Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cylinder Shroud-December 7, 2010

I finished sanding and repainting the cylinder shroud that I picked up on Ebay. Did the inside with a flat black paint and the exterior with the same VHT Wrinkle Plus paint that I used for the top of the airbox.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cylinder Shroud-November 25, 2010

I picked up the VS5 cylinder shroud off of ebay. Can't believe that I got it for about $100. The only ones that I have come across typically run $250-$450. It will need sanded, primed, and painted of course, but finally glad to have an original. Other than a few little, and thankfully, cheaper pieces are needed to make the scooter complete and original.

Airbox-November 25, 2010

The airbox is done. Finished the top with a wrinkle coat and the bottom with a matt black. The airbox is more shiny in the picture due to the direct lighting.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Another Scooter Project

Here is another scooter project that I am working on. Not going to go crazy on this one. Just rebuild the engine, complete the front end and random parts, and get a title. Hopefully, I can make a bit of profit to fund the GS project.


Airbox Cover-November 7, 2010

I started working on getting the airbox cleaned up and painted. Began with the airbox cover and decided to give VHT's Wrinkle Plus paint a try to give the lid the "original crinkle coat. I picked it up at Advanced Auto Parts. After some experimenting, I am happy with the result.

According to the directions on the can, I sanded the lid down to the bare metal. The original coat was hard to get off so I used a dremel tool with a sandpaper drum to get it to the bare metal. This was followed up with a hand sanding using 400 and 800 grit sandpaper. The directions state to not use primer and give it 3 heavy coats in alternating directions with a 5 minute break between coats. I put the lid in the oven at 200 degrees for 1 hour. This was too much and the crinkle was too heavy especially along the bottom of the lip.

After the first attempt, I scraped and sanded the lid down to the bare metal again. This time I gave it one coat of primer and let that dry. I followed this up with two lighter coats alternating the directions and waiting 5 minutes between coats. I put the lid in the oven at 200 degrees for 1 hour. This worked much better and the crinkle was more controlled. The lid needed more texture still, so I gave it 1 more light coat and did not bake it.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cylinder Shroud-November 4, 2010

If anyone out there has a GS 150 cylinder shroud for sale, please hit me up. I've been looking for one for quite awhile. I've got the funds, but don't want to pay $500 for one either :).

Engine Rebuild-November 4, 2010

I finished with the engine rebuild. Overall, it wasn't too bad. The hardest part was getting the crank to fit into the engine case. I would recommend putting the crank into the freezer for a night and heating the engine case with a butane torch. With some gentle taps, the crank eventually went in. The second tricky part was getting the two engine halves together while making sure that the gear selector was properly engaged. Put in new bearings and a complete set of seals. Right now I am in the process of getting the exhaust repaired and once that is complete I will give the new engine test. Once this is done, I'll move on to getting the airbox redone and flywheel cover repaired and painted. Coming along slowly, but still coming along.

Vintage Ohio License Plate

I was able to pick up a vintage 1961 Ohio License Plate for the GS 150. Here in Ohio you can pay a $25 fee (I believe) to use on a historic motorcycle or scooter. The price was right and thought that it looked better than the ones that they have out now. Now all I have to do is get that pesky title issue worked out, but I've now got a lead in Michigan and will give that a try.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Winterizing your scooter-October 18, 2010

It's that time of year. Here is an interesting article that talks about winterizing your scooter. They also have some fun vintage Vespa scooter videos.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Vespa GS 150 Airbox-September 19, 2010

After a long search, I finally found a GS 150 Airbox for sale. It is a little rough cosmetically, but structurally it is in good shape. With some new paint, it should be good as new. Thanks Mark from Scooter Bellissimo for the airbox and your patience. I would highly recommend this guy and his company. Also picked up a junction box cover while I was at it.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Scammers-August 22, 2010

In my never ending search for a GS 150 Airbox, I posted several "WTB" threads on some scooter forums and scoot.net classifieds. The scammers came out of the woodwork. One guy going by Franco Peroni claimed he was from the UK, and when I asked to see photos of the airbox, he attached an image of a V5 that is the first image when you do a google search for "Vespa GS 150". He stated that he was going to part out the scooter. This was a good looking scooter that no one would part. What an idiot.

So be careful. Personally, I don't trust buying anything oversees unless it is from an actual shop. Don't use Western Union or MoneyGram. There is no protection using these services. Once the money is wired, it is gone. Even Ebay won't offer any protection outside the US.

If you are buying a high priced item in the US, check out this service www.escrow.com. It is a bit pricey. Around $25.00 for anything up to $5000.00, but at least you won't get burnt.

If anyone has any other suggestions for services that will offer the buyer some form of protection for purchasing parts, scooters, etc, I would love to hear them.

