The Agony of Success: A Tragedy in 4 Acts
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Enthusiast
GT200
Joined: 11 Jan 2006
Posts: 52
Location: Westport, CT
Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:45 am quote
So I decided to tackle the replacement of the dead clock battery in my 2006 GT200 after ranting about the paucity of DIY info here: http://modernvespa.com/forum/topic112581

But I didn't anticipate that one act of brave self-reliance (Happy Independence Day!) would devolve into a series of mini-mechanical tragedies. Nothing tragic with a Capital T, for sure. More like tragi-comic or trag-ironic. Or tragi-stupidic.

The initial clock battery surgery was a little daunting at first, but once you realize it's just a bunch of screws, plastic and plugs, it's certainly not rocket science. There's something unnerving about having disassembled the entire head unit—you can imagine what doctors feel like sometimes in mid-operation after they open someone up and all the inner guts are exposed and they feel like, "oh crap. Now I've got to figure out how to put this stuff back together."



But I managed to extract the brain and here's the offending part:



A trip to the watch/calculator/hearing-aid battery section of Wallgreen's and voila!



I completed the task at precisely 4:44 PM



Now comes the fun & tragic part: reassembly.

The first time I reassembled, I was left with a few, uh, "extra" screws." So I "redisassembled" (that should be a new word in the English language), found the un-screwed holes, and filled them. Then upon re-reassembly, when inserting the head unit screw just below the headlight, and despite YouTube warnings to BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL! and PLACE A TOWEL UNDER THE HEADLAMP TO CATCH THE SCREW SHOULD YOU DROP IT, and all the while thinking to myself, "Dude, just be careful. You're not gonna drop it. But it would really suck if you dropped it..."

I dropped it.

"Kerplink—clank—clunk," down into the black abyss of Vespa guts and bodywork she goes. Never to be seen again, despite an hour of magnet-fishing and body-shaking. A screw lost, and a screw loosed. Tragedy #1.

I resign myself to a ride to the local Vespa Dealer (Vespa of Ridgefield, in CT) to get a replacement fastener, which is not the end of the world.

But as part of my attempt to jiggle the errant screw loose from the bodywork, I fired my GT up, and noticed that one of the side plastic reflectors was jiggling madly. So I reached inside to try to squeeze-on the little push fastener, and snap!. Tragedy #2.

Well, in for a penny, in for a pound. I'd be making the trip to the scoot dealer anyways, so I'll just pick-up another unbroken reflector and 2 push tabs.

Thus, I buzz on up to Branchville, CT (about a 20 minute drive from me) to pick up the parts, when, to my dismay, Tragedy #3: Branchville Motors/Vespa Ridgefield is closed. Not for the day; forever. Dust in the windows. No sign of owners, no bikes, no anything. No sign saying "Going out of business." Or "A Note to Our Valued Customers." Just a banner over the Vespa-half's front door saying "All Accessories 5-50% Off." And, ironically, not a word about it on their website, or on any forums. http://www.branchville.com/new_vehicle_list.asp?Manufacturer=363&Category=12&CatDesc=Scooters

Well, no one said this was gonna be easy.

So: back home to finish the re-reassmbly (less a headstock screw and a rear left reflector). I get it all back together, and I'm re-threading and spinning the mirrors back onto the bike when the right one stops at an odd angle; I loosen it, adjust the nut, and try tightening it the correct angle when "snup!." Tragedy #4. Off snaps the mirror, with the broken, threaded end deeply embedded in the steering column.



Anyone know a good place to mail-order parts for an aging GT200? I tried Vespa Centrale in Hartford but couldn't get 'em on the phone.

But the clock's working like a charm. SUCCESS!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
09 GTS (sold) 2014 NC700XD
Joined: 02 Jul 2008
Posts: 5005
Location: Charlotte, NC
Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:59 am quote
Wow, what a day for you!

I am sure scooterwest can help you with all your needs! If you don't find it online give them a call!!

Good luck!
World Traveler
2007 LX150 Daring Plum Leonardo Da Vespa
Joined: 02 Jul 2006
Posts: 29304

Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:02 am quote
Good for you on even attempting. When mine goes out i won't be in there. A eal PIA. Try MotorSportScooter out of SD. They have everything you need. Usually get the stuff in a couple of days but it might take a few extra because MAX did/helped with AmeriVespa this year since it was in SD. Their banner is at the bottom of the page and if you don't se what you want just give them a call. I'm impressed you didn't break those 2 flimsy tabs. For that you get a big thumbs up.
Addicted
‘09 Yamaha Zuma(sold), ‘06 Kymco People 250(sold), ’08 Aprilia Scarabeo 500ie, ‘09 Buddy Italia, ’06 Buddy
Joined: 20 Jan 2012
Posts: 902
Location: Denver
Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:36 am quote
I would say many 4-letter words and fuss and rave until the neighbors hid for days.

And then...I'd hit the interwebs.

Sorry it didn't go as planned, but I am glad that you know what time it is .
Veni, Vidi, Posti
09 GTS (sold) 2014 NC700XD
Joined: 02 Jul 2008
Posts: 5005
Location: Charlotte, NC
Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:47 am quote
Just to make sure the waters are muddy: scooterwest and Motorsport scooters are the same place!
Ossessionato
2005 Dragon Red Vespa ET4 Speedster
Joined: 07 Nov 2005
Posts: 2109
Location: Rappahannock Co., Virginia
Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:57 am quote
Silver lining....... The clock works.
Hooked
BV 350
Joined: 26 Mar 2012
Posts: 379
Location: Middleton, Wisconsin
Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:52 am quote
I would definitely have said a few 4 letter words in that ordeal
Kudos to you in getting the clock working. Hopefully an Easy Out can remove the broken end. Good Luck
Molto Verboso
2010 Vespa Volcanic Black GTS 300 Super "Marta"
Joined: 05 Apr 2012
Posts: 1757
Location: Hatfield, Pennsylvania
Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:13 am quote
Murphy's Law: If anything can go wrong, it will.

