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  1. #1
    Longskateaholic Tedman's Avatar
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    Default Chicago Trucks/ Cadillac wheels

    Greetings, first post here. Started skating when urethane wheels first came out. My first board I've no recollection of the deck, but I seem to recall it had Sure Grip wheels and X Caliber (?) trucks. Cadillac wheels and Chicago trucks were the holy grail at the time.

    Made a deck in summer school woodshop out of solid ash, Lightning Bolt outline, and scraped together the coin to buy some Chicagos/Cadillacs at Val Surf. Had a ton of fun on that board, never used any grip on the deck. Loose bearings were a PITA. Coned a lot of front wheels from tic tacking. A kid up the street stole my board off the porch. We found out who did it, his Dad found out and beat the **** out of him. I got my board back.

    We used to catamaran down the neighborhood hills in Agoura. Felt like 100 mph! Left lots of Levi 501 blue skids on the pavement. Good times! Got my driver's license and stopped skating before they started building skateparks in the late 70s. We had Aloha skatepark in Agoura. Used to go there to hang out and play pinball and air hockey, and they always had crankin' tunes. Trower, Nugent, Zep, etc. I envied the dudes ripping the canyon runs and grabbing big air.

    Fast forward 30 years. On a lark I start searching eBay and found a decent lime green 24" Bahne, Chicago trucks and repop Cadillac wheels. We always thought Bahnes were hot **** back in the day. The axles were converted to accept 608 bearings. The board was in good shape when I got it. I stared at it for a week before I gathered the nerve to skate it. ******' A, I had a blast on that POS on the bike path near my place. Having become a surfer in the intervening years, skating takes on a whole new feel.

    I started inspecting and taking the board apart and found that the baseplates were bent and one was cracked. Found a beat '60s wood board for cheap on eBay with Chicago trucks/clay wheels in good shape and swapped out the cracked baseplate (I have plans for the '60s board). A little Brasso and the plates looked great! Found a skate vendor selling Chicago parts, got new kingpins, bushings and bushing cups. Made some homebrew risers with clearance for the nubs on the bottom of the baseplates that cause them to get bent when bolting directly to the flat deck. They turned out pretty nice:


    So that's my story. I've purchased a few more boards since the Bahne and have been taking my skateboard to the 7/11 instead of my bike or walking. It really feels great to be skating again after all these years!


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  3. #2
    Banned Order of the 'Fish enemy combatant's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Chicago Trucks/ Cadillac wheels

    Haha. I skated the hell out of my 24" Bahne in 1975. Those trucks are actually pretty good lock nuts not withstanding. That pivot pin is actually pointed more or less in the right direction as it exits the pivot cup. I melted/burned-out my wheels' bearing races before I coned out the thane but that deck could be pumped and carved tight with that flex it had. The nose and rails tended to disintegrate a bit on impact with curbs though.

    If I had that deck of yours I'd wanna thrash it!!!

  4. #3
    Longskateaholic Tedman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Trucks/ Cadillac wheels

    Quote Originally Posted by enemy combatant View Post
    Haha. I skated the hell out of my 24" Bahne in 1975. Those trucks are actually pretty good lock nuts not withstanding. That pivot pin is actually pointed more or less in the right direction as it exits the pivot cup. I melted/burned-out my wheels' bearing races before I coned out the thane but that deck could be pumped and carved tight with that flex it had. The nose and rails tended to disintegrate a bit on impact with curbs though.

    If I had that deck of yours I'd wanna thrash it!!!
    Here's a pic of my deck:

    Yeah, I dread shooting out into a curb. Seen enough mashed noses. The Chicago trucks are pretty good for a ******' rollerskate truck. On mine the pivot hole on the plate was oval'd pretty bad, but the replacement plate is perfect. I'm having to crank 'em down pretty tight.This with the original 60-60 bushings. Haven't tried the new replacement bushings yet ( $2 for 4!).

    The repop Cad wheels are slow, but they look bitchen'. Found a place with Chicago skate tools, works great for kingpin and locknut adjust. Not sure anyone cares 'bout this old stuff, but I think it's cool.