I am leaving today for Ireland and Scotland for a week vacation, but when I get back, I will have the time for some needed updating on the scooter progress.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Scooter Shops-August 11, 2010

Normally I wouldn't post something like this, but I've been amazed at the poor service I've been receiving while ordering parts from the big scooter shops. One place messed my order up the first time and sent the wrong parts. They tried a second time, and since I was in a hurry, I paid for the 1-3 day priority shipping. It took them five days to fill the order. I believe the whole affair took almost 3 weeks from my first order. Another shop's online system was down and everytime I called I got the "we will call you back. If you don't hear from us by 5pm, call us back." This happened for 3 days straight. Do I really have to beg you to take my money?

Personally, I've found ScooterWest to be quick, accurate, and reliable.

Pride of Cleveland has also been extremely helpful when I have called or stopped in.

To be fair I have not ordered from these folks, so I don't know, but I've heard good things.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Engine Tear Down-July 31, 2010

I got the engine completely tore down and cleaned. There were some chunks of metal floating around and places where the gears were scraping against the engine case. Found some makeshift parts that were questionable from the previous rebuild, so I am guessing that might have been causing some of the problems. Also as expected, the corks in the clutch were completely dry. Soaked those in oil overnight and got the clutch rebuilt. Now to put it all back together and get the parts off of the basement floor.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Engine Rebuild-July 23, 2010

I got the clutch cover on the scooter and was hoping to make it down the street that night.  That didn't happen, so I got a chance to work on it the following morning.  I got the scooter to idle, but when I would put it in gear the scooter didn't have enough power to pull the bike.  After several tries, some strange sounds started coming from inside the cases.  Lots of grinding and some sounds of snapping metal.  Not good.  I also suspect some air leaks so time for an engine strip.  Not too bad though since I wanted to do this from the beginning.

Clutch Cover-July 22, 2010

Well I got all of the parts needed for the clutch cover.  This included a NOS clutch cover, clutch arm, spring, actuating pad, and actuating lever.

Monday, July 12, 2010

It's Alive...Ugly but Alive...July 12, 2010

Definitely not pretty but going in the right direction. Holy smokes! No adjustments yet. Also seems like smoke is coming out at the beginning of the exhaust and the cylinder. Had to use my smallframe tank, since I am waiting on a fuel tap wrench to clean the original tank. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

More Paint Cleaning

I got a chance to work more on stripping the paint. I decided to try my best at keeping the original paint. The best method so far has been wipe with Goof Off, sand with 150 grit, Goof Off, sand until silver pin dots show, and then GENTLY scape with a paint scraper. Then start again.

It's not perfect, but it looks way better.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Paint Cleaning-July 4, 2010

I worked on trying to get the crappy orange paint off today. First I tried mineral spirits, but that didn't work. Tried turpentine, but that also didn't work. Bought some "Goof Off" and that did the trick, but it really took a long time, so I am going to put cleaning the paint on the back burner. I've got some repairs to do to the body, so I may have it chemically stripped and repainted in the future.

Carb Cleaning-July 3, 2010

I worked on cleaning the carb. Fortunately, the carb came with the bike. These are hard to find and cost a small fortune. With the help of a toothbrush, gasoline, and carb cleaner, the gunk was cleaned out of the carb. It was missing the fuel banjo, with I ordered from the Scootershop. After tearing it apart, someone did a modification on the Needle Seating by soldering one of the holes shut. No idea why, so with some help of a propane torch, I removed the old solder.

Electrical Work-July 2, 2010

Before dumping a bunch of time and money into this, I wanted to see if the scooter would start and that the engine was running correctly. The previous owner had the engine rebuilt at Pride of Cleveland Scooters, but never got the bike running, so I am going to assume that the insides of the engine are in good working order. The scooter didn't come with a battery, so I picked up a 6v 12 amp hour battery at Batteries Plus for $27 dollars. The battery dimensions are different than the original, but good enough for a test. I spent the day wiring the battery, headlamp, ignition switch, junction box, coil, and spark plug wire. By the end of the day, all the lights worked and I was getting spark to the spark plug. A good sign. Below is what the engine looked like when I picked it up and what I worked on.

Removed Reflectors-July 1, 2010

The first thing that I did was remove the reflectors that were attached to the scooter. Unfortunately, they were screwed on and I will have to fill the holes in the future.

1961 GS 150 Vespa-July 29, 2010

I found a 1961 GS 150 for sale in Pittsburgh, PA via Craigslist. I've been wanting to work on a project bike. I really like the looks of the GS's, and after some negotiations on the price, it came home with me that day. The bike was missing some rare parts, like the airbox and original cylinder shroud, but the body was in great shape and almost everything else was there and in original form. Someone painted the bike orange, but that can come off. Also it didn't come with a title, but I had a friend run the VIN#'s and it didn't come back stolen. I also had to pick up a clutch actuating arm, which I ordered from the Scootershop.