Friday, July 6, 2007

What's wrong with this SS180 body?

Fellow VSC restorer, Mark, wrote me with a question -- is his SS 180 body correct and original?

---- Here's what he said ----


Take a look at these 2 pictures of the back of my SS.

Notice one side (right engine) has a small lip on the frame around the wheel arch and the left side (spare tire) doesn't it has a rounded more flat edge.
Does/did yours look like that?

Don't worry if you cant remember, Im going to ask around some other places, want to make sure this is standard and not a sign of two scoots being welded together.

I have a lip on my Lammy for the cowl to hang from, but this lip is lower and I remember having a lip like this on the SS and looking at my photos of the finished painted body on this blog I don't see lip on the batt side at all, but do on the engine side and it does curve all the way down like Mark's does.

My guess is the left side of Mark's bike was knocked somehow and the lip should arch over the wheel as the right side did and that YES this lip is correct and if he is getting the bike painted he should have the body shop repair this lip.

Please don't just lurk, if you have a response or know where to go to get the answer let me know POST A COMMENT by clicking on it.

Vespa Aviation History

Is it any wonder that Vespa came from aircraft . . .

Above, my son, Hudson Rogue poses in front of a Waterman's Aerobile airplane. For Father's Day we went to the Udvar-Hazy Center. Airplanes are another hobby of mine -- I build and fly RC. After the completion of the 1962 Lambretta TV175 S.3 (I would also like to find a nice S.1 or S.2 and restore it as well for my wife . . . and one for me too), I will build my own ultralight airplane and fly it.
Check out the front light and fender on this baby. Doesn't Vespa scream airplane design (we already know this from our Vespa history books).
Though after looking at this bird, I think I rather ride a Vespa than fly this guy.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Seat foam? Need your help guys!

I share everything I learn with you guys and always point out my mistakes in the hopes that your restorations go smooth and perfect.

My Blog will only be as good as the contributions. Your comments, guidance, recommendations, and personal anecdotes will make this Blog be what it should be.

I write you this evening requesting YOUR HELP.

I need a couple pictures of the FOAM for seat, specifically the flip part. Two years ago my HD crashed and I lost all of my pictures and I know I took those pix because my foam was in perfect shape for recovering.

Please email me photos to:

Let's help our fellow SS folks out please.

Mark Lee wrote:
> Jeremy,
> I found your blog referring to your Vespa SS restoration and you've already helped me and that's before I even started work on my 1966 Vespa SS.
> I noted your error with the seat and that stopped me from handing my seat over to be recovered.
> My foam is missing at the back the way yours is. Did you find a replacement piece of foam, do you happen to have any pictures of what this piece of foam looks like?
> Appreciate any response you may have and thanks again for the reference web site.
> Mark
> (Atlanta GA)

Rust in that hard to reach place?

Damn it! Damn it! Damn it!

Note to all you newbies, we all (even myself) have the best intentions when we try to help you and give you advice. Hell, I have stripped threads in my clutch perch because of advice on removal I got on BBS. I now have a painted body with minor to moderate rust in the hidden area in the center frame tube.

I knew about this after I got the bike back from the medium blaster, who could not reach it. At the time, Christopher Markley turned me on to "Zero Rust," which converts the rust + seals it. I used a whole spray can of Zero Rust inside the frame in the gas tank area, BUT could not reach inside the frame tube. A friend and restorer said he had a grease gun and some super beautiful goo that he could pipe in there and seal it up nicely (since the bike would always be stored in doors) AFTER I got it back from paint.

Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! Where the hell is my common sense!!!! Why didn't I ask my painter to take care of it while he was doing the body work. Why did I put all my eggs in the basket with the grease gun? Point being BE RELENTLESS in your research. Speak to everyone in your research and find all the options you can. There are multiple ways to get things done or fixed and some are better than others. Also, have a couple experts on hand to run things by. For example, I do NOTHING BIG without running it by Christopher Markley and Tom Giordano and sometimes Stu Werner.

Below is the thread of emails between Christopher and me trying to resolve the issue at hand for your reference:

Yes, Zero rust would probably be best. You could then apply the PPG stuff on
top of that in case there are any tiny areas uncovered.

Christopher Markley
Moto Rapido, LLC

> From: > "Jeremy J. Sutton"
If I could get the frame upside down on horses or via hoist in my
buddies shop I could spray Zero Rust in there. Would that be better? I
could just tape the hell out of any areas the spray could escape from.

> From: > christopher markley wrote:
Spray the living crap out of it with the PPG anti rust waxy spray can
stuff, and don't let it sit outside. If you buy a place without a garage, keep
it in the house. If you can't do that, rent a storage facility. But get the
PPG stuff at BAPS and spray it hard.

> From: > "Jeremy J. Sutton"

Correct. I mean the hidden area in the center frame tube. I am scared
to use anything that can damage the paint job. I was under the
impression, when we spoke pre-paint, that you had a grease and grease
gun that you could use to coat the inside of that hidden area.

The bike will be garage stored (but could be outside when living in
Portland, OR as garages cost a big premium in some neighborhoods and it
does get WET there). We will baby the hell out of this bike!

I could see some rust in the area. It was not hit by the sand blaster
and I could not hit it with Zero Rust unless it was upside down above
my head.

Suggestions for safest, but most protective approach?

> From: > christopher markley wrote:

When you say the floorboard, I'm confused. The floorboard is thin
sheet metal with an exposed top and bottom side. The only hidden area is
inside the pressed center frame tube, and there is only a small area that is
hidden. How do you know it is really rusty? If you're not storing it
outside, it won't get worse. You can buy a PPG product at my favorite
paint shop BAPS in Lemoyne. It is a waxy solvent in a spray can like a paint
spray can. It is made to shoot into access holes of auto body components
that are hollow and that you need to protect from rust. I have sprayed this
into frames in the past. It is messy, nasty stuff. Read the instructions to
see how it reacts to fresh paint. Realize that when you spray it into the
frame channel, some might escape there the frame channel is welded to the
floorboards (unless your painter did the right thing and applied
permanently seam sealer to that seam before painting -- but most painters
don't do that). Don't make sparks when working with this stuff. It's
explosive in closed areas like the frame tube, and could blow up. Let it cure well
before using the frame channel as a bong or making any other sparks around

Other than that product, you could use fogging oil, which you can buy
at boat and snowmobile suppliers in a spray can. But the PPG stuff is the cat's
ass. Good stuff.

Christopher Markley
Moto Rapido, LLC
Two-stroke engine rebuilding
Crank rebuilding
Lathe & milling machine services
Zinc plating & black oxide finishing
Powder coating
Metal polishing

> From: > "Jeremy J. Sutton"


Regarding the rust in the frame (beneath the floor board) that the
medium blaster, Zero Rust, and painter could not get I've been told that a grease gun and some type of recommended grease is best to coat inside the frame
hole and would protect it very well.

The bike is at my buddy's shop where I will be reassembling it (with
his tools and help). I would like to protect the bike from rust and to
take care of it sooner than later.

How do you best recommend that I do that?