My Law: Nothing's ever easy.
Molto Verboso
ET4
Joined: 30 Jun 2006
Posts: 1681
Location: Southern California
Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:21 pm quote
judy wrote:
For that you get a big thumbs up.
Ditto that.

Yesterday I was sorta unhappy that my clock stopped working. I think I can live without it now.
Ossessionato
2006 Vespa GT (Rocket): 2005 Vespa GT (Razzo): 2006 Vespa GT (Crash): 2007 Vespa GT (Vanessa): 2009 Yamaha Zuma 125 (Zoom): 2018 Yamaha Xmax (Max),
Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 4392
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:34 pm quote
Clock battery totally dead on Rocket.
Off a little on Lightning.
I wear a watch.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
MP3 500, GTS 250 (both 2008 MY), 2012 Honda NC700 DCT
Joined: 02 Mar 2013
Posts: 6244
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:43 pm quote
Been there (OK, only part way)
I had an LX 150 that I bought used last year, and broke off one of the mirrors. The threaded end was rusted into the brake lever bracket, so was not possible to remove without completely drilling it out. Very painful. Tried easy outs, tons of penetrating lube, even one that thread in a lefthand bolt and try to pull it out. Nada.

Ultimately had to drill the whole thing out oversize, and put in a new threaded unit. Actually pretty slick thing called a TimeSert. That, and a new mirror....

Anyway, good luck!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001JK44LG/ref=oh_details_o06_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 LX150 2015 GTS 2013 BV 350
Joined: 13 Sep 2012
Posts: 9432
Location: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:29 pm quote
So, I guess the score is:

Clock repair, +1
Overall mechanical score, -5

Value of experience, inestimable.

At least the rest of us have been warned. Unless you've already sent off for a reflector, I just repaired mine (a second time, the first time was without benefit of MV. I should know better). Relatively easy, no screws to drop, nothing to break (except the other stem). I just pried off the reflector (careful not to damage the silver edge), drilled and countersunk for a #8 flat head screw and reapplied the reflector. Easy peasy, and you can save your $20 for buying replacement screws

http://modernvespa.com/forum/topic103889
Enthusiast
BSA 650, GT200, GTS300ie
Joined: 11 Aug 2013
Posts: 84
Location: Tarpon Springs, FL
Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:36 pm quote
GT200 Clock Battery Replacement
I just got this 2006 GT200 a few days ago, was on the bucket list of things to eventually get. Not very mechanical at all but the dead battery screen was bothering me. I found this forum and did some research but never saw this post till it was all over and done with. I did find a couple of YouTube Videos though and watch one a few times though it ended with getting the front cover off. Found some other pics on removing the rest and the cluster as well.

Also took steps with towel not to lose screws. Down the black hole mine went too. (only one and a lock washer (I think as I never saw it just heard it) from removing the bolt that attaches the cluster to the frame.

I went to hardware store to find a screwdriver that would also hold a screw - no luck. But I did find a second magnetic screwdriver (the one I used was too but did not hold the screw) I did also find a grabber thingie. You push it in and four prongs open and it is flexible, so what I did was loosen the screw left to do and then used the grabber to hold and finish unscrewing them. Perfect application and great on putting them back in. Also has some heavy grease to use for standby (to keep the screw on the driver) but did not need it.

The shop manual says this is a 15 minute job I assume that is what the 15' means in the manual. Well it only took me a little over 4 hours, but all now works and all back together. Wonder when the missing stuff will fall out from the column now

Also noticed when I undid the two screws under the brake levers to remove the front cover, the plastic was so brittle they broke. Used some goop to glue the little pieces back on. Any other suggestions on this? Not a very good setup in my opinion, very weak spot.

Next job replace the rear stop/running lamps with LED. That will be an easy one.


Good info in this forum thanks to all gave me the courage to do this "simple" task today. This is my first post.
Ossessionato
2012 BV 350
Joined: 19 Aug 2008
Posts: 2091
Location: Vestavia Hills, AL
Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:22 pm quote
Welcome to the forum jzorn! Well done on completing the battery replacement!
World Traveler
2007 LX150 Daring Plum Leonardo Da Vespa
Joined: 02 Jul 2006
Posts: 29304

Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:58 am quote
JZORN a warm aloha and welcome to the forum from Hawaii. Your right those tabs are horrible. Very flimsy for a place you do need to get into often. I broke both of my tabs and have lived with it. I'd be interested to see, also if someone has a solution for them. Good luck.
Enthusiast
BSA 650, GT200, GTS300ie
Joined: 11 Aug 2013
Posts: 84
Location: Tarpon Springs, FL
Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:17 am quote
The Agony of Success: A Tragedy in 4 Acts
Thanks for the welcome. Try the Goop, (available in any good hardware store or Home Depot). It works great I use it for so many thing and is almost invisible too.
judy wrote:
JZORN a warm aloha and welcome to the forum from Hawaii. Your right those tabs are horrible. Very flimsy for a place you do need to get into often. I broke both of my tabs and have lived with it. I'd be interested to see, also if someone has a solution for them. Good luck.
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