Saturday, February 2, 2008

Reassembly Update #5

Engine is installed. Cables are run.

Photos to follow soon I hope.

Hardware Disassembly

Disassembling your bike?

Keep it organized. Visit Scooter Help and download your Vespa's or Lambretta's parts catalog for free and follow the advice below:

"I am not sure how do you organize your nuts and bolts when you take your bike apart. But I, at least, organized the hardware into separate by using parts manual. For example, I only stock the hardware in one storage by one figure describe on it, such as T.1/1 or T.2/1. That makes things super easy when you reassemble a bike. When you need the hardware re-chroming, you need to take photos for each storages using a metric cutting mat. I guess this is what Tom G. taught to me a while back." - Hiro

Thanx Hiro. That is sound advice and all you have to do is follow the picture in the parts manual, ie T.1/1.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Reassembly Update #4

I am looking forward to late Feb. or early March when I can start getting my hands dirty again with the Vespa. It would be so great to have the bike done in time for riding season. Ted continues to tinker here and there with the Vespa. Below you can read his newest update:



I have the Haynes book with me right now. I am going to make copies for myself.

I also found some of my tech manuals that have the bolt grade list.

I will also be looking at the torque chart for all the critical nut/bolt tightening specs.

The motor is almost in. The new paint thickness has decreased the size of the area. Also I think Christopher installed the new engine mount bushing in the front of the engine and the metal sleeve is just a tad too long. I will do some filing and grinding and get it to fit.

I would prefer taking some off of the engine mount bushing. It is easier than grinding anything off of the inside of the body. You have to remember that the new paint added some thickness to everything. Bolt holes have to be large enough for the bolt to go through. I little filing increases the diameter without really showing anything.

I am very careful doing this process.

I still have the scooter on the large bench because it is easier to align the engine for mounting. I have the cables laid out.

I’m still looking for the rear shock n/b (bottom) and I never came across any fender n/b’s? There are a lot of baggies, however I will keep on looking.



If you're looking for a lot more movement on a restoration follow Eric W's VBB restoration. He works on his scoot daily for up to four hours per day.

SS180 T-Shirt

Interested in sportin' an SS180 T-Shirt? Check them out for $9.95 on "clearance" at Scooter West (Motor Sport Scooters).

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Vespa Hardware Sizes

I have been hunting archives and the web for a complete list of Vespa large frame hardware sizes and I have failed. I emailed individuals and sadly no one has such a list. I found an site called Scooter Culture, but it's no longer live.

I posted my request on Scooter BBS and thank you to John Stafford, who suggested to use a web time machine to look up the URL of scooter culture and low an behold I now have my list of metric sizes for the hardware and fasteners.

Your best bet is to open the link and create a PDF and print it. If that does not work click on the JPEGs below and print. I can not post PDF documents or I would and it would print better.

The fender to steering column bolts are 5mm x .80 x 18mm hex head bolts, no markings on the head. Good place for stainless since you can polish off the bolt head markings, and it's a non high stress location.

Furthermore, in speaking with Collin W. and Dave C. said:
"Basically, just get yourself a large assortment of M5-M8 Nuts, bolts, and wavy washers, and you're good to go. Parts falls off scooters sometimes too, so it's handy to have extras around anyways." -- Collin

"On a more serious note on nuts and things....

Vespas are pretty straight forward in this respect. Perhaps, this is why no list exists - it isn't strictly needed? There are a few odd-ball threads:

The earth stud is, for some unaccountable reason, M3.5, so needs a wingut and plain nut to match (Tap out an M3 when stuck).

The front suspension damper top nut is M8 with a fine thread pitch of 1.5 (I think?). This was, originally, a 14mm wrench drive size. Try getting hold of one of them!

Early(ish) GS 160's had M6 brass wingnuts holding the rear light in place (Bizarre!).

For the same GS's and earlier models, the gear adjusters were, also, brass and had matching lock nuts.

The M7 plain hex crankcase nuts can be difficult to source in the UK away from a scooter shop.

The seat/tank retaining bolts are also M7 (Later Vespa models did the sensible thing and were fitted with M8 bolts).

Headlamp rims are held in place by M4 raised countersunk slotted bolts (15mm length).

God only knows what type of threads are used on the carbs (Actually, God AND Delorto!).

Think that's about it on the dodgy sizes and types?

Apart from those items listed above, I can walk into my local fixing suppliers and buy everything else across the counter - even if I ask for STAINLESS STEEL?" -- Dave C.

If you know of another list or have one that is more complete or has different stuff on it please let me know. I would like to offer a Vespa hardware list as complete as the Lambretta hardware list that Gene, from Scooters O, published.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ordering Parts

We're now a single-income family, which has slowed down the financial dedication to the scooter restoration. My wife's birthday is in March and below is her "wish list" -- to be ordered from American Scooter Center in Texas.

