Next came the drive train. Like all old Sakae cranks, the big chain ring is pressed on and the inside is bolted to the big ring. If one is to have a clean looking drive train you’re stuck with a 52T chainring. The bottom bracket (Sugino) was not in too bad a shape. The spindle was shoot, but fortunately the old spindles are pretty easy to come by. I replaced a few ball bearings on the drive side and it was ready to go. While I was dealing with bearings I also rebuilt the headset. Both the bearing cages were pretty much dissolved. Even though Sheldon Brown says they are not necessary, a quick trip to a small time LBS fixed me up with some replacements.
Now the frame. I gave my son the choice of color; almost. He gets up to three picks and can veto 2. His first choice was green, but I have a green bike already so we ended up with copper. I worked for 15 years in a paint shop so I have my standards. Still I figured I could do a rattle can job that would look nice. I bought some Rustoleum paint and soon found out the limitations. Turns out Rustoleum paint is not compatible with any paint containing acetone; and of course I used a primer with acetone. The paint wrinkled up in a number of spots, but they sanded out okay and I put on a couple coats of clear. Unfortunately I missed one spot with the copper behind the seat tube and when I tried painting over the clear, it was a disaster.
For Part 2 go to The Nishiki Conversion; it Lives!