Saturday, December 15, 2007

Purchasing retro tires

I just visited Clauss Studios to investigate if he may already have molds for the rubber for the floor rails on an SS. I understand that the width of replacement floor rail rubber is not wide enough for the original floor rails on the SS; therefore if my original rail can be reused I will not be able to replace the rubber.

While I visited Clauss Studios I found that he sells Shinko brand tires (formerly Yokohama) for cheap! We bought white wall'd Sava Kran Touring tires for $19.99 on clearance "as-is" from Motor Sport Scooter. A good deal on a mid-grade tire, but there are some small defects with the white walls.

It's a much better deal with Clauss.

Engine: Missing Fastener?

When Christopher Markley delivered our completely rebuilt SS engine he told me there were two items I'd need to look into. We'll talk about one now. There is a hole in the engine case that looks like a fastener should be used to seal it, but when Christopher investigated the parts diagram he saw nothing. Also, it did not appear to be threaded. Pictured above are my spare cases, with the same hole, but this hole is threaded very finely; therefore I am assuming something is screwed in there. I am pointing at the hole for your reference in the picture. Please post a comment and let me know what belongs in there.

Once I find out what screw goes in there, I can clean up the threads and put the correct fastener in place.

Thanks in advance for your help.

This is where the junction box goes. (Thanx Paul)
Here is a photo of the stock junction box for your reference.

Vespa Christmas

Just received in the mail my wife's and my Christmas gift in one Scooter Works box. I asked for items that I need first to get the reassembly started. See previous "Christmas Wish List 2007" post for items asked for. We'll know more on the morning of 12/25 what we have. No matter what . . . it's more than we have now and we should be able to move forward some what. It's certainly a welcomed package in our household. I predict some movement, in the restoration world, is right around the corner (note: it's not a big box though so it does not mean the completion of the bike) .

Floor rail installation guide

In the not too distant future I hope to be reassembling the Vespa and since I am so terrible at just sitting and twiddling my thumbs I have been researching on how to install the floor rail kits.

I posted my question on BBS and Self Preservation Society sent to me a "how to" post he had written with photos (copy and paste link into your browser):

I then wrote mentor Tom G. and asked if he approved of this method and this is what Tom G. said:
Yes.  Very easy, but you need to practice a bit to
make sure your tools and settings are correct. Also,
you need a quality air regulator to get the chisel to
slow down enough to control it - the cheapie
regulators don't work well.

I also wrote up a hand peening method on the BBS years
ago, and it has been posted on various restoration
sites. I recommend that you take a refrigerator
magnet and punch a hole in it. Place it around the
end of the rivet that sticks out of the body before
you start hammering. That way if your hammer slips
your paint is a little protected.

At this point I want to find out if my floor rails are reusable (I hope to just clean them up if they have tiny scratches and such) and if I can find replacement rubber for it. Maybe Claus Studio can produce the rubber?

Lesson Learned:
VSC owners -- the closest floor rail kit is for the Rally. Note: it is a bit short and maybe a dozen people tops in the USA will notice this so Rally is not a bad way to go. But make sure that you purchase the floor rail kit and shape it against your frame BEFORE it is painted or you run a high risk of messing your paint job up.

Again, sucks to me. Learn from my mistakes. I have to find a way to shape my floor rail (if I don't use originals) kit along my freshly painted bike. Not smart!

For more info search "floor rail" on the Vespa-Sport Yahoo Group. Good info in the archives.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Vespa Vagabond

I attempt to be meticulous in my restoration blogs (see Vespa and Lambretta), but the quality of the writing goes by the wayside for the content.

I have always wanted to tour coast-to-coast on a scoot. This woman did it solo and documented the trip with quality writing (which I appreciate as a English teacher) and photographs (which I also appreciate as a amateur photographer of film cameras).

I have chatted about scooter camping before, but this woman took the ride to a whole new level by traveling alone on her Vespa from SF to NYC over two months on back roads through no named towns. An amazing trip indeed.

Check her blog out at:

I recognize that this post if off-topic for the restoration of our SS180, but for the sake of documentation . . . her blog honors the craft with a great read and good information.

Thanx to my wife for showing me it.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Christmas Wish List 2007

It's a sad state at my house for scooters. The piggy bank remains dry and we have attempted to resolve that issue by putting all other desires on hold. Below is my wife's and my Christmas wish list, which was sent to my family.

Christmas Wish List 2007

Note: items in bold are the ones we need first. Please ship to my work at:
Susquehanna Township High School

Scooter Works – 1.888.96.VESPA
$19.00 -- Item #73538 -- Spring, Rear Shock
$10.20 -- #60536 – Rear suspension dampener block & hardware
$.75 – S.3109 – Spring Washer
$29.00 – CCS6 – Complete cable set
$49.00 – 92563 – Wire harness for non-battery
$4.8 – 77023 – Ball cage bearing for front fork
$3.6 – 77024 – Ball cage bearing for front fork
$15 – (QTY: 3) 3.5x10 inner tubes
$18 -- 13521 – (QTY: 2) Cowl packing strip (rubber trim) in Grey
$49 – FRKVNB – Floor rail kit (order Rally version)
$14 – 70577 – Twist grips in GREY
$12 – 85072 -- Center mat in BLACK
$16 – 85073 and 85074 -- Center mat retainers
$35 -- LTC6-C – Legshield chrome

MotorSport Scooters – 1.619.280.1718
$8.70 -- 060536 – Upper shock mount and hardware (also listed under Scooter Works)
$18.95 -- Part #: 097366 – GS/SS air bellow
$1.00 – Hose band clips

Scooter Richmond – 1.877.SCOOT.25
$9.99 – 90525 --Speedo Cable
$6.99 – 98655 -- Speedo Pinion

Our goal is to get the front end in cables run, and engine/rear tire, and kick stand installed within the next couple months and have the bike on its own two feet ASAP.

Final Quote Comparison

I typically request quotes from multiple shops to ensure that I can find all of the parts I need. Often I can find most of what I need and I always pursue NOS (new old stock) first. Below is my final quote comparison, which will show you how detailed I have become with my parts lists as well as give you an idea of how closely different shops charge for parts.

If you're interested I have this quote in an MS Excel file if you need it to create your parts list. I have already give away my Lambretta TV175 list to another restorer and I was happy to do so, because I know it saved the guy a few hours of work, which he can now use towards restoring his scoot now.