I remember Johnny Carbonaro's Schwinn Phantom, very well. It was black and ruby red, with big-ass whitewall tires, a springer front end, chrome fenders, and a damned SIREN, ifyacanbelievethat. He would be riding it, cruising down Oakley Avenue under the disused El tracks, and he'd pull the chain on the handlebars, and he would sound like one of the '57 Ford cop cars from the police station on the corner of Oakley and North Avenue.

I had a Monark Lancer back then. A VERY COOL bike but no match for the Schwinn. Truth be told, it weighed more than Johnny, even when he had his usual pound and a half of pomade on his plebian ducktail. He developed legs like Popeye's arms.

OK, there's lots of old farts who are "into" the old bike hobby, and most of them worship horn tanks, springers, and authentic shiny paint and proper pinstriping patterns. Then there's the Whizzer subculture, devoted to those cruisers from the '40s and '50s which were powered by the legendary 148cc valve-in-head motor conversion of that name.

This bicycle--based on found junk and an April 15, 1955 Schwinn cantilever frame fronted by a JCHiggins double springer fork, is intended to be deranged--why else expend creativity and effort? To build a copycat or clone? Not here on Snob Hill, home of NoCal wallet-open creative constipation!

Ok, so we've got this old frame (Ebay find, sandblasted and rust-patinaed before we acquired it) and the oddball Cthulhu front end. Pop some new tires and rims on it for some cholo contrast. Fellow instructables denizen, Winged Fist, likened the seat to a medieval torture device, but it's comfortable as long as you're wearing pants.

The dashboard was also an Ebay find--some small-town Indiana MacGiver wannabee whipped it up from some old aluminum sheet, green reflectors, a lamp switch, his dad's mantlepiece Weather Station (brass clock, barometer, and thermometer) and then damascened it like the engine block of a Bugatti T57.

It is a work-in-progress; the headlight and taillight are both placeholders. We'll probably plasma-cut and TIG a new chainguard to match the Whizzer motor's recess. I know the crank set needs widening. We have to build a gas tank, and I want it to fit where the stock horn tank once resided--I think those Whizzer peanut tanks look silly straddling the frame top bar.

Progress reports as things move along. Right now the Toolcribbers are taking a rest while Andy creates CNC files to plasma-cut the engine mount brackets from steel bar stock.



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    hi cardesnr99
    Ive just started a whizzer conversion just the engine to go. here is a before and after photos. Do you have to bend the cranks to get the engine to fit?

    1 reply

    Good luck bending those forgings!!!

    There are two ways to go with this. You can buy a wider 3 piece crank and bottom bracket conversion like I did or you can also get a special wider crank set made specifically for Whizzer conversions.

    In either case, Google will set you off in the proper direction.

    Good luck with your conversion! We're working on a Whizzer powered board tracker right now.

    Looks like mine!

    I do like your instrument dash better.

    1 reply

    Well, they do have Whizzer motors and two wheels...

    Well, we didn't quite get it 100% done, but I'd say 80%...still have to build a gas tank, complete the wiring and chain guard. But, let's show the more-or-less completed Whiz-Monster.

    1 reply

    Now you just need to get it to flush!

    I have an '85 Tomos moped I'd LOVE to put that dashboard on!!

    Andy bailed for a few days and Michael took over. He clamped the Whizzer motor into place and began making illustration board patterns for mounts. The first, and most critical in terms of locking the motor into position, is the bottom mount. Here we can see Michael's original pattern, which he then converted to a digital file which was loaded into our plasma cutter. We cut this out of 14-gauge hot rolled steel sheet. The folds were heated with a torch and hammered over a vise to bend them. We allowed clearance on both mounting tabs for rubber bushings to cut the buzz somewhat.

    Here's a link to the video of the plasma cutter at work:



    Here are some of our state-of-the-art tools. The sky's the limit!!!

    2 replies

    Planning on opening many bottles while Whizzing?

    I love the seat. I'm gonna have to make me one! :) Is there a cover for the springs?

    3 replies

    No cover for the springs. As long as the rider is wearing pants, it's surprisingly comfortable. We're going to hook it up to the ignition coil, and use it to toast bread on long trips...

    Ooh! A seat warmer. :D

    Well, I was gonna say, "toast weenies and nuts", but that would be in bad taste. But you get the idea.

    Today we spent some time doing a preliminary fit of the powerplant, and what a powerhouse it is, too!!! The quality of this thing (made in Taiwan) in terms of casting, finishing, and general fit is exquisite. Everyone was very impressed, and our staff has seen it all in their careers!

    Using a combination of ty-wraps, MDF wedges and wire, we finally got the motor located, centered, wired into place, and stabilized so we can begin to sketch up the motor mounts. Andy and Michael will lay them out in Illustrator and we'll CNC plasma cut them on site. They'll be TIG-welded into place, and then the fun of adding the ancillaries begins.

    I've got to come up with a gas tank, and since I think the factory belt guard is nasty, we'll be welding one up from steel strip and expanded mesh.