Saturday, January 6, 2007

Register your SS180 here!

Name: Ole Worren
Serial: VSC1T0023942
Year: 1966
Model: SS180

* Location: Bergen, Norway

Name: Jenny Markley
Model: SS180

Name: Collin

* Before picture

Name: Trace
Year: 1966
Model: SS180

* Mid-way done

* Complete

Please email me your (1) full name (2) serial number and year (3) picture of your SS180 and I will post it. Piston Ported is no longer taking registrations and Scott will have all new comers sent to me to register their SS180s.

Fork & Shock Disassembly

It's my intention to rebuild the front fork according to the "how to" link in my "Resources" list in the Blog navigation bar. I also plan thoroughly clean and baum spray my forks. I will Zinc plate my shock housing, according to Tecnica this is how the original shock was done.

When rebuilding the shock use the parts book for GS/SS from and the diagram is far more detailed than the SS one is.

First, I ordered a replacement dampner seal for the front shock for $10 (very hard to find) from Motor Sport Scooters and I purchased the second to last one in existence & from what I later learned the last one was also purchased. Suggestion -- you'd be surprised with what seals and rings your local vintage motorcycle shop has in stock. I know that a local vintage motorcycle shop my buddy, Ted Witmer, frequents specializes in "suspension" and he has found a hard-t0-find piece of rubber for my shock there as well when every single scoot shop I called did not have the part. Next I need to replace the pivot pin (pictured to the left) -- part #47 in part book drawing below. From what I understand it is not the easiest part to find; therefore be careful when removing in case you need to reuse. I will follow-up to this post and report on my search for this part #55271.

To disasemble the fork from the shock, you need to remove the cotter pin "screw" (#47 in the part book drawing) located near the grease nipple, then just push the pivot pin sideways. You can loosen the nut and put a socket behind the pin and pressed it out with a vise. Once the tapered pin is out, the pivot pin should just push out with your fingers. Try not to damage the tapered pin -- as stated it may be difficult to find a replacement, but if you can throw the old pivot pin and bearings away and get a rebuild kit.

A BIG thank you to Flaco, Trace, The Self Presevation Society, and all others from Scoot BBS for the help.

Note: more information to follow as it is completed.

Body work 30% done

I took these pictures two or three weeks ago when I posted the engine-side cowl restoration post. The body required mild to moderate work. Since these photos I am sure it looks a lot different.

There are a few "dents." Note the dent beneath the tail loght area and the two dents on the front of the scooter on the pictured above.

The streaking color you see here is a normal by-product of the PPG cleaner and conditioner I used on it.

The front fender had a slight tilt to it and some nicks and nacks. If you look at the "history" post you can see what it looked like before -- when it was still complete. I suspect the bike had been laid down once or more.

The glove box metal was thin on the underside in a few spots, but all in all in good shape.

As you can see this cowl is in MUCH better shape than the engine-side cowl was. My only concern is with the wider (incorrect) louvres I used on the engine cowl is the inconsistency with the manufacture's ribs on the picture cowl here. On the flip side, it's not possible for a person to look at both sides of the scooter at the same time without a mirror - ha.

You can see pictures of the engine-side cowl in the "engine-side cowl restoration" post on this blog.

Lessons Learned

Attention newbie restorers!

These are the most important lesson I can offer you at my own personal expense.

1) Double your budget
2) Triple your timeline
3) Relax, make this fun (the two items above will help you achieve this)
4) Research every little step. Make sure that each part you replace or add to your bike is original to your scooter. If cost a little more, but is closer to original. Go that route. This may slow down the restoration, but it's okay. I learned a tough lesson when restoring the engine-side cowl louvres. My louvres are incorrect. I could see that when they arrive and did NOT ask my weld/body/paint guys what it would cost to fabricate some that are correct. I did not email Scoot BBS and ask for advice. I just moved forward.

AND most importantly

5) I did not start off this restoration with the mind-set to keep this bike as "pure" as possible. I adopted this approach half way through my restoration as I learned more and more. My suggestion is: START OFF WITH A PURIST APPROACH and you can always back off as you see fit. It's like cutting hair, it's easier to cut a little off until it's perfect as opposed to cutting too much off and then to have to add hair extensions.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Medium Blasting

I've read about the dangers of "sand blasting" and "acid dips"; although I wonder if there are appropriate times to acid dip as long as the necessary precautions were taken to counter act the acid, thoroughly dry, and prime paint the metal immediately. Sand blasting sounds overall too abrasive. I am a 9th grade English teacher and education field we often "steal" or "borrow" ideas from one another -- it's common place. Why recreate the wheel?

As far as I am concerned, the same goes for restoring a scooter; therefore I took my advice and followed in the steps of a local Lambretta restorer, Stuart Werner, who has restored a countless number of bikes. I followed the trail he left and had the SS180 sand blasted with a recycled medium by Seibert's Sand Blasting for $106. Per Christopher Markley's advice I used a spray product called "Zero Rust", which converts & seals rust in the area beneath the gas tank that the sand blaster could not reach. I also prepped the metal with PPG "cleaner" and metal "conditioner" and stored the bike for over one year in my dry basement -- two feet away from a 25 pint dehumidifier. I then took the bike to K & K Autobody and Paint, where it currently resides. K & K have painted more scooters for Stuart than you can count on your fingers and toes. They know how to do it well and take pride in it and the reputation of not giving you guff if you are unhappy. They just make the situation right.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Busted Gear Selector Box

From what we know our Vespa had been abused by teenage boys back in the early 1980s and used as "dirt bike" then stored away after the piston seized and left untouched for 20 years. Take a look at the gear box selector -- see the crack!

Christopher Markley thoroughly cleaned prior to final engine assembly and beneath some goo found this crack, which is where the rod passes through. He suggested either welding or replacing, but after having discussion with expert techie Tom Giordano . . . it was decided replacing would be best for the long run.

Of course this part is specific for GS/SS and in no longer produced, but luckily after several phone calls I found two shops that them in stock new the box. It cost me $90 to buy from Scooter Parts Direct. It's in the mail.

I opted not to TIG weld, which is an option, "because the boss seems to be NOT only cracked, but also worn somewhat oval, so the shaft running through it can wobble. This would probably guarantee oil leaks and sloppy shifting. It might be possible to bore it out and then put in a bronze sleeve, but the work involved would make the repair cost as much or more than the replacement part and wouldn't be a 100% sure-thing," according to my most trusted Christopher Markley. Bottom line: I am not that much of a purist. I want this bike to be as reliable as possible. New is the best choice in this specific situation for me.

Part #59523 GS/SS Gear Selector Box (complete)

Note: A Rally gear selector box will not fit the SS, even if the parts book confuses you, according to a post I put up on Scoot BBS.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Reference: Tecnica

Happy New Years from Jenny Markley

Thank you to Jenny Markley (FYI no relation to Christopher Markley referenced on this Blog) who scanned in these "SS180" pages from Tecnica V.3 for us. If you plan to print, I suggest converting to a PDF format first (Mac people - just go to the print screen and click the option to "save as PDF"). This is the first resource to help the newbie restorers keep their bikes original to Piaggio issued SS's.

Click the image for a larger version:

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