Monday, January 21, 2008

VBB Restoration Advice

I received an email asking for potential websites and resources for restoring a VBB -- Vespa Super. Below is the email transaction of what I recommend. Please note that I am far from an expert, but I am always happy to share anything and everything that I have learned in this process.


Congrats. Note: Be very careful with all eBay purchases. 90% are crap! It sounds like you may have found yourself a 10%'r. First off, please read my post (I think there may be two) on Things to think about during "Disassembly." If you are new to this process as I am, you will want to get all of your ducks in a row before moving forward at all. Also, this may feel like a big pain in the butt, but consider reading my blog from day one to present, because I too had a SERIOUSLY seized piston and show what it took to get it free (more than PB Blaster) and I also had many other issues, which I am sure you will experience as most restorers do. I promise it's worth the read. Before I restore my 1963 TV175 I am going to reread my entire VSC blog.

Now to answer you questions:
Great overview of restoration --
Restoration of a Vespa Super --
Maintenance of VBB --

Use to download info on your model, specifically the "parts" and "maintenance" manuals. Study those like there will be no tomorrow!

Eric, if you can salvage the original paint by treating rust and bringing back a little of the original luster of paint I suspect that would be a smarter move than repainting. If it's an option. The blog recommends products for this. It will cost at least $1000 to have it professionally painted and the value of the bike will not increase that much, if it were a MKII, VSB or an SS90, it would be a wise investment.

If you plan to do any bodywork or paint yourself, jump onto the forum at, and ask many questions. This will prove better advice than you get on BBS, etc. These guys are hardcore and really know there stuff more than most.

Search the web relentlessly and study every square inch of your bike -- how it the day it left the warehouse.

Email people that post videos and such on your specific bike and ask away as well.

Be relentless in your documentation of the entire restoration. Blogging forces me to record everything immediately and in great detail. It's a wonderful tool for me and the readers as well. I recommend starting a blog on the process. Walk your readers through your experience, writing it down forces you to process it.

Anything else you need at this time Eric?

Good luck and PLEASE keep me posted.


Eric W. wrote:
I got a 1963 VBB 150 off of eBay (no, not a vietnamese one, one that needs A LOT of work). Within an hour of owning it, I had completely taken it apart and moved all the pieces to the basement to prep it for paint. I have the Haynes manual, but it walks through disassembling the engine in the craziest, vaguest manner possible, at least to me. You seem to find some great material, would you happen to know where I could find a nice walk-through for this engine?

Also, I think that the only thing actually wrong with my engine is that the piston is seized, I'll definitely take up your recommendation with the PB Blaster and give that a shot to get that sucker loose. But I would still like to figure out how to get the engine completely apart because I'm sure it could use a good cleaning behind the ears.

Thank you much!
-Eric W.

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