1996 Stumpjumper Overhaul

This topic contains 9 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Drewbacca 3 yrs, 2 mos.

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May 21 2013 at 6:33pm #

I recently finished overhauling this bike that I found for free(!!) on Craigslist and thought some might be interested in the pictures. I fully intended to document the process better, but unfortunately I got caught up in it and these are about all of the pictures I took.

The ad was just for a frame and I have a box of parts, so I answered it. Didn’t expect a nearly complete bike when I got there. It’s a 1996 Stumpjumper M2 FS that retailed for $1500. It was barely ridden (like less than fifty miles, most likely) but left outside for a couple of years and missing the seat post binder and front wheel.

Closer look at the decals.

Getting ready to strip. I used the older (bright orange) formula for CitriStrip, steel wool, and a wire brush. I let the stripper sit for ~1hr, then scrubbed the paint off and washed with denatured alcohol. It took two rounds, plus some light final cleanup with steel wool.

Stripped and ready for paint. I stripped the handle bars and then decided I should have left them black, so I painted them back to the color I stripped. Oops…

Next, I rebuilt the fork. It’s a ’96 Rock Shox Judy XC. It was in fine shape, so I basically just tore it down, cleaned it, replaced the damper fluid, greased, and reassembled.

I also tore down and rebuilt *everything* else. One of the brake levers.

The rebuilt rear derailleur, cassette, chainrings, parts of the headset, and bottom bracket.

Rebuilding the pedals. I painted them the same black. I know it won’t last, but I figured I could make ’em pretty for the final build picture. Putting those tiny bearings deep in the pedal was a pain in the ass!

Pedals rebuilt. I found rubber o-rings at Kraynick’s to replace the old seals that disintegrated when I tore them down.

Decals for the paint job. I printed them inverted on the back of Testors decal paper, painted the front, and cut out with sharp scissors and an X-acto knife. I tried to touch up the silver S decals with paint after cutting, but it wicked in at the edges and destroyed them. I left them off because I was anxious to get building.

Applying the decals. The ‘StumpJumper” decal went on in two layers.

My first attempt at wheelbuilding went surprisingly well. I wanted a wheel that at least matched (in color) what was on the back and was drilled for a presta valve so I don’t have to carry two spare tubes. I got lucky at Kraynick’s and found a rim that is a different brand but nearly identical, and the first hub I picked up happened to be the exact one that originally came with the bike.

All put together. I’m really happy with how it came out. My total costs were $230, but that includes materials (steel wool, stripper, bike grease, etc.) I already have. I bought a new pair of shifters (Alivio 3/8 from REI for $47) that were my only option at 6pm, but if they hold up they’ll turn out to have been a great purchase. I bought new grips, tubes, tires, bottle cage, and front wheel, and added bar ends and cables/housing and replaced most of the bolts from my spare parts. Everything else is what came on the bike.

Closer detail on the decals. I’m *really* happy with how they came out, though I have no idea how well they’ll hold up. I think I’m going to try silk screening on the next frame I do.

S badge on the head tube.

After the first test ride. Now it looks like a real mountain bike!


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May 21 2013 at 7:57pm #

Holy cow, that’s amazing! I can’t believe you even did the pedals.


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May 21 2013 at 10:32pm #

OP delivers!


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May 21 2013 at 11:53pm #

melange396 wrote:OP delivers!

I figured someone had already seen it ;)


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May 22 2013 at 2:36am #

Absolutely awesome!! I know who i am hitting up when i want a bike overhauled. The pictures,decals,paint,all of it looks incredible!

Jacob McCrea

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May 22 2013 at 10:09am #

That’s really well done by any standards. By the way, what process and products did you use for priming and painting the aluminum? I’ve heard of a few processes, from elaborate to straightforward, being successful, and am interested to know what you did. Thanks for sharing!

Chris Mayhew

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May 22 2013 at 10:25am #

Amazing. I’m impressed.

Tip from back in the day; zip tie those fork boots to hold them in place. Don’t expect that fork to last long or work well below 40F.


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May 22 2013 at 1:53pm #

It was all done with rattle cans. I wanted to figure out my painting technique before sinking any money into an automotive system. I think I’ve got my technique down, now, so the next one will be done with proper hardened urethane from an automotive paint supplier. The primer is just Rustoleum Aluminum primer (2 coats, sanded w/ 000 steel wool), the basecoat is Rustoleum antique brass metallic (3 coats), and the topcoat is Rustoleum Automotive clearcoat (3 coats). It’s not difficult to get a nice looking finish, but I don’t expect it to hold up that well as it’s much softer than real automotive paint.

Re: the fork… The elastiomers and bushings were in near-new condition so I just cleaned/degreased/regreased and reassembled. I did find replacement sets for sale online for ~$50 for the elastiomers and $26 for the bushings…do you think it’s worth just buying them now for when they’re inevitably needed? I almost did the other day, figuring that there’s a good chance I won’t be able to find them when the day comes that I need them. The cartridge seals are just o-rings that I should be able to find locally or on Amazon if I ever need them. Also, I love the zip-tie trick…I’ve been looking at the boots wondering how easily they’ll move around once the bike sees some use.

Chris Mayhew

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May 22 2013 at 4:05pm #

I’d be surprised if the elastomers were in good shape all these years later. But I don’t think buying new ones solves that problem either since they’ve been sitting around for the same amount of time. Regardless they don’t work well when they’re cold.

Yeah, those boots will flop around a lot. I can see from the pictures they are already falling down.


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May 22 2013 at 4:17pm #

Just a thought, U-POL Clear #1 is somewhere between a spray job and automotive urethane top coat that gets good reviews… but it might eat away at the underlying coats of Rustoleum.

Also, one of my favorite links on the DIY spray job:

Thanks for sharing your experience, I love seeing life given back to an older bike! I’ve been working on an old Schwinn myself, but decided to redo the touchups and avoid a complete paint job for the time being. I’ll post pics when I finally finish my build.

“but unfortunately I got caught up in it and these are about all of the pictures I took.”

Yeah, I hear that!

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