Thursday, May 8, 2008

Sealants and Adhesives

I cleaned up and polished the emblems with a very mild abrasive pad, tooth brush, and Mother's Chrome polish.  They cleaned up well, but show their age in scratches and chips if you look very close and stare at it.  (They are plated, not chrome.  You can have them replated with excellent results, I've heard.)  I opted not to wet sand them as I worried it would dull them.  I used 3M's Plastic and Emblem Adhesive.  It is messy stuff (like a silicon that is usually liquidy) and it comes out fast -- so be CAREFUL.  You are to press it on, remove it for 10 to 15 minutes, and the reapply.  I did not do that because it was so messy.  I ran a fan on it all night to get air around.  I only had three studs on the back that were way to short to put the emblem on correctly, plus one hole was filled in my body.  So instead of drilling it, I chose to file it off and use the adhesive.  So "NOT" the purist technique.

I used a small file to clear out the two holes in the legshield to install the front emblem.  This photo is of the file on the floor rail, but it is of the same principal so I am showing you.  Don't drill stuff out.  It's messy and screws your paint.  Take your time and hand file EVERYTHING!  You will regret it if you don't.  I do.  Learn from my mistakes.

To install the gas tank cap seal I used another 3M product designed for seals and gaskets. It dries super fast and does a great job.

Things really came together on the bike last night. The headset is on and all the wiring is labeled. One recommendation I have for running the clutch and front break cables is to remove the inner cables and run them down starting from the headset. It's much easier that way. Pictured below you'll see blue painter's tape over the Vespa emblem, which holds it down flush to the frame while the 3M Adhesive dries.

Here's the next HOT items to tackle:
1) Determine why the gas tap flows so poorly and replace if needed.
2) Connect the electrical.


First Kick Bike

We made real progress yesterday and we were able to fire up the bike for the first time (with gas).  She ran great!  Christopher Markley rebuilt the engine and carb and it was pretty much tuned perfectly (no surprise).  Hearing the bike run was confidence-builder and an inspiration to continue on.

Sadly, the fuel tap assembly is clogged even though it has been cleaned with carb cleaner spray and blown out with pressured air.  It's on my list to fix or replace ASAP.  We used a make-shift gas tank.>

Make sure to tape up all stator wires before kick starting it. If your kill switch is not connected, just pull the spark plug to stop the bike.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Update: May 6, 2008

The painter wants the bike YESTERDAY for touch up, since we're moving June 9th, 2008. It's close, but not ready.

- Bike is on its two feet with kickstand installed
- Clutch and cable are fully installed
- Gas tank assembly is assembled and ready to be dropped into the bike
- Floor rails need to have end caps riveted
- Purchased a 5/8s at 3 inches SAE hex bolt to install the muffler
- Headset is ready to be installed

We aim to fire her up soon, but I think we need to finish the floor rail end caps first. We are burned out and feeling semi-negative after having a hour negative experience with the rivets. Firing her up will build our esteem and give us the confidence and inspiration we need to finish her up. We have over 20 hours invested in the floor rail kit and we are so bummed with what a pain in the butt it is and how insanely hard it is to get it 100% perfect. I am starting to think it will look great, but not be perfect now.