  5. #4
    Addicted Cruiser alaskagoldman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Trucks/ Cadillac wheels

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedman View Post
    Here's a pic of my deck:

    Yeah, I dread shooting out into a curb. Seen enough mashed noses. The Chicago trucks are pretty good for a ******' rollerskate truck. On mine the pivot hole on the plate was oval'd pretty bad, but the replacement plate is perfect. I'm having to crank 'em down pretty tight.This with the original 60-60 bushings. Haven't tried the new replacement bushings yet ( $2 for 4!).

    The repop Cad wheels are slow, but they look bitchen'. Found a place with Chicago skate tools, works great for kingpin and locknut adjust. Not sure anyone cares 'bout this old stuff, but I think it's cool.
    Quite the contrary! A lot of us here care about this old stuff! Always great to see another salvaged and restored stick from back in the day! Love seeing all the old stuff, especially stuff that I never owned because I was using other brands.
    Seven Days without Skateboarding, Makes One WEAK!

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  6. #5
    Addicted Cruiser rawls's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Trucks/ Cadillac wheels

    I have a couple of sets of chicagos on old restos. One set was from a set of roller skates from the late 70's that had the correct diameter 5/16 (8mm) axle, as opposed to the smaller diameter loose ball threaded axle. We made some new mount plates to mount the bases on. I used some machine screws to replace the rivets.

    Install some big soft conical rubbers and they work very nice. Sure they rattle, they always did, but their lean to turn feel, especially on the short wheelbase stuff like 24-28" boards can't be beat. SOme of the sets we did, we took the original rubbers if they were in good shape and lathed the top rubber to a conical, it worked very well.

    I tried some of the 56mm cadillac reissues when they came out and yes they are dead. A set of RSI MK-IV's, converted to precision bearing felt as good. But they are so small. I ended up running some old tunnel hollands (2x2 wheel) and they were far more lively and worked best. A fresh set of RR2's or a modern equivilant (none that I am aware of) would really set them off.

    For a real period correct feel and ride, Chicagos are awesome for the 64-74 feel. the geometry works, no side loading, and the lean to turn relationship is very smooth.

    I am not saying they are better than stuff today, or even the 70's bennet/tracker, etc, but in good condition and tune, most skaters would really be surprised at how an ancient 50's technology steel truck with no pivot bushing feels when running in tip top condition.

    Heck, I was riding on an old retro/resto in our park pool on them. Even dropped in with them, too narrow to attempt getting on coping with (aside from just running up on it a little). the better wheels really tunred it around. the cadillac reissues were just not getting it.
    My comments represent a selfishly one sided 1970's skateboarder mindset, and do not reflect the current fashion-skate-lifestyle industry's views.

  7. #6
    Banned Order of the 'Fish enemy combatant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Trucks/ Cadillac wheels

    Quote Originally Posted by rawls View Post
    One set was from a set of roller skates from the late 70's that had the correct diameter 5/16 (8mm) axle, as opposed to the smaller diameter loose ball threaded axle.
    You can run 627 (22mm o.d. 7mm i.d.) roller bearings on a lot of those thinner axles.

  8. #7
    Addicted Cruiser rawls's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Trucks/ Cadillac wheels

    Quote Originally Posted by enemy combatant View Post
    You can run 627 (22mm o.d. 7mm i.d.) roller bearings on a lot of those thinner axles.
    Yes, and sometimes they used a real thin wall spacer tube on the roller skates. But what I found to work well on the small diameter loose ball axles is to use regular 608 bearings with the inline skate bearing spacer. It takes care of the smaller diameter and has the ends that fit into the 8mm bearings, making a very rigid and exact fit-up. the only issue is sometimes the inner bore of the wheels has to be drilled out to clear the larger diameter inline style spacer. once the bearing and spacers are installed in the wheel, removing them can be a serious pain becasue you do not have the prying action like you with a floating spacer..

    I still have two boards with loose ball wheels. I got some new cones a few years back. Wow was that a trip back, remembering how to swap sides of the wheel without loosing bearings. I had not done that since 77 or so. Once my brain began clicking it all came back. My only problem was I did not have a thin enough socket to really do it perfectly. Remember we used to have a cone wrench that had thinner walls. roller skate tools. You would snug down the cone, then run down the nut. Then back the cone off, locking against the nut, and providing just the right amount of looseness on the bearings. Then ride.

