKS Pedals and Dia-Compe Brake Levers arrived today.

    20210902_144647.jpg 20210902_144651.jpg 20210902_144659.jpg
     
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  20. OP
    OP
    MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    Cost me a fair bit but just managed to find this from the US. Absolutely brand spanking new old stock, so it's brand new never used, produced back in the 80's for Mongoose BMX. In the end I wasn't happy with the replicas as they didn't look very good in comparison to the originals, and there's jusst something about having an original head stem that makes the bike, even though it will be a little hidden in under the pads :p

    NOS VINTAGE ORIGINAL 1980's SR MS-422

    s-l1600.jpg s-l1600B.jpg s-l1600C.jpg s-l1600D.jpg
     
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