Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The parts

Here is what I needed to get for replacement parts:

A slew of bolts, carriage bolts, elevator bolts, washers, nuts, 1" end caps, two car belts, and a double pulley.

All of the bolts on the carousel were rusted. I decided it would cost a little more, but I needed to go with stainless steel parts.

Sunday, February 20, 2005


This is an image of what the carousel looked like when I finally got the deck off. It really revealed some additional issues.  Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 19, 2005


Image of frie guy when first purchased from ebay. Posted by Hello

Image of ship on carousel on carousel when first purchased from ebay. Posted by Hello

Image of entire carousel when first purchased off of ebay. Posted by Hello

Image of Filet-o-fish when first purchased carousel. Posted by Hello

Friday, December 24, 2004

Getting Started

Well it was time to get started! There is alot of wok to do. Below is the order I have taken in restoring the carousel.

  1. Getting deck unbolted from the mounts. This was not easy to do since you have to get underneath the it and there are three holes in the bottom of the carousel that give you access into it to loosen bolts etc.
  2. Once I got the deck loosened, I was not able to remove it since it would not slide over the pole. There were a couple of brackets that were welded to the top of the pole that I had to hacksaw off before we could slide the deck off. But once we got that done I had alot better idea of the extent of work I had ahead of me. See pictures
  3. Next task was to remove all of the characters from the base, and then remove the base mounts from the the decking. ALL of the bolts were completely rusted and none of them came off easily and several of them snapped while taking them off.
  4. I could not figure out how everything was assembled. I knew I had to get off the pole but was unsure how I wanted to approach this since I wanted to have a replacement canopy made for the carousel. However, after careful consideration, I decided to convert he McDonalds carousel to a McDonalds merry-go-round due to the expense. I also figured if I decided to do this in the future it would not be as much of a project since I would have the rest of the carousel/merry-go-round restored. I first attempted to pry and hammer the pole off since there was nothing holding it to the base. After several day of this, I decided to scrap this plan and to cut it off.
  5. Once I cut off the pole, a 6" nut was revealed that was holding the pulley of the carousel together. Once that was taken apart the pulley was dismantled.
  6. I wanted to start with a clean slate, so I decided to pull off the motor and transmission, all the electrical boxes and last but not least, the white round fiberglass base that was attached to the metal base legs.
  7. The easy part was done, demolition. Now I had to buy all new replacement parts and remember how it all went together!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The Research 1

The next thing I wanted to do was to do some research on the McDonalds Carousel. I searched high and low throughout the Internet and found very little information on the McDonalds Carousel. One of the things I was really interested in was to see a carousel in its original condition. Below are some of the links I found:

  1. http://www.fynderskeepers.com/advt/detail.php?cat=225&de=1553

Saturday, December 11, 2004

The trip

December 11, 2004 was the date we agreed to pick up the carousel. I was able to talk one of my friends into not only going with me on the 10 hour journey, but also to drive his truck, since I do not own one. We left at approximately 5:30 am. We made good time down to the truckstop in Kearney. Rusty was waiting for us, and it was not difficult to find him with the McDonalds Carousel on the trailer of his truck.

Once I saw the carousel, it was not in the condition I thought it was in. It was a little more beat up than I could gather from the pictures that Rusty provided me. Also, how dirty and rusty everything on the carousel was. I knew there was going to be alot of work, but as I gazed into the eyes of the carousel characters, I knew this had been neglected for a long time!

The paint on all of the characters were cracked. The brackets holding the characters to the deck of the carousel were rusted along with all of the bolts holding the characters on the carousel. Also, bolts were missing that held the deck to the carousel itself. There was no canopy, however I was already aware of this from pictures that Rusty provided.

After some small talk and payment, my friend Jerry and I were back on the road. It was another 5 hours of reminiscing of our younger years. It was a good time! One odd sight we saw during our mission was a brand new carousel being transported on I 35 South. It was odd but also possibly symbolic of the rebirth that was going to take place for this neglected carousel.