Wish List:

$7 – Part#80349 – Piaggio emblem with adhesive strip
$33 – Legshield trim (chrome kit)
$39 – Rally floor rail kit
$29 – Glovebox rubber in Gray
$9.50 – Part#90525 – Speedo cable
$7 – Part#85072 – Center mat Black
$17 – Part#135231 – Cowl packing strip (rubber trim) in Gray

In the meantime, we'll get the bike on its own two feet with cables run as well.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Reassembly Update #3

Until the end of Feburuary 2008, my plate is so full that I can't see over the top of it; therefore no work on the Vespa from me.

But I did tell my buddy, Ted W., who has the scoot at his shop that he can tinker with it, but not to knock himself out. Just have fun, is what I said. Ted has ol'school shop experience that nears at least 2/3 of my lifetime. He does nearly all his own work on all seven "running" motorcycles in his shop. So you can say, I really trust him. He is teaching me a lot!

I just got a total surprise email from him, which reads:


You know I had that thought when we talked about stainless and the blog
is correct in that they aren't really any stronger.

The # 5 nuts and bolt will suffice, or even one with a higher rating as
long as the size 14mm is correct.

The tires are mounted on the wheels,
Rear shock is done and ready to install,
Complete Steering stem is in place. Top collar screw is hand tightened
right now. (I still have to locate the fender nuts/bolts)
I will be moving the scooter off of the large platform and putting it on
my m/c lift so that the front and rear suspension hang free and are more

I will use the larger platform to lay out the rest of the pieces so we
don't have to keep digging in a box to find things. I also want to make
sure parts a clean before installing them. I am not throwing anything
away for fear of needing a non-obtainable part later on. After we finish
we can decide what to pitch and what to keep.

Maybe we can hook up after school and head for Lowes nut/bolt department
to get what we need. I will get the nut /bolt rating list for us to see.

We are making good progress.
Later dude,


Hardare & Fasteners Part 2

A huge thank you to Paul B. for posting one the best comments this blog has seen yet in response to the previous post on hardware.

Paul B. commented:

"No. Stainless steel is FAR weaker than good quality mild steel. For most, non stress application, stainless steel RULES! I am a BIG stainless fan. But for stressed applications, like say, holding the wheels on, or, suspension components, original spec. mild steel (#5) nuts only. I mean, there really is no reason (other than for a show bike) to deliberately REDUCE the strength of the fasteners holding your (or wifes in this case) wheels on. Especially when the correct fasteners are readily available from Piaggio. Also, your original wheel changing tools will no longer fit the wheel nuts since, as you say, the stainless nuts require a 13mm wrench, and the original nuts are 14mm."

Thank you again Paul B. for commenting. I owe you big. You opened up a great conversation and I began to research it a bit by emailing my mentors for how they handle fasteners on their restorations as well. The bottom line is I will probably use galvanized steel now as opposed to stainless steel, based on your's and Tom G.'s suggestion.

Here is what I learned from Tom G.:
"It is true that stainless is weaker in tensile (and probably compressive) strength than mild steel, and of course this applies to fasteners.

That being said, I can't really think of an instance on a vespa where this will make any difference from a safety perspective. I can't begin to imagine that stainless wheel nuts would be unsafe to use.

That being said, I don't really prefer the look of stainless to galvanized for wheel nuts, and most of the time I use galvanized for them. I do frequently
use stainless for attaching body parts (like attaching front fender to fork on vespa, and attaching most lammy body panels to the frame). Is this really a
good idea? It is an open question. Where you use dissimilar metals next to one another, the less "noble" metal corrodes preferentially. In other words, if you use stainless fasteners to hold steel panels in place, the steel panels will corrode
(marginally) instead of the stainless fasteners that are in electrical contact with them. If you were to use bare steel fasteners on painted steel panels, the
fasteners would corrode more quickly (and the panels would not corrode in the vicinity of the fastener as long as electrical contact is maintained). This is
why roofers don't use iron nails to hold copper roofs in place -- the iron nails will completely corrode away, while the surrounding copper will not corrode.
So strictly speaking, from a corrosion and protection of metal standpoint, the best solution is to use galvanized steel fasteners on painted steel panels.
It is an extra "bonus" that this will also give you the correct look. But only anoraks will care.

Good luck getting wheel rim nuts in 14" size anyhow. They ARE available from some specialty shops, but are quite expensive. I never bother. Frankly, I'm not
even sure that the 14" nuts were used on the SS anyhow. Do you know for sure? They were used in some places on the GS 150, and I think also for the GS160.
But I'm pretty sure that by the Rally, the 8m hardware was all 13mm. I'm unclear on the SS.

If you can itemize the locations you want to use stainless, I can give you my best guess as to whether that might present any problem." -- Tom G.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Reference: Vespa, style in motion

Some additional literature here for your reference. These are high resolution scans and you should be able to click on it to enlarge and print for your own reference files.

These pages came from, Vespa style in motion

Close up photos help a bunch!