The upcoming issue of Vintage Bicycle Quarterly (currently at the
printer's) has an overview over the various Maxi-Car models since
1946, as well as the predecessors Maxi and C.A.R. It also has
detailed overhaul instructions with exploded diagrams and photos.
>Should I spread the dropouts? Can I shorten the hub width?
Reducing the hub width is _relatively_ easy. There is a spacer nut on the freewheel side. That can be machined down, if it is a thicker type (usually is for 126+ mm spacing). On the other side, there often are spacers, too, which can be removed/replaced with thinner ones. Once you see the maintenance diagrams, it becomes clear how the hubs are designed. It's very different from a standard hub, though... You cannot move the hub shell on the axle, so you have to decide whether you want to take off width on one side or the other - or a bit on both.
For a QR hub, you also will have to turn down the axle (or file it off).
>It looks as if it has French thread (35 mm O.D. on freewheel threads).
That is entirely possible.
>What types of freewheels went on 130mm threaded hubs?
>Where can I find technical information about Maxi-Cars?
>Are spare parts still available?
Some are, some aren't. Bearing yes. Labyrinth seals (easy to damage when disassembling the hubs) are NOT.
You rarely need spare parts for these. If your's spins well, don't
even bother to take it apart. They often go 50 years and more before
needing an overhaul.
>Are the sealed bearings standard?
I believe so. But they are special, nothing like a Phil Wood or other.
>It spins great and looks very rugged ... was it designed for tandems?
Tandem hubs have 110 mm front and 135 mm rear spacing and wider
spacing between the flanges.
>If so, do I need to use special spokes?
Jan Heine, Seattle
Vintage Bicycle Quarterly