Saturday, March 8, 2008

Grommets still needed

I am hunting down the following parts still. Non-Indian for all rubber is required. Here's the list of what is BADLY needed:

$5.95 -- (Part: 47872) Center stand spring

$4.25 -- (Part: 48171) Throttle and choke cable grommet. Fits 60s to 80s Vespas.

$5.95 -- (Part: 90541) Cable Hose

$3.99 -- (Part: 84262) Fuel line grommet

(Part: 77252) Center stand spring retainer clip

(Part: 84804) Clamshell Speedo gasket inside glass

(Part: 82783) GREY Brake switch gasket

(Part: 174092) Rubber grommet fits around steering lock.

(Part: 93722) GREY brake light switch

(Part: 15689) Handle bar segment grommet. U-shape rubber grommet.

(Part: 13836) Grommet, frame/wiring

(Part: 113060) Fuel line to airbox rubber.

(Part: 90541) Grommet for clutch gears and rear brake.

Speedo nut top grommet.

Speedo sheath seal.

Parts order shipped

Partial shipment shipped from Scooter Shop (they're good about having NOS):

Seat Buffers (Part: 56730) NOS $ 5.00

Fuel rod grommet (Part: 47460).New $ 2.00 looks right

Gas Tank Cap Gasket for large frames (Part: 56678). new nice $ 2.50

Qty: 2 -- Cowl hook grommet white nice $ 3.95

QTY: 2 -- Cowl peg buffer (Part: 87488) White nice $ 6.96 each

QTY: 2 -- Cowl hook sheath (Part: 24041) piaggio $ 2.00 each

Gas Tank Cap Gasket for large frames (Part: 56678). new nice $ 2.50

Seal for the fuel assembly – goes beneath the sediment bowl (Part: 26042)NOS $2.00

Fuel assembly gasket for inside gas tank ???? New 2.00

4 hole gasket for fuel cock assembly. Fits GS and Super Sport. (Part: 13836) new Nice $ 3.95

Gasket for air bellow connection (Part: 97493) re made by us $ 15.00

Brake pedal rubber in BLACK italian $ 4.50

Brake Bellow for most 60s and 70s Vespas (Part: 57321) Nice New $ 4.50

Clamshell Speedo glass (Part: 84803). New Nice $ 15.00

Clamshell Speedo gasket (Part:49458?) Nice New grey $ 4.50

Speedo cable SS italian $ 14.95

Thursday, March 6, 2008

10,000 miles

Congrats to the Blog . . . 10,000 visitors plus have visited this SS180 Blog.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Use sealed bearings or not?

I used sealed bearings in my front hub...

I received a great "comment" from Paul B. (thanx Paul it's folks like you that help me and the readers think through things and learn more about our hobby):

"Sealed bearings in the hub? Why?The "open" bearings work great, (as you saw in your own disassembly) and are serviceable, which make them last forever. You have removed the ability to service your bearing. The sealed bearings will NEVER last so long. Grease degrades with time, usage, and heat. How will you renew the grease in your sealed bearings? Why change from a system that works great to a system that limits your options?" - Paul B.

Paul B. is correct that the stock bearing works just great and there is no need to upgrade it.
The reason I upgraded it is two fold:
1. My bearing dealer assured me that with the use of the Vespa that I would likely get40 years of use out of it. 2. There is less chance of grime getting in the bearing and therefore a lower maintenance.

My mentor Christopher Markley is a proponent for installing sealed bearings on the front hub and taking advantage of this "modern" (relatively speaking) technology.

It is my understanding that the later model Vespas came equipped with a sealed bearing in the front hub (but don't quote me -- I am far from an expert) so it is not unheard of in the Vespa world.

Just to play it safe, I checked in with Tom G. and Christopher M. and posed the question, "crap, did I make a bad choice going with a sealed bearing Tom?"

Tom G.'s response was:
"It's not a big deal. Consider the following. Assume your open bearing's grease degrades. I can't recall, but is there a grease nipple that will allow you to
pump replacement grease in (and old grease out?) there isn't on older models -- and if there was, where would the old grease go? Into your brake drum? The fact of the matter is that you'll know when your bearing is having a problem by telltale noises, clicks upon rotation, etc. At that point, you can just replace the bearing. And even if you're running sealed bearings, you can, of course, just pop off the seals, wash out the old grease, and regrease and reinstall (sans seal this time). but its not worth the cost and effort for this particular bearing. Just replace it."

Christopher M.'s response was:
"On the bearing, I'd go sealed. It will always be clean and greased. An unsealed bearing gets corruption in it and degrades the bearing over time. But as you say, why not just go original? It is doubtful that you'll put on the many tens of thousands of miles that would take to wear either out. I'm talking tens of thousands, ridden hard, Italian style, and neglected. You'll be babying this bike. So either will be fine."