    I used to have all sorts of loose ball stuff when I moved out. metaflex, RSI, clay, etc. Then original 10" alva, lip bombs, gullwing phoenix, ACS trucks, fiberglass, etc etc.....magazines (thats what I miss the most). I had skateboarders, wild world, skateboard world, and skate rider.

    I was able to get 4 skateriders on ebay a while back, I really enjoyed them 1/2 surfing,and 1/2 skateboarding, all east coast florida.



    clearanced risers, and boards, for the chicago trucks is definitely the ticket for clearing the rivets
    My comments represent a selfishly one sided 1970's skateboarder mindset, and do not reflect the current fashion-skate-lifestyle industry's views.

  9. #8
    Longskateaholic Tedman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Trucks/ Cadillac wheels

    My latest project- an old and somewhat beat up but still very rideable Bahne (26" x 6") with Chicago trucks and open bearing Roller Sports Racing Slicks.



    Trucks were a little rusty but otherwise in decent shape. I replaced the kingpins and cushions and cleaned 'em up a bit. I used roller skate axle sleeves on the 7mm axles to fit the 65mm Cadillacs with 608 Bones Super Reds. This works surprisingly well.


    Ready to ride:


    Took it for a nice long session tonight and I was blown away! The bike path down the street has a nice smooth slope and I just kept making slalom runs getting the feel of the board. The only adjustment I made was to tighten the rear truck a little, but other than that it was bitchen. With just a slight incline I could pump it and maintain speed. I felt the rear start to slide a little on a few turns. The Cads felt smooth but maybe slightly down on grip due to the narrow width. I'm no racer so they'll be fine for me. Stoked!

  10. #9
    Addicted Cruiser rawls's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Trucks/ Cadillac wheels

    I bet that board is a blast. They have that noticeable high frequency chicago rattle too. thats good stuff!

    So, you are riding 50's technology trucks for roller skates (which is not a bad thing), yet they are providing better turning performance than a mass produced popsicle truck. How do you like the lean/turn ratio? pretty nice on a shorter wheelbase board, isn't it?

    They are archaic and clunky, but they have personality and are very rideable.
    My comments represent a selfishly one sided 1970's skateboarder mindset, and do not reflect the current fashion-skate-lifestyle industry's views.

  11. #10
    Concrete Kahuna Uluwatu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Trucks/ Cadillac wheels

    Wow! Loose bearings! I haven't thought about that in years.

    I still have a set of sneaker skates with Nash Cruiser trucks which also have loose bearings, and I quit riding them way back when. They haven't seen the light of day in 20 years. The bearings are half shot and the wheels are rock-hard plastic. No fun to ride at all.

    Anyhow, I never thought of trying to press in new axles. That might be a reason to break them out of the dark recesses in the back of my closet.
    Maintain the delicate Ecosystem that is silverfish.......PBandit

  12. #11
    Concrete Kahuna San Diego Oldschooler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Trucks/ Cadillac wheels

    Not all open-bearing clad trucks need a bigger axle or sleeve, only the ones that used the smaller diameter axle. Most notably, Chicago trucks. X-Caliber & Sure-Grip trucks usually have the larger axle, so you can mount up sealed bearing wheels with no problem.

    That Bahne looks like a lot of fun! Put in a lot of miles on one like it, back in the day. Great pumping deck.

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  13. #12
    Banned Order of the 'Fish enemy combatant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Trucks/ Cadillac wheels

    Quote Originally Posted by San Diego Oldschooler View Post
    Not all open-bearing clad trucks need a bigger axle or sleeve, only the ones that used the smaller diameter axle.
    It's easier to just run 627s instead of 608s and a sleeve.

