Saturday, October 3, 2009

Clutch Issue Continues

Updates below as of 10/7/2009

Here's the work that has been done on the scooter thus far as posted on Paul's Blog. Click me!

After the clutch was put back together and rear wheel put on Paul tested the scoot and the clutch issue is NOT resolved. I need help and that is what I am asking for . . .

Email sent to my SS180 mentors & Super-Sports Yahoo Group:

"Tom, Christopher, & Hiro -

I have a problem with the clutch on the Vespa SS180. The clutch was
just examined by an experienced mechanic friend and the cork plates,
basket, etc. all look good. From what I understand there were a few
ways it could be assembled in the basket and lock into place. Two
ways had a lot of free movement and one way was sorta snug, but not
locked perfect. The snug way is not enough top get the clutch to
operate correctly.

Here's the issue:

In 1st gear at a stop the clutch grabs and pops a wheelie and makes a
terrible sound. You can see it here in the video and hear the sound

It seems to shift through the other gears okay, but I would not
describe it as "butter."

Help trouble shooting?"

**** RESPONSES ****

""Hi Jeremy,
I would recommend to test with another clutch unit/assembly which works good. Do
you have a friend who ride an SS there?

I would suspect the worn springs inside the Christmas tree gears if it works.
Good luck,
-Palmog" (posted on Super Sports Yahoo Group)

"Hi again, Jeremy,

I've just found this mail now. In addition to what I've posted on the Vespa Sports group, you would want to check the needle roller bearing inside the helical gear of the clutch unit. It is very easy to check only turn the reverse threaded brass washer off.

I happen to have my SS motor completely been disassembled in my room now. I can take photos of any of parts as a reference if you need. Just let me know what you need.

Good luck,

Other possibilities my research turned up:

(1) The plain clutch plates are dished slightly (0.012 in) and bear a scribed
line on the concave surface. These marks must be facing outwards and assembled
above each other towards the retaining circlip.

(2) Check that the gear ring is firmly riveted to the back plate of the clutch.

(3) Check the sides of the slots in the clutch basket. In order to properly disengage, the tabs of the plates have to slide freely in the basket slots.

(4) Make sure the spring washer that goes on the crank before the clutch is properly installed. The small end of the cone goes towards the crank.

Any of my readers have suggestions? Please comment.


Mark said...

Did you fix your clutch issue yet? I can almost guarantee you the problem is with the basket. You need a NOS, not a repro one, to get sorted out. Let me know how to contact you and I'll give youthe details.

Jeremy J. said...

It is not fixed yet. Still looking into it. The components looked in good shaped though, including the basket. Please do hit me up at Jeremy at bass monkey but spell that as one word and it with com. Careful not to post email addys here.

Lance said...

I have the exact same issue on a p125x (1978) (i watched the video).. new clutch repro. I haven't had time to dig into it yet, so I'm anxiously watching what you find out

Anonymous said...

It would be very helpful if anyone who bought a "repro" clutch would specify what brand it is, where and how long ago they bought it. I just spent a lot of money buying a surflex clutch from SIP in Germany, I haven't used it yet, and I bought it in August 2009. It's a new product for them, but I can't tell how old the clutch is, if it is NOS or a repro. I will email them and ask them the history of the SS complete clutch they are selling.
Krissy at

Jeremy J Sutton said...


Not sure if you will read this, but man I need your help. I can't seem to contact you through your Blogger Profile. If you see this please leave a comment here and we will figure out how to contact each other. Through my profile I think you can reach me.