Friday, November 2, 2007

Recipe For Cleaning Parts

So the Vespa restoration piggy bank has run dry and I am diverting monies from my other hobbies to attempt to keep things moving forward, but often throughout this project I have had to ask myself, "isn't there something I can be doing for the bike that doesn't cost money?" The first time I asked myself this I cleaned parts to be powder coated. The second time I created my final parts list and questions for restoration. This time, I have a new solution.

Why don't I clean my parts so when I am ready to reassemble the bike I can, without slowing down for cleaning . . . all I need is an old 5-gallon bucket and a recipe of some dang strong cleaning solution.

There are a few recipes you can use according to my mentors:

1) Kerosene

2) Paint thinner (not lacquer thinner, which is just too damn toxic). Paint thinner is great stuff. But stinky. And dangerous.


3) Orange cleaner followed by Purple cleaner. Do NOT use Purple cleaner on aluminum as it will ATTACK it

I like to consider myself "green" and will try to use the environmentally-friendly approach first.

I will contact my buddy with the bike at his shop and work with him to get this bath started.

Another thing I can do is get the front fork / hub assembled and then install the fork into the frame. I have some cash and can afford the ball-in-ring bearings (qty: 2) that will be needed for this job. Everything else I should have, I hope. I aim to get the part number for the bearings and go to my local SKF dealer within the next couple weeks.

I have a feeling that my nitro rc airplane (which I haven't bought yet and am stealing from its piggy bank) in now ticked at me.

Follow-up chats with Tom G.:
For the parts washer, I use a proprietary solvent I
found on Who knows what is in it?

But it leaves a residue, so I always spray parts down
after cleaning with brake cleaner.

Sometimes I just use gasoline to clean bits. It is
cheap (but smelly). Again, spray down with brake
cleaner afterwards.

Sounds like you really need to start putting the bike
together, my friend!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

How to break-in the engine after rebuild

I asked Christopher Markley "how he recommends we break-in the SS engine he rebuilt for us" and he responded:

Non-synthetic two-stroke oil for first 500 miles.
No wide open throttle for extended periods.
No two-up riding.
No lugging engine in too-high gear.
No long distance faster than maybe 40mph, and if that, then vary it up and down.
When riding, roll on and roll off throttle now and then.
Don't stay in mid-range too long.
Don't go down long steep hill with throttle off using
engine as brake.
Just sensible riding.
No need to baby it too much.
Just don't hot-dog.

Also, let her warm up a bit before laying into
the throttle. Many seizures come from people starting the engine and
immediately flying balls-to-the-wall down the road. The aluminum piston
expands much faster than the cast iron cylinder, and bang -- she seizes.

Note: crap! We're still broke. No progress. Got one quote back asking for $511 for 90% of everything. Not bad.