  14. #13
    Concrete Kahuna Uluwatu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Trucks/ Cadillac wheels

    I looked at those skates and they don't have pressed axles. They have 8mm thru bolts w/ spacers. I can put modern bearings & wheels on easily I believe. I've never taken them apart though, so we shall see if it's worth it.
    Maintain the delicate Ecosystem that is silverfish.......PBandit

  15. #14
    Longskateaholic Tedman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Trucks/ Cadillac wheels

    @ Rawls- Not sure of your definition of lean to turn ratio, but I'm thinking my setup on the Bahne is close to spot on. If ideal L2T ratio means you could ride a totally greased deck through a tight turn without your feet sliding off the deck then yes, lean to turn is pretty sweet with the Chicagos. Re: the rattle, I was experiencing a bit of this and it made me keep checking to make sure my axle nuts were tight! Now I realize what you are talking about and it is certainly a cool "feature" of the Chicago experience. Thanks for pointing that out!

    Just picked up an old clear Pro-Line deck with Roller Sports wheels and some rusty Chicagos and I'm looking forward to making it rideable. Trucks are odd, seem to have a thicker straighter and beefier pivot pin than most Chicagos. Check it out. They certainly don't have the svelte pivot pin curve of the Chicagos I'm used to seeing.:



    The kingpins are rusted in, so I've been soaking 'em in PB Blaster for most of the week, hoping to free them up. Such are the joys of playing with 40 yr old steel trucks...

  16. #15
    Longskateaholic Tedman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Trucks/ Cadillac wheels

    Finally got those rusty kingpins loose. Cleaned up the Chicagos best I could without going crazy, and replaced the kingpins, cushions and cups. Mounted it all back up to the ProLine deck, fitted some old loose bearing Roller Sports Racing Slicks with new cones and bearings, and now I've got me a sweet loose bearing rider!



    Front truck and wheels:


    Rear truck and wheels:

  17. #16
    Concrete Kahuna Uluwatu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Trucks/ Cadillac wheels

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedman View Post
    Finally got those rusty kingpins loose. Cleaned up the Chicagos best I could without going crazy, and replaced the kingpins, cushions and cups. Mounted it all back up to the ProLine deck, fitted some old loose bearing Roller Sports Racing Slicks with new cones and bearings, and now I've got me a sweet loose bearing rider!



    Front truck and wheels:


    Rear truck and wheels:
    If you hit that remaining rust with some phosphoric acid preparation (I use Jasco Metal Prep, but there are many others) it'll turn the rust black (from soft iron oxide to hard iron phosphate and stop the trucks from rusting further.

    Then hit them with some aluminum spray paint and finally a clear coat to toughen the finish. I'll bet they'd look really nice.
    Maintain the delicate Ecosystem that is silverfish.......PBandit

  18. #17
    Longskateaholic Tedman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Trucks/ Cadillac wheels

    Thanks for the tip, Ulu. I've got some POR-15 Metal Ready left over from a car gas tank resto that should do the trick, just didn't think of it. Always good when hobbies overlap...

  19. #18
    Concrete Kahuna Uluwatu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Trucks/ Cadillac wheels

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedman View Post
    Thanks for the tip, Ulu. I've got some POR-15 Metal Ready left over from a car gas tank resto that should do the trick, just didn't think of it. Always good when hobbies overlap...
    NAPA sells a very nice spray can phosphate treatment too.
    Maintain the delicate Ecosystem that is silverfish.......PBandit

  20. #19
    Longskateaholic Tedman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Trucks/ Cadillac wheels

    My younger Bro gave me a set of NOS clay wheels. Mounted them on a '60s wood board originally equipped with Chicago trucks and open bearing Chicago clay wheels (No. 76). Here's what the original wheels and hangers looked like:



    After I cleaned up the trucks and mounted the NOS wheels:





    Haven't gathered the courage to try and ride these yet. Think I'll pass.

  21. #20
    Concrete Kahuna Uluwatu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Trucks/ Cadillac wheels

    Now THAT's Oldschool!

    I rode wheels & trucks like that on my second board (first one had steel wheels) and we through all sorts of crap on the streets of Duluth. The big challenge was finding enough smooth pavement between the potholes and broken asphalt and gravel to actually get around.

    I remember thinking, when I first got those trucks, that they really carved. We didn't actually use the word "carve" back then, but you get the idea.
    Maintain the delicate Ecosystem that is silverfish.......PBandit


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