When I got back on 12/13/05 Rusty emailed this:

Jim, I trust that you made it back home OK with the carousel. I just wanted to say Thank You again for your purchase and for making the transaction a very smooth one which I noted on your feedback. I hope your children get years of enjoyment out of it!!! I know that once the neighborhood kids find out that you have a McDonald's ride you won't have a moment's peace. Anyway, Thank you again and enjoy. Rusty

Monday, December 06, 2004

The bidding process

Once I discovered the carousel on Ebay, I had several questions for the person selling the item. I sent him several times attempting to get some information on the carousel. Below are several of the emails we sent back and forth:

I asked:"Do you have the dimentions for the carousel and the approximate weight of the item?

Rusty: "Hi, the carousel is approx. 48" in diameter and approx. 48" from the ground to the tops of the rides. The center post is approx. 8' tall. I hope this helps you. I would guess between 200-300 lbs. I was able to move it around, not lift it, but move it around on my trailer by myself. I hope this helps and I am sorry for the delay in this information. If you have any more questions please don't hesitate to contact me. Thanks for looking a this auction. Rusty

I then asked: I have another question regarding this item. Does this run on 110 or 220? Are you located just north of Kansas City? I live in Eastern Iowa, so if that is where it is at it is about a 5 1/2 hour drive. When would you require that the item is picked up by if I was the highest bidder (and met your reserve)? If the reserve is not met, are you willing to negotiate or do you have a solid number in mind? Also, do you have other pictures you could email me on this item?

Rusty:
Jim, the carousel runs on 110 and still has all of the original wiring that worked the coin box/timer so you could wire it direct or install a plug to plug it into a receptacle. Yes, I am just north and east of Kansas City approx. 30 minutes in Excelsior Springs, MO. As far as the pickup I can hold it for you if you are the winning bidder/buyer. I don't have any other pictures downloaded, but I could take some others if there is a particular angle or area that you are wanting to see, just let me know. Currently I have the reserve at $400.00 and I was hoping to stay fairly close to that figure if I can because the figures are in very nice condition for the age
of the carousel. Please let me know what you decide or if you should have any further questions. Thank you for your interest in this piece. It should go to a collector or someone with small children who can enjoy it. My kids have gotten too big for it now. Rusty

After this email I did bid and win the auction for $400.00. Below is the correspondence after I won the bid.


I asked: Can you give me exact dimensions for the carousel's base? I am trying to determine whether or not I need a trailer or not to pick it up.

Rusty: Jim, it would fit in a full size pickup if you did not want to haul a trailer. It is 48" in diameter so you could put it in the bed and strap it down good. I will have it on a trailer if we meet because I can move it around by myself onto the trailer. If you want to come to my house then a couple of us can pick it up and put it on a pickup. Just let me know what you would prefer to do. Thanks Rusty

I then replied: I'm planning on coming down Saturday morning to pick up the carousel. We plan on leaving early in the morning to pick it up. Is there a time that would be good for you to meet us? Can you give me some directions where you want to meet. Thanks! Jim

Rusty: Jim, Saturday morning will be perfect! Actually better than Sunday. Like I said before you can come to my home or we can meet (which would probably be easier) in Kearney, MO. There is a Truckstop at I35 and 92 hwy on the Northwest side, I think that would be a perfect place to maneuver this from one vehicle to the other.

As far as time, why don't you give me an idea of when you think you might be arriving. I would say that when you would get somewhere around Bethany, MO. or just crossing the Iowa/Missouri line then give me a call and at that point you will be approx. 1 to 1 1/2 hours from Kearney and I can head over that way to meet you.

I will give you my home and cell phone nos. so you can get me at one of them. Just for information I will be in a black Dodge 1 ton 4x4 truck w/trailer and the McDonald's carousel on it. Thanks Rusty

I then replied with: I would estimate us being there somewhere around 11:00am. The truckstop will be fine. I will give you a call when I hit the state line. I will let you know if there are any changes, but as for now this will be the plan. Thanks again! Jim