(Christopher is correct about the bike being babied. She'll live a garaged or basement life and my wife rides very easy on bikes as opposed to me, who likes to pretend to be a sporty hot dog. Though, I'd like Lisa to be able to ride it often I am concerned that times that she has to leave the bike outside it could get stolen even if locked up or possibly damaged if it's outside all day long while Lisa is at work. So it will be babied and go places where she can keep an eye on it, like weekend coffees.)

So to answer Paul B.'s question, yes I did give up serviceability, but I believe that the bearing will last "long enough" for my wife's riding career (next 30-40 years) without needing to be cleaned or replaced.

The rear hub is a different story.

"The rear hub bearing was definitely unsealed, because there is a separate oil seal used. There is no reason not to use a bearing sealed on the outer side -- in fact, it is extra security against oil seepage. However, I would NOT use a bearing sealed on both sides -- the inside should be open to received lubricating oil from the gearbox," said Tom G.

Nonetheless all very good information for you readers. Food for thought.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Parts arrive

Today, the following parts arrived:

- Hand grips
- Lever screws
- VSC junction box upper & lower grommets
- VSC bellow

The next order to arrive is very important. With it we will be able to run/attach all cables, finish up front fork & headset, and fill the gas tank and fire this baby up!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Grommet Order Placed

Yesterday, I placed the following order along with these prices for my wife's 31st birthday (seeing as the VSC is her bike). We were lucky enough to receive cash from family. We hope to get more . . . we probably need about $200 more.

When possible, I got NOS (and paid for it) and I requested only Italian or German rubber -- no Indian-made. When packaging it, the scooter shop will check everything and replace or not ship/not charge Indian parts. I will pay for the quality. Of course, with 40 year NOS parts, it's possible the lives will not be another 40 years.

Here's the order:

1. Centerstand spring (Part: 47872). New $8.95

2. Seat Buffers (Part: 56730). NOS $5.00 each

3. Fuel rod grommet (Part: 47460). New $2.00

4. Fuel line grommet (Part: 84262). New $2.50

5. Fuel line to airbox rubber. New $2.50

6. Grommet for electrical harness and spark plug wire. Using a Vespa PX HT coil. NOS $2.00

7. Grommet to frame wiring. New $2.00

8. Cable grommet for HT coil wires (Part: 48171). New $4.95

9. Cable Hose (Part: 90541). NOS $5.00

10. Throttle and choke cable grommet. Fits 60s to 80s Vespas. New $2.50

11. Grommet for clutch gears and rear brake. New $3.00

12. Cowl hook grommet (Qty: 2). White nice $3.00

13. Cowl peg buffer (Part: 87488) (Qty:2). White new $6.96/each

14. Fuel line grommet for more most 60s and 70s Vespas. New $3.95

15. Gas Tank Cap Gasket for large frames (Part: 56678). New $2.50

16. Seal for the fuel assembly – goes beneath the sediment bowl (Part: 26042). NOS $2.00

17. Fuel assembly gasket for inside gas tank. New $2.00

18. 4 hole gasket for fuel cock assembly. Fits GS and Super Sport (Part: 13836). New $3.95

19. Gasket for air bellow connection (Part: 97493). Quality/New $15.00

20. Brake pedal rubber in BLACK. Italian new $4.50

21. Brake switch gasket (Part: 82783). New grey $3.95

22. Brake Bellow for most 60s and 70s Vespas (Part: 57321). New $4.50

23. Clamshell Speedo glass (Part: 84803). New $15.00

24. Clamshell Speedo gasket inside glass (Part: 84804) New $5.00

25. Clamshell Speedo gasket (Part: 49458?) New grey $4.50

26. Piaggio Speedo cable. New $14.99

27. Rubber grommet fits around steering lock. New $3.00

The order should arrive a week from Monday at the latest.

Front fork assembled

The fork/steering column is fully assembled. Though my front hub pivot was in okay shape with not too much wear, I opted to replace it. Ted removed the old one and installed the new one. Back in his shop days, he learned to use a thicker grease on roller bearings like these, because it acts as a "glue" and holds them in place when packing the bearings and makes your life a whole lot easier.

As you can see below, I reused all my hardware, only replacing the grease nipple, which is a moot point, because we installed sealed bearings in the front hub, but I want this mildly custom SS180 to look true to the period.

We replaced the brake pads and sealed everything back up. The paint job sure looks sharp and I am so happy we rebuilt the front shock and kept it stock.

The bottom race on the steering column was a little misshaped. Ted straightened it. These pieces are easy to replace if need be.

One thing I did not do is to use fiberglass tape around the bearing races and any other surfaces that should not be painted. Make sure that you take the time to research and think about all areas that should NOT have paint on them and then to cover them with fiberglass tape pre-medium blasting and painting (you can change the tape to a painter's tape after medium blasting). Then you will only need to clean the areas.
Ted used his wire wool and sand paper, and when appropriate his Dremel, to clear paint where there should not be paint, ie my bearing race.

You can see the bearing race is clean here.

Before reinstalling the front fender and steering column Ted greased and installed